After reviewing the Aquadive Bathyscaphe 100 DLC that came on an Isofrane strap, I started getting interested in Isofrane straps.
The interesting thing is that almost as long as I can remember I have preferred bracelets on watches, and really never found a rubber strap that I liked, and I have tried to like them since many watches come on rubber type straps, and often its a part of the look of the watch, but I always ended selling the watch or changing straps.
This made me very surprised when I received the Aquadive on an Isofrane strap and suddenly I was liking a rubber strap, and I was liking it a lot.
Isofrane is a rubber strap brand brought back to life recently, but they were a known diving rubber strap in the 60s and 70s.
The strap shown here is 22 mm wide and does not taper down in width as you near the buckle like many straps. The strap is about 5.5 mm thick close to the lug and tapers down in thickness to 3,5 mm near the buckle.
The strap has 13 positions to adjust the strap size, with a 3 mm spacing between holes.
Issues I have had with other rubber straps.
• 1. Rubber straps sometimes tend to make me sweat under the strap, and sometimes even itch.
• 2. Rubber straps are often either too thin and flimsy, or just very thick and ridged.
• 3. Rubber straps can sometimes collect a lot of dust and lint:
The Isofrane does not suffer from these issues, I don’t sweat or itch from the strap, its thick and bendable at the same time, and follows the curve of the wrist very well, and it is not a dust magnet like some rubber/silicone straps.
Wearing the Isofrane on my watches feels very good, the strap is able to distribute weight very well, even with heavy watches. This is probably due to the thickness of the strap and how well it can follow the curve of the wrist.
When you look at the strap up close it seems to be very detailed and in a nice black color.
First when I got the Isofrane I did find it a bit difficult to get the excess strap through the strap keepers, since the keepers are not made from very thick rubber and tend to fold up a bit when trying to insert the strap end though them.
After a few days in got much easier, as I got use to the strap, and using the strap keepers became second nature.
The strap adjustment holes on the Isofrane are quite tight together with a distance of about 3 mm between them, making it easy to get a good fit (you can compare this with for example the 5 mm distance between holes on a typical G-Shock rubber/resin band)
I have found myself wanting to use the Isofrane more and more, and it is actually replacing the bracelets on some of my watches already.
Originally I never thought I would be ready to purchase a rubber strap for a 100$, but after using it I feel that it is well worth it, and I am even planning on buying a couple of orange ones s well 🙂
The strap is even a little stretchable so even if you prefer a tight fit, you can probably move the strap a bit up the wrist if you need to scratch yourself under the watch or dry the skin without removing the watch.
Strap choices and pricing
The Isofrane is available with two different types of buckles, this RS forged and hand finished buckle, and also the IN stamped and bead blasted buckle.
The RS buckle is a more expensive option, but both buckles look very nice, and I think the buckle choice should depend on the watch/watches you intend to use the strap with.
The IN style looks a little more defined while the RS buckle looks more like a pure tool dive watch buckle. There is also a DLC version of the RS buckle available from Isofrane.
The strap it self is thick and has a presence of its own, so I think it definitely belongs with dive style watches or at least watches that have a large presence themselves. Its not going to be a strap to use with a small and thin dress style watch.
The Isofrane costs 99$ with the IN buckle and 129$ for the RS version.
The straps are currently available in three colors black, orange and blue, and possibly more color on the way.
For the last weeks I have almost exclusively used a 22mm Isofrane strap and used it on several different watches, since I wanted to see how the strap would hold up. It has been submerged in salt water, fresh water, been in the rain and even in sand without showing any noticeable signs of wear or change in comfort.
The isofrane does indeed cost more than many rubber straps you can find around town, but in my view it really can’t be compared to most other rubber straps out there, its just a whole new ball game.
Thanks for reading my review.