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Swellboy… a near disaster with a watch bracelet

Time was running out; the Rolex bracelet simply had to be fixed

Swellboy… a near disaster with a watch bracelet

Image: Brijesh Patel

August 19 2010
Nick Foulkes

An important part of my horological summer is not so much choosing the right watch to wear while swimming, but rather having the metal bracelet of said watch correctly balanced. It is an unfortunate fact that my wrists swell in the summer and that a link may need to be added to a bracelet. With such an addition comes the risk that the bracelet will become unbalanced.

Take, for instance, the 1970s Rolex Submariner with a blue dial that has faded to a delightful shade of violet. It is a peach but, once the bracelet had been sized, I found that it did not sit evenly on my articulatio radiocarpea, but had a disconcerting tendency to work its way towards the edge of my wrist, requiring me to tilt my arm at an angle of around 40º in order to read the time.

Plainly this could not do, but with the date of my departure looming I needed to get it sorted pretty quickly. Happily my good friends at Watch Club off Bond Street were able to find a jeweller who is capable of unriveting (or whatever the technical term is) a link from one side and riveting it to the other so seamlessly that it might have been done at the Rolex factory 30 or 40 years ago.

The modern Rolex has what I believe is called an Easilink system that allows instant expansion of the bracelet in warm weather. Of course this is a major step forward, but then if I did not have the subject of balancing my watch bracelet to worry about, I might have to face up to some of the more significant problems that life throws up.

See also

People, Rolex