Why do I value the Rolex bracelet alone?
The matter should not be delayed, straight to the point. I’ve been paying less attention to the watch chain and strap, the reason is, the metal watch chain normal wear also won’t appear any problem; strap wear long time to change, but we can change the watch band around a lot of places, if you feel the general strap is not good enough, you can also go to custom watch band. The most important thing to do is to make sure that you have the right tools REPLICA ROLEX WATCHES to make sure that you have the right tools to make sure that you have the right tools. However, among all the watches, I only attach importance to the Rolex bracelet, because as you know, different models of Rolex use different bracelets, and even the same bracelet, between different periods, there are very big differences. This leads to the Rolex bracelet on the value of a Rolex watch has a great impact, and even decided a Rolex should buy or not buy the question. The matter is important.
Even now, most watch brands don’t actually make their own bracelets, they buy them from outside sources. Rolex is one of the few watchmakers that can produce their own bracelets, but initially Rolex didn’t have the ability to produce their own bracelets either. Historically, the first Rolex Oyster bracelets were purchased by Rolex from outside sources. In the 1930s, watch bracelets cost extra, and as today, a single bracelet was very expensive, sometimes as much as half the price of an entire watch (nowadays, not to mention a chain, it’s very expensive to go to a Rolex to get a bracelet, especially the small crown on the Rolex clasp, and if it falls off, you need a new bracelet). The Rolex Oyster bracelets came from Gay Frères, a famous bracelet maker of the time, and later the Royal Oak bracelet from Audemars Piguet. At the time, there were many bracelet manufacturers in the world of watchmaking, but Rolex had always had a fondness for Gay Frères and used Gay Frères bracelets until 1998, when Rolex acquired Gay Frères.
As we see now, the vast majority of Rolexes are chain-strap watches, with a small number of models of belts. But in the beginning, Rolex Oyster bracelets were only used on bubble backs and early Rolex chronographs. All other watches could be fitted with optional belts until one day (1952), Rolex made a major improvement to the Oyster bracelet that really made the Oyster bracelet what we know it to be. The earliest Rolex bracelets were hung on a shaft between the lugs, with a gap between the bracelet and the case. In 1952, Rolex added a link at the end of the bracelet, making the bracelet an integral part of the case, and the Rolex bracelet was then unified. The first Rolex to use the “modern” Oyster bracelet was the 6542 GMT in 1954, followed by the first generation of the Rolex Tanuki and the first generation of the Rolex Aquatimer.
The first generation of Oyster bracelets: The first generation of Oyster bracelets is characterized by the “screw bracelet”. We can easily see that each link of the first generation Oyster bracelet has a screw on each end of the link (both ends of the link), which is inserted on both ends of the link. This is the identifying feature of the first generation Oyster bracelets.
Second generation Oyster bracelet: The second generation Oyster bracelet is characterized by a “folding bracelet”. As we can see, the bracelet is made of a metal plate that is folded inwards from both sides. The shaft, which penetrates into the bracelet, is invisible from the outside and is hidden inside the links of the bracelet. This is a feature of the second generation Oyster bracelet. The third generation Oyster bracelet: The third generation Oyster bracelet features a “sealed bracelet”. This is the style we see today. The links of the bracelet are sealed at the side, no screws, no folding, it is one single link. This is the look of the current Rolex Oyster bracelet (note that I just said it looks the same), and it is a third generation feature.
Nowadays, we commonly see Rolexes that use third generation Oyster bracelet models. And the most important thing to note in a third generation Oyster bracelet is that it’s hollow and solid. The links of the third generation Oyster bracelet are sealed from the side, but initially the links of the third generation Oyster bracelet were hollow. The outside was sealed, but the inside was hollow. It has been suggested that Rolex made the bracelet hollow because they wanted to reduce the weight of the watch (this is just a guess), but whatever the reason, some problems with the hollow links are inevitable. It is true that hollow links can trap dirt and grime, especially in summer, when there is a lot of sweat and oil. Rolex itself should have realized this problem, so around 2010 (as I recall, maybe a little before 2010) it started replacing the hollow bracelet with a solid bracelet, where the entire link is a solid piece of metal. And, in fact, in addition to the links, the place where the Oyster bracelet was attached to the case was actually hollow before, but then it was also switched to solid by the way. So, for example, for the old and new yachts, the links of the old model 16622 and the new model 116622, the old one is hollow and the new one is solid (the same for the Aquaman), there is a reason why the price between the old and the new one is higher and lower. The new model has more materials than the previous one.
There is one issue to be aware of in antique Rolex collecting. I understand that some people take the collection of antique Rolex, take to Rolex official after-sales maintenance and repair. During the maintenance and repair process, the official Rolex will replace some of the old parts with new ones. We generally will think that Rolex service is so good and so detailed. But for antique watch lovers, it may not be good news, because their watches are never original again.
I’ll make no bones about it, I’ve never paid attention to the bracelet of any watch other than a Rolex, because the condition of a Rolex bracelet can have a direct impact on the sale of a watch. One of the greatest things about Rolex watches is the recognition between the various models. Rolexes seem to all look similar, but you can tell at a glance whether it’s a new model or an older model by the details and small places on the watch. The bracelet is one of the most obvious features to identify new and old Rolex models. There are a lot of Rolexes in circulation nowadays, with the largest amount of 5-digit numbered old models and 6-digit numbered new models. The aforementioned Yachts 16622 and 116622 are a very good example of this. The two yachts are almost indistinguishable from each other, and we can’t see the shock absorber or the hairspring on the movement, so we can only pass the bracelet. 16622 and 116622 have distinctly different bracelets, and it’s obvious at a glance. We often see such a situation, the watch dealer sells a yacht, the model is marked 116622, the price is very low (lower than the price of the general 116622), people are tempted, a look at the bracelet only to know that it is 16622, the original is the wrong model. That’s why I don’t know anything about other watch bracelets, only a little bit about Rolex bracelets.
In the previous year, Rolex introduced the new DAY DATE40 (228238). The new DD40 uses new technology in the bracelet, replacing all the steel shafts in the links with ceramic shafts. This is because the previous Rolex bracelets, especially the five-bead bracelets which have a lot of intermediate links, became loose after a long time, and the links became loose and not firm. After changing to ceramic shaft, the ceramic is more wear-resistant than the previous steel shaft, making the bracelet more firm. In keeping with Rolex’s tradition, it is expected that afterwards (in a few years), all Rolex bracelets will be replaced with new ceramic shafts, and the standard of Rolex bracelets as a whole will once again be raised. Always imitated, never surpassed, this is the Rolex bracelet.