Materials like leather and platinum used to be the order of the day when it came to luxury watches. Nothing else could satisfy the stratospheric standards of sumptuousness. But now that even the standards of luxury are beginning to change as well, there’s a new player in the luxe materials market – rubber.
Rubber-strapped watches were once limited to just the lower end of the watch spectrum, to just the cheap, disposable or toy watches. Nowadays, though, even the highest-end watch brands feature rubber straps, and diamonds can be on the same watch as PVD.
Ready for Anything
With its primary goal of being the toughest watch you’ve ever seen, it’s pretty understandable for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Survivor to have molded rubber instead of the typical leather strap or metal bracelet. After all, you’d be less discouraged to get rough with your watch if the strap were made of something like rubber.
The durable material also fits in well with the rest of the décor on the Survivor. Molded black vulcanized rubber goes well with the brushed and textured black case and bezel of the watch. Overall, the material adds to the unmistakable impression of a very tough watch indeed.
A Tribute in Rubber
Few would question the use of a rubber strap with the Piaget Polo FortyFive, especially since rubber straps are commonly used with sports watches anyways. What’s not regular is rubber being used by a luxury watchmaker like Piaget, especially on a commemorative model like the FortyFive.
The matte rubber is an interesting contrast to the shine of the steel case on the FortyFive. It suggests a typical high-end watch with a not-so-typical sporty side to it – definitely a step in a new direction for Piaget. Aside from that rubber touch, the FortyFive is everything you’d expect a premium watch to be.
The New Luxe
Believe it or not, the diamond-abundant Perrelet Diamond Flower features numerous diamonds set into a metal case – all alongside a 100% rubber strap. It’s at the forefront of this whole movement of putting together old world luxury materials with new, underestimated elements under a well-known brand.
The Diamond Flower is an elegant mix of form and function. While it sports a breathtaking flower motif on the dial and a timeless design, a double rotor mechanism ticks away behind all the beauty.
It seems likely that rubber straps will continue to be a fixture in the high-value world of premium watches. It takes some elements from the low end, many elements from the upper end and puts them together in a previously unexplored middle ground.