Metal watch bracelets come in any number of styles. Bracelet links are held together with pins or screws, or a combination of both. Weight varies with the amount and type of metal; titanium, for example, is significantly lighter than steel. Bracelets are almost always more expensive than straps because of their metal composition and their durability – they can last the lifetime of a watch if properly maintained.
Various Styles of Metal Watch BraceletsStainless steel is the most common metal used to make watch bracelets, although some high-end watches come with bracelets made from precious metal such as gold. Coated stainless steel is also popular today, usually with a form of PVD (physical vapor deposition) such as IP (ion plating).
One popular style of steel watch bracelet worth singling out is mesh (also known as Milanese), which is comprised of interlaced rings that have the appearance of chainmail armor and differ from most other link constructions.
Advantages and disadvantages of metal watch bracelets: Stainless steel watch bracelets are highly durable and wear well in all kinds of weather. However, they are generally heavier than leathers or textiles and are sometimes more difficult to remove and remount on a watch case because their construction offers less space to maneuver a spring-bar tool.
Maintenance: To clean a stainless steel watch bracelet, rinse the bracelet with water and dry it with a soft cloth. Always rinse your bracelet after swimming in salt water. (Of course, never swim while wearing a watch that does not have adequate water resistance.)
There are several products available to polish stainless steel but do your research before you attempt it at home – it is easy to damage a watch’s finishing during polishing. Instead, enjoy your watch and let those scratches add up naturally. When the time is right, send your timepiece to an authorized watch repair center and have the watch polished professionally.