The forever famous watch pioneering horology house Rolex has made some of the world's most iconic and recognizable watches. From their sports watches that made history to their classic timepieces designed to be worn in the most smartly dressed of environments, their watch designs have only been improved over the years but at no point in time has their originality or heritage been compromised. This is the case for their watch bracelets and clasps and Rolex have developed many different styles of clasps of the many decades of fine watchmaking. 

The clasps on a watch bracelet must fulfil the simple function of keeping the bracelet securely fastened on your wrist however depending on the type of watch will depend on its clasp. For example a sports watch will have more of a secure locking system compared to a dress watch and this is the case for Rolex. 

Looking at Rolex’ sports watches, of which there are quite a few, they all tend to have a double locking system. Starting with the Submariner, it features the famous glidelock clasp designed for divers to be able to quickly transition from wearing their Submariner on their wrist around town to using it to time their dives. To open the clasp you first need to open the fold over part of the clasp which has the Rolex crown on it. 

Then you can pull up and open the whole clasp. Whilst this might seem over-the-top or unnecessary security, it's to make sure that whilst doing any sports the watch will not come off your wrist. Regardless of what model of Submariner you have, so long as it’s one of their 6 digit references for the Submariner all of them will be the same. Whether you have a full gold, two tone or steel model, the fantastic glidelock clasp remains the same across the range.

Source : Xupes

Staying with the Submariner, if we look at their previous generation, the 5 digit reference number, it still resembles the glidelock clasp we all know so well today. However, instead of a glidelock system, it is a simple, yet effective, fold over clasp with an extra folding part like the modern day Submariner. Just like the modern day 6 digit Submariner, it was designed to be worn over dive suits and on your wrist casually, hence why the Submariners feature a n extra layer of security to ensure you don’t lose your expensive Rolex in the water! 

Continuing on with the Rolex dive watch line, the Sea Dweller. A dive watch designed to go to depths only professional divers enter, it features the Submariner glidelock clasp. However, this has an extra feature, if you look at the left hand side of the image above, you can see there are three large flat links. These fold into each other whilst wearing the Sea Dweller normally but then have the ability to fit over really thick dive suits designed for going well over 400m down in depth.

Source : Xupes

Source : Xupes

The deepsea is a watch that really shows how Rolex continually innovaties and strives to be the best. And in 2008 they did just that, with a watch that could function at a depth of 3,900 metres, it was on the wrist of James Cammeron in 2014 when we went to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. 

For a watch designed to be at such depths, it would require a special clasp. Obviously Rolex already had a fantastic base model to go off, the glidelock clasp form the Submariner. However, like the sea dweller, it would need another function to allow divers to make any on-the-go adjustments they may need to make.

Given the depths that these divers would be operating at, taking the watch off your wrist to adjust the length of the bracelet would be a recipe for disaster. To avoid the diver accidentally dropping and losing their watch to a depth where no man has ever been, the Deepsea has a glidelock system that can be adjusted with the clasp folded over and on your wrist. The centre part of the clasp can be lifted up and then used like a normal glidelock system.

Source : Xupes

The next type of clasp is one of the most common claps you will find on a Rolex sports watch and that’s their fantastic oyster clasp. There exists only two variations of this, either the clasp features an all brushed finish or polished in the centre. Either way, they both have the additional layer of security with the smaller fold over portion of the clasp with the Rolex Crown on it. Once this is lifted up you can pull up on the oyster clasp, being a sports watch this layer of security is definitely a good addition to a clasp to ensure the watch remains securely on your wrist.

Rubber strap ZEALANDE for Yatch Master

Source : The Watch club

The clasp also features a 5mm adjustment also known as the ‘easy link’. This is because you can pull out half a link which is great for a quick adjustment if your wrist expands or contracts. This clasp is found on the Rolex Daytona, GMT Master II, Yacht master and explore two tone with a polished centre and on the Explore II and Airking with an all brushed finish.

Source : Mamic

The Rolex sports watches all feature a double layer of security on their clasp because it is needed in order for you to do sports without the risk of your Rolex coming flying off your wrist. As you have seen, whether you have the Submariner or GMT Master II, the clasp all share the same DNA and look similar but they all have their own differences depending on what the watch is designed for. 

Rolex always ensures they have the right tools for the right job. However, now we have seen how their sports watches' clasps open up and function, now we can move on to their classic line of watches. Despite being primarily known for their sports endorsements, they are equally good at creating watches designed for the fanciest of occasions. Their classic line of watches are premdominety designed for a more smart-casual to smart environment so now we will see how they function.

When it comes to classic watches from Rolex, it is impossible not to talk about the famous DateJust. The watch that started it all off for Rolex and became the watch that most aspired to have on their wrist one day. Despite all the dial, bezel and bracelet options, there is only one clasp that features across the whole range and that's their classic fold over clasp. With a polished centre, it blends in perfectly with either an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet. The clasp has a small hinging section that has the Rolex Crown on it, this makes it easier for you to light up the fork that closes the clasp in one smooth action.

It’s as simple and easy as that. Whilst this clap is no on a sports watch, Rolex offers a minimum of 100m water resistance so in order to give the clasp a hint of sportiness as well, they have also given the clasp the same 5mm easy link adjustment system that you find in a GMT Master II. This makes the clasp not only subtle and elegant but also gives it the ability to be worn around and even in some sportier conditions thanks to the easy link in case your wrist expands or contracts.

Source : Mamic

Even their older classic watches clasps still resemble the modern day one today in 2022, Rolex has always strived for perfection and it is no surprise that their clasps have also been phenomenal over the years. Of course it goes without saying the newer your Rolex the slightly better the clasp will be due to the continual improvements Rolex makes, but you can still see the original DNA in the class regardless of what year your classic  Rolex watch is from! Their Classic watch clasps can be found across the whole of the DateJust line, regardless of whether you opt for a Oyster or Jubilee bracelet the same incredible clasp is on both. 

Source : WatchesbySJX

The Rolex Sky-Dweller also features this same clasp along with the milgauss as well. These three models all feature the same polished centre portion of the clasp to match their dressy and elegant styles, however the same clasp exists in an all brushed version. The full brushed classic clasp can be found on Rolex’s entry watch, the Oyster perpetual and the previous generation of the AirKing. It still features the 5mm easy link and opening mechanism, only the centre portion is all brushed as well which helps it be more scratch resistant compared to the mirror polished finish.

Source : Bob's Watches

The last two types of clasp to feature on Rolex watches are also both from the Classic line up of watches from Rolex. The forever famous Rolex Day-Date, the Presidential and the Rolex Cellini. The president features a single fold over clasp with only a small Rolex Crown for the wearer to see where to open the claps. This makes the bracelet feel like one continuous piece of elegant metal without any interruption from a clasp. This style of clasp can sometimes be found on the smaller sizes of DateJusts on the jubilee. Because of its seamless integration, this clasp cannot offer any form of micro adjustment that you can make on the go.

The cellini is the only Rolex to come with a leather strap and on the older models it would typically feature your classic buckle and pin system. Milled from either white, rose or yellow gold, it was a simple yet functional buckle and pin system that opened and closed like a leather belt would. However, from 2018 onwards they now come with a deployant clasp made to look like a plain buckle pin system. This makes it much easier for taking the watch on and off your wrist and you can always easily adjust the length. Everytime you take the watch on and off the leather strap will be at the perfect length for you thanks to the hidden fold over clasp holding the two leather parts in the exact same spot. To open, all you have to do is lift up on the Rolex crown like you would on a DateJust.

Over the many decades, Rolex has truly mastered the art of self development, improvement and the forever desire to achieve perfection. Rolex has maticualsy designed clasps for each and every single individual watch they produce. Within the sports watch collection there are different clasps to suit the needs of the wearer, something Rolex always pays attention to. From the ease of use, to their sleek, elegant and functional designs it is undeniable that Rolex really have some of the best clasps in the watch industry. Regardless of what Rolex you own or are looking to own, you now know all the different clasps across the whole watch line at Rolex along with their functions and looks.