Watch clasps or buckles are among the many terms you’ll encounter when watch-shopping. Before you make a watch or smartwatch investment, you may want to familiarize yourself with terms like clasps and others like bezel, cases, strap/band, dial, hands, or other phrases- depending on the watch. And all the terminology can get a little overwhelming! Within even just types of watch clasps are sub-types of clasps and buckles of which to be aware. We’ve built you a quick guide to watch shopping, looking specifically at clasps and buckles to help you find the best-fitting watch for you.
The watch clasp, or buckle, is where your watch’s two straps meet and therefore is where you tighten or loosen your wrist straps/bands. It is an integral part of how your watch fits and how comfortable it feels day-to-day.
1. Deployment Clasp
As their name suggests, these types of watch clasps are a quicker and more convenient way to remove your watch and adjust your watch’s straps. You’ll see these deployment clasps mostly on metal watches and bands, but there are a few out there that use metal deployment clasps paired with a leather strap. The deployment buckle works by unfolding into three different parts which remain attached and open the band large enough to fit your wrist through before the clasp closes in on itself. You’ll often see these on men’s watches and in three different types: butterfly, flip, and fold-over deployment clasps.
1. Butterfly Clasps
These consist of two hinges and two locking mechanisms that unfold and open with the same symmetry as butterfly wings would. Many like this style because it hides the clasps mechanisms neatly while you’re wearing the watch. Some butterfly clasps also include push-button deployment, allowing quick opening and closing. However, these buttons can become caught on loose clothing or can get in the way of a more active lifestyle.
2. Flip Deployment Clasps
A flip clasp only has one hinge and lock and will open to one side (or flip over). It is considered a little less secure than the butterfly deployment and isn’t found on metal watches as often as the butterfly style. In fact, flip clasps are usually reserved for fabric, canvas, or silicone bands. But they are similar to butterfly because the clasp is generally made of stainless steel and can include push-buttons and a spring.
3. Fold-over Clasps
As the name suggests, a fold-over clasp will work by unfolding a metal piece over one hinge. As you’ll typically find this type of clasp on stainless steel and gold watches, it is usually reserved for the more high-end type of watches. These clasps do add a bit of elegance to the piece but will involve getting the watch band custom fit to your wrist.
2. Pin or Tang Buckle
The tang buckle works just as your belt buckle does using a pin and a hole in the strap. Many prefer these watches as they don’t require what can be expensive resizing or link removal/addition. The pin or tang clasp is common in children’s watches like the Garmin Juniors, fitness tracking watches like Fitbit and higher-end smartwatches like Samsung and Apple.
3. Dive or Security Clasp
A diver’s watch is just one of the vital tools they need when submerging, and while these watches need to be reliable underwater, they also need to be tightly secured to your wrist. That is why dive watches are the most commonplace to find a security clasp. These clasps fold over with usually a double- or triple-locking deployment system and can clasp with either a spring or ratchet system. Various luxury watch brands offer Dive watches, with Rolex being a prominent example.
4. Jewelry Clasp
Unlike the dive clasp, the jewelry clasp is possibly the simplest of all watch clasps. It is a click and snap type of closure on the watch’s wristband, usually with a hook of some sort. The jewelry clasp is quite common on women’s brand-name watches and can sometimes include a push-button release system. A jewelry-style watch is often just for that: fashionable and stylish accessorizing. So, you can expect these from some popular jewelry brands like Guess, Fossil, and Michael Kors.
We hope this has helped you understand watch clasps and their uses better. Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite…
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Bernadette has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (where she lives). She has a passion for writing and we like her contribution and style.
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