In all of watchmaking, there are few things as iconic as the classic Speidel Twist-O-Flex bracelet. Basically anyone who is at all into vintage watches has seen them, probably worn one, and likely lost some arm hair to those stretchy links.
The old-school stretch bracelet isn't just for vintage Speedmasters and Universal Genève Polerouters though – now you can get one specially made for the Apple Watch.
The Twist-O-Flex is one of those little bits of watch nostalgia that never ceases to be charming for me. The bracelets are comfortable, they last forever, and they exhibit just the right balance of simplicity and over-engineering.
Essentially two sets of links are held together with bracket pins that allow them to move, expanding and contracting as you pull on them. Traditional Twist-O-Flex even have expanding end links so a single bracelet can work with multiple lug widths.
Now, these latest bracelets have no such end links of course. Instead they have the special Apple-compatible links that slot into either a 42mm or a 38mm Apple Watch (sorry, no all-purpose model).
The bracelets are made of stainless steel with a brushed satin finish that complements the aluminium Apple Watch models particularly well.
They're compatible with both Series 1 and Series 2 watches (there's no difference in the connectors between series) and they stretch five inches beyond their initial size, making it easy to get the watch on and off.
If you have smaller wrists, here's a little PSA – be careful resizing the band yourself. It can be done, but essentially what you have to do is disconnect a central section of the band, remove it, and reconnect the ends.
This involves bending a few metal bits and getting everything positioned just so. A quick Google search will turn up countless tutorials and videos, but I speak from personal experience when I say that cut fingertips and frustration are likely in your future. It's totally worth it though.
Many Twist-O-Flex bracelets can be had via Amazon and other sources for under US$15, so at US$50, these are a little more expensive than your typical Speidel. However, if you're looking for a way to give your Apple Watch a little retro watch nerd flair, it would be hard to do better than this.