Throwback Sundays: Six Recommendations for Luxury Sports Watches with Rubber Straps for Summer, From Our Archives

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In one of our articles last month, we have shortlisted six wonderful luxury sports watches with bracelets as potential options for the warm and humid summer. This week, we are looking still looking at the same category of watches, except that we are looking for timepieces that are fitted with a rubber strap instead.

Why would collectors opt for rubber strap? The most obvious one is the fact that it is very comfortable, and relatively much lighter than a metal bracelet. In addition, rubber straps are hardier (and less prone to scratches), which means that they are much more suitable to wear for any outdoor activities. That said, the drawback of such strap is its “breathability”, as they are not perforated and they can get quite uncomfortable when sweat builds up in between the human skin and the strap of the watch.

Anyhow, rubber strap remains a popular choice for many. And in this week’s article, we will be shortlisting six wonderful timepieces that are fitted with such strap options. What have we selected? Let us find out!

Rolex Yacht-Master

We begin this week’s article with a timepiece from one of the coveted watch manufacturers in the world: The Rolex Yacht-Master 42.

The new addition to the Yacht-Master collection, launched in 2019, is an extension to the earlier Everose Gold model that is available in 37mm and 40mm. The 42mm timepiece – notably with a larger case – comes with a matte ceramic bezel and an Oysterflex bracelet. This is much more suitable for collectors who have a larger wrist, and lamented on the lack of wrist presence for the earlier iterations.

Cased with the Calibre 3235, the Yacht-Master features a self-winding mechanism and boasts a power reserve of around 70 hours. It is also Superlative Chronometer certified, and has an accuracy of +/- 2 seconds a day after casing.

The Yacht-Master 42 is priced at S$38,790, and it is produced with an 18-karat white gold case. This is a subtle but handsome timepiece, and one that is certainly much more toned-down from the Everose Gold counterparts.

Panerai Luminor Yachts Challenge (PAM00764)

Panerai is a much maligned brand, and it has certainly tried to revamp itself in the past few years to bring the brand back to its former glory. The Luminor Yachts Challenge – codename PAM00764 – is a good example of Panerai moving on the right track.

The 44mm timepiece has all the hallmarks of a Panerai watch. It features a gigantic Luminor case in titanium, with the instantly recognisable crown guard and dial design (in terms of the indices and numerals). This particular piece, with reference to the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge (PCYC), also comes with blue accents and a flyback chronograph function. We like how the watch is functional, and yet retains legibility and cleanliness in its design cues. It is also rather comfortable as well despite its size, all thanks to the case material.

Fitted with an in-house Calibre P.9100, the self-winding movement boasts a power reserve of around 72 hours. With a price of S$19,000, the PAM00764 is a robust and well-priced timepiece for what it is. In fact, with the additional flyback function, it can be potentially useful for many other situations as well.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V

In 2016, Vacheron Constantin revamped the Overseas collection. It was quite a welcoming change, and the new offerings had certainly impressed many of us in the industry.

One particular piece that had caught our eyes was the 4500V. The 4500V is the base model in the collection, with only an additional date function. While it may look simple, but that had allowed the timepiece to shine in terms of its finishing and movement construction. The self-winding Calibre 5100, which powers the 4500V, is a very beautiful movement. It features a stunning 22k gold rotor, and the movement is finished to the standards of the Hallmark of Geneva.

Another interesting aspect of the timepiece is the quick-strap change function. It is done by simply pulling a tab on the caseback, and that released the strap on the watch. In addition, Vacheron Constantin supplies three different strap options with the watch: in leather, rubber, and steel bracelet. This allows the owner to change the looks of his/her Overseas to suit the occasion or mood. The watch is priced at S$29,800 for the stainless steel version, and for that you are effectively getting 3 watches for the price of 1. Not a bad deal at all, we would say.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph Deep Blue.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the Royal Oak Offshore (ROO) collection, especially with new collectors. It can certainly be attributed to its iconic (but enlarged) case design, which goes down well with many younger watch enthusiasts. And in 2016, Audemars Piguet further expanded its collection with the new Diver Chronograph, in four different colours. The new model is definitely an interesting addition, especially since the previous ROO Diver is a bit plain for some.

The 42mm ROO Diver Chronograph is powered by the in-house Caliber 3124/3841, based on the Caliber 3120. It has a bidirectional gold rotor, with a power reserve of around 50 hours. The finishing is rather nice, especially with the beautifully engraved 22 carat gold rotor which has the coats of arms for the Audemars and Piguet families. The bridges are decorated with Côtes de Genève, with anglage applied on the edges too.

At the price of S$41,400, the ROO Diver Chronograph is a great piece considering its movement and the iconic design. This is a perfect piece for someone who is looking for something funky and bold.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut “Jumbo” Ref. 5168G

The Patek Philippe Sports collection is a highly popular one. In recent years, we have seen how prices have increased dramatically in the used market – a testament to the strong demand. The Patek Philippe Aquanaut “Jumbo” Reference 5186G, launched last year, is another timepiece that is greatly sought-after like many of its brethren.

The latest iteration of the Aquanaut “Jumbo” follows hotly on the heels of the 2017 edition. The original variant – which is notably 2.2mm larger than the popular Reference 5167 – was specially produced to commemorate the collection’s 20th anniversary. The 2017 timepiece was fitted with a brilliant blue dial, but this year Patek Philippe had went a step further by introducing an olive green variant instead. The combination, in our opinion, works rather beautifully. The shade of green is rather mellow, and the matte finishing interestingly provides an intriguing (although unintentional) military touch to the watch.

Powering the Aquanaut is the 213-part, 29-jewel Calibre 324 S C. The self-winding movement has a minimum power reserve of approximately 35 hours, and it incorporates innovations such as the brand’s proprietary Gyromax balance and Spiromax balance spring. The finishing is as per Patek Philippe’s high standards.

The watch retails at S$52,300, and we feel that it is a nice Patek Philippe watch that is a little unusual from the crowd. We certainly like how this one turns out.  

Richard Mille RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph

We round up the selection with the Richard Mille RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph.

As its name suggests, this particular Richard Mille is produced in partnership with McLaren to create watches inspired by cars produced from the British manufacturer. The tonneau-shaped watch is cased in Carbon TPT (Thin Ply Technology) and Orange Quartz TPT, which results in a pattern that is not dissimilar to the stripes of the tiger. The colour also pays tribute to the colour that is synonymous with McLaren, especially since it is highly inspired by the brand’s 720S.

Powering the watch is the automatic RMAC3 calibre, which was first launched in 2016. The watch has two barrels, which provides a power reserve of around 55 hours. Other features include a flyback chronograph and an annual calendar, with an additional oversized date display at the 12 o’clock position as well.

This conversational timepiece certainly comes with a hefty price tag, at CHF 180,000 (approximately S$270,333). Notably, it is also limited to a production of 500 pieces. This is the perfect watch for someone who wants an outrageous watch that is instantly recognisable by many.

Concluding Thoughts

There are much more options with regards to luxury sports watches with rubber straps, as compared to their metal bracelet counterparts. This is possibly because it is much easier to attach a rubber strap to any watch, rather than designing a bracelet specifically to fit a case.

Anyhow, these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are some pretty interesting options as well, with pieces such as the Hublot Big Bang and IWC Aquatimer coming to mind. Let us know what are your thoughts on our selection, as well as timepieces that you think deserves a spot on the list, in the comments section below!


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  1. I own the Yacht-Master 44” referenced here, and it’s by far my favorite new addition. Understated and gorgeous.