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
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.
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 Originally made for the Datejust model, the Jubilee bracelet was right from the start made with more elegance and less sportiness in mind.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.