Jubilee VS Oyster – Which Rolex bracelet is Best?

Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR VS 116710blnr

Jubilee VS Oyster – Which Rolex bracelet is Best?

Let’s discuss a frequently debated topic: Which is better Jubilee or Oyster bracelet?

The Jubilee and Oyster bracelet are two of Rolex’s most iconic bracelets. But there is a frequent debate and discussion about which bracelet is the best. Is it the sporty and robust Oyster bracelet or is it the elegant and neat Jubilee bracelet?

Rolex Jubilee VS Oyster bracelet

Oyster Bracelet

The first iteration of the Rolex Oyster bracelet was released very early, around the 1930s. It is a three-link design which, whilst having been reiterated many times, still looks very similar to the original. The three-link structure contributes to making the bracelet very robust and sturdy – perfect for a sporty timepiece.

Today, the Oyster bracelet design has become iconic in the watch industry, with many manufacturers making bracelets that are clearly inspired by it.

The Oyster bracelet is the only bracelet to be manufactured in every metal type, which includes platinum steel, rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold two-tone, yellow gold two-tone. The Oyster Bracelet was patented by Rolex in 1947.

Jubilee Bracelet

The Jubilee bracelet was released in 1945 and originally specifically made for the Datejust to celebrate Rolex’s 40th anniversary, hence the name. The Jubilee bracelet was originally only available in full gold but is now available in a number of metal variations. Originally made for the Datejust model, the Jubilee bracelet was right from the start made with more elegance and less sportiness in mind.

The Jubilee bracelet is made up of a five-piece structure with semi-circular links. The addition of the links makes the bracelet more elegant and refined and allows them to catch the light beautifully.

Over the years, the Jubilee bracelet has, just like the oyster bracelet, been iterated and improved time and time over. But at the same time, it remains largely unchanged in design, and can still be instantly recognizable, some 75 years later.

Rolex Jubilee VS Oyster

Now to the big question: Which is the better choice of these two iconic bracelets?

As you can imagine, there is really no right or wrong to this question. Bear in mind that both of these bracelets are made for different purposes and meant to complement each other.

Rolex Jubilee oyster clasp

The Oyster bracelet is a sporty and robust bracelet whilst the Jubilee bracelet is meant to be elegant and refined. With that said, they both have a place in Rolex’s collection of watches.

Rolex Oyster Bracelet

Comfort

If you listen to the opinions of the crowd, a majority of people find the Jubilee bracelet more comfortable. This makes sense as its five-link structure allows it to conform to the wrist nicely. Furthermore, the five-link structure means that there are holes in the bracelet through which the wrist can breathe.

Rolex Datejust 36 126231

The Oyster bracelet with its three-link structure is more clunky and doesn’t follow the wrist’s shape as well. This is an area where the Jubilee bracelet wins. That is not to say the Oyster bracelet is not comfortable, however, the large links of the Oyster bracelet mean it has a heftier weight to it and doesn’t sit as discreetly on the wrist as the Jubilee. When wearing the Jubilee bracelet, you can almost forget that you are wearing it.

Rolex sports watch collection

Durability

Make no mistake, the purpose of the Oyster bracelet is to be sport and robust, and when putting it on, it gives the impression that it will never let you down. The Oyster bracelet feels rock solid on the wrist

Originally, you had to compromise durability when it came to the Jubilee bracelet. From the start, the bracelet had stretch, and this becomes worse and worse the more you wear it as the links get wear and tear, causing it to lose its structure and shape. Over the course of its production, the Jubilee bracelet has been improved to be more robust, more durable, and to last for many years to come.

Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR

Now, the Jubilee bracelet will never be as robust as the Oyster bracelet, but today, it’s still robust in its structure thanks to continued improvements. Bear in mind that the Jubilee bracelet previously had folded links as well as the Oyster bracelet. Today, they both use solid links, which have greatly improved their robustness.

Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR VS 116710blnr

The Oyster bracelet will win in this category as it is made to be durable. This doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. The sportier Oyster bracelets for the Submariner and sea-Dweller are also equipped with Glidelock clasps, which is something that the Jubilee bracelet does not have. Thanks to the larger links, the Oyster bracelet doesn’t catch as much dirt as the Jubilee bracelet, which is a plus.

The reason why many people choose the Jubilee bracelet over the Oyster bracelet is the fact that it is less bulky and sits more neatly on the wrist. This ultimately comes down to preference.

Upgrades to the bracelets

As mentioned, both the Jubilee and the Oyster bracelets have been upgraded and refined time after time over the course of its history. These upgrades have primarily been focused on the long-term life length of the bracelets. The main concern with vintage Oyster and Jubilee bracelets is their stretch.

Thanks to ceramic inlays and solid links in today’s bracelets, the bracelets won’t get much stretch but will stay rigid over the years. The clasps of the respective bracelets have also been improved. Both the Jubilee bracelet and the Oyster bracelet are available with a number of different clasps depending on the model.

Look

It’s impossible to say which bracelet ”looks the best”. This is a debate that will never get a definite answer because there isn’t one.

If you prefer a more elegant bracelet that almost looks like a piece of jewelry in itself, then the Jubilee bracelet is definitely the right choice for you. If you want something sporty and masculine that you can feel on the wrist, you should opt for the Oyster bracelet.

Rolex Explorer 216570

Because of the five-piece link structure, the Jubilee bracelet reflects the light in a way that the Oyster bracelet doesn’t – meaning it’s almost like a piece of jewelry itself.

Rolex Datejust 126234

Both bracelets serve a purpose

We need to emphasize that both bracelets serve a purpose, and one is not better than the other. It ultimately comes down to preference and how you prefer watches. Do you prefer them to be large and bulky, or do you want something neat and elegant? With the recent introduction of the GMT-Master II on the Jubilee bracelet, you now have the best of both worlds, which means a sporty Professional case, fitted on an elegant Jubilee bracelet.

20 thoughts on “Jubilee VS Oyster – Which Rolex bracelet is Best?

  1. You haven’t mentioned the most semantic reason for people to go on Jubilee. It is almost scratch free through the years while Oyster isn’t. Even the most tiny scratch on Oyster can be seen from a distance.

    1. Good point!
      If you would like to write a few lines about this, we would be happy to add it to the article!

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

    2. Not if you buy the Oyster bracelet with brushed center links. I guess this is also the most durable, comfortable and cheapest( not a matter of opinion) bracelet Rolex provides.

  2. What is the dial and band color of the first date just in the article?

    1. Hi,
      That is the Datejust 126231 Rhodium dial.

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  3. I have had the same Jubilee bracelet on my Oyster for over 36 years, never had a problem with it, all over the world and in some very nasty places. For me there is no other bracelet for an Oyster.

  4. Good afternoon,
    I’m fortunate enough to have a number of Rolex’s.
    Most are on the Oyster strap. I want a GMT Master 2, one I have was my father’s, find it difficult to wear. Now in a position to buy a watch, I find the only strap the watch comes with is a jubilee ! Yet the older model, [2-3 years old] came with an oyster strap, AND with a polished centre link.
    Does anyone know why Rolex doesn’t give the buyer the option. Also what is the price on an oyster strap with the polished centre link to replace the jubilee strap.
    It’s a personal thing, as I’ve read other people actually prefer the jubilee strap.
    Regards
    JD

    1. Hi,
      Rolex makes its collection of watches very thoughtfully. In recent years, they have worked to make the GMT in steel only available on the Jubilee bracelet as a strategic decision.

      It’s difficult to say the price of the bracelet due to its limited supply and scarcity, but generally between 2000-3000 EUR.

      Kind regards,
      MW

    2. I believe Rolex was trying to distance the GMT from the sub by discontinuing the all Black bezel and removing the Oyster bracelets. Probably also trying to drum up some popularity back to the Datejust.

      1. Hi Mark,
        Yes, definitely a very conscious decision to distancing the model.

        Kind regards,
        Millenary Watches

  5. What’s the better release value I purchased a Dj41 two tone champagne diamond dial with oyster and I’m not sure if I should keep the oyster or get the jubilee Let’s say God forbid I lose everything and I’m in a tight spot what would sell quicker.

    1. Hi,
      For the DJ41, the Jubilee tends to be the most popular.

      Kind regards,
      MW

  6. Is the new “super jubilee” bracelet with the invisible clasp and solid links more expensive than the oyster and the original jubilee and does it add more value to the watch? (116200)

    1. Hello Jason,

      The original bracelet for the watch will always be what adds most value to the watch.

      The Super Jubilee is now discontinued, with the release of the 126234. Generally, the newer bracelet with Oyster clasp is more expensive due to it being newer, but they are not very different in price.

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watchs

  7. Hello everyone ~

    Well, all of these opinions have merit.
    Unfortunately, the Jubilee has become a ubiquitous dime-a-dozen strap, so overexposed it has long ago lost any appeal. Sorry. And talk about becoming stretched out! A 3 Yr. old model could pass for an antique ~ and not in a good way.
    The Oyster is very nice. Solid and masculine and the bracelet I have on a Tudor Quartz. And yes, scratches would show more than on the Jubilee.
    However, the most beautiful bracelet Rolex has ever produced is the one on my Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust Gold & Steel 17013. 18 kt Yellow Gold & Steel. Exquisite. Clean. Crisp. Tight. Aggressive yet Refined. Elegant. Super Scarce {I have only seen three since 1988}. I have had nearly as many compliments on this Rolesor bracelet than the rare Quartz model itself. An FIT designer friend told me it was more like a work of Art ~ and that I could even remove the case and wear just the bracelet! A brilliant move by Rolex. If only I had a nickel for every fan who coveted my Oysterquartz …. ha ha

    1. Hello Matthew,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience! The Oysterquartz is certainly something very special!

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  8. can anyone please tell me whether the shape of the jubilee links has changed over time? i have been eyeing a vintage (c1978) piece online and from the photos the links appear almost perfectly half-moon/semicircular; when i tried on a new version in store today i was disappointed to find that they were flatter, almost more rectangular with rounded corners…are the photos of the older version misleading, or has it changed? with thanks!

    1. Hi
      Yes, the shape of the Jubilee has been revised and refined over the years. There are some minor differences in the shapes of the links on the modern watches compared to the new ones.

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

  9. I believe one of the main advantages of the Jubilee bracelet is that you can adjust the size of the band yourself as a certain number of links can be pushed into the clasp…I dont think this is possible with the Oyster band

    1. You are absolutely right! Since the links are smaller, it tends to be easier to find a perfect fit.

      Kind regards,
      Millenary Watches

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *