Men's Watches

Type of Watch Strap- Oyster Part 1

I don’t know about you, but I love eating oysters The first thing that you notice is the saltiness from the ocean which hits your tongue first. Then, you start to sense the body of the oyster and its texture.


Some will describe it as soft, creamy, crunchy, firm and etc. Chewing also releases the flavor of the oyster, with some describing it as sweet. All these combinations of salty and sweet flavor end up in your stomach when we swallow.


Some will describe it as soft, creamy, crunchy, firm and etc. Chewing also releases the flavor of the oyster, with some describing it as sweet.


If this doesn’t make you want to go get oyster, I don’t know what will!!




Of course, we are not talking about that kind of oyster. (Oyster lovers, feel free to call me for oyster) Today, we will be talking about the famous oyster bracelet by Rolex. That’s right. You must be wondering why is it called oyster bracelet?

Rolex GMT Master 2 with signature oyster bracelet


There is no particular reason and it’s just a term given to the iconic bracelet based on its design.In fact, when you think of Rolex, you will always think of the signature metal bracelet design as shown.




To recognize an oyster bracelet, look for these characteristics on your metal bracelet. Firstly, it must have three links. The middle links must also be thicker in the middle compared to the left and right links on the side. Also, it usually comes with a three-fold clasp as a method of fastening.

Three links on the oyster bracelet (H strap) 


Trifold clasp





If you missed my previous post about the Bonklip bracelet, I will highly recommend you to go through before we go deep into the oyster bracelet. So in the early to late 1930s, there was a demand for metal bracelets because it is long-lasting and waterproof (especially if its stainless steel).

Therefore, the Bonklip was created. At that time during the 1930s, most watch manufacturers provide leather and nylon options for straps. However, the popularity of the Bonklip forced everyone to manufacture metal bracelets.


Bonklip bracelet


Rolex also took part in the metal bracelet trend. The early Rolex watch does come with a leather strap but most vintage and modern Rolex is always equipped with metal bracelets nowadays.

Rolex Vintage Oyster Perpetual Bubble Back Chronograph Ref number 2764 wit Bonklip(Source:



Even though the Bonklip was popular and patented, a lot of companies successfully copied its design. Rolex wanted to try something different and decided to make its own metal bracelet design. The collaboration between Rolex and Gay Freres introduces the oyster bracelet.


At that time, Gay Freres is one of the most popular metal bracelet suppliers. Gay Freres will be later known to be the one responsible for the Audemars Piquet Royal Oak bracelet. On top of that, the Zenith El Primero also sports one of the famous ladder bracelet designed by Gay Freres.

Audemars Piquet Royal Oak Automatic


Zenith El Primero Ref A386 with Original Ladder Bracelet designed by Gay Freres




Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Rolex was loyal and stick with Gay Freres as the sole metal bracelet supplier for Rolex. Finally, in 1998, Rolex acquired and bought over Gay Freres. Throughout the history of the oyster bracelet, it has undergone changes which improved its functionality and design.

The evolution of oyster from Bonklip (left) to the current design (Most right)



In the next post, we will learn about the changes that the oyster bracelet has undergone which complete the popular Rolex look we all love and know today. In the meantime, let’s eat more oysters.






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