Fashion & Style

12 Of The Best Rubber Watch Straps: Time To Upgrade To Versatile Silicone Bands (Updated 2022)

Sure, purists and watch aficionados may scoff at the idea of replacing your bands with even the best rubber watch straps, but the tradition is actually steeped in history. Since the 1950s, mainstay brands like Rolex have added vulcanized rubber (heating natural rubber until pliable) to their watches.

Originally, they were for professional scuba divers and watersports men, but by the 1960s, the masses were buying into rubber watch straps.  

Now, the best rubber watch straps are better than ever. Even classic diving brands like Tropic are having a comeback with all the tech and design knowledge of today. And you don’t have to be sporty to rock one, either. These days, there’s a slew of fashion colors, patterns, and attractive details to choose from. Let’s face it: it’s now cool to rock rubber watch straps.

From smooth and tapered to iconic waffle texture, we have twelve of the very best rubber watch straps for watches and wrists of all sizes. Keep scrolling to take a peek. 

Our Top Picks

A close up photo of watch with rubber straps
@gf.fsr / Instagram

Baltic Tropic Rubber Strap

Type of Rubber: Rubber | Suitable for: 20mm Watches | Colors Available: Black, White, Blue

What better way to begin than with the OG of rubber straps? Rolex’s Tropic design was the very first used by divers in the 1960s. The style persists today, both as an iconic homage and as a genuinely cool look regardless of era. 

Evenly perforated along the strap, this band is not only comfortable but highly breathable, making it perfect for sport. Its slimness and tapered body give it a low profile on the wrist, which is great for a watch with a smaller diameter. Baltic keeps it classic with three simple colors, white, black, and blue. There’s no fuss or frills here, just exceptional, time-proven design. 

rubber orange watch straps

Type of Rubber: Rubber | Suitable for: 20mm Watches | Colors Available: 8 Colorways

Everything about Horus feels smooth. From the integrated band and tapered ends to the look of its highly durable rubber, it feels like a natural solution to making your favorite watch more comfortable. And it proves that your rubber watch straps don’t have to feel highly tactical to accomplish your goals. 

In fact, Horus leans into its fashion components. Colors include bright orange, a blue that’s more royal than navy, sunny yellow, and even mismatched color combos that only truly stylish guys can pull off. 

ISOfrane Rubber Strap

Type of Rubber: Rubber | Suitable for: 20-24mm Watches | Colors Available: Black, Yellow, Turquoise, Orange, + 

Nothing signifies that you know your stuff when it comes to the best rubber watch straps like rocking ISOfrane on your wrist. Like the Tropic, ISOfrane has been around since the beginning, only to go out of business and then come back in 2010 better than ever. The classic 1968 ladder strap is simply an update of the watch professional divers loved in the 60s. 

Though they aren’t cheap, it really doesn’t get much better than this, especially if you’re into a sportier vibe. The soft, synthetic rubber is hypoallergenic, and they’re engineered in Switzerland, like many other great diving watch brands.

The notches all around not only look cool and tactical, but they’re also breathable. They’re just as perfect for a diving expedition as they are for playing catch in the yard. 

Zealande Rubber Watch Strap

Type of Rubber: Rubber | Suitable for: 20mm Watches | Colors Available: Black, Blue, Gray, Green, + 

Rolex is arguably the most well-known watch brand, so it makes sense that someone would focus part of their business on creating the best rubber watch straps for them. Zealande is super customizable and lets you choose your body, and trust us, they cover pretty much all of them. Daytona, Submariner, GMT, Oyster, Perpetual… you name it. From there, you can choose from a variety of buckle styles, wrist sizes, and colors, though they’re all pretty standard.

As for the feel, the watch straps just look supple and comfy. Again, here’s that Swiss-quality rubber that could debatably withstand an atomic bomb. It’s resistant to water, stains, heat, dust, cold, stretching, tearing, and any chemical you can think of. 

Nixon Rubber Watch Band

Type of Rubber: Rubber | Suitable for: 23mm Watches | Colors Available: Black/yellow

While the Rolling Stones may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s something appealing about the minimal design mixed with Nixon’s well-crafted goods that just feels right. 

What we love most about this watch are the adjustments. Depending on the activity or even that day’s salt intake, you might want a tighter or looser feel on the wrist. The band is also equipped with quick-release functions, making it that much simpler to take it on and off.

Whether you’re wearing this to a Rolling Stones concert or not, this rubber watch strap is ready to go where you go AND be the star of the show. Pair this with your best athleisure gear or your best concert gear (a great button-up t-shirt and straigt-leg jeans anyone?) and get ready to be the envy of fellow watch enthusiasts.

forest green watch straps

Type of Rubber: Natural Rubber | Suitable for: 20mm Watches | Colors Available: 17+ Colorways

Cheaper straps simply won’t do if quality is what you’re after. So give your prized timepiece the best rubber watch straps it deserves. Horus’ designs aren’t limited to Omega, either. They make rubber straps for the Moonswatch, Speedmaster, and Seamaster. Plus, designer brands like Audemars Piguet, Tag Heur, and Hublo can be found too. 

In terms of design, the straps are pretty straightforward. Where these bad boys shine is durability from the high-quality rubber and, you guessed, an insane variety of fun colors. If you have a hard time choosing, don’t worry, they come in bundle sets. 

BINLUN Silicone Rubber Watch Band

Type of Rubber: Silicone Rubber | Suitable for: 12, 14,16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28,mm Watches | Colors Available: Black, Blue, Orange, White, + 

Because they can do so much like track your workout stats, of course you’ll want to take your smartwatch with you everywhere. Replacing a stiff or uncomfortable band with a water-proof band designed to be soft yet ridiculously tough is a no-brainer. 

BINLUN bands are incredibly soft to the touch and elastic. Bend them any which way you like if you don’t believe us. It’s all thanks to silicone rubber. Though these bands are pretty straightforward with no tapering, there is an interesting texturized detail that runs down the middle that gives off a where the rubber meets the road kind of vibe. 

Barton Elite Silicone Quick Release Strap

Type of Rubber: Silicone | Suitable for: 18-24mm Watches | Colors Available: 20 Colorways

You’ll never grasp the tediousness of having to change your watch bands with tiny tools until you’ve experienced quick-release straps. Barton Elite bands are admired for their easy change, sans tools. All you need is a spare moment.

When you see the affordable price, you’ll know it’s silicone. That being said, these rubber straps are highly elastic and seriously soft. And they’re not scrimping on the buckle. The thing is forged in surgical-grade stainless steel. Plus, the contrasting color on the underside makes it feel far more luxe than its price tag reveals. 

Rubber watch strap

Type of Rubber: Synthetic PU | Suitable for: 20,22mm Watches | Colors Available: 5 Colorways

You wouldn’t normally picture rubber watch straps as dressy, but why not? Life is no fun if you always do everything like everybody else.

What sets the Marathon rubber watch strap apart from the rest is not only the stylish rubber molding but also the vanilla scent that makes you want to wear it even more. 

Hirsch URBANE Natural Rubber Watch Strap

Type of Rubber: Unvulcanized Rubber | Suitable for: 20, 22mm Watches | Colors Available: Black 

Don’t be fooled by its smooth look and sleek taper, the URBANE isn’t leather. We love these rubber watch straps for their discretion, so it’s comfortably suited for dressier occasions. Even the clasp feels finer and more sophisticated than a diver watch. 

It’s also the only one on this list made from premium caoutchouc (unvulcanized rubber), but all of the other qualities you need are there. Waterproof, tear-proof, resistant to chemicals and extreme temps. Check. But the extra bonus is UV resistance, meaning that your watch band isn’t going to fade with time.

Breitling Diver Pro Rubber Strap

Flush with complications and chronographs, Breitling watches are for the active, masculine man, so it’s only natural that they make their own diver rubber watch bands—complete with the Breitling logo, of course. The large lettering feels especially nautical as if you can picture it on a sailboat at sea.

The color options are pretty standard, but you can’t go wrong with the classics. Plenty of adjustments and a slim body add to its overall sophistication. And from a luxury brand, they’re surprisingly cheap. Score a pair for just 80 bucks. 

Type of Rubber: Natural Rubber | Suitable for: 18, 20, 22mm Watches | Colors Available: Black, Red, Blue, Yellow, + 

Zuludiver rubber watch strap

Type of Rubber: Rubber | Suitable for: 22mm Watches | Colors Available: Black, Blue, Orange, Gray, + 

From the stylish details down to the quality of the rubber, these bands have it all. Spend just a moment in the rubber watch world, and you’ll become familiar with Bonetto Cinturini—provider of high-quality Italian rubber for over forty years. The Zuludiver uses this superior rubber to stand apart from the rest.

As for design, these could be the most attractive rubber watch straps we’ve seen yet. Details like dice perforation next to the buckle look stylish but also serve the purpose of adding air under the strap, improving comfort. Add to that the intriguing circular wave motif and matte finish steel buckle, and you’ll look fresh from the pages of Vogue Hommes. 

What To Look For When Searching For The Best Rubber Watch Strap 

Type of Rubber

Vulcanized rubber is natural rubber that’s been heated to a specific point so that it becomes highly durable and pliable. These days, pretty much any rubber watch strap you buy will be vulcanized rubber unless it’s made of silicone.

While natural vulcanized rubber is more resistant to salt water and sweat (which is also a form of salt water if you think about it), silicone is synthetic, softer, and more elastic. If price is a factor for you, silicone is a good choice, though most top rubber watch brands prefer to use rubber. 

Tudor watch paired with blue rubber straps
@zuludiver / Instagram

Lug Size

Your rubber watch straps are worthless without choosing the appropriate lug size. The lug is the area where the band meets the watch, and integrated or not, you’ll need to know your watch’s lug size so the straps will fit properly and you can shop accordingly. Most are between 20 and 24 mm. 

Color

Now for the fun part. Long gone are the days of simple, dark-colored watch straps, though there’s nothing wrong with a sleek pair of black rubber watch straps. These days, the best rubber watch strap brands have gotten creative, and you can choose from an array of colors, from bright orange and dark army green all the way to camo.

And even the camo has variations in color. With so many choices, go ahead and choose a few from our guide to match your outfit and show off your personality.  

Final Verdict

It’s easy to see why people have gravitated to the Tropic watch strap over the years. Even if you can’t get your hands on the best rubber watch strap, you’ll want a nice pattern that’s preferably breathable and made of high-quality rubber or silicone.

Not every rubber watch has 70 years of expertise behind it, but plenty of brands make stylish and performative rubber watch straps and in the colors that you crave. Just make sure you’re buying the appropriate lug size.

FAQ

    • Because the best rubber watch straps are wildly durable, pliable, waterproof, and hypoallergenic, they’re often more comfortable and far better for sport than traditional watch bands. A rubber watch strap is ideal for any activity where you’ll expect to sweat, so you can leave a stainless steel or leather band at home. 

      • Because it’s synthetic, silicone is cheaper, softer, and more elastic, though it does collect dust more easily than rubber. Rubber, on the other hand, is a mix of natural and synthetic components (natural rubber that’s vulcanized). It’s more durable and resistant to sweat and salt water than silicone. 

        • With a toothbrush. Seriously. Using either warm water and vinegar or soapy water, gently brush the rubber with a soft-bristled brush and dry with a towel. 

          • Though we don’t recommend hacking up your cool rubber watch strap, scissors simply won’t do. A box cutter or a very sharp butcher knife will do the trick, but please handle with care. 

            • Avoid drying elements like perfume or rubbing alcohol as much as you can. As for storing so that it lasts when you’re not wearing it, keep it in an airtight freezer bag and store it in a cool, dark place.

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