If you take a look at vintage chronographs and dress watches from the 1930s through the 1950s, they were very often paired with a steel bracelet called a “beads of rice” (not difficult to ascertain why, given the bracelet’s pattern). They’re svelte, they’re cool, and they look killer with straight-lug end links on a great vintage watch. Many blue chip manufacturers used to deliver their wares on OEM versions of these bracelets (we’re looking at you, mid-century Omega), and you can still find plenty of pre-owned watches paired with period-correct versions.
However, until fairly recently, it’s been all but impossible to find modern aftermarket versions of the beads-of-rice, and when you did find them, they were by no means cheap. Now, we seem to be enjoying somewhat of a beads of rice Renaissance, with aftermarket versions becoming more ubiquitous and affordable.
Those Watch Guys, purveyors of fine vintage watches at a range of different price points, have introduced their own version of the beads of rice. Fully polished and featuring straight end links for that fine vintage look, it’s available in 18mm and 20mm sizes for just $85, a relative steel compared to many options out there. (We also love Bulang & Son’s versions, which are available in polished or matte finishes and come in that pesky vintage 19mm lug width, but admittedly cost a bit more money).
If you feel like trying the beads of rice look with one of your watches and don’t want to drop a ton of money on a bracelet, the $85 TWG version is a solid choice. Or, conversely, if you want to outfit an entire collection with these bracelets but don’t want to sell a kidney, it’s also a solid choice.
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