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Watch GlossaryClasp

A watch clasp or buckle come attached to the two ends of a strap or bracelet to securely fasten or unfasten it onto the wrist

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What Is A Clasp On A Watch?

A watch clasp or buckle come attached to the two ends of a strap or bracelet to securely fasten or unfasten it onto the wrist. The main purpose here is to make this action quick with minimal effort and to keep the buckle firmly fixed in place, so the watch does not slip off the wrist. Clasps are fall under the broad categories of pin buckles, deployment buckles and fold-over buckles, and available in diverse materials, shapes, and sizes. Despite their seemingly insignificant role in the timekeeping process, these closures have acquired the status of a brand signature.

Examples Of Watch Clasp

Ardillion/Pin/Tang Buckle

As the moniker indicates involves a pin and a buckle on one half of the leather/rubber/textile strap, while the other end features a series of pre-cut holes along the length. Also known as ardillon or tang buckle, the application is the most common, classic fastening method and is identical to the belt contraption for holding up your trousers. Upon looping the pin into these holes, the watch is wrapped around the wrist for a firm grip. If unsatisfied with the grip, one can readjust the pin to loop into another hole from the lineup. The buckles are, most commonly, made from metal such as stainless steel and attached to the watch bands with a spring bar.

The Watch Guide
The Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic 3.6.9 features perforated leather straps secured with a pin buckle mechanism
Folding/Deployant Clasp

The folding clasp is usually spotted on metal bracelets; stainless steel, titanium, platinum, or rose gold. Even ceramic. This mechanism can be deconstructed into three parts that get stacked one over the other when fastened. The clasp comes fitted with two push buttons to release and unlock the clasp. A minor hiccup: the clasp may loosen up over time and can snap open while engaging in vigorous activities like sports.

Titanium folding clasp Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser Multi-piece titanium bracelet
The Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Laser is fitted to multi-piece titanium metal bracelet, locked in place by a matching folding clasp
Butterfly Clasp/Double Deployant Clasp

The Butterfly clasp is called the ‘Hidden clasp’ for it closes on the wrist and hides the clasp within. For this reason, the clasp works well with minimal, slim dress watches. Consisting of two folding metal hinges like two butterfly wings, the clasp when secured, hides both components on the bracelet interior. There are minor grouses regarding the butterfly clasp, such as it looks bulky on small straps and adjustability wise, tad more difficult than other buckle types. To secure the strap, fix the buckle within the pre-cut hole of the leather strap and clamp down both sides of the clasp. To release, pull on the tightened clasp.

Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph butterfly clasp
The Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph comes attached to a monogrammed stainless steel butterfly clasp
Triple Folding Clasp

Triple folding or three-fold deployant clasp features one folding arm on the interior of the bracelet or strap, while an overhanging plate positioned on the exterior attaches to the folding arm to secure the watch firmly around the wrist. Generally found on expensive watches, these clasps can have an additional safety catch mechanism to avoid unlocking of the clasp.

Rado Captain Cook High Tech Ceramic bracelet triple folding clasp
The Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic features a triple folding clasp
Double Push Security Folding/Deployant Clasp

Push Button Deployant clasps are the common choice for luxe wristwatches and comes attached to a variety of watch straps and bracelets for its sharp silhouette, ease of use and good security. The spring-loaded push buttons are located on either side of the clasps. Once pressed down, it releases the watch from the clasp, and locks in place with a click. This swift action to secure or remove the watch is pretty much hassle-free.

The Watch Guide

The Raymond Weil X Basquiat Freelancer Special Edition features monogrammed titanium double push-security folding clasp

The Watch Guide

The folding clasp on this RW Freelancer comes attached to two black genuine calf leather straps

Hook-And-Loop Fastener System Or Velcro Clasp

A hook-and-loop fastener watch strap, usually nylon/textile strap, uses Velcro to secure an easy length adjustment. One strap goes around the wrist and the other strap sewn with a Velcro fastener strip that loops through a metal ring to ensure the straps stay in place. This clasp type, however, is not quite desired by luxe watchmakers because of its informal vibe. Moreover, it tends to accumulate dust, hair, gets attached to the garments of the owner and thereby damage it, and the loops could break or expand with time.

Zenith Defy Extreme E velcro strap clasp black rubber green cordura effect rubber strap
The Zenith Defy Extreme E comes attached to black rubber green cordura effect rubber strap with hook-and-loop Velcro fastening clasp

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