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Buckles, Closures and Watch Clasp Types 
A Look at Them All

We all know Louis Cartier as the founder of Cartier watches, but did you know he created the deployment clasp? But wait, what is the deployment clasp? One of the many watch clasp types of course. Let’s talk about them below.

1. Velcro Straps

Velcro isn’t really a clasp, but it’s one of the many ways to secure watches in place. When you get a watch with a Velcro strap, it isn’t going anywhere. The material is very durable. You usually see the straps in sports watches. You can probably guess why. 

One of the best things about Velcro is that it comes in multiple colours. But as you can imagine, the material doesn’t feel the most premium. This is why the straps are common in cheaper pieces. 

If you don’t place the strap properly, you’ll have a Velcro piece sticking out. Have you ever felt Velcro before? It isn’t the most pleasant, so having it rub against your skin is not fun. Having Velcro stick out does nothing to help your outfit either. 

Enough negatives, let’s not forget that Velcro straps are one of the easiest ways to secure your watch in place. All you do is attach one strap to the other- voila!

2. Tang Buckle

Tang buckles are exclusively found in watches that don’t have stainless steel bracelets. To know if your watch comes with a tang buckle, take a look at its strap. There should be multiple holes in it. The pin on the buckle moves into them, securing your watch. No doubt about it, tang buckles are classic and good-looking.

Usually, the buckles are made from metal. However, you’ll see plastic ones on cheaper watches, usually for children.

As there are so many holes for you to hook its pin into, the clasp is very adjustable. They’re great for all kinds of wrist sizes. 

Compared to Velcro straps, fitting the pins into place takes extra effort. If you’ve never worn a tang buckle watch before, finding the right hole to perfectly fit the pin into is trial-and-error. 

To slide your strap through a tang clasp, you’ll notice hoops on its strap. You’ll be passing the strap through them. If you’re too rough with the hoops, they’ll eventually fall off. By continuously bending the strap, you’re going to crease it too. Who’d want that?
Tang Buckle

3. Deployment Clasps

Do you own a stainless-steel watch? It probably has a deployment clasp. The clasp has been around for a very long time. It was invented in the 1910s by legendary French watchmaker, Louis Cartier

Also known as deployment clasps, they unfold into thirds. There’s a latch that locks the clasp into place. Unfortunately, they’re a bit of a hassle to work. 

Deployment clasps aren’t the most adjustable. If your timepiece doesn’t fit your wrists, you’ll have to get it professionally adjusted. The clasp is pretty secure, though. 

We aren’t huge fans of regular deployment clasps due to them not being the easiest to work with. Thankfully, a push-button variant is present. Let’s take a look at it below.

4. Push Button Deployment Clasps

If you’re a fan of deployment clasps but want them to be more discreet, its push-button variant is right up your alley. It’s known to be smaller. Don’t forget that it only takes the push of a button to open and close the clasp too. 

To work it, you’ll have to push its buttons at the same time. Some push deployment clasps only come with one button. At the end of the day, they’re also more secure than their regular counterparts. 

As they’re a type of deployment clasp, they can only expand to a very limited length. You might have to speak to a professional if your watch doesn’t fit your wrist.

5. Fold-Over Push-Button Deployment Clasps

We’ve established that push-button clasps are very easy to use, a literal push of the button. They’re secure too, but if you want to take things to the next level, you’ll purchase a fold-over push-button deployment clasp. Although a mouthful, they’re extremely secure. 

They come with the fold-over mechanism as well as the push-buttons. Once latched on, your watch isn’t going anywhere. 

Having so many mechanisms in play, the clasp is kind of bulky. They’re large too, which is not what you want. People would notice the size of your clasp instead of your watch. 

You’ll usually see the clasps in more expensive pieces, especially from the Rolex brand. This isn’t a surprise as you’re wearing a very expensive watch on your wrist. You don’t want it going anywhere, now do you?

You’ll see some dive watches with the clasp too. This isn’t a surprise either, your arm’s slippery, so a watch could easily slide off.

6. Double-Locking Clasps

We’ve discussed quite a few deployment clasps and established that they’re secure. However, double-locking clasps are a type of deployment clasp that is more secure than usual. 

There’s a fold-over clasp as usual, but there’s also a safety tab in place. You’ll usually see double-locking clasps in sports watches. Unfortunately, they’re not the daintiest clasps on the market. This makes us not their biggest fans.

7. Butterfly Clasps

There are hinges on the opposite ends. They unfold the clasp, letting it spread its wings. How do you do this? By pressing the buttons on its sides. 

Butterfly clasps are usually found in steel bracelets. However, watch lovers love placing them on other watch types. Why? Because they’re incredibly discreet. Another name for a butterfly clasp is the “hidden deployment clasp” for a reason. 

8. Safety Strap Clasp

At this point, you’re more than familiar with deployment clasps. As you know, they’re usually found in stainless steel watches. However, there’re clasps very similar to them called safety strap clasps. They’re basically deployment clasps but are found in silicone and rubber watches.

Like their counterparts, they’re a pain to adjust. You’ll need professional help if your watch doesn’t fit your wrist. Other than this, you’ll find the clasps with push-button releases too.

9. Jewelry Clasp

As its name suggests, it’s usually seen in jewelry pieces. The majority of the time, in bracelets. You find the clasps on certain watches too. They’re usually in more ornate timepieces. They’re a dainty clasp.

Overall, the clasps are pretty secure. All you have to do is feed a latch into a hole on the other end of the clasp. The contraption is made from stainless steel and folds into place. Releasing it is a piece of cake, all you do is snap the clasp back. 

Not only are they secure, they’re also quite adjustable. Similar to tang buckles, there are several placements for you to hook the latch into. 

We have to say, butterfly clasps are our favourites – maybe keep this in mind?

Conclusion

To recap, there are different types of watch clasps available. Although they’re found in specific types of watches, they can be removed and placed in any timepiece. You would’ve seen this in some of our sample videos. 

We’re sure that more clasps will enter the market in the future. Right now, you can divide them into two types, buckles and deployments. Although Velcro isn’t a clasp type, it’s always discussed when talking about clasps as it’s a common way to keep a watch in place.
We hope you enjoyed our review. Tell us what you think in the comments below. Also, check our Pinterest out! From great lists to informative watch guides, we have them all!
Author
When Thomas Vanderlaan was a child, the moment he learned about mechanical watches he was hooked. His first love being mechanical watches, he decided to pursue a career in engineering as he was entranced by the science behind its gears.
Thomas Vanderlaan
Thomas Vanderlaan
Watch Expert / Automobile Engineer