The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches
Like Tree35Likes

Thread: The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26
  1. #1
    Member Mateusz P.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Warsaw/Poland
    Posts
    75

    The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches

    The history of straps and bracelets for diving watches

    The development of the new class watches was initiated by the creation of specialized bracelets. Waterproof watches at the beginning of the 20th century were equipped with leather straps impregnated with grease or wax, so that they would absorb less water. The first producer who went seriously to the problem of creating a waterproof strap was Omega while working on the model Marine. The brand from Bienne used a strap made of seal leather with an integrated and adjustable clasp. Leather straps of various types were used during World War II in military watches such as Panerai.
    Name:  Marine 7.jpg
Views: 74
Size:  317.5 KB
    1. Omega Marine strap.

    In 1947, Rolex introduced the Oyster bracelet to the collection of its sports watches. In 1952, the design was supplemented with an element commonly known today as a endlinks. This type of bracelet has been used on GMT-Master, Explorer, and most of all since 1954 in Submariner divers. The project turned out to be so successful that it remained on the equipment of the Submariner and Sea-Dweller collections to this day. Over the years, the Oyster design has undergone numerous modifications. In 1969, an additional safety buckle was used to avoid unintentional opening of the bracelet. A regulation system was also introduced, which was then replaced by a microregulation patented under the name Glidelock. Despite these changes, the Oyster bracelet has not lost its original DNA.
    Name:  3.10.2.PNG
Views: 79
Size:  2.11 MB
    2. Oyster bracelet.

    In 1957, Breitling was one of the first producers of diving watches to use braided Milanese bracelets (popularly called mesh or shark) on watches from the Superocean collection. One of the early manufacturers of these bracelets was the German company Vollmer operating in Pforzheim from 1922. Vollmer supplied many manufactures producing diving watches. One of the more well-known watches with this type of bracelet was the Omega Seamaster 600 Ploprof.
    In the 1950s, steel bracelets became a standard on diver watches and were offered by almost all manufacturers. There were companies specializing in their production on the market, such as the Swiss NSA or the German Expandro. High class bracelets of various types were offered by Gay Frčres S.A. Twisted bracelets of the Twist-O-Flex or Fixo-Flex type of the American-German company Speidel were also very popular.

    Name:  5.25..PNG
Views: 76
Size:  999.4 KB
    3. Types of bracelets used in diver watches. From the top: rubber strap, Nato strap, NSA bracelet, expandro bracelet with micro-adjustment, silicone strap and Milanese bracelet. Fig. author

    After World War II, rubber became more and more popular in industry. The watchmaking industry quickly used this elastomer for its own needs. The first application was gaskets, then rubber straps appeared. Their unquestionable advantage was total water resistance. Since the late 1950s, Tropic strapes with ventilation holes were very popular. The disadvantage of early rubber straps was their stiffness and susceptibility to cracking.
    Name:  Paski 2.jpg
Views: 83
Size:  969.8 KB
    4. Tropic and Safari rubber straps.

    At the end of the 1960s, the Izofrane company started the production of straps using Izoprene. Because it was a colorless compound, it was possible to introduce a different color palette for finished products. The material was also more flexible than regular rubber. In the 1970s, Seiko, in the line of his professional dive watches, used rubber straps with compressive and tensile sections, so that they fit into the suit depending on the water pressure. This types is still used today.

    The introduction of silicon into the production increased the resistance of the straps to high temperatures and chemical factors. Other materials used for the production of specialized straps include Cordura, Perlon and various types of synthetic materials.

    In 1970, belts with the symbol G10 went to equip the British army. Thanks to their durability they gained great popularity among soldiers. Initially, they were sold from surplus military magazines, from where they entered the civil market. Soon production was started, and due to its origin they gained the general name of NATO. Also, these types of straps are often used on watches that are in contact with water.
    Name:  5.11..PNG
Views: 79
Size:  1.34 MB
    5. Nato strap.
    Currently, all tested materials are used for the production of specialized diving straps.
    Apart from the basic function, the strapes also had an additional purpose. Some manufacturers, such as Citizen, have applied miniaturized decompression tables. It was also a common practice to attach a small compass to the bar.





    This is another topic that I move in the book about diving watches history - "Czas na głębokości" ( English version - autumn 2019) #czasnagłębokości
    Name:  Książka 16.jpg
Views: 65
Size:  540.7 KB
    Name:  Książka 5.jpg
Views: 66
Size:  372.6 KB
    Name:  Książka 11.jpg
Views: 69
Size:  319.3 KB
    Name:  Książka 26.jpg
Views: 67
Size:  447.6 KB
    My side about diving watches:
    https://zegarkidonurkowania.pl/

  2. #2
    Member Bob Dobbs needs Slack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    510

    Re: The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches

    I look forward to seeing the English version of your work.
    Vintage dive watches are neat to learn about.
    Mateusz P. likes this.

  3. #3
    Member Salt_Water's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    California
    Posts
    301

    Re: The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches

    It's a fascinating problem. If you really do end up in the water, what strap do you want?

    Leather is great, but it rots. Rubber/silicone is great, but it slowly oxidizes and fails. Nylon/synthetic stretches in the water so the fit becomes loose (and then you have to unbuckle to tighten). Steel bracelets are great, but the spring bars are a fail point...

    These days I'm with SS because I hate replacing straps.
    Mateusz P. and jbsutta like this.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member boatswain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    7,281

    Re: The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches

    Great read as always.

    Loved the Monvis skin diver in the picture.

    Is that yours?

    Can we see more?!
    Mateusz P. and EPK like this.

  6. #5
    Member jlow28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Lone Star State
    Posts
    3,672

    Re: The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches

    Can’t wait until the English version is ready! Well done


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Mateusz P. and EPK like this.
    "The race is long and,in the end, it's only with yourself..."

  7. #6
    B79
    B79 is online now
    Member B79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Land Down Under
    Posts
    926

    Re: The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches

    Nice read- thanks.

    + 1 for an English version.


    Best,
    B79.
    Mateusz P. likes this.

  8. #7
    Member Fergfour's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    5,054

    Re: The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Salt_Water View Post
    It's a fascinating problem. If you really do end up in the water, what strap do you want?
    Leather is great, but it rots. Rubber/silicone is great, but it slowly oxidizes and fails. Nylon/synthetic stretches in the water so the fit becomes loose (and then you have to unbuckle to tighten). Steel bracelets are great, but the spring bars are a fail point...
    Unless you're in the water day in day out any choice is fine. I don't look at straps as a permanent thing anyway. They might have to be replaced someday, which is OK by me as I like variety/change. Spring bars would be a fail point of any of the above I'd think?
    Mateusz P. and Nikita70 like this.

  9. #8
    Member Mateusz P.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Warsaw/Poland
    Posts
    75

    Re: The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches

    Bob Dobbs needs Slack, jlow28 - I working hard :)

    Salt_Water - I preffer silicon straps or steel bracelets

    boatswain - Yes, Monvis and Lip Nautic-Ski are mine :)

    B79 - sure!

    Name:  Paski 4.jpg
Views: 60
Size:  609.5 KB
    [Name:  Paski 5.jpg
Views: 61
Size:  71.8 KB
    Name:  Lip 3.jpg
Views: 56
Size:  87.1 KB
    Name:  Monvis 5.jpg
Views: 57
Size:  539.2 KB
    Name:  Monvis 6.jpg
Views: 60
Size:  360.8 KB
    EHV, TheGanzman, boatswain and 1 others like this.
    My side about diving watches:
    https://zegarkidonurkowania.pl/

  10. #9
    Member japc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Ericeira, Portugal
    Posts
    117

    Re: The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Fergfour View Post
    Unless you're in the water day in day out any choice is fine. I don't look at straps as a permanent thing anyway. They might have to be replaced someday, which is OK by me as I like variety/change. Spring bars would be a fail point of any of the above I'd think?
    Not all, with NATO straps you need two springbar failures for the watch to leave your wrist. That's a big win when in the water (well, outside the water too). Also, with long NATO straps the buckle can be stopped being a single point of failure too with the typical tuck over or under of the strap that will keep it place.
    Last edited by japc; June 7th, 2019 at 12:56.

  11. #10
    Member Fergfour's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    5,054

    Re: The history of straps and bracelets for diver watches

    Quote Originally Posted by japc View Post
    Not all, with NATO straps you need two springbar failures for the watch to leave your wrist. That's a big win when in the water (well, outside the water too). Also, with long NATO straps the buckle can be stopped being a single point of failure too with the typical tuck over or under of the strap that will keep it place.
    He didn't specifically mention Nato, but you're correct, it's a little bit safer.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Tags for this Thread

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •