An evolving category in the watch market are replacement aftermarket products not intended to mimic the original, but rather to improve or change the way the watch looks and feels. One of those companies entering into this category is Everest Horology. On August 10th, 2012 Everest Band releases the EH-1, a medical-grade silicone strap designed specifically for Rolex sport watches including the Explorer II, Submariner, DeepSea, and GMT. Unlike most other replacement straps, the Everest EH-1 is designed to fit the Rolex sea-dweller series replica watches head exactly with a fit very similar to Rolex’s original Oyster bracelet.
Everest Horology is not the first company to manufacture a replacement silicone strap for Rolex. Another company, RubberB has been producing silicone Rolex replacement straps for almost two years and it is easy to make comparisons between the two because they both have a penchant for detail and quality. Although Everest Horology and RubberB straps look similar, the Everest EH-1 Band was designed completely from scratch without attempting to mimic Rolex’s Oyster bracelet. Other than an Oyster link look at the watch head end of the strap, the Everest EH-1 Band has a different shape and slightly different profile than Rolex’s Oyster bracelet and RubberB’s strap. One notable difference between Everest’s design over the RubberB’s is that Everest’s is designed for Rolex’s Easy Link, a half-link extension that hides under Rolex’s newer Oyster clasps. Additionally, Everest Horology’s EH-1 Band is made in the United States whereas RubberB’s strap is manufactured in Switzerland.
The problem with Rolex:
There are a lot of things that Rolex does right. Rolex’s sapphire crystals dials fake watches with the tell-tale cyclops, tractor-like movements, and patented water tight cases are what define tool watches. Despite Rolex’s numerous patents and technical achievements, there are aspects that Rolex completely misses. Night visibility and the amount of lume on a Rolex watch face and hands is always a criticism, and the “tuna-can” like clasp and bracelet links that are truly utilitarian and rarely failed, but were frequently criticized when matched with other brands. Many now-vintage Rolex watches do not have the original bracelet as that was the first item to wear out. For decades Rolex’s glacier-like design changes and staying true to being “evolutionary” rather than be “revolutionary,” leaves a classic watch open for improvements.
When it comes to making Rolex copy watches “better,” there are two categories for modifications. The first are modifications that clearly mimic the original Rolex such as modified dials and bezels, typically inlaid with diamonds, or a modified color to make the watch face look like an original that fetches a premium among collectors (e.g. Paul Newman Daytona dials). The second and more legitimate category is modifications clearly designed to improve upon Rolex’s design and provide the owner options that Rolex doesn’t. Options such as different watch straps and sapphire casebacks give the Rolex owner more functionality than what the original factory model provides. Just as how AMG has manufacturer approved modifications for Mercedes Benz, and the M series subsidiary for BMW, replacement strap and caseback companies provide functionality to Rolex that the user can install, but unlike the car modification companies, can switch these modifications back to factory on a whim.