Plastic Strap Watches

Types of plastic watch straps

Among the plastic materials of these watches’ bracelets, different elastomer derivatives (synthetic and natural polymers) are included such as rubber (natural), silicone rubber (synthetic) including PVC and polyurethane (PU).

There are many types of rubbers or elastomers and synthetic and natural combinations, natural rubber, polyethylene, synthetic isoprene, styrene butadiene rubber, nitrile rubber, polychloprene, and silicone.

Natural rubber

Natural rubber is obtained from the latex of Heveabrasiliensis. Most rubbers contain chains of carbon polymers. However, silicone rubbers contain silicon in the polymer chains instead of carbon.

Comfort: Very breathable
Durability: Very durable
Elasticity: Flexible but not elastic

Pure rubber is the best option. It is far better than silicone or other elastomer options as it has far superior levels of durability, comfort and breathability. Usually used in high-end sports watches.

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TAG HEUER CARRERA with rubber strap

Silicone (synthetic)

Silicone is a synthetic rubber. It is synthesized by modifying silicon. Silicone is more resistant to heat, chemical attacks, fungal attacks, UV rays and ozone attacks than normal rubber. It has a lower cost so it is usually used in low-cost watches.

There are many types of synthetic rubber in the world. Many of them have been used frequently to make wristwatch straps. Each one is a world unto itself. In this article we will focus on PVC and PU because they are the most common.


It is a very durable thermoplastic vinyl polymer, but lacks elasticity (at least at medium-high levels). This type of strap is present in low-end sports wristwatches. Generally, extreme temperatures quickly break or deteriorate it.

Comfort: It is not a particularly breathable material
Durability: Very tough, but has a hard time dealing with extreme temperatures
Elastic: Elasticity is not its strong point

Polyurethane (PU)

They are polymers of great resistance (fire) that are composed of organic units linked by carbamates. They also stand out for their great durability. In addition to the manufacture of wristwatch straps, they are very present in the manufacture of machinery.

Comfort: They do not stand out for their comfort or breathability, When wet, they can become a bit sticky
Durability: They are quite durable
Elasticity: Not the most elastic option of all available

Plastic bracelet recommended for watches

Without a doubt, rubber (natural) is by far the material you should trust if you don’t want to be surprised or give up a certain quality. However, it is not the only option. For example, silicone rubber (synthetic or mix) is quite good, although it lacks durability.

Other options excel in other areas. PVC or PU are durable, however, they are not exactly characterized by their levels of elasticity or breathability. Among these alternatives, we would always opt for silicone rubber.

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