Rolex has been at the pinnacle of watchmaking since the beginning of the 20th century. Some might even argue that Rolex has perfected the trade. Every single timepiece that leaves the manufacturing plant has been created painstakingly by hand, with every attention of the work put into refining details. While most watch aficionados look for perfection right at the heart of the watch—the case, the bezel, the dial, and the tiny intricate details of the mechanisms. But perhaps some of the most important parts of a watch are the parts that hold them up together—the bracelet.
Rolex watch bracelets 300
Watch bracelets can come in a number of different styles. Today, Rolex offers 6 different bracelet styles, and every single one of these bracelets has an ornate story that’s been intertwined with the history of the luxury watchmaking company. Some of these stories are as old as 8 decades or more. Rolex is as serious about their bracelets as they are about their watchcases. After all, the bracelet covers more of the wrist than any other part of the watch. Bracelets have to be comfortable and perfectly balanced in terms of size and weight. Rolex has been able to achieve that in all of their bracelet designs, and that’s why fans and industry experts have always been intrigued by the make of these bracelets. One such bracelet that has drawn fascination from all over the watchmaking industry is the Rolex Jubilee bracelet. While all of Rolex bracelets are special in their own way, there’s something extra special about the Jubilee. It may be less popular than the famous Oyster bracelet. But the Jubilee is its own gem, and this guide will explore the reasons why.
History of the Jubilee 600
The Rolex Jubilee bracelet made its debut in 1945 to celebrate Rolex’s 40thanniversary. Rolex fans know that when the company releases commemorative products, they’re usually something special. Designed to accompany Rolex’s Datejust line, the Jubilee bracelet has since seen plenty of other watchcases. Considered by Rolex as the classic watch of reference, the Datejust is an elegant wristwatch that goes extremely well on the Jubilee. In fact, the Datejust was the very first watch in history to display the date on the 3 o’clock position through a window. The innovation of the Datejust combined with the new design of the Jubilee made this watch particularly stunning. Over the years, Rolex has improved on the design and functionality of the Jubilee. Originally a solid gold bracelet, the Jubilee evolved to have steel and two-tone variants. In the 1950s, Rolex released the President bracelet, which ended up trumping the Jubilee as the primary bracelet of choice. Although that may have been the case, Rolex did use the Jubilee on some of the Professional models including the GMT-Master. These days the Jubilee comes in all sorts of metal options except for platinum and full gold. After a short break on using the bracelet, Rolex again offers the Jubilee on some of the GMT-Master II today.
The Datejust 41, one of the model’s most iconic styles, flaunts the Jubilee like no other. The Jubilee continues to be the primary bracelet for the entire Datejust series even today. The two-tone design and the fluted bezel add lavishness to the ultra comfortable make of the Jubilee. No one can really know how the Jubilee feels on the wrist apart from the wearer. But if we could go by looks alone, the Jubilee definitely takes the cake.
Although the Jubilee has come in a variety of Rolex models since its release, the bracelet itself hasn’t changed all too much. Little refinements have been made regarding the design, but Rolex’s original design of the Jubilee was made to withstand the test of time. In fact, every rigorous testing that a watch goes through at the Rolex plant is applied to the bracelet as well. The true genius in the design of the Jubilee is the fact that the original design is still relevant today. Over 75 years later, the Jubilee remains visibly the same as it did in 1945. That alone is an achievement both in engineering and design for Rolex. The Rolex Jubilee bracelet can simply be described as the bridge between the sporty Oyster and the dressy President. The Jubilee sits right in between the other Rolex bracelet types, which makes it far more versatile than either of the other two most popular bracelets. Both the Oyster and the President bracelets feature a different set of links that make them look weightier than the Jubilee. There’s a certain finesse about the design of the Jubilee that makes it easily a favorite for us.
The Jubilee bracelet design features 5 semi-circular metal links. There are 2 rows of larger links on the outer edges of the bracelet and 3 smaller links in the center. This particular design is much different from the Oyster’s 3-link option. The President bracelet also has 3 links in each row. The 3-link bracelets tend to have a sportier look, which was one of Rolex’s primary goals during the time of Oyster’s creation.
The Jubilee bracelet is outfitted with either the Crownclasp or Oysterclasp closures, which are generally concealed. The Rolex coronet serves as the opening mechanism that reveals the folding blades upon unlatching. This concealed closure is another one of Rolex’s ingenious design to create continuity for the Jubilee. While many watch bracelets have a central spot on the underside of the wrist that chops up the bracelet in half, the Jubilee’s design flows. You get the links all throughout your wrist—a continuous loop of luxury. The simple Rolex coronet and what it hides underneath says more about what Rolex values than anything else.
The design of the Jubilee bracelet has become synonymous with the Rolex brand over the years. The bracelet as a whole has a quality of both elegance and strength that is unlike any other.
Rolex has released a few variations of the Jubilee bracelet since the original 1945 version. The modifications are only noticeable upon closer inspection. Some of the variations have included solid links, oval links, D-shaped links, and folded links among others. The general timeline of Jubilee manufacturing is simple. There was a time when the Jubilee used parts that were manufactured outside Switzerland. From the 50s to the 70s, the Jubilee bracelet used Swiss-made folded links. During this time period, Rolex also utilized oval links that were made in either the US or Mexico. From the 70s until 2000, Rolex stopped using the oval links in preference for Swiss-made D-links. From 2000 until today, Rolex uses Swiss-made solid links on all the Jubilee bracelets. When Rolex outsourced the manufacturing of some bracelet parts to the US and/or Mexico, they only did so to the best specialists in the industry. There were even entire bracelets that were manufactured outside the Rolex plant—not just the parts. This wasn’t anything out of the ordinary during that time, but Rolex eventually realized the importance of manufacturing all parts in-house. Since Rolex stopped that practice, the company has moved on to expand its manufacturing capabilities in order to be able to do all production in-house.
Regardless of how things turned out, the variations on the bracelets now exist, and every single one of these variations adds a unique touch to any particular Rolex Jubilee bracelet. These are also the kind of quirks that collectors like to look at when determining the value of a particular watch. The reference numbers on Jubilee bracelets denote a slight variation or upgrade by Rolex. The vintage Rolex typically carried the 6251H Jubilee bracelet designation. But some of the more popular ones were the 7xxx and 9xxx series. Any reference number that contains an H at the end denotes a “Homme” designation, which means the bracelet is designed for a men’s watch. The Jubilee also has several bracelet codes that represent a particular model and end-link width. The end links varied in width from 13mm to 21mm.
There seems to be a phenomenon that affects Jubilee bracelets greatly, and that is called bracelet stretching. Bracelet stretching is not unique to the Rolex Jubilee. However it does tend to happen more often on bracelets that feature more links per row. According to some watch experts, stretching generally happens when a watch is worn too loosely. A watch has to be fitted properly onto the wrist for security and decreased shifting as caused by normal wrist movements. After all, a watch bracelet is put together by series of links and pins. The more these pins are rattled, the more likely they are to get looser.
Another reason why a Jubilee bracelet might stretch is because of dirt. It’s important for the owner to regularly clean his watch bracelet in order to keep debris and dirt out. Over time, grime will build up in between the links acting like an abrasive agent between the metal links. The more this happens, the looser the links get. When bracelet stretching happens, the links not only separate apart—they also grind against dirt and each other. To prevent unwanted bracelet stretching on your Jubilee, simply clean the bracelet gently and regularly. Also, make sure you are wearing your watch properly, so that it’s nice and snug on your wrist. If it appears that your Jubilee has stretched, simply take it to a Rolex specialist to tighten the pins back up and fix the gaps. If the problem is too much to fix, a new Jubilee replacement bracelet might be warranted.
Jubilee or Oyster
For the ultimate showdown, we set the Jubilee against a Rolex favorite: the Oyster bracelet. Both bracelets have the same quality that’s expected out of a Rolex. Both are crafted expertly by hand, and both bracelets are time-tested.
The classic Oyster bracelets are made for sports. They tend to have a more vintage appeal to them, and that’s probably because of the cut of the links themselves. These bracelets were made to accompany dive watches, so they are made with durability and performance in mind. Keeping that in mind, Oyster bracelets do look the part. They are a lot heavier in comparison and sit bulkier on the wrist as well. When it comes to design, many athletes might favor the Oyster when doing a sports activity. However, the Oyster design falls short in comparison when it is worn for a different purpose. The Oyster bracelet may be able to handle more beating than the Jubilee, but we need more in a watch than just that. We believe the Jubilee is a more superior bracelet overall because it gives the wearer more options for wear. People that buy watches buy them for looks first before anything else, and for us, the Jubilee looks better in every way in comparison to the Oyster. The Jubilee is more dimensionally complex and easier on the eyes too.
When it comes to performance, the Jubilee is sturdy enough to handle daily wear. Although you may not be able to take the Jubilee on a deep dive, it’s still waterproof up to a certain extent. You’ll be able to wear your Jubilee bracelet during mild sporting activities, but you might feel uncomfortable wearing an Oyster bracelet to a fancy event. We may be nitpicking at this point, but our message is clear. When it comes down to Jubilee versus Oyster, we choose Jubilee all the way. The Rolex Jubilee checks all the boxes of how a luxury watch bracelet should be, and it should be versatile more than anything. The Rolex Jubilee is absolutely versatile and so much more.
Written by Garrett Parker
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