Summer dressing presents us with an ideal opportunity to express our more casual sense of style, but going casual doesn’t mean looking louche. Whether you spend your holidays lolling in the sea or finding, breaking a sweat on the tennis court or finding a pocket of tranquility somewhere off the beaten track, there are plenty of watches equipped to handle the heat and the water while still offering serious watchmaking. Wearing a luxury watch remains fundamental, even at the beach, and nothing transforms a luxury watch into a summer watch like a rubber bracelet.
Rubber straps are not just fashionable, they’re practical. Most are made of either polyurethane or silicone, which are highly durable and resistant to tearing and deformation. They’re also hypoallergenic, extremely flexible, and best of all, waterproof. So by all means, untuck the shirt and slip into some boat shoes, and hit the road with one of these rubber-strapped options that will ensure you remain presentable at the beach club and beyond.
Breitling Super Chronomat B01 44 U.S. Edition
Applying a rubber strap to a gold watch, something that would have been shocking pre-1990s. Now perfectly acceptable, it has the power to transform a dress watch into something James Bond would wear while doing battle with a shark in the afternoon and later in the evening at the casino. The rubber strap takes the same rolling-tube shape as the links on the model’s signature rouleaux-style metal bracelet. $26,000.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Sport
Parmigiani says this is a watch for “precious moments of personal freedom and pleasure.” In other words, while it’s okay for the boardroom, you could also take it to the seaside or the tennis court. It is water resistant to 100 meters and the automatic movement has a 60-hour power reserve. It comes in either steel or 18-karat yellow gold and the black rubber strap on both has a steel or 18-karat gold clasp to match the case.
H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic Boutique Edition
Frankly, this watch would be intensely sporty even without the rubber strap. The green fumé dial and the unusual centrally clocked chronograph minutes, with the large 60 at 12 o’clock, are unique among chronographs. It is water resistant to 120 meters.
Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton Azure
This watch celebrates World Oceans Day, and it is being marketed to raise awareness of NGO OCEARCH and shark activist Mike Coots. The titanium DLC case is water-resistant to 200 meters. The side case and caseback ring are made of recycled fishing nets and Carbonium, upcycled carbon fibers from the aeronautic industry. $26,400.
Zenith Defy Skyline Ice Blue
The 36 mm version of this boutique-only piece has an ice-blue dial with a matching rubber strap that has a starry pattern. Best of all, there is a diamond bezel option. The strap and/or buckle can be switched out for a choice of several options through Zenith’s new online strap service. It contains the El Primero 3620 automatic high-frequency movement.