Different Types Of Watch Bracelets
Like pairing the right wine with the right meal, you can fundamentally change the look of your watch by simply switching bracelets. And lucky for you, there is a huge range of different watch bracelets available to choose from.
Here we look at 5 of the most popular bracelets, including their history, features and our top picks!
5 different types of watch bracelets:
- Mesh bracelets
- Oyster bracelets
- Beads of rice bracelets
- Jubilee bracelets
- Expanding bracelets
1. Mesh Bracelets
A mesh watch bracelet is a watch band made from metal wires (usually stainless steel) worked into a characteristic mesh look. They provide a reassuringly weighty and secure mooring for your watch, and were originally designed to endure the rigours of deep-sea diving while also sporting excellent airflow thanks to the numerous small gaps in the chain link design.
Whether modern or vintage, a mesh bracelet is one of the most beautiful ways you can dress up a watch and will always add a sense of classic style to any timepiece.
In terms of comfortability, Milanaise mesh bracelets are one of the most comfortable types of metal bracelets you can find. This is because there are no links so won’t catch arm hair, as well as feeling silky and smooth on the skin.
Mesh bracelets are also designed to last. And this is especially important for those who spend time in harsh conditions, such as water or heavy climate.
STAIB are a highly-regarded German firm specialising in the production of mesh jewellery and produce the finest Milanaise watch bracelets in the world. Their stock-in-trade are 'Milanaise' bracelets; intricate chain-link bands originally designed for use by deep-sea divers.
In addition to their domestic factories, the company's manufacturing capabilities are supplemented by a dedicated facility in Hong Kong, known as Staib Ostasien.
Designed by German mesh specialists STAIB and manufactured at their dedicated facility in Hong Kong, these are hardy and handsome examples of the artform and come outfitted with a convenient and reliable fold over clasp.
Forstner's idea was to make a watch bracelet strap where the buckle and clasp could move along the length of the strap, and then be secured once the proper fit was located.
There are many different types of mesh watch strap, from Milanese to shark. The Forstner ‘Komfit mesh’ in particular, however, is associated with NASA and the Omega Speedmaster - and is still used today by NASA astronauts!
Available in several variations, it's not only super-retro in looks, but as the name suggests, is comfortable to wear.
The square-link on this timeless Forstner stainless steel mesh bracelet is lightweight and aerated for a cool, comfortable fit, while the lug ends are equipped with spring-loaded adjustable fittings, allowing it to accurately fit any watch with a lug width between 16mm and 20mm. The unique front-facing clasp has also been re-engineered to prevent the 'slipping' problems, which can occur in vintage models.
2. Oyster Bracelets
The Oyster bracelet is seen as the iconic metal bracelet from the 20th Century and the classic metal bracelet design for the watch industry.
Several modifications in its design over the decades resulted in the current version with solid links and a robust clasp to deliver secure attachment to the wrist.
What makes the Oyster one of the most popular metal bracelets on the market is the big bar in the centre which strengthens the links and minimises stretching over time, making it one of the most durable bracelets.
The Oyster bracelet is a wonderful match for almost any watch - large or small. Shop our wide range of oyster bracelets here.
3. Beads Of Rice Bracelets
Very light, comfortable and conforming to the wrist, the beads of rice bracelet is one of those quintessential watch accessories that belongs in every collection. Their appearance is reminiscent of grains of rice laid side by side, giving beads of rice bracelets the elegant look loved by so many.
The bracelet exudes a subtle elegance that completely transforms the look and feel of your watch over a more typical leather strap. While it's great with virtually any vintage watch, the beads of rice bracelet works equally well with contemporary dress (or sporty) watches.
Created as part of Doxa's 130th anniversary celebrations, the Doxa Sub 200 is a handsomely chunky automated watch, perfect for both day-to-day use and during high-impact activity.
The watch features an all-steel chassis with starkly contrasting black bezel, all mounted on an intricate chain-link bracelet with fold over clasp.
4. Jubilee Bracelets
The Rolex Jubilee bracelet was first launched in 1945 in celebration of Rolex's 40th anniversary and has remained largely unchanged throughout the years. Initially designed for the Datejust model and only available in solid gold, the Jubilee eventually came to be offered in two-tone and steel variants.
The Jubilee bracelet has a five-piece, semi-circular link design, which appears more luxurious and elegant than the Oyster because of having 5 links instead of 3. The increased number of links also mean that the Jubilee bracelet catches the light beautifully and almost looks like a piece of jewellery in itself. The Jubilee bracelet links are flat on the inside, which makes the bracelet sit more snug against the wrist which really is a great design feature.
The Forstner Model J evokes the classic Jubilee bracelet with an enhanced profile, distinct polished outer edges with brushed inner links, topped off with the exemplary Forstner milled push-button clasp and single-screw removable links for peerless convenience and adjustability.
4. Expanding Watch Bracelets
The expansion bracelet was introduced to mainstream audiences by a brand called Speidel in 1959. Expanding watch bracelets have been cleverly designed for ultimate comfort and flexibility. With their expandable ‘fasten-free’ feature, these watches will fit snugly but give you that extra bit of wiggle room when you need it.
This stunning flat-link stainless steel band is slimline, lightweight and flexible, and has a trademark rattle that's satisfying and substantial. Unlike the hollow components throughout the original vintage bracelets, this modern interpretation has been improved with fully solid links and end-pieces, and is available in choice of two different finish styles: polished outer and brushed inner links, or an all-brushed option.
Written by Kate, for Watch Obsession.