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.