The Rolex Caliber 2030 and 2035 Movement for the Lady’s Collection
Before Rolex emerged as a major force in the horology world, watches worn on the wrist were the preserve of ladies, and aristocratic ladies at that. From as far back as 1810, queens and countesses commissioned ‘wristlets’. These were little more than costume jewelry and not much use as accurate timekeepers.
Rolex’s innovations of the 1920s and 1930s were responsible in many ways in popularizing the wristwatch as an option for men. Throughout the company’s long history, they focused the majority of their creations on the male wearer.
The collection of women’s Rolexes today generally consists of scaled down versions of selected men’s models. But while there may not be as comprehensive a choice, there is no difference in the levels of engineering excellence or quality of the materials used across both ranges.
The same is also true for the calibers that power the pieces. If anything, the smaller sizes of the movements used inside the women’s watches is an even greater test of the watchmaker’s art.
Of the family of mechanisms built specifically for the lady’s collection, the long-running 2000 series is recognized as one of the most successful. Also, this was housed by several of the crown’s trademark pieces.
The Rolex Caliber 2030/2035
The first generation of the series ran for 13 years, from 1970 to 1983 and consisted of the Cal. 2030 and Cal. 2035; the no date and date version respectively.
Both 28-jewel self-winding movements, they borrowed many of the technical enhancements first seen in the all-conquering 1500 series. In addition, they released them at the end of the fifties. This proved to be very reliable in some of the most popular watches in the men’s collection.
Their balance speed of 28,800bph gave the characteristic, eight ticks per second, Rolex sweep to the central seconds hand, as well as ensuring an even higher level of precision and greater resistance to shocks.
With a stone lever escapement, Breguet hairspring and Glucydur free sprung balance wheel, the Rolex caliber 2030 and 2035 movement proved accurate and robust enough to win chronometer certification from Swiss regulating authority, the COSC. Tested over fifteen days and in several different temperatures and positions, only movements able to maintain their timekeeping to within -4/+6 seconds a day are awarded the mark.
But it’s the size of the calibers that is perhaps their most impressive element. Measuring just 20mm in diameter and 5.4mm in height, they are able to sit comfortably inside the type of diminutive watches that look so graceful on women’s wrists. However, they are still able to generate a power reserve of 42 hours.
The Cal. 2030/2035 at Work
In common with the majority of Rolex’s movements, the Rolex Caliber 2030 and 2035 movement were used in a wide range of different models during their production.
The simpler, no date 2030 found the ideal platform in the Ladies’ Oyster Perpetual series. These began in 1970 with the ref. 6706. Modestly elegant, the OP is a classic Rolex design, available in sizes as small as 26mm to suit the slenderest of wrists. The 2030 powered more than 20 different variations of the Oyster Perpetual, ending with the ref. 6771 in 1983.
With its greater functionality, the 2035 was the obvious choice for both the lady and the midsize Datejust.
Rolex released a ladies’ version of their flagship chronometer in 1957. They had all the same innovations that put the men’s model at the top of the horological tree. The instantaneous date change at midnight and the Cyclops lens carried over onto the smaller watch. This was in addition to a waterproof case up to 100m.
The Cal. 2035 was used in both the 28mm and 31mm Datejusts, starting with the ref. 6824 and eventually going on to include more than two dozen variations, ending with ref. 6933.
Rolex’s range of women’s watches have an inherent femininity in both design and dimension. This is goes along with the sort of accuracy and strength for which the brand is so celebrated.
Crafting the impossibly intricate movements that drive them is both a science and an art form. The Rolex Caliber 2030 and 2035 movement are perfect examples.