Isofrane changed the perception of dive straps back in the 60’s, releasing a model made from the hitherto unknown compound called Isoprene. Before that, they were usually made from rubber and they were sticky, uncomfortable and would often blister and crack in extreme conditions. These straps were even harder on the divers wearing them, because without ventilation the skin doesn’t breath.
Around the same time (in the 1960’s and 70’s), Rolex offered both Rolex and Tudor Submariners mounted on a Tropic strap as an OEM option. Indeed, Blancpain did similarly with the Fifty Fathoms and a number of other divers (those collectively known as super-compressors, like the Longines Legend Diver and IWC Aquatimer amongst others) were also issued with the Tropic option.
Over the last week or two, I’ve managed to get my hands on both an Isofrane (the reissued version) and a NOS Tropic. I’ve been trying them in different combinations but have settled on these two for now – both look “right” and both are very comfortable to wear.
Submariner 5513 on Tropic
Precista PRS-18A on Isofrane