Comparing the Rolex brand to the rest of the watch companies isn’t fair. In fact, brands like Omega, Breitling, and Tag Heuer do their best to emulate the marketing powerhouse, but they’re likely never going to reach the same status. Forbes has Rolex in their top 100 brands, meaning, they compare to companies like Nike, Apple, and BMW. One of the crazy things that can happen when retail brands reach that level of recognition is the accessory market that develops. Look at the 3rd party accessory companies that only make Apple-compatible products – it’s a market unto itself. The same thing is happening with Rolex. One of the latest entrants is Everest Bands, who make straps that only fit Rolex cases.
Mike DiMartini, founder of Everest Bands, has discovered a rather untapped niche in the Rolex world with his rubber and leather straps. Sure, with the surge in popularity of watches, there’s certainly no shortage of straps that – given the correct width – can fit a Rolex, but not of straps made specifically to fit the Rolex case. DiMartini has spent lots of time and resources developing the perfect fit for his straps, which end up giving a highly customized appearance.
Rubber B is pretty much Everest’s only competition in this space, and they’ve differentiated themselves from Rubber B in a few ways. Firstly, Everest has worked very hard at creating its own links and clasp for the rubber strap, versus Rubber B, where you must affix your OEM clasp to complete the look. It’s not easy to mimic Rolex’s fit and finish, but even still, Everest’s clasp and removable links are very well made. The rubber strap fits snugly to the case, and if you didn’t know any better, you’d think Rolex made it themselves – or at least wonder why Rolex hasn’t already made these as an optional accessory. The rubber comes in a host of colors, and I had the pleasure of rocking the black one during a 5-day adventure in Patagonia. Through kayaking, horseback riding, and hiking, the strap performed as well as I could have wanted, and made for a nice change of pace from the Oyster bracelet.
Everest has also recently developed a leather strap that comes with its own machined end links – another differentiator from Rubber B’s offerings. I must say I was rather impressed with the quality of the solid end link, as the finish matched very closely to that of Rolex’s OEM link. At the moment, the strap is available in a few colors for the vegetable tanned leather, and black or dark brown for the alligator leather. It’s a great way to get the dressed up look that was previously reserved for the Day-Date and precious metal Daytonas. And if I were a betting man, I would expect more options and variants of the leather strap in the near future.
With the power of the Rolex brand and the growing mechanical watch market, we’re not at all surprised to see 3rd party Rolex accessory companies popping up. Time will tell which companies have what it takes to stick around, but we’re excited for what Everest Bands has done so far. What’s more, they’re a pleasure to do business with, so if you’re a Rolex guy or gal, head over to their site and check them out.by