Rolex Jubilee Bracelet vs Rolex Oyster Bracelet: Which is Better?
As one of the most well-established brands in the industry, Rolex is also known for manufacturing its own watch straps. Today, it offers a wide selection of timepieces in its catalogue, and almost all of them are paired with patented Rolex in-house straps.
Rolex bracelets are so iconic that each of them even has its own name and colourful backstory. That said, because they are all so popular, fans and enthusiasts frequently pit different Rolex bracelets against each other. And today, we will be doing just that. In this article, we will be comparing the Rolex Jubilee bracelet with the Rolex Oyster bracelet to find out just which of the two is superior.
All About the Rolex Jubilee Bracelet
The Rolex Jubilee bracelet was first introduced to the world in the mid-1940s. As the first-ever in-house Rolex bracelet, this watch was created to celebrate the Swiss brand’s 40th anniversary, hence its “Jubilee” name. It was first spotted on the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust, and in the early years, the Rolex Jubilee bracelet was paired exclusively with Rolex Datejust models. However, as years passed and the bracelet itself evolved, Rolex eventually began using the Rolex Jubilee bracelet with other watches in its catalogue as well.
Another interesting thing about the Rolex Jubilee bracelet is that it was originally only made using solid gold. This is because the Rolex Jubilee bracelet was marketed as a more lavish and upscale bracelet option than the other watch straps offered by Rolex.
However, in the 1950s, Rolex started making two-tone versions of the Rolex Jubilee bracelet, which were crafted from gold and Oystersteel. This change was made in order to balance out the prestige of the Rolex President bracelet, which came out shortly after the Rolex Jubilee bracelet and the Rolex Oyster bracelet.
When it comes to design, the Rolex Jubilee bracelet showcases an elegant structure that is composed of semi-circular links. Over the past few decades, there have only been a handful of subtle changes and improvements done on the Rolex Jubilee bracelet. As a result, it still looks nearly identical to when it was first released. Indeed, the present-day Rolex Jubilee bracelet still comes with the same class and versatility as the original.
One of the most distinctive things about the Rolex Jubilee bracelet’s design is its five-link composition. This gives it a more sophisticated style than the standard three-link watch bracelet. The Rolex Jubilee bracelet has a glorious sheen that can shine and dazzle at different times of the day, depending on the angle at which the light hits it. This bracelet also features a lovely interplay of differently-textured finishes, with well-brushed outer links and brighter, polished inner links.
The modern Rolex Jubilee bracelet is equipped with a patented Oysterlock folding clasp, which keeps it securely fastened on your wrist. It also comes with an Easylink comfort extension link, so wearers with larger wrists can easily lengthen the strap to fit them better.
Lastly, while it may not be obvious in photos, the Rolex Jubilee bracelet actually has a flat construction on the inside. This means that, on top of its refined aesthetic, the Rolex Jubilee bracelet also guarantees utmost comfort when worn.
All About the Rolex Oyster Bracelet
The Rolex Oyster bracelet was officially released in 1948, right after the Rolex Jubilee bracelet’s introduction. During that time, the Swiss brand was still trying to build hype around its bracelets, so it marketed them quite aggressively. As part of the brand’s marketing strategies, the Rolex Oyster bracelet was initially only paired with either bubble back watches or chronograph pieces.
Today, the Rolex Oyster bracelet is arguably the most iconic and well-known Rolex bracelet available on the market. Even those who are not familiar with the watchmaking world have probably seen or heard about it.
The Rolex Oyster bracelet is also most often associated with Rolex sports watches. This is because it is commonly paired with pieces from the GMT-Master II and Submariner collections. On the whole, the simplicity and straightforwardness of the Rolex Oyster bracelet make it one of the most versatile watch straps out there.
When it comes to the Rolex Oyster bracelet, what you see is what you get. It has a simpler, more uncomplicated design, especially when compared to the Rolex President and Rolex Jubilee bracelet. Much like the Rolex Jubilee bracelet, the Rolex Oyster bracelet has not changed much in the decades since it first came out. Rather than any drastic changes to its design, the brand has only incorporated minor improvements to the Rolex Oyster bracelet. This is one of the reasons why it remains such an iconic bracelet.
The Rolex Oyster bracelet showcases a three-link structure that exudes unparalleled sportiness. This is probably one of the most popular bracelet designs when it comes to luxury sports watches. In addition, the Oyster bracelet is often seen on Rolex’s most sought-after watches, such as the legendary Rolex Pepsi and the Rolex Daytona. This has contributed to the perception of the Oyster bracelet as an iconic watch strap.
The Rolex Oyster bracelet is composed of broad and flat components which allow for both comfort and durability. It is the perfect fusion of form and function, making it the optimal choice for sports watches. That said, the Rolex Oyster bracelet can also be found on many of the brand’s Classic watches, which proves its versatility.
Another interesting thing about the Rolex Oyster bracelet is that it is the only Rolex strap which can be fitted on any of the brand’s specially-developed clasps. This is probably one of the main reasons why it is a staple in the majority of the Swiss brand’s models.
Rolex Jubilee vs Rolex Oyster: Which Is Better?
Now that we have talked about both Rolex bracelets in greater depth, let us compare them side-by-side to find out which watch strap is better.
As we mentioned, the Rolex Jubilee bracelet is a five-link bracelet with semi-circular pieces that are flat on the inside. The Rolex Oyster bracelet, on the other hand, is a three-link bracelet composed of pieces that are broad and flatter. Both watch straps definitely have their fair share of pros and cons, so it might be difficult to pick which has a superior structure.
The great thing about the Rolex Jubilee bracelet is its sophisticated look, which elevates the elegance of whichever watch it is paired with. On top of that, the shapes of its links also allow for great comfort without having to sacrifice its classy aesthetic.
That said, one issue with the Rolex Jubilee bracelet is that it does not leave much room for experimentation. Its refined style was made to fit a more formal motif. As such, while this bracelet looks great on dress watches, it does not exactly go well with watches that have a more laid-back vibe.
Meanwhile, the greatest asset of the Rolex Oyster bracelet is its versatility. Although it is often paired with sporty or casual timepieces, it is also chic enough to go well with classic watches too.
However, since the Rolex Oyster bracelet can be used with almost any Rolex watch, it might seem a little bland and ubiquitous for a luxury bracelet. The flexibility of this bracelet makes it blend in more, so some might think it is not as special or outstanding as the other Rolex straps.
It is safe to say that most Rolex bracelets have a rather positive reputation in the watchmaking community. Indeed, no other brand is known for its distinctive, unique bracelets the way Rolex is. Of the two, the Rolex Jubilee bracelet is perceived as the more prestigious and rarer option. The Rolex Oyster bracelet, on the other hand, is the more casual and common choice.
Honestly, when it comes to reputation, it can really go either way. If you like the exclusivity that comes with the Rolex Jubilee bracelet, then you are more likely to lean towards that. However, if you prefer more standard aesthetics, then the Rolex Oyster bracelet may speak to you more.
Ultimately, both Rolex bracelets are amazing in their own ways. The Rolex Jubilee bracelet has a great, unique design and a more highly-regarded reputation, while the Rolex Oyster bracelet has a well-crafted structure that goes well with its popularity.
When it comes to practicality, however, the Rolex Oyster bracelet seems to be a few steps ahead of the Rolex Jubilee bracelet. If you want to make the most out of your Rolex watch, then getting the Oyster bracelet is a safer choice, as it can captivate its audiences regardless of what style you pair it with.
Iconic Rolex Jubilee Watches
Having discussed all that about the Rolex Oyster and Jubilee bracelets, let us check out how they look on actual watches.
Rolex Datejust 41 Ref. 126333
To start things off, we have the Rolex Datejust 41 Ref. 126333. This watch has a luxurious and refined exterior that is further enhanced by its gorgeous Rolex Jubilee bracelet. It is the ideal dress watch for those who want a sophisticated watch companion for all fancy events.
This Rolex Datejust 41 watch sports a 41mm Rolex Rolesor case and band, which means the entire watch is made from both Oystersteel and 18-carat yellow gold. The bracelet comes in the chic Jubilee design, which goes really well with the stylish fluted bezel. This case also boasts a winding crown with a Twinlock system, which contributes to the watch’s 100-metre depth rating.
Meanwhile, the black dial of this watch has a very simple layout that promotes legibility. It comprises rectangular hour indices, luminescent blunt hands in gold, and a magnified date window at 3 o’clock. A 60-minute scale can also be found on the rim of the dial.
Inside this Datejust watch, you can find a Manufacture Rolex 3235 Calibre. This is an outstanding self-winding movement that possesses a Superlative Chronometer certification. It comes with an excellent 70-hour power supply and a top-notch accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day.
The Rolex Datejust 41 Ref. 126333 retails at $15,400 USD.
Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLNR
Next, we have the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710BLNR. Also known as the Rolex Batgirl, this is another lovely watch equipped with the Rolex Jubilee bracelet. Compared to the previous model, this watch showcases a slightly sportier yet still elegant aesthetic.
The Ref. 126710BLNR is housed in a 40mm Oystersteel case, coupled with a Rolex Jubilee bracelet made of the same material. Affixed to the top of its watch case is a bi-directional bezel. It bears a black and blue Cerachrom insert marked with a 24-hour scale.
Contrasting against the all-silver exterior of this watch is a matte black dial. It is furnished with luminescent hour markers, distinctive Mercedes hands, and a magnified date display at 3 o’clock. All of these components are protected by a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, which also contributes to the watch’s 100-metre depth rating.
Powering this watch is an in-house Rolex Calibre 3285. This automatic movement comes with a perpetual rotor, a GMT function, and an impressive power reserve of 70 hours.
The Rolex Batgirl sells at around $25,000 USD.
Iconic Rolex Oyster Watches
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116506
Moving on, a watch that is fitted with the Rolex Oyster bracelet is the handsome Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116506. This watch is the perfect blend of chic and casual, which is exactly what makes it such a versatile sports piece.
This Cosmograph Daytona watch utilises a 40mm platinum case and a platinum bracelet with the three-link Oyster design. Fitted on top of the watch case is a monoblock Cerachrom bezel in chestnut brown which bears indicators for a handy tachymeter scale. This bezel contrasts wonderfully with the dial, which boasts a captivating ice-blue sunray finish. The dial is also adorned with luminous hour markers, blunt hands, and a chronograph display with three sub-dials for the 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour counters. These sub-dials are also outlined in brown, matching the colour of the bezel.
All of this watch’s functions are driven by an in-house Rolex Calibre 4130. It possesses a 72-hour power supply and COSC certification, so it also has exceptionally precise timekeeping. In addition, this watch is equipped with a blue Paracheom hairspring, which boosts its resistance against shocks and extreme temperature changes.
This Rolex watch has a price tag of $192,300 USD.
Rolex Submariner Ref. 116610LV
Lastly, we have the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116610LV. Better known as the Rolex Hulk, this watch offers a robust and cool aesthetic that every sportsman loves to show off. This watch is also paired with a Rolex Oyster bracelet, which is also the case with most of Rolex’s dive watches.
The Ref. 116610LV is encased in a 40mm Oystersteel case and bracelet. Pressed on top of the watch case is a rotating bezel, which has a green Cerachrom insert for its elapsed time scale. The watch’s dial, which has a rich sunray green finish, blends well with its bezel. It contains geometric hour indices, classic Rolex Mercedes hands, and a magnified date complication at 3 o’clock.
This Rolex Submariner watch runs on an in-house Rolex Calibre 3135. Comprising 31 jewels, this automatic movement has a power reserve of 50 hours and an outstanding depth rating of 300 metres.
The Rolex Hulk can be purchased for around $36,700 USD.
If you are new to Rolex watch straps and still unsure about how things work, here are some frequently asked questions to help you out.
How much does it cost to replace a Rolex bracelet?
Unfortunately, there is no set price for a Rolex bracelet replacement. If you go to one of Rolex’s service centres, they will have to inspect your watch first before giving you a quotation. This is because the cost of replacement differs depending on many factors such as authenticity, reference number, materials, manufacturing date, and the like.
Oftentimes, the cost of the replacement also depends on which type of Rolex bracelet you are getting. For example, the Rolex Jubilee bracelet is known to be more expensive than the Rolex Oyster bracelet. As such, if you want to get your Oyster bracelet changed for a Jubilee one, you can expect a higher cost.
In general, the price of most Rolex bracelet replacements starts at around $1,000 USD and can go up to more than $5,000 USD.
How to clean a Rolex Jubilee bracelet?
The easiest way to maintain your Rolex Jubilee bracelet is by cleaning it thoroughly with a micro-fibre cloth from time to time. This will greatly help in the preservation of the strap’s finish.
You can also wash the Rolex Jubilee bracelet and the watch’s case with some warm water and a soft brush. Make sure to be gentle with the brush in order to avoid warping or scratching your watch’s exterior.
Does Rolex sell the Jubilee bracelet?
The answer to this question is that it depends. Currently, you are only allowed to get a new Rolex Jubilee bracelet if you have an existing, authentic Rolex watch. If you do not own any pieces from the brand, you cannot just buy a Jubilee bracelet to pair with whatever timepiece you have.
If you do own a legitimate Rolex watch, the brand can change your current strap to a Jubilee one as long as your model has a Jubilee variation in existence. To put it simply, if your Rolex watch does not have a model that is offered with a Jubilee bracelet, then you cannot get the strap changed to one.
All Rolex bracelets are great in their own special ways. The Rolex Jubilee bracelet is the epitome of luxury and sophistication, while the Rolex Oyster exudes reliability and sportiness. It is truly up to the individual to decide which of the two they think is better. At the end of the day, the real winner is the one who has a Rolex watch on their wrist!
Photo Credits: TWC and Rolex Website
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