Rolex Oysterflex bracelet Guide
Rolex is famous all around the world for its watches, but the bracelets that the brand has developed and designed to be fitted on its watches have also gotten an almost iconic status.
The different bracelet styles developed by Rolex have become prime examples of how a bracelet should look – and many manufacturers have taken note.
Rolex is mostly famous for its metal bracelets, but also makes leather straps for some of its watches.
In more recent times, Rolex continued to build on its choices of bracelets by introducing a rubber strap – a first for the company.
In this article, we will go into detail about the Rolex rubber strap, also known as the Oysterflex bracelet.
Rolex Oysterflex bracelet – Does Rolex make a rubber strap?
At Baselworld 2015, Rolex introduced a new version of the Yacht-Master, reference 116655. This piece was a full gold version of the standard Yacht-Master in steel, but it did feature a number of changes. The instantly noticeable is, of course, the fact that the steel bracelet had been replaced by a rubber strap.
Since rubber straps on watches have become very closely associated with beach and water in recent years, it made complete sense that Rolex decided to fit the Yacht-Master on a rubber strap. For a sporty watch such as the Yacht-Master, the wearer needs comfort, water-resistance, and uncompromising bracelet safety. The Rolex Oysterflex offers all of these things. Plus, it looks amazing and gives the watch a sporty look that goes well with the image of the Yacht-Master.
Since then, Rolex has released a number of more models fitted on the Oysterflex bracelet. This goes to show that Rolex is satisfied with the bracelet and the response it has been getting.
Rolex Oysterflex bracelet technical details
The Rolex Oysterflex bracelet is not your ordinary rubber strap. Rolex being Rolex, the company has incorporated a number of clever features into the rubber strap to improve the performance but also comfort.
Rolex highlights that the Oysterflex is a bracelet and not a strap. You’d assume that this is typical Rolex trying to use the right words, but using the word bracelet instead of strap actually makes perfect sense when understanding the Oysterflex construction.
The Oysterflex bracelet is, of course, patented because it is not an ordinary rubber strap. It uses metal blades made of titanium and nickel alloy, which are then over-molded by black elastomer. This metal construction brings the benefit of making it more sturdy and durable, whilst still retaining the comfort of a rubber strap.
For additional comfort, the Oysterflex bracelet tapers towards the Oysterlock clasp.
In terms of tech, that is not all. On the inside of the strap, Rolex has also developed a raised rubber ”cushion”. These cushions flex and create a level between your wrist and the actual strap. The benefit of this is that it allows your wrist to breathe and prevents uncomfortable sweating against the rubber. These cushions also help make the watch sit more stable on the wrist.
Unlike most rubber straps, the Oysterflex does not have a tang buckle. Instead, it uses an Oysterclasp. When the Oysterflex was released, it only came with a 5mm Easylink extension system. But now, Rolex has incorporated the Gridlock clasp on some of the models that use the Oysterflex. This is a great addition as it allows the wearer to adjust the size of the rubber strap without the use of any tools.
Adjusting the size of a rubber strap is always a bit tricky since it’s not as easy as simply removing or adding a link to a steel bracelet. Instead, the Oysterflex comes available in several sizes, and then you have to choose the size that fits your wrist. This is why it’s great that you can adjust the size by so much, using the Glidelock.
Rolex Oysterflex and watches
In the writing moment, the Oysteflex bracelet is only available on full gold watches. The future will tell if Rolex chooses to introduce this bracelet for full steel models.
Rolex used the Oysterflex to replace all of the Daytonas on a leather strap. Today, Rolex makes no Daytona with leather strap since they were replaced with the Oysterflex.
The Daytona versions using the Oysterflex are also fitted with end links for fitting against the case. The Yacht-Master, on the other hand, sits directly against the case, creating a slight gap between the case and Oysterflex bracelet.
Rolex Oysterflex bracelet sizes
The reference/part number for the Oysterflex bracelet is 350501. Then, Rolex uses letterings to describe the sizing of the straps, as the construction consists of two rubber parts, in turn, locked in place with the clasp. Depending on your wrist size, you may need one size to be longer than the other.