Thread: New Rolex Submariner Bracelet Quality

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  1. #1
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    New Rolex Submariner Bracelet Quality

    Hello All,


    For those of you who have bought or closely inspected the new Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN (Ceramic), what is your impression of the build quality of the watch?

    In particular, with respect to the bracelet and clasp, which IMHO were the Achilies heel of the previous model. Especially, when compared to the Planet Ocean which costs half as much and has a solid steel bracelet that can bounce bullets off.

    For the enthusiasts:

    Is it generally possible to find and replace the bracelets of submariners to more robust (aftermarket) versions for everyday wear?

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Member jason_recliner's Avatar
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    Re: New Rolex Submariner Bracelet Quality

    Bracelet and clasp are top notch. Better than PO.

    And I'm no Rolex fanboy by any stretch of the imagination.
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    Re: New Rolex Submariner Bracelet Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by jason_recliner View Post
    Bracelet and clasp are top notch. Better than PO.

    And I'm no Rolex fanboy by any stretch of the imagination.
    Thanks for the reply Jason. Just curious as to which watches you like if your not a fan of Rolex.

  4. #4
    Member Dr.Brian's Avatar
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    Off Topic post Re: New Rolex Submariner Bracelet Quality

    While I'm no great lover of the old style oyster clasp, people incessantly bash it for no reason. Calling it an Achilles heel is unfounded. That implies a fatal flaw that is not present in the old oyster bracelet. The fact is, "tinny" or not, it performs perfectly, and has for about 5 decades. I don't worry about my flip lock coming open, ever. While the omega clasp appears more robust, it lacks the added safety of a flip lock and uses pushers to release. It also uses pins and not screws and has no micro adjustment capability. These are some things that I don't like, and why I greatly prefer the Rolex bracelet. I take mine on the boat and in the water all the time. I appreciate the added safety. Others may prefer the Omega system, especially the desk diver crowd who has no use for the added security of the flip lock. They both work. I also, perhaps again in the minority, appreciate that my center links are hollow, making the watch significantly lighter. I'm not small wristed, but I don't need 20% more weight on my wrist for no reason. Lots of people claimed to not buy a Sub because of the bracelet, perhaps that's true, who knows. I'm sure the extra $3k+ was a factor as well. I'm a fan of simple purpose built design. The ONLY actual Rolex owners that I am aware of who "upgraded" their bracelets, did so on collectable vintage models to maintain the condition of the original bracelet on watches that they frequently wear. And the "upgrade" was to the previous generation Oyster, not the new one. FYI, it is possible to put a new design bracelet on the old Sub or SD, but I am not aware of anyone doing that, other than temporarily to prove that you could. They know, as I do, that the old bracelet is more than adequate. Of note, the new Oyster bracelet uses a couple of spot welds and there have been reports, complete with photos, of weld failure, requiring a return to the rolex service center. That's not a problem with the old "tinny" clasp either. Newer, and heavier, is NOT always better. But, for those with the cash who really hated the old clasp, I'm sure they will love the new one.
    Just my 2 cents. You can't go wrong either way. New, old, or even Omega!
    Last edited by Dr.Brian; September 25th, 2010 at 22:51. Reason: More
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  5. #5
    Member jason_recliner's Avatar
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    Re: New Rolex Submariner Bracelet Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by aquarius View Post
    Thanks for the reply Jason. Just curious as to which watches you like if your not a fan of Rolex.
    I do like some Rolexes. I have just always felt that the bracelet and clasp are not fit for a US$5,000+ watch. I'm not the only one, and it seems Rolex also agrees as the new generations have an awesome new solid bracelet and trick clasp (which seems to be inspired by that of the MM300). Anyway, when they upgrade the Sub ND I will be sorely tempted to hock whatever I can find and buy one (I don't like cyclops, and I can't afford a deepsea).

    I also really like Seiko. And Dornbluth.
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  6. #6
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    Re: New Rolex Submariner Bracelet Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Brian View Post
    While I'm no great lover of the old style oyster clasp, people incessantly bash it for no reason. Calling it an Achilles heel is unfounded. That implies a fatal flaw that is not present in the old oyster bracelet. The fact is, "tinny" or not, it performs perfectly, and has for about 5 decades. I don't worry about my flip lock coming open, ever. While the omega clasp appears more robust, it lacks the added safety of a flip lock and uses pushers to release. It also uses pins and not screws and has no micro adjustment capability. These are some things that I don't like, and why I greatly prefer the Rolex bracelet. I take mine on the boat and in the water all the time. I appreciate the added safety. Others may prefer the Omega system, especially the desk diver crowd who has no use for the added security of the flip lock. They both work. I also, perhaps again in the minority, appreciate that my center links are hollow, making the watch significantly lighter. I'm not small wristed, but I don't need 20% more weight on my wrist for no reason. Lots of people claimed to not buy a Sub because of the bracelet, perhaps that's true, who knows. I'm sure the extra $3k+ was a factor as well. I'm a fan of simple purpose built design. The ONLY actual Rolex owners that I am aware of who "upgraded" their bracelets, did so on collectable vintage models to maintain the condition of the original bracelet on watches that they frequently wear. And the "upgrade" was to the previous generation Oyster, not the new one. FYI, it is possible to put a new design bracelet on the old Sub or SD, but I am not aware of anyone doing that, other than temporarily to prove that you could. They know, as I do, that the old bracelet is more than adequate. Of note, the new Oyster bracelet uses a couple of spot welds and there have been reports, complete with photos, of weld failure, requiring a return to the rolex service center. That's not a problem with the old "tinny" clasp either. Newer, and heavier, is NOT always better. But, for those with the cash who really hated the old clasp, I'm sure they will love the new one.
    Just my 2 cents. You can't go wrong either way. New, old, or even Omega!
    Wise words sir.

    As for the original poster, could you explain why you make the assumption that Rolex's (and/or the bracelets) aren't robust, bearing in mind that the "flimsy," versions of the bracelet have been in production for decades, and tried and tested in the most prolonged and arduous condtions?

    I own Omega watches and their bracelets are very nice. But following on from your statement that the "...Planet Ocean which costs half as much and has a solid steel bracelet..." then there is some truth in that, but how far do you go?

    PO's aren't cheap either are they? Compared to say a Seiko monster? It could be argued that for the price of a PO/Sub/[name any other luxury watch here] that you should be getting precious metal as well. Hell, you pay 7k for a Patek steel quartz these days!

    If you think Omega products are bomb proof, then you have indeed answered your own question, and you should buy one. Being happy is the bottom line.

    Leave the flimsy watches to me

    Regards

  7. #7
    Member 1love's Avatar
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    Re: New Rolex Submariner Bracelet Quality

    Absolutely not a fan of Sub bracelets. They may be sturdy but they don't "feel" like it. The PO is a heavy watch but the bracelet is quite comfortable and sturdy. Ofcourse it still accumulates desk swirls like no other
    Planet Ocean
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  8. #8
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    Re: New Rolex Submariner Bracelet Quality

    Funny when I first got my sub. I thought someone had exchanged my bracelet with a replica it just felt cheap to me and still does. I even took it to my AD to confirm it was the real deal. But the bracelet on the wifes datejust is great.
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  9. #9
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    Re: New Rolex Submariner Bracelet Quality

    I hear the complaint that Rolex's bracelets feel cheap often, yet I've rarely heard of a Rolex bracelet failing. I am currently wearing my Dad's DateJust on it's nearly 50 year old solid gold president bracelet. It's badly stretched, but still holds the watch on my wrist just fine. My boss has a SMP. One day while working in the office, I hear a thunk followed by a nasty word. I stick my heard around his door and ask if anything is wrong. Turns out the bracelet on his 3 year old watch broke. Thank goodness he was at his desk and it only fell a few inches onto a stack of paper. If the break had happened while he was walking across the parking lot or some such, he'd have had to replace a lot more than just a snapped pin.

    This is far from the first Omega pin failure I've heard of. Real world experience means more to me than "feel." Rolex bracelets do stretch, but I'll take a slow stretch over a sudden failure any day. At least you have some notice and can do something about it before disaster strikes.

    This is not a bash on Omega. I love the watches. Not nuts about the bracelets, which are too heavy to do their jobs properly IMO. I think it's likely the weight of the bracelets that causes the pins to fail.

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  10. #10
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    Re: New Rolex Submariner Bracelet Quality

    I would be very, very surprised if a company like Rolex lowered the quality. I think it is more likely that they have emplyed some modern computer aided techniques to make is as strong (if not stronger) but more user friendly (read lighter) .

    Of course, the spring bar is the weak point. if the spring inside rusts, they can fall out without much pressure.

    I replace my springbars once a year. Cheap insurance.

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