Watch anatomy can be a general topic, but I know that there are plenty of watch aficionados and collectors that are specific about what brands they want to know about, so I am going to talk about Rolex bracelets today.
The Rolex bracelets are very distinct and if you are thinking of becoming a collector of this prestigious brand, then it is important that you be able to recognize the different aspects of the models so you can tell the real from the fake, as well as the year the watch you are looking at was produced and the actual worth.
Rolex is one of the most copied watches on the market today. You can go to any street corner in New York and purchase one, and sometimes the fakes are as good as the real ones. In fact, it is getting harder to tell the real ones from the ones that are not real unless you really know what you are looking for.
Rolex has continually taken more and more action to try to prevent people from being able to reproduce this brand, from scrambling the serial numbers to etching the coveted crown logo in places they won’t reveal, but still there are fakes popping up that can be bought for as low as $49.99.
Types of Rolex Bracelets
Rolex pioneered metal bracelets on gentleman’s watches and their style has changed little since the mid-twentieth century. There are three Rolex bracelets that can be found on most of the watches that have been produces since 1947, when the first bracelet was used on a Rolex.
Oyster Bracelet is the most popular model now since it is the most resistant and least prone to stretching. It is characterized by bigger center links than the other Rolex bracelets. It may come with the Oyster Buckle or a deployment buckle as is the case of the Submariner.
Jubilee Bracelet gives the watch a dressier look. The center of the bracelet is made of three smaller links attached to each other.
Presidential will only be seen in Gold watches. It consists of smaller and round links than the oyster. It comes in all the Day/Date Models.
How to Tell If Your Rolex Bracelet is a Fake
Rolex serial numbers allow you to date the year of the Rolex and you can also date the year of the Rolex bracelets. Rolex bracelet codes are found on the inner part of the Rolex bracelet clasp and started in the 1950′s to the 1970’s. Rolex used standard numbers for their ‘quarter’ bracelet stamps – so a 4th quarter watch from 1965 would be stamped 4 65 for the bracelet and with the quarter number stamped above the year.
Starting in 1976 Rolex again started stamping bracelets but this time with a letter to designate the year and number to designate the month of manufacture. If a bracelet has an additional ‘S’ stamped along with the year and date then it is a service replacement. With SEL (solid end link) bracelets Rolex have been stamping the part number, date code and Rolex crown into the inner part of the end link and so not visible without removing the bracelet.
Rolex bracelets that have been manufactured in the United States differ in their stampings in that many bracelets have no date and that dated ones are month/year stamped rather than quarter/year and they are also stamped U.S.A. on the clasp.
How to Care For Your Rolex Bracelet
First, it’s important that you wear your Rolex correctly, which I talk about in the bracelet anatomy piece; one finger width should fit between the watch bracelet and the underside of the wrist. The watch should not be sliding around your wrist. This is the best way for the band to continue to stay in good shape and not stretch out, because even a metal bracelet will start to stretch.
Even if it is water resistant, you still don’t want to dip your watch in water to clean it. Take some warm soapy water, and use mild soap and rub it on the links with your fingers or a cloth. Use a Q-tip to get in between the links, where a lot of dirt and grime tends to settle.
Rinse the bracelet gently with some warm water and make sure that you remove all the soap. Dry with a soft cloth and polish and you are done! If you aren’t comfortable cleaning your watch yourself, take it to an authorized Rolex dealer, or to your local jeweler..