I am hoping you all may be able to help me understand how long a good watch bracelet should realistically last, and what kinds of problems bracelets face.
When I bought my Omega Seamaster on a bracelet, my AD told me to let them know if I ever needed to order a replacement bracelet. At that time, the most expensive watch I owned was a Citizen, and apart from scratches and dirt buildup, I never had an issue with the bracelet.
Never experiencing a bracelet problem myself, I wondered why anyone would need a replacement apart from cosmetic reasons. I did sone searching, and I found a few claims that it was a good idea to purchase backup bracelets for higher end watches. I also heard of a thing called “bracelet stretch.”
The bracelet on my Seamaster has solid screwed in links, and solid end links, with the usual solid clasp with diver extension. I read that solid screwed links are impervious to “stretch,” but I’m not sure how true that is.
My questions are:
1. How long should a good watch bracelet realistically last?
2. What is bracelet stretch, and what causes it? How do I prevent it? Are solid screwed links really stretch proof?
3. Other than cosmetic reasons (which I don’t care about), why would I want to consider shelling out a premium amount for a replacement bracelet? What are the chances of it actually breaking in my lifetime?
4. Out of curiosity, how old are your oldest bracelets that are still going strong? How often have they been used over their lifetime?