The Timex Guide to Common Watch Bracelets

WATCH STRAPS, BRACELETS AND BANDS

If you’re shopping for a watch today, you likely have hundreds of options to choose from — and that’s even after you’ve narrowed down important characteristics like case size and color. But one thing that can define a watch’s look, as well as how it wears on the wrist, is the way it attaches to your wrist. Do you want a steel bracelet? Do you want that with a fully brushed or fully polished finish, or something in between? Should your watch look sleek and modern or old-world and rugged? Depending on when and where you plan to wear the watch, your answer (and mileage) may vary.

Below is a guide outlining the different kinds of straps, bracelets and bands we offer on our watches at Timex, as well as a handful of options should you choose to go outside the fold. Happy strapping!

COMMON WATCH BRACELETS

The Oyster Bracelet

Technically the oyster bracelet, like a few other bracelet styles here, is a Rolex invention. But because of the 1947 design’s enormous versatility and its widespread use by practically every watchmaker in the world, the name has been co-opted by the industry at large, and now refers to any watch bracelet made after the original, no matter the brand.

This popular bracelet style is characterized by a sturdy-yet-comfortable three-link pattern, sometimes referred to as an H-link pattern depending on the watchmaker and exactly how the links are arranged. You’ll usually find oyster bracelets on dive and sport watches, and almost never on true dress watches. Some oyster bracelets taper from lug to clasp, and some remain at lug width all the way around.

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The Jubilee Bracelet

Another Rolex invention, created for the company’s 40th year in business — a 40th anniversary is commonly referred to as a “jubilee” celebration, hence the name. This style of bracelet has been applied to plenty of sport watches and casual styles throughout watchmaking, but it’s decidedly more refined in feel than an oyster bracelet. This bracelet style typically has five links across with smaller polished links down the middle, and tapers down a few millimeters in width from the lugs to the clasp.

 

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The Milanese Bracelet

Sometimes referred to as shark mesh, this woven style in stainless steel was invented in Milan and perfected in Germany over a hundred years ago. It’s now found across all watch categories, from casual and sporty to the most refined of dress watches. Milanese mesh is lightweight and breathable, making it an excellent option for wearing a watch in hot and humid weather, and it’s also known for being comfortable on the skin for extended wear.

 

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Woven Bracelets

Most popular in the 1970s and ‘80s, woven-style bracelets in stainless steel are back again thanks to several retro-inspired Timex watches. Woven bracelets can take some getting used to, but once you’re in the club, it’s a type of bracelet that wears well all day long. These are lightweight, breathable and totally capable of handling sweat and water exposure, as long as the watch itself features a water resistance rating of 30 meters or more.

 

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Expansion Bracelets