Speidel asked me to review the Twist-O-Flex, but it proved not to be easy. I mean, how much can you say about a bracelet?
Are expander watch bracelets still relevant? Certainly, especially for vintage watches. Clean and sleek 1950s and 1960s dress watches with a stainless or chrome-plated case look great with one.
A good example is this Moritz watch that belonged to my late grandfather.
I still remember him wearing it, and I’ve only seen him wear it with an expander bracelet. I even have old pictures with him wearing this combo. So, I wouldn’t think of wearing the Moritz with a different kind of strap.
My other grandfather, who’s almost 97 years old, wears his plated Citizen watch on a gold-colored expander band. He still wants to wear a watch, but he doesn’t have the strength and fine motor skills anymore to fit a strap with a regular buckle.
So, I’ll compare the Twist-O-Flex with a cheap generic one and a Fixo-Flex. It’ll be interesting to see how the Speidel compares with the bracelet it was based on.
The Twist-O-Flex is 160 mm long and 7 mm wide. The weight is a hair short of 30 grams.
The Speidel is a beautiful satin finish with polished edges. Because of a special design, your arm hair will be safe. So, no more teary eyes like with some other expander bands.
What makes it really special, is that it’s able to twist without distorting the shape of the bracelet. It’s called the Twist-O-Flex for a reason.
This bracelet costs $15.95
The Fixo-flex is 155 mm long and 8 mm wide. The weight is a little more than 33 grams.
It’s been used for a while and it has some signs of wear. The biggest flaw, compared to the Twist-O-Flex is that it’s not designed to twist. As a result, it warps and dents over time and doesn’t want to snap back into its original shape.
This particular one has a dent and it also spirals a bit.
A Fixo-flex will cost about $25
Cheap unbranded bracelet
This cheapo is 160 mm long and 7 mm wide. The weight is very close to 30 grams.
It feels very cheap and flimsy and it’s strangely rough to the touch. It has a sort of dent although I’ve never used it.
The inside of the bracelet shows a gap between a pair of links that’s larger than the rest. It looks like a pair of the little clamps between the links is already bent.
I bought this bracelet for $3.25
Expander bracelets are undervalued in my opinion and would still look great with certain watches.
Unless you absolutely don’t want to spend more than $5 or someone asks you to get the cheapest one possible, don’t buy a cheap generic one. It’s flimsy, it bends and kinks easily, and it doesn’t work that well.
A Fixo-flex is alright. It does the job, it’s beautifully finished, and it’s not flimsy at all. Sadly, it doesn’t respond well to twisting and bending, so it’ll be out of shape before you know it.
The Speidel is beautifully made, with a special design to avoid hair-pulling, and it’ll keep its shape no matter what. It’s also cheaper than the Fixo-flex, so it’s the obvious winner.
By the way, if you’re not interested in an expender model, check out their other watch bands.
What do you think of the Twist-O-Flex? Let me know in the comments below.
3 thoughts on “Review Speidel Twist-O-Flex Bracelet”
Don’t forget Excalibur, they made some gawjus rolled gold expanders that were popular after the war.
Hello Melvin. I am an American that lives in Poland. My father was a watchmaker and jeweler, he had his own shop in the US. He went to watchmaking school in Pittsburgh, PA after his Army service in WW II. I literally grew up in the business and worked for my father for many years. When I was 11 years old, working on an improvised work bench, my father gave me an old Imperial man’s watch and with only a little guidance from him, I took it apart, cleaned and oiled it and reassembled it, and it ran fine. It was one of the proudest days of my life and I still have the watch. I never became highly skilled but I did routine stem and crown jobs, crystals, and the like. My father retired from his shop in the ’80s and passed away about 15 years ago. He continued to do watch repair out of his house until he died, at the age of 81. I had his watchmaker bench and some tools shipped here to Poland at great expense because of all of the memories I have when I see it. It is full of old watches (mostly ordinary ones) and some parts that you would find in any watchmakers bench after 45 years of work. My father was a real craftsman and excellent watchmaker. I never got tired of watching him work on watches. Especially something like an automatic chronograph with day/date! My father always said if someone put the watch together, then he could do it too. And he did.
When I worked for my father Speidel watch bands were the rage and over the years we sold a few thousand of them I’m sure. I fitted countless numbers of them (those little ‘u’ springs!) and I also had a few of my own watches with Speidel bands, including my first watch at age 7. I am glad to see they are still well made and inexpensive, I think for that type of watch band, they are great, although I prefer a nice bracelet type nowadays.
When my father passed, in addition to his bench, I acquired his Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust in SS and 18K gold. I wear it often and I like the Jubilee bracelet it’s very comfortable.
Obviously the watch industry changed with the advent of quartz and the early digital watches, I remember the transition well. Too bad many people don’t appreciate the craftsmanship and beautiful complexity of mechanical watches. Of course I also paid 2,700 euro not long ago to have my Rolex cleaned and restored to like new condition, so there’s that! But my heart will always belong to a well made Swiss mechanical movement. A nice movement is a work of art.
I stumbled on your website by chance, I will take some time and read it, it looks interesting. I miss the business and I like to see what’s happening with it.
Thanks for your message, Ed. Take good care of the bench and tools and the Rolex. Wear it in good health.
Comments are closed.