When reading watch descriptions, one would usually come across different watch clasp or buckle types, the part of the strap that’s used to secure and tighten the watch on the wrist.
These small details are often overlooked. However, knowing what type of clasp to have on your watch should be just as important as choosing features and designs. Knowing what type of watch buckle you have on your timepiece will help you determine what kind of model is best for you.
Here are some of the most common types of watch clasps, buckles and closures. Below, we’ll give you a description of the design, and tell you about how each of them works. We’ll also provide some examples of popular watch models under each category.
Types of Watch Clasps, Buckles & Other Closures
Common in metal watches, this type of clasp unfolds into thirds and fastens a watch to the wrist with a fitted look. This was invented in 1910s by Louis Cartier.
Many watch enthusiasts agree that this is the more elegant type of watch (in relation to the Tang buckle, which we will discuss further below). However, they could be more challenging to use, as you would need to go to a professional in order to adjust and get a good fit for your wrist.
This can also be referred to as the deployment buckle. When looking at watch descriptions, you would also most likely encounter the term “deployment clasp.” When someone uses this term, they are most likely referring to the same thing. Deployant is not available in the English dictionary (it’s from a French word “deployante“), but this is the most acceptable term anywhere.
One popular example of a watch with a deployant clasp is the Rolex Oyster Perpetual.
Here’s a quick video with a very clear explanation of how to use a deployant clasp:
This type of clasp, as the name suggests, has a small button that the wearer can push. These are spring-loaded buttons that allow you to take off the watch easily.
This is designed to make sure that the clasp does not open. The security of the watch is one of the main reasons why many prefer this type of clasp.
This one is basically a combination of the two previous types of clasps. There is a fold-over latch, as well as the push-button feature, which you will have to push order for the strap to open.
This Stuhrling watch is an example of a push-button deployant clasp.
If you’re looking for a clasp that’s very secure, this is something that you should take a closer look at. However, most of these types of clasps are bigger than regular ones, so if you want a more low-key style, you can opt for simpler ones, which brings us to our next item.
Double-locking fold-over clasp
The double-locking, fold-over clasp is a type of steel strap that’s commonly used in sports watches. This is basically a fold-over clasp with an added flip lock safety tab for extra protection.
Check out this Bulova model with the said clasp style.
Butterfly clasp / Hidden clasp
This one is for those looking for a secure and inconspicuous type of clasp – it closes on the wrist, so the mechanism will not be seen on the outer strap. This type of clasp is secure and promotes a seamless look which it’s often used on dress watches.
It’s called a butterfly clasp because there are two hinges that unfold to the opposite sides, like a butterfly spreading its wings. Simply press on the two pushbuttons simultaneously, fold both sides, and the watch will be securely fastened on your wrist.
This Orient Bambino watch has a butterfly clasp.
This clasp is called such because it’s the same type that is used in bracelets and jewelry.
The jewelry clasp has two main parts: a latch on one side, and a hole on the other. The mechanism is simply the latch going through a hole, folds, and then closed. To release, you simply lift the clasp and unsnap it from the latch.
One of the advantages of most watches with this type of clasp is the adjustability. Normally, these types will have a number of openings, so you will be able to adjust the length of the watch on your wrist.
Ardillon / Tang buckle
This is one of the most common types of watch straps. Usually made of stainless steel, the Tang buckle is what you would commonly see in leather and textile watches and is also often used on tactical watches. This has a pin that secures the watch to your wrist.
Like a belt buckle, this is for straps that have holes, which means that you will need to bend the leather every time you wear the watch, making it bend and crack or fade over time.
Another possible disadvantage of this type of buckle is it’s not as secure as the metal types. The buckle may crack while you wear it, making it fall off your wrist. The look, however, is classic and simple, and it’s not as expensive as the metal ones, too.
This Tag Heuer is a good example of a watch with a Tang buckle.
If you’re looking for something that’s easily adjustable, the velcro watch might be for you. Out of all the straps on this list, these are the simplest to work with–simply adjust the length to your wrist and strap the two sides together.
One of the possible downsides of these types of bands, however, is the appearance. If you adjust the velcro loosely, one side will be exposed.
These are, however, very durable. These are commonly used in military-style or sports watches, and you can also get playful with the many colors available. They’re more affordable than most models we’ve featured above.
This sporty Timex Camper watch has a velcro strap that many customers rave about.