Watches and rubber wristbands have been around for years. They are very common too. While there are many who are fond of leather or metal types of straps, rubber straps are very popular among teens, kids, especially sporty people.
Rubber straps on watches have been around longer than the wristbands used today as bracelets. They were first used as straps for dive watches and were called tropic straps during the 1960s. These are very brittle and stiff. However, it was more practical to choose rubber wristbands for straps. They were cheap and easy to find compared to leather. They were also easy to replace.
Rubber straps are also very comfortable to wear. They are also resistant to water and sweat which made them a popular choice for sports watches. Today, rubber watch straps are ideal for all types of watches. Those made of high quality plastic are even more expensive.
Rubber Wristbands for Watches
Rubber became popular watch straps during the 1980s. These were mounted on rubber straps and were tacky. Today, different brands of watches manufactured their products with rubber strappings. These come in different types and for different purposes: from sports watches to dress watches. While there are many colorful rubber straps available, black is still the most popular.
Rubber straps are now trendier and brighter. They are more popular among kids and teens especially among ladies.
Rubber Materials Used in Straps
Like how most rubber wristbands use different types of rubber, rubber watch straps came available in silicone.
Rubber tends to stick to the skin. With this slight inconvenience, manufacturers used different types of rubber. Natural rubber is still used. However it is harder to customize it. Other than silicone, another type of rubber strap is polymers. To understand the materials used in rubber watch straps, here’s a brief explanation about them.
- Rubber is a yellowish, elastic material from a milky sap or from tropical plant latex. The most common source of rubber is the rubber tree. These are vulcanized, pigmented, and modified into rubber products. Examples of these are elastic bands, belts, tires, and containers. The rubber used for rubber watch straps are caoutchouc, an Indian rubber.
- Silicone is a rubber-like material containing silicon, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. It is heated and vulcanized to make it rubber like in form. Manufacturers work on its shape and treat it to prolong it with a post-cure.
- PVC is a thermostatic polymer. It consists of vinyl and is the third most widely produced type of plastic.
- Polyurethane is a polymer with organic units joined together by urethane. These are formed through step growth polymerization. In this process, a monomer that contains isocyanate reacts with another monomer with hydroxyl. These should be in a presence of a catalyst.
Using Rubber Watch Straps
Using rubber straps brings both an advantage and disadvantage to its users.
First, rubber-watch straps are suitable for water activities since these repel water. Second, it is also perfect for places with hot and humid climate. Third, rubber is also durable and will not stain. It is also long lasting especially with the materials used today and when properly maintained. However, compared to leather or nylon straps, rubber watch straps are not breathable.
Watch straps continue to be the cheapest yet most indispensable part of the watch. Without it, your watch is rendered useless since you can’t wear it. If you want your rubber straps to last longer, make sure to clean them and rinse them with water. Dry it with soft cloth afterwards.
Rubber wristbands are not limited to bracelets. Today, with the technology used in manufacturing, these wristbands have been used more often as watch straps.