Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II

Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II
Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II Luxury Items
RubberB on Rolex Submariner No-Date 114060

Modern versions of sports watches like Panerai and IWC Ingenieur have quick strap replacement systems. In particular, a reason for Panerai watches' great appeal is the vast number of after market straps available readily for all of their models, with each strap being relatively easy to change in a few minutes using the quick strap changing tool that comes with some of their models. Rolex, despite its indisputable popularity – and an arguably massive commercial opportunity – has never ventured to offer a wide selection options as far as straps and bracelets are concerned. One of the more interesting after market alternatives are the RubberB straps, specially designed to fit different Rolex models (see our article on the Rubber B Rolex Deepsea Glidelock Watch Strap here). We have had a chance to consider the model created for the "SubC," i.e., the latest version of the Rolex Submariner with the ceramic bezel.

Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II Luxury Items

Some manufacturers, like IWC, Hublot, and Panerai, on a selection of their models, make the strap changing process even easier with a fast changing tool built into the strap or the lugs. This means that changing the strap requires no tools. Just press a button (or two) and change your strap. Cartier, more known as a jeweler, understands this convenience well, and many of their models include such quick changing systems, and in a few instances, they have lead innovations in that area.

Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II Luxury Items

However, what is one to do if you are one of the millions owning and wearing a Rolex sport watch, in particular the Submariner or GMT Master II? Rolex neither makes the process of changing straps easy nor even provides alternative bracelets or straps to adorn your watch with. Heck, Rolex authorized dealers are quick to provide a service to fix or change your watch's bracelet for you, but at a cost, and you will have to wait. And, as mentioned, no alternative bracelets or straps exists direct from Rolex. Enter RubberB's unique fitting straps for the popular Rolex models: Submariner and GMT Master II.

Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II Luxury Items

Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II Luxury Items

So what makes RubberB straps so unique? And what is my experience wearing RubberB straps on my Submariner for the past three months? First, material. The rubber on the RubberB strap is not your normal rubber that one finds in most modern watches. Instead, it's a special carbon-injected caoutchouc that is treated for feel, flexibility, and duration. This is important, since typically, a sports watch is worn for a good part of the day (at least in my case) and comfort, feel, subtleness, and flexibility are top attributes on my list.

Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II Luxury Items

RubberB does not disappoint here, since on the strap, the Rolex Submariner is about 40 grams lighter and feels very comfortable due to the flexibility and the soft feel of the strap. Also, since the RubberB strap is designed to integrate with and use the oyster clasp, you do not loose the convenience of the oyster glide lock on the Rolex Submariner, nor the protection of the oyster clasp double lock mechanism.

Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II Luxury Items

The RubberB strap integrates so well with the Rolex Submariner that it's hard to think it was not designed by Rolex. It fits perfectly flush with the Submariner's case and integrates brilliantly everywhere else. And due to its tone black color it also blends well with the black dial and the Submariner's cerachrom bezel.

Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II Luxury Items

However, while the RubberB strap does a great job of giving an alternative strap to the popular Rolex Submariner watch, it cannot however undo the fact that Rolex does not design their watches for ease of strap replacement. Replacing the Rolex Submariner bracelet to install the RubberB strap was not super hard, but it's also not easy. Short of bringing it to a watchmaker and paying the typical strap replacement fee, replacing the strap, at least for me, was a two-hour affair. While I did not spend the entire two hours replacing the strap, I opted to take my time so as not to scratch the bracelet or the case.

Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II Luxury Items

I would equate changing the strap as performing minor mechanical surgery. The new Rolex Submariner does come with screws for the links and the clasp, but the case uses a spring loaded pinion. And therein lies the main problem when removing the strap. Like most of these spring loaded cases one has to be super careful (even when using the appropriate tools) to avoid missing the little keeper and scratch the case.

Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II Luxury Items

So while adding clear value and advantage to your Submariner and filling a gap left by Rolex by not having after market straps, the RubberB rubber strap for the Rolex Submariner and GMT Master II has one considerable shortcoming in that it does not ease the difficulty of replacing Rolex bracelets. Arguably, there is not much RubberB can do about the construction of Rolex watches, but this issue is particularly apparent when I compare it with Panerai watches, where I can easily decide what strap to wear minutes before wearing the watch. With the RubberB-Rolex combination, the process is so involved that one has to pretty much plan to keep the watch with the strap for months so that the change is worth the effort. By no means is this a reflection on RubberB, but rather on Rolex's typical tight control over all aspects of their watches.

Reviewing The RubberB Strap For Rolex Submariner And GMT Master II Luxury Items

Therefore, if you own a Rolex Submariner or GMT Master II and are in search of an excellent alternative strap, that feels great, looks fantastic, and will last for a long while, then RubberB would be my first recommendation. Just plan to keep the watch on the strap for the entire summer, so that your efforts in changing to it are amortized over that period – or be ready to make the trip to your local watchmaker. Price for the RubberB strap is $250 for the one shown in this review, which allows reuse of the Rolex clasp. RubberB also offers another strap that comes with a tang buckle (not shown here) and it costs $240. rubberb.com

What do you think?
  • Interesting (4)
  • I want it! (1)
  • Thumbs up (0)
  • Classy (0)
  • I love it! (0)
  • nodari kirtadze

    Cool, but i think that Omega’s rubber strap is better made

  • ShaneGriffin1

    We’ve tried out RubberB and Everest — both really high quality materials. I think Everest wins the vote since they have their own clasp and links though. That’s kind of hard to beat.

  • Thanks for feedback. Never tried anything but RubberB for my rollies so far. I have to say, I like the option of reusing the Rolex clasp since it’s so good! Anyhow, again for me the main issue is the pain in installing etc.

  • ShaneGriffin1

    Maximilien I hear you on the Rolex clasp, it’s certainly one of the best on the market. That said, I had no issues with Everest’s, knowing it wasn’t going to be Rolex quality. They’re also doing leather straps made for Rolex cases, including their own machined solid endlink.

  • ClassikNJ

    I have the rubberB strap on my subC and noticed that the bezel rotation has a bit more resistance, so I believe it is rubbing just a bit against the top of the strap. This could be mainly due with the nice flush finish. Is it the same situation for you, or anyone else?

  • Fraser Petrick

    Changing a light bulb is as handy as I get. Changing my mind is even harder.

  • Nope, did not notice.

  • No matter how much I’ve played around with straps on Rolexes to change up the look, I always go back to the bracelet. Something timeless, classic, iconic and perfect about the original bracelet, bar none.

  • spiceballs

    Max, interesting that you wrote ”  – – and will last for a long while”.  My experience with “rubber” straps is that with continuous wear in all conditions (that the watch is designed for) 2 years is about the maximum time before the strap cracks and breaks. Rubber B might last (a bit?) longer, and yes, they are comfortable, but nothing (to date in my experience) beats good ole stainless steel especially when replacement is costly and a pain.

  • Evosam

    Great review – I’ve had one on my GMT IIc for over 3 yrs now and it’s held up amazingly well – through all sorts of travel and different climates. I’ve actually had no desire to go back to the bracelet since the rubber strap makes my watch lighter and more comfortable IMHO. Haven’t tried the Everest brand that other people are mentioning, but will check it out since I/m thinking about getting a rubber strap now for my 42mm Explorer as well…

  • Good point, I don’t know how long it will last nor do I believe it would anywhere outlast the bracelet. Thanks for pointing this out. Best.

  • spiceballs

    Maximilien  but good to read that evosam is getting good wear (3+ years) from his 🙂

  • nickyb66

    I prefer the Everest leather straps.

  • I personally had a Rubber B wath strap, and what i love about it is that you can get them litereally for any watch now. So besides rolex and panerai, they are avialable to get with 20, 18, 22 mm lug width. I personally like how durable it is. I sweat so much during this Miami summer days or when i go to the gym and they are great for water resistance. Keeps my wrist nice and stinky free:) Find the best watchstraps to have for the summer::) https://universalwatchstrap.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/best-watch-straps-for-a-sweat-free-summer/

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