The Fascinating History of the Rolex Oyster Bracelet

Why write a story about some random stainless steel bracelet that has been around for decades? I truly believe that the Oyster bracelet and the associated end links have played a significant role in fake rolex watches’ history, perhaps even as important a role as the original waterproof case. That the Oyster bracelet is celebrating its 70th Anniversary this year is a happy coincidence.

The simple design of the fake rolex watches Oyster bracelet blends perfectly with the utilitarian lines of the Submariner and the GMT-Master. On the wrist, it wears great, and the deceptively simple clasp works flawlessly. However, it would be a mistake to call the modern Oyster bracelet as we know it today a single stroke of genius. Its creation was more a continuous process of incremental improvements; Rolex patiently made sure that the Oyster bracelet continued to be the most functional around, with almost invisible touch-ups throughout the years. As such, the bracelets alone offer insight into Rolex’s culture, especially its obsession with the details that matter. To me, the cult status enjoyed by vintage and modern rolex replica sale alike can be traced through the evolution of these seemingly-simple parts.

The history of the Oyster bracelet does not lack irony, since the first bracelets were in fact neither made by Rolex nor offered as a standard option in rolex replica sale catalogs. In the early 1930s, bracelets were indeed a costly add-on, representing sometimes almost half the price of the standalone watch (in the case of a two-tone Rolex Imperial). The original Rolex bracelets were manufactured by the most renowned bracelet supplier around, Gay Frères, better know for later making the bracelet of the original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak as well as the strange hollow-link bracelet of the Zenith El Primero. The Bonklip (also nicknamed the “Bamboo”) was the most common shape then, with the narrow parallel links you can see on the very left of the family picture below.

Interestingly, many suppliers manufactured the same type of bracelet at the time, but Rolex remained faithful to Gay Frères through the 1930s and 1940s. In a beautiful twist, the prolific bracelet maker that had supplied Rolex in the first place was actually acquired by fake rolex watches in 1998, underlining the company’s steady mission of acquiring its suppliers to constantly smooth out the production process. This industrial strategy makes total sense when you reach the production volume of Rolex—and, not a small detail, when you also have as large a cash reserve.

Looking at the same photo, you can also see the bracelet that would serve as almost a soft introduction to the Oyster. Following on from the Bonklip, you can see an unusual bracelet with double center links, though much of the same look as the Oyster.

But those were just the precursors of the Oyster bracelet, which was patented in February 1947 (patent number 257,185, in case you were wondering) and first appeared in a Rolex catalog in 1948. However, it was not the first in-house bracelet from Rolex—the Jubilee holds this honor, as it was paired with the new Datejust at the launch of this iconic line in 1945.

Looking behind the sheer avalanche of references shown in the chart below, these bracelets reveal an underestimated side of fake rolex watches: the extreme minutia of its product design. The emphasis put on functionality slowly shaped and reshaped the look and feels of the bracelets and watches since the 1950s, and also explains why the modern iterations feel so connected to the original pieces.