There’s not an entire lot of sexiness to a rubber watch strap. Whereas it’s true that sure watch collectors and aficionados have been recognized to argue the finer factors of classic Tropic and Isofrane straps till their vital others file for divorce, usually the fervor surrounding rubber straps by no means comes close to to that surrounding, say, classic, folded-link Oyster bracelet, or Homosexual Freres beads-of-rice bracelets. Even trendy leather-based straps appear to draw extra consideration from the watch group.
All of that is fascinating given the fervor surrounding dive watches, and particularly classic ones — in any case, rubber straps have been meant to be the right strap for, you realize, truly taking your watch in the water, which was their meant use. Nevertheless, given that the majority dive watches bought at present are likely to spend their lives as “desk divers” and by no means truly see any underwater time, it’s not so shocking that trendy watch lovers aren’t as eager on using rubber straps and debating their deserves.
In fact, a rubber strap is sweet for greater than merely aquatic-based leisure. Do you sweat profusely throughout bodily exercise, resembling pickup basketball video games or impromptu bodily altercations together with your youthful brother over who will get possession of the TV distant for the night? Properly then, do we’ve got the strap for you. Rubber in all its numerous pure and artificial types is the right sweat-wicking materials, and it’s the simplest strap sort to scrub — when you can definitely dunk a Nato strap, have enjoyable ready for it to dry in something however 90-degree warmth. And we wouldn’t precisely advocate taking your $150 leather-based JPM strap in the drink, both.
What follows, then, is a information to seven of one of the best rubber straps obtainable at numerous worth factors. As a result of no matter your finances, you must have the ability to afford a very good rubber.
Watch Gecko Zuludiver Polyurethane NLD Strap
Rubber is a singular strap medium in a number of respects, one in every of them being which you could print on it and embrace helpful info on the strap itself. The Zuludiver PU NDL strap (not the sexiest identify on the market, nevertheless it’s descriptive) truly has a no-decompression limits desk printed on the strap for fast reference (no-deco limits provide the elapsed time you’ll be able to spend at a given depth underwater with out having to make a decompression cease upon ascending). Whereas your dive pc can extra simply and routinely compute these limits and stops for you, it’s good to have them useful, and supplies a cool throwback to the times when there have been no wrist-borne computer systems to provide you this information.
The straps themselves can be found in black, blue, orange and purple in 20mm and 22mm sizes, and all function brushed chrome steel buckles and floating keepers. The rubber utilized here’s a water resistant polyurethane perforated with a Tropic/racing-style gap sample. Whereas the design with its ribbed, wave-like sample close to the lugs is probably going not for everybody, these are versatile, snug straps, and the N.D.L. desk is a really cool contact — you’ll be able to even flip over the strap to have it seen or cover it towards your pores and skin, because the decrease half of the strap is actually reversible.
Barton Watch Bands Elite Silicone
The Elite Silicone Fast Launch from Barton is trendy, reasonably priced strap out there in myriad colorways and buckle choices. They arrive in 18mm, 20mm and 22mm lug widths and have quick-release bars for straightforward strap altering with out the necessity for instruments. The silicone used is extremely snug and includes a premium textured prime with a clean backside in both an identical or contrasting colour. Two lengths, an extended and a brief, are included with every strap, which means that there’s no method you must find yourself with a strap that doesn’t match, regardless of your wrist measurement. Every strap encompasses a 2mm taper from watch head to buckle in addition to two floating rubber keepers.
For $20, there’s a ton of selection and worth right here. 5 totally different buckle colours can be found with every strap, together with chrome steel, black, rose gold, gold and gunmetal. There are additionally 16 totally different colorways to select from, which means that it doesn’t matter what sort of watch you personal, you need to have the ability to discover a Barton to go together with it.
Uncle Seiko Tropic Strap
The Swiss-made Tropic strap is likely one of the most beloved rubber fashions of the 1960s. With its skinny measurement, diamond-shaped outer sample and waffle sample on the reverse aspect, a Tropic is immediately recognizable. Used as an alternative choice to the chrome steel bracelets of the period, Tropics typically shipped on Blaincpain’s Fifty Fathoms, the LIP Nautic and numerous Tremendous Compressor-cased watches, together with the unique IWC Aquatimer. Sadly, most unique fashions from the 1960s haven’t held up properly over time, which means that discovering a classic one is usually a troublesome, pricey proposition.
In response to the rising reputation of the classic fashions, numerous corporations have resurrected the design and begun producing their very own variants. Uncle Seiko, which makes high quality aftermarket straps in numerous types, producers its personal black Tropic variant for $40, which is a steal subsequent to what sure classic fashions promote for on public sale websites. Whereas the 19mm and 20mm ship with an ordinary buckle, newer variations of the 22mm function an upgraded, extra strong diver-style buckle to be used with bigger watches (which can also be out there individually as an improve for any strap measurement). All sizes embrace thick, 2.5mm spring bars for a safe match to your dive watch, and make the most of a single keeper.
Whereas not as supple as an Isofrane or sure different trendy designs, the Tropic is a basic, and its comparatively skinny measurement signifies that it helps a smaller-diameter watch keep a slim profile on the wrist. Whereas a number of corporations are making Tropic-style straps nowadays, the Uncle Seiko variant is well-made, strong and solely comes in black — so there shouldn’t be a lot hassle choosing one out.
Uncle Seiko Waffle Strap
The “waffle strap” (technically the ZLM01) was a Seiko invention and the primary in-house, devoted diver strap developed by the model, wat again in 1967 (Seiko divers earlier to the discharge of the 62MAS typically got here on a Tropic strap). Wanting over a waffle strap, it’s straightforward to see the place the nickname comes from — there’s a distinctive waffle-iron form on the highest that’s troublesome to overlook. Just like the Tropic, classic examples of waffle straps have been vulnerable to cracking and breakage, and thus discovering one right now in good situation that doesn’t value fairly a bit of cash is hard.
Uncle Seiko’s black model of the waffle comes in a number of variants and sizes: the 19mm and 20mm fashions measure 126mm on the lengthy aspect by 75mm on the brief finish and ship with 2.5mm “fat” spring bars, whereas the 22mm model is out there in two sizes, together with a shorter model (75mm/125mm) and an extended model (80mm/130mm). You even have the selection of single or double keepers with the 22mm model, and all variations make the most of a brushed chrome steel buckle.
As with the Tropic strap, it’s troublesome to say that there aren’t extra trendy, ergonomic designs on the market, but when that classic fashion is what you’re after, then the waffle is a wonderful selection. What’s extra, the Uncle Seiko model has been by way of two iterations already, which means that buyer suggestions has knowledgeable the development of the second model, rendering it extra snug and wearable.
Hirsch Urbane Natual Rubber
A completely trendy strap, the Hirsch Urbane Pure Rubber is notable for wanting very very similar to a leather-based mannequin with respect to its measurement and taper, with a posh form that turns into thicker on the lugs in addition to wider. The Urbane is water resistant, tear-proof and immune to UV mild, chemical compounds and temperature extremes. In response to Hirsch, it’s additionally good for individuals with delicate pores and skin. With an built-in in addition to a floating keeper and a precision edge, this can be a supple, super-comfortable rubber strap that’s far more elegant than technical-looking.
The Urbane is created from premium caoutchouc (unvulcanized rubber) and is roughly 120mm X 80mm lengthy — the 20mm variant tapers to 16mm on the buckle, whereas the 22mm tapers to 18mm. Both choice provides you loads of buckle decisions, together with silver, gold, black or brushed. Whereas the Urbane will perform completely nicely as a dive strap, it’s additionally an excellent choice for somebody with delicate pores and skin who’s in search of a rubber various to a leather-based or alligator/lizard strap on a gown watch.
Hirsch Straps can be found on WatchObsession’s UK-based web site under:
Isofrane straps from the 1960s represented the top of practical, snug strap know-how aimed toward skilled divers. The firm was the OEM strap producer for fashions from Omega, Aquastar, Squale, Scubapro and Tissot, and it was skilled scuba divers who trusted Isofrane to maintain their timepieces hooked up firmly to their wrists. Their iconic “ladder” strap shipped with the Omega PloProf and represented one of many first usages of artificial rubber compounds outdoors of the automotive business.
Nevertheless, someday in the 1980s Isofrane went out of enterprise, and in current years, classic fashions have seen their costs skyrocket on public sale websites. As a result of many Isofranes have been cleaned utilizing chemical compounds that really ruined the artificial rubber, only a few survived in good situation.
Fortunately, in 2010, Isofrane was resurrected, and now you will get your palms on an up to date model of the basic ladder strap, referred to as the 1968. The new strap, which is obtainable in numerous colours, makes use of a hypoallergenic artificial rubber mix and is engineered in Switzerland and manufactured in Europe. A number of buckle varieties in totally different finishes can be found, together with the RS, which is cast and hand-finished, and the IN, which is stamped after which bead-blasted. You may even order the strap with a wetsuit extension do you have to so select.
With its 12-month restricted guarantee, the Isofrane 1968 is a strap made for the intense diver, and the worth displays this. Then once more, you don’t should be a scuba diver to understand the sort of thought and high quality that went into this ultra-comfortable strap, and anybody who performs sports activities or takes his or her watch in the water can use one.
Everest Curved Finish Rubber with Tang Buckle for Rolex
Ah, the king of rubber straps, the venerable Everest band. Firm founder Mike DiMartini was prepared to go away his earlier job to start to being manufacturing what he believed to be probably the most snug, overengineered aftermarket strap out there for Rolex sport fashions, and a number of other million straps later, his choice has confirmed to be a prudent one. The curved ends on the Everest are made particularly to suit a Rolex case, and as such, they’ve a really specific curvature and ship with heavy-duty, Rolex-style spring bars. Merely select which Rolex mannequin you personal on the Everest web site, and also you’ll be proven the right strap choice in your watch.
Swiss-made and out there in six customized colours, an Everest rubber strap is vulcanized, hypoallergenic, UV-, dust-, water- and chemical-resistant and is 120mm x 80mm lengthy. The rubber is extremely snug, and every strap ships with a heavy-duty, 316L chrome steel buckle and two floating keepers. The straps arrive in a thick plastic envelope with two velcro enclosures, which is itself packed in an envelope with alternative spring bars.
There are many nice rubber strap choices on the market for Rolex, however there’s little else that comes near Everest’s high quality and a spotlight to element.