Rubber Straps for Rolex Watches: Everything You Need to Know

Rolex Submariner Ceramic on Everest Curved End Rubber Strap

Rubber straps for Rolex watches, available in countless styles and colors, are prolific in 2024. With seemingly infinite options out there, I’d like to go over three main characteristics you should look for in a quality rubber strap. Of course, rubber strap choices have never been this abundant. Before going over what to look for today, I’d like to cover how we got here.

A Quick History Lesson on Rubber Watch Straps

Tropic Strap on Vintage Rolex Submariner

Image Source: Chronocentric

Rubber watch straps have existed since the 1950s: around the time synthetic rubber manufacturing techniques were advanced enough to make them. In the 1950s, Rolex and others sold watches on rubber ‘Tropic straps’. The lightweight, durable, and waterproof bracelet alternative was a hit amongst divers and military personnel. Rubber was immediately associated with ruggedness and sport.

Hublot Classic Original from 1980

Image Source: Europa Star

In 1980, Hublot changed the way people perceived rubber watch straps, unveiling their first-ever watch: the Classic Original. This disruptive design fused a precious metal case with a rubber strap, resulting in a watch that felt both capable and elegant. While this is commonplace today, it was unheard of at the time.

Everest Rubber Strap on Rolex GMT-Master II Ceramic

In 2012, Michael DiMartini launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Everest Band: a curved-end (integrated) rubber strap for the Rolex Submariner, Explorer, and GMT-Master II. The campaign met its goal, the first Everest Bands were produced, and the rest is history. Today, we offer rubber straps for Rolex, Tudor, and Panerai watches in numerous styles and colors (not to mention leather, nylon, universal straps, storage, and tools).

Rolex Yacht-Master Rose Gold Oysterflex bracelet

In 2015, Rolex introduced the first rubber strap of their own: the Oysterflex 'bracelet'. The elastomer strap, first appearing on the Yacht-Master, can now be had on numerous Rolex sports models. The Oysterflex has a titanium-nickel core, giving the strap a distinct rigid feel. By 2015, numerous rubber straps for Rolex existed, but this was the first Rolex rubber strap.

What To Look For In a Rubber Strap for Rolex

I wrote an extensive article comparing rubber straps at various price points on our US site. For the comparison, we purchased four straps (providing our own for the fifth), photographed them, and gave a detailed comparison. Here's a quick summary.

Silicon vs. Vulcanized Rubber

When it comes to rubber straps, material is king. At the low end of the market, you’ll find silicon straps. This is an inferior material to others available; silicon is prone to tearing (pictured below), shedding, UV damage, and dust collection.

Silicon Rubber Strap splitting breaking

As you move up the ladder, you’ll run into vulcanized rubber straps. These are the most expensive rubber straps for a reason; high-grade vulcanized FKM rubber is incredibly strong, resistant to UV rays, hypoallergenic, supple, and does not attract dust. As soon as you hold this material in your hands, you can feel the difference.

Sizing: Tang Buckle or Deployant Clasp

Everest Deployant Rubber Strap

Most rubber straps for Rolex watches will either come with a traditional ‘tang’ buckle or require installation of your Rolex’s OEM deployant clasp. The latter requires additional effort when it comes to sizing, but in my opinion, makes for a more comfortable wearing experience. Most rubber deployant straps on the market require the wearer to cut the strap to size with a pair of scissors (like a pair of shoe insoles from the pharmacy. At Everest, we offer pre-sized straps: all you need to do is count the number of links on either side of your sized bracelet. For more info, look under "Size chart" on any deployant strap's product page.

Integrated Rubber Straps: Model-Specific Fit

Rolex Milgauss on Blue Everest rubber Strap

If you want the integrated look, you’ll need to find a strap made specifically for your watch model (and specific reference). Everest’s Curved End design has been adapted countless times to fit the most popular Rolex, Tudor, and Panerai models. When shopping for your strap, you can navigate our collections based on reference generation, and if that’s unclear, you can check the “COMPATIBLE WITH THESE WATCHES” section on any product page.

Final Thoughts

We’re not in the 1950s anymore. There are now countless options when it comes to rubber straps for Rolex watches. However, when you do a bit of research, it’s clear what makes certain options better than others. If you’re looking for a rubber strap for your Rolex watch, I recommend taking a look at our collection. Odds are, we make the strap you’re looking for.

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