Blog posts from Andy Callan

Future Classics: The Rolex 5100 Beta-21

There are a number of experts in all things horology who are drawing a direct comparison between the modern threat to fine mechanical watchmaking posed by the massive Smartwatch invasion, and that of the 1970s quartz crisis. Although those dark days of the past were relatively short-lived, the damage they wrought decimated the Swiss industry […]

The Rolex Caliber 4030

The story of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is a story almost dominated by its movements. Launched in 1963 and powered by a manually wound caliber from Swiss ébauche manufacturer Valjoux, the original Daytona marked possibly the closest Rolex have ever come to experiencing failure. With the buying public well used to the convenience of automatic […]

The Rolex Caliber 3255

It’s a very rare occurrence when Rolex gives in to peer pressure. Over the years, critics have poked fun at their overriding design ethos of slow and gradual evolution, rather than launching radically revamped versions of their trademark pieces or entirely new models altogether. But their steady progression in developing their central core of watches […]

The Rolex Caliber 3075

An unqualified triumph, even by the standards of the most successful watchmakers of all time, the Rolex GMT-Master series has long been the benchmark by which all other dual time zone watches are measured. Starting life in the 1950s and developed in conjunction with Pan-Am Airways, the first of the breed, the ref. 6542, was […]

The Rolex Caliber 5035

You can forgive the Swiss watchmaking industry for dragging its feet when the quartz era dawned. An industry centuries in the making, they had brought mechanical timepieces to an unheard of level of sophistication, forging movements that were both at the cutting edge of technology and a highly expressive art form. By comparison, the detached […]

The Rolex Caliber 3155

While it may have the reputation for never letting the grass grow under its feet in terms of technical development, Rolex could never be accused of tinkering with its designs just for the sake of it. If they develop a significantly improved process or system or material that will genuinely add something to one of […]

The Rolex Caliber 2230/2235

In 1999, Rolex began the transition from their highly successful 2130 series of calibers, the second generation of movements crafted specifically for the ladies’ watch range, and started the role out of its replacement, the 2230. Although the earlier series, from its launch in 1983, had gained the distinction of the highest first time pass […]

The Rolex Caliber 3185

What’s in a wobble? Well, according to the most diehard of luxury watch collectors, whether or not the 24-hour hand on a vintage Rolex GMT model twitches slightly when the time is adjusted is a very big deal. It is the quickest way to identify whether an Explorer II ref. 16570 or GMT-Master II ref. […]

The Grail Watch Series: Sea-Dweller

There are a number of pieces in the Rolex stable that have earned the epithet ‘iconic’ over the years—timeless examples of design and engineering virtuosity that have lifted the brand far above the status of mere watchmakers. Models such as the Submariner and the Daytona can easily lay claim to being in such exclusive company. […]

The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 2010s

When marketing executives face looming deadlines, calling their newest charge ‘the Rolls Royce of…’ is an easy and dependable fallback to successfully demonstrate a product of unassailable quality. The Silver Cross pram is the ‘Rolls Royce of baby strollers’. Chef and professional potty mouth Gordon Ramsey cooks the ‘Rolls Royce of beef Wellingtons’ at the […]

A Short History of Men’s Wristwatches

Following on from our post documenting the origins of the wristwatch for women, here we chart what could be easily described as ‘The Much Shorter History of the Men’s Wristwatch’. Depending on what version of events you believe, the invention of the wristwatch can be credited to Abraham Louis-Breguet, he of the Breguet overcoil fame, […]