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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Vintage Watch Bands are Cool...Really!

Here at WTF we all dig watches, and lots of us are into the oldies.
But back in the 1930s-1960s in addition to making some great watches, the USA was the king of watchband production.
There were many different brands and lots of designs. Watch companies paid close attention to the style and pattern of bands that were fitted as "original equipment" to their watches.
When a watch was purchased new, the metal band was often an upgrade, so some folks went with a strap to save a few bucks.
Eventually the strap wore out and had to be replaced, and I'll bet that more than a few people realized they might have been better off with the metal band from the start.
The good bands weren't inexpensive. In 1950 a gallon of gasoline was 18 cents, car was ~$1500, the average yearly income was ~$3200, a new house was ~$8500, and a quality expansion could cost up to $15 or more.
These top-shelf expanding-bracelets are amazing examples of mid-century manufacturing, made of precision stampings of stainless steel, lots of very strong and tiny tiny springs and rivets, sometimes finished with layers of finely finished precious metals. They're more than simple watchbands, they're jewelry worthy of being attached fine wristwatches.
The top brands were understandably proud of their product, so they sometimes showcased their flagship models with a special box or display.
Over the years I've collected a few of these and I'd like to share them here.
Here's an Apex Ever-Span, an expansion band with an uncommon expansion design. Not many are seen these days, maybe because they weren't as well designed or practical to manufacture as some other expansions. The Ever-Span is very complicated and doesn't really work that well.
Here's the patent drawing:






Here's an original NOS (unused, but made long ago) Apex USA Ever-Span 1/10 12k yellow gold-filled expansion watch bracelet, in box with Guarantee Certificate, original price $14.95:













 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I dug up a loose Ever-Span from the boneyard yesterday, installed it on a watch and wore it for a while...well, actually ~10min.
I see why these are "hard to find": they're hard to expand, hard to contract, and hard to wear! :lol:
Nonetheless, it's still a cool-old-thing IMO.
 

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I see why these are "hard to find": they're hard to expand, hard to contract, and hard to wear! :lol:
1950's man must have been real tough, not like the new modern day man with all his moisturisers who insists on soft leather straps and bracelets that don't pull hairs. :lol::001_tt2:

Seriously though it really is an awesome looking bracelet and the box is really cool.
 
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