You've decided to take the plunge and get yourself a Rolex. Or, maybe you just put your name on a waiting list for your dream watch. Even if you've already got the model and exact variant in mind, though, you still might be faced with an important #richpeopleproblems choice: Oyster or Jubilee bracelet?
Not every Rolex watch comes with this decision, and these aren't the only bracelet/strap styles the brand makes. But they're the two most people are most likely to be choosing between. Getting a GMT Master II? A Datejust? You'll have to take your pick.
Another reason it's good to understand the differences between these two iconic bracelet styles is that other brands offer similar bracelets, as well. In addition to the Oyster and Jubilee, Rolex makes a couple other bracelet/strap styles: the President which is only available for the Day Date, and the Oysterflex elastomer strap available on some upscale sport models.
What are the differences between Oyster and Jubilee bracelets? Is one better than the other? A lot comes down to style, purpose and preference, but here's what you'll want to know in making a decision.
Oyster is the sportier, simpler, everyday option
The Oyster bracelet was introduced in the 1930s (and later patented by Rolex) and its sturdy three-link construction embodies the tool-watch side of Rolex's personality. Its outer links are brushed while the center links are polished to add some luxury sparkle.
The Oyster is the more understated option and most associated with the brand's sport, or Professional, models. It's perfect for those like the Submariner — and is, in fact, the only option for it and other models like the Explorer, Oyster Perpetual and Air King. It can also imbue something like a dressy Datejust with a pragmatic vibe that'll make it versatile and easy to wear for years and in many situations.
Jubilee is the swankier option
The Jubilee bracelet is so named because it was introduced on the Datejust at a jubilee event for Rolex's 40th anniversary in 1945. Like the Oyster, the Jubilee's outer links are brushed on top, and its three inner links are polished.
With shorter links, and more of them, however, a complicated look makes it stand out, and it's the classic choice for a model like the Datejust — that's made for genteel activities more than rough-and-tumble ones. It'll make a watch feel more dressy and a bit more flashy compared to the no-nonsense vibes of the Oyster, and that includes sporty models. Rolex sport watches are today fully prestige items, so why not wear them as such?
The Jubilee is slightly more expensive
More complicated to produce, the Jubilee tends to command a price premium over the Oyster of a couple hundred bucks. It arguably makes a watch look more expensive, too (as noted above). As long as your spending Rolex money in the first place, though, you should get exactly what you want, and this probably won't be a deal breaker — but it's one element to be aware of.
The Jubilee is said to be especially comfortable
The Oyster is also very comfortable, but the Jubilee's smaller links help it curve more precisely to the wrist. It might be merely anecdotal, but Rolex owners often cite Jubilee's exceptional comfort as a primary reason to prefer it over the Oyster.
Don't forget about the clasp
Different Rolex models come with different bracelets, and they can be fitted with specific clasps. Since there's no option pair the bracelet you want with a certain clasp, this is simply an element of Rolex bracelets to be aware of when weighing their pros and cons.
A watch with an Oyster bracelet might include a Oysterclasp, Oysterlock or Crownclasp, while Jubilee bracelets only come with Oysterclasp or Crownclasp. Don't forget to take note of what clasp comes with the watch-and-bracelet combo you're considering.