Thin clearance on 5 digit Rolex for straps / Barton canvas experience
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  1. #1
    Member Temps Perdu's Avatar
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    Thin clearance on 5 digit Rolex for straps / Barton canvas experience

    Hello WUS,

    I've got an Explorer II 16570 Polar with drilled lugs (1995). I love being able to swap out the bracelet and straps easily, but I'm finding the clearance is very tight and lots of straps rub on the case which eventually ruins them. I see a lot of people ignore this but it bothers me to see them fray. I got a really sweet gray leather strap from Worn and Wound that looks killer on the watch but rubs on the case. I tried curved bars, only to learn later that you shouldn't use curved bars with drilled lugs because they do not fit right (they fall right out). Someone then told me you could use one mm bigger on the curved bars with a watch with drilled lugs and it will fit, but I'm hesitant to do so, and no strap is worth risking loosing or damaging a Rolex (or most watches for that matter).

    So... any first-hand experience doing the 1mm bigger curved bars? I've got a friend who has done it on a non-Rolex watch and says it has never been an issue.

    Also, recommendations for straps that fit the tight clearance on the 5 digit Rolexes? Specifically the 16570, but I'm assuming most 5 digit SS models are similar. No idea about 6 digit because I have no first-hand experience.

    And finally, anyone try these Barton canvas straps on their 16570 or similar? I love the green and white ones and am hoping they would work. I'd be ignoring the "quick release" spring bar function and going with standard shoulder-less bars: https://www.bartonwatchbands.com/col...F4JBoC_Vzw_wcB

    Edit: Also... I'm realizing now that if I plan to swap out the quick release bars for shoulderless bars it may not be so easy to get them out.. Does anyone have experience with this? I see now they are on Amazon Prime so I can return them if they don't work out.

    Edit: I found a video in the FAQ and they can come out relatively easy. Easy on rubber, a bit harder on canvas apparently. If anyone is curious:

    Thanks all!
    Last edited by Temps Perdu; 1 Week Ago at 20:23.

  2. #2
    Member iTreelex's Avatar
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    Re: Thin clearance on 5 digit Rolex for straps / Barton canvas experience

    I've searched high and low on how to solve the case clearance on Rolex watches especially the 6 digit models. I have a 116234 that I've tried on dozens and dozens of straps only to have them cut up and destroyed after carefully putting them in to avoid scratching the lugs. I've come to a conclusion that I should just leave it on the jubilee lol. I've found on sports rolex watches that thin natos fit decently well (aka watchgecko)
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  3. #3
    Member Tonhao's Avatar
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    Re: Thin clearance on 5 digit Rolex for straps / Barton canvas experience

    Usually thin alligator straps have no problem, but anything thick like suede does catch on to the case. Since a Rolex deserves a good strap why not go custom? Strapmakers will work with the thickness and it won’t cost too much more than “luxury” straps like Hodinkee.

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  5. #4
    Member Temps Perdu's Avatar
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    Re: Thin clearance on 5 digit Rolex for straps / Barton canvas experience

    Thanks for the response. Interesting to know there is even less clearance on the 6 digits. And yeah, I hear you, I do mostly leave mine on the bracelet but natos work pretty well. I install the bars over the nato on the thicker ones, and bought thinner bars from Toxic Natos to make it easier. But its also much easier for me to change with drilled lugs. I have a Black Bay that I just never change because its too difficult and I don't wanna mess the lugs up.
    Last edited by Temps Perdu; 1 Week Ago at 21:08.

  6. #5
    Member Temps Perdu's Avatar
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    Re: Thin clearance on 5 digit Rolex for straps / Barton canvas experience

    Ah! Custom straps.. I don't know why I didn't think of that. Great idea Thanks

  7. #6
    Member Toothbras's Avatar
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    Re: Thin clearance on 5 digit Rolex for straps / Barton canvas experience

    Quote Originally Posted by iTreelex View Post
    I've searched high and low on how to solve the case clearance on Rolex watches especially the 6 digit models. I have a 116234 that I've tried on dozens and dozens of straps only to have them cut up and destroyed after carefully putting them in to avoid scratching the lugs. I've come to a conclusion that I should just leave it on the jubilee lol. I've found on sports rolex watches that thin natos fit decently well (aka watchgecko)
    It’s BS. I’ve also destroyed a few straps (one was expensive hodinkee leather when I first got the watch and didn’t know better) and it’s annoying the edge of the case is so damn sharp. Eats straps alive, and the springs bars are so close it’s difficult to even get a fabric strap through without chewing it up a bit
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  8. #7
    Member iTreelex's Avatar
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    Re: Thin clearance on 5 digit Rolex for straps / Barton canvas experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Toothbras View Post
    It’s BS. I’ve also destroyed a few straps (one was expensive hodinkee leather when I first got the watch and didn’t know better) and it’s annoying the edge of the case is so damn sharp. Eats straps alive, and the springs bars are so close it’s difficult to even get a fabric strap through without chewing it up a bit
    I've destroyed some hodinkee straps as well. The one's I still have i might just put on sale cuz they are just sitting there barely worn. I don't mind having my SD on a bracelet but It's frustrating not being able to play around with a DJ... They look so so good on alligator and leather straps! I've pulled off a leather nato but still leaves a bit of a mark.

    OP what others are saying, maybe custom is the way to go. The polar explorer looks great on a grey nato and other straps. It's a stunning watch!
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  9. #8
    Member harry_flashman's Avatar
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    Re: Thin clearance on 5 digit Rolex for straps / Barton canvas experience

    The Fluco suede straps are thin enough to clear.

    https://holbensfinewatchbands.com/collections/fluco-1


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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    GMT Master II 16710 Pepsi
    Explorer II 16570 Polar
    Submariner 114060
    Datejust 116234 Silver

  10. #9
    Member Temps Perdu's Avatar
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    Re: Thin clearance on 5 digit Rolex for straps / Barton canvas experience

    Quote Originally Posted by harry_flashman View Post
    The Fluco suede straps are thin enough to clear.

    https://holbensfinewatchbands.com/collections/fluco-1


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    Great, thanks for the suggestion!

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  11. #10
    Member truthinthedetails's Avatar
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    Re: Thin clearance on 5 digit Rolex for straps / Barton canvas experience

    Curved custom straps made especially for Rolex. Aaron/Combat straps out of Montreal is a favorite.


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    Rolex Datejust, Bell & Ross BR01-96, Hamilton Jazzmaster, Steinhart Ocean One, Seiko 5

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