The Rolex Explorer is built to survive in the harshest of environments and look good doing so. Based on the watch that accompanied Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzig Norgay to the peak of Everest in the 50’s, it’s rugged focus and the handsome, minimalist good looks that came from it have made it Rolex’s utilitarian icon. A popular choice in more modest collectors watch-boxes, it’s lack of strap options (the Explorer is only available on an Oystersteel bracelet) is perhaps the only thing that has held it back. Now however there are a number of alternative strap options for the Rolex Explorer making it an incredibly versatile watch.

Switch the anti-magnetic, mountain-scaling watch onto something in our below round up and watch it’s personality change before your eyes.

Green Canvas, €29 EUR

Watch Bandit Green Canvas Watch Strap

The Explorer might not have military origins per se, but it does share a lot of design traits with old-school army watches, with its easily-legible dial and rugged case. It’s no surprise then that this equally hardwearing khaki green number suits it so well. Made from superior cotton and with 10 adjustment holes, it’s a cool, simple addition to a watch built to survive anything.

Available at WATCHBANDIT.

Dark Grey Vintage Grey, €39 EUR

Watch Bandit Dark Grey Vintage Grey Watch Strap

No matter what it was originally made for, any Rolex exudes a certain amount of class fit for any lavish setting – as adding this stretch of handmade Italian leather (naturally tanned, of course) shows. The sumptuous, vintage-style grey suede works nicely with the monochromatic look of the Explorer, and will age just as well over time as your ref. 1016.

Available at WATCHBANDIT.

Khaki Sailcloth, €39 EUR

Watch Bandit Khaki Sailcloth Watch Strap

Looking to escape the heat and onto a yacht along the Riviera? Then look no further than this striking light khaki strap in fittingly-nautical sailcloth. Aside from the practical necessities of a decent strap in the heat, this strap is one of the most durable out there. Sure it’s a little stiff at first, but like all good things it’s worth the investment.

Available at WATCHBANDIT.

Pebro Hazelnut Nubuck Calfskin, €49 EUR

Watch Bandit Pebro Watch Bandit Premium Nubuck Calfskin Hazelnut Brown Watch Strap

Nothing exudes luxury quite like the soft, tactile lustre of Nubuck. It’s a little more practical (not to mention subtle) than suede but in a lovely hazelnut brown gives the Explorer a dressier vibe without going as dull as black. With subtly contrasting stitching and matching bands, it’s comfortable, good-looking and with good care will last a lifetime.

Available at WATCHBANDIT.

Blue Canvas, €29 EUR

Watch Bandit Canvas Blue Watch Strap

Really the only thing the Explorer is lacking is colour so, rather than take it to a custom specialist and be enemy No. 1 of Rolex obsessives anywhere, take the sane option and pop it on this medium blue strap. It’s more seafaring than military yet no less rugged as the khaki number, finished with a particularly lovely brushed stainless-steel buckle.

Available at WATCHBANDIT.