I always thought that the Everest tie-in with Rolex was silly.
That bit of marketing seemed like something from the Mad Men era. Turning Sir Edmund Hillary’s summiting Mount Everest into a half-page magazine advertisement that failed to resonate with me personally. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Everest” as the highest point: climax, apex. Ok, that’s a concept that I can grasp. Could Everest Horology Products (“Everest”) live up to that concept?
My first hands-on experience with Everest bands was at WindUp Watch Fair in NYC. In a crowded and sweaty retail suite, it was impossible to make a proper assessment. I recently asked Everest for some samples to borrow for review. They graciously accepted and I was able to do a proper assessment at my own pace.
Curved End Rubber Strap – Tudor Black Bay GMT
The Tudor Black Bay GMT is a staple in my personal collection. Many people have been critical of the stock 22mm, faux rivet steel bracelet on this model, despite its high quality. It took me a while to warm up to the Everest rubber as an alternative. Once I did, I never looked back.
It wasn’t overly difficult to swap out the bracelet for the strap. The Everest product provided a welcome amount of space to manipulate the springbar bar into position (and it’s also easily removed). The curved ends of the black Everest rubber band fit perfectly around the case. No gaps or bunched pressure points.
The structure of the strap is defined by how the Everest strap angles down from the lugs. It feels solid as hell, but I wish that the angle was steeper The lug to lug on the Black Bay GMT is 50mm so wrists such as mine (6.75”) may experience some float. Allen has a wider wrist than I do, and he had zero float when he checked out this rig.
Even with a little float off the lugs, the watch was by no means unsecured. Everest has managed to come up with the propriety cocktail to manufacture just the right rubber. It’s secure enough to not slide around without being overly tacky. The strap is dual-density, meaning that the ends of the strap are more pliable than the part that hugs the watch’s case. Maintaining the proper structure in different parts of the straps is critical when offering a premium rubber strap, and Everest got this right.
The buckle side of the strap is 80mm long and the tail is 120mm. I thought that the tail would be too long for me but it wasn’t. The ends are 22mm to fit the lugs and taper down to 17.5mm at the buckle. The tang-style buckle option for the Black Bay that Everest currently offers is held in place by two nubs next to the buckle. This mechanism is almost perfect, but – because the tail tapers – I wish the second keeper was smaller than the first.
Change the Strap, Change the Vibe
Black Rubber on the Black bay GMT really enlivens the watch. It feels more fun and accessible than on the bracelet. You can focus on the adventure at hand and not worry about scuffing the steel bracelet on a rock or the side of the swimming pool. For me, that adds up to peace of mind. The entire look is surprisingly transferable from the pool to the office. I plan on keeping the Everest rubber installed all summer.
Curved End Rubber Strap – For Rolex Submariner Ceramic Deployant
There is a stigma about changing bracelets/straps on modern Rolex watches. It’s like putting rims on a Ferrari 488. The unwritten rule is don’t do it. Everest Horology Products has found a way to bend the rule. There are very few options, if at all, within modern Rolex models. This is especially true for bracelets and bands. “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”
Rolex introduced an Oysterflex rubber strap that integrates with their Glidelock clasps. This configuration is only available on some precious metal versions of select watches such as the Daytona and Yachtmaster. It’s a lesson in the mastery of strategic product implementation. Rolex was able to recognize that attire has become more casual. They also could now offer high-yield precious metal watches at a lower price point than those with a matching gold bracelet.
I once asked my local Rolex AD if I could buy an Oysterflex strap for my Submariner (Ref. 116610). Their reaction was the same as if I asked for a ceramic Daytona. Luckily for me, Everest Horology Products has a solution. Since my six-digit Submariner has a Glidelock clasp, I used Everest’s sizing system. The diagram on their website is very straight forward. You count the number of links on the 6H side and 12 H side of your bracelet. I was “4 Link by 5 Links”.
My straps arrived and I nervously prepared to, gulp, change the strap on my Rolex. It was no surprise that the strap changed just like any other watch. No big deal. Make sure that you use plenty of tape to protect the lugs and have the appropriate screwdriver to take apart the clasp. You can view Everest’s tutorial video here.
The fit was like a dream, both in integration and comfort. After installation, I fiddled with the Fliplock extension link until it was juuuust right… just right for being inside with the air-conditioning on. Stepping outside into heat and humidity and my wrist swells up like gas station Botox. A quick dip in the pool and my wrist experiences similar shrinkage – not unlike George Costanza. Having the same on-the-fly adjustability as stock bracelet is everything during the summer months.
The jury is still out on using the stock clasp. It’s special to maintain that coveted OEM look and the undeniable top quality of a modern Rolex clasp. However, I really put some dings in the clasp. Once the bracelet was off I started to be more adventurous while wearing the Submariner – oh, the irony. I’m considering buying a top-quality aftermarket replacement. I’m really torn.
I’ve never seen a watch so able to be both dressed up and down at the same time. The satin-like black rubber has just the right sheen. The rubber, much to my surprise, stayed relatively lint-free. My submariner started to give off white-gold Yachtmaster vibes. $220 is a small price to pay for feeling like you bought a brand new watch.
As tested, the Everest bands are priced at $235 (Black Bay tang buckle) and $220 (integrated Rolex). Competitors for Everest are Rubber B ($250) and Vanguard ($130). I do own a Vanguard for the Black Bay, and Everest straps are superior on every level; it seems you get what you pay for. I also like that Everest Horology Products have their headquarters in the United States and do their manufacturing in Switzerland. That gives me peace of mind not having to question the labor practices of the company. I wouldn’t get that if I purchased a random inexpensive vanilla-scented rubber strap on eBay.
I’m obsessed with curved end rubber straps. Rubber and on the OEM bracelet is the only way that I will wear a watch anymore. I foresee myself swapping my entire collection for the rubber straps around Memorial Day and switching watches back to steel sometime in September. It’s so comfortable and makes total sense to me. You should give it a try.
For more information, please visit Everest Horogy Product’s website.