1967 Rolex Submariner 5513, steel Oyster bracelet, old style clasp.
Originally when I bought this watch a few years ago, it was fitted with a non-Rolex steel bracelet. It was light, thin and felt weak. Also I wanted to put the watch on a grey and black nylon 'NATO' type strap, so the bracelet was removed. I have tried other nylon straps, and a rubber Tropic diving strap as well. Those were ok, but not quite right.
Recently, I have obtained a proper Rolex Oyster bracelet, with the old style clasp. It was actually from a Datejust model rather than a Submariner, based on the bracelet reference number, but it fits the 20 mm lugs of the Sub perfectly (Datejust also 20 mm.)
I really like wearing this watch on a steel bracelet.
I know this is controversial. Some prefer to wear the Sub on nylon straps, and of course the military-issue Submariners had fixed bars, and were meant to be worn with the nylon one-piece straps. I agree that this watch worn on 'anything-but-Oyster' will set it apart from the legions of others who wear this watch, and that the combined look is unlike most of what most anyone is wearing. Also, the steel bracelet is heavy, and on nylon the weight burden on the wrist is much less (cont.)
A nylon 'NATO' type strap is probobably also safer when compared to a non-Fliplock bracelet, which can come undone and lose the watch. Even with a Fliplock clasp, if a springbar goes so does the watch, but a 'NATO' type strap should hold the watch in place with the other springbar.
So.... with all these attractive features of other straps, why do I like the Oyster? I guess it just feels right on the wrist, and I either don't mind the extra weight, or I don't notice it. In any case, it's fine with me. The watch itself is moderately massive enough that I think it's balanced better by the steel; always felt a bit lopsided on nylon (cont.)
I adjust it so there is a little movement on the wrist, maybe a few mm of side waggle, and also some proximal-distal migration on the wrist when the arm is tipped up or down (no more than an inch or so max at extremes of tipping. Some people might not like this, but it feels comfortable, never tight and not excessive at all in motion. The 'NATO' straps seemed to always have to be fitted tighly which was uncomfortable, or if they were loosened moved on the wrist but not in a graceful or smooth way like the steel, but more in a bobbing or 'bumpy' sort of way. Finally, I just think it looks better! The Oyster bracelet is so well integrated into the case of the watch (the first to do so?) the two just look like they belong together.
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