Beckertime, LLC https://beckertime.com Pre-Loved Rolex & Luxury Timepieces Fri, 25 May 2018 22:42:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 What’s the Difference? The Rolex Lady-Datejust Vs. The Rolex Lady-Date https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-lady-datejust-vs-the-rolex-lady-date/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-lady-datejust-vs-the-rolex-lady-date/#respond Thu, 24 May 2018 13:32:12 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180036 Although Rolex is sometimes thought of as making watches primarily for a male audience, they have long had a strong women’s range as well. Chief among them has traditionally been the Lady-Datejust released in 1957, a 26mm version of the iconic men’s piece that had been around for a little over a decade by then. […]

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Lady-Datejust Vs. The Rolex Lady-Date appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Although Rolex is sometimes thought of as making watches primarily for a male audience, they have long had a strong women’s range as well. Chief among them has traditionally been the Lady-Datejust released in 1957, a 26mm version of the iconic men’s piece that had been around for a little over a decade by then.

True to their overriding dedication to utmost quality, there has never been any distinction between the men’s and women’s watches other than size. The reliability, performance, craftsmanship and attention to detail are consistent across both.

Unlike the men’s Datejust though, which lost its flagship status to the Day-Date in the mid-fifties, the ladies version is still at the pinnacle of the women’s range.

The Variations

Over the 60 years it has been in existence, the Lady-Datejust has been issued in a range of styles almost as exhaustive as the original. Available in three flavors of gold, as well as two-tone Rolesor and ultra precious platinum, it can be had on any of Rolex’s trio of metal bracelets; the Oyster, President and Jubilee, and with all manner of gemstone enhancements.

However, as with the men’s series, there was also an entirely stainless steel iteration of the Lady-Datejust, known simply as the Lady-Date.

Stealth Wealth

Ladies Rolex Stainless Steel Date Silver 6916

While there is, as well, an all steel men’s Date watch to sit alongside the comprehensive Datejust range, the two differed slightly in size; the Date coming in at the marginally smaller 34mm to the Datejust’s 36mm.

With the Lady-Date and Lady-Datejust series, both were originally the same size, at 26mm. The only difference between the two is the metals used in their construction.

You won’t find any gold or platinum Lady-Dates, nor any diamonds on the bezels or hour markers. The exclusive use of Rolex’s typically flawless steel gave the watch a little more of an under-the-radar vibe, and it was only fitted with an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet, not the President.

If you wanted to be even more confused, there were also 26mm Lady-Datejusts in steel, but they were topped with a white gold bezel.

Relentless Progression

Ladies Rolex Two-Tone 18K/SS Datejust Champagne Roman 69173

The Lady-Datejust and the Lady-Date have always been subjected to Rolex’s ever-present search for perfection, with the same countless upgrades exacted on both over the decades. The Lady-Date, perennially in the Datejust’s shadow, usually got its improvements a few years later than its big sister. So, they each benefitted from the brand’s advancements in caliber technology, in terms of both accuracy and convenience.

Incidentally, some believe that the difference in the watch’s names stems from the Lady-Datejust having a Quickset date feature, while the Lady-Date doesn’t. That is not entirely true. Quickset is the name given to the function that allows the wearer to advance the date independently using the crown, rather than having to spin the hands through 24 hours. Both series received movements equipped with a Quickset mechanism, but the Lady-Datejust got it first. On the vintage market, you will find examples of both watches with and without the feature.

Right Up To Date

In Rolex’s contemporary lineup, the smallest Lady-Datejust is now 28mm. The last 26mm model was retired in 2016. The smallest, and only, Date watch comes in at 34mm, a midsize that overlaps onto both the men’s and ladies range.

The trend for larger watches for women is just as noticeable as it is with the men’s, and the Datejust, which now comes in four different sizes, is finding itself on more female wrists than ever before.

After their many years as the archetypal luxury watches, with a timeless styling that transcends fashion, they are still the go-to for sophisticated women from every walk of life.

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Lady-Datejust Vs. The Rolex Lady-Date appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-lady-datejust-vs-the-rolex-lady-date/feed/ 0
Rolex Spotting at the Billboard Music Awards 2018 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-spotting-at-the-billboard-music-awards-2018/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-spotting-at-the-billboard-music-awards-2018/#respond Wed, 23 May 2018 19:15:54 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181431 On Sunday May 20, Las Vegas played host to the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. As expected, it was a celebrity-packed affair with plenty of performances, lavish outfits, and of course, top awards for the best musical acts of the past year. While we enjoyed all the fanfare and awesome music, we did keep our eyes […]

The post Rolex Spotting at the Billboard Music Awards 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
.instagram-media{margin:30px auto!important;}

On Sunday May 20, Las Vegas played host to the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. As expected, it was a celebrity-packed affair with plenty of performances, lavish outfits, and of course, top awards for the best musical acts of the past year. While we enjoyed all the fanfare and awesome music, we did keep our eyes on wrists to see what kind of luxury watches all the celebs were rocking. Naturally, we caught a handful of Rolex watches. Read on to see what Rolex watches we spotted at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.

DJ Khaled’s Rolex Watch

Nominated for two Billboard Music 2018 awards for Best Rap Song and Best R&B Song, DJ Khaled also took the stage with Jennifer Lopez during the show to perform their latest single Dinero.

@bbmas @billboard #FatherOfAsahd

A post shared by DJ KHALED (@djkhaled) on

While on stage, we couldn’t help but notice DJ Khaled’s iced out Rolex watch on his wrist. DJ Khaled isn’t shy about declaring his love for luxury watches, particularly Rolex timepieces. He’s known for lavishly gifting Rolex watches to his colleagues and family. This includes buying his one-year-old son a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date President earlier this month! The multi-award winning record producer even shared the video of his kid’s new watch on his Instagram page.

Andy Cohen’s Rolex Watch

Radio and TV host, author, and producer Andy Cohen is famously known as the powerhouse executive behind the Real Housewives reality television franchise.

Carol’s back!!!!! ⚡⚡⚡#WWHL

A post shared by Andy Cohen (@bravoandy) on

A presenter for the evening, Andy Cohen attended the Billboard Music Awards wearing a bright pink suit and on his wrist he wore his faithful platinum Rolex President watch. Andy Cohen’s platinum Day-Date comes with the familiar ice-blue dial, a color exclusively reserved for Rolex platinum watches.

Nick Jonas’s Rolex Watch

Nick Jonas rose to fame as one third of the Jonas Brothers band alongside his siblings Joe and Kevin. These days however the young singer-songwriter is enjoying his successful solo career. The Dallas native is evidently a watch enthusiast too as we’ve seen him wearing some Richard Mille watches, a two-tone Submariner, a steel Datejust II, and a custom black PVD Rolex Explorer II.

However, for his presenter duties during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, Nick Jonas choose to wear a solid 18k yellow gold GMT-Master II with a black dial and black Cerachrom ceramic bezel. A perfect watch for Las Vegas!

Bruno Mars’ Rolex Watch

For the show, the multi-talented superstar entertainer Bruno Mars was tasked to present Janet Jackson with the Billboard Music Awards Icon award. Visibly grateful to so do, Bruno Mars even got down on one knee to give her the coveted honor.

👑

A post shared by Bruno Mars (@brunomars) on

On his wrist, we saw Bruno Mars’ yellow gold Day-Date President—a Rolex model he clearly loves as we’ve seen similar Rolex Presidential watches with different dial colors in the past. A suitable luxury watch indeed for man who titled his album 24K Magic.

Ed Sheeran’s Rolex Watches

Although he wasn’t there since he was in Dublin, Ireland, the big winner of the night was Ed Sheeran. He took home a slew of awards including Billboard’s Top Artist. We wanted to give Ed Sheeran a brief mention here because he is a notable celebrity watch collector with loads of watches from Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Rolex.

We’ve seen the singer sporting a vintage Rolex Daytona Paul Newman. Also, we noted an ultra-modern Rolex Yacht-Master 40 in Everose gold with the black Oysterflex bracelet.

Congratulations to all the performers, presenters, and winners at the Billboard Awards for putting on an entertaining show!

The post Rolex Spotting at the Billboard Music Awards 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-spotting-at-the-billboard-music-awards-2018/feed/ 0
Father’s Day Gift Guide: A Rolex Watch for Every Type of Dad https://beckertime.com/blog/fathers-day-gift-guide-a-rolex-watch-for-every-type-of-dad/ https://beckertime.com/blog/fathers-day-gift-guide-a-rolex-watch-for-every-type-of-dad/#respond Tue, 22 May 2018 16:42:11 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181399 Mother’s Day may be over, but that just means there’s another parent to celebrate soon! Father’s Day this year is Sunday, June 17, so that gives you about a month to plan on what gift you’ll be giving dad. And let’s be honest, dads can sometimes get the short end of the stick when it […]

The post Father’s Day Gift Guide: A Rolex Watch for Every Type of Dad appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Mother’s Day may be over, but that just means there’s another parent to celebrate soon! Father’s Day this year is Sunday, June 17, so that gives you about a month to plan on what gift you’ll be giving dad. And let’s be honest, dads can sometimes get the short end of the stick when it comes to gifts—ties, socks, and cologne? There’s absolutely nothing exciting about those. But you know what dad would get super excited about? A Rolex! Make this Father’s Day your dad’s best one yet by gifting him a Rolex watch. We’ve even made it easier on you by rounding up our favorite Rolex watches to suit any type of dad. Plus, don’t forget, our collection of pre-owned Rolex watches are priced well below retail prices and we also offer easy financing options to make buying dad the best gift ever even easier.

A Rolex watch for the dad who likes things casual

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Air-King Silver 14000

If your dad is a more laid back kinda guy, then a Rolex Air-King may just be what he wants. This low maintenance Rolex has everything he needs and nothing he doesn’t. The Air-King ref. 14000’s stainless steel construction can keep up with daily life, while the 34mm size of the Oyster case is discreet. The face of the watch is subtle too, featuring a monochromatic style with a silver dial, simple stick hour markers, luminescent center hands, and no date window.

Unassuming thanks to its minimal design yet ultra dependable due to its robust and reliable automatic movement built by Rolex, any casual dad would love the Rolex Air-King as a Father’s Day gift.

A Rolex watch for the dad who steps out in a sporty style

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner Black 16610

If your dad prefers a sportier style, then it’s got to be the most famous dive watch in the world for him—the Rolex Submariner. This particular model, the Rolex Submariner ref. 16610 is especially significant because it’s the last of the classic Subs. That is, it comes with a traditional aluminum bezel rather than the newer ceramic bezels. The black bezel and black dial combo is a timeless choice and like all modern Submariners, it comes with a sturdy 40mm Oyster case water resistant to 300 meters.

So whether dad spends his days lounging poolside, hanging out at the golf club, or toiling away at the office running the show, the sporty Submariner will be his perfect companion.

A Rolex watch for the dad who favors the classics

Mens Rolex Two-Tone 18K/SS Datejust Champagne 16013

If your dad appreciates the classics and doesn’t care for trends, then a two-tone Rolex Datejust is right on the money. The combination of yellow gold and stainless steel is a signature combination for Rolex and the Datejust ref. 16013 is a fantastic example of the enduring appeal of a two tone Rolex. While this beauty hails from the 1980s, it’s remarkably similar to contemporary versions of the two tone Datejust 36.

With its yellow gold fluted bezel sitting on the 36mm steel case to the yellow gold center links flanked by steel links on the legendary Jubilee bracelet to the attractive champagne dial with the famed date window, this is the definitive Rolex dress watch that would make just about any dad happy.

A Rolex watch for the dapper dad

Mens Rolex Two-Tone 18K/SS Datejust Champagne 16233

If your father would fit right in with the cast of Mad Men, then a two-tone Rolex Datejust with a leather strap would complete his dapper style. Although this Datejust ref. 16233 was made in the 1990s, its marriage of yellow gold and steel on the 36mm case, classic champagne dial, and elegant black leather strap would be right at home circa 1960s as well.

However, since it was manufactured in the 1990s, this Datejust does boast modern features such as scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protecting the dial and the practical quickset date function to permit the date to be set independently from the time. A handsome Rolex watch to match dapper dad’s pocket square, chic tie, and elegant leather shoes.

A Rolex watch for the dad who isn’t afraid to be flashy

Mens Rolex Day Date Ref 18206 Platinum President 35ct Full Diamond

If flash is what dad wants, flash is what dad will get. Put on some shades and bathe in the sparkle of this opulent platinum Rolex Day-Date with 35 (!) carats of gleaming diamonds! This 36mm Rolex President shines bright with diamonds everywhere.

The blue mother-of-pearl dial is accented with three rows of princess-cut diamonds—leaving just enough room for the day indicator at 12 o’clock and the date display at 3 o’clock. The princess-cut diamonds continue onto the bezel and then shimmy on down to the famous President bracelet. Weighing a hefty 223 grams, only the most confident of dads can pull off this supremely lavish Rolex watch.

If you’re not quite sure how to tell dad how much you love and appreciate him this Father’s Day, these five precious letters will let him know without having to say a word: R-O-L-E-X.

The post Father’s Day Gift Guide: A Rolex Watch for Every Type of Dad appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/fathers-day-gift-guide-a-rolex-watch-for-every-type-of-dad/feed/ 0
Comedians and the Rolex Watches That Make Them Smile https://beckertime.com/blog/comedians-and-the-rolex-watches-that-make-them-smile/ https://beckertime.com/blog/comedians-and-the-rolex-watches-that-make-them-smile/#respond Mon, 21 May 2018 19:19:36 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181218 Making people laugh is big business. With huge Netflix specials, global stand-up tours, television shows built around comedic personalities, and special radio channels dedicated to the art of comedy, there are plenty of comedians out there enjoying massive celebrity status. And while professional funny people make it their mission to bring humor to the forefront, […]

The post Comedians and the Rolex Watches That Make Them Smile appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
.instagram-media{margin:30px auto!important;}

Making people laugh is big business. With huge Netflix specials, global stand-up tours, television shows built around comedic personalities, and special radio channels dedicated to the art of comedy, there are plenty of comedians out there enjoying massive celebrity status. And while professional funny people make it their mission to bring humor to the forefront, we’ve also spotted some very serious watches on their wrists. Join us and we take a closer look at some superstar comedians and the Rolex watches they love.

Aziz Ansari’s Rolex Watches

Rolex fans will probably recognize stand-up comedian, actor, and writer Aziz Ansari as a fellow watch enthusiast since he’s appeared on both Hodinkee and GQ videos discussing his appreciation of Rolex watches.

Aziz often wears a vintage 1980s Rolex Day-Date President in yellow gold with a black onyx dial and black yellow strap. He treated himself to that special Rolex watch when he had his first stand-up show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He even gave his parents and brother matching Rolex watches with the same black onyx dials!

Aside from his Day-Date, Aziz also has other super cool vintage Rolex watches including an Explorer ref. 1016 and the Rolex chronograph ref. 6234.

Conan O’Brien’s Rolex Watches

A mainstay on television since the early 1990s when he took over David Letterman’s gig as the host of Late Night, today, the hilarious Conan O’Brien hosts his Conan show on TBS.

Among his many luxury watches, we’ve spotted Conan wearing the antimagnetic Rolex Milgauss watch, characterized by the iconic orange lightning bolt seconds hand. According to Rolling Stone magazine, this custom all-black Milgauss was in fact a gift from Conan’s wife on his 50th birthday. The black dial of his Milgauss even has orange “Team Coco” text on it in reference to his famous nickname.

Another Rolex watch we see Conan wearing frequently is a vintage steel Rolex Submariner with a black bezel. But rather than on the customary steel Oyster bracelet, he chooses to wear his on a leather fatstrap.

Kevin Hart’s Rolex Watches

Frankly, it’s hard to keep up with actor and comedian Kevin Hart’s Rolex collection because he simply has so many! A quick scroll through his Instagram feed and you’ll see that he pretty much always has a fantastic luxury watch on his wrist.

Daddy duties 😂 #Harts

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

Some of our favorite Rolex watches owned by Kevin include the yellow gold anniversary GMT-Master II with the green dial, a GMT Master II with black sapphire and diamond set bezel, a platinum Day-Date, a yellow gold Day-Date, the new steel Daytona with the black ceramic bezel, and a white gold Sky-Dweller with a black leather strap.

What’s more, Kevin even has a Rolex Cellini Moonphase watch in Everose gold—a current model you don’t see out in the wild that often. The Philly native has one of the coolest modern Rolex watch collections we’ve seen from a celebrity.

Ellen DeGeneres’ Rolex Watches

Actress, comedian, writer, and now host of her own Emmy-winning daytime show, Ellen DeGeneres is also a serious luxury watch collector. For a watch geek, half of the fun of watching her television show is figuring out what glorious timepiece she has on that day. Unsurprisingly, Rolex watches often make an appearance—and she has a ton of them!

Chance the birthday boy. Have a great day! @ChancetheRapper

A post shared by Ellen (@theellenshow) on

Judging by her watch choices, it’s safe to say that the Rolex Daytona is Ellen’s favorite. A few of her Daytona watches include the anniversary platinum Daytona with the brown ceramic bezel, a yellow gold Daytona with the black Oysterflex bracelet, the steel Daytona with the black ceramic bezel, and at least two Everose gold Daytona models. Ellen also sports vintage Daytona watches and we’ve seen both steel and gold models.

Raise your hand if you’re excited for #BlackPanther. 🙋🏼‍♀️

A post shared by Ellen (@theellenshow) on

Aside from her Daytona chronographs, we’ve also seen Ellen wearing the yellow gold anniversary GMT-Master II with the green dial, a vintage GMT-Master with the ultra-rare blueberry bezel, the white gold Submariner with the blue dial and bezel, the Everose Yacht-Master 40 with the black Oysterflex bracelet, a yellow gold Day-Date 40, and a platinum Day-Date 40.

An epic watch game from one of the nicest celebrities in the spotlight today!

So, the next time you catch these comedic celebs on TV, in a magazine, or live on stage, check to see what watch they have on their wrist. The chances are it’ll be a Rolex watch.

The post Comedians and the Rolex Watches That Make Them Smile appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/comedians-and-the-rolex-watches-that-make-them-smile/feed/ 0
The Five Wealthiest Hip Hop Artists and Their Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/the-five-wealthiest-hip-hop-artists-and-their-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-five-wealthiest-hip-hop-artists-and-their-rolex-watches/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 16:53:44 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181353 Hip Hop Artists and Rolex Have a Lot in Common In March earlier this year, Forbes magazine crowned the five wealthiest artists in hip-hop. They are Jay-Z (estimated net worth: $900 million), Diddy (estimated net worth: $825 million), Dr. Dre (estimated net worth: $770 million), and tied for fourth place are Drake and Eminem with […]

The post The Five Wealthiest Hip Hop Artists and Their Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
.instagram-media{margin:30px auto!important;}

Hip Hop Artists and Rolex Have a Lot in Common

In March earlier this year, Forbes magazine crowned the five wealthiest artists in hip-hop. They are Jay-Z (estimated net worth: $900 million), Diddy (estimated net worth: $825 million), Dr. Dre (estimated net worth: $770 million), and tied for fourth place are Drake and Eminem with an estimated net worth of $100 million each. Aside from top records, sell-out shows, mammoth mansions, and fast cars, what else do these mega music moguls have in common? A love for expensive luxury watches including Rolex watches! Let’s have a look at hip hop artists and Rolex to find out what Rolex watches the five wealthiest hip hop artists of 2018 choose to wear.

Eminem’s Rolex Watches

While these days we see Eminem wearing a yellow gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak on his wrist—most notably while he performed at Coachella last month—Eminem has worn several Rolex watches in the past.

We’ve seen the best-selling rapper of all time wearing at least three different Rolex watches. These include a stainless steel Submariner with a black dial and black bezel. Also, a white gold Rolex President with diamonds on the dial, and a stainless steel Datejust with a white gold fluted bezel and Roman numerals on the dial.

Drake’s Rolex Watches

The youngest man on the list is 31 years old. Canadian rapper Drake’s stratospheric rise to hip hop’s highest echelons is impressive. Along with his love of luxury cars and huge houses, Drake is famously a fan of expensive watches too. Drake has plenty of Rolex Day-Date President watches in his collection for example, in a range of metals and configurations like yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold—some with diamonds and some without.

Palillo

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

For sportier Rolex watches, Drake also loves a Daytona chronograph. We’ve seen him wearing a yellow gold version as well as a rose gold one. Also in Drake’s jewelry box is a yellow gold GMT-Master II with a gem-set bezel blanketed with diamonds and black sapphires. Drake’s taste in Rolex watches is diverse, as he also owns a yellow gold Yacht-Master II with the bright blue ceramic bezel, in addition to an Everose gold Sky-Dweller.

Dr. Dre’s Rolex Watches

During his younger years, Dr. Dre was often photographed with a yellow gold and diamond Rolex Day-Date gleaming on his wrist. These days however, the 53-year-old super successful rapper, record producer, and businessman is loyal to his platinum Rolex Masterpiece watch with a diamond bezel. In fact, when Dr. Dre took to the stage for a surprise performance with Eminem at Coachella 2018, we saw the ultra-lavish Rolex on his wrist. (Fun fact: rapper 50 Cent also joined Eminem at Coachella and he was wearing the white gold Submariner with the blue ceramic bezel and blue dial.)

For those of you who may not be familiar with the Rolex Masterpiece, it’s actually a special edition of the Rolex Day-Date fitted with a precious metal five-link Masterpiece bracelet similar to the ladies’ Pearlmaster bracelet.

Diddy’s Rolex Watches

During the course of his career, Sean Combs has adopted several stage names like Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, but today he’s happy to go by Diddy. The massive entertainer leveraged his celebrity status to venture into other businesses such as fashion lines and beverage companies. We also see him regularly on TV as one of the celebrity judges on Fox’s new singing competition show, The Four.

On that show, we often see Diddy wearing a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date 40 on his wrist. In addition to his prestigious Rolex dress watch, we’ve also spotted Diddy wearing a gorgeous Everose rose gold Daytona chronograph. And Diddy doesn’t just buy Rolex watches for himself; he has a glorious habit of buying them for his family including his children.

Jay-Z’s Rolex Watches

For 2018, Sean Carter, aka Jay-Z, takes top spot as the wealthiest hip hop artist on Forbes’ list. He knocks Diddy to second place this year. Not satisfied with just being one of the best selling musicians of all time, Jay-Z runs a business empire that covers industries like fashion, beverages, entertainment, sports, and restaurants. Personally, Jay-Z also likes to spend some of his incredible wealth on top timepieces including Rolex watches.

After Coachella 😁

A post shared by Fanpage!! Not Jay-Z!! (@jayz.co) on

Along with the ever-favorite yellow gold Day-Date President Rolex watches, Jay-Z also wears a full yellow gold Sky-Dweller, a platinum Day-Date President, and the highly coveted steel Daytona with the black ceramic bezel. It’s also been reported that Jay-Z has a very special Rolex Perpetual Calendar modified by famed watchmaker Franck Muller. A serious watch enthusiast indeed.

Rolex watches have always been a favorite among the hip hop crowd. The brand not only appears on wrists of artists but also in song lyrics. So, it’s only natural that the five richest men that dominate this music genre would have plenty of Rolex watches in their own personal collection.

The post The Five Wealthiest Hip Hop Artists and Their Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-five-wealthiest-hip-hop-artists-and-their-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
Celebrity Chefs and the Rolex Watches They Love https://beckertime.com/blog/celebrity-chefs-and-the-rolex-watches-they-love/ https://beckertime.com/blog/celebrity-chefs-and-the-rolex-watches-they-love/#respond Wed, 16 May 2018 15:26:48 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181091 Along with movie actors, pro athletes, television stars, and business titans, there are plenty of popular chefs that also enjoy immense celebrity status. Thanks to the advent of cooking shows and entire TV channels dedicated to food, celebrity chefs are not only household names but in fact, global brands. With all that fame and fortune […]

The post Celebrity Chefs and the Rolex Watches They Love appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Along with movie actors, pro athletes, television stars, and business titans, there are plenty of popular chefs that also enjoy immense celebrity status. Thanks to the advent of cooking shows and entire TV channels dedicated to food, celebrity chefs are not only household names but in fact, global brands.

With all that fame and fortune of course some fabulous plush accouterments like luxury watches! And similar to other celebrities, there are a host of celeb chefs that appreciate a Rolex watch. Remember, the kitchen is an intense place with loads of action and heat—and timing is everything. Therefore, a chef’s watch must be precise and durable, so it’s no surprise that Rolex watches are a favorite in the culinary world. Let’s get the dish on the Rolex watches that celebrity chefs love to wear.

Gordon Ramsay’s Rolex Watches

Gordon Ramsay
Photo: imgur

As a television personality, Gordon Ramsay is known for his fiery temper and foul mouth, but there’s no denying his masterful skill in the kitchen. Together with his fine taste in food, chef Ramsay also has luxurious taste in timepieces with an impressive collection of Rolex watches—both vintage and new.

He’s been spotted wearing a vintage Submariner, as well as a modern white gold Submariner with the blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel and matching blue dial. Plus, we’ve seen a Rolex Deepsea on his wrist too. But these days, it seems his go-to Rolex is the Everose gold Yacht-Master 40 with the black Oysterflex rubber strap.

Anthony Bourdain’s Rolex Watches

Anthony Bourdain
Photo: @TreCool

He may have started his career as a chef, but today Anthony Bourdain is also a prolific writer and highly popular television host. With is CNN show, Parts Unknown, Bourdain travels the globe and documents his experiences—both food and otherwise—for his millions of fans to enjoy.

In addition to collecting stamps in his passport, it’s evident that chef Bourdain is also a watch collector as illustrated by the different timepieces we’ve seen on his wrist over the years. Among them, we’ve seen a couple of different Rolex watches including a modern stainless steel Datejust with a blue dial, a vintage Rolex Datejust from his dad, and a Milgauss with the signature green sapphire crystal.

Bobby Flay’s Rolex Watch

Bobby Flay
Photo: Scripps Networks

If there’s one culinary personality that embodies the celebrity chef image, it’s Bobby Flay. A star of the Food Network, one of only a handful of Iron Chefs, a very successful restaurateur, and a cookbook author, chef Flay seems to have an abundant source of energy to get it all done!

Flay is also well known to be highly competitive so his choice of Rolex suits him perfectly—a white gold Day-Date with a sumptuous gray dial. After all, only the best for Bobby.

Guy Fieri’s Rolex Watch

Guy Fieri
Photo: @guyfieri

Perhaps the most flamboyant celebrity chef on TV right now, Guy Fieri is known for his showy style, colorful character, and offbeat catchphrases.

Chef Fieri, aka the Mayor of Flavortown and the host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, is most definitely not discreet—and neither is his Rolex watch. A fan of glitzy jewelry and accessories, Fieri is often seen with a gold Yacht-Master II on his wrist, which with its large 44m sized case, bright blue ceramic bezel, and full yellow gold construction can be seen from a mile away. Go big or go home is Fieri’s game.

Jeff Mauro
Food Network

Jeff Mauro’s Rolex Watch

Often referred to as the Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro rose to fame as the winner during the seventh season of the popular Food Network Star. He is now the host of several television shows including The Kitchen.

And what does chef Mauro wear on his wrist? A contemporary Rolex Explorer II “Polar” with a white dial. An ideal watch for the kitchen, the Explorer II is not only highly attractive, but this Rolex sports watch is also robust and sturdy.

Emeril Lagasse’s Rolex Watches

Emeril Lagasse
Photo: @CaymanCookout

The celebrity chef that brought the BAM into the kitchen, Emeril Lagasse has been entertaining and cooking for his fans for decades. With a slew of books, shows, awards, and restaurants under his belt, chef Lagasse is one of the most famous culinary personalities in the US and the world.

During his decades-long career, chef Lagasse has amassed quite the watch collection including some fantastic Rolex watches. We’ve seen him wearing a platinum and steel Yacht-Master, a two-tone Datejust with a Jubilee bracelet, and a GMT-Master “Pepsi” with the classic red and blue bezel. Way to “kick it up a notch!”

Whether in or out of the kitchen, topnotch chefs only ever settle for the best ingredients, equipment, and gear. So it’s only natural that they would arm their wrists with a delicious Rolex watch!

The post Celebrity Chefs and the Rolex Watches They Love appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/celebrity-chefs-and-the-rolex-watches-they-love/feed/ 0
Huge Hollywood Actors and their Co-Starring Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/huge-hollywood-actors-and-their-co-starring-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/huge-hollywood-actors-and-their-co-starring-rolex-watches/#respond Tue, 15 May 2018 13:55:33 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181298 Celebrities Wearing Rolex Watches We recently covered Mark Wahlberg’s fantastic Rolex watch collection, so this got us thinking about other Hollywood celebrities wearing Rolex watches. Behold five heavyweight Hollywood actors and the Rolex watches they choose to wear. Brad Pitt’s Rolex Watches Along with being one of the most famous actors on the planet today, […]

The post Huge Hollywood Actors and their Co-Starring Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
.instagram-media{margin:30px auto!important;}

Celebrities Wearing Rolex Watches

We recently covered Mark Wahlberg’s fantastic Rolex watch collection, so this got us thinking about other Hollywood celebrities wearing Rolex watches. Behold five heavyweight Hollywood actors and the Rolex watches they choose to wear.

Brad Pitt’s Rolex Watches

Along with being one of the most famous actors on the planet today, Brad Pitt is also a notable watch collector with watches from big name brands like Patek, Cartier, and of course Rolex. And his Rolex collection is no joke!

It’s safe to say that Brad Pitt is a fan of a solid yellow gold Rolex watch as we’ve seen him wearing a yellow gold GMT-Master II with a black ceramic bezel and black dial, a yellow gold Daytona on a brown leather strap and champagne diamond dial, and a yellow gold Yacht-Master with a white dial. Along with the yellow gold numbers, we’ve also spotted a stainless steel Daytona, a platinum and steel Yacht-Master, a platinum Day-Date with an ice blue dial, and a rose gold Day-Date II President with a bronze wave dial.

Robert Downey Jr.’s Rolex Watches

A couple of years back, Robert Downey Jr. filmed a hilarious video with GQ magazine where he showed us some top timepieces from his personal collection. Naturally, there were some Rolex watches in there too—three to be exact.

Robert Downey Jr.’s box of Rolex watches includes the famous steel Rolex Submariner “Hulk,” nicknamed so for its green bezel and green dial combo. There’s also a steel Milgauss with the unique green “GV” sapphire crystal. And finally, RDJ also owns a custom all-black PVD GMT-Master II customized by Bamford.

Russell Crowe’s Rolex Watches

Like most men, Russell Crowe likes to buy watches to commemorate special milestones in his life. Unlike most men however, Russell Crowe recently hosted a special auction called “Russell Crowe: The Art of Divorce” to sell off personal effects him and his ex-wife gathered during their marriage!

Among the more than 30 watches in the auction, Russell Crowe included three Rolex watches—each purchased to mark important moments in his life. There’s the steel and platinum Yacht-Master that he purchased after the filming of the movie “Master and Commander.” There’s also the platinum Rolex Cellini that he treated himself to during the filming of “American Gangster.” And finally, when he formed a company with his friend to purchase an Australian rugby team, he bought a yellow gold Daytona and engraved it with the name of the company and the founding date.

#russellcrowe ❤ 🎩

A post shared by RussellCrowe_Love😎💘 (@russellcrowe_love) on

It’s also worth mentioning that we’ve seen Russell Crowe wearing other Rolex watches—a platinum Day-Date and a steel Submariner—that are not included in the auction. We wouldn’t let go of these either!

Sly Stallone’s Rolex Watches

Sylvester Stallone has been a leading man in Hollywood for decades and it seems he’s been collecting fine timepieces for just as long. In his younger days, Sly often wore yellow gold Rolex watches such a yellow gold Submariner and a yellow gold Day-Date. These days however, Sylvester Stallone is often photographed with a white metal Rolex on his wrist.

For example, we’ve spotted at least two platinum Daytona watches on Sly’s wrist—one is the anniversary platinum Daytona with the brown ceramic bezel while the other is a diamond and platinum Daytona with a diamond pavé dial and diamond-baguette set bezel. Speaking of precious gems, we’ve also seen him wearing a super lavish white gold GMT-Master II with a red and blue bezel fashioned from sapphires, rubies, and diamonds! Another white metal Rolex in Sylvester Stallone’s collection is the mega Deepsea dive watch in stainless steel with the special James Cameron D-Blue bezel.

Ran into Dolph Lundgren at lunch. And no, we did not fight over the check or have a rematch!

A post shared by Sly Stallone (@officialslystallone) on

Aside from the platinum, white gold, and steel Rolex watches, Stallone has also been seen with the Everose gold Yacht-Master with the black Oysterflex rubber bracelet strapped to his arm.

Nicolas Cage’s Rolex Watches

Nicolas Cage’s taste in Rolex watches is diverse to say the least. From the super rare vintage yellow gold Rolex ref. 6062 with a triple calendar complication to a prestigious yellow gold Day-Date President to a classic stainless steel Submariner to a lavish solid yellow gold Sky-Dweller, his choice in different style Rolex watches is as wide ranging as the roles he chooses to play.

Master accessorizer #nicolascage #accessorize

A post shared by Nicolas Cage (@nicolascagestagram) on

The most surprising Rolex watch we’ve seen Nicolas Cage wear however, is one that many have called the ugliest Rolex watch to date—the Daytona Leopard! This super flashy Daytona features a full leopard print dial, a leopard print strap, an orange sapphire-set bezel, diamond pavé on the case, and diamond indexes on the dial. Wow.

Rolex watches have long been a symbol of success and status. So it’s not surprising to us that these huge Hollywood celebrities wearing Rolex watches choose to spend a portion of their generous paychecks on some amazing timepieces.

The post Huge Hollywood Actors and their Co-Starring Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/huge-hollywood-actors-and-their-co-starring-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
5 Rolex Daytona Chronographs Sell For Over $1 Million at Phillips Auction https://beckertime.com/blog/5-rolex-daytona-chronographs-sell-for-over-1-million-at-phillips-auction/ https://beckertime.com/blog/5-rolex-daytona-chronographs-sell-for-over-1-million-at-phillips-auction/#respond Mon, 14 May 2018 14:52:14 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181258 After the record-breaking sale of Paul Newman’s own Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” watch last year—which sold for an incredible $17.75 million—we were surprised to learn that Phillips Auction was not done with selling high-profile vintage Daytona chronographs. In fact, they organized a vintage Daytona themed sale dubbed “Daytona Ultimatum” that just concluded in Geneva on […]

The post 5 Rolex Daytona Chronographs Sell For Over $1 Million at Phillips Auction appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
After the record-breaking sale of Paul Newman’s own Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” watch last year—which sold for an incredible $17.75 million—we were surprised to learn that Phillips Auction was not done with selling high-profile vintage Daytona chronographs. In fact, they organized a vintage Daytona themed sale dubbed “Daytona Ultimatum” that just concluded in Geneva on Saturday, May 12, 2018. Among the 32 lots, five of them sold for over $1 million, including a $5.9 million “Unicorn!” Let’s find out what these million-dollar Rolex watches are.

Rolex Daytona Ref. 6265 “The Unicorn” Sells for $5.9 million

Rolex Daytona 6265 Unicorn Sells 5.9 million
Photo: Phillips Auctioneers

With its newly-minted $5.9 million price tag, the white gold Daytona ref. 6265 (Lot 8) has now become the second most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction after Paul Newman’s Daytona. But what makes this particular vintage Rolex Daytona ref. 6265 so special? It’s the only known example in white gold, making it unique. It’s assumed that since Rolex only produced the Daytona ref. 6265 in steel and yellow gold, this one-of-a-kind Daytona ref. 6265 “Unicorn” was a special order sold via a German retailer in the early 1970s.

Who put up the watch for auction? None other than author and mega watch collector John Goldberger, who actually donated the watch so that all proceeds will be given to the Children Action charity. Simply amazing.

Rolex Daytona Ref. 6240 with a Unique Dial Sells for $3 million

Rolex Daytona 6240 sells 3 million
Photo: Phillips Auctioneers

Lot 32 was a steel Rolex Daytona ref. 6240 circa 1966 with a dial never before seen on a vintage Daytona. Created before the famous “Paul Newman” style dials, this particular dial configuration includes oversized white subdials that would later be made smaller on future Daytona models. Plus, the three registers also use the Art-Deco-style numerals that Rolex later used on their “exotic” aka “Paul Newman” dials on future Daytona models. But most significant are the details that are missing from the dial—there’s no mention of “Oyster” or “Cosmograph” or “Daytona,” only “Rolex.”

Final hammer price (with buyer’s premium) was $3,013,388—well within its $2.5 million to $5 million pre-sale estimate.

Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263 with Arabic-Indic Numerals Sells for $1.9 million

Rolex Daytona 6263 arabic indic numeras sells 1.9 million
Photo: Phillips Auctioneers

Rolex has long had relationships with monarchs and royalty of the Arabian States in the Gulf and as such, produced a slew of custom watches for these rich leaders with expensive tastes. One example was Lot 21 at the Phillip’s Ultimate Daytona event; a vintage steel Daytona ref. 6263 with Arabic-Indic (also known as Eastern Arabic numerals used in the Arabic language) numerals. These particular numerals were painted directly on the dial and are non-luminous.

While Rolex does make some Day-Date models today with very similar Arabic-Indic font (famed rapper Jay Z wears one), this is the first time a vintage Daytona has appeared in public with these numbers. Final hammer price (with buyer’s premium) was $1,933,070.

Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263 “Oyster Sotto Paul Newman” Sells for $1.66 million

Rolex Daytona 6263 Oyster Sotto Paul Newman sells 1.66 million
Photo: Phillips Auctioneers

Unlike the three previous examples, Lot 14 did not offer a one-of-a-kind Daytona, yet the Daytona ref. 6263 “Oyster Sotto Paul Newman” is a highly coveted and rare vintage Rolex in watch collecting circles. “Sotto” in Italian means “under” and this watch goes by the “Oyster Sotto” nickname because the “Oyster” label sits underneath the “Rolex” and “Cosmograph” text on the black dial. It’s estimated that Rolex only made around 20 of these dials, thus explaining their desirability.

The final hammer price (with buyer’s premium) on this 1969 vintage Rolex ref. 6263 was $1,662,990.

Rolex Daytona ref. 6263 with Omani Khanjar Sells for $1.2 million

Rolex Daytona 6263 Omani Khanjar Sells 1.2 million
Photo: Phillips Auctioneers

Finally, the last of the rare vintage Rolex Daytona watches that sold for over $1 million at the Daytona Ultimatum auction was Lot 27. A steel Daytona ref. 6263 with a custom dial bearing the Omani Khanjar made for His Majesty Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman in the mid-1970s. The Sultan was a well-known Rolex enthusiast during his time and often requested special order watches from Rolex not just for himself, but also to give as gifts to those who proved their loyalty.

This particular Daytona ref. 6263 with the Omani Khanjar was part of a small batch of watches given to British Air Service and Royal Air Force personnel who helped the Sultan defeat rebels trying to overthrow him. The final hammer price (with buyer’s premium) on this Sultan’s Rolex gift was $1,212,858.

Auctions like these prove that the power of Rolex is still going strong. So if you’re lucky enough to pick up a good one, it may just pay itself back a million times over in the future!

The post 5 Rolex Daytona Chronographs Sell For Over $1 Million at Phillips Auction appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/5-rolex-daytona-chronographs-sell-for-over-1-million-at-phillips-auction/feed/ 0
The Rolex Watches that the World’s Best Soccer Players Sport https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-that-the-worlds-best-soccer-players-sport/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-that-the-worlds-best-soccer-players-sport/#respond Thu, 10 May 2018 16:30:44 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180914 Soccer (or football to the rest of the world) fans are gearing up for the FIFA World Cup 2018—the sport’s most elite tournament. Scheduled only every four years, this year’s edition is set to take place in Russia starting June 14 and will run for just over 30 days. Although Team USA did not qualify […]

The post The Rolex Watches that the World’s Best Soccer Players Sport appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
.instagram-media{margin:20px auto!important;}

Soccer (or football to the rest of the world) fans are gearing up for the FIFA World Cup 2018—the sport’s most elite tournament. Scheduled only every four years, this year’s edition is set to take place in Russia starting June 14 and will run for just over 30 days. Although Team USA did not qualify for the World Cup this time, we’ll still be tuning to the games to watch other nations play for the trophy. In fact, the FIFA World Cup is the most viewed sporting event internationally with billions of people watching the tournament. Unsurprisingly, with legions of fans following their every move, soccer players are some of the highest paid athletes. And what do these super rich celebrity athletes spend their cash on? Along with mansions, cars, planes, and boats, we’ve spotted a ton of top timepieces too. Of course, there are plenty of Rolex watches to go around in the professional soccer crowd, so let’s have a closer look at some of the favorites.

The Rolex Daytona Watches

After a quick look at what top soccer players wear when they’re not on the field, it becomes immediately clear that the Rolex Daytona is the must-have luxury timepiece. While the sport’s most famous player, Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal), is an ambassador for TAG Heuer, he still wears his yellow gold Rolex Daytona (and yellow gold Sky-Dweller).

Look who I found!👀💪🏽

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

Other soccer stars that wear a yellow gold Daytona are Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United/Chile), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich/Columbia), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona/Brazil), and Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France). In fact, Karim Benzema has an impressive amount of Rolex watches in his collection, such as a white gold Daytona, a two tone Submariner, the green “Hulk” Submariner, the white gold and blue “Smurf” Submariner, and a yellow gold Day-Date President to name a few.

Jamais très loin…

A post shared by Karim Benzema (@karimbenzema) on

On the other hand, Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain), Sami Khedira (Juventus/Germany), and Leroy Sané (Manchester City/Germany) love to wear their Everose gold Daytona watches often.

Stainless steel Daytona watches are also popular with famous soccer players. Paulo Dybala (Juventus/Argentina) wears a full steel Daytona while Simon Mignolet (Liverpool/Belgium) and Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany) both wear the new steel and ceramic Daytona.

Back with the national team! Come on Belgium! 🇧🇪👌🏼 #RedTogether

A post shared by Simon Mignolet (@22mignolet22) on

Finally, we’ve spotted the ultra-lavish anniversary platinum Daytona with the brown ceramic bezel on the wrists of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy/Sweden) and Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/Germany).

The Rolex Submariner Watches

Along with the Daytona chronograph, the Rolex Submariner dive watch is also a popular choice for soccer’s leading players. In addition to their Daytona watches mentioned above, James Rodriguez wears a two tone steel and gold Submariner while Sergio Ramos wears a yellow gold and blue Submariner.

Salimos para el Bernabéu. ¡Vamos mi Madrid! #HalaMadrid

A post shared by Sergio Ramos (@sergioramos) on

What’s more, Mario Balotelli (Nice/Italy) has been spotted with his stainless steel Submariner, as has Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain).

We recently covered the favorite Rolex watches of NBA basketball players and it was evident that their favorite Rolex watches were Day-Date President models and Sky-Dweller models. So it’s an interesting comparison that soccer players tend to lean towards Daytona chronographs and Submariner models. Regardless of the models, all these Rolex sports watches are simply superb and these incredible athletes who are currently at the top of their game look fantastic sporting them.

The post The Rolex Watches that the World’s Best Soccer Players Sport appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-that-the-worlds-best-soccer-players-sport/feed/ 0
The Rolex Watches of Prince Harry and Other British Royals https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-prince-harry-and-other-british-royals/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-prince-harry-and-other-british-royals/#respond Wed, 09 May 2018 16:26:45 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180925 It’s an exciting time for Prince Harry as he counts down to his wedding to American Meghan Markle, slated to take place May 19. While much of the media has been focused on her lovely engagement ring—set with diamonds from Prince Harry’s late mother Princess Diana, along with a diamond he sourced from Botswana—we’ve been […]

The post The Rolex Watches of Prince Harry and Other British Royals appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
It’s an exciting time for Prince Harry as he counts down to his wedding to American Meghan Markle, slated to take place May 19. While much of the media has been focused on her lovely engagement ring—set with diamonds from Prince Harry’s late mother Princess Diana, along with a diamond he sourced from Botswana—we’ve been keeping an eye on Prince Harry’s wrist to see if a new watch will appear. While we wait, let’s have a look at which Rolex watch we’ve spotted Prince Harry wear in the past and check out the Rolex watches of other members of the British royal family too.

Prince Harry’s Rolex Explorer II

Prince Harry wearing a Rolex Explorer II
Photo: Heart Radio

When Prince Harry served in the Army, we noticed a large Rolex watch on his wrist on a couple of occasions. It was in fact the contemporary Explorer II “Polar,” nicknamed so for its crisp white dial. As the most modern version of Rolex’s watch dedicated to cave explorers and adventurers, the Explorer II ref. 216570 sports a large 42mm case—notably larger than preceding Explorer II models. One of the most distinctive features of the Explorer II is the fixed bezel marked with the oversized 24-hour numerals. This allows wearers to distinguish day and night hours by way of the bright orange 24-hour hand pointing to the numbers on the bezel.

Along with pairing his army fatigues with his Explorer II, we’ve also spotted Prince Harry wearing his sporty Rolex watch with casual jeans and a shirt, as well as with a suit during television interviews. This clearly shows the versatility of the Explorer II, especially for a young man like Prince Harry. Who knows, maybe Prince Harry’s Rolex will make an appearance during the newlywed’s honeymoon in Namibia.

Princess Beatrice’s Rolex Air-King

Princess Beatrice wearing a Rolex Lady-Datejust
Photo: Getty Images

Prince Harry’s cousin, Princess Beatrice, wears a Rolex watch too, but it’s not what you might expect a young princess to wear. Far from a gold Rolex Lady-Datejust or a diamond Pearlmaster, Prince Beatrice wears a stainless steel Air-King! Princess Beatrice—the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth and daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York—opts for an unassuming steel Rolex watch with an Oyster bracelet as her go-to timepiece, and we love it.

Princess Beatrice’s particular Air-King stands out for its concentric dial with bright orange numerals. Although the Air-King is positioned as a men’s watch, the 34mm size of her Air-King is perfectly suited for her wrist and she wears it well—whether dressed up on the red carpet, watching the catwalks at London Fashion Week, or with one of her fabulous hats during daytime engagements.

Prince Andrew’s Rolex Day-Date President

Prince Andrew wearing a Rolex Day-Date President
Photo: Getty Images

Princess Beatrice’s dad, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, has been wearing his platinum Rolex Day-Date for decades. He wore it on his wedding day when he married Sarah Ferguson in 1986 and continues to wear it today—when he isn’t wearing his stainless steel Submariner.

It’s the perfect Rolex collection really; there’s the ultra-lavish Day-Date President in platinum with the signature semi-circular links on the bracelet for formal occasions and the rugged steel Submariner with the black dial and bezel for casual affairs.

Zara Tindall

Zara Tindall wearing a Rolex Everose Gold Yacht-Master
Photo: HELLO!

Zara Tindall, née Phillips, is also a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, cousin to Prince Harry and Princess Beatrice, and daughter of Princess Anne. Aside from Zara’s royal blood (despite her not having an official title), she is also a Rolex ambassador thanks to her equestrian career.

As a result, Zara has been spotted with many Rolex watches on her wrist including a white gold and diamond Pearlmaster, a two-tone Datejust, a platinum Lady-Datejust President, and an Everose gold Yacht-Master with a black Oysterflex bracelet. A Rolex watch for any occasion!

The Swiss luxury watch brand flaunting a gold crown is surely the best choice for royalty and we can’t help but love the diverse Rolex timepieces that the members of the British royal family choose to wear.

The post The Rolex Watches of Prince Harry and Other British Royals appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-prince-harry-and-other-british-royals/feed/ 0
The Grail Series: Explorers—of Earth and Beyond https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-series-explorers-of-earth-and-beyond/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-series-explorers-of-earth-and-beyond/#respond Wed, 09 May 2018 16:24:31 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177906 For this post in our grail watch series, we’re going to take a look at two examples from Rolex’s perpetually underappreciated Explorer range. ‘Two examples’ may be a slight overstatement however. These are, in every other respect bar the name, the exact same watch. One represents possibly the longest continuous production run of any Rolex […]

The post The Grail Series: Explorers—of Earth and Beyond appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
For this post in our grail watch series, we’re going to take a look at two examples from Rolex’s perpetually underappreciated Explorer range.

‘Two examples’ may be a slight overstatement however. These are, in every other respect bar the name, the exact same watch. One represents possibly the longest continuous production run of any Rolex reference. The other was little more than a taste test, launched and quickly abandoned, sold in just one country, and created to commemorate a feat of unprecedented human achievement.

With scarcity value making up a great deal of what turns a merely desirable watch into a grail piece, it is the latter of the pair that can lay claim to the distinction. An outlier so rare that even battle-hardened collectors can go their entire lives without laying eyes on one in the wild, it holds an intriguing place in the Rolex archive.

Yet, the model of which it was such a fleeting variant has a fascinating history of its own. Considered one of the last to stick to the undiluted essence of what Rolex stands for, it has garnered a cult following that grows by the day, as does its price on the vintage market.

So we’re left with one true holy grail piece, another most certainly heading in that direction, and beyond their relative quantities, the only physical difference is a single line of text on the dial.

These are the Rolex Explorer ref. 1016 and the Rolex Space-Dweller.

Rolex Explorer ref. 1016

Rolex Mens Explorer Stainless Steel 1016

There is an argument for calling the Rolex Explorer, its life lived eternally in the shadows or not, the most important watch the company ever produced. Not so much for its functionality or any great revolution in its design, but because it changed the way Rolex itself was perceived as an entity by the public.

It marked the start of the brand’s link with the world’s mavericks, the nonconformists who achieved feats many believed impossible and who pushed themselves to the extreme at the literal ends of the earth.

The first Explorer was born on the summit of Everest, its foundation the Oyster Perpetual watches worn by Hillary and Norgay on their triumphant summiting of the world’s highest peak in 1953. It was Rolex who sponsored the expedition, as they had eight previously unsuccessful attempts.

They had supplied the mountaineering team’s watches not as gifts but as research material, on the understanding they would be returned to Geneva for testing when, or if, the men made it back to civilization.

While exploiting their relationships with champions of human endeavor was nothing new to Rolex, going back to Mercedes Gleitze’s Channel swim and Sir Malcolm Campbell’s armfuls of land speed records, the Explorer was the first time an individual model had been created specifically around such a groundbreaking achievement.

The Explorer Progresses

By the time the ref. 1016 appeared in 1963, the Explorer was into its third iteration in just 10 years. It carried over the traditionally pragmatic 3/6/9 dial from the previous two incarnations, summing up the model’s place as the undiluted tool watch in the range. With a catalog that now contained names such as Submariner, GMT-Master and Daytona, so-called professional pieces far more likely to be worn as statements, it was the Explorer that maintained the bond between the brand and the genuine adventurer.

Rolex Mens Explorer Stainless Steel 6610

Taking over the short-lived career of its predecessor, the ref. 6610, the new Explorer brought a number of upgrades to the range. Rolex’s constant refining of their Oyster technology saw it double its water resistance to 100m and, with the hazards of using radioactive lume on the hands and indexes becoming evermore apparent, the radium was replaced with the (somewhat) safer Tritium.

Inside the 36mm case, one that was shared with the Datejust ref. 1603 of the same era, beat first the Cal. 1560 and then, post-1972, the updated Cal. 1570—practically identical save for a slightly higher frequency and the introduction of a hacking feature.

And that was it. The ref. 1016 was the Explorer for 25 years, left to fend for itself for a quarter of a century, while all around it, gemstones and precious metals enhanced the many different flavors of every other sports watch in the Rolex stable. Where pilots, racers and divers were spoiled for choice with pieces that went through an unending succession of tweaked movements and lavish color schemes, the Explorer shunned the limelight, and quietly found itself a following among those happy to do the same.

The Understudy

There are some that criticize Rolex for neglecting the Explorer range, particularly in the light of the many advances they subjected the rest of their output to. Perhaps another way of looking at it is that there was simply nothing for them to do with a watch they got right from the beginning. They are obviously a manufacturer not afraid to make changes where they think changes are needed, but they have never introduced a new element to any of their products just for the sake of it.

The Explorer was made to tell the time, in the most legible form, in the harshest of environments. And that’s what it did. Customers were even given the option to have the watch supplied with low viscosity lubricants to withstand extreme sub zero temperatures.

It is a tool watch in its purist form, and the fact that it is one of the most austerely handsome of Rolex’s offerings is merely a bonus.

Buying a Vintage ref. 1016

It was a certain type of person who bought the Explorer ref. 1016 during its exhaustive production run, and they are responsible for the biggest problem in securing one on the modern pre-owned market.

Rolex Mens Explorer Stainless Steel 1016

With its functional, utilitarian aesthetic, its customer base was comprised almost entirely of those looking for that one good watch that would last them a lifetime. Not necessarily even Rolex fans, just those who appreciated the efficiency of the dial and the robust unfussiness of the construction.

People who walk past Daytonas and GMT-Masters to secure themselves an Explorer are people who hang on to their watches and use them for their intended purpose, rather than snapping them up as potential investments to sell on at some future date.

For that reason, as well as its underdog status meaning it was never manufactured in quite the same quantities as its stable mates, has led to a surprisingly low number of ref. 1016s on offer considering its protracted lifespan.

Rarity equals high prices, and the perennial underachiever now commands some unexpected premiums, especially early gilt dial versions or those which have aged with a tropical patina.

So, is it likely to make the leap to grail status? If I was a betting man, which I’m not, I would certainly be tempted by the Explorer. The range as a whole is experiencing something of a renaissance and the ref. 1016 is the most famous and well-loved of them all. The fact that it is in uncommonly short supply, all things considered, only adds plus points in its favor.

One thing that is certain is that, as simple, enduring, three-hand watches go, there is very little can compete with it.

The Rolex Space-Dweller

A watch whose grail status is not in any doubt is the ref. 1016 Space-Dweller. Launched as a trial in 1963 in an attempt to draw on some of the public’s fascination with the space race, it was only ever made commercially available in Japan, where the US’s Project Mercury astronauts had been given a reception that bordered on frenzy.

The battle between America and Russia to dominate the exploration of outer space was at its most ferocious during the 60s. The soviets had scored a major early victory when Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit the earth in 1961. Trailing in their wake, the newly formed NASA agency brought together seven test pilots from the Navy and Air Force to try and redress the balance.

Known collectively as the Mercury 7, they counted among them Alan Shepard, who would go on to become the first American in space as well as the first man to play golf on the moon, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth.

After some early humiliating and very public failures, the Mercury Project’s achievements started to capture the popular imagination. While it may not have won the space race, it did pave the way for Project Gemini, and subsequently the Apollo program, which landed an American crew on the lunar surface.

The Right Stuff

As a group around which to base their rebranded Explorer, Rolex could not have wished for a more fitting collection of intrepid voyagers than the Mercury 7 astronauts. Upon returning from the cold nothingness of space, they set out on a global goodwill tour where at every stop they were lauded as conquering champions, standing tall and taking the fight to the Russian hordes.

Incredibly, the time between the first ascent of Everest and those initial tentative steps into the great beyond was a mere 10 years—two astounding achievements separated by the blink of an eye. But where the Explorer had exemplified the spirit of Hillary and Norgay’s era, by the 1960s its no-nonsense simplicity was at odds with the high tech miracles of the space age.

The Space-Dweller, a regular ref. 1016 with the Explorer label replaced, barely made a ripple in the collective consciousness, even in Japan where the worship for the returning heroes was at its most vociferous. Only a tiny handful were ever made, a morsel to test the waters before rolling out around the rest of the world. With sales practically non-existent, it was relegated to the history books, filed under the section marked ‘Space Oddity’.

Buying a Vintage Space-Dweller

Today, it’s a toss up over which is more difficult; finding a Space-Dweller or affording one. The dictionary definition of the word rare, they are so seldom available to buy on the vintage market that each one becomes something of an event.

The prices, you won’t be surprised to learn, are astronomical (Ha!) If you are considering treating yourself to a Space-Dweller, count out the amount of money you would need to buy the exact same watch with the ‘Explorer’ name on it, and multiply it by a factor of at least five.

While it may seem illogical, this is vintage Rolex we’re talking about. It is not based on logic, but rather emotions. Mr. Spock, we can assume, was not a watch collector.

Is it worth the money? That is between you and your bank manager. It is undoubtedly a grail piece; an ultra rare example of an historically important watch from the most successful manufacturer ever, and one created to celebrate the limits of human accomplishment.

One thing is certain; the few lucky owners of genuine Space-Dwellers are the envy of every Rolex aficionado on this little planet.

The post The Grail Series: Explorers—of Earth and Beyond appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-series-explorers-of-earth-and-beyond/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 3130 https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-3130/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-3130/#respond Tue, 08 May 2018 20:38:00 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177104 In the multifaceted and often confusing world of Rolex calibers, not only does form always follow function, but sometimes, a less complicated version of a base movement is introduced long after its more complex brethren. Such is the case with the Cal. 3130. Identical in practically every way to the series foundation caliber, the Cal. […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 3130 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
In the multifaceted and often confusing world of Rolex calibers, not only does form always follow function, but sometimes, a less complicated version of a base movement is introduced long after its more complex brethren.

Such is the case with the Cal. 3130. Identical in practically every way to the series foundation caliber, the Cal. 3135, the only difference between the two is the lack of a date function in the former. Nevertheless, there is a 13-year age gap between the two mechanisms—the 3135 was released in 1988; the simpler 3130 didn’t appear until 2001.

Why it took Rolex well over a decade to remove such a modest complication is unclear, but what they left us with is a continuation of their most reliable, accurate and widely used family of movements ever and, in some people’s eyes, perhaps their toughest one yet.

Rolex Caliber 3130

If you believe the old adage of strength in simplicity, then the Cal. 3130 is a Hulk of a caliber. The whole of the 3100 range was designed to serve Rolex’s catalog of Oyster Professional timepieces; their highly-renowned tool watches, built to shrug off the harshest treatment and come up smiling. Their engines are big, basic and the end product of nearly a century of constant testing, developing and improving.

The Cal. 3130 is the most rudimentary example—a straightforward, three-hand, time only movement found in the sort of purely functional yet exquisitely designed watches on which Rolex built its legendary reputation.

Along with powering recent references of the Air-King and Explorer, the Cal. 3130 is still found today inside the ubiquitous Submariner and the mid-size versions of the Oyster Perpetual range, surely the most no-nonsense and utilitarian offering in the collection.

Under the Hood

Even without the extra components needed to run a date function, the 3130 holds the same dimensions as the Cal. 3135, with a diameter of 28mm and a height of 6mm. Its physical size gives it an inherent strength, ideally suited to the task of making sure watches subjected to life’s hardest knocks keep going.

It retains the 28,800bph frequency ushered in in the 1970s that gives all modern day Rolex’s their smoothly sweeping seconds hand. Additionally, it shares the 48-hour power reserve and 31-jewels of the Cal. 3135, along with the Parachrom hairspring with Breguet overcoil secured by a full balance bridge.

Although the 3130 still uses Kif shock absorbers, rather than Rolex’s own Paraflex system that has since found its way into the updated Cal. 3132 for the latest Explorer, it is still a COSC certified movement, accurate to within +2/-2 seconds a day. Rolex redefined the parameters of the Superlative Chronometer test in 2015, making themselves the only manufacturer to test each of their calibers both inside their cases and out.

Rolex Caliber 3130

Many of the components themselves are crafted from Rhodium-plated brass; the precious metal coating helping protect against moisture damage and corrosion, as well as giving a highly attractive finish to a part of the watch most of us will never see. Such is Rolex!

One of the exceptions is the free sprung balance wheel, which is made from a beryllium and copper alloy known as Glucydur, a favorite with many luxury watchmakers for its rigidity and resistance to temperature variations. The wheel is regulated with the brand’s patented Microstella system, an arrangement of four timing screws on the inside of the rim that allow for a more precise adjustment than traditional balance screws.

The Perpetual, automatic rotor allows the mainspring to be wound in either direction. The two gears that control it are coated in PTFE, more commonly known as Teflon, which increase the rotor’s efficiency and give the parts a distinctive deep red color. Unlike almost every other watchmaker, Rolex uses synthetic rubies to mount the rotor, as opposed to the more usual ball bearings. It is a system that reduces the number of moving parts, and thereby the amount of wear suffered by the movement.

The Cal. 3130 at Work

Although the latest Air-King and Explorer models have since gone on to receive updated calibers, the Cal. 3130 is still providing faultless service inside two of the brand’s most important pieces—one, often referred to as the entry-level Rolex; the other, the purest example of their most famous creation.

The Oyster Perpetual

The horological equivalent of a good suit, the Oyster Perpetual is the watch that can be dressed up or down as needed—a range that is a match for any occasion.

Loved by die-hard aficionados for its utility and timeless styling, the all steel construction and the aesthetic that has barely altered throughout its long life, mark it as the model that has stayed truest to Rolex’s overriding philosophy.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Available in five different sizes, the Cal. 3130 takes the middle ground and ticks away in the heart of the 34mm and 36mm versions.

While it may be the least expensive thoroughbred in the stable, Rolex didn’t build its peerless reputation by skimping on the important bits. The Oyster Perpetual benefits from all of the same advances that find their way into watches ten times the price. Forged from 904L steel, an ultra hard metal more commonly found in the aerospace industry, the OP’s monobloc middle case and screw down back form an impenetrable shell, waterproof to 100m.

The scratch resistant sapphire crystal protects a dial ringed by 18k gold hour markers and the whole watch is secured by a solid link Oyster bracelet, fastened with the vault-like Oysterclasp.

Very much aimed at those looking for the one fine watch that will last them a lifetime, it’s a model that sits squarely and comfortably in between the sportiness of the professional collection and the dressiness of the Day-Date or Cellini range. Stylish, discreet and engineered to perfection, the Oyster Perpetual is a modest masterpiece.

The Rolex Submariner ref. 114060

The Cal. 3130 was first used in anger in 1999, when it replaced the Cal. 3000 inside the Submariner ref. 14060, earning it the designation ref. 14060M.

Adored by collectors for both the symmetry of its no date, no Cyclops dial, and its status as the last of the non-Cerachrom bezel Subs, the ref. 14060M is the undiluted essence of the world’s favorite dive watch.

Rolex Submariner 114060

Its replacement arrived in 2012, fresh out of the gym and sporting a more menacing, beefed up profile. Although still the age old 40mm dimensions, the ref. 114060’s new broad shouldered lugs sees it wear much larger on the wrist, while the Maxi dial’s wider indexes and hands give it a more readable legibility.

Its ceramic surround is scratchproof and virtually unbreakable, as well as unaffected by UV rays, meaning it won’t fade over time. With care, a modern Sub, even one worn every day as they should be, will look the same in twenty or thirty years.

Elsewhere, its steel case and Triplock crown system keeps the water out down to 300m, and the Oyster bracelet comes with the ingenious Glidelock clasp, allowing it to be micro adjusted without the need for tools, to either slip easily over a wetsuit sleeve or just to give your wrist a little more room to breathe.

The Submariner is perhaps the most recognizable watch in the world, emulated by legitimate manufacturers, counterfeited by crooks. The no date versions have always occupied a special place in the hearts of true Rolex fans, and the two references powered by the Cal. 3130 remain contemporary classics.

Conclusion

The Cal. 3130 is what happens when the world’s leading watch manufacturer strips away every extraneous detail from their calibers, and perfects the bits left over. Designed from the ground up with reliability and precision their only concerns, it is a mechanism that will still be impressing with its accuracy in decades to come.

Strong, simple and modestly handsome, even by Rolex’s standards, it is a triumphant achievement.

The post The Rolex Caliber 3130 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-3130/feed/ 0
Graduation Gift Guide: A Rolex Watch for the Graduate https://beckertime.com/blog/graduation-gift-guide-a-rolex-watch-for-the-graduate/ https://beckertime.com/blog/graduation-gift-guide-a-rolex-watch-for-the-graduate/#respond Mon, 07 May 2018 14:40:13 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180999 A Rolex Graduation Gift Guide to Celebrate Life’s Next Chapter It’s graduation season and if you have a soon-to-be graduate in the family, then it’s time to celebrate the momentous occasion! A wristwatch is still the choice gift to give as a graduation present. Not only is it practical, but it’s also meaningful and attractive. […]

The post Graduation Gift Guide: A Rolex Watch for the Graduate appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
A Rolex Graduation Gift Guide to Celebrate Life’s Next Chapter

It’s graduation season and if you have a soon-to-be graduate in the family, then it’s time to celebrate the momentous occasion! A wristwatch is still the choice gift to give as a graduation present. Not only is it practical, but it’s also meaningful and attractive. And if you want the best watch that will last a lifetime, then go for the Rolex. Years from now, your child (or grandchild) will tell stories about that special watch received on his or her graduation day.  Here are some of our top Rolex graduation gift ideas to commemorate this significant milestone in your young adult’s life.

Rolex Watches for the Male Graduate

Rolex Graduation Gift - Mens Rolex Two-Tone 18K/SS Datejust Blue Arabic 16233

As he prepares to go out into the real world, arm your son with his first real watch. A Rolex watch will serve as a daily reminder of how proud you are of what he’s accomplished so far.

Mens Rolex Datejust Two Tone

For a versatile and classic daily dress watch, there’s the two-tone Rolex Datejust. Sized at 36mm, this handsome model can seamlessly go from office to off-hours. The addition of yellow gold on the fluted bezel, winding crown, and center links of the Jubilee bracelet adds dressiness to the watch, while the rich blue dial keeps it young and vibrant. Plus, we love the large gold Arabic numerals on the dial. This, of course, is accompanied by the signature date window at 3 o’clock.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Explorer II White 16570

Rolex Explorer II

The Rolex Explorer II is an excellent sports watch for a young man. With its full stainless steel construction and 40mm case size, it is a robust watch that can keep up with an active lifestyle. Plus, its crisp white dial with luminescent accents and a red 24-hour hand gives a fresh and youthful style to the rugged Rolex sports watch. Along with the AM/PM indicator—displayed via the 24-hour hand in conjunction with the 24-hour marked bezel—there’s also the practical date window at 3 o’clock.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner Black 16610

Rolex Submariner

If you really want to go big with your graduation gift, then there’s the highly coveted Rolex Submariner dive watch. Flaunting the classic black bezel and black dial configuration on the 40mm steel Oyster case, this is one Rolex watch that will look just as great in a couple of decades as it does today. Built as a dive watch, this Submariner is water resistant to 1,000 feet (300 meters). It has a bezel that rotates in just one direction. Rolex equipped this dial to be highly luminescent in low light. And, they fitted it with an Oyster bracelet that includes a diver’s extension system. Regardless if your son dives or not, he will no doubt wear his Rolex Sub proudly.

Rolex Watches for the Female Graduate

Ladies Rolex Stainless Steel Datejust Black Diamond 6916

To honor your daughter’s scholastic achievement, forget about fashion watches that run on batteries. Instead, gift her the real deal—a Swiss mechanical watch! A surprisingly rare trait in the world of women’s watches, Rolex actually offers both style and substance.

Ladies Rolex Datejust Stainless Steel

First up we have a stainless steel Lady-Datejust that hits all the right notes as a high-end everyday watch. There’s the stainless steel construction perfect for daily wear. Then there’s the 26mm case size that fits just right, as well as the perfectly modern smooth bezel and Oyster bracelet. Lastly, but certainly not least, there are the ten diamond hour markers dotted around the black dial for some added sparkle.

Ladies Rolex Stainless Steel Datejust Silver 69174

The next contender for a fabulous Rolex graduation gift for your daughter is another stainless steel Lady-Datejust, but this time rather than diamonds on the dial, there’s the white gold fluted bezel on the 26mm case that steps in for extra preciousness. What’s more, the five-link Jubilee bracelet is a dressier option, while the silver dial completes the elegant monochromatic style of this Lady-Datejust.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Date Pink MOP Diamond 15200

Rolex Date 34mm

If your daughter prefers a larger and more colorful watch, then don’t miss this Rolex Date timepiece with a 34mm Oyster case and bright pink mother-of-pearl dial with ten diamond hour markers. Although this particular size of the Rolex Date has traditionally been sold as a men’s size, 34mm is right on trend for women looking to wear bigger and bolder watches.

Giving a Rolex graduation gift will make this exceptional moment in your child’s life even more special. It’s a gift that they can use every day and will last pretty much forever—and what’s better than that?

The post Graduation Gift Guide: A Rolex Watch for the Graduate appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/graduation-gift-guide-a-rolex-watch-for-the-graduate/feed/ 0
Mother’s Day Gift Guide: A Rolex Watch for Every Type of Mom https://beckertime.com/blog/mothers-day-gift-guide-a-rolex-watch-for-every-type-of-mom/ https://beckertime.com/blog/mothers-day-gift-guide-a-rolex-watch-for-every-type-of-mom/#respond Fri, 04 May 2018 13:11:23 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180963 A Rolex Watch for Mom – The Mother’s Day gift she will cherish forever Because she raised you, she is always there for you, and she deserves it! Mother’s Day is fast approaching (Sunday, May 13). This year, make her day extra special by gifting a Rolex watch for mom on Mothers Day. Rolex boasts […]

The post Mother’s Day Gift Guide: A Rolex Watch for Every Type of Mom appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
A Rolex Watch for Mom – The Mother’s Day gift she will cherish forever

Because she raised you, she is always there for you, and she deserves it! Mother’s Day is fast approaching (Sunday, May 13). This year, make her day extra special by gifting a Rolex watch for mom on Mothers Day. Rolex boasts an incredible array of women’s watches to suit a range of tastes and budgets. So, we’ve picked some of our favorites that we think would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift. The look on her face and the joy in her heart when she opens the box will be totally worth it.

A Rolex watch for the mom who likes to keep things casual

A Rolex Watch For Mom - Ladies Rolex Stainless Steel Datejust White Roman 69174

Perhaps “casual” isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind when discussing the luxury powerhouse brand that is Rolex. But, in reality, the watchmaker has a host of laidback-looking watches supported by very serious watch mechanics.

Take for example this ladies’ Rolex Datejust in stainless steel with a white dial. It has a modestly sized 26mm case that is ideal for everyday wear. It’s made from unassuming steel that is not only unfussy but is also tough enough to handle daily life. Plus, the Datejust’s timeless style will match just about anything in mom’s closet. And, in terms of practicality, its automatic movement will keep on going as long as the watch is worn so there is no need for battery changes or anything like that. Well-built and low maintenance is a fantastic combination indeed when it comes to a luxury watch.

A Rolex watch for the mom who appreciates classic design

Ladies Rolex Two-Tone 18K/SS Datejust Champagne 69173

I don’t know about you, but my mom always told me to invest in the classics because they’ll never go out of style. That’s probably why her daily timepiece for decades was a two-tone Datejust!

This two-tone Lady-Datejust with a champagne dial has everything you’d expect from Rolex’s flagship women’s dress watch. The yellow gold fluted bezel, yellow gold winding crown, and yellow gold center links on the Jubilee bracelet lends a touch of preciousness. There’s also the classic champagne dial housing simple stick hour markers and the signature date window. Best part of a two-tone watch? There’s no need to think about matching accessories. This is because the steel and yellow gold will complement almost any type of jewelry, handbag, shoes, or sunglasses mom will be wearing on any given day. If mom loves diamonds (and many moms do), then opt for a two-tone Datejust with a sparkling diamond dial instead.

A Rolex watch for the mom who loves a sporty style

Ladies Rolex Two-Tone 18K/SS Datejust White MOP Diamond 69173

If mom leans towards a sportier style, then Rolex has plenty to offer. Aside from all the men’s Rolex sports watches, the brand does also make a few sporty models with women in mind too. Most notably, the nautical-chic Yacht-Master.

The steel and platinum ladies’ Yacht-Master features a 29mm case that provides plenty of wrist presence. Contributing to the robust look of the watch is the platinum rotating bezel with oversized numerals and markings. The sandblasted platinum dial captures the light sumptuously while the large lume plots, red seconds hand, and luminescent Mercedes-style hands add vibrancy to the woman’s Yacht-Master.

A Rolex watch for the mom who wants sophistication all the time

You know what goes well with well-manicured nails, the perfect hairdo, immaculate clothes, and flawless manners? A ladies’ Rolex President watch! When mom only wants the best, then it’s got to be Rolex’s most prestigious timepiece.

The ultimate women’s luxury watch, there’s nothing that says sophistication quite like a yellow gold ladies’ Datejust President. Not only is it crafted almost entirely in solid 18k yellow gold—from the 26mm case to the fluted bezel to the iconic semi-circular President bracelet—but there are also ten diamond hour markers on the dial for added shine. If mom is going to own just one watch, this is it.

A Rolex watch for the mom who loves to sparkle

Ladies Rolex 18K Yellow Gold Datejust President Full Diamond 69178

If you’re out to dazzle her this Mother’s Day, then a gem-set Rolex watch for mom will do the trick! Customizing Rolex watches with diamonds and other precious gems are a fantastic way to add even more lavishness to an already luxurious timepiece.

Feast your eyes on this show-stopping iced-out yellow gold ladies’ Datejust President. Blanketed in diamonds and rubies from head to toe, this is a serious Rolex jewelry watch. The 1.50-carat diamond pavé dial includes ten round-cut ruby indexes, while the bezel flaunts 1.00 carat of diamonds along with four ruby markers. Finally completing the look of the opulent ladies’ Rolex is the solid yellow gold Presidential style bracelet gleaming with 4.00 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds. She’s a beauty.

With less than two weeks until the big day, time’s a ticking for you to get mom a great gift. Get a Rolex watch for mom and she’ll nominate you the child of the year award!

The post Mother’s Day Gift Guide: A Rolex Watch for Every Type of Mom appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/mothers-day-gift-guide-a-rolex-watch-for-every-type-of-mom/feed/ 0
What’s the Difference? The Rolex Datejust Vs. The Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-datejust-vs-the-rolex-oysterquartz-datejust/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-datejust-vs-the-rolex-oysterquartz-datejust/#respond Thu, 03 May 2018 13:46:33 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180034 Due to their carefully cultivated reputation, the quality of their output and the rigid efficiency of their engineering processes, Rolex has long stood head and shoulders above other manufacturers. In fact, they are not so much watchmakers now as they are the ultimate aspirational lifestyle brand. The benefit of being in such a lofty position […]

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Datejust Vs. The Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Due to their carefully cultivated reputation, the quality of their output and the rigid efficiency of their engineering processes, Rolex has long stood head and shoulders above other manufacturers. In fact, they are not so much watchmakers now as they are the ultimate aspirational lifestyle brand.

The benefit of being in such a lofty position is that, to a certain extent, the various crises that tend to reduce lesser companies in the industry to dust are more an annoyance to Rolex rather than potential disasters.

The current Smartwatch phenomenon which is giving much of Switzerland sleepless nights is one example. While they are obviously impressive bits of kit, able to do just about anything you could think of, and a dash more, there is no getting away from the fact they are fairly soulless pieces of plastic. An Apple Watch may be able to track your sleep and monitor your heart rate, but is it ever going to be passed down as a family heirloom, with its own unique story to tell?

Rolex and the rest of the mechanical watch firms faced a similar situation in the 70s, when the quartz crisis swept through like a tidal wave, washing away somewhere in the region of two-thirds of traditional manufacturers.

Back then, Rolex and several other of the major Swiss players were forced to band together to try and stem the flood, and 20 of them formed the CEH, or the Centre Electronique Horloger, to build their own quartz movement to rival the cheap, disposable competition from Japan.

Short-lived Collaboration

Rolex Mens Oysterquartz 5100 Beta 21

The solution that the CEH came up with, while technically innovative and extremely accurate, had several problems, especially for Rolex. Firstly, it was too large and cumbersome to be fitted inside one of their famed Oyster cases, so when the brand’s first ever quartz watch, the ref. 5100 Beta-21, emerged in 1970, the enormous 40mm piece was rated as just ‘water resistant’ rather than waterproof.

And secondly, not only was the Beta-21 movement produced by an outside consortium, anathema to the fiercely independent Rolex, the exact same caliber was being used inside 16 of its direct rival’s watches. Something was going to have to change.

Two years later, Rolex withdrew from the CEH and retreated back to its Geneva compound to develop its own quartz technology.

With their usual glacial pace, it took them five years. In 1977, the brand unveiled a pair of new watches, each powered by its own unique quartz movement. The Cal. 5055 served inside the Oysterquartz Day-Date, the electronic version of the flagship President watch, and the Cal. 5035 drove the Oysterquartz Datejust, a variant on one of Rolex’s longest serving creations.

The Datejust and the Oysterquartz Datejust

It is no surprise that, with an entire catalog to choose from, Rolex selected these two particular models to trial with a quartz engine.

The Day-Date was, and still is, the pinnacle of the range; a watch that signifies excellence and achievement, in any walk of life, perhaps more than any other.

The Datejust, since its debut in 1945, has often been the model used to test many of the brand’s major innovations. When it launched in Rolex’s 40th anniversary year, it became the first waterproof self-winding watch in the world to display a date aperture. A little under a decade later, it became the first to be fitted with the Cyclops magnifying lens.

Since then, it has been rolled out in so many combinations of metal, bracelet, dial and bezel styles that they are nigh on impossible to count.

It has been in unceasing production now for more than 70 years, its at-one-time revolutionary design becoming such an accepted part of horology that it is now considered ageless.

But, although the basic shape has barely altered during the last seven decades, the inner workings have been subject to the relentless pursuit of perfection that has put Rolex so far above its competitors.

Springs Vs. Crystals

Mens Rolex 18K Yellow Gold Datejust Champagne 16018

The same year that the quartz powered Datejust emerged, the mechanical model also received a new caliber, the Cal. 3035. Replacing the long running and beloved Cal. 1570, the first of Rolex’s own in-house 3000 series announced the start of the high-beat 28,800bph frequency movements that give the trademark eight beats per second hand sweep. It was also the caliber that introduced the Quickset date function to the traditional range, a breakthrough first seen, at least on a Rolex, on the quartz ref. 5100 Beta-21.

Using the well-proven setup of free sprung balance with a Breguet overcoil, regulated by the proprietary Microstella system, the Cal. 3035 improved even on the outgoing Cal. 1570 in terms of accuracy and reliability.

However, where precision timing was concerned, the gap between it and the new Cal. 5035 inside the Oysterquartz was more like a vast yawning chasm.

A New Set of Standards

Mechanical Rolexes have long worn the COSC-approved Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified text on their dials like a badge of honor. To win it, every watch has to be proven to keep within a mean variance of -4/+6 seconds a day, tested by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. In 2015, Rolex decided to make it even tougher on themselves by narrowing the margin to -2/+2 seconds a day.

It is a lot to ask of a bunch of gears and springs, but the standards laid down by the COSC for quartz movements were even more draconian. For the two Oysterquartz models to be able to wear the same badge, they would have to perform to within +/- 0.2 seconds a day.

Rolex actually held off submitting the new pair for certification for 18 months until the calibers reached their second generation, which changed the shape of the quartz crystal in the oscillator circuit to that of a tuning fork. Typically, the company has never released official data on how well the movements did, but it is generally accepted that they kept to within an incredible 50 seconds a year. No mechanical movement, even one of Rolex’s, was anywhere close.

To achieve it, engineers kept, as far as possible, to what they knew. ‘Borrowing’ the bridge, gear train and pallet assembly from the Cal. 3035, the entire escapement is almost identical to the traditional mechanism, with the exception of the pulse motor and electronics. They also fitted an oscillator four times faster than that found on the Beta-21 and a thermistor to regulate the frequency of the quartz crystals vibrations depending on the ambient temperature. The Cal. 5035 and 5055 were among the first thermocompensation movements ever made.

Rolex may have been dragged kicking and screaming into the world of quartz movements, but once committed they stuck to their old adage of ‘if something’s worth engineering, it’s worth over-engineering.’

The Styling

Mens Rolex Two-Tone 14K/SS Oysterquartz Datejust Champagne 17013

The interior goings-on of the Datejust and its electronic counterpart actually bore more resemblance to each other than the exteriors.

The original piece has always kept its soft lines over the years, with rounded lugs and a gracefully sweeping profile.

For the Oysterquartz Datejust, Rolex stayed with the design motif of the prototype ref. 5100 Beta-21, a piece designed by Gerald Genta, the man responsible for the distinctive Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet. As archetypally 70s as platform shoes and The Sex Pistols, the flowing curves were sacrificed for flat angular surfaces and a unique integrated three-link bracelet.

It was a deliberate attempt by Rolex to make sure that no one was going to mistake the upstart new model with one that had been successfully evolving for decades.

The Options and Numbers

Production of the Oysterquartz Datejust lasted from 1977 through to 2001. As clear an indication of Rolex’s distaste for the new technology as any can be found from the number of watches they produced in that time. Whereas the brand complete around one million mechanical pieces a year, in the near quarter of a century of its involvement with quartz, just 25,000 were made.

The Oysterquartz Datejust was available in just three styles; fully stainless steel (ref. 17000), yellow Rolesor (ref. 17013) and white Rolesor (ref. 17014).

Even so, they proved relatively popular, despite the lack of choice compared to the mechanical model, mainly due to the lower price point. While traditional movements demand a particular form of artistry to create, one that has to be paid for, the electronics inside the Oysterquartz models could be had for significantly less.

Conclusion

The two watches may share a name, or at least most of it, but are in reality not particularly similar. The Oysterquartz’s styling is a world away from the accepted Rolex design language, sharing more in common with the Royal Oak or even a Nautilus from Patek Philippe.

The new caliber inside the classic Datejust had brought with it a beautifully smooth seconds hand; the one inside the quartz version jumped like a cheap import.

Today however, the Oysterquartz is becoming increasingly sought after, as the perpetual hunt for the next big thing by collectors continues. The novelty and, of course, the extreme rarity of the Rolex quartz pieces make them highly desirable and even surprisingly attainable.

The standard Datejust is, and will always be, the benchmark by which all other simple three-hand watches are judged. With a range comprehensive enough to suit everyone’s taste and a heritage as faultless as it is possible to get, it is still at the top of any enthusiast’s wish list.

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Datejust Vs. The Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-datejust-vs-the-rolex-oysterquartz-datejust/feed/ 0
The Future Grail Series: The Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326139 https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-series-the-rolex-sky-dweller-ref-326139/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-series-the-rolex-sky-dweller-ref-326139/#respond Thu, 03 May 2018 13:44:52 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178507 It’s safe to say that the 2012 launch of the Sky-Dweller series was a big moment in the Rolex story. The world’s most successful watchmaker introduces brand new models about as often as astronomers discover new planets, and they hadn’t brought out an entirely original family with a never-before-seen name since the first of the […]

The post The Future Grail Series: The Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326139 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
It’s safe to say that the 2012 launch of the Sky-Dweller series was a big moment in the Rolex story.

The world’s most successful watchmaker introduces brand new models about as often as astronomers discover new planets, and they hadn’t brought out an entirely original family with a never-before-seen name since the first of the Yacht-Masters emerged in the early nineties. The last one before that was the Daytona, way back in 1963.

In between, they had given us ‘sequels’ to already established watches; so we had the GMT-Master II, which was very similar to its foundation piece, along with the Explorer II and Yacht-Master II, which were not.

Globe Trotter’s Companion

As well as being an almost once in a lifetime event, the Sky-Dweller also signposted a possible new direction for Rolex as a manufacturer. Often criticized for barely dipping their toes into the world of complications, their new flagship aviation-inspired model was by far their most complex to date.

The barely explored path of added functionality that started with the mechanical memory and flyback feature on the Yacht-Master II had taken a different turn with the Sky-Dweller. Impressive though the skipper’s watch was, a piece that’s sole purpose was to time the starting procedure of a sailing regatta was going to have limited scope outside of those who, well…competed in sailing regattas.

With a GMT dual time indicator and Rolex’s first annual calendar, alongside the traditional date function, the Sky-Dweller had a far wider potential audience and it was billed as the ultimate traveler’s watch. The price tag, however, narrowed that broad field down considerably and ‘the ultimate luxury traveler’s watch’ is perhaps more apt.

Challenging Aesthetic

The three initial versions released in 2012 caught the Rolex faithful by surprise. When the Sky-Dweller name first started to be bandied about by those in the know, months before any other details emerged, many pictured a more robust version of the GMT-Master; sort of a Sea-Dweller to the GMT’s Submariner.

Rolex Sky-Dweller White Gold 326139 Black Dial

Instead, what they got was a complete departure from the time-honored and accepted Rolex design language—the elegant minimalism that had taken them to the top of the horology tree and kept them there for more than half a century.

The stark unfussiness of the traditional models had been replaced with a convoluted, asymmetrical face, with an off-center sub dial that decapitated the lower hour markers. Only available in one of the three flavors of 18K gold, two of them fitted on a corresponding Oyster bracelet, a design that was meant to be clean and contemporary was bordering on (whisper it) outdated and even a touch ostentatious.

As has happened several times throughout Rolex’s history, the perplexing styling immediately split opinion and left some wondering about such a radically overblown departure from the norm.

It wasn’t until Baselworld 2014 that Rolex unveiled three refreshed styles, their overt grandness tempered by new, more harmonious dial colors and, crucially, the addition on the yellow and white gold versions of leather straps, that the Sky-Dweller started to come into its own.

The Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326139

With truly fine timepieces, it’s amazing just how much difference a seemingly small change can make. Something as trivial as varying the shape of the hands or substituting Arabic indexes for Roman numerals can completely alter the personality of a watch.

So when the Sky-Dweller ref. 326139 surfaced, having introduced a black dial and matching alligator strap to the white gold version for the first time, it was almost like looking at an entirely new model.

What had once been grandiose and showy was now elegantly sporty. Still clearly a luxury watch, the silver vibrancy of the case caught the eye without the need to shout for attention. The fluted bezel, a design trait Rolex has been using since their very earliest days, added enough formality to take you from first class lounge to cocktail party without needing to change watches, and the black dial with its complementary GMT disc had become among the most legible in the whole series.

But it was the strap that gave the piece its character. Only an option on Rolex’s dress watch collection, the contrast between a Sky-Dweller on an metal band and one on leather is like night and day. Where the Oyster bracelet blends with the case, giving the piece a look as if it was hewn from a single solid block, on leather, there are two very distinct yet beautifully crafted elements. It took a watch impressive enough to justifiably brag about its own abilities and turned it into one that was understated and modest—a class act in other words.

Design Details

With the introduction of the more low-key, incognito versions, the Sky-Dweller’s standing has started to improve, but it is still a controversial addition to the Rolex lineup among brand purists. The main bugbear remains the eccentric, skewed 24-hour disc, with many critics demanding to know what exactly was wrong with the simple elegance of a fourth hand to track a second time zone. Apparently forgetting that both the Explorer II and the GMT-Master II exist and pretty much have that system covered, it is also somewhat missing the point.

Rolex Sky-Dweller White Gold 326139 Ivory Dial

The Sky-Dweller represents a whole new concept, one which is equally as effective at displaying GMT as an extra hand, and the rotating sub dial works beautifully. The inverted triangle above it points out the hour as well as adding a welcome pop of color to the otherwise monochrome faces.

On the ref. 326139, the brilliantly inventive annual calendar brings an additional splash. The tiny apertures above each of the hour markers correspond to the months of the year, with the current one marked in red. So, a filled-in window above the seven o’clock index, for instance, tells us it’s July.

Rolex have christened their system SAROS, after the astronomical term used to predict solar and lunar eclipses. In the Sky-Dweller, it automatically compensates for the differing number of days of various months, meaning the watch only needs to be manually adjusted once a year, in February. (Blame the Romans).

Powering it all is a brand new movement, the Cal. 9001. A product of years of in-house development, it is Rolex’s most complicated mechanism to date, built from 380 separate components and protected by seven patents. Even so, it is the watchmaker’s friend, with an architecture reportedly so well thought-out that it is easier to service and maintain than the Yacht-Master II’s Cal. 4161 or even the chronograph movement from the Daytona.

The Bezel

Underlying its credentials as a member of the dress collection rather than one of the brand’s professional tool watches, the Sky-Dweller has kept its silhouette as discreet as a Datejust or Day-Date. Incredibly for a model with such advanced functionality, it needs no supplementary pushers to operate its features.

Rolex Sky-Dweller White Gold 326139 Black Dial

Instead, everything is controlled via the winding crown and the bezel working in conjunction. The approach that made its first appearance with the Yacht-Master II’s regatta countdown has been refined and enhanced for the Sky-Dweller, and its fluted surround acts as an analogue function selector.

Called the Ring Command Bezel, it operates in three positions, with each one unlocking a different action. It means the date, local time and reference time can all be set by simply turning the crown, doing away with any need for extra buttons on the case that would ruin the aesthetic balance. It is a solution of Rolex’s own invention and its elegant efficiency has won the Sky-Dweller the begrudging respect of even those who hesitate over its looks.

Future Classic?

Trying to predict whether such a recent inclusion to the catalog is destined for classic status is by nature an inexact science, so we are into educated guess territory.

The Sky-Dweller ref. 326139 has innovation on its side with its new take on the GMT complication and Rolex’s first ever annual calendar—elements that future collectors and investors will certainly be looking for. And with its hefty fee it is likely to be produced in relatively limited numbers which will give it an intrinsic rarity value.

But, of course, there is no way to know how long Rolex will continue to make this particular model or indeed the Sky-Dweller series as a whole, and discontinued watches are always going to be more sought after than those still being churned out on the assembly line.

What we do know for sure is that it is a fantastically impressive achievement, in both design and engineering, Rolex’s first all new creation for several generations and the definitive watch for well-heeled globetrotters.

Whether it goes on to become a grail piece, only time will tell. But there is very little else out there that can do what the Sky-Dweller does so well.

The post The Future Grail Series: The Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326139 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-series-the-rolex-sky-dweller-ref-326139/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 4130 https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-4130/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-4130/#respond Thu, 03 May 2018 13:42:18 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177107 Anyone with even a passing interest in fine watches knows the name Daytona. For Rolex fans it’s the word that will forever define this year, with that holiest of all holy grails, the example once belonging to Paul Newman, becoming the most expensive watch ever when it sold for $17.7m in October. It was an […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 4130 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Anyone with even a passing interest in fine watches knows the name Daytona. For Rolex fans it’s the word that will forever define this year, with that holiest of all holy grails, the example once belonging to Paul Newman, becoming the most expensive watch ever when it sold for $17.7m in October.

It was an unprecedented sum, paid out for an extraordinary watch; made all the more remarkable when you consider the Daytona’s painfully slow start in life. Originally appearing in 1963, what is now the most sought after model in the Rolex lineup was met with a cold collective shrug of indifference by the watch buying public.

Initially fitted with the Cal. 72 movement, sourced from legendary manufacturer Valjoux, it was always a superbly reliable and accurate timekeeper but was, critically, manually-wound. By the sixties, people were very much used to the convenience of automatically winding watches, thanks in no small part to Rolex themselves and their Perpetual calibers. As such, the first references of the Daytona were far more likely to be seen gathering dust on dealers’ shelves than worn behind the wheel of endurance race cars. There were even stories of beleaguered sellers using them as enticements, thrown in free with the purchase of other, more popular, offerings.

Rolex Caliber 4130

It wasn’t until 1988, when the heavily-modified, self-winding El Primero movement from Zenith replaced the Cal. 72, that the upswing started. The Daytona, with its handsome features and bombproof reliability, became both a vital accessory for racing professionals and a true statement piece. With Rolex hampered on how quickly they could produce the watch by their reliance on outside contractors, demand soon started outstripping supply to such an extent that waiting lists stretched off into years.

While an enviable position for any company, Rolex’s satisfaction over the sudden success of their once ugly duckling was tempered by it being the only watch in the range powered by someone else’s movement. The brand has always been fanatically insular, and having the heart of their world-beating chronograph delivered to them by outsiders stuck in many a craw inside their Geneva compound.

The Rolex Caliber 4130

Finally, in 2000, the Daytona received its first in-house automatic caliber. Rolex unveiled the Cal. 4130 with the ref. 116520, the result of five years of painstaking innovation and refinement.

As is typical with the brand, famed for the minimalist, uncomplicated nature of their designs, it’s what they took out of the Cal. 4130 that is as interesting as what they put in. With just 201 separate components, a 60% drop on its predecessor, they have crafted a movement with the fewest parts of any modern chronograph mechanism.

By stripping back to just the essentials, the Rolex engineers have been forced to extract every last ounce of efficiency from the pieces that remain. In some places that has involved consolidating several different elements into a single unit, revolutionizing the internal functions or introducing entirely new materials.

The Cal. 4130 vs. the Cal. 4030

The forerunning Cal. 4030, the name Rolex gave to Zenith’s El Primero after they had finished reworking it, was already a highly respected engine. While it had been considered good enough to run the show for the Daytona for over a decade, its replacement is now considered the finest mechanical chronograph movement ever made.

The differences between the new Cal. 4130 and its predecessor are considerable, and all designed to deliver the highest performance in the simplest manner possible. Whereas, for example, the Cal. 4030 had two separate mechanisms controlling the minute and hour chronographs, and placed one on each side of the caliber, the Cal. 4130 combined them both into a solo module. It means regulating the stopwatch function of the Daytona can be achieved with adjusting just one screw, as opposed to the previous five. Across the board, the new caliber uses only 12 different screws, rather than the 40 of the El Primero.

Rolex Caliber 4130

Uniting the chronograph components also frees up enough room to pack in a larger mainspring, raising the power reserve from 50 to 72 hours and, should it ever need replacing, it can be done without taking the movement out of the case—the Cal. 4130 is a big favorite with watch repairers.

That first of the new wave of Daytonas, the ref. 116520, also saw the debut of Rolex’s patented Parachrom hairspring. Made from a niobium and zirconium alloy of their own invention, it is impervious to the effects of magnetism and temperature variation, two of the biggest challenges to accuracy in a mechanical movement, as well as offering up to 10 times more shock resistance than traditional materials. In 2005, an upgraded version of the spring, with an oxide coating to further protect the metal’s surface, brought us the distinctive color of the Parachrom Bleu—and it found its way into all Daytona movements since 2007.

The self-winding system received a significant revising too, with modernized reversing wheels and, for the first time, the use of ceramic ball bearings granting a 68% increase in winding efficiency.

But out of all the improvements heaped into the Cal 4130, the most telling is the substitution of the traditional lateral, or horizontal, chronograph coupling system with a vertical one. The assembly involves a pair of discs, one on top of the other, in constant mesh with the drive train, engaged and disengaged with a clutch. It gives the advantage of precise starts and stops of the seconds hand, without the juddering backlash common with lateral clutches, as well as the ability to use the chronograph function for long periods without it affecting the watch’s timekeeping precision. In addition, the Cal. 4130 helps its reputation as the watch repairer’s friend by making its vertical clutch serviceable, unlike those of rival manufacturers. It can be removed, disassembled, lubricated and replaced relatively easily, prolonging its life and ensuring its reliability.

Other alterations included fitting a larger balance wheel and upping the jewel count to 44 from the previous 31. One of the few similarities between the outgoing caliber and its successor is the 28,800bph frequency that provides the sweeping seconds hand of all modern Rolexes. Interestingly, the original El Primero on which the 4030 is based was initially a 36,000bph movement. Rolex reduced the rate to help increase its robustness and reduce the amount of servicing it needed.

Conclusion

When Rolex at long last brought the Cal. 4130 to life, it marked their first new caliber for 50 years. It also elevated them into the rarefied company of one of the very few watchmakers who manufacture every caliber used in their range themselves.

While it took them an uncharacteristic length of time to accomplish, the movement they produced is a true technical marvel. Its precision, efficiency and performance have rewritten the rule book for what a mechanical chronograph can achieve—so it is only fitting that it powers a watch as legendary as the Rolex Daytona.

The post The Rolex Caliber 4130 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-4130/feed/ 0
The Two Favorite Rolex Watches of NBA Players https://beckertime.com/blog/the-two-favorite-rolex-watches-of-nba-players/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-two-favorite-rolex-watches-of-nba-players/#respond Wed, 02 May 2018 21:51:31 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180811 It’s NBA Playoff season! Along with watching our favorite players and teams battle it out on the courts, we also love to see what NBA stars are wearing on their wrists off the courts. Unsurprisingly, Rolex is a top choice when it comes to luxury watches for these top athletes. Find out what the two […]

The post The Two Favorite Rolex Watches of NBA Players appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
.instagram-media{margin:20px auto!important;}

It’s NBA Playoff season! Along with watching our favorite players and teams battle it out on the courts, we also love to see what NBA stars are wearing on their wrists off the courts. Unsurprisingly, Rolex is a top choice when it comes to luxury watches for these top athletes. Find out what the two favorite Rolex watches are in the NBA.

The Rolex Day-Date President

The Day-Date, aka the Rolex President, is by far the most popular Rolex watch among the best NBA players right now. And the precious metal of choice? Yellow gold. Off the court, NBA players love to flaunt their stylish outfits, so it makes perfect sense that they would opt for Rolex’s most prestigious dress watch to complete their looks.

However, it’s worth mentioning that because of the size of their arms and wrists, most NBA players go for the bigger Day-Date 40 or the even larger 41mm Day-Date II rather than the more traditional Day-Date 36 watches.

Cold Case…

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on

LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) and James Harden (Houston Rockets) have all been photographed many times wearing yellow gold Rolex Day-Date President watches. In fact, in a recent video with GQ magazine, James Harden showed off some pieces from his watch collection, which included two Rolex President watches—one in yellow gold and one in white gold. He even mentioned that the yellow gold Day-Date was the first Rolex that he bought for himself.

Not only does John Wall (Washington Wizards) wear a Rolex President (and a Submariner) often, he generously gave all his teammates their own yellow gold Day-Date watches as Christmas gifts last year! How’s that for a present you’ll never forget?!

The Rolex Sky-Dweller

Another popular Rolex watch among NBA stars is the Rolex Sky-Dweller, which is also one of the brand’s larger models with a 42m case size. Along with the larger measurements, the Sky-Dweller is also a super practical annual calendar timepiece. Particularly useful for those who are always on the road, like NBA players are, the Sky-Dweller displays the local time, an additional time zone, month, and date.

12 told em 12… go to hell!! #RealFam

A post shared by Andre Iguodala (@andre) on

Lebron James wears a yellow gold Sky-Dweller, while James Harden wears an Everose gold Sky-Dweller. Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors) also wears an Everose gold Sky-Dweller and as a proud watch fan (he was featured in a Hodinkee video a few years back), he has other luxury watches in his collection including a Rolex Masterpiece.

📷hat: “Sage Dusk” @goorinbros #FreshGreens #STAYME7O

A post shared by Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) on

Carmelo Anthony (Oklahoma City Thunder) is a serious watch enthusiast with a large collection and a stake in Haute Time magazine. Amid his many, many top timepieces, we’ve spotted two different Sky-Dwellers on his wrist—a white gold Sky-Dweller with a black leather strap and a yellow gold Sky-Dweller with a brown leather band.

While there are of course other Rolex watches worn by NBA players, such as Stephen Curry’s (Golden State Warriors) stainless steel Deepsea, Ian Clark’s (New Orleans Pelicans) two-tone Datejust II, and Kevin Durant’s (Golden State Warriors) steel and ceramic Daytona, it’s clear that the Day-Date and the Sky-Dweller are the go-to Rolex watches of many of today’s basketball champs.

The post The Two Favorite Rolex Watches of NBA Players appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-two-favorite-rolex-watches-of-nba-players/feed/ 0
The Future Grail Watch Series: A Tale of Two Divers https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-watch-series-a-tale-of-two-divers/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-watch-series-a-tale-of-two-divers/#respond Mon, 30 Apr 2018 21:26:23 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177885 The Rolex name has been inextricably linked to the world of diving since the 1950s and the launch of the Submariner, surely the most famous dive watch there has ever been. Even earlier, long before undersea exploring had become a recreation, they had paved the way for their future direction with the Oyster range, the […]

The post The Future Grail Watch Series: A Tale of Two Divers appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
The Rolex name has been inextricably linked to the world of diving since the 1950s and the launch of the Submariner, surely the most famous dive watch there has ever been. Even earlier, long before undersea exploring had become a recreation, they had paved the way for their future direction with the Oyster range, the first usable, serially-produced waterproof wristwatches.

The brand’s never-ending quest for perfection over the subsequent decades gave rise to two companions for the omnipresent Sub, with the sort of abilities and performance even the most prophetic Rolex engineer would not have dreamed possible 60+ years ago.

In 1967, the first of the big brothers emerged, an all-out professional tool watch designed for and with the assistance of the commercial diving industry, named the Sea-Dweller. Bigger, stronger and meaner, it could go places no other model could and found an immediate audience with the public among those looking for something with a touch more individuality over the Submariner.

It was the top dog diver in the range for 40 years, with several references that have since crossed over into grail status, until it was granted an unexpected retirement in 2008 to make way for an absolute leviathan of a watch. The Sea-Dweller Deepsea dwarfed anything Rolex had made before, in both scale and power; a wrist tank that could withstand unimaginable pressures while still retaining the family’s good looks.

Yet, impressive though this new master of the deep was, the loss of the standard Sea-Dweller was too much to bear for brand and fans alike and it was to the delight of the adoring faithful that an all-new model announced its comeback in 2014.

By complete coincidence, that year also saw the release of a new version of the Deepsea, commissioned to celebrate an incredible achievement by one of the movie world’s true visionaries.

Linked by a faultless pedigree and an unmatched history of technical progress, these two watches are the subject of this week’s ‘Future Grail’ article—the Sea-Dweller 4000 ref. 116600 and the Sea-Dweller Deepsea D-Blue Dial ref. 116660.

The Sea-Dweller 4000 ref. 116600

The Sea-Dweller’s 6 year retirement was well spent, and the next chapter in the diving middle child’s story arrived refreshed and ready to go.

All the elements that had made the previous iterations some of the most well-loved models in the catalog were present and correct, but there was a modern, updated feel to the overall design that was impossible to miss.

Progressive Elements

Rolex Mens Sea-Dweller Stainless Steel 116600

The most obvious difference was the addition of Rolex’s own Cerachrom bezel. Replacing the aluminum inserts of earlier references, the patented, virtually unbreakable ceramic material is resistant to corrosion from seawater and fading from UV rays, making it the perfect finishing touch for a saturation diver’s watch.

Its engraved markers now extended the full circumference of the bezel, giving it an at-a-glance distinction from the Submariner, and they, as well as the numerals, were filled with platinum plating for extra resilience. Aesthetically, the fully-graduated surround had strong echoes of the ref. 5517 Milsub, the piece designed specifically for the UK’s special forces regiments, with all the inherent toughness that implies.

Another element making its first appearance on the comeback Sea-Dweller was the new style Maxi dial, its indexes and hands markedly larger than before, lending it a much improved legibility. The dial itself saw a return to the matte finish reminiscent of several noteworthy vintage examples, and the less shiny surface provided the face an altogether deeper, darker look.

Same, But Different

Size-wise, the ref. 116600 followed the overriding design ethos Rolex started to introduce throughout the whole of their sports range, as in retaining the same case dimensions, but endowing the watch with a more muscular stance by beefing up lugs and crown guards. On the wrist, this new model has a greater presence than any of its ancestors, going some way to satisfying contemporary tastes for bigger watches.

And to the joy of many fans, Swiss engineers had finally addressed one of the real points of contention among brand advocates and performed a major reworking of the Sea-Dweller’s Oyster bracelet. Now, all of the three piece links were solid, giving a reassuring weight to the band, and it borrowed the newly-introduced Glidelock and Fliplock extension systems from the Deepsea.

With the Fliplock, the bracelet could be instantly lengthened by up to 26mm to fit around the sleeve of a wet or drysuit, while the Glidelock allowed for fine adjustments, in 2mm increments up to 20mm—an especially welcome feature for hot days when wrists expand and watches get tight.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Sea-Dweller Black 16600

On the inside, the Cal. 3135 movement was carried over from the ref. 16600 that had come before, mainly because there was no need to mess with a winning formula. Rolex’s longest and widest serving movement ever exemplified the sort of reliability which had made them famous in the first place, and ensures the accuracy and endurance of any piece it sits in for generations to come.

Shrouding it all, the 904L steel case was built to resist tremendous forces and, with a thickness of 15.1mm, slotted neatly in the middle of the dive trio, between the Sub’s 12.5mm and the Deepsea’s astonishing 17.7mm.

Together with the Triplock crown and its five insulators, along with a deeper sapphire crystal, the Sea-Dweller 4000 is rated waterproof down to, you guessed it, 4000ft (1,220M if you prefer your metrics). And with the Helium Escape Valve occupying its usual spot at 9 o’clock, the watch is safe and protected on the way back up as well.

Future Classic?

Certainly a beautiful and highly capable offering then, but beautiful and highly capable are par for the course with Rolex and by themselves do not guarantee future grail status. Fortunately, the ref. 116600 has two very important extra points in its favor that have seen it already break into the wish lists of many savvy collectors.

Firstly, it had a particularly brief production run. After just three short years, it was replaced in 2017 by the much bigger ref. 126600 which, at 43mm, weighed in at almost the same size as the Deepsea. With such a meager time in the spotlight, the Sea-Dweller 4000 has an inbuilt rarity value that makes it highly desirable.

And secondly, it was the last in the series to come without a Cyclops over the date window. The magnifying lens was introduced by Rolex back in 1954 and has been annoying a lot of people ever since. Many think it ruins the symmetry of the dial, taking up too much room and affecting readability. Until the ref. 126600, only the Submariner had the Cyclops, but of course it also had the option of the no-date version for the real purists.

A large percentage of the Sea-Dweller’s fan base was made up of those who wanted both a date function as well as a Cyclops-free dial. The modern-day Sea-Dweller caused a stir when it emerged with its magnified window for the first time, forcing potential buyers into a choice between the titanic Deepsea or taking a step back and hunting down a discontinued ref. 116600.

All evidence points to the Sea-Dweller 4000 being the preferred choice, with prices for the watch on the pre-owned market climbing steadily upwards, a trend that is unlikely to change considering its relative scarcity and finite quantities.

While no one can predict with absolute certainty which of Rolex’s extensive back catalog is destined to be a future all-time classic, with its provenance and history, the Sea-Dweller 4000 ref. 116600 is one model most definitely worth careful consideration.

The Sea-Dweller Deepsea D-Blue Dial ref. 116660

The Deepsea arrived in 2008 as very much the answer to a question nobody was asking. While the Submariner’s abilities were eminently suitable for the recreational diver, although the closest the majority get to the water is when the Brita filter needs changing, and the Sea-Dweller had the commercial diving world covered with all the functionality they would ever need, the Deepsea was built to go places no human would ever realistically venture.

Rolex Mens Sea Dweller Stainless Steel DEEPSEA 116660

In fact, with a waterproof rating of an absurd 12,800ft, there isn’t even a nuclear submarine that can worry it.

So what was Rolex’s thinking in creating, at enormous expense, a watch that could survive a drop to—as near as makes no difference—two and a half miles underwater?

It would be tempting, and a touch mean-spirited, to suggest it was an uncharacteristic bit of grandstanding by the usually stoic watchmaker. A little reminder to the young upstarts that, as far as technological achievement goes, the ocean was still their territory. While there may have been an element of that (and who can blame them?) it is important not to ignore the company’s history of pushing the limits of what is possible to the absolute extreme, and using their findings to build ever better creations for the rest of us.

A History of Exploration

The origins of the Deepsea can really be traced back to 1960, when Rolex created the experimental Deepsea Special to join the mission to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the lowest point on earth, aboard the Bathyscaphe Trieste. The huge, bubble-glassed watch, strapped to the outside of the two-man submersible, shrugged off the effects of the 11,000m descent and never missed a beat.

Some 52 years later, movie director James Cameron would repeat the expedition, becoming the first man to attempt the voyage solo and, again, it was Rolex who provided the timekeeping hardware. His vessel, the Deepsea Challenger, carried another of the brand’s prototypes to the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean, secured to one of the craft’s robotic arms. Once more, the watch, named the Rolex Deepsea Challenge, performed faultlessly, proving more reliable than the arm, which malfunctioned.

It was to commemorate the launch of Cameron’s movie about the journey two years later that Rolex introduced the D-Blue Dial version of their ultra-hardy, flagship dive watch. Identical in every other respect to the standard-issue piece, even down to sharing a reference number, it is the unique, dual-tone design on the face that sets the two models apart.

The ombré coloring, gradually blending from a rich blue at the top to an abyssal black at the bottom, was incorporated to mimic the effect of diving deeper than any sunlight can reach. It gives the watch a distinct, active aesthetic, catching the eye even more than a 44mm diameter, 17.7mm thick behemoth normally would.

To round off the celebratory dial, the Deepsea name moved from the 12 o’clock position to the 6 and was picked out in the same lime green as Cameron’s submersible.

Extreme Engineering

The mechanics of the D-Blue are otherwise the same as the original. The patented RINGLOCK system does most of the heavy lifting, Rolex’s own solution to the problem of creating something that can survive the weight of 5,500lbs per square inch.

Formed of an inner compression disc cut from Biodur 108, a nitrogen-alloyed steel three times stronger than even the 904L used on the case and bracelet, the RINGLOCK shoulders the immense pressures and transfers them evenly around its surface area. The two-part case back, made from TA6V titanium alloy, is allowed to flex to soak up the stresses, the whole system working synergistically, which each individual element protecting the other.

The crystal, potentially the weakest point and the one with the largest expanse, has been thickened to some 5.5mm—the depth of some dress watches. It shields the unorthodox dial, with its white gold-filled Maxi hands and indexes and the now unique non-Cyclops date window.

In all, the Deepsea you can stroll into a Rolex dealers and pick up off the shelf is just a scaled down version of the one created to join Cameron at the very bottom of the ocean, and not even scaled down that much. There is very little in the horology world that can match its performance while still remaining so wearable.

Future Classic?

So, an impressive version of an impressive watch, released to commemorate a record-breaking achievement by one of the most successful auteurs of all time.

The future classic markers are looking good for the D-Blue, and coupled with the fact that the Deepsea is produced in far lower numbers than either of its diving siblings anyway, it is a definite contender.

The major difference between it and the Sea-Dweller 4000 is, of course, that it is still being made. However, the first whispers of its imminent departure are starting to circulate, and Rolex do seem to make a habit of quietly shutting down various pieces without any form of warning.

Maybe the time to invest in a D-Blue is approaching. As an example of Rolex’s prowess and their ongoing relationship with the world’s pioneers, it is nigh on unbeatable.

The post The Future Grail Watch Series: A Tale of Two Divers appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-watch-series-a-tale-of-two-divers/feed/ 0
Mark Wahlberg is a Mega Rolex Watch Collector https://beckertime.com/blog/mark-wahlberg-is-a-mega-rolex-watch-collector/ https://beckertime.com/blog/mark-wahlberg-is-a-mega-rolex-watch-collector/#respond Fri, 27 Apr 2018 16:00:01 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178832 Mark Wahlberg Rolex Collection From Sparkle to Sports Mark Wahlberg is a man of many hats. He has modeled, he had a brief stint as a rapper, he has produced hit shows like Entourage, Ballers, and Boardwalk Empire, and he has starred in dozens of blockbuster movies. Aside from his busy career, the celebrity also […]

The post Mark Wahlberg is a Mega Rolex Watch Collector appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Mark Wahlberg Rolex Collection From Sparkle to Sports

Mark Wahlberg is a man of many hats. He has modeled, he had a brief stint as a rapper, he has produced hit shows like Entourage, Ballers, and Boardwalk Empire, and he has starred in dozens of blockbuster movies. Aside from his busy career, the celebrity also has a penchant for collecting luxury timepieces—Rolex watches in particular. Mark Wahlberg is often photographed with a Rolex watch on his wrist and his choices are nothing short of impressive and expensive! Let’s have a closer look at the Mark Wahlberg Rolex collection, particularly the ones he’s been caught wearing.

Mark Wahlberg Wears Rolex Watches that Sparkle

Mark Wahlberg Rolex Collection - Wearing a Rolex Daytona Rainbow
Photo: © JRP/WENN

He may sport a tough guy persona, but Mark Wahlberg certainly doesn’t shy away from gem-set Rolex watches. From his 18k yellow GMT-Master II ref. 116758 SANR with a diamond and black sapphire bezel to his platinum Daytona ref. 116576 TBR with a diamond pavé dial and baguette diamond bezel, Mark Wahlberg certainly likes Rolex watches that sparkle.

Plus, we’ve even spotted the famous actor wearing the 18k yellow gold Daytona ref. 116598 RBOW, aptly nicknamed the “Rainbow Daytona” due to its colorful sapphire bezel. And lastly, but certainly not least, Mark Wahlberg is the proud owner of the incredible platinum Day-Date 40 ref. 228396 TEM with a diamond pavé dial and baguette-cut emerald bezel. That’s a super rare Rolex President watch that has the price tag to match.

Mark Wahlberg Likes Yellow Gold Rolex Sports Watches

Mark Wahlberg Rolex Collecton - Wearing a Rolex Yacht-Master II
Photo: PacificCoastNews.com

When he’s not wearing a diamond Rolex watch, you may oftentimes see Mark Wahlberg wearing a yellow gold Rolex sports watch on his arm. He is particularly fond of the current yellow gold Submariner, as we’ve seen him wearing the ref. 116618LN with the black ceramic bezel and black dial combo as well as the sibling Submariner ref. 116618LB with the blue dial and blue ceramic bezel configuration.

Another fine piece of the Mark Wahlberg Rolex collection includes a gold Rolex sports watch that the A-list star enjoys wearing. It’s his 18k yellow gold GMT-Master II ref. 116718LN with the black ceramic bezel and green anniversary dial. And rounding out Mark Wahlberg’s yellow gold Rolex sports watch lineup is the yellow gold Yacht-Master II ref. 116688 with a blue ceramic bezel and white dial.

With a blue dial, a black dial, a green dial, and a white dial, he pretty much has most of the dial color options covered in the Rolex sports watch range!

Mark Wahlberg Can’t Resist a Stainless Steel Rolex Daytona

Mark Wahlberg Rolex Collection - Wearing a Rolex Daytona
Photo: Men’s Health

It may seem like a tame choice compared to his gem-set Rolex watches and his solid 18k yellow gold Rolex watches, but like so many other celebrities and Rolex enthusiasts, Mark Wahlberg just couldn’t pass up one of the most coveted luxury chronographs today—the Daytona ref. 116500LN. The new ceramic Daytona comes with a choice of a black dial or a white dial and Mark Wahlberg opted for the white dial version, which contrasts perfectly with its black ceramic bezel.

His celeb status must have helped bypass the years-long waitlist for this ultra-popular steel and ceramic Daytona Rolex watch.

The Mark Wahlberg Rolex collection is an interesting assortment of models, ranging in price from about $12,400 for the steel Daytona to just under half a million for the platinum, diamond, and emerald Day-Date 40! And we are pretty sure he’s not going to quit his Rolex habit anytime soon. We will be watching closely to see what other Rolex watches he picks up to add to his collection.

The post Mark Wahlberg is a Mega Rolex Watch Collector appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/mark-wahlberg-is-a-mega-rolex-watch-collector/feed/ 0
Two Tone Rolex Datejust Compare: 1600, 1601, 1625 vs. 16003, 16013, 16253 https://beckertime.com/blog/two-tone-rolex-datejust-compare-1600-1601-1625-vs-16003-16013-16253/ https://beckertime.com/blog/two-tone-rolex-datejust-compare-1600-1601-1625-vs-16003-16013-16253/#respond Thu, 26 Apr 2018 12:02:09 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180587 One of the most iconic watches you could ever own, the two tone Rolex Datejust has been around for more than seven decades. During that time, Rolex has continuously improved upon the two tone Rolex Datejust while maintaining its signature style. To highlight just what those differences and enhancements are, today we compare the four-digit […]

The post Two Tone Rolex Datejust Compare: 1600, 1601, 1625 vs. 16003, 16013, 16253 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
One of the most iconic watches you could ever own, the two tone Rolex Datejust has been around for more than seven decades. During that time, Rolex has continuously improved upon the two tone Rolex Datejust while maintaining its signature style. To highlight just what those differences and enhancements are, today we compare the four-digit two tone Datejust references to the five-digit two tone Datejust references that succeeded them.

The Mutual Design Traits

Prior to highlighting the differences, it’s essential to point out what the shared design traits of all two tone Datejust models are, irrespective of the production period. This is after all how Rolex established the unmistakable design codes of the watch.

Rolex Mens Datejust Two-Tone 1601

First off, all of the two tone Datejust watches that we are discussing here have 36mm Oyster cases. Of course, there are built to be water resistant to 100 meters. Remember, when the Oyster Perpetual Datejust made its debut in 1945, it was the first waterproof automatic chronometer-certified wristwatch to display the date on the dial. Second, one of the key characteristics of the Datejust is the Cyclops date magnification lens protruding from the exterior of the crystal on top of the dial. Third, the two tone style is the combination of yellow gold and stainless steel on the same watch. Rolex refers to the two tone style as Rolesor. Finally, the “Perpetual” in “Oyster Perpetual” is to signify the self-winding mechanical movements at the heart the Datejust.

Design: Two Tone Rolex Datejust 1600, 1601, 1625 vs. 16003, 16013, 16253

The two tone Rolex Datejust ref. 1600 and ref. 16003 have yellow gold smooth (aka domed) bezels, the ref. 1601 and ref. 16013 have yellow gold fluted bezels, and the ref. 1625 and ref. 16253 have yellow gold engine-turned rotating Turn-O-Graph bezels.

Rolex Mens Datejust Two-Tone 16003

Rolex manufactured the two tone Datejust ref. 1600, ref. 1601, and ref. 1625 watches beginning in the early 1960s until the late 1970s/early 1980s. As vintage models, these four-digit two tone Datejust watches include acrylic crystals, cases with drilled lug holes, and tritium on the dial for luminescence. While these particular two tone Datejust watches came outfitted with either Oyster or Jubilee bracelets with hollow links and end pieces, the lug holes allow for easy strap switching. Depending on the exact time of manufacturing, the links on the two tone bracelets can be riveted, folded, oval, or D-Link.

At the end of the 1970s, Rolex slowly began replacing the four-digit two tone Datejust models with new five-digit references—the ref. 16003, 16013, and 16253 models. Although the new two tone Datejust models were already in production, there was some overlap between both generations. Rolex had to sell out the older models before focusing solely on the newer versions.

The two tone Datejust ref. 16003, ref. 16013, and ref. 16253 retained the acrylic crystals, tritium, and lug holes, along with the hollow links and end pieces on the Oyster and Jubilee bracelets and the “D-Link” style of the Jubilee band.

Whilst the exterior design was similar across both generations of the two tone Datejust models, the major modification was found inside the case.

Movement: Two Tone Rolex Datejust 1600, 1601, 1625 vs. 16003, 16013, 16253

Rolex Mens Datejust Two-Tone 16253

If you remove the casebacks from the two tone Rolex Datejust ref. 1600, ref. 1601, and ref. 1625 models, you will either find Caliber 1560 or Caliber 1570. These are non-quickset automatic mechanical movements, which means that the setting of the date is dependent on the center hour and minute hands. Therefore, the hands must pass midnight for the numbers to change in the window at 3 o’clock.

The five-digit two tone Datejust 16003, 16013, and 16253 however, run on Caliber 3035. This time, the watches include the handy quickset date function whereby the date window is set independently from the center timekeeping hands.

In short, when comparing the ref. 1600, ref. 1601, and ref. 1625 two tone Datejust watches to the following ref. 16003, ref. 16013, and ref. 16253 Datejust watches, they are stylistically similar. Yet, because of the quickset feature of the Caliber 3035, they are mechanical different. So when settling on which two tone Datejust model to purchase, first decide if having a quickset Rolex is a deal breaker.

The post Two Tone Rolex Datejust Compare: 1600, 1601, 1625 vs. 16003, 16013, 16253 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/two-tone-rolex-datejust-compare-1600-1601-1625-vs-16003-16013-16253/feed/ 0
Two Tone Rolex Datejust Compare: 16003, 16013, 16253 vs. 16203, 16233, 16263 https://beckertime.com/blog/two-tone-rolex-datejust-compare-16003-16013-16253-vs-16203-16233-16263/ https://beckertime.com/blog/two-tone-rolex-datejust-compare-16003-16013-16253-vs-16203-16233-16263/#respond Wed, 25 Apr 2018 21:25:21 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180589 Over 70 years since its launch, the Rolex Datejust continues to be the flagship model of the brand. While the Datejust is instantly recognizable thanks to its strong design codes, it is also the most diverse Rolex collections out there with a host of material, dial, bezel, and bracelet options. Even when you take a […]

The post Two Tone Rolex Datejust Compare: 16003, 16013, 16253 vs. 16203, 16233, 16263 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Over 70 years since its launch, the Rolex Datejust continues to be the flagship model of the brand. While the Datejust is instantly recognizable thanks to its strong design codes, it is also the most diverse Rolex collections out there with a host of material, dial, bezel, and bracelet options. Even when you take a specific style, such as the two tone Datejust, there are still so many style options to comb through. Today we’re comparing two different generations of the two tone Datejust models—16003, 16013, 16253 vs. 16203, 16233, 16263.

Rolex Mens Datejust Two-Tone 16003

The Essentials of the Two Tone Datejust

Although we’re here to sort out the differences between two eras of the two tone Datejust, we first must mention what the similarities are across all Datejust watches. Every watch that we’re touching upon today includes a 36mm Oyster case built to be water resistant to 100 meters. Also, since today’s topic is the two tone Datejust, each of these Rolex watches combine rugged stainless steel and precious yellow gold. In Rolex-speak, this marrying of two metals is called Rolesor. “Datejust” takes its name from the date window that you’ll always find at the 3 o’clock position, along with its loyal Cyclops magnification lens companion sitting directly on top of it. Lastly, all two tone Datejust watches highlighted today run on automatic mechanical movements.

Design: Two Tone Rolex Datejust 16003, 16013, 16253 vs. 16203, 16233, 16263

The two tone Rolex Datejust ref. 16003 and ref. 16203 have yellow gold smooth (domed) bezels, the ref. 16013 and ref. 16233 have yellow gold fluted bezels, and the ref. 16253 and ref. 16263 have yellow gold engine-turned “Turn-O-Graph” rotating bezels.

Rolex Mens Datejust Two-Tone 16203

Rolex began production of the two tone Datejust ref. 16003, ref. 16013, and ref. 16253 in the late 1970s and continued for about a decade until the late 1980s. As with other Datejust watches from the era, the two-tone Datejust ref. 16003, ref. 16013, and ref. 16253 watches have acrylic crystals, tritium lume, and lug holes on the cases. These models either came with two tone Oyster or Jubilee bracelets with hollow links, end pieces, and flip clasps.

Rolex replaced this generation with the new two tone Datejust ref. 16203, 16233, and 16263 in the late 1980s. A big change of the newer two tone Datejust models was the use of scratch-resistant sapphire crystals rather than acrylic ones.

Rolex Mens Datejust Two-Tone 16263

The Datejust ref. 16203, 16233, and 16263 were produced until the mid 2000s and during that time, Rolex made several design modifications to the models. For instance, in the mid 1990s, Rolex stopped including lug holes in their cases. So early models from this generation have lug holes, while those examples that came after the mid 1990s do not have them.

Similarly, Rolex began using Luminova in the late 1990s followed by SuperLuminova a few years later for dial luminescence. So, depending on when it was manufactured, it’s possible to have two tone Datejust ref. 16203, 16233, and 16263 watches with either tritium, Luminova, or SuperLuminova lume.

The bracelets, however, didn’t change during the production period and all two tone Datejust ref. 16203, 16233, and 16263 watches were offered with either Oyster or Jubilee bracelets with flip clasps and hollow links.

Movement: Two Tone Rolex Datejust 16003, 16013, 16253 vs. 16203, 16233, 16263

Powering the two tone Datejust 16003, ref. 16013, and ref. 16253 watches is Caliber 3035, while the two tone Datejust 16203, 16233, and 16263 run on Caliber 3135. Although both are automatic mechanical movements with quickset date function where the date window is set independently from the hour and minute hands, there are a few differences.

Rolex Mens Datejust Two-Tone 16253

Caliber 3135 boasts enhancements in accuracy and robustness, in addition to a slightly increased power reserve of 48 hours compared to the Caliber 3035’s 42-hour power reserve. A way to distinguish the Caliber 3035 from the Caliber 3135 without opening the case is by noticing you set the time. To adjust the time with Caliber 3035, the winding crown turns counterclockwise, whereas with Caliber 3135, the winding crown turns clockwise.

To sum up, the older two tone Datejust ref. 16003, ref. 16013, and ref. 16253 offer a decidedly more vintage vibe. On the other hand, the newer Datejust ref. 16203, ref. 16233, and ref. 16263 watches include more modern features, but also have the option for vintage touches when looking earlier examples.

The post Two Tone Rolex Datejust Compare: 16003, 16013, 16253 vs. 16203, 16233, 16263 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/two-tone-rolex-datejust-compare-16003-16013-16253-vs-16203-16233-16263/feed/ 0
Why is it Important to Take Care of Your Rolex? https://beckertime.com/blog/why-is-it-important-to-take-care-of-your-rolex/ https://beckertime.com/blog/why-is-it-important-to-take-care-of-your-rolex/#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 14:18:11 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=179061 Congratulations! You’ve searched high and low, decided on your favorite model, and have taken the plunge by getting yourself the Rolex you’ve always wanted. While Rolex watches are by no means cheap, these mechanical marvels are built to last and therefore are great investments. In fact, if properly cared for, a Rolex watch can last […]

The post Why is it Important to Take Care of Your Rolex? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Congratulations! You’ve searched high and low, decided on your favorite model, and have taken the plunge by getting yourself the Rolex you’ve always wanted. While Rolex watches are by no means cheap, these mechanical marvels are built to last and therefore are great investments. In fact, if properly cared for, a Rolex watch can last pretty much indefinitely and can outlive its original owner to be enjoyed by several future generations. However, in order to ensure its longevity, there are a couple of steps to consider to properly take care of your Rolex watch. To maintain your watch’s beauty and technical ability, it’s important to take care of your Rolex watch. Read on for our top tips on how to do just that.

Weekly Rolex Care

Quick wash for your Rolex Watch once a week to keep it fresh

If your Rolex watch is your daily watch (as it should be!) then it’ll inevitably get dirty. As it lives on your arm, it’ll come into contact with dirt and sweat so it’s important to clean it regularly. We recommend doing a quick wash once a week to keep it fresh. To clean your Rolex watch, simply run in under some warm water, lather it up with mild non-toxic soap, rinse it off, and dry it with a soft cloth. This is of course only applicable to metal bracelet Rolex watches.

When you wash your Rolex watch, make sure that the winding crown is safely screwed-down into the case to keep the water out! If you have a Daytona, make sure those chronograph pushers are screwed in as well.

Monthly Rolex Care

Once a month, we recommend spending a few more minutes cleaning your Rolex watch with a soft brush to really get all the grime out, paying particular attention to the bracelet. If dirt builds up in-between the links of your metal bracelet, not only will it look dull and dirty, the particles can actually cause bracelet stretching and scratching over a period of time.

Again, using warm soapy water, clean the Rolex watch thoroughly, using your soft brush to get at the harder to reach areas of the bracelet. Please make sure you use a very soft non-abrasive brush to avoid scratching and remember to screw down that winding crown prior to any water coming in contact with your Rolex.

Naturally, this only applies to metal bracelets and not leather ones. Specific cleaners are available to keep your leather straps looking clean and supple. If you have a Rolex with a leather strap, remove the straps once a month to wash and scrub the case.

Regular Rolex Servicing

Regular Rolex Servicing

Find yourself a certified watchmaker you trust—whether via a Rolex service center or an independent watchmaker—and send your Rolex every couple of years for a check-up. Similar to taking care of a car, regular servicing is a great way to extend the life of your Rolex.

During the service, the exterior Rolex watch will be thoroughly cleaned and polished to look like new. Also, any damaged parts will be replaced. Furthermore, the movement of the watch will be disassembled, re-lubricated to avoid friction, and after everything has been put back together, the watch will be pressure proofed for optimal water resistance.

However, some collectors prefer not to service their vintage Rolex watches in order to keep all the original parts and to avoid polishing. This is a personal preference and you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of having a watch looking pristine and running at COSC-standard versus keeping everything vintage and original to when it came out of the factory decades ago.

As Needed Rolex Care

Sometimes, your Rolex watch will need to go in for repairs or services outside of the regular schedule. For instance, if you notice some condensation on the dial under the crystal or if your watch is running slow/fast, send it immediately for servicing before too much damage happens to the movement. Furthermore, depending on how harsh you are with your watch, the bezel and/or crystal may be replacing.

It’s important to take good care of your Rolex watch on a regular basis to prevent huge repairs down the road. As with most things in life, maintenance and prevention is easier and cheaper than fixing a major problem once the damage has been done.

The post Why is it Important to Take Care of Your Rolex? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/why-is-it-important-to-take-care-of-your-rolex/feed/ 0
The Watch Collector Series: Watches and Cars https://beckertime.com/blog/the-watch-collector-series-watches-and-cars/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-watch-collector-series-watches-and-cars/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:10:30 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180528 Watches and Cars Connection Scratch any enthusiastic watch collector and it’s a good bet you will also find a car collector, or budding car collector, lurking just below the surface. The two worlds have always been intrinsically linked. They share a number of overlapping qualities that inspire equally obsessive passions. Watches and cars are essentially functional […]

The post The Watch Collector Series: Watches and Cars appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Watches and Cars Connection

Scratch any enthusiastic watch collector and it’s a good bet you will also find a car collector, or budding car collector, lurking just below the surface. The two worlds have always been intrinsically linked. They share a number of overlapping qualities that inspire equally obsessive passions. Watches and cars are essentially functional items built for a definite purpose. However, each has been elevated, in some instances, to the level of works of art.

Each are powered by technology that has been superseded in terms of accuracy, reliability and convenience. But never in terms of sheer grandeur. And with both, the particular models collectors choose to wear or drive tells us a great deal about the individual and their personality.

Below, we’ll look at a few more of the fundamental connections between fine timepieces and luxury automobiles.

The Mechanics

Perhaps above all else, it is the fascination with the method. It’s the systems that power both watches and cars, that captivates most collectors.

Watches and Cars - Classic Ferrari

There is something primal about watching the assembly of hundreds, if not thousands, of individual components all working together to produce their specific end result.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a complete understanding of how the internal combustion engine or a mechanical caliber actually work. Everyone is able to appreciate the level of dedication, beauty and hours of effort that has demonstrably gone into their creation. It is something that can’t be faked or recreated by any other means.

We are entering into the age of the electric car and we have had digital watches for nearly half a century. Both outperform their respective ancestors by huge amounts. But with electronics, we can only be aware of the effect of their work rather than being able to watch the process unfold. The traditional systems are just more involving.

It may be far easier to set the time or date on a digital watch, or change gear with a twin clutch paddle-shift transmission rather than with a beautifully weighted, mechanical gated shifter on a classic Ferrari or Lamborghini. However, ask anyone who has had experience of both which they prefer. It would be a rare occasion anyone plumps for the contemporary approach.

The Aesthetics

Watches and Cars - Rolex Submariner 114060

Beyond what drives them, the element most collectors notice first about watches and cars is what they look like. The design of both reflect the era into which they were born. Some, such as Rolex’s Submariner or Porsche’s 911, got it right from the get-go. Additionally, they have retained much of the original blueprint over the years. The modern day versions of both will always be desirable. But it is the vintage examples that fire the imagination and, most importantly, have a story to tell.

In some cases, that story is written around the specific role they were created to fill.

Its Heritage and Legacy

For example, they build a Land Rover Defender to be as tough and as mechanically simple as possible. This enables it to serve as a military transport in some of the toughest and most hostile environments on earth. Similarly, the unorthodox crown protector on the Panerai Luminor was a necessity at the time to safeguard the watch’s waterproofness. Their instantly recognizable aesthetics make each distinctive in its own way and also tells us a lot about their heritage and legacy. Wearing or driving either grants us entry into an exclusive club.

Watches and Cars - Porsche 911

Beyond that, the way both a timepiece and an automobile age over the years becomes an intriguing factor. With watches, collectors will pay enormous premiums for a model with an elegant patina, a faded bezel or a spider-webbed dial. For cars, usually the more pristine its condition the better, but an original driver’s seat with a cracked leather upholstery also reveals something about that particular example, and its unique history.

The Dedication

One trait that truly links the collectors of watches and cars is the level of dedication they have. Not just to finding the longed-for piece in the first place, but to maintaining it.

Anyone who has ever owned an old car, not even a collectible necessarily, will know the feeling of mumbling through a quick prayer to the engine gods every morning when they turn the key in the ignition. They know the heart straining tension of listening to the motor’s death rattle as they roll up to a set of lights with a hundred, far newer, cars right behind them.

A vintage car collector is a vintage car fixer. For many, it is the chance to get grease under the fingernails and skin scraped off the knuckles. Keeping that assembly of countless separate parts finely-tuned and working perfectly together grants a sort of satisfaction you can’t find anywhere else. Modern cars, with CPUs and onboard diagnostics, while more efficient and reliable in just about every way, don’t inspire that devotion.

Watches, on the other hand, are different. Stripping a carburetor is something the majority could do given a manual and a few tools. However, dismantling a Swiss lever escapement is beyond the scope of most people. This is a recipe for a very expensive mistake as tiny springs launch in all directions and never seen again.

The watch collector’s dedication is in tracking down the craftsmen who can do that sort of thing for them. It’s the discipline to stick to what is likely to be a far more frequent and costly servicing schedule than that for a contemporary model.

An Investment of Time and Money

Where the two worlds meet up again is in the patience required for ownership. The older a car or a watch gets, the more care it needs. It also becomes more difficult to find authentic replacements for worn out parts. Securing them involves the investment of both time and money, as well as the gathering of knowledge on how various systems work.

Putting in all that work, and overcoming all the various obstacles, is what makes the process all the more enjoyable.

The Hunt

Maybe it goes back to our caveman days. Yet, for many collectors it’s the thrill of the hunt that drives them, even more than the acquiring.

It is a game that requires the sort of perseverance that can sometimes border on the obsessive compulsion.

Talk to any hardcore enthusiast about their favorite hobby. You’ll find that it’s about the satisfaction and the adrenaline rush in locating something that has eluded them for years or even decades.

Although driving a classic auto or wearing a rare vintage watch is fun, for some, nothing beats the chase. It is the reason many collector’s garages are full of cars that don’t run, and possibly never will. And it is why some watch collections include pieces that are beyond servicing.

It is the search, the discovery, and often, the people they meet along the way that captivate most. And, there is always that one more elusive find.

Both watches and cars have frequently gone hand in hand. As a result, collectors tend to fall into one of two categories: lovers of mechanics or lovers of design.

The mechanics are spellbound by the engineering and workmanship. They also admire the way gears mesh together or how a mainspring breathes.

For design fans, it is all about the appearance—the detailing, the polishing, and the overriding style.

Both automotive and horology communities enjoy ever increasing popularity. Collectors pay record breaking prices for rare examples seemingly everyday.

It’s interesting that in an age of rapid technological advances, more and more people are becoming fascinated by the products of previous generations.

Today’s cutting-edge marvels may impress on the surface. But it’s the artistry and expertise of an earlier era that speaks to us on a far deeper level.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Watch Collector Series: Watches and Cars appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-watch-collector-series-watches-and-cars/feed/ 0
What’s the Difference? The Rolex Explorer II 40mm Vs. The Rolex Explorer II 42mm https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-explorer-ii-40mm-vs-the-rolex-explorer-ii-42mm/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-explorer-ii-40mm-vs-the-rolex-explorer-ii-42mm/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:30:51 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=179759 There’s a definite trend among the current Rolex lineup to draw on certain styling elements from past classics and incorporate them into contemporary designs. The latest Sea-Dweller, for example, gives an obvious nod to the piece that started it all with its splash of red dial text. Similarly, the reborn Air-King arrived with a model […]

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Explorer II 40mm Vs. The Rolex Explorer II 42mm appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
There’s a definite trend among the current Rolex lineup to draw on certain styling elements from past classics and incorporate them into contemporary designs.

The latest Sea-Dweller, for example, gives an obvious nod to the piece that started it all with its splash of red dial text. Similarly, the reborn Air-King arrived with a model signature lifted straight from the 1950s.

But, in keeping with modern tastes, the most recent versions of both those timepieces were issued with far larger cases than we’ve had previously, and we can see a further example of this merging of past and present in another long-serving name; the Rolex Explorer II.

Understated Progression

The Explorer II, and the original Explorer to some extent, represent a couple of Rolex’s most perpetually overlooked releases.

While the first in the family from 1953, a watch built on the back of Hillary and Tenzing’s conquest of Everest, is perhaps the least altered of any of the brand’s designs over its long life, its sequel runs it a close second in models that Rolex decided to leave well alone.

The Explorer II first emerged in 1971, sharing a name with its predecessor but little else. Where the Explorer was the epitome of modest, three-hand, time-only construction, the follow-up was built with a very specific role in mind.

Niche Audience

Professionals in some of the more glamorous vocations are well catered for by Rolex. Divers have the choice of the legendary Submariner, the extra tough Sea-Dweller or the lunatic Deepsea. Pilots have long turned to the GMT-Master. Wealthier pilots have the Sky-Dweller. And no racing driver’s outfit is complete without a Daytona.

Rolex Explorer II 1655

However, one field of gainful employment, or so Rolex seem to think, was being continuously overlooked; the spelunker.

Those who spend their working lives, or indeed their time off from their working lives, exploring cave systems, do so mostly in the dark. In that kind of environment, losing track of the time of day is practically guaranteed, and a watch that tells you only that it’s, say, seven o’clock is relatively useless. Is that seven o’clock in the morning or evening?

Enter the Explorer II. The initial reference 1655 launched with a bright orange extra hour hand and an engraved, fixed 24-hour bezel. The second hour hand, immediately dubbed the ‘Freccione’ after the Italian for arrow due to its shape, rotated around the dial at half speed, pointing out the time on the brushed steel surround, helping wearers determine between night and day.

The Dark Horse

However, in a world that was already being served very nicely in the dual time stakes by the GMT-Master, the Explorer II and its highly specific target market failed to capture much in the way of popular imagination.

Rolex Mens Explorer II 1655

The two series even shared a movement, the Cal. 1575, a trait that would continue throughout their respective runs, right up to their most recent iterations. But whereas the unidirectional bezel on the GMT-Master made it possible to track a second time zone by lining it up with the additional hour hand, the Explorer’s non-rotating surround meant it was little more than a large AM/PM indicator.

So, it was no match for the GMT on functionality, it was also lagging behind image-wise, and its aesthetics were a more acquired, utilitarian taste as well, compared to the iconic bi-color bezels of the aviator’s piece.

Even the completely groundless rumors that the Explorer II was the watch of choice for the undisputed king of cool didn’t help its cause, and the ‘Steve McQueen Rolex’ tended to linger on the shelf long after its two-toned cousins had found appreciative homes.

The Transition

The exclusively black dialed ref. 1655 stayed in underwhelming production for a further 15 years before Rolex decided to have another go.

Rolex Explorer II 16550

The follow-up ref. 16550 was released around the same time as the first of the GMT-Master IIs, again with a shared movement, this time the Cal. 3085, but one that finally allowed the two hour hands on both watches to be set independently.

Considered a transitional reference, it managed to pack a lot into its brief four-year run.

Rolex inexplicably chose to do away with the large orange Freccione hand, the Explorer’s only positive element in the eyes of many, and replace it with the much less distinctive skinny red example straight from the GMT.

Although it retained the 40mm dimensions, it was given a new bezel with a fatter font on the engravings and, for the first time, was offered in two dial colors; the traditional black and a new white, or Polar.

Unfortunately, or fortunately if you are a collector, the chap in charge of quality control for Rolex in the eighties took a day off when it came time to choose paint suppliers. Both dial types ran into problems on the ref. 16550. The crisp white of the Polar models turned a warm cream after prolonged exposure to sunlight, while the black dials cracked into spider web patterns after a few years. This being vintage Rolex of course, examples of both these ‘mistakes’ are now highly sought after.

Rolex Explorer II 16550

All Change

Following the ref. 16550, 1989 brought us the only marginally altered but much longer-running ref. 16570. Aside from a movement upgrade, being fitted first with the Cal. 3185 and later the Cal. 3186, and new black outlines around the hour markers on the Polar version, there was little to choose between it and its predecessor visually.

Its 22-year tenure brought the Explorer II neatly up to its 40th anniversary, and the biggest change to the series in its history, one that finally saw it step out of the shadow of the GMT-Master and set itself apart as very much its own watch.

The ref. 216570

The most recent incarnations of the GMT-Master and Submariner have been given what Rolex call their Maxi case, staying at the time-honored 40mm but beefing up crown guards, lugs and bezels, along with adding fatter hands and hour markers. It is all an attempt to satisfy the modern vogue for larger watches without technically increasing their size on paper.

Rolex Explorer II 216570

For the latest Explorer II, the brand have actually boosted the diameter, taking it up to 42mm and making it the fourth largest model in the catalog in the process.

The extra millimeters work especially well with the enlarged case and dial features, giving the watch both an additional wrist presence, as well as more refined proportions compared to its smaller stable mates.

It is evidence that the Explorer II, at long last, has come of age. For 40 years it has been described as a GMT-Master with a fixed bezel but, with its imposing new bodywork, the ref. 216570 now occupies a unique space in the lineup.

Further proof of Rolex’s attempt to separate the two series comes in the form of the Explorer’s caliber which, for the first time, has been created specifically for it alone.

Ok, that may be overstating it slightly, seeing as the only difference between the GMT’s Cal. 3186 and the Explorer’s Cal. 3187 is the latter’s shock absorption system, but still! Replacing the KIF setup with Rolex’s own Paraflex in the 3187 gives a reported 50% improvement in protection, perfect for a no-nonsense tool watch.

A Little Nostalgia

While many of the elements in the ref. 216570 are as contemporary as they come, there is still plenty for historians to appreciate. It has kept to its entirely brushed steel construction, Rolex resisting the urge to roll out a version in precious metal or with their formidable Cerachrom bezel inserts. It is, as always, only available with the Oyster bracelet, the sportiest of the brand’s metal band collection. But most significantly, the Freccione is back. Missing since the eighties, it is a gloriously welcome retro return for the bright orange 24-hour hand, harking back to the Steve McQueen original, particularly on the black dialed piece.

40mm or 42mm?

The Explorer II, pretty much from day one, has been the forgotten Rolex. Today though, that reputation has seen it achieve a cult status.

Along with its namesake, the original Explorer, it has stuck true to its roots. It is the tool-like essence of early Rolex, the reason why many purists fell in love with the brand in the first place.

Whether you veer towards the vintage or the modern, there is an example in the range to suit most tastes.

Although its unpolished finish means it loses some of the versatility of certain other big names in the inventory, its also-ran nature gives it that precious exclusivity factor.

After all, who doesn’t love an underdog?

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Explorer II 40mm Vs. The Rolex Explorer II 42mm appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-explorer-ii-40mm-vs-the-rolex-explorer-ii-42mm/feed/ 0
The Grail Watch Series: The Paul Newman Daytonas https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-watch-series-the-paul-newman-daytonas/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-watch-series-the-paul-newman-daytonas/#respond Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:34:30 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177834 The Grailiest Of Holy Grails On paper, it makes no sense. A mass-produced, unpopular version of an already unpopular item, powered by technology that was outdated before it even began (and made by a third party to boot) somehow becoming responsible for starting an entire multi-billion dollar industry. However, what we are talking about here […]

The post The Grail Watch Series: The Paul Newman Daytonas appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
The Grailiest Of Holy Grails

On paper, it makes no sense. A mass-produced, unpopular version of an already unpopular item, powered by technology that was outdated before it even began (and made by a third party to boot) somehow becoming responsible for starting an entire multi-billion dollar industry. However, what we are talking about here are: A. Watches. B. Rolex watches, and C. Vintage Rolex watches. So we can maybe let logic and common sense take a backseat for this one. The Rolex Paul Newman Daytona watches are the grailiest of holy grails. For the uninitiated, the name refers to a family of dial variations the brand fitted to six separate models of their all-conquering chronograph between 1963 and 1987.

Initially known as the ‘exotic’ dials, these contrasting, three-color combination faces, with their Art Deco-style fonts, are now the most valuable, sought out and lusted over of any vintage piece by Rolex, or just about any other manufacturer.

The History

It was not always so. The Daytona, released in 1963, was Rolex’s first serious foray into the world of the chronograph. There had been other abortive attempts, going back as far as WWII, none of which had met with much success and had swiftly found themselves retired. Then, as now, Rolex was not known for their complicated watches.

Yet, just as the Submariner and Explorer had captured the collective imagination in the fifties, winning the brand a priceless association with the planet’s adventurers, the new decade saw them set out to bask in the reflected glory of the racetrack.

In 1962, Rolex became the official timekeeper of two of the biggest events on the endurance motorsport calendar; the 24-hour races at Le Mans in France and Daytona in Florida.

Paul Newman Daytona Rolex Mens 6239

Cosmograph Ref. 6239

To commemorate the start of a long and fruitful relationship still going strong to this day, they launched the Cosmograph ref. 6239, briefly called the Le Mans, and quickly changed to The Daytona to appeal to an American audience.

With pump pushers jutting from its rugged steel case, engraved tachymeter bezel and arrangement of a trio of sub dials, it was a Rolex the likes of which the world had never seen.

And the world, it is fair to say, wasn’t particularly interested.

The Daytona was the brand’s perennial underachiever for years, due mainly to its glaring Achilles heel—its movement. Sourced from renowned Swiss watchmakers Valjoux, Rolex took the company’s standard Cal. 72 and modified it with their own Microstella regulated balance wheel and Breguet overcoil, improving on what was already one of the best chronograph mechanisms of the period.

Renaming it the Cal. 722, it was unquestionably a formidable performer, but there was no getting away from the fact that it was still a manually-wound movement.

A Problem Child

For a manufacturer that had established the Perpetual automatic caliber several decades earlier, releasing what was intended to be a flagship professional watch that needed winding every day was a divisive move, especially considering the first rumblings of the quartz era were drifting in from the east at the time.

A timepiece that ground to a halt should you forget to wind it before going to bed was a problem for a previous generation. The rate of technical progress in the sixties saw the Daytona quickly left behind as a quaint relic that was to gather dust on hapless dealer’s shelves for year after year.

Even upgrading the movement from 18,000bph to 21,600bph in 1970 (and becoming the Cal. 727 in the process) did nothing to further its cause. The Daytona remained the problem child, in some cases reportedly offered as a free incentive to customers and bundled together with the purchase of other, more desirable pieces.

It wouldn’t start its journey to the very top of the horology food chain until it received its first fully automatic movement, the Zenith El Primero, in 1988, a full quarter of a century after its launch.

By then, of course, it had gained one legendary benefactor.

The Paul Newman Connection

Philanthropist, political activist, professional racing driver, but most of all, Hollywood royalty, Paul Newman stands as one of the most beloved icons of the 20th century.

It is the affection in which he is held and the place he occupies in the American psyche that is solely responsible for making the exotic dial Daytonas the most coveted watches on the vintage market today.

Newman’s association started when Joanne Woodward, his wife for over 50 years, gifted the actor a ref. 6239 with a white exotic dial in 1969. His starring role in the movie Winning of that year awakened a passion for motor racing that would consume him for the rest of his life and the Daytona, with its chronograph function and 12-hour totalizer, was the perfect model to accompany him as he competed in grueling endurance events.

Appearing regularly on his wrist as he embarked on the publicity tour for the movie, it was the first time anyone seemed to notice these particular variants of the Rolex black sheep, but it wasn’t until the 80s that its popularity started to soar.

According to completely unsubstantiated folklore, it was one cover of one Italian magazine featuring Newman wearing his Daytona that launched the modern day obsession. Whether that is true or not (and it wouldn’t be the first time the Italians had rescued an underperforming Rolex), is irrelevant; the six Cosmograph references with any of the four separate exotic dial color schemes would be known for evermore as the Paul Newman Daytonas.

The Differences

The only distinction between a Paul Newman Daytona (ref. 6239, 6241, 6262, 6264, 6263 and 6265—and no others) and the standard-issue models covering the same references, is the dial. And an eye-watering hike in price.

Rolex Mens Daytona Paul Newman 6241

In every other way they are identical; all fitted with manually wound, Valjoux-sourced movements, the earliest four examples featured pump pushers to operate the chronograph functions, before switching to screw down buttons for the remaining pair around 1970.

The original Daytona, the ref. 6239, received its first ever exotic dial just a couple of years after its launch, produced by celebrated manufacturer Singer (not the washing machine one). Characterized by their starkly contrasting livery, sub dial colors mirrored on the chapter ring, raised, three-dimensional surfaces and a host of other minute identifiers too exhaustive to list here, they were such abject commercial failures that many customers had them swapped for the standard dial before they even left the store.

Responding to the pitiful lack of demand, Rolex produced a severely limited number of these now ultra collectable pieces; experts suggest only one in 20 Daytonas rolling out of the gates at Geneva came fitted with these stylized faces.

The Perfect Storm

Whether Paul Newman was the owner of all six variants that bear his name isn’t clear, but what is evident is that these once unwelcome add-ons to the Cosmograph family now tick every box needed to qualify for grail watch status.

Their provenance is assured as products of the most successful watchmakers of all time. Their aesthetics, while shunned at the time, have matured over the years to become beyond desirable. Ironically, that initial unpopularity afford them a rarity value by default, and above all, their connection with one of the greats of the last golden age of cinema secure the watch’s place in the history books.

There was never a more perfect meeting of personalities as between Paul Newman and the Daytona. Understated, humble and enigmatic, the actor epitomized everything Rolex had poured into their watch.

The Cosmograph was designed to do a tough job, and do it well. The exotic dial was merely an additional subtle flourish, a knowing wink to ensure it stood out just enough from the crowd. Similarly, Newman, a graduate of the Method school of acting, had a sparse, anti showboating style that achieved a rare trueness in his roles, elevated to another level by the bottomless limits of his charisma and the glint in those preternaturally blue eyes.

If he had been just an Oscar-winning actor, his legend would have been certain. But off-screen, he lived by an unwavering moral code that endeared him to the public far more so than any of his contemporaries.

He was a sex symbol who remained utterly faithful to his wife for more than half a century. His food company, Newman’s Own, still donates 100% of its post-tax profits to charitable organizations, to a reported sum approaching $500m. He created ‘The Hole in the Wall Gang’ camp, a retreat for severely and terminally ill children. In an industry where the word ‘Hollywood’ is more often than not followed by the word ‘phony’, he was something different; he was genuine.

Paul Newman’s Paul Newman

If you have any sort of interest in Rolex, or fine watches in general, you may just have heard about that first of Newman’s Daytonas going up for auction at the end of last year. The piece that started the whole furor following the Italian magazine photo-shoot, given to him by his concerned spouse when he took up professional racing (and engraved on the back, ‘Drive Carefully, Me’ as a reminder), was, if there ever was such a thing, an entry-level Daytona.

Woodward probably paid around $300 for it in 1969, most likely from Tiffany’s in New York, but no one knows for certain. It was considered lost for decades, which raised it to mythical status among collectors, who assumed it would never see the light of day again. In fact, Newman had nonchalantly passed it on to the college boyfriend of one his daughters, simply because he didn’t have a watch of his own. “If you wind it, it tells pretty good time”, he advised the lad.

Last October, it went for $17.7m, making it the most expensive watch ever sold.

The Investment Potential

Many of Rolex’s top models have fairly solid investment prospects. In fact, you would have to be especially unlucky to lose money on pretty much any of the brand’s output if you hang on to it for long enough.

However, there is no other mass-produced watch in the world that has enjoyed such a massive increase in value as the Paul Newman Daytonas.

Rolex Mens Daytona Paul Newman 6262

Horology investments don’t come any more rock solid.

But looking through the vintage market, and doing some math, you might notice things don’t quite add up. For such a rare example, there are a suspiciously high number of Newman’s around.

If genuine models are limited to just those six specific references, two of which were only in production for a year, and only around one in 20 that left the factory were fitted with exotic dials, where have all these watches come from?

As I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, the Paul Newman Daytonas have suffered the same fate as the Submariner, or indeed any hyper popular item, and attracted the attention of counterfeiters. There are now more fakes in circulation than the real thing, with the potential profits available attracting forgers by the truckload to pray on the unwary.

Should you be in the market for one, the amount of research you need to be prepared to do is above and beyond that needed for just about any other watch. More than anything else, you need to have 100% trust in the seller.

With prices that start in the six figures, buying a Paul Newman Daytona is one of the few occasions where a massive amount of paranoia is an asset.

If you are lucky enough to have the budget, and a dealer you have complete faith in, joining such an exclusive club is indeed an honor. As we said at the beginning, logic has very little to do with the vintage watch market, and the exotic dial Daytonas especially—they are all about emotion.

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is perhaps the most important sports watch of all time—an amazing creation that found its perfect companion in a cool-hand legend.

The post The Grail Watch Series: The Paul Newman Daytonas appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-watch-series-the-paul-newman-daytonas/feed/ 0
The Future Grail Series: The Green Submariners https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-series-the-green-submariners/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-series-the-green-submariners/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2018 15:29:01 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177831 A mid-life crisis can take many forms. For some, it involves nothing more harmful than looking up old flames on Facebook or developing an overwhelming urge to learn the guitar. For others, it can lead to spending the kid’s college fund on a Porsche or excruciating attempts to flirt with people 20 years their junior. […]

The post The Future Grail Series: The Green Submariners appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
A mid-life crisis can take many forms. For some, it involves nothing more harmful than looking up old flames on Facebook or developing an overwhelming urge to learn the guitar. For others, it can lead to spending the kid’s college fund on a Porsche or excruciating attempts to flirt with people 20 years their junior.

But whether its letting it all hang out at Burning Man or squeezing into lycra to train for an Ironman, there is rarely anything dignified about reaching middle age.

For the Rolex Submariner however, hitting the big 5-0 saw the world’s favorite dive watch buck convention and turn a very stylish shade of green.

The Kermit

That half century clocked up back in 2003 and represented the first time Rolex had used the color on their class-leading professional timepiece.

Green has been a signature for the brand and its logo for many years, bringing with it the obvious connotations of money and wealth. Their particular shade, #265C26, is so associated with the company that it is instantly recognizable on billboards and advertisements even before you see the wording.

Rolex Mens Submariner Stainless Steel 16610LV

For the Submariner’s birthday, Rolex launched the ref. 16610LV, with the LV standing for Lunette Verte, or ‘green bezel’.

Longtime fans of the marque know they are not averse to throwing in the occasional surprise when the mood takes them, and seeing one of horology’s greatest icons suddenly emerge ringed by a bright emerald surround was certainly a shock to many.

Instantly gaining as many detractors as admirers, online Rolex forums, which are not known for their fair-minded objectivity at the best of times, lit up with passionate activists both for and against.

Those smitten with the new direction quickly christened it The Kermit. Those horrified by such a drastic departure from the norm inflicted upon it a different nickname; the vomit Sub. It’s not easy, as the saying goes, being green.

The Next Generation

As well as debuting the radical new color, the ref. 16610LV brought the Maxi dial to the Submariner for the first time. Introduced on the Yacht-Master in 1991, which is basically a Sub in a fancy suit, the fatter hands and hour markers not only made the piece more legible, but also lent it a pleasing vintage air, harking back to some of the earliest models in the series—a little touch of nostalgia for the birthday boy.

Rolex Mens Submariner Stainless Steel 16610LV

Aside from the coloring, the Kermit shared the same specifications as the standard-issue black Submariner of the same period, in an if-it-ain’t-broke kind of way.

Forged from impossibly tough 904L steel, the 40mm case was designed to withstand just about anything a daily wearer could subject it to, including a dip in the ocean down to 300m. The proportions of that robust body are held up by purists as among the most perfectly formed of any of the watch’s many iterations. As opposed to the contemporary model’s broad-shouldered muscularity, the ref. 16610LV has a graceful elegance, sweeping into its 20mm Oyster bracelet and affording the watch an appropriately fluid look.

Inside, the Cal. 3135 purrs away with the sort of rock steady dependability that lasts several lifetimes. The most successful and widely-used of the crown’s workhorses, the 31 jewel creation gives a 50-hour power reserve along with the flowing seconds hand that comes from its 28,800bph frequency.

But it’s the unorthodox bezel that will always attract the headlines. As with many extreme breaks from convention, initial resistance was short lived. Before too long, pre-owned examples of the Kermit were selling for more than box fresh versions of the traditional black models.

Made before the Cerachrom era, the aluminum insert has a lustrous gleam which reflects the light to a degree modern day ceramics can’t quite match. It is a bold, eye-catching element that still manages to retain the essential spirit of the Submariner, and the reason for its continued success—its versatility. Whatever color that timeless design comes in, it is the watch that can be worn anywhere and with anything.

So, is the Kermit a future grail watch? Well, many of the fundamentals are there. It is a dramatically different version of a universally adored icon. It debuted all new features, in its color scheme and Maxi dial. And most importantly, it is a comparative rarity.

Although rumored to be a limited edition on its release, the 16610LV joined the regular line up, but was only in production for seven years. That gives it the sort of finite quantities that collectors yearn for, and prices for pre-loved examples are already on the rise.

Variations

During its short run, the first of the green Subs went through just two extremely subtle design changes—one intentional, which doesn’t add much to the value of the watch; the other accidental, which most certainly does.

Around 2007, it gained a laser engraving of the ROLEX name repeated three times on its rehaut, and the serial number changed location to below the 6 o’clock position on the case.

And at some point, very briefly, a machining defect gave us what have become known as the ‘Flat 4’ editions. These incredibly rare examples, already steaming towards grail status, have a slight irregularity in the first digit of the ‘40’ etching on their bezels. Whereas the normal piece has the inside lines of the number join together at the top, forming a point, on the Flat 4’s, they are squared off.

Practically indistinguishable from one another, be prepared to pay up to twice the price for a Flat 4!

The Hulk

Ending The Kermit’s brief reign, its replacement, the ref. 116610LV appeared in 2010 and saw Rolex truly committing to the green motif.

Presenting the crown’s hard-won proprietary ceramic for the first time, the corrosion resistant and scratchproof Cerachrom bezel has been guaranteed to always remain as brightly colored as new, avoiding the age-worn fading suffered by the older style aluminum inserts.

Rolex Mens Submariner Stainless Steel 116610LV

The ultra tough material has a look and feel that is distinctly different to its predecessor, with a surface that, although polished, holds a pleasantly muted finish. It doesn’t so much shine like the metal versions, but rather glows.

Where the ref. 116610LV does sparkle, and where the biggest difference is between it and the 50th anniversary model, is in the dial. While the Kermit kept the traditional black, this new model is set with a face that Rolex call ‘Green Gold’.

By mixing gold dust into the paint (because of course they do—they’re Rolex) the dial’s surface becomes an active, dynamic element of the watch, changing and shifting hue constantly under different lighting conditions. In direct sunlight, it shimmers a vivid jade, under more subdued conditions, it darkens almost to black. It means that dial and bezel are sometimes matched in tone and at others contrast noticeably. Seeing how the colors play in the light is one of the great pleasures in ownership.

Don’t Make it Angry

Contemporary watches, and sports models in particular, have been increasing in size steadily for several years now. What would have once been an unthinkably large model a decade or two ago, these days is not only acceptable, but conventional.

Rolex too, although you suspect somewhat unwillingly, have begun to up the dimensions of their range, with 42mm-plus becoming the new norm.

For the Submariner though, growing beyond the 40mm mark is apparently too much to ask. The dive watch that inspired it all has stubbornly remained true to its dimensions and shows no sign of changing.

In order to compensate, and mollify the fans who have started to grumble that the Sub is losing some of its presence alongside competitor’s offerings, the brand have steroid-infused the latest wave, giving them a well-built, street-brawler physique.

The ref. 116610LV features lugs and crown guards that are nearly twice the width of the previous model, endowing it with a far larger appearance than its numbers would suggest. It gives each version in the new range a more commanding form; in green, it is also responsible for its nickname—The Hulk.

It is one of the more apt unofficial labels given to a Rolex. By far the most solid looking version of the watch, now in its 65th year, The Hulk is an extremely substantial piece of precision engineering. Whereas on paper its dimensions may seem dwarfed by the competition, both from other manufacturers and within its own family, on the wrist, it more than stands its ground. Rolex Mens Submariner Stainless Steel 116610LV

Inside the bulky frame, an uprated version of the same Cal. 3135 that powered the Kermit keeps the beat. Gaining the antimagnetic Parachrom Bleu hairspring means the movement is even more resilient to shocks and temperature variations than before and, since 2015, all Rolex calibers have been required to maintain an accuracy of between +2/-2 seconds a day, twice as severe as the industry standard. No other manufacturer demands more from their engines.

So, what are the chances of The Hulk reaching future grail status? At this point, it’s difficult to tell. Although it is the first time the Submariner has been seen in this getup, it is also not a limited edition and the ref. 116610LV is still very much in production. Unlike the Kermit then, it doesn’t have that oh so important scarcity factor on its side yet.

However, Rolex do have a habit of quietly retiring their more outlandish models, without so much as a heads up to the brand faithful. It could happen at any time, for no reason, so now might be a good time to invest in The Hulk.

Conclusion

Both of the green Submariners caught fans unawares on their release. Although controversial at first, over the years they have proved themselves as two of the most popular variants of perhaps the most popular sports watch of all time.

Devoted Rolex followers can (and often do) argue at great length over which is better. There is, of course, no right answer—there is simply the one you prefer.

What they share, other than their unfamiliar coloring, is generations of constant refining and development, a pedigree of faultless engineering and a tireless dedication to create a timepiece that is an immaculate combination of strength and beauty.

The post The Future Grail Series: The Green Submariners appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-series-the-green-submariners/feed/ 0
The Rolex Watches that Top Golfers Wear https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-that-top-golfers-wear/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-that-top-golfers-wear/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 13:39:22 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180414 The PGA Masters Tournament 2018 wrapped up last weekend and as the first golf major of the year, golf season is in full swing. So what better time than now to have a look at what Rolex watches top golfers wear? Rolex is celebrating 50 years of golf sponsorship this year and unsurprisingly, the Swiss […]

The post The Rolex Watches that Top Golfers Wear appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
.instagram-media{margin:30px auto!important;}

The PGA Masters Tournament 2018 wrapped up last weekend and as the first golf major of the year, golf season is in full swing. So what better time than now to have a look at what Rolex watches top golfers wear? Rolex is celebrating 50 years of golf sponsorship this year and unsurprisingly, the Swiss watchmaking giant counts some of the best golfers in the world as brand ambassadors. Let’s check out which are the Rolex watches that top golfers wear while off the course.

Justin Thomas Wears a Rolex Yacht-Master 40

When Justin Thomas held his Honda Classic 2018 trophy proudly in February, we couldn’t help but notice the gleaming Rolex watch he had on his arm. He was, in fact, wearing a Yacht-Master 40 ref. 116622 in stainless steel and platinum. The combination of steel and platinum on Rolex watches is labeled as Rolesium by the brand and on the Yacht-Master ref. 116622, a platinum rotating bezel sits on top of the stainless steel 40mm Oyster case. Finishing off the look of Justin Thomas’ chic nautical-inspired Rolex sports watch is a dark rhodium dial with turquoise accents, along with the essential steel Oyster bracelet.

Tiger Woods Wears a Rolex Deepsea

Although Tiger Woods hasn’t played and won tournaments like he used to during his glory days, he’s still a huge fan favorite. The famous golfer has been wearing a Deepsea watch for years now and the large Rolex professional dive watch suits him well. From its robust steel 44mm Oyster case with a titanium caseback to its broad stainless steel Oyster bracelet to its helium escape valve, this is one Rolex sports watch with plenty of presence on the wrist. Tiger Woods’ particular Rolex Deepsea ref. 116660 is the one with the classic black dial (rather than the D-Blue dial), furnished with the familiar round lume plots and Mercedes-style hands.

Rickie Fowler Wears a Rolex Daytona

Well actually, Rickie Fowler has quite an extensive Rolex collection including Datejust, Milgauss, Submariner, Deepsea, and Daytona watches! However, lately, we’ve spotted the pro golfer wearing his steel and ceramic Daytona ref. 116500LN the most. And frankly, who can blame him? The newest steel Daytona to join the Rolex chronograph collection, the Daytona 116500LN came out in 2016 to the delight of Rolex fans everywhere. Topping its steel 40mm Oyster case is a sleek black Cerachrom ceramic bezel engraved with a tachymeter scale. Ricke Fowler’s version is the white “Panda” dial ceramic Daytona complete with the black outlined trio of subdials.

Jordan Spieth wears a Rolex Explorer II

Jordan Spieth has been wearing his trusty Rolex Explorer II ref. 216570 for years now and it suits him to a t(ee). With its larger steel 42mm Oyster case, rotating bezel with black engraved numerals, and crisp white “Polar” dial with orange and black accents, the Explorer II ref. 216570 is hard to miss. A great modern Rolex sports watch for the 24-year-old champ.

The next golf major on the calendar is the US Open, slated to take place June 14-17, 2018, at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, New York. And we’ll be on the lookout to see if these top golfers pick up any new Rolex watches along the way.

The post The Rolex Watches that Top Golfers Wear appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-that-top-golfers-wear/feed/ 0
The Coolest Watches from Baselworld 2018 https://beckertime.com/blog/the-coolest-watches-from-baselworld-2018/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-coolest-watches-from-baselworld-2018/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 22:48:16 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180412 It’s been just over a week since Baselworld 2018 concluded. While the fair was both shorter and smaller than past editions, it’s still largest watch fair in the industry. Among the thousands of new releases, we’ve handpicked what we think are the coolest watches from Baselworld 2018. Read on to discover what they are. Rolex […]

The post The Coolest Watches from Baselworld 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
It’s been just over a week since Baselworld 2018 concluded. While the fair was both shorter and smaller than past editions, it’s still largest watch fair in the industry. Among the thousands of new releases, we’ve handpicked what we think are the coolest watches from Baselworld 2018. Read on to discover what they are.

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi

Rolex GMT-Master II 126710 BLRO
Credit: Rolex

Perhaps not surprising, but at the top of our list is as one of the coolest watches from Baselworld 2018 is the brand new Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi. With this beauty, Rolex brought back so many traits that made the GMT-Master pilot watch a classic, yet modernized it.

First, there’s the traditional choice of stainless steel for the construction of the 40mm Oyster case. However, Rolex now labels the material as Oystersteel. Then there’s famous red and blue “Pepsi” rotating bezel—the colors on the inaugural GMT-Master. But now it’s crafted from modern Cerachrom ceramic. This is the first time that a blue and red ceramic bezel is offered on a steel GMT-Master. It was previously only available on the white gold edition. There’s also the five-link Jubilee bracelet instead of the three-link Oyster bracelet on the GMT-Master II ref. 116710BLNR, which adds a dressier touch. And finally, there’s a brand new movement, the Cal. 3285 with a bumped up 70-hour power reserve and improved -2/+2 per day accuracy rating.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

New Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight
Credit: TUDOR.

Also part of our coolest watches from Baselworld 2018 list is the new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight. Perfect for those who want a vintage-inspired dive watch with a smaller and slimmer case, the new Fifty-Eight sports a 39mm steel case with a black unidirectional diver’s bezel. Underlining the retro appeal are the gold details found throughout the new Tudor watch from the bezel markings to the snowflake hands to the gilt text on the dial.

The new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight watch is also powered by a new automatic movement, the in-house Cal. MT5402 with 70-hours of power reserve. In terms of bracelet choice, the new Black Bay Fifty eight is offered with a riveted steel bracelet, an aged brown leather strap, or a black and gold-striped fabric strap.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar

Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar
Credit: Patek Philippe

If you have plenty of cash to spare, then the brand new Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar is one of the coolest watches from Baselworld 2018 to covet. Marrying the iconic Nautilus watch silhouette with a quintessential Patek perpetual calendar, the new white gold Nautilus ref. 5740/1G is sporty, practical, and ultra precious.

Maintaining the hallmarks of Patek’s most recognizable sports watch, the new Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar includes a 40mm porthole-shaped case, a blue dial with horizontal indentations, and an integrated bracelet. Driving the time, day, date, month, leap year, 24-hour, and moon phase indication is the famous Patek Philippe 240 Q automatic movement with a mini rotor.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
Credit: Omega

For 2018, Omega refreshed its ever-popular line of Seamaster Diver 300m dive watches on the occasion of the collection’s 25th anniversary. Design-wise, the new Omega Seamaster Diver 300M models include a new 42mm case size, new ceramic bezels, the revival of the wave pattern on the dial, and reshaped skeleton center hands.

Along with the new design, the latest Omega Seamaster Diver 300m models also come with the Master Chronometer Cal. 8800, thus improving precision, accuracy, and durability. Plus, the date window has moved to the 6 o’clock position. In true Omega fashion, the latest Seamaster timepieces are offered in a wide range of metals, colors, and strap options. As a diver’s watch, this is definitely one of the coolest watches from Baselworld 2018.

Breitling Navitimer Automatic 38

Breitling Navitimer Automatic 38
Credit: Breitling

With a new CEO at the helm of Breitling, the Swiss watch brand is enjoying plenty of refreshing changes. As a result, this translates to some new intriguing models. At Baselworld 2018, Breitling focused mostly on their iconic Navitimer aviation watch with a ton of new iterations. One of our favorite ones is the new Breitling Navitimer Automatic 38 collection of watches.

In a surprising move, Breitling pared down many of the details that made the modern Navitimer what it is today. However, it’s done in a clever way without sacrificing the spirit of the model. First, they scaled down the size to 38mm, which sets it squarely in the unisex watch space. Furthermore, the Navitimer Automatic 38 is not a chronograph, but rather a simplified time and date model. Finally, the smaller Navitimer brought back the beaded bezel from vintage Navitimer models. Available in stainless steel or two-tone rose gold and steel, this is a contemporary Navi that will surely attract a whole new audience for Breitling.

An overriding trend that we witnessed at Baselworld 2018 was that brands mainly concentrated on revamping their iconic models rather than introducing brand new models. While this may seem as playing it safe by some, for watch enthusiasts it’s fun to see a new crop of timeless classics built to modern standards.

The post The Coolest Watches from Baselworld 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-coolest-watches-from-baselworld-2018/feed/ 0
Future Classics: The Rolex Day-Date Rose Gold ref. 1803 https://beckertime.com/blog/future-classics-the-rolex-day-date-rose-gold-ref-1803/ https://beckertime.com/blog/future-classics-the-rolex-day-date-rose-gold-ref-1803/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 13:53:06 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178503 Rolex, famously, like to stay in control. Of everything. Their production base is one of the most comprehensive, vertically-integrated manufacturing facilities on earth, with essentially every component that goes into every one of their watches starting life inside their vault-like compound. The only element of the whole process over which they can exert no real […]

The post Future Classics: The Rolex Day-Date Rose Gold ref. 1803 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Rolex, famously, like to stay in control. Of everything. Their production base is one of the most comprehensive, vertically-integrated manufacturing facilities on earth, with essentially every component that goes into every one of their watches starting life inside their vault-like compound.

The only element of the whole process over which they can exert no real influence is the end client. Anyone with a suitably healthy bank balance can purchase a Rolex. While that is obviously good news for the accounts department’s bottom line, from a brand image point of view, it is not without its drawbacks.

Such a Thing as Bad Publicity?

Rolex were one of the earliest pioneers of the celebrity endorsement. From as far back as the 1920s, when company founder Hans Wilsdorf persuaded Mercedes Gleitze to wear one of his Oyster watches during her English Channel swim, having their products worn, and being seen to be worn, by the great and the good of public life has been essential to the Rolex marketing ethos.

Throughout their history, everyone from movie stars and rock stars, athletes and entrepreneurs have made a beeline for the brand, typically one of the first items bought as a symbol that they have ‘made it’, whatever that ‘it’ may be.

Which is all to the good. Even spotting that actor you hate wearing a Rolex either on screen or off wouldn’t necessarily deter you from wanting one for yourself.

But there is one model in the lineup that tends to have the strongest association with frontrunners in the murky worlds of business and politics—subjects that tend to be more divisive than most. Would seeing someone from an opposing political party or the head of a company that goes against your personal ethics sporting a piece from your favorite watchmaker put you off?

For the Elite

We are talking, of course, about The President; Rolex’s flagship, the Day-Date.

Since its release in 1956, it has been the number one choice of the world’s leaders—whether of corporations or countries. The first watch ever produced that displayed both the date and the day of the week spelled out in full, it has been made exclusively in precious metals, either platinum or 18k gold, from its inception to the modern day.

Rolex Mens Day-Date Rose Gold 1803 Ivory Dial

Like many of its contemporaries in the Rolex stable, its basic design has barely altered in over 60 years, but the President has been issued in such a bewildering array of different material, bezel and dial color combinations that they are impossible to count.

That sort of breadth attracts a diverse clientele and there are enough variations in the range to cater to the tastes of just about everyone.

To illustrate, it is generally accepted that the Day-Date got its just as commonly used nickname through its link with Commander-in-Chief Lyndon B. Johnson, who wore one throughout his tenure.

Since then it has gone on to adorn the wrists of captains of industry, royalty or indeed anyone at the top of their respective food chain. As their ads from the time said, ‘Men Who Guide the Destinies of the World Wear Rolex Watches.’

But there’s a big difference between guiding destinies and dictating them and as we said, anyone with enough buying power can secure themselves a Rolex. When U.S troops dropped by to visit to Saddam Hussein’s palace in 2003, his yellow gold Day-Date, dripping with diamonds from every surface, was still sitting on his bedside table. Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi was also reportedly a fan, although it is unsure whether he actually wore a Datejust instead, and some reports state that, bizarrely, he was partial to his Daytona as well.

The Rolex Day-Date ref. 1803 Rose Gold

So the President unquestionably has a broad appeal and it certainly can’t be blamed for being the favored timepiece of those who’s company we would rather avoid. Nevertheless, wearing a Day-Date does make a statement and it is down to each example’s particular configuration as to what that statement is.

In yellow gold, it speaks of someone with no qualms about displaying their level of wealth—the ‘Texas Timex’, as it is sometimes known. In platinum or white gold, it can be far more understated and, matched with a neutral dial, will only catch the attention of those with a deeper knowledge of the brand.

Rolex Mens Day-Date Rose Gold 1803 Dark Dial

Another option, and one not explored as frequently as the others, is rose gold. Rolex have been using rose, or pink, gold for many years, but it wasn’t until they established their own foundry in 2005 that they started producing it themselves, and named it Everose.

The Day-Date has always had a pink gold option, and one of the most popular models to take advantage of its warm tones was the third iteration of the watch released in 1958, the ref. 1803.

As with any number of Rolex’s now-iconic pieces, the Day-Date had a stuttering start to life, and the first two references were launched and discontinued within a year. By the time the ref. 1803 was brought out, the early teething troubles had been solved and it stayed in production until 1978.

In fact, the only major difference between the ref. 1803 and its predecessors was its engine, and the new watch rolled out Rolex’s improved and upgraded Cal. 1555; a movement built on the architecture of the base Cal. 1530, with a second date complication added.

A slimmer caliber than those used before, it gave the next generation Day-Date a more graceful profile over the somewhat bubbleback dimensions of its forerunners. It also went through a series of updates itself during its run, eventually being superseded by the Cal. 1565, which upped the frequency from 18,000vph to 19,800vph and introduced a hacking feature.

The watch itself changed hardly at all over the 20 years. In fact, the President is perhaps the model that has altered the least across its entire long life.

Exclusively made in 36mm, some of the very few ways to distinguish a ref. 1803 from its contemporary equivalent are its use of an acrylic crystal and a pie pan dial.

Rolex Mens Day-Date Rose Gold 1803 Ivory Dial

Although tough, acrylic crystals were still prone to scratches, particularly with everyday wear. By 1970, Rolex had developed the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal they use today, debuting it on the quartz powered ref. 5100 Beta-21.

The pie pan dial, used extensively in the brand’s earlier years, features an outer edge that angles downwards, like an inverted dish. It fell out of favor as a design element in the 60s, possibly because it could make watches appear smaller than they were—a trick of the eye caused by the difference in tone around its perimeter.

Rose gold also conjures up a similar optical illusion. Its warm pinkish hue tends to blend in with a wearer’s skin color, again giving the watch a more diminutive appearance. It has seen the popularity of rose gold models, and the Day-Date in particular, grow among female fans. While a 36mm piece was once a standard size for men and completely oversized for women, modern tastes have seen both sexes turn towards the larger models.

The ref. 1803 also has the advantage of being noticeably lighter than its modern equivalents, with its President bracelet made up of hollow links rather than today’s solid ones. All told, it is starting to become a preferred choice as a ladies vintage watch.

Buying a Day-Date Rose Gold ref. 1803

With a 20 year production run and its status as one of the most admired models in the catalog, finding a ref. 1803 for sale on the pre-owned market is not difficult, and prices are surprisingly attainable.

Rose gold versions, however, are more scarce and that generally leads to higher prices. Of course, it also means they are more likely to hold their value as an investment.

A couple of things to look out for if you are considering hunting one out. Firstly, neither of the ref. 1803’s movements featured a Quickset feature for either calendar function, so if it’s not a watch you are going to wear everyday or keep on a winder, it can be a pain to reset the date if the watch has stopped for any length of time.

And secondly, a lot of the examples available on the vintage market will have had their dials refinished or replaced entirely with cheap, third-party substitutes. As always, be sure to do your research and make sure you trust your seller.

Conclusion

The Day-Date was one of the founding fathers of the modern Rolex. It has a style and reputation that transcends class borders and it remains the ultimate symbol of ambition and achievement, regardless of vocation.

Whether you are a hip hop mogul, sports legend, boardroom czar, or indeed, a brutal dictator, the Rolex President will always be the one to aspire to.

The post Future Classics: The Rolex Day-Date Rose Gold ref. 1803 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/future-classics-the-rolex-day-date-rose-gold-ref-1803/feed/ 0
New Tudor Models from Baselworld 2018 https://beckertime.com/blog/new-tudor-models-from-baselworld-2018/ https://beckertime.com/blog/new-tudor-models-from-baselworld-2018/#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2018 20:37:18 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180276 While for a long time Tudor was relegated as the “poor man’s” Rolex, the brand has worked hard over the last few years to shake off this label and step out of big brother Rolex’s shadow to stand on its own. And Baselworld is where Tudor shines the brightest launching superb watches that boast great […]

The post New Tudor Models from Baselworld 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
While for a long time Tudor was relegated as the “poor man’s” Rolex, the brand has worked hard over the last few years to shake off this label and step out of big brother Rolex’s shadow to stand on its own. And Baselworld is where Tudor shines the brightest launching superb watches that boast great design and decent price points. Baselworld 2018 was no exception with a fantastic selection of new Tudor watches. Let’s find out what the new Tudor models from Baselworld 2018 are.

New Tudor Black Bay GMT

New Tudor Black Bay GMT
Credit: TUDOR.

To accompany Rolex’s new steel GMT-Master II “Pepsi”, Tudor comes out with its own version with the new Black Bay GMT watch. Sporting a 41mm steel case and topped with a blue and burgundy bi-colored bezel marked to 24 hours, this new Tudor goes back to the tool watch roots of the famous pilot’s watch.

On the black dial are the signature snowflake-style hands, including a red GMT-hand that is used in conjunction with the bezel to indicate a second time zone (and third with just a couple of clicks of the rotating bezel). Also on the dial are the luminescent round hour markers and a discreet date window at 3 o’clock.

The new Tudor Black Bay GMT is available with either a vintage style riveted steel bracelet, a “Terra di Siena” brown leather strap, or a black fabric strap with a burgundy strip running down the center.

Powering the Tudor Black Bay GMT is the in-house manufacture Caliber MT5652 automatic movement with 70 hours of power reserve and the watch is water resistant to 200 meters (660 feet).

New Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

New Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight
Credit: TUDOR.

An obvious tip of the hat to the brand’s vintage dive watches, the new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight comes with a scaled down and slimmed down case. Measuring 39mm wide and 11.9mm thick, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight happily jumps onto the restrained watch size bandwagon that we see all over the luxury watch space right now.

Also emphasizing the retro style of the watch are the gold details found on the black unidirectional rotating diver’s bezel marked to 60 minutes and on the black dial, including the luminescent gold snowflake hands and round indexes.

Nestled within the water resistant case (200 meters/660 feet) is the brand new in-house manufacture Caliber MT5402 automatic movement—designed to fit into Tudor’s smaller watches—with a 70-hour power reserve.

Bracelet choices include a riveted steel bracelet, a brown leather strap, or a black fabric strap with a center gold stripe.

New Tudor Black Bay S&G

New Tudor Black Bay S&G
Credit: TUDOR.

Following up the 2017 launch of the two-tone steel and gold Tudor Black Bay S&G, the brand now adds a version with a champagne dial to join the black dial model. Identical to the black dial edition, the new Tudor Black Bay S&G with the champagne dial has a 41mm case, black and gold bezel, oversized gold winding crown, and a steel and gold bracelet.

Moreover, on the dial we see the snowflake hands, round lume plots, and date window at 3 o’clock. To keep the price of the Black Bay S&G accessible, Tudor uses the gold-capping technique rather than solid gold.

The new versions of the Tudor Black Bay S&G continue to run on the in-house manufacture Caliber MT5612 automatic movement with a 70-hour power reserve. And this being a Black Bay, albeit a dressier version, the watch is water resistant to 200 meters (660 feet).

For the two-tone Black Bay S&G, Tudor offers a two-tone steel and yellow gold bracelet, an aged black leather strap, or a brown fabric strap.

New Tudor Black Bay 32

New Tudor Black Bay 32
Credit: TUDOR.

For 2018, Tudor refreshingly offers a tool watch for women in the form of the stainless steel Black Bay 32. As its name implies, the women’s Black Bay comes with a 32mm case, which joins the other Black Bay 36mm and Black Bay 41mm editions.

Available with either black or blue lacquer dials—each housing the characteristic luminescent snowflake hand and round indices filled with luminescence—the Black Bay 32 runs on the Caliber 2824 automatic movement with 38 hours of power reserve. Just like the men’s models, the ladies’ Black Bay 32 comes with a choice of a steel bracelet, a beige leather strap, or a black fabric strap.

New Tudor 1926

New Tudor 1926
Credit: TUDOR.

Named after the year that Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf established Tudor, the new Tudor 1926 collection offers dressier mechanical timepieces with simple time and date functionality for both men and women.

Available in four different sizes—28mm, 36mm, 39mm, and 41mm— each Tudor 1926 watch includes a honeycomb embossed dial (in black, silver or opaline), Arabic numerals, arrow-shaped indexes, sword-shaped hands, and a date window. There’s also the option for diamonds on the dial if that’s what you fancy, as well as two-tone steel and rose gold variants. Emphasizing the dressier style of the 1926 is the watch’s seven-link metal bracelet.

Driving the new Tudor 1926 is the Caliber 2824 self-winding mechanical movement with a 38-hour power reserve.

Tudor clearly continues its winning streak with their new models unveiled at Baselworld 2018. Not satisfied playing second fiddle to Rolex, Tudor is set on paving its own path and leaves a trail of top timepieces behind for us to happily follow.

The post New Tudor Models from Baselworld 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/new-tudor-models-from-baselworld-2018/feed/ 0
Why Do We Collect Watches? https://beckertime.com/blog/why-do-we-collect-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/why-do-we-collect-watches/#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2018 13:29:18 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180242 Collecting luxury watches, in fact collecting anything, has very little to do with logic. Some people, for example, collect coins, which they can’t spend. Others collect stamps, which will never go on a letter. Still others accumulate classic cars, which lack the reliability, comfort and performance of modern ones that are a fraction of the […]

The post Why Do We Collect Watches? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Collecting luxury watches, in fact collecting anything, has very little to do with logic.

Some people, for example, collect coins, which they can’t spend. Others collect stamps, which will never go on a letter. Still others accumulate classic cars, which lack the reliability, comfort and performance of modern ones that are a fraction of the price.

With fine timepieces, particularly mechanical models, there is even less rationality involved. No matter how much you spend on one (and in this case, the sky really is the limit), or how precise they claim to be, they will never be able to keep time as well as the smart phone every one of us has.

Seeing as how that is a watch’s main function, and it can’t do it as well as something else we all already own, which can also do a bajillion other things, no one actually needs a watch.

But what kind of world would it be if we all just bought the things we needed and nothing else? Building a watch collection is all about emotion, and practically nothing at all about sound reason.

Below, we take a look at a few of the things that motivate us to accrue ever more of these miniature works of art.

Personality

In their very early days, wristwatches were the sole preserve of women. They were delicate, fragile items, worn almost exclusively by aristocratic ladies. For men, it was pocket watches. It wasn’t until the usefulness of a watch that didn’t require two hands to operate proved itself during the 20th century’s bloodiest wars, that they became acceptable items for men to wear.

Strangely, today, the vast majority of watch collectors are male, and the reason is fairly simple.

Rolex Watch give you Status

For women, a watch is often just one more piece of jewelry. With men, the watch is most likely their only piece of jewelry. It is the one chance for them to show off their own unique taste, their individual character.

A man’s watch is a portable expression of his identity and it can have an effect completely disproportionate to its size.

The watch’s make, type, even its age all give clues to the wearer’s persona. In that way, they share much in common with the car someone might choose to drive, but with the added advantage that the watch is always with them and is far more socially acceptable than say, a gas guzzling convertible.

And, of course, personalities change the older we get. The things we wanted as teenagers are rarely the same things we want as we hit middle age or start looking at retirement.

There is always the ideal watch out there that will perfectly reflect its owner, at whatever stage.

Technology

In terms of microengineering prowess, there is very little can compete with the workings of a fine mechanical timepiece. It is a technology that has been around for centuries, constantly being developed and honed until, today, it has been elevated into an art form. That end result of hundreds of years of relentless work appeals to the nerd in all of us.

But ingenious complications and remarkable precision alone aren’t enough and have to be blended with a look painstakingly styled by craftsmen and perfected over time.

It is this marriage of form and function that give luxury watches their soul.

Investment

To the uninitiated, the price of these little wrist machines might seem high. You can buy other, far more accurate and far less expensive watches. However, almost uniquely in the luxury goods business, a truly fine mechanical timepiece will generally not only hold its worth, but many also increase in value the older they get.

Rolex, especially, make superb investments, thanks to their reputation, the quality of their manufacture and the scope of their heritage. Choose well, and the piece you buy today can be sold on in a few years for at least as much as you paid for it. Choose very well, and you can end up making a healthy profit. So, rather than being expensive, the cost of owning a Rolex is actually negative.

It is no wonder that more and more people are electing to build a watch collection for both their aesthetic appeal as well as for their potential as a future asset.

Community

Becoming a watch collector is like joining an exclusive club. It is an incredibly tight-knit community, with passionate members of all ages and from every corner of the globe.

Rolex Collectors Community

The vintage market really started towards the end of the heady eighties, and its popularity has exploded since then. That leaves a huge number of extremely well-informed, avid collectors keen to share their knowledge with others.

This meeting of minds occurs 24/7 on countless blogs, dedicated forums and all across social media, with Instagram in particular providing the ideal platform for those looking to both learn about different manufacturers and also show off their latest purchase.

Off-line as well, there are a host of meet up groups for enthusiasts, whether already seasoned travellers or just starting their journey. You will meet with people from every walk of life and every type of background, all brought together by the mutual appreciation of horology.

Thrill of the Hunt

We all have our own wish list of watches, those models that, for whatever reason, we want more than any other. Depending on the relative scarcity of the piece, finding an example of it, in good condition and within budget, can present a real challenge. And that’s where a lot of the fun comes from.

If it is your personal grail watch, chances are it is someone else’s too, and the acquiring of it develops into a competition.

It can be a long game but, when you manage to secure one, it embodies more than just a good buy; it becomes a trophy. The bragging rights that come with owning something unique, or at least that no one in your immediate circle has, is what drives many collectors.

There is a real satisfaction with unearthing a gem, particularly on those rare occasions when you get the timing just right and you pick up a piece that turns out to be the next big thing.

The Story

For some, mint condition, never worn pieces are the ultimate find. But for others, it is those hints of a full life, the scratches on cases and bezels or the patina on dials that drives them.

It is the imperfections that give vintage watches their character and it is the element that, possibly more than any other, remains the most important for many collectors.

The Vintage Rolex Explorer

A brand new watch has a blank slate; a classic watch has a story—and no two stories are the same.

All pre-owned watches are distinctive, with each example’s specific, matchless condition giving it a charm unlike any other.

The pedigree of certain models also plays a major part in their appeal. The Rolex Explorer was born on Everest’s summit. The Omega Speedmaster was the first watch worn on the surface of the moon. While we may never subject them, or ourselves, to that level of adventure, there is still a connection—and they bring us closer to some of the most significant moments in history.

Vintage watch collecting is in its golden age at the moment. The market is going from strength to strength every year, with no sign of slowing down.

It is a wonderful club to be in, one that appreciates the craftsmanship, tradition, artistry and passion of the makers of these mini masterpieces.

Whatever your reason to join, the community, the story, the thrill of the chase or even the investment potential, there is no better time than the present.

The post Why Do We Collect Watches? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/why-do-we-collect-watches/feed/ 0
The Grail Watch Series: The Milgauss and the Tru-Beat https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-watch-series-the-milgauss-and-the-tru-beat/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-watch-series-the-milgauss-and-the-tru-beat/#respond Mon, 02 Apr 2018 23:04:34 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177747 Despite their current standing as the most successful watchmakers of all time, Rolex in their formative years were no strangers to the sting of failure. The models offered in their lineup today are the cumulative result of generations making, learning, improving and perfecting—building on the elements that worked, discarding those that didn’t. The subjects of […]

The post The Grail Watch Series: The Milgauss and the Tru-Beat appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Despite their current standing as the most successful watchmakers of all time, Rolex in their formative years were no strangers to the sting of failure. The models offered in their lineup today are the cumulative result of generations making, learning, improving and perfecting—building on the elements that worked, discarding those that didn’t.

The subjects of this Grail Watch post are a pair of timepieces released in the same decade that experienced two different levels of failure; one abject, the other redemptive.

Each fascinating in their own way, they were both aimed at highly specialized yet relatively under populated niches. This goes at least some way to explaining their lack of success.

Of course, where Rolex is concerned, the word failure is very subjective. There have been a series of missteps over the years. Everything from the paint used on certain dials to inconsistencies in text. But it is these errors, and more specifically, the speed with which they were usually corrected, that have given the current vintage market some of its rarest and most sought after pieces.

The first of the often overshadowed Milgauss series, and the one and only version of the unusual Tru-Beat watches, are among the hardest to find classics; produced in tiny quantities and so long ago that very few examples still remain in circulation.

But, with their quirkiness and scarcity, coupled with fascinating backstories, they rank as true grail watches.

The Rolex Tru-Beat ref. 6556

Rolex watches do not tick. We all know that. Take a look at any model past or present, and particularly from the mid-seventies onwards when the company brought in their first high-beat mechanisms, and you will see a seconds hand that glides effortlessly around the dial in a graceful sweep.

Rolex Tru-Beat 6556

It is, of course, an illusion. The hand is actually ticking, except so quickly (eight times per second with a modern 28,800bph caliber) that our eyes can only register it as one continuous movement.

If, for whatever reason, you want a Rolex watch with a definite jumping tick, you have three options: One, buy one off that reputable looking fella selling them from a tray on a beach in Thailand. Two, get hold of an Oysterquartz Datejust from the dark days of the 1970s. Or three, hunt out one of the few remaining Tru-Beats.

The Dead-Beat

We have long since grown accustomed to associating a flowing seconds hand with high quality mechanical watches. A dead-beat tick is the product of electronics, and cheap electronics at that. Except, with the ref. 6556 released in 1954, Rolex purposely fitted an additional complication to their already renowned Cal. 1030 automatic caliber precisely to give it that singular motion, and for a specific reason.

Much like the Art Deco-inspired Rolex Prince from three decades before, the Tru-beat was aimed at doctors, with the ticking seconds hand intended to make the taking of a patient’s pulse easier and more accurate.

Rolex Tru-Beat 6556

Equipped with a special train with a jeweled lever, slotted in between the winding mechanism and the normal seconds drive, the renamed Cal. 1040 operates in a similar way to an old clock. The escapement features an anchor that behaves like a pendulum, swinging back and forth, engaging and advancing the gears once each second.

Ironically, the Tru-Beat represents a significant mechanical innovation in order to look old fashioned. It stands as a true complication, from a company that, until very recently, has had little to do with them. The Cal. 1040 was the only movement to ever receive the addition and it was a short-lived venture; the caliber, and the Tru-Beat, were discontinued in 1959, a full decade before the emergence of the quartz technology they so closely resembled.

As if the brief five year production run wasn’t enough to make finding a vintage example of this notable slice of Rolex history difficult, many of the models sent in for servicing had the dead-beat caliber removed entirely and swapped for the original Cal. 1030, eliminating the jumping tick and restoring the sweep. A move taken to not only improve accuracy and ease maintenance, but also a necessity, with spare parts for the unique mechanism becoming unobtainable at any price over the years.

The Accessible Classic

It means that tracking down an unsullied example is an increasingly arduous undertaking, but one that is well worth the effort. The Tru-Beat is a grail watch that is actually attainable.

A ticking Rolex is usually the reddest of red flags to a collector and the ref. 6556 is not a well enough known reference, even amongst some brand experts, to be worth taking a risk on. That has kept prices on the vintage market particularly low for such a rare piece.

However, as is the way with all things vintage and Rolex, today’s overlooked novelty could very well become tomorrow’s must-have. As aficionados turn their sights to the next big thing after the supply of Submariners and Daytonas runs dry, those holding something other than one of the usual suspects can often find themselves with a winning hand.

It may have been an uncharacteristic slip-up on its release, but there really is no such a thing as a failed Rolex if you just wait long enough.

The Milgauss ref. 6541

Big brother to the Tru-Beat, the first of the long-running yet habitually undervalued Milgauss series emerged in 1956, as an antidote to one of the biggest hazards faced by mechanical watches.

Rolex Milgauss 6541

As the world entered the Atomic Age, scientists and engineers working in environments with strong electromagnetic fields were finding their traditional watches severely affected, and often ruined completely, by prolonged exposure.

To counter the problem, Rolex developed a soft iron, or Faraday, cage to shroud the delicate inner workings of their new model’s caliber, a contraption that redistributed harmful magnetic forces away from any of the susceptible components. It worked so well that they were able to guarantee a resistance to any charge up to 1000 gauss, the unit of magnetic flux density and originator of the watch’s name.

Most other timepieces of the same era could be influenced by fields as low as 60 gauss, which is about the strength of the average fridge magnet. So clearly, as 1950’s homes started to fill up with more and more electronic gadgetry, each producing a relatively high force of their own, a watch that could remain impervious to their destructive effects would enjoy a vast additional market beyond the laboratory.

Except, it didn’t. The Milgauss was, and still is, the perpetual have-not. It faced the same tribulations as those experienced by the Tru-Beat—namely an image problem and, ironically, competition from within.

The Losing Battle

It is the bad luck of both models that they were released in the first real golden age of Rolex. If the brand had introduced just those two during the 1950s, they would have undoubtedly fared much better, but they had to go into battle against not only the new flagship Day-Date but also a pair of the most iconic sports watches of all time; the GMT-Master and the Submariner.

Rolex Milgauss 6541

In terms of functionality, there was little to choose between the professional models. The Milgauss and the Sub even looked similar, with the first of the ref. 6541 examples fitted with a very familiar black rotating bezel.

To some eyes, the Milgauss actually has more aesthetic charm, with its distinctive lightning bolt seconds hand as a nod to its science-based credentials and an attractive honeycomb effect on its dial—a practical as well as visually appealing feature, as the crisscrossed metal strips acted as a further antimagnetic shield.

But watches aimed at transatlantic airline pilots and underwater adventurers are always going to out-sexy those aimed at the white lab-coated world of the scientist. Sex sells and the Milgauss didn’t.

The ref. 6541 went through some changes to its appearance during its short-lived stint. The Submariner-esque bezel was replaced with a fixed, domed surround and the bolt-shaped seconds hand was swapped with a straight one, topped with a red arrow. It made little difference.

Even when the ref. 6541 was superseded by the ref. 6019 in 1960 and Rolex enlisted the help of physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, to rigorously test and confirm the watch’s performance, it did nothing to help its image.

The Turnaround

The Milgauss limped on until 1981 when it was finally scrapped altogether, with most thinking that was that for the scientist’s watch. But, with typical Rolex marketing dexterity, an all-new model was unveiled in 2007 to coincide with the completion of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, the 27-kilometer long particle accelerator buried beneath Geneva.

In a familiar pattern, a modern-day reissue roused interest in its genetic blueprint and vintage Milgauss’ started to garner a cult following. Although it could never reasonably expect to compete with the likes of the Daytona or any of the dive watches in the popularity stakes, purists were attracted by the watch’s utilitarian roots. Many collectors are fairly vocal over Rolex’s supposed professional models being released in precious metal versions, or with gemstone-enhanced dials and bezels, arguing, with some justification, that the basic tool-like essence of the pieces has been lost over the years.

With the Milgauss it was always practicality first and foremost—and you could argue that it is the watch that has the most relevance to contemporary living. While we can all quite easily avoid deep-sea diving or competing in an endurance motor racing event, we don’t have any choice over being exposed to electromagnetic fields on a daily basis, by everything from computers to cell phones and even hairdryers.

Although they may not be strong enough to push the Milgauss anywhere near its limit, in the same way no one will ever test the true capabilities of the Sea-Dweller’s water resistance, it’s comforting to know it can handle far more than anything the average wearer will experience.

Zero to Hero

The ref. 6541 has become the most sought-after of the series, an ultra rare watch from the brand’s heyday and one that has not only survived its perpetual underdog status but actually reveled in it. Every family needs its black sheep and, for Rolex, the Milgauss is it.

Finding one of the original pieces on the vintage market is not easy and prices have recently started entering fantasy territory. Examples selling at auction regularly top six figures but, if that is within your budget, you could do a lot worse than acquiring yourself one. The steadily increasing reputation of the ‘failed’ Rolex makes it both a fascinating slice of history as well as a secure investment.

The post The Grail Watch Series: The Milgauss and the Tru-Beat appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-watch-series-the-milgauss-and-the-tru-beat/feed/ 0
A Newcomers Guide to Buying Your First Swiss Luxury Watch https://beckertime.com/blog/a-noobs-guide-to-buying-your-first-luxury-watch/ https://beckertime.com/blog/a-noobs-guide-to-buying-your-first-luxury-watch/#respond Sun, 01 Apr 2018 06:26:15 +0000 http://beckertime.com/?p=630 For N00bs buying a first “real” quality Swiss luxury watch is complicated. Similar to buying a car, there are numerous models and features and styles and sizes that are more confusing than meaningful. If you are thinking of taking the plunge, congratulations! Many watch wearers do not get to the point of considering a Swiss […]

The post A Newcomers Guide to Buying Your First Swiss Luxury Watch appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
GMT-Master

For N00bs buying a first “real” quality Swiss luxury watch is complicated. Similar to buying a car, there are numerous models and features and styles and sizes that are more confusing than meaningful. If you are thinking of taking the plunge, congratulations! Many watch wearers do not get to the point of considering a Swiss luxury timepiece because they “settled” for a homage watch (“homage” is a polite term for fake or knock-off watch), or a plastic multifunction battery powered watch. Saving your pennies for an actual Swiss mid-range watch is better than owning multiple knock-off because every time you strap it on, you know that it does not have the quality, durability, pedigree, and provenance of a fine Swiss watch.

What to Consider

There are some areas to consider when looking for a fine Swiss Timepiece:

Sport or Dress:

First thing to narrow down is whether you want a dress or sport watch. Many consider a “nice” watch as a dress watch. When your mom says get a nice watch, she is not thinking of a diver, chronograph, GMT, or mechanical multifunction watch. Quality Swiss watches also include a variety of masculine sport and multifunction timepieces. Examine your lifestyle, then select a watch to match it. James Bond got away with a Submariner and a Suit, despite what the fashion purists say. Narrowing down the choice of getting a dress or sport watch will also determine the size of the watch; classical dress watches tend to be smaller whereas sport watches tend to be larger. Just be sure not to get a watch so large that the lugs are wider than your wrist.

Manufacture Movement

The next choice is whether to pick a brand that uses their own movement, or a movement by another company such as ETA. Many Swiss watch manufacturers will use a movement manufactured by ETA, a company owned by the Swatch Group who makes movements. ETA movements come in four quality levels:

EC – Economique (nickel plated with Etachoc shock protection)
ST – Standard (regulated in two positions)
Mean daily rate +/- 12 s/d
Max variation across 5 positions: 30 s
Isochronism (rate after 24H running compared to full wind): +/- 20 s/d
EL – Elaboré (regulated in three positions)
Mean daily rate +/- 7 s/d
Max variation across 5 positions: 20 s
Isochronism: +/- 15 s/d
T-Top (regulated in five positions) and COSC certifiable
Mean daily rate +/- 4 s/d
Max variation across 5 positions: 15 s
Isochronism: +/- 10 s/d

ETA are easily repairable and most watchmakers trained on ETA movements. Be sure to ascertain what quality level the ETA movement is in the watch you are considering as many manufacturers will try to pass off an ETA EC or ST movement inside an expensive watch.

The other option is to zero in on a brand who manufactures their own movements in house. Not too many brands in the $5000 price range will manufacturer their own movements, but a pre-owned Rolex certainly does.

Resale

Like cars, most brand new watches depreciate incredibly the moment you walk out of the dealer’s door. Rolex tends to keep its retail purchase price over the years because Rolex has continual price increases and their style is consistent. Other watch brands can drop by 50% or more and stay there. Resale value translates into trade-in value when another Swiss timepiece speaks to you in a few years. Fortunately, all Beckertime watches come with a lifetime trade-up guarantee.

Dealer / Dealer Network

Lastly, the brand and dealer network are important. Mechanical watches require service every three (3) to ten (10) years and a good dealer who has access to either the manufacturer service center, or a watchmaker who has access to your brands parts is important. Unfortunately, there are not parts warehouses or parts networks as developed as the auto industry.

Answering these questions first will help you narrow down the type and brand and cut through the smoke and mirrors that are all too common in the watch industry.

The post A Newcomers Guide to Buying Your First Swiss Luxury Watch appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/a-noobs-guide-to-buying-your-first-luxury-watch/feed/ 0
The Ultimate Guide to Iconic Rolex Dress Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-iconic-rolex-dress-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-iconic-rolex-dress-watches/#respond Fri, 30 Mar 2018 16:04:18 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176875 As a follow up to our Iconic Rolex Sports Watches feature, we’re now delving into iconic Rolex dress watches. From ultra-luxurious Day-Date President watches to simple everyday Oyster Perpetual timepieces, the assortment of Rolex dress watches is extremely varied and suits a range of tastes and budgets. Rolex Air-King While today’s 40mm Air-King is without […]

The post The Ultimate Guide to Iconic Rolex Dress Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
As a follow up to our Iconic Rolex Sports Watches feature, we’re now delving into iconic Rolex dress watches. From ultra-luxurious Day-Date President watches to simple everyday Oyster Perpetual timepieces, the assortment of Rolex dress watches is extremely varied and suits a range of tastes and budgets.

Rolex Air-King

Rolex Air-King

While today’s 40mm Air-King is without a doubt a sports watch, older versions of the Air-King were not. In fact, prior to the most recent iteration, Rolex Air-King watches were classic dress timepieces with restrained 34mm Oyster cases and simple dials.

The Air-King made its debut in 1945 to honor British fighter pilots that served during World War II. The majority of Air-King models throughout the watch’s long history have been straightforward three-hander models without a date window, but there are a few Air-King Date watches too. Although the current Air-King is only available in stainless steel, the Air-King lineup was actually a varied collection with models in steel, two-tone steel and gold, and even yellow gold shell.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

With a history that dates back to the 1930s, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual is one of the brand’s longest running collections. And because of its longevity, there’s an abundance of styles to choose from for both men and women. Though the Oyster Perpetual is a time-only Rolex, there are a handful of sizes ranging from 39mm down to 24mm and material choices include steel, two-tone yellow gold and steel, as well as gold shell. However, similar to the Air-King, the brand only offers current Oyster Perpetual watches in stainless steel and has positioned this particular dress watch as an everyday entry-level Rolex.

The two main characteristics of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches are that they are waterproof thanks to the Oyster case and that they are automatic timepieces running on perpetual mechanical movements.

Rolex Oysterdate Precision

Rolex Oysterdate Precision

The Oysterdate Precision is somewhat of an anomaly in Rolex’s archives of dress watches. Manufactured from the 1950s until the 1980s, the Oysterdate is, in fact, a manual-wound watch. Furthermore, it is not COSC-certified, explaining the use of “Precision” on the dial rather than the ubiquitous “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” label.

As its name suggests, the Oysterdate offers the date function in addition to the central hour/minute/seconds hands. Barring a few older examples, the Oysterdate was almost exclusively made with a 34mm steel Oyster case and steel Oyster bracelet.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date

Rolex Oysterperpetual Date

Officially called the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date but more commonly referred to as the Rolex Date, this dress watch marries elements of the Oyster Perpetual and the Oysterdate Precision. It is an automatic Rolex watch that includes a date window at 3 o’clock.

While contemporary Rolex Date watches are only available with a 34mm stainless steel case and Oyster bracelet, the model was previously made available in steel, two-tone steel and gold, or full yellow gold. Plus, sizes ranged from 34mm for men, 31mm as the midsize option, and 26mm for women. There was even a choice of a Jubilee bracelet too.

Rolex Datejust, Datejust II, & Datejust 41

Without a doubt, the Datejust is Rolex’s signature dress watch collection. Immediately recognizable and highly coveted, the Datejust is one of Rolex’s most diverse in terms of sizes, materials, and styles.

Introduced in 1945, the inaugural Datejust made waves in the industry as the first automatic wristwatch to indicate the date via an aperture on the dial. It was also the watch that introduced the now-famous five-link Jubilee bracelet to the world.

Rolex Datejust 41

Available in steel, two-tone steel and gold, and solid gold, the Datejust sports a 36mm Oyster case. Wearers can choose from the iconic fluted bezel, sporty engine-turned bezel, the modern smooth finish domed bezel, or a precious diamond-set bezel. And joining the original Jubilee bracelet are Datejust models with sportier Oyster bracelets. Dial designs are abundant with a range of hour markers styles, colors, and patterns to choose from. But the signature date window is always present, magnified by the just-as-famous Cyclops lens on the crystal above it.

In 2009, Rolex announced a larger version of the sought-after dress watch with the Datejust II. This time, the men’s Datejust came with a bigger 41mm case, bulkier lugs, and a more robust look. Although only available with an Oyster bracelet, Rolex still ensured that the Datejust II line was a varied one with dial and material options. The bigger Datejust II is a popular choice for those looking for a sportier Rolex dress watch.

Just last year, at Baselworld 2016, Rolex replaced the Datejust II with the new Datejust 41. Although it comes with a 41mm case just like its predecessor, the Datejust 41 includes a slimmer profile, thinner bezel, the option of a Jubilee bracelet, and a new movement with an increased 72 hours of power reserve. Despite it being a relative newcomer to the Rolex dress watch family, the Datejust 41 is already establishing itself as an iconic men’s luxury watch.

Rolex Lady-Datejust

Rolex Lady Datejust

The Lady-Datejust is Rolex’s best selling model, ever. While this may shock some, it shouldn’t. Given its classic elegance, abundant variety, prestige, and automatic movement (most women’s watches run on quartz movements) it’s no surprise that the Lady-Datejust is a top seller. As a women’s luxury dress watch, it really can’t be beat.

First presented in 1957, the Lady-Datejust originally had a 26mm case but the larger Lady-Datejust 28 replaced it in 2015. Plus, there’s also the even larger midsize Datejust 31 for women. As expected, the women’s Datejust dress watch collection has plenty of materials, styles, gems, and colors. There are also several bracelet options including the Oyster and the Jubilee, in addition to the lavish solid gold President bracelet.

Rolex Day-Date, Date-Date II, Day-Date 40

If the Datejust is the company’s signature dress watch, then the Day-Date is its most prestigious. In 1956, Rolex unveiled the Day-Date as the first wristwatch to indicate both the date as well as the day written in full on the dial. With the Day-Date, Rolex introduced the President bracelet with a curvy semi-circular three-link configuration. In fact, it is because of this popular bracelet style—and the fact that the Day-Date has always been the go-to watch for global leaders and captains of industry—that the Day-Date is more commonly referred to as the Rolex President.

Rolex Day-Date 40

Exclusively available in either yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, platinum, or the unique Tridor (combination of yellow, white and rose gold), the traditional Rolex Day-Date President dons a 36mm Oyster case. Although the President bracelet played a part in the watch’s iconic status, today, the Day-Date is also available with an Oyster bracelet or leather strap.

At Baselworld 2008, Rolex launched the Day-Date II with a robust 41mm case. In view of its solid gold or platinum construction, this is a hefty Rolex dress watch indeed! But, Rolex eventually discontinued the Day-Date II to make way for the new Day-Date 40 in 2015. With a slightly reduced 40mm case, slimmer bezel, and thinner lugs, the Day-Date 40 wears quite smaller than its predecessor. But perhaps more importantly, the Day-Date 40 President comes equipped with Rolex’s new generation movement with a better accuracy rating of -2/+2 a day and 72 hours of power reserve.

Rolex Day-Date Masterpiece

Rolex Day-Date Masterpiece

A somewhat mysterious Rolex model is the Masterpiece, which is in actuality a special edition of the Day-Date. The Rolex Masterpiece features the signature duo of windows on the dial to indicate the day of the week and the date the month. However, the dial is housed within a 39mm Oyster case. Furthermore, rather than the President bracelet, the Masterpiece is equipped with a rounded five-piece links bracelet—identical in design to the ladies’ Pearlmaster bracelet.

Similar to the Day-Date President, the Day-Date Masterpiece is exclusively fashioned from gold or platinum. A particularly popular version is the Tridor edition, combining three shades of gold. The Rolex Masterpiece is one of the brand’s most exclusive (and elusive) men’s dress watches and always shines bright with a diamond-set bezel.

Rolex Oysterquartz

Rolex Oysterquartz

A true relic of its time, the now-discontinued Oysterquartz was Rolex’s answer to the quartz craze during the 1970s and 1980s. There were two main versions of the Oysterquartz—the Oysterquartz Datejust and the Oysterquartz Day-Date.

In addition to the in-house Rolex quartz movements ticking within the Oysterquartz watches, these dress watches are also distinct due to their integrated bracelets and angular 36mm Oyster cases. Similar to their mechanical counterparts, the Oysterquartz Day-Date watches are fashioned exclusively in gold and include an integrated-style President bracelet. There are also some lavishly diamond adorned versions. On the other hand, the Oysterquartz Datejust is available in either full steel or two-tone gold and steel, with a choice of integrated-style Oyster or Jubilee bracelets.

Rolex Milgauss

Rolex Milgauss

The quirkiest Rolex dress watch of the bunch, the Milgauss is unique in so many ways. Born during the big science boom in the mid-1950s, the Milgauss was constructed to withstand high magnetic fields. In fact, the Milgauss name comes from the French word for 1,000 (mille) and the unit used to measure magnetism (gauss). The first generation of Milgauss watches included large-for-the-era 38mm cases equipped with an iron shield to protect the movement from negative effects of magnetism. Also, on the dial sat a very cool lightning bolt seconds hand, paying homage to the scientific community it served.

Rolex then replaced the lightning bolt hand with a red-tipped seconds hand in the 1960s and produced the Milgauss until the late 1980s, when the collection was eventually discontinued. Thankfully, Rolex revived the Milgauss in 2007 with a 40mm steel case and the return of the lightning bolt hand.

Rolex Pearlmaster

Rolex Pearlmaster

Introduced in 1992, the Rolex Pearlmaster is the brand’s line of jewelry watches. Named after the rounded five-piece links Pearlmaster bracelet it is presented on, the Pearlmaster watch is always crafted in 18k gold and always adorned with diamonds. As a result, the Pearlmaster collection houses the most precious Rolex dress watches for women. In addition to diamonds, some ultra-lavish Pearlmaster models are embellished with other gems too, such as fancy colored sapphires.

The Rolex Pearlmaster is actually a special edition of the Datejust, as illustrated by the DATEJUST label on the dial. As such, all Pearlmaster watches feature the characteristic date window at 3 o’clock along with the magnifying Cyclops lens affixed to the sapphire crystal. The model is available with a choice of a smaller 29mm case, a midsize 34mm case, or a larger 39mm case. The Pearlmaster 39 only joined the collection in 2015 and its launch debuted the new generation time and date Rolex Caliber 3235 automatic movement.

Rolex Sky-Dweller

Rolex Sky-dweller

Currently the brand’s youngest model, Rolex unveiled the Sky-Dweller in 2012. Positioned as an ultra-luxurious traveler’s watch, the Sky-Dweller comes complete with dual time zones, a month indicator, and a date window. Because of its innovative and complex Rolex Cal. 9001, the Sky-Dweller will automatically adjust the calendar functions accordingly during those months with 30 or 31 days. It only requires one manual adjustment a year in February—thus the Sky-Dweller is indeed a Rolex annual calendar watch.

The Sky-Dweller is also one of the larger Rolex dress watches with a 42mm Oyster case. The case of the Sky-Dweller is always topped with a wide fluted bezel. The bezel is not just there for aesthetic purposes, but its position actually determines the function of the crown. Up until just this year, the Sky-Dweller was exclusively available in yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold. However, at Baselworld 2017, a two-tone yellow gold and steel Sky-Dweller and a steel Sky-Dweller with a white gold bezel joined the lineup.

Rolex Cellini

Rolex Cellini

Unbeknownst to many, in addition to the famous Rolex Oyster watches there is also the Rolex Cellini watch collection. The Cellini line is Rolex’s take on classic dress watches and traditional watchmaking. Named after the Renaissance man Benvenuto Cellini, Cellini watches have been a part of the Rolex catalog since 1928. Throughout its long history, the Cellini has taken on many forms including the rectangular Cellini Prince and cushion-shaped Cellini Danaos.

In 2014, Rolex re-launched the Cellini line with elegant and slim 39mm round cases and sophisticated leather straps. And for the first time, automatic movements replaced the previous manual-wind calibers. The new generation Rolex Cellini dress watches are available with a range of functions. There’s the Cellini Time, the Cellini Date, the Cellini Dual Time, and since Baselworld 2017, the Cellini Moonphase.

As you can see, Rolex offers an incredible variety of dress watches. Ranging from minimal everyday steel timepieces to opulent gold and diamond numbers, there’s an iconic Rolex dress watch out there for almost any wrist.

The post The Ultimate Guide to Iconic Rolex Dress Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-iconic-rolex-dress-watches/feed/ 0
New Rolex Models from Baselworld 2018 https://beckertime.com/blog/new-rolex-models-from-baselworld-2018/ https://beckertime.com/blog/new-rolex-models-from-baselworld-2018/#respond Thu, 29 Mar 2018 13:16:27 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180072 New Rolex Models 2018 Unveiled The new Rolex models 2018 were revealed from the Baselworld exhibition. This  is the biggest watch fair in the business. It just wrapped up after about a week of unveiling some of the best watch brands in the world. Among those top watch brands is, of course, Rolex. Let’s have […]

The post New Rolex Models from Baselworld 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
.aligncenter{ margin:0 auto 20px!important; }

New Rolex Models 2018 Unveiled

The new Rolex models 2018 were revealed from the Baselworld exhibition. This  is the biggest watch fair in the business. It just wrapped up after about a week of unveiling some of the best watch brands in the world. Among those top watch brands is, of course, Rolex. Let’s have a look at Baselworld’s new Rolex models 2018.

GMT-Master II 126710 BLRO

New Rolex Models 2018 -Rolex GMT-Master II 126710 BLRO
Credit: Rolex

Baselworld launched a fan favorite among the new Rolex models 2018 lineup. It introduced a new stainless steel GMT-Master II with the iconic red and blue bezel, nicknamed the “Pepsi”.  As a new generation GMT-Master II “Pepsi, “ the ref. 126710 BLRO includes a Cerachrom ceramic bezel on top of a 40mm Oyster case.

Along with the bi-colored bezel, Rolex outfitted the new GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLRO exclusively with a Jubilee bracelet. This is perhaps to differentiate it from the 18k white gold GMT-Master II “Pepsi” with the Oyster bracelet. Interestingly, this stainless steel GMT-Master II Rolex replaces their previous go-to 904L steel with one the brand has dubbed Oystersteel.

Furthermore, there is also a brand new movement. The Caliber 3285 boasts 10 patents and a 70-hour power reserve to power the watch’s dual-time zone and date functionality.

GMT-Master II 126711 CHNR

New Rolex Models 2018 - Rolex GMT-Master II 126715 CHNR
Credit: Rolex

Also, to accompany the new steel GMT-Master II “Pepsi,” Rolex released two new GMT-Master “Root Beer” models. These were named so by collectors for their brown-based bezels. The two-tone GMT-Master II ref. 126711 CHNR combines 18k Everose rose gold and stainless steel. This is in addition to a black and brown bi-colored Cerachrom ceramic bezel mounted on the 40mm Oyster case.

The GMT-Master II ref. 126711 CHNR uses the same new-generation Caliber 3285 as the steel model. However, this Rolex pilot watch comes equipped with an Oyster bracelet where the center rose gold links are flanked by steel outer links.

GMT-Master II 126715 CHNR

New Rolex Models 2018 - Rolex GMT-Master II 126711 CHNR
Credit: Rolex

However, the last model to join the new Rolex models 2018 lineup for the Rolex GMT-Master II collection is the full 18k Everose rose gold ref. 126715 CHNR. This watch is also furnished with the black and brown “Root Beer” Cerachrom ceramic bezel. And, the solid rose gold 40mm case houses the familiar black dial with rose gold and luminescent details.

Of course, the new 18k Everose rose gold ref. 126715 CHNR also runs on the new Caliber 3285 automatic movement. Similar to its two-tone counterpart, it features the Oyster bracelet.

Cosmograph Daytona 116595 RBOW

New Rolex Models 2018 - Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116595 RBOW
Credit: Rolex

Additionally, a new gem-set Daytona joins Baselworld’s new Rolex models 2018 catalog this year. This is the Rolex Daytona ref. 116595 RBOW crafted in 18k Everose gold. It also flaunts a baguette-cut sapphire-set bezel on the 40mm Oyster case. It also has sapphire hour markers on the black dial, and diamond pavé on the rose gold case.

They Aptly nicknamed this piece the “Rainbow” Daytona thanks to the colorful sapphires. In addition, the three registers on this gem-set Rolex chronograph are made from pink gold crystals. These are fashioned by crystallizing a pink gold alloy to create a shimmer effect.

The movement for the Rolex Daytona ref. 116595 RBOW runs on the iconic in-house Caliber 4130 automatic chronograph movement with 72 hours of power reserve.

Deepsea 126660

New Rolex Models 2018 - Rolex Deepsea 126660
Credit: Rolex

Also, at Baselworld 2018, Rolex announced a refresh of their famous extreme dive watch. They introduced the new Deepsea ref. 126660. While the Deepsea ref 126660 retains its generous 44mm sized Oyster case, the lugs have been redesigned. Also, the Oyster bracelet is broader than on the preceding models.

Identical to earlier Deepsea watches, the new Rolex ref. 126660 is water resistant to 3,900 meters (12,800 feet). This is thanks in part to the Ringlock System of the case. There is also the Helium Escape Valve to protect the watch from bursting during decompression periods.

In addition, the latest Deepsea ref. 126660 includes the popular D-Blue dial. This made its debut in 2014 in honor of James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge expedition where he descended to the ocean’s deepest point in the Mariana Trench.

New to the dive watch, however, is the Caliber 3235 automatic movement with improved durability and precision, along with a boosted 70-hour power reserve.

New Rolex Models 2018 - Rolex Datejust 36: 126231, 126233, 126283

Datejust 36 126231, 126233, and 126283

They added three new models to the Datejust 36 collection. These have slightly redesigned lugs and case sides and a new movement, Caliber 3235. The Datejust 36 now enjoys 70 hours of power reserve and improved resistance to magnetism.

There is the Datejust 36 ref. 126231 in two-tone steel and Everose rose gold. There is also the Datejust 36 ref. 126233 in two-tone steel and yellow gold. And finally, the Datejust 36 ref. 126283 also in two-tone steel and yellow gold, but with a diamond bezel rather than a fluted one.

As the name implies, all three of these Rolex Datejust 36 watches sport the famous combination of a 36mm Oyster case, a date window on the dial, and a Cyclops magnification lens on the crystal.

New Rolex Models 2018 - Rolex Datejust 31: 278289, 278285, 278288

Datejust 31 278289, 278288, and 278285

Similar to the Datejust 36, Baselworld’s new Rolex models 2018 welcomes three new versions of the Rolex Datejust 31 collection. These have slightly revamped cases and lugs and a new movement, Caliber 2236. Caliber 2236 includes a Syloxi hairspring for improved performance coupled with a 55-hour power reserve.

There is the Datejust 31 ref. 278289 in 18k white gold. There is also the Datejust 31 ref. 278288 in 18k yellow gold. Finally, there is the Datejust 31 ref. 278285 in 18k Everose gold. Also, each of these ladies Datejust models is embellished with diamond-set bezels and fitted with solid gold President bracelets with the recognizable semi-circular links.

Baselworld’s new Rolex models 2018 lineup ranged from pilot watches to a professional dive watch to luxury dress watches to a gem-set chronograph. With a little bit of something for most Rolex fans, it was indeed a successful Baselworld for the Swiss watchmaking giant.

The post New Rolex Models from Baselworld 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/new-rolex-models-from-baselworld-2018/feed/ 0
David Beckham Scores Big With His Rolex Collection https://beckertime.com/blog/david-beckham-scores-big-with-his-rolex-collection/ https://beckertime.com/blog/david-beckham-scores-big-with-his-rolex-collection/#respond Fri, 23 Mar 2018 15:36:30 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=179071 One of the most famous athletes in the world, David Beckham rose to fame during his days as Manchester United’s key player. The soccer star also became the captain for England’s national soccer team and continued his career with other clubs like Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, and Paris Saint-Germain. A fan favorite, David Beckham also […]

The post David Beckham Scores Big With His Rolex Collection appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
David Beckham wearing a Rolex Yacht-Master
Photo: Press Association

One of the most famous athletes in the world, David Beckham rose to fame during his days as Manchester United’s key player. The soccer star also became the captain for England’s national soccer team and continued his career with other clubs like Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, and Paris Saint-Germain. A fan favorite, David Beckham also has a slew of endorsement deals under his belt including one from Tudor—Rolex’s sibling brand. The retired soccer player may be the face of Tudor, but he still rocks Rolex watches on a regular basis. He has an interesting Rolex collection that includes vintage and modern pieces. Let’s get a closer look.

David Beckham Likes Vintage Rolex Watches On Custom Straps

David Beckham at Wimbledon wearing a Rolex GMT-Master II
Photo: Getty Images

Unlike many celebrity athletes of today, David Beckham does not exclusively wear modern Rolex watches; he sports several vintage Rolex watches too. Take for example his vintage Rolex GMT-Master “Root-Beer” with the brown and beige bezel and nipple dial. Also known as a fashion icon, David Beckham is a fan of wearing after-market straps and has been photographed wearing his GMT-Master on a leather bund strap for a markedly different style than the traditional Oyster or Jubilee straps.

Another discontinued model David Beckham has been spotted wearing on a leather fatstrap is a solid 18k yellow gold Yacht-Master—which is a fantastic combination. What’s more, David Beckham also pairs his vintage 18k yellow gold Submariner with a gray NATO strap, which is oh-so James Bond.

As for a more classic look, we’ve also seen him wear what seems to be an 18k yellow gold Oyster Precision with a black dial on a black leather strap. Now that’s an elegant way to wear a smaller vintage Rolex watch indeed!

David Beckham Wears Modern Stainless Steel Rolex Sports Watches

Contrasting with his vintage Rolex timepieces, David Beckham also wears modern Rolex sports watches too. In particular, he’s been known to wear his mega stainless steel Rolex Deepsea diving watch with the hefty 44mm case. Along the standard factory Deepsea model, the famous footballer also has another black PVD-coated Deepsea, customized by the Bamford Watch Department.

Not surprisingly, David Beckham has joined the legions of other celebrities who proudly own the most coveted luxury chronograph right now—the new stainless steel Rolex Daytona with a black ceramic bezel. His particular version has the black dial rather than the white dial, flaunting a sleek monochromic style.

Victoria Beckham wearing a Rolex Day-Date President
Photo: Getty Images

It’s a Rolex Family Affair

We would be remiss not to mention that other members of the Beckham clan enjoy their Rolex watches too. David’s wife, fashion designer and former pop star Victoria Beckham boasts an impressive Rolex watch collection as well. But rather than going for the traditional ladies’ Rolex pieces, Victoria Beckham looks fabulous wearing her Everose rose gold Daytona, her yellow gold Day-Date President, and her vintage yellow gold Datejust with a turquoise “Stella” dial, and a modern steel Datejust 36.

The Beckham parents’ love for Rolex watches seems to have been passed down to their eldest son, Brooklyn, who at 17 years old, dons a vintage steel Submariner on a black leather bund strap.

Good taste runs in the family!

The post David Beckham Scores Big With His Rolex Collection appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/david-beckham-scores-big-with-his-rolex-collection/feed/ 0
The Future Grail Series: The Oysterquartz Datejust https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-series-the-oysterquartz-datejust/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-series-the-oysterquartz-datejust/#respond Wed, 21 Mar 2018 16:39:08 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178759 Rolex’s reluctant flirtation with the world of quartz technology was not as short lived as the number of pieces it produced would suggest. Starting with the special edition ref. 5100 Beta-21 in the early 70s, a more or less prototype model powered by a consortium-built movement, the brand soon split from the syndicate known as […]

The post The Future Grail Series: The Oysterquartz Datejust appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Rolex’s reluctant flirtation with the world of quartz technology was not as short lived as the number of pieces it produced would suggest.

Starting with the special edition ref. 5100 Beta-21 in the early 70s, a more or less prototype model powered by a consortium-built movement, the brand soon split from the syndicate known as the Centre Electronique Horologer (CEH) and retreated into the depths of their Geneva compound to develop their own quartz caliber.

 

The CEH was a group of more than 20 of Switzerland’s most notable watchmakers, brought together in a desperate attempt to stave of the tsunami of cheap, disposable watches flooding in from Japan and America which had eviscerated around two thirds of the traditional mechanical industry. While the Beta-21, their first mass produced movement, was an impressively precise timekeeping element, the fact that it had gone into service inside 16 different manufacturer’s watches was an anathema to the fiercely independent Rolex.

That, as well as the movement being too large and ungainly to be seated inside any of the brand’s famed Oyster cases, the waterproof shells on which they had first made their name, led to a battening down of the hatches while their boffins went to work with the new-fangled electronics.

The Rolex Quartz Movements

In their usual punctilious way, it took a further five years of development before the first all in-house Rolex quartz movements appeared, the Cal. 5035 and Cal. 5055.

Rolex Caliber 5035

Although their hand had been forced when it came to joining the quartz era, and the world’s most successful traditional watchmaker seemed to regard the whole thing as somewhat beneath them, the products of their hard work still stand as some of the most over-engineered and innovative calibers ever made, even by modern standards.

When they were released in 1977, they were in a class of their own. In fact, they were so well built and ahead of their time that they are still serviceable by Rolex technicians today, some 40 years after their release.

The main key to their success was absorbing the new electronic technology as much as possible into the basic architecture of their industry-leading mechanical calibers. So, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, or fix what ain’t broke, the entire drive mechanism, including the gear train and pallet assembly, was identical to that found inside the Perpetual Cal. 3035 which was introduced the same year.

Rolex Caliber 5055

However, though they may have had a similar blueprint, the differences in their performance was tremendous. The Oysterquartz calibers, both 11-jewel, 32khz movements, employed an oscillator four times faster than the CEH had fitted to the Beta-21, along with a thermistor, an electronic resistor that regulated the frequency of the quartz crystal depending on the ambient temperature, making it one of the first analogue thermocompensation movements ever made.

All told, it made the Cal. 5035 and Cal. 5055 the most accurate calibers to serve inside any Rolex watch. When the second generation was submitted for testing to the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute 18 months later, after the quartz crystal had been changed to a tuning fork shape, unofficial records put them at a mean variation of just 50 seconds a year.

At a time when the COSC awarded Superlative Chronometer status to mechanical movements performing within +4/-6 seconds a day, the attraction of quartz as a concept was obvious.

The Oysterquartz Datejust

In practice however, it was not quite so cut and dried. These incredibly precise engines were put to work in two of Rolex’s most emblematic creations; while the Cal. 5055 powered the Oysterquartz version of the Day-Date, the Cal. 5035 drove the brand’s perpetual test subject, the Datejust.

Mens Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust 17000

But whereas the names may have been familiar, the look of these new watches was virtually unrecognizable within the Rolex style book. Clearly inspired by the prototype ref. 5100 Beta-21, which had been shaped by legendary designer Gerald Genta, the man responsible for the angular profile of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the ref. 17000 series Oysterquartz Datejust followed a similar pattern.

Gone were the brand’s trademark sensual curves, to be replaced by the broad flat surfaces and clunky integrated three-link bracelet that screamed ‘seventies’ as loudly as bell bottoms and Saturday Night Fever.

It was a deliberate act, with Rolex insisting that their lovingly crafted and time-honored mechanical pieces should bear as little resemblance to the upstart electronic goings-on as possible. As a manufacturer, they were still gambling on the quartz era being a storm to be weathered rather than an entirely new direction for the watch industry as a whole, and the Oysterquartz references were to serve as umbrellas to shelter under while they waited for the sun to return.

Evidence of their almost complete lack of interest can be found in a couple of places. Firstly, although the Oysterquartz watches proved to be commercially popular, thanks in large part to their accuracy and significantly lower cost, in the 24 years between their first appearance in 1977 and when they were eventually discontinued in 2001, just 25,000 examples left the production line at Rolex HQ. For a company that has reportedly produced around a million traditional watches a year for the last half a century, it redefined the phrase ‘bare minimum’.

And secondly, their marketing, the only thing Rolex does as well as actually making watches, was decidedly lackluster. The one real attempt they made to push the virtues of quartz onto the public was to outfit mountaineers Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler with a pair of ref. 17000 Datejusts when they became the first to summit Everest without oxygen in 1978. Neatly bookending with the pre-Explorer models that had accompanied Hillary and Tenzing’s very first successful attempt in 1953, the Messner/Habeler expedition went some way to dispel the notion that quartz watches were inherently more fragile than their traditional counterparts.

Buying an Oysterquartz Datejust

The Oysterquartz Datejust was issued in three flavors—the fully stainless steel version (ref. 17000) and in both yellow and white Rolesor (ref. 17013 and ref. 17014 respectively).

Mens Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust 17013

With just 25,000 examples in total split between that trio as well as a pair of all gold Day-Date models, in yellow and white, it is easy to see why these extremely rare pieces are becoming more and more sought after by today’s collectors.

That being said, they are still incredibly attainable on the pre-owned market. For a watch that represents such a fascinating part of the brand’s story, coupled with its radical design departure and the only one-tick-per-second Rolex movement this side of the 1950’s Tru-Beat, being able to pick up an excellent example for under $4,000 makes it practically unique.

It is the relative anonymity of the ref. 17000 series that has kept its price tag realistic. Ask anyone with a passing interest in fine watches whether Rolex ever made a quartz movement and you will be surprised how many people are unaware of them. That is slowly changing these days, as fans and speculators are busy hunting down the more obscure anomalies from the rich Rolex archives, so expect to see an upswing in their value in the coming years.

If you were looking to secure yourself a piece of history from the darkest days of the Swiss watch industry, as well as a potentially very sound investment, it would be better to do it sooner rather than later.

The post The Future Grail Series: The Oysterquartz Datejust appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-future-grail-series-the-oysterquartz-datejust/feed/ 0
Future Classics: The Rolex 5100 Beta-21 https://beckertime.com/blog/future-classics-the-rolex-5100-beta-21/ https://beckertime.com/blog/future-classics-the-rolex-5100-beta-21/#respond Mon, 19 Mar 2018 13:42:09 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178505 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 post Future Classics: The Rolex 5100 Beta-21 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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 to such an extent that it came within a hair of disappearing altogether; lost in an ocean of cheap, disposable yet impossibly accurate watches that not even several centuries of heritage and tradition could compete with.

Today, with devices such as the Apple Watch able to do everything from share your heartbeat to becoming your very own personal assistant (and tell the time I assume), manufacturers of high end luxury timepieces are once again braced for a fistfight, and many are already feeling the pinch.

The Response

Having learned their lessons the hard way, a number of Swiss firms are employing the same tactics with the current predicament as they did 40 years ago and playing companies like Apple at their own game. Major names such as Breitling and Tag Heuer have released their own take on the Smartwatch, and there are even rumors of Rolex joining in sooner rather than later.

It is a strategy that just about saved the industry in the 70s, when a consortium of more than 20 of the biggest players in the business joined together to create a quartz movement that could compete with the electronics flooding the market from Japan and America.

Called the CEH, or the Centre Electronique Horologer, it was actually established in 1962, following the release two years earlier of the first commercially available electronic watch, a forerunner to quartz with a 360Hz tuning fork replacing the balance wheel; the Accutron from Bulova.

Rolex Mens Oysterquartz 5100 Beta 21

While quartz technology had existed since the 1920s, the first movements were so large they were mainly used in laboratory clocks. But their potential as a marketable commodity was obvious and development continued over the decades until they had been reduced to wristwatch size—and the Accutron arrived.

By that point, of course, it was more or less too late as far as the mechanical industry was concerned and the CEH was formed more out of desperation than anything else.

Even so, with the combined resources of Piaget, Omega, Patek Philippe and Rolex themselves in the mix, among others, within five years they had produced their first prototype, the Beta-1. The following year its replacement, the Beta-2, set a new record for accuracy of +/- .0003 seconds a day.

Experimentation continued at a furious pace until, in 1969, the CEH launched their inaugural, mass-produced quartz caliber, the Beta-21.

Rolex and the Beta-21

In all, around 6,000 of the new units were created, used by 16 of the different watchmaking companies of the CEH group.

Although Rolex had actually registered a patent for an electro-mechanical watch of their own back in 1952, the Beta-21 was the first time the brand had adopted the idea with any degree of seriousness, begrudging though it was.

After typically stringent testing, their allocation of calibers were fitted into a new watch, one that had to be built around the movement rather than the other way round. With its large, awkward shape, the mechanism could not be shoehorned into an existing Oyster case, and so the Rolex 5100 Beta-21 emerged in 1970 with a then huge 40mm diameter; a thick, chunky effort with a bracelet integrated into the case that looked like the bastard offspring of the Datejust and the Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet.

Ahead of its Time

In the run-up to its unveiling at Baselworld 1970, the idea of a quartz powered Rolex caught the popular imagination and every one of the 1,000 pieces the brand produced had already been sold before the event opened its doors.

With its hefty proportions and oversized frame, coupled with the fact it was made exclusively in gold, the ref. 5100 was quickly given the nickname ‘The Texan’. It also became the most expensive piece in the Rolex stable and, besides its revolutionary power plant, introduced a couple of other firsts for the brand that have since gone on to become standard issue throughout the catalog.

Rolex Beta 21 Quartz Movement

It was the first Rolex watch to be fitted with a synthetic sapphire crystal, replacing the long-used acrylic covering that was vulnerable to scratches. The new movement also debuted both a hacking function as well as a Quickset date feature to the range, two innovations designed to bring an added level of convenience to setting the watch accurately.

But it was the pioneering technology beneath that brash exterior that was of the most interest to the buying public. The collaborative effort of the giants of mechanical watchmaking, their new engine outshone anything they had been able to produce previously with springs and gears by an almost ludicrous amount. Using a drive mechanism nearly identical to the Bulova Accutron, the Beta-21 kept time to within five seconds a month.

Furthermore, powered by an Omega-built micro motor, the seconds hand swept smoothly around the dial, unlike the one tick per second jumps of modern quartz movements.

It was not, however, without its problems. Apart from its cumbersome size, which gave rise to unfashionably large watches, it also ran out of power very quickly. It was only a matter of time before Rolex lost patience with using the same caliber as more than a dozen of their rivals, and that time came just two years later when they discontinued the ref. 5100 and withdrew from the CEH to develop their own in-house quartz movements.

It would take them a further five years, but eventually the Oysterquartz Datejust and Day-Date models emerged, driven by their own unique quartz calibers—to this day, the most accurate movements Rolex have ever made.

Buying a Rolex ref. 5100 Beta-21

As little more than a special edition, the ref. 5100 was produced in severely limited numbers, so finding one for sale is not easy. As you would expect with such a rare beast, and especially one that marks such a fascinating period in the history of the world’s most successful watchmaker, they go for prices that reflect their relative scarcity. Christies recently auctioned off one example, with box and papers, for around $20,000.

Rolex Mens Oysterquartz 5100 Beta 21

Of the 1,000 pieces made, the majority are in yellow gold, although there were white gold pieces created too, yet no one seems completely sure on the split. Depending on who you believe, it could be either 700 or 900 in yellow, with 300 or just 100 in white, or still others believe there may have been 2,000 produced with a 75/25 percentage ratio. It’s all part of the vintage Rolex collecting mystique.

Whichever is the true figure, it is certain that there are precious few of the Texans out there and the number available to buy will only get smaller. But, while with Rolex’s traditional offerings that is a recipe for ever increasing prices, with a quartz watch, it doesn’t necessarily work that way.

Within reason, a mechanical watch can always be repaired. Even if a certain component isn’t made anymore, a replacement can usually be located if you look hard enough. With quartz, the movement will eventually fail and cannot generally be fixed. So eventually, the Beta-21 watches are going to become items of jewelry; an interesting but non-functioning chapter in the Rolex story and little else.

For that reason, it is hard to see the ref. 5100 reaching true grail status, but you never know. Vintage watch collecting is full of surprises and it may become that vital piece to complete a hardcore fan’s hoard.

The post Future Classics: The Rolex 5100 Beta-21 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/future-classics-the-rolex-5100-beta-21/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 4030 https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-4030/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-4030/#respond Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:35:34 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177204 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 post The Rolex Caliber 4030 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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 winding by then, thanks largely to the Perpetual movements pioneered by Rolex themselves some thirty years before, having to wind a watch yourself every day seemed a definite step back to a less advanced era. Couple that with the evolutionary leap forward of the newly arrived quartz movements, and the Daytona was looking like a quaint relic before it was even released.

As such, models that now sell to collectors for sums that read like phone numbers did nothing but take up space in dealers’ showrooms for years at a time. It clung on desperately, the black sheep of the family, for 25 years, when a change of engine set it on the path to its current status as the ultimate chronograph and the most desirable watch in the world.

The El Primero

Watchmakers were well aware of the need for an automatic chronograph movement for decades before a viable example made it to market. While many deemed it an impossible task, due mainly to the finances needed to develop the necessary technology, several firms decided to form alliances to pool their resources and expertise, and two competing groups appeared.

The debate over which conglomerate actually won the prize for the first self winding chronograph has raged since 1969, when the coalition including Breitling, Hamilton and Heuer among others presented the Caliber 11 in March of that year, while the one made up of Zenith and Movado launched theirs in September, named the El Primero.

While it would seem obvious that the Caliber 11 won by a six month nose, Zenith claimed victory as the makers of the first fully integrated movement, as opposed to the Breitling group’s chronograph module.

It is perhaps a matter of semantics, but regardless of who emerged victorious, the deed was done. The automatic chronograph movement had arrived.

The Rolex Zenith Daytona

The Zenith Daytona

Sadly, it had arrived just in time for the quartz crisis, which had reached catastrophic levels by the early seventies, and forced Zenith to shut down production of the El Primero in 1972.

Faring better than most throughout the electronic onslaught from Japan and America, they were able to reintroduce it fifteen years later, where it proved itself as the most reliable and accurate mechanical chronograph movement in the industry.

It was really only a matter of time then before the call came from the other side of the Alps in Geneva, with Rolex looking to bring their Daytona into the modern era with its first automatic caliber. That call came at the end of the eighties, and their partnership with Zenith lasted for 12 years.

The Rolex Cal. 4030

Of course, with this being Rolex, it wasn’t quite as simple as shoehorning the El Primero into the Daytona’s case, sending it on its way and hoping for the best. As they had done with the previous Valjoux movement, the company’s legions of engineers stripped the mechanism down to its bare plate, removing parts they deemed unnecessary and replacing others that didn’t meet the sort of exacting standards that Rolex had spent several generations developing.

Rolex Caliber 4030

By the time they had finished, the El Primero had been through around 200 modifications and more than half of its original components had been swapped for those judged more suitable. It also had a new name; the Cal. 4030.

Of the myriad changes, the most significant was the drop in frequency. The Zenith movement arrived at Rolex’s door with a beat of 36,000vph and left at a more stately 28,800vph, matching the rest of the brand’s lineup. It’s the balance speed that gives the trademark sweep to the seconds hand, while also ensuring the caliber’s components receive less wear and tear and a longer time between services. (It was in direct contrast to the Valjoux movement, which Rolex had raised from 18,000vph to 21,600vph).

In addition, the date complication was removed and a new escapement was fitted featuring a much larger, free sprung Glucydur balance wheel and Microstella regulating screws and, crucially, a Breguet overcoil replaced the flat hairspring of the El Primero. It was the setup Rolex had perfected with their second generation of the 1500 series in the 1960s, the basic elements of which are still used across their range today.

The Cal. 4030 at Work

The first Daytona to exploit this brand new and extensively reengineered movement was unleashed, with immaculate timing, in 1988. The ref. 16520 burst into life at the end of a decade of unabashed hedonism, with previously unheard of levels of wealth driving the novelty of luxury watch collecting to frenzied heights.

An immediate success, Rolex found themselves unable to keep up with demand for their flagship chronograph, hampered as they were by their reliance on an outsourced caliber. As waiting lists began to stretch off into years, wannabe owners started hunting round for the discontinued, manually wound models, and soon, both the old and new watches were being stockpiled by canny dealers and sold to impatient queue jumpers for up to double their retail price.

Rolex Caliber 4030

However, the ref. 16520 represented more than just a change of movement. Its case ballooned in size from 37mm to 40mm, keeping it in line with the rest of Rolex’s professional range. Crown guards made an appearance for the first time, as did a sapphire crystal, and the engraved tachymeter bezel was made wider, with its scale rising to display increments up to 400 mph.

The dials, too, went through a mini revolution. The matte and metallic surfaces of previous iterations were now lacquered and glossy, and the applied white gold hour markers were filled with lume—first Tritium, then Luminova and Superluminova by the end of the production run. The emblematic sub dials gained a thin outer border in a contrasting color, giving the whole façade an extra presence that lifted the watch out of its natural home of the race track and landed it firmly in its new role as status symbol.

With its complete transformation in popularity, from the ugly duckling that couldn’t be given away to the hottest ticket in horology, Rolex released their Zenith Daytona (as it was to become unofficially known) in a raft of different variations. Soon, precious metal versions, festooned on dial and bezel with gemstones of every description, were changing hands for outrageous amounts.

But while a Daytona was far more likely to be worn as a statement piece rather than as a tool for its originally intended purpose, which can be said about most of its sports stable mates, it was and still is one of the most capable watches ever made.

Like the majority of chronograph movements, the Cal. 4030 was equipped with a column wheel and horizontal clutch. The Daytona would have to wait until the replacement 4130 appeared in 2000 to adopt the vertical coupling system that eliminated the backlash on the stopwatch’s seconds hand. Even so, with the basic architecture of the El Primero, and the genius of Rolex’s microengineers, the Zenith movement proved itself incredibly accurate and of an almost bombproof resilience.

For its time, it was the best of the best, and it is a testament to Zenith that the El Primero is still being manufactured now. As for the legendary Rolex timepiece it powered for over a decade, it is the one credited with making the vintage watch market what it is today.

Spectacularly successful though it was, it became the last model in the catalog to be powered by a third party movement. The new millennium saw the brand go completely self-sufficient for every single element that went inside every one of their watches.

While the El Primero had lived up to its name as the first ever automatic chronograph movement, the Zenith had reached its peak.

The post The Rolex Caliber 4030 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-4030/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 3255 https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-3255/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-3255/#respond Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:34:46 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177360 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 post The Rolex Caliber 3255 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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 into the very best they can be, while keeping their outward appearances tightly uniform, is what has made them so identifiable as a brand to such a wide cross section; everyone from horology fanatics to those with only the most passing interest can identify a Rolex at a glance.

However, they did not become the world’s most successful watchmaker by completely ignoring the winds of change when they blow hard enough. They managed to resist the trend for larger watches for longer than most, but eventually, even they had to concede it was one fad that showed no sign of going away.

Rolex Caliber 3255

Many of the old guard in the sports range, including such icons as the Submariner and the Daytona, were considered, at 40mm, just about big enough for a modern audience. The Yacht-Master II, launched in 2007, ushered in the new wave of bigger is better with a 44mm case, the largest in the fleet. And the latest release, the Sky-Dweller, weighs in with almost the same dimensions.

That was all well and good for the tough guy professional models, those pieces sold on their reputation for strength and robust reliability as much as their looks. But what about the dress watches? The elegant wrist adornments that have traditionally maxed out at 36mm?

Whereas a generation ago, 36mm was the ideal size for a man’s watch, these days it is considered very much a midsize, with more and more being bought by women.

So, Rolex finally embraced the shift and set about bringing their entire catalog into the 21st century. First up for the non-sports models was a reworking of the legendary Day-Date, the President’s watch. Making the leap from the age-old 36mm to 41mm in 2008, the newly christened Day-Date II represented more than just a bigger case. Its relative dimensions had changed too, with a thicker bezel and more muscular lugs taking away much of the graceful profile that had been its former calling card.

Its short-lived and only moderately successful production run was halted in 2015, when Rolex took another stab at bringing out a version of their flagship with a little more presence.

Rolex Day-Date 40mm

The Day-Date 40 and the Cal. 3255

The new President, known as the Rolex Day-Date 40, gives up a single millimeter to its predecessor, and is a fascinating blend of the traditional and the contemporary. Outwardly, it shares the styling and comparative proportions of the smaller watches in the range, all simply enlarged for a new era.

Inside however, and the engine that drives the brand’s most prestigious offering is out far beyond the cutting edge. Where the Day-Date II used a mechanism based very much on the venerable Cal. 3155, called the Cal. 3156, Rolex decided for this version, they might as well go all the way.

The Day-Date 40’s new movement, the Cal. 3255, was designed from the ground up to be better, lighter, more reliable and more efficient than its predecessor. Every element of the outgoing Cal. 3156 was analyzed for improvements, and more than 90% of them replaced.

The self-winding module was completely reworked, with new reversing wheels and a monobloc rotor mounted on ball bearings allowing for faster winding of the high capacity mainspring, giving a much increased 70-hour power reserve. The spring itself is housed inside a barrel with walls half the thickness as before, to accommodate its larger size.

The oscillator is now fitted with the Parachrom Bleu hairspring with an optimized Breguet overcoil. Made from a niobium and zirconium alloy that is impervious to temperature variations and magnetic interference, two of the biggest killers of mechanical watch accuracy, the Rolex patented component also offers up to 10 times more shock resistance than previous hairsprings.

Using the latest precision, microstructure manufacturing techniques such as LiGA, the geometry of the large balance wheel has been redesigned, leading to a threefold enhancement in poise, regulated by four gold Microstella screws.

Rolex even developed and synthesized its own lubricants to keep the new gear train running smoothly and reduce wear and tear. Unlike any other mechanical watchmaker, modern Rolexes can now go 10 years between services.

The Chronergy

But the most significant improvement came in the shape of an entirely revised and upgraded escapement. Although still based, very loosely, on the traditional Swiss Lever Escapement used by the vast majority of manufacturers, the Cal. 3255 has gone a long way to addressing the system’s inherent flaws.

Rolex Caliber 3255

With the conventional escapement mechanism, which has been around in one form or another for over 250 years, about two thirds of the energy it receives from the mainspring is lost.

The Chronergy Escapement, Rolex’s redesign of the antiquated arrangement, has an improved efficiency of 15%—achieved with the brand’s usual innovative approach and obsessive attention to detail.

The Chronergy’s two main components, the escape wheel and the pallet fork, have both been heavily reengineered. The escape wheel has been skeletonized, cutting out as much of the structure as possible to reduce its weight and, consequently, its inertia. To preserve its former strength, it has been constructed from a nickel-phosphorous compound, also making the component paramagnetic.

The synthetic ruby stones on the pallet fork have been halved in thickness and now measure just 125 microns but, through a shift in the escapement’s alignment and a reworking of the teeth on the escape wheel, the contact surfaces between the two have doubled.

Superlative Chronometer

As well as rewriting the rulebook for mechanical calibers with the Cal. 3255, Rolex also rewrote the parameters for their accuracy.

Rolex Caliber 3255

The brand’s watches have carried the Superlative Chronometer mark for decades, identifying them as having passed the stringent tests set down by the COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. To do so, they must prove themselves accurate to within +4/-6 seconds a day, over a 15 day period in a number of different temperatures and positions.

Deciding that wasn’t challenge enough, Rolex tightened up the regulations for themselves, taking the allowable variance down to +2/-2 seconds a day, and testing each movement twice; once as a separate unit and again after it was fitted inside its case.

The Cal. 3255 was the first of the breed to endure these particularly severe tests, and the traditional red tag signifying the previous certification has been replaced with a new green one.

Conclusion

By updating the venerable President and embracing the fashion for bigger watches, Rolex has brought a fresher, younger following to the all time classic.

The Day-Date 40 is a very special version of a very special watch, one that is perfectly in keeping with the trends of a new century. So it is only fitting that it is powered by the most advanced mechanical movement of its type. The culmination of everything the most progressive manufacturer in the world has learned in more than a century at the top, it stands as a true masterpiece of the watchmaker’s art.

The post The Rolex Caliber 3255 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-3255/feed/ 0
Conor McGregor is a Heavyweight Rolex Collector https://beckertime.com/blog/conor-mcgregor-is-a-heavyweight-rolex-collector/ https://beckertime.com/blog/conor-mcgregor-is-a-heavyweight-rolex-collector/#respond Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:31:44 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178836 Superstar MMA champ Conor McGregor makes headlines wherever he goes. Whether it’s when he’s winning yet another UFC belt or in the boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather, the celebrity athlete has rightly earned his nickname “The Notorious.” Conor McGregor once said in an interview that he likes to buy a luxury watch every time he […]

The post Conor McGregor is a Heavyweight Rolex Collector appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
.instagram-media{margin:20px auto!important;}

Superstar MMA champ Conor McGregor makes headlines wherever he goes. Whether it’s when he’s winning yet another UFC belt or in the boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather, the celebrity athlete has rightly earned his nickname “The Notorious.” Conor McGregor once said in an interview that he likes to buy a luxury watch every time he wins a match. And given his fighting record, that’s quite the collection he’s building! While the professional fighter has plenty top names in his luxury watch collection, such as Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, it seems he’s predominately a Rolex man. Let’s get a closer look at Conor McGregor’s Rolex collection.

Conor McGregor Loves a Rolex with a Green Dial

Maybe it’s because he’s Irish or maybe it’s just because a green dial looks fantastic on a yellow gold Rolex watch, but Conor McGregor loves a green-dial Rolex. We’ve spotted him wearing the 18k yellow gold Daytona ref. 116508 with a vibrant metallic green dial, which was released at Baselworld 2016.

No more work baby

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

To complement the green Rolex sports watch, Conor McGregor also has the dressy 18k Everose rose gold Day-Date 40 ref. 228235 with the olive green anniversary dial. This particular green dial was also released in 2016 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the famed Rolex Day-Date President watch.

Conor McGregor Wears Plenty of Rolex President Watches

It’s only fitting that the King of UFC would gravitate towards Rolex President watches and Conor McGregor has several to go around. In addition to the Everose President we mentioned above, he also has an 18k yellow gold Day-Date 40 ref. 228238 with a baguette diamond dial.

Sparring today

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

Furthermore, Conor McGregor also owns the top-of-the-line platinum Rolex President Day-Date 40 ref. 228206. How do we know it’s platinum? Because it has the ice blue dial—a shade exclusive to platinum Rolex watches. Plus, the dial also has baguette diamond indexes for that extra shine.

Conor McGregor Appreciates the Larger Rolex Watches

A big personality needs a big watch and Conor McGregor does not disappoint in that department. He has in his Rolex collection some of the bigger models offered by the brand. First, there are the 42mm Sky-Dweller watches—yes, that’s plural. In addition to the Everose gold Sky-Dweller ref. 326935 with a brown chocolate dial, he also has the yellow gold Sky-Dweller ref. 326138 with a champagne dial and brown leather strap.

Galaxy caramel

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

But the famous fighter doesn’t stop there. He also has the even larger 44mm yellow gold Yacht-Master II ref. 116688 with the bright blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel and crisp white dial.

If Conor McGregor sticks to his statement about buying a new watch for every win, we can expect a lot of other fine timepieces to grace his wrist in the near future. We’ll be keeping an eye to see if other Rolex watches make the cut.

The post Conor McGregor is a Heavyweight Rolex Collector appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/conor-mcgregor-is-a-heavyweight-rolex-collector/feed/ 0
Michael Strahan Rocked a Rolex Daytona on the Oscar’s Red Carpet https://beckertime.com/blog/michael-strahan-rocked-rolex-daytona-oscars-red-carpet/ https://beckertime.com/blog/michael-strahan-rocked-rolex-daytona-oscars-red-carpet/#respond Fri, 09 Mar 2018 20:09:55 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=179059 Former NFL player and current host of ABC’s Good Morning America, Michael Strahan, was manning the Oscar’s red carpet last Sunday to give us a closer look at all the celebrities making their way into the ceremony. While he interviewed a slew of celebrities during the 90th Academy Awards, we couldn’t help but notice an […]

The post Michael Strahan Rocked a Rolex Daytona on the Oscar’s Red Carpet appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Former NFL player and current host of ABC’s Good Morning America, Michael Strahan, was manning the Oscar’s red carpet last Sunday to give us a closer look at all the celebrities making their way into the ceremony. While he interviewed a slew of celebrities during the 90th Academy Awards, we couldn’t help but notice an awesome Rolex Daytona on his wrist.

Of course, this got us digging around some more and we were delighted to find out that Michael Strahan is most definitely a watch guy. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the TV star admitted that he’s been into watches since high school and today, he looks for watches that are large and have style. Let’s find out which Rolex watches have made it to Michael Strahan’s wrist.

Michael Strahan Wears a Rolex Daytona

Michael Strahan with Viola Davis at Oscars Red Carpet
Photo: @michaelstrahan

Arguably the most popular (and difficult to find) luxury chronograph right now is the new stainless steel Rolex Daytona with the black ceramic bezel. Although it made its debut in 2016, the Daytona ref. 116500LN is still a tough timepiece to find since there are so many people who want one!

Celebrities in particular are partial to the ceramic Daytona and Michael Strahan is no exception. We’ve seen him wearing his Cerachrom Daytona with a white “panda” dial on several occasions on GMA and it paired perfectly with his gray suede suit on the Oscar’s red carpet.

Michael Strahan Wears a Rolex Deepsea

Michael Strahan wearing Rolex DeepSea
Photo: Getty Images

Since he likes big watches, it’s no surprise that the former New York Giants football player would go for Rolex’s biggest watch—the Deepsea. The brand’s mega diving watch, the Rolex Deepsea sports a hefty case that measures a generous 44mm in diameter. Furthermore, it’s substantially thick to accommodate for the watch’s helium escape valve and special case construction to permit it to plunge down to 4,000 feet.

It’s worth noting that Michael Strahan’s Deepsea is the D-Blue dial version. The Deepsea with the black and blue dial is also known as the “James Cameron Rolex” since the watchmaker created the dial to commemorate the famous director’s historic solo dive to the Mariana Trench.

Michael Strahan Wears a Rolex Day-Date President

Michael Strahan at James Corden Late Show
Photo: ©CBS

Along with the above two Rolex sports models, Michael Strahan has also been photographed wearing a Rolex President dress watch.

His particular model looks to be the larger Everose gold Day-Date 40 with a chocolate dial and diamond bezel, complete with (naturally) the famed President bracelet with the signature semi-circular links. Larger than the traditional 36mm Day-Date President, the Day-Date 40 is a great option for those looking for the President in a bigger size.

The post Michael Strahan Rocked a Rolex Daytona on the Oscar’s Red Carpet appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/michael-strahan-rocked-rolex-daytona-oscars-red-carpet/feed/ 0
Choosing the Best White Gold Midsize Datejust for You https://beckertime.com/blog/choosing-best-white-gold-midsize-datejust/ https://beckertime.com/blog/choosing-best-white-gold-midsize-datejust/#respond Thu, 08 Mar 2018 16:09:21 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177916 Thanks to its color, the white gold midsize Datejust is a lavish Rolex watch without being outwardly extravagant. Actually, at first glance, it could be mistaken for a steel stainless steel Rolex. However, those familiar with Rolex hallmarks will quickly recognize that the white gold midsize Datejust is in fact crafted in precious metal. Let’s […]

The post Choosing the Best White Gold Midsize Datejust for You appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Thanks to its color, the white gold midsize Datejust is a lavish Rolex watch without being outwardly extravagant. Actually, at first glance, it could be mistaken for a steel stainless steel Rolex. However, those familiar with Rolex hallmarks will quickly recognize that the white gold midsize Datejust is in fact crafted in precious metal. Let’s learn some more.

Brief History About the White Gold Midsize Datejust

Recognized as a unisex Datejust, the midsize Datejust sports a 31mm case. Like all Datejust watches, it comes equipped with the famous date aperture at 3 o’clock, which turns instantaneously to the following date at the stroke of midnight. Furthermore, the midsize Datejust also bears the iconic Cyclops lens protruding on the crystal to magnify the date, thus making it easier to read the number displayed in the window. Finally, although it strictly adheres to Datejust design codes, the white gold editions do offer plenty of bezel, bracelet, and dial choices.

Rolex Datejust Midsize White Gold 68274

The white gold version of the midsize Datejust followed a very similar journey to other midsize Datejust watches. From the mid-1970s until the middle of the next decade, the white gold midsize Datejust had the four-digit 68xx reference numbers. These particular vintage models included acrylic crystals and their automatic movements did not include the quickset feature. That changed in the mid-1980s when Rolex replaced them with updated white gold midsize Datejust watches with the five-digit 68xxx reference numbers. This time, these particular Datejust watches featured sapphire crystal, in addition to the practical quickset functionality. This meant that wearers could now adjust the date without needing to manipulate the hour and minute hands.

The next big change that happened to the white gold midsize Datejust collection took place about 15 years later with the introduction of the five-digit ref. 78xxx models in the late 1990s. New to the white gold midsize Datejust was the in-house Caliber 2235 automatic movement offering better precision, reliability, and sturdiness. However, these specific models were not in production for too long since Rolex replaced them with six-digit reference models in the early 2000s with heavier bracelets and improved clasps. The six-digit ref. 178xxx models are the current white gold midsize Datejust watches available from Rolex today.

White Gold Midsize Datejust President

While the white gold midsize Datejust watches are available with the option of different bracelets, including the flatter and sportier Oyster along with the dressier and more intricate Jubilee, it’s the President bracelet that’s the most popular choice.

That’s probably because unlike the Oyster and the Jubilee, the curvy semi-circular links of the President bracelet are exclusively avai in precious metals. Therefore, if a white gold midsize Datejust comes with a President bracelet, it’s a quick way to differentiate it from a stainless steel Datejust.

White Gold Midsize Datejust Tridor

Rolex Datejust Midsize White Gold

An intriguing version of the white gold midsize Datejust is the Tridor version. The word “Tridor” is a portmanteau of the words “tri” (three) and “d’Or (French for golden) which refers to the three shades of gold on this particular Rolex watch. While the case is made in 18k white gold, the fluted bezel sitting on top of it is fashioned in 18k yellow gold. Furthermore, the center links of the President bracelet flaunts a stripe design with alternating rose, yellow, and white gold—flanked by outer white gold links. Why choose between the trio of gold hues when you can enjoy all of them on a white gold midsize Datejust Tridor model?

The white gold midsize Datejust Rolex watch is a great choice for someone looking for a gold luxury watch that’s not too big or not too small. Whether you prefer entirely metal versions or more fancy diamond editions, current modern models or vintage beauties, there’s a wide range of white gold midsize Datejust Rolex watches to choose from.

The post Choosing the Best White Gold Midsize Datejust for You appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/choosing-best-white-gold-midsize-datejust/feed/ 0
Think Pink: A Handful of Vintage Men’s Rose Gold Datejust Models https://beckertime.com/blog/think-pink-handful-vintage-mens-rose-gold-datejust-models/ https://beckertime.com/blog/think-pink-handful-vintage-mens-rose-gold-datejust-models/#respond Thu, 01 Mar 2018 23:49:53 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177198 In terms of materials used on Rolex watches, rose gold is often overlooked since it’s much less common than stainless steel or yellow gold. However, rose gold offers a beautiful shade of gold that’s warm and luxurious. Today we take a look at three key vintage men’s rose gold Datejust watches from the 1950s, 1960s, […]

The post Think Pink: A Handful of Vintage Men’s Rose Gold Datejust Models appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
In terms of materials used on Rolex watches, rose gold is often overlooked since it’s much less common than stainless steel or yellow gold. However, rose gold offers a beautiful shade of gold that’s warm and luxurious. Today we take a look at three key vintage men’s rose gold Datejust watches from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

Men’s Rose Gold Datejust Ref. 6305

Rolex Datejust 6305

Sometimes referred to as “Ovettone,” which is Italian for “big egg” in reference to the watch’s bubble-like caseback to accommodate the movement’s rotor, the men’s rose gold Datejust ref. 6305 was manufactured from 1953 until 1957. The 36mm rose gold Oyster cases are topped with a more restrained fluted bezel style, common to the era. Depending on the production date, some men’s rose gold Datejust ref. 6305 watches come equipped with the Cyclops lens above the date window and some don’t. Remember, Rolex only introduced the Cyclops magnification lens in 1954—nine years after the 1945 debut of the Datejust model.

These particular vintage Datejust models run on the chronometer-certified Caliber A296 automatic movement with 18 jewels.

Men’s Rose Gold Datejust Ref. 6605

While the production of the men’s rose gold Datejust ref. 6305 and the ref. 6605 overlapped a little, the Datejust ref. 6605 was introduced a little later and continued into the very early 1960s.

Rolex Datejust 6605

Stylistically, the men’s rose gold Datejust ref. 6605 was similar to its predecessor with its 36mm pink gold Oyster case, fluted bezel, and Jubilee bracelet, yet most (if not all) examples came with a Cyclops lens on the acrylic crystal. It was common for the earlier ref. 6605 watches to have a roulette date wheel with alternating red and black numerals. These were eventually replaced with date wheels with black numerals in later examples.

Powering the men’s rose gold Datejust ref. 6605 is the Rolex Cal. 1065 automatic movement with 25 jewels. Due to this new movement, the caseback of the Datejust ref. 6605 became flat, unlike the preceding bubble backs.

Men’s Rose Gold Datejust Ref. 1601

The men’s rose gold Datejust ref. 1601 enjoyed a longer manufacturing run from the early 1960s to the late 1970s. Design wise, the rose gold versions of the Datejust ref. 1601 retained the traditional 36mm rose gold Oyster case, matching rose gold fluted bezel, Cyclops lens on the acrylic crystal, and a date window with exclusively black numerals.

Rolex Datejust 1601

Depending on the production dates, either the Caliber 1560 or the Caliber 1570 sits within the case of the men’s rose gold Datejust ref. 1601. The Rolex Cal. 1560 operates at a frequency of 18,000 beats per hour while Rolex Cal. 1570 beats at 19800 bph. Furthermore, from 1972 onwards, the Caliber 1570 was equipped with the hacking feature, which halts the seconds hand when the crown is pulled out for more precise time setting.

Vintage men’s rose gold Datejust timepieces are simply beautiful. Elegant and refined, these would be a fantastic addition to any luxury watch collection. So if you already own watches in stainless steel, yellow and white gold, next time think pink and go for a rose gold Rolex.

The post Think Pink: A Handful of Vintage Men’s Rose Gold Datejust Models appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/think-pink-handful-vintage-mens-rose-gold-datejust-models/feed/ 0
Reveling In the Understated Elegance of the Men’s White Gold Datejust https://beckertime.com/blog/reveling-understated-elegance-mens-white-gold-datejust/ https://beckertime.com/blog/reveling-understated-elegance-mens-white-gold-datejust/#respond Thu, 01 Mar 2018 23:49:46 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177196 Although stainless steel is the more common white metal choice within the Datejust collection, perhaps unbeknownst to some, Rolex did, in fact, produce men’s white gold Datejust models too. And we’re not talking about a white fluted bezel on a steel Datejust; we’re talking about a men’s Datejust 36 in full 18k white gold. Read […]

The post Reveling In the Understated Elegance of the Men’s White Gold Datejust appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Although stainless steel is the more common white metal choice within the Datejust collection, perhaps unbeknownst to some, Rolex did, in fact, produce men’s white gold Datejust models too. And we’re not talking about a white fluted bezel on a steel Datejust; we’re talking about a men’s Datejust 36 in full 18k white gold. Read on to discover more about this rather overlooked precious metal Datejust.

The Men’s White Gold Datejust 36 Ref. 116139

While there’s the vintage ref. 1601 men’s white gold Datejust, today we’re focusing on the modern model—the Datejust 36 ref. 116139. This ultra-luxe men’s Datejust sports a 36mm Oyster case crafted entirely in 18k white gold, complete with the ubiquitous fluted bezel. There’s also a more precious version of the men’s white gold Datejust, which is the Datejust ref. 116189 with the diamond-set bezel.

Rolex Datejust 116139

In typical Datejust fashion, the dial options of the Datejust 36 ref. 116139 are varied, including plenty of different colors, patterns, materials, and index styles. Of course, the signature date window—for which the collection is named after—sits at the standard 3 o’clock spot, magnified by the Cyclops lens positioned above it on the sapphire crystal.

A distinctive feature of the white gold Datejust 36 ref. 116139 is its bracelet. Unlike the majority of Datejust watches, this particular version does not come with an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet, but rather, a graceful alligator leather strap with a matching 18k white gold deployant clasp. Available in a range of colors from blue to brown to black and others, the strap emphasizes the elegance of the men’s white gold Datejust.

Like all modern Datejust models, powering the Datejust ref. 116139 is also the famous COSC-certified Rolex Cal. 3135 automatic movement with approximately 50 hours of power reserve.

Rolex Datejust 116139

Pricing and Availability of the Men’s White Gold Datejust Ref. 116139

While a men’s white gold Datejust model is not currently offered by Rolex, the discontinued Datejust ref. 116139 is available in the secondary market. Depending on condition, style and dial configuration, a pre-owned Datejust ref. 116139 typically ranges from $9,000 to $17,000. The diamond-set men’s white gold Datejust ref. 116189 however, starts at about $17,000 for a non-gem dial and reaches all the way to around $28,000 for a matching diamond dial.

The men’s white gold Datejust ref. 116139 stands out for its full gold case and leather strap and it’s certainly one of the most elegant Datejust models around.

The post Reveling In the Understated Elegance of the Men’s White Gold Datejust appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/reveling-understated-elegance-mens-white-gold-datejust/feed/ 0
Take the Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph for a Spin https://beckertime.com/blog/take-rolex-datejust-turn-o-graph-spin/ https://beckertime.com/blog/take-rolex-datejust-turn-o-graph-spin/#respond Fri, 23 Feb 2018 15:08:01 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177017 While a fantastic watch, the Datejust Turn-O-Graph never enjoyed the popularity of other Rolex models. Part tool watch, part dress watch, the Datejust Turn-O-Graph underwent several modifications throughout its history. Although Rolex doesn’t produce the Datejust Turn-O-Graph anymore, it’s readily available in the secondary market. Let’s have a closer look at the Datejust Turn-O-Graph and […]

The post Take the Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph for a Spin appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
While a fantastic watch, the Datejust Turn-O-Graph never enjoyed the popularity of other Rolex models. Part tool watch, part dress watch, the Datejust Turn-O-Graph underwent several modifications throughout its history. Although Rolex doesn’t produce the Datejust Turn-O-Graph anymore, it’s readily available in the secondary market. Let’s have a closer look at the Datejust Turn-O-Graph and examine what makes it so unique.

The Origins of the Datejust Turn-O-Graph

Rolex Turn-O-Graph

The inaugural Rolex Turn-O-Graph ref. 6202 made its debut in 1953 as the first serially produced Rolex with a rotating bezel. Early Turn-O-Graph models looked strikingly similar to the Submariner watches of the era thanks to the bezel style. However, the time-only Turn-O-Graph eventually joined the Datejust collection. Thus the Datejust Turn-O-Graph ref. 6309 included a date window whilst also retaining its characteristic rotating bezel. The bezel was now a metal bezel with raised numerals and markings.

As a Datejust Turn-O-Graph, the 36mm watch offered a mix of sporty and dressy looks, along with the functionality of the “time recorder” rotating bezel. In the late 1950s, the Datejust Turn-O-Graph became the official watch of the US Air Force’s Demonstration Squadron a.k.a the Thunderbirds—complete with the squadron’s insignia on the dial. This special military variant was the Datejust Turn-O-Graph ref. 6609. Rolex aggressively advertised this relationship and the Datejust Turn-O-Graph eventually picked up the Thunderbird nickname in the US market.

As was typical of the era, Rolex made the early Turn-O-Graph models in a range of metals including steel, yellow gold, and even two-tone steel and yellow gold. Dial options were also varied, ranging from solid colored ones to intricate honeycomb pattern ones, along with different index options.

Rolex Turn-O-Graph

The Datejust Turn-O-Graph from the 1960s and 1970s

1959 saw the birth of the Datejust Turn-O-Graph ref. 1625 and Rolex continue to produce this reference until 1977. There are two main variants of the Datejust Turn-O-Graph ref. 1625—one in steel with a white gold bezel and one in two-tone steel and yellow gold. Of course, both editions sport the signature bi-directional rotating bezel.

Rolex offered the Datejust Turn-O-Graph ref. 1625 with Jubilee bracelets, yet it’s not unusual to find some models in the secondary market with after-market leather straps. The vintage Datejust Turn-O-Graph ref. 1625 runs on the Rolex Cal. 1575.

The 5-digit Datejust Turn-O-Graph References

In 1977, Rolex launched the five-digit Datejust Turn-O-Graph models, equipped with the updated Rolex Cal. 3035 beating within and sapphire crystal protecting the face of the watch. The Datejust Turn-O-Graph ref. 16253 and ref. 16263 are the two-tone yellow gold and steel versions while the Datejust Turn-O-Graph ref. 16264 is the steel edition with a white gold bezel.

These particular Turn-O-Graph references were part of the Rolex catalog until 2000.

The Final Datejust Turn-O-Graph References

In 2000, Rolex unveiled the six-digit Datejust Turn-O-Graph references with some notable changes. Firstly, the “TURN-O-GRAPH” name is back on the dial in bright red, which matches up nicely with the red seconds hand. Furthermore, the date window features a roulette date wheel with alternating red and black numbers. Also, the Oyster bracelet became an option with the newest Rolex Thunderbird watches. Finally, the characteristic rotating bezel is now fluted. So while on paper the Turn-O-Graph retains its 36mm case size, it wears bigger due to the wider fluted bezel.

The six-digit Datejust Turn-O-Graph includes the ref. 116264 in steel with a white gold bezel, the ref. 116263 in two-tone steel and yellow gold, and the ref. 116261 in two-tone steel and rose gold. Rolex discontinued the Datejust Turn-O-Graph model in 2011.

Although the Turn-O-Graph never really carved out its own solid identity, those in the know understand that it’s a distinct way to wear the ubiquitous Rolex Datejust. With its unique rotating bezel, the Datejust Turn-O-Graph offers classic dress watch aesthetics with a touch of sporty appeal.

The post Take the Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph for a Spin appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/take-rolex-datejust-turn-o-graph-spin/feed/ 0
Highlighting the Modern Everose Rose Gold Ladies’ Datejust https://beckertime.com/blog/highlighting-modern-everose-rose-gold-ladies-datejust/ https://beckertime.com/blog/highlighting-modern-everose-rose-gold-ladies-datejust/#respond Fri, 23 Feb 2018 15:06:47 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177699 In 2005, Rolex unveiled a patented rose gold alloy, which they named Everose. As its name implies, Everose was developed to retain its luscious warm rose color and to never fade thanks to a secret formala of gold, copper, and platinum. Since then, Rolex has included beautiful Everose gold editions to many of their collections […]

The post Highlighting the Modern Everose Rose Gold Ladies’ Datejust appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
In 2005, Rolex unveiled a patented rose gold alloy, which they named Everose. As its name implies, Everose was developed to retain its luscious warm rose color and to never fade thanks to a secret formala of gold, copper, and platinum. Since then, Rolex has included beautiful Everose gold editions to many of their collections including the Lady-Datejust. Today we highlight a range of modern Everose rose gold ladies’ Datejust watches.

Everose Rose Gold Ladies’ Datejust 26

Rolex Ladies Datejust Rose Gold 179175

26mm used to be the standard size for the Lady-Datejust. However, much like the men’s timepiece trend towards bigger watches, Rolex decided to replace this family of Lady-Datejust watches with a 28mm version. Regardless, the 26mm sized woman’s Datejust remains the most popular option in the secondary market.

For Everose gold options, there’s the rose gold ladies’ Datejust ref. 179175 with the iconic fluted bezel and the ref. 179165 furnished with a sleek smooth bezel. These particular rose gold ladies’ Datejust timepieces run on the ultra-dependable Rolex Caliber 2235 automatic movement to power the center hour timekeeping hands and the date window at 3 o’clock. As with almost all Rolex watches with date windows, sitting above that aperture is the Cyclops magnification lens affixed to the sapphire crystal.

Everose Rose Gold Ladies’ Datejust 28

Rolex Ladies Datejust Rose Gold 279175

In 2015, Rolex launched a brand new version of the famous women’s Rolex watch with the Datejust 28. The slightly larger 28mm Oyster case of the latest ladies’ Datejust houses the Rolex Cal. 2236, which made its debut in 2014 in the Pearlmaster 34. Hard to believe, but this new-generation movement offers even better durability, power reserve, precision, and accuracy than previous Rolex automatic movements.

In terms of variety, the rose gold ladies’ Datejust 28 is available in a few different styles. There’s the Everose Datejust ref. 279175 with the dressy fluted bezel, the ref. 279165 with the stylish smooth bezel, and the ref. 279135 with the precious diamond-set bezel. Of course, along with bezel options, dial varieties are almost endless. A particularly beautiful version of the Everose Datejust 28 are those that come with a rich chocolate brown dial, which complements the warm rose gold hue perfectly.

Everose Rose Gold Ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster

Rolex Ladies Pearlmaster Rose Gold 80315

A special version of the ladies’ Datejust, the Pearlmaster is Rolex’s jewelry watch. Not only is the Pearlmaster always constructed in 18k gold and often embellished with diamonds or other gems, but the watch also stands out for the bracelet it’s named after. A supple bracelet with a curvy five-link configuration, the Pearlmaster bracelet wears very much like high-end gold jewelry.

The Everose rose gold ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster is available in a range of sizes including 29mm, 34mm, and 39mm. There are also plenty of diamond style variations such as the Pearlmaster 29 ref 80315 with a smooth bezel dotted with a dozen diamonds or the Pearlmaster 29 ref. 80285 with a full diamond bezel, as well as more lavish gem-set editions within the larger Pearlmaster watches.

More vibrant than white gold and warmer than yellow gold, the beauty of rose gold is undeniable. And the precious metal looks especially exquisite when fashioned into an Everose rose gold ladies’ Datejust Rolex watch.

The post Highlighting the Modern Everose Rose Gold Ladies’ Datejust appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/highlighting-modern-everose-rose-gold-ladies-datejust/feed/ 0
The Design Traits and Evolution of the Stainless Steel Midsize Datejust https://beckertime.com/blog/design-traits-evolution-stainless-steel-midsize-datejust/ https://beckertime.com/blog/design-traits-evolution-stainless-steel-midsize-datejust/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:42:44 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177816 It’s no secret that Rolex watches evolve slowly over the years. Rolex collections do not undergo revolutionary design changes but rather small, yet vital, improvements. And this is a big part of the appeal of Rolex watches—they maintain their signature looks. At first glance, there’s not much difference between a Datejust from the 1970s and […]

The post The Design Traits and Evolution of the Stainless Steel Midsize Datejust appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
It’s no secret that Rolex watches evolve slowly over the years. Rolex collections do not undergo revolutionary design changes but rather small, yet vital, improvements. And this is a big part of the appeal of Rolex watches—they maintain their signature looks. At first glance, there’s not much difference between a Datejust from the 1970s and a Datejust made today. Of course, if you take a closer look, there are important—mostly technical—differences between Rolex watches from different eras. Today, we delve into the stainless steel midsize Datejust to uncover what improvements have taken place over the last 50 years.

Signature Design Traits of the Stainless Steel Midsize Datejust

Rolex Datejust Midsize Stainless Steel 6827

What hasn’t changed over the decades is the overall style of the stainless steel midsize Datejust. Regardless of the production time period, this particular Rolex model sports a 31mm Oyster case, a stainless steel construction, a date window at 3 o’clock (for which the collection is named after), and a Cyclops date magnification affixed to the crystal protecting the dial. The watertight Oyster case offers 100 meters (330 feet) of water resistance due to the Twinlock screw-down winding crown, the screw back caseback, and the bezel securing the crystal onto the watch.

While the stainless steel midsize Datejust is instantly recognizable thanks to some design hallmarks, there is certainly plenty of variety within the collection too. For instance, bracelet options include a dressy five-link Jubilee bracelet or a sporty three-link Oyster bracelet. There’s also a choice between a sleek smooth bezel, a more formal fluted bezel, and in some cases, a precious diamond bezel. Dials come in an assortment of colors, patterns, and materials and finally, indexes can be Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, baton style, or even diamond-set.

Rolex Datejust Midsize Stainless Steel 68240

Rolex introduced the first Datejust model in 1945 as a men’s watch with a 36mm Oyster case. This was later followed by the first Lady-Datejust in 1957 with a 26mm Oyster case. Finally, the Rolex midsize Datejust joined in the 1960s, offering a size option in between the men’s and the ladies’ Datejust.

Brief History of the Evolution of the Stainless Steel Midsize Datejust

Early models of the stainless steel midsize Datejust carry the 68xx reference numbers. For instance, there’s the stainless steel midsize Datejust ref. 6824 with a matching steel smooth bezel and there’s the steel Datejust ref. 6827 outfitted with a fluted white gold bezel. Like most Rolex watches, these particular models run on automatic movements but they do not include the quickset date function. This means the wearer has to continuously turn the center minute and hour hands around the dial to set the appropriate date. Furthermore, as vintage models, the stainless steel midsize Datejust ref. 6824 and ref. 6827 watches come with acrylic crystals. These models were in production until the mid-1980s.

Rolex Datejust Midsize Stainless Steel 78240

To replace the four-digit 68xx models, Rolex unveiled the stainless steel midsize Datejust models with five-digit 682xx reference numbers in the mid-1980s. There’s the Datejust ref. 68240 with a smooth bezel and the Datejust ref. 68274 with a fluted white gold bezel. This time, these updated models include the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal on the case. Moreover, they also boast the quickset date function where the date is set independently from the time, thus offering more practicality for the wearer.

In the late 1990s, Rolex launched new versions of the stainless steel midsize Datejust equipped with the famed Cal. 2235 automatic movement—the one still used in current midsize Datejust watches. From this era, there’s the Datejust ref. 78240 with the smooth steel bezel and the Datejust ref. 78274 with the fluted white gold bezel.

Rolex Datejust Midsize Stainless Steel 178274

For the new millennium, Rolex presented the latest midsize stainless steel Datejust family a heavier bracelet and enhanced clasp. Today, there’s the Datejust ref. 178240 with a smooth steel bezel, the Datejust ref. 178274 with a fluted white gold bezel, the Datejust ref. 178384 with a diamond-set bezel, and the Datejust ref. 178344 with a smooth bezel dotted with diamonds.

Regardless of the date of production or reference number, the midsize stainless steel Datejust is a solid everyday Rolex watch boasting iconic design elements and impressive technical abilities at accessible price points in the secondary market.

The post The Design Traits and Evolution of the Stainless Steel Midsize Datejust appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/design-traits-evolution-stainless-steel-midsize-datejust/feed/ 0
Rolex’s Jewelry Watch: Yellow Gold Ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster https://beckertime.com/blog/rolexs-jewelry-watch-yellow-gold-ladies-datejust-pearlmaster/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolexs-jewelry-watch-yellow-gold-ladies-datejust-pearlmaster/#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 16:52:23 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177539 In 1992, Rolex enhanced the women’s Datejust collection with a new version dubbed the Pearlmaster. Positioned as a jewelry watch, the Datejust Pearlmaster is exclusively crafted in 18k gold—yellow, white, or Everose gold—and more often than not, includes diamonds or other gems. Of course, as a Datejust watch, the Pearlmaster flaunts the famous date window […]

The post Rolex’s Jewelry Watch: Yellow Gold Ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
In 1992, Rolex enhanced the women’s Datejust collection with a new version dubbed the Pearlmaster. Positioned as a jewelry watch, the Datejust Pearlmaster is exclusively crafted in 18k gold—yellow, white, or Everose gold—and more often than not, includes diamonds or other gems. Of course, as a Datejust watch, the Pearlmaster flaunts the famous date window and Cyclops magnification lens combination too.

The ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster is, in fact, named after the bracelet that accompanies it. Reminiscent of a high jewelry piece, the solid gold Pearlmaster bracelet includes rounded five‑piece links in varying sizes. Furthermore, the Pearlmaster bracelet is always equipped with the concealed Crownclasp.

As with other Rolex dress watch collections, the Pearlmaster offers plenty of variety includes a trio of sizes. Today we explore three different sizes of the yellow gold ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster.

Yellow Gold Ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster 29

Ladies Rolex 18K Yellow Gold Datejust Pearlmaster White MOP Diamond 69318

The smallest versions of the yellow gold ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster models are those with the 29mm Oyster cases—a very wearable size for almost all women. Not too big and not too small. Aside from the assortment of dials, the Pearlmaster 29 offers a selection of bezels too.

There are the bezels with just one larger triangular diamond at the 12 o’clock position (ref. 69328), the bezels dotted with 12 white diamonds (ref. 69318 and ref. 80318), and the full diamond-set bezels (ref. 69298 and ref. 80298). Furthermore, there’s also the yellow gold ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster ref. 69308 with baguette-cut gems with a choice of diamonds, sapphires, rubies, or emeralds.

Yellow Gold Ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster 34

Rolex Ladies Datejust Pearlmaster Yellow Gold 81318

For a bigger version of the yellow gold ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster, Rolex added the Pearlmaster 34 timepieces to the lineup. Again, there’s a wide range of bezels to choose from ranging from smooth ones (ref. 81208) to ones adorned with a dozen fine diamonds (ref. 81318) to ones with a full ring of diamonds (ref. 81158).

For an ultra-lavish edition of the yellow gold ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster, there’s the opulent Pearlmaster ref. 81388 with two rows of diamonds on the bezel and a Pearlmaster bracelet decorated with a diamond wave pattern. Plus, for those who enjoy colorful gems, the Pearlmaster ref. 81348 dons a bezel embellished with luscious sapphires in different shades of pink.

Yellow Gold Ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster 39

Rolex Ladies Datejust Pearlmaster Yellow Gold 86348SABLV

In 2015, Rolex unveiled yet another larger size of the yellow gold ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster with the new Pearlmaster 39. These particular Pearlmaster models are some of Rolex’s most colorful creations to date. The yellow gold ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster ref. 86348SAJOR shines bright with a yellow and orange sapphire-set bezel while the Pearlmaster ref. 86348SABLV dazzles with a green and blue sapphire bezel.

In addition to the new style of bezels, these two yellow gold ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster 39 watches are also noteworthy for debuting the new Caliber 3235 automatic movement. The new generation Rolex Cal. 3255 boasts 14 patents, a new Chronergy escapement for increased efficiency, and an improved power reserve of 70 hours. Furthermore, the Cal. 3235 falls under Rolex’s revised Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified standard with an impressive accuracy rating of -2/+2 seconds per day.

For women looking for the ultimate status jewelry watch, the yellow gold ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster watches not only dress the part, but are also backed by Rolex’s famous perpetual mechanical movements. Whether in 29mm, 34mm, or 39mm, the Datejust Pearlmaster is a ladies’ luxury watch to fall in love with.

The post Rolex’s Jewelry Watch: Yellow Gold Ladies’ Datejust Pearlmaster appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolexs-jewelry-watch-yellow-gold-ladies-datejust-pearlmaster/feed/ 0
The Future Grail Watch Series: Fat Ladies vs. Polar Explorers https://beckertime.com/blog/future-grail-watch-series-fat-ladies-vs-polar-explorers/ https://beckertime.com/blog/future-grail-watch-series-fat-ladies-vs-polar-explorers/#respond Thu, 08 Feb 2018 16:56:23 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177359 To run alongside our series on the Rolex holy grail watches, those extremely rare and, usually, incredibly valuable pieces that you might come across once or twice in a lifetime, we’ve decided to root through the brand’s extensive archives and take a look at some of the models that are most definitely heading in that […]

The post The Future Grail Watch Series: Fat Ladies vs. Polar Explorers appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
To run alongside our series on the Rolex holy grail watches, those extremely rare and, usually, incredibly valuable pieces that you might come across once or twice in a lifetime, we’ve decided to root through the brand’s extensive archives and take a look at some of the models that are most definitely heading in that direction. Already highly desirable examples that are only becoming increasingly so as time goes on, with their numbers dwindling on the vintage market and their prices soaring.

Rolex Explorer II 16550

The pre-owned luxury watch industry is enjoying its golden age right now, with more and more people choosing to collect classic timepieces either for the love of horology or as an inflation hedging investment. The real trick is knowing which ones to look out for, the ones that are going to perform the best in the long run.

This is, of course, a game with no rules. No one is able to reliably predict which piece is going to appeal most to future buyers at some unknown point down the road, human nature and fashion trends being the fickle beasts they are.

It would be a great super power to have, being capable of spotting with absolute certainty the next essential must-have for the world’s vintage watch fanatics. Forget the ability to fly or turn invisible; buying up armfuls of Paul Newman Daytonas back when dealers couldn’t even give them away would have made you richer than Batman today.

However, there are a common sense set of guidelines that can go some way to relieving a little of the guesswork. Rarity value is an obvious trait to look out for—a short production run keeps the pieces available to buy at a premium. Within that run, if there were examples with either intended or unintended quirks, little details that further differentiate one subset from another, all to the good. And if the watch in question introduced a new feature or functionality to the range that subsequently became commonplace, it achieves a historical significance that can pay off later on.

Rolex GMT-Master II 16760

Even with all those factors in place, there is still no guarantee any piece will take the leap from collectible to grail. The great thing about Rolex, which is practically unique among top-end watchmakers is, regardless of the model you choose, you would have to be very unlucky to lose money on it over the long term.

Rolexes retain their value better than just about any other luxury goods out there, so they offer a certain peace of mind for those new to collecting.

Dual Time Duo

To kick the series off, we are going to look at two of the most interesting GMT references from the Rolex back catalog. While from very different ranges and aimed at completely different groups, on paper, there are striking similarities between the pair. They share both a case and a movement, but each represents its own interpretation on the dual time zone concept.

They also tick many of the boxes needed to meet future grail status. Only produced for a relatively short time, each brought new features to their respective lineups and a ‘flaw’ in the manufacturing of one of them has seen it elevated even further up the wish lists of many collectors.

The GMT-Master II ref. 16760

When the first of the GMT-Master watches emerged in 1953, the Rolex creation, in collaboration with Pan-Am Airways, became an instant hit with both pilots and well-heeled travellers.

In fact, with its eye-catching bi-color surround and the usefulness of its extra hour hand, it proved so popular that the original series, in an updated form, was still being produced as late as 1999. It actually ran concurrently with its eventual replacement for around 15 years, standing as the cheaper alternative of the two.

The first of the next generation GMT Master IIs debuted in 1983, with the ref. 16760. It arrived sporting a host of upgrades on its predecessor, introducing important advances in functionality as well as a fresh new color scheme.

Rolex GMT-Master II 16760

Replacing the blue and red ‘Pepsi’ bezels of the original series, as well as the brown and gold ‘Root Beer’ surrounds that appeared in the sixties, the ref. 16760 brought us the first example of the Coke bezel, a black and red arrangement that was better suited to its true purpose. With transatlantic flights becoming more commonplace in the fifties when the first of the GMTs was born, crossing several time zones was starting to be a source of confusion for air crew as well as their passengers, and knowing whether they were about to land in daytime or at night went a long way in combatting the mental effects of jetlag. With the two representative colors on the GMT’s bezel, it was now possible to tell at a glance what part of the day it was at their eventual destination—but while the blue half of the Pepsi bezel could arguably be either, with the new Coke model, black was most definitely for night.

As well as different coloring, the GMT-Master II also put on some weight. Its bulkier crown guards and more muscular lugs soon earned it another, less flattering nickname, the Fat Lady. Rather than being just an aesthetic choice to give the watch more presence, which it certainly did, the stouter dimensions were required in order to house an all new movement, the Cal 3085. Now, for the first time, the GMT hand could be uncoupled from the hour hand, allowing it to move independently. As a result, setting the watch to a second zone was instantaneous and it was even possible to keep track of a third by reading it off the rotating bezel. For the ultimate traveller’s watch, it was an invaluable and logical addition.

Along with these other innovations, the 16760 became the first in the series to be fitted with a sapphire crystal, replacing the former acrylic, and white gold was now used to surround the hour markers to prevent them from tarnishing.

Rolex GMT-Master II 16760

Nevertheless, even with all these major advancements, the Fat Lady didn’t sing for long. By 1988, just five years later, it was superseded by the ref. 16710, with another new caliber that, while identical in functionality, was appreciably smaller and allowed a return to the watch’s former trim bodywork.

Today, the ref. 16760 is often seen as the ideal gateway into vintage Rolex collecting. Even with its limited run, finding pre-owned examples for sale is not difficult, although examples in good condition are more few and far between. Prices start at the surprisingly attainable, helped by its exclusively stainless steel construction—there was never a precious metal option.

Depending on your definition of the word, the Fat Lady has only been a true vintage watch for about 10 years; purists tend to reserve the term for pieces older than 25. But as time goes on, the Rolex’s from the eighties, especially the important historical models such as the ref. 16760, gain ever more significance.

A true perennial brand favorite and an accepted part of the horology landscape, adding a GMT-Master to your collection, or starting with one, is a savvy move. As for future grail status, only time will tell. But, with its provenance and scarcity value, along with its distinctive styling, it wouldn’t be a surprise. After all, Coke (wait for it!) is the real thing.

The Explorer II ref. 16550

While the GMT-Master and its glamorous jet-setting lifestyle has secured it legions of loyal followers, the Explorer series has always been the under-represented dark horse of the family.

Even the 1971 release of the first Explorer II, similar to the original Explorer in no way whatsoever, did little to elevate it to the same level as the rest of the professional sports range.

The problem has never been one of quality. It is as well made, reliable and accurate as anything that wears the Rolex badge. Its main drawback is its image. Whereas the likes of the Daytona or the Submariner convey associations of danger, excitement and adventure in the high octane environments of the race track or the thrills of underwater discovery, the Explorer II was targeted at spelunkers.

For those not sure exactly what a spelunker is, which could well be everybody who is not actually a spelunker, it is the official name for cave divers. Why they might need a watch all to themselves is a question for the Rolex decision makers, but to give them their due, they very much cornered the market. I, for one, cannot name another dedicated spelunker’s watch.

Rolex Explorer II 16550

Over its lifetime, the Explorer II has only had four different versions, starting with the ref. 1655. Sometimes known, incorrectly, as the Steve McQueen Rolex, its nickname was based on one candid and indistinct photo of the Hollywood great wearing what could have been an Explorer but what was much more likely to have been his favorite Submariner ref. 5512. Regardless, the name stuck and the brand, wisely, did nothing to correct the oversight.

That was followed up in 1985 with what in Rolex-speak is known as a transitional reference, the ref. 16550. Transitional models are brought out to bridge the gap between two very different versions of the same series, keeping aspects of the preceding piece while also introducing new elements of a future design, to soften the changeover from one to another. By their very nature only produced for a short time, they can be an excellent target for aspiring collectors.

The ref. 16550 is one such piece, acting as middleman between the 1655 and the 16570 released in 1989. Based along the same lines as the Fat Lady above, the 16550 was fitted with an identical movement, the Cal. 3085, to disengage the 24-hour hand and make it a true GMT watch, but the lack of a rotating bezel meant it couldn’t track a third time zone. It was also the first Explorer to feature the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and it brought with it a choice of dial color, black or white.

And that’s where things start to get interesting for the Explorer II. Black dial 16550 models, with their newly introduced Mercedes-style hands and long, thin arrow-tipped GMT hands (as opposed to the famous orange Freccione of the original) are still sought after on the vintage market, in their typically quiet, understated way. However, early run examples of the white, or Polar, dials are a different story, and all because of something that really doesn’t happen very often at Rolex; a mistake.

Rolex Explorer II 16550

A fault in the paint used for the Polar dials has caused them to fade to a rich creamy color over time, creating extremely rare versions of an already uncommon watch. It is one of those defects that is so loved by vintage collectors and which puts large premiums on asking prices. The problem had been fixed by the end of its short run, but those initial examples are among the most treasured and desirable of the Explorer II range.

Another variant to keep your eyes open for, even more subtle than the shift in coloring, is what is known as the rail dials. With these pieces, the text at the six o’clock position, ‘Superlative Chronometer, Officially Certified’ has the two capital ‘C’s lined up with each other. Again, this kind of scant occurrence can take an otherwise run-of-the-mill piece onto another level.

The ref. 16550’s race was run by the end of the eighties, and it had done nothing but reinforce the Explorer’s reputation as the forgotten Rolex. But, as always seems to happen, that position as the perennial underdog has started to come full circle, and enthusiasts are beginning to seek out the rarer models to add to collections.

While black versions of the transitional Explorer are certainly worth an investment, it’s the flawed Polar dials that are far more likely to achieve future grail status, bringing with them the sort of scarcity value that can only increase in the future.

The post The Future Grail Watch Series: Fat Ladies vs. Polar Explorers appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/future-grail-watch-series-fat-ladies-vs-polar-explorers/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 3075 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3075/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3075/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 19:56:37 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177750 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 post The Rolex Caliber 3075 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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 in essence a modified version of the Turn-O-Graph, outfitted with a new movement and color scheme on the bezel; the distinctive blue and red two-tone which quickly earned the nickname the ‘Pepsi’.

During its now 60+ years in production, it has gone through some of the widest ranging changes and updates of any of the brand’s sports models. With enough variation between each reference, both major and minor, to satisfy even the most detail-oriented watch geek, the range has garnered a far-reaching and diverse fan base.

The ref. 16750 released in 1981 became only the third iteration of the original series, taking the baton from the long-running ref. 1675, the model which had secured the GMT’s world-beating reputation following its debut in 1959.

Stylistically very similar to its predecessor, the ref. 16750 actually marked the start of a new era for the ultimate pilot’s watch. It was the first of the breed to be fitted with one of Rolex’s 3000 series of calibers, a replacement for the hugely popular Cal. 1575GMT found in the older model.

The Cal. 3075

The GMT-Master’s new engine, the Cal. 3075, was built around the architecture of the family’s base movement, the Cal. 3035. It increased the balance speed from the 19,800bph of the Cal. 1575 and introduced the now standard high-beat 28,800bph—the eight ticks per second frequency that gives all Rolexes made since the characteristic smoothly sweeping seconds hand.

Alongside the uprated speed, the 3075 also brought the Quickset date function to the GMT for the first time. A logical improvement for a luxury traveller’s watch, it meant wearers were able to advance the date directly via the crown in its second position, rather than having to wind the center hands through 24 hours. It might seem like a somewhat trivial upgrade, but Rolex’s unassailable reputation has been built on their almost constant striving to improve their customer’s experiences with their products in any way possible, no matter how small.

Rolex Caliber 3075

Besides those two important changes, many of the elements that had worked so well for the retiring Cal. 1575 were carried over onto its successor. The 3075 retained the all-important hacking feature that stopped the seconds hand while setting the time, as well as the trademark Rolex setup of free sprung balance with a Breguet overcoil, regulated by their own Microstella system—four gold screws on the inner rim of the balance wheel that allow for the minutest adjustment to its timing, offering a far higher level of precision than using a traditional regulated balance.

Swapping to a fast rotating barrel helped up the 3075’s power reserve to 50 hours from the previous 48, as well as improving the stability of the drive train.

Physically, there’s practically nothing to choose between the old and the new. The 3075 loses a shave in height, going from 6.3mm to 6.2mm, and it gains a couple of extra jewels to deal with the Quickset function, taking it up to 27.

Other than that, the winning formula Rolex had come up with for their 1500 range of movements continued to set the standard for mechanical calibers in the 3000 series. Purists will argue all day over which is the better of the two, but both remain among the most accurate and reliable mechanisms ever made, and their robust simplicity make them particular favorites of fine watch repairers.

The Difficult Third Album

Furnished with a shiny, all-new movement or not, the ref. 16750 was a particularly short-lived reference in the GMT-Master story. Only in production for seven years, it was very much a transitional model—a placeholder while Rolex set about developing a caliber that could deliver the final prerequisite for a true multi-time zone watch.

It wasn’t until 1988 and the arrival of the first of the GMT-Master IIs, the ref. 16760, that the definitive globetrotter’s companion gained a GMT hand that could be adjusted independently of the hour hand. With that vital addition, for which, ironically, Rolex had to sacrifice the only recently introduced Quickset date feature, travellers could now set a second time zone instantly, as well as keep track of a third via the engraved bezel.

Rolex GMT-Master II 16760

As any Rolex enthusiast knows, a brief production run very often equates to a future classic, especially if it concerns one of the crown’s most beloved names. The ref. 16750 is one such watch.

Although something of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it reference, it underwent a number of styling alterations during its life, which can add significant premiums to the price of vintage models.

The earliest pieces were released in stainless steel with a matte black dial, while towards the end of its run, it swapped to glossy dials and included hour markers picked out in white gold. Finding a ref. 16750 with its original matte face still intact is no easy task, principally because Rolex would often replace them for gilt during routine servicing. It is this rarity that makes them the most highly sought after on the pre-owned market.

It also came available with a choice of bezel; the iconic Pepsi blue and red or with an all black surround that bore more than a passing resemblance to the Submariner.

As well as the workmanlike steel model, Rolex launched precious metal versions of the watch, with an all yellow gold ref. 16758 and a Rolesor ref. 16753. These more luxurious variants had their own notable quirks; the steel and gold piece carried on its two-tone theme with the ‘root beer’ bezel option, a brown and cream surround that made for an interesting alternative to the timeless original.

And the yellow gold ref. 16758 could be had with a Serti dial—a Rolex term taken from the French word ‘sertir’ meaning ‘to set’. It refers to those pieces with gemstones such as diamonds, rubies or sapphires used on the hour markers at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock, completing the GMT-Master’s transformation from tool watch to status symbol.

Intriguingly, it was only this solid gold example that was ever fitted with the newly developed sapphire crystal that was making its way on to the Submariner and Sea-Dweller of the same era. The steel and Rolesor versions had to make do with the traditional acrylic covering.

A One-Watch Movement

The Cal. 3075 was in service for just a brief instant in the Rolex saga. It brought the high-beat movement, with its inherent increase in accuracy and resilience, to one of the most popular of the brand’s professional range.

Building on the exceptional Cal. 1575, it added both extra precision and a new level of convenience, keeping the GMT-Master as the standard bearer for the travelling elite.

The post The Rolex Caliber 3075 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3075/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 5035 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-5035/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-5035/#respond Wed, 31 Jan 2018 16:06:25 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177035 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 post The Rolex Caliber 5035 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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 coldness of quartz was from another planet. Lacking in tradition, history and, most of all, passion, it was seen as a fad and nothing more, suitable for the kind of cheap, plastic, disposable watches that no self-respecting enthusiast would wear in a million years.

By the time they realized the extent to which they had misjudged the situation, the damage had already been done. The quartz crisis of the 1970s eviscerated the traditional Swiss watchmaking firms, killing off better than two thirds of the country’s manufacturers and throwing those that clung on by the skin of their teeth into a blind panic.

Rolex Caliber 5035

In a desperate bid to counter the insurgence of countless waves of electronic watches from Japan and America, 20 of the top Swiss brands bonded together into a consortium called the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH) in order to develop technology of their own.

Their first prototype, the Beta-1, put into production as the Beta-21, found its way into the watches of sixteen separate CEH companies. For Rolex, it was shoehorned inside the 40mm case of the ref. 5100.

Representing a significant stylistic departure for the world’s leading watchmaker, the 5100, with its distinctive integrated case and bracelet, had looks more in common with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak than with any of Rolex’s previous offerings. The limited run of 1,000 pieces sold out before production began, even though the exclusively 18k yellow gold construction landed it with a price tag that made it the most expensive watch the brand had ever produced. Along with its internal technological advances, it was also the first Rolex to receive a sapphire crystal and a Quickset date function.

However, while it may have been a hit initially, its appeal was short lived. In 1972, the 5100 was discontinued, as was Rolex’s association with the CEH. A manufacturer that had been the pioneer of so much in the mechanical watch world, using the same calibers as more than a dozen rival brands was never going to be the Rolex way. So, they did what they always do when necessity demands; they locked the doors and built a solution of their own.

The Caliber 5035

It took them five years. In 1977, the Cal. 5035 Oysterquartz emerged, an 11-jewel, 32khz caliber designed solely to sit inside the newly created quartz version of the Datejust. Simultaneously, the Cal. 5055 was launched to power the Day-Date models.

As you would expect, while it was clear Rolex was only getting involved with this new technology under sufferance, what they came up with became the standard for others to follow.

Rolex Caliber 5035

Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, the Cal. 5035 was constructed as much as possible along the same lines as the mechanical movements Rolex had been dominating the industry with for decades. The bridge, gear train and pallet assembly would be recognizable to anyone with a passing familiarity of the inner workings of a Submariner or Explorer. In fact, the entire drive mechanism of the 5035 is based very much on a traditional escapement and, with the exception of the pulse motor and electronics, the movement is almost identical to the mechanical Cal. 3035 launched the same year.

However, while that conventional automatic caliber could achieve an accuracy rate stringent enough to wear its ‘Superlative Chronometer’ tag from the COSC, the standards set down by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute for quartz movements were a different matter altogether. For that, the 5035 would have to be certified to within +/- 0.2 seconds a day.

Even for a company like Rolex it was a big ask, and one of the reasons they decide to break away from the CEH to develop their own system. To extract every last shred of precision from their quartz movements, they used an oscillator four times faster than that found in the Beta-21, as well as employing a thermistor to analyze the ambient temperature and regulate the frequency of the quartz crystal, making it one of the first analogue thermocompensation movements ever made.

While all these advances gave the 5035 a formidable performance, it wasn’t until 18 months into its production run that Rolex started to submit the caliber to the scrutiny of the COSC, and only after the quartz crystal in the oscillator circuit was altered to a tuning fork shape. Although no official data has been released, it’s believed these second generation movements had a mean variation of 50 seconds per year, making them the most accurate timekeepers the company has ever produced, by a huge margin.

The Cal. 5035 at Work

The Cal. 5035 and Cal. 5055, the only two quartz calibers Rolex ever mass-produced (with the exception of the Cal. 6621 in several of the Cellini range), stayed in production for 25 years. But, where the company famously makes around a million mechanical watches a year, in a quarter of a century, only 25,000 quartz pieces left the factory.

Today, those watches represent a fascinating slice of brand history. Their breakthrough technology and extreme rarity value, along with their archetypal 70s styling, make them an appealing target for vintage collectors.

Both the Oysterquartz versions of the Datejust and the Day-Date were manufactured to look strikingly different to their mechanical counterparts, with reluctant Rolex executives striving to ensure there could be no confusion between the young upstarts and watches that were the products of decades of laborious evolution.

Rolex Datejust 17000

The Rolex Datejust ref. 17000

The Datejust, the watch with the longest unbroken production run of any in the Rolex stable, has often been used as the guinea pig when the company wants to test out its new innovations.

The Oysterquartz model of the all-time classic was released in three variations; the steel ref. 17000, the steel and yellow gold Rolesor ref. 17013 and the Rolesor steel and white gold ref. 17014.

While it retained the familiar fluted bezel of the traditional piece, it also carried over much of the ref. 5100’s styling, with the bracelet, case and lugs forming a unified whole that lacked the sweeping grace of the original and, if you squinted, could be easily mistaken for a Patek Philippe Nautilus. The design meant the ref. 17000 series wore a great deal larger on the wrist than its 36mm dimensions would suggest.

Although the case was a drastic departure from the norm, Rolex kept the dial elements identical to its mechanical stable mate. In fact, apart from the obvious inclusion of the ‘Oysterquartz’ text under the brand name, the only other way you could differentiate one dial from the other is the telltale seconds hand.

Debuted at the same time as the Cal. 5035, the Perpetual Cal. 3035 ushered in the 28,800bph frequency of all modern Rolex automatic movements. It is what gives the seconds hands on their contemporary models their trademark smooth sweeping motion of eight beats per second.

With the Cal. 5035, a stepper motor is used to drive the pallet fork, which in turn drives a pallet wheel that is linked directly to the hands. This 3,600bph system creates an audible, one beat per second ‘tick’ that sets the watch apart from anything else in the Rolex catalog.

Rolex Oysterquartz Vintage

The Vintage Oysterquartz

As was evidenced by the severely limited numbers in which it was produced, the Oysterquartz Rolex models were something of an oddity, and an acquired taste at best.

Even though the company could be accused of showing a certain lack of enthusiasm for the new quartz technology, when they did eventually decide to join the party, what emerged was one of the most over-engineered and advanced quartz movements ever made. In its day, it had virtually no rivals in terms of accuracy and sturdiness, and it is a testament to Rolex’s work ethic that a mechanism only made by the relative handful, from back in 1977, is still serviceable by their technicians today.

As products, the Cal. 5035 and Cal. 5055 served their purpose—helping the world’s most famous luxury watch brand ride out the worst of the crisis and proving they were the equals to any challenge.

The post The Rolex Caliber 5035 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-5035/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 3155 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3155/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3155/#respond Mon, 29 Jan 2018 21:55:15 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176840 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 post The Rolex Caliber 3155 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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 their watches, that watch will be updated. Otherwise, it will be left well alone.

It leaves the brand using certain elements for decades, proof that they are as good as it is possible for Rolex to get them—which usually means they are the best they can be.

The Cal. 3155 is one such example. Introduced in 1988, it still powers the 36mm versions of the brand’s flagship Day-Date model today, nearly 30 years later.

Rolex Caliber 3155

Perfectly Simple

Of course it helps with the longevity of their movements that, until very recently, the brand has rarely ventured into ultra complicated territory. Their backbone has always been the kind of elegant, dignified, but above all, simple watches that require calibers to just tell the time, with perhaps an occasional date wheel to tick over. Before the Yacht-Master II’s regatta countdown and the Sky-Dweller’s annual calendar, the Day-Date was as complex as Rolex got, or needed to get.

A derivation of the all-conquering Cal. 3135, recognized as perhaps the most consistently accurate and reliable automatic mechanical caliber ever made, the Cal. 3155 served as the replacement for the Cal. 3055—which was itself an extremely highly regarded movement, and powered the President for some eleven years.

But it was obvious to even the most casual observer what the upgrade was going to bring to the party. While the outgoing 3055 had introduced the convenience of a Quickset function to the Day-Date, it was only possible to set the date of the month with the crown—what is known as a single Quickset. The new mechanism allowed for the day of the week, displayed at the twelve o’clock position, to be adjusted instantaneously as well, without having to spin the hour hand through countless revolutions.

It was a perfect example of the Rolex philosophy; incremental improvements designed to make their products perform better in a very real sense, rather than a superfluous, ‘look-at-me’ add-on.

The Cal. 3155 vs. the Cal 3055

To further underline the level of perfectionism at the heart of Rolex, with the exception of the Double Quickset function, the new movement and its predecessor are virtually identical in every other respect.

Both Perpetual calibers have the smoothly sweeping seconds hand of an engine running at 28,800vph, and each use the well-proven arrangement of a free-sprung Nivarox hairspring and Breguet overcoil, with a Microstella regulated Glucydur balance wheel.

The addition of the extra Quickset complication bumps the jewel count up from 27 to 31, but other than that, the two movements share the same power reserve at 48 hours and even their dimensions are similar; the Cal 3155 loses 0.3mm off its waistline even with the added functionality, weighing in at 28.5mm in diameter and 6mm deep, against the older mechanism’s 6.3mm.

Rolex Caliber 3055

Both calibers pre-date Rolex’s latest major innovation, the Parachrom Bleu hairspring, that brings an unrivalled level of magnetic and temperature resistance to the range. First making it into the series inside the Cal. 3156 designed exclusively for the short-lived Day-Date II, it is also a vital part of the makeup for the Cal. 3255, the power behind the genre busting 40mm Day-Date released in 2015.

Even without the advantage of Parachrom technology, the Cal. 3155 effortlessly won its Chronometer status from the COSC, rating it as accurate to within -4/+6 seconds a day. Seemingly not good enough for the higher-ups, since last year, all the brand’s watches have been subjected to even more ferocious tests designed by Rolex themselves, requiring a precision of -2/+2 seconds a day, both on the movement alone and again once fitted inside the case. Only those mechanisms that live up to the mark can wear the Superlative Chronometer tag.

The Cal. 3155 at Work

The first watch to display both the date and the day of the week when it was launched back in 1956, the Day-Date was an instant hit, stealing the flagship crown from the Datejust, and finding its way onto the wrist of some of history’s most renowned heavyweights.

It gained its ‘President’ nickname from both its synonymous bracelet, specially created for its debut, and its association with a long line of commanders-in-chief. From Roosevelt to Johnson and Nixon to Reagan, all were proud wearers of the Day-Date. JFK was a brief recipient, and anything but proud, receiving his as a gift from Marilyn Monroe following her scandalous rendition of ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ in 1962. The watch was quickly disappeared—the actress followed three months later.

In more recent times, leaders across vastly different fields have worn the President. From board chairmen and women, to hip-hop artists and sports legends, the sheer diversity of styles appeals to just about every taste.

Only available in precious metals, the Day-Date can be made to shout for attention or remain the strong and silent type. In yellow gold with a diamond bezel, it’s the life and soul of the party; in platinum with a black dial, it’s reserved and introspective.

And underneath it all, ticking away with the sort of reliability only achieved by the cumulative effects of a relentless pursuit of perfection, a Rolex caliber goes about its understated business.

The Cal. 3155 epitomizes the brand. It does everything it needs to do and nothing more. But what it does, it does better than anything else.

The post The Rolex Caliber 3155 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3155/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 2230/2235 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-22302235/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-22302235/#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 14:54:34 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176480 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 post The Rolex Caliber 2230/2235 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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 rate of any caliber tested at the COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, that clearly wasn’t accolade enough for Rolex.

A company renowned for its tireless pursuit of excellence, it had continued to fine-tune and perfect their precision engineered components to extract every last ounce of performance. Proof, if it was needed, that Rolex is only in competition with itself and its own ambition.

The Third Generation

Rolex Caliber 2235

The 2230 can trace its lineage back to the big brother of all modern Rolex movements, the Cal. 3135. The brand’s most widely used caliber, it serves as the jumping off point for all subsequent mechanisms, a rock solid foundation to which various complications can be added as and when necessary.

However, what makes the 2000 series of ladies’ calibers all the more impressive is their size. While the 3135 is noted as being a relatively large movement, with a 28.5mm diameter that offers at least something in the way of forgiving tolerances and inherent robustness, the 2230 shaves a formidable 8mm off its dimensions.

Squeezing the required number of parts into such a diminutive shell, while maintaining the sort of precision and reliability on which Rolex has built its unassailable reputation, is equal parts art form and engineering marvel.

The Cal. 2230 vs. the Cal 2130

There are vastly more similarities between the 2230 and its predecessor than differences. Both self-winding, automatic movements share a balance frequency of 28,800BPH, giving the trademark eight ticks per second sweep of the seconds hand. Both have a power reserve of 42 hours, and each are fitted with a Glucydur balance wheel and a Breguet hairspring with overcoil. But, where the mainspring in the earlier Cal. 2130 was just 1.23mm thick, for the 2230, it has been widened to 1.46mm with a corresponding increase in the size of the barrel arbor. It lends the later series of movements a greater shock resistance and an even higher level of timekeeping precision.

Rolex Caliber 2230

The larger components brings about a minute change in the overall dimensions, with a height of 5.95mm for the Cal. 2230, as opposed to the 5.83mm of the older caliber; still plenty small enough to fit inside the elegant cases of Rolex’s women’s collection. Other than these outwardly minor changes, and a jump from 29 jewels to 31, the two series’ are remarkably alike.

But, just as the second-generation movement had taken the record for highest number of first time passes at the daunting COSC tests, the 2235 takes the gold star as the most consistently accurate caliber the Swiss institute has ever certified.

The Cal. 2230 at Work

Obviously satisfied with the results of all their hard work, at least for a little while, Rolex used the 2230/35 in well over one hundred different references.

Rolex Caliber 2235

The no-date 2230 powered the ladies and mid-size Oyster Perpetual range from its introduction in 1999 until it was superseded by the 2231 in 2014. The most classically simple, timeless Rolex, the new caliber slotted comfortably into the gap left by the 2130.

For the Cal. 2235, with its additional date function, it effortlessly took over where the 2135 had been, as the faultlessly reliable engine inside great swathes of the Datejust family. The 26mm Lady-Datejust, the 31mm midsize and the 34mm Datejust Pearlmaster were all driven by the updated movement.

In addition, the 35mm Yacht-Master, released in 1994, also found the ideal partner in Rolex’s third generation ladies caliber.

Conclusion

There’s never been any question of Rolex resting on their laurels. Their relentless focus on constantly refining their output has seen them maintain their position as the world’s most distinguished watchmaker for generations.

The 2230 is a perfect illustration. It replaced and improved upon, if only by a tiny amount, a caliber that was already the best ever tested to some of the most rigorous standards in the industry.

By endlessly pushing themselves to always do better, Rolex set the standard for others to follow.

The post The Rolex Caliber 2230/2235 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-22302235/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 3185 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3185/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3185/#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 20:24:26 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176838 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 post The Rolex Caliber 3185 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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. 16710 are being powered by the Cal. 3185 or the non-wiggling Cal. 3186, which was introduced later in the production run.

While that may not seem like a matter of life and death to the uninitiated, it’s a quirk that can add a considerable premium on to the price of the more recent caliber models.

Rolex Caliber 3185

It would certainly seem to be a trait that matters more to Rolex collectors than to Rolex itself. The Cal. 3185, hand-slop and all, was made from 1988 to 2005, a long and successful run and one that was only upgraded due to the brand perfecting its Parachrom Bleu hairspring technology.

Replacing the 3185’s Nivarox hairspring, the 3186’s Parachrom is made from an alloy of niobium and zirconium, with an oxide coating that turns blue as it reacts with the air. As well as being completely resistant to the effects of magnetism, the number one enemy of mechanical watch movements, the new spring also gives ten times more shock protection.

With the movement’s heartbeat updated, Rolex also moved the wheels of the 3186’s drive train closer together, eliminating the shimmy of the older caliber and delighting their fastidious fans.

In most every other respect, the two movements are very similar. They both take the architecture of the Cal. 3135 as their base, with the addition of a GMT complication.

The Cal 3185 History

The Cal. 3185 was the replacement for the short-lived Cal. 3085, the first in-house Rolex mechanism to feature an independently adjustable 24-hour hand, and the caliber that sat inside the inaugural reference of the GMT-Master II from 1983. The ‘Fat Lady’ enjoyed just five years in production before being superseded by the second generation of the brand’s aviator watch, with the 3185 providing identical functionality, but with a slimmer profile that allowed for a return to a more gracefully proportioned case.

As a caliber, the 3185 followed brand tradition of function over form. With very few exceptions, nothing in the Rolex catalog features a see-through case back to give wearers an experience of their watch’s engines in motion. It means that, while the finish on their calibers may not live up to the likes of a Philippe Dufour or a Piaget Micro Rotor, the company is free to engineer movements that concentrate on the most important aspects—accuracy, reliability and robustness.

Rolex Caliber 3185

Rolex calibers are designed to shrug off the harshest treatment that can be thrown at them, and keep perfect time while doing so. They achieve it through a number of factors, one of which being their physical size.

The Cal. 3185, along with most of the rest of the 3100 series, is 28.5mm in diameter, with a height of 6.45mm. Contained inside those generous dimensions are eight different bridges, the parts that provide a mounting point for the separate components and create the framework of the movement. Fitting together to form one solid whole, the bridges give the mechanism an inherent strength that can withstand a lot of punishment.

In addition, Rolex has dedicated itself to pioneering new metal technologies, and the Cal. 3185 uses a balance wheel made from Glucydur, a copper and beryllium alloy that is paramagnetic and resists expansion in differing temperatures.

The 31-jewel movement also maintains the brand’s signature frequency of 28,800bph—a high beat speed that gives an increase in accuracy and resilience as well as the trademark eight beats per second sweep on the seconds hand.

The Cal. 3185 at Work

A true workhorse in Rolex’s enviable range, the self-winding GMT movement with the 50-power reserve has provided valuable service inside some of the brand’s most important references.

The GMT-Master II ref. 16710

The ref. 16710 appeared in 1989, replacing the Fat Lady and offering a choice of bezel colors for the first time on a GMT-Master II. Along with the red and black of the inaugural Coke surround, the new watch also brought the welcome return of the red and blue Pepsi found on the 1956 original, as well as a solid black bezel, with an elegantly stealth-like quality.

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710

Representing the last of the old guard, the 16710 is now a highly sought-after classic reference as it has become the final version before the introduction of Rolex’s new Cerachrom bezel inserts. While the new ceramic is virtually unbreakable and completely scratchproof, it is also so sophisticated that its color doesn’t fade with age, denying modern watches the subtle patina that so delights fans of vintage models.

In production until 2007, the 16710 underwent a number of variations throughout its life, and not just in the caliber switch to the 3186. Until 1997, Tritium was used for the lume on the watch’s hands and hour markers; still a radioactive substance, but at a much lower level than the Radium it had replaced in 1963. Although much safer, Tritium had a relatively short useful life, leaving older watches with only a tiny amount of luminescence after a few years. Rolex made the shift to Luminova in 1998, a photoluminescent paint made by Japanese company Nemoto and Co. that was completely radiation-free and, just a year later, updated it again with the slightly enhanced Superluminova.

The GMT-Master II is a much-loved emblem of Rolex, an instantly recognizable archetype and a tough as nails performer. The ref. 16710 is perhaps the ultimate example for collectors. The end of the aluminum bezels, it is also the last time a Pepsi color scheme was available on a steel case. If you want that classic red and blue livery on the modern version, you’ll have to dig deep for the white gold model.

The Explorer II ref. 16570

While the rotatable bezel on the GMT-Master II allowed it to track not just two, but three, time zones, the Explorer II has always had an engraved, fixed surround since it debuted in 1971.

More a genuine tool watch than one aimed at luxury business travellers, the Explorer II was designed for and targeted at the kind of people whose lives took them to the most extreme environments—more specifically, speleologists and Arctic adventurers.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Explorer II White 16570

Cave explorers (in case you were wondering what a speleologist was) who spend days, if not weeks, underground, are practically guaranteed to lose track of night and day down there in the dark. On Arctic expeditions, where the sun never sets in the summer or rises in the winter, there is a similar problem.

The extremely tough Explorer II, with its bright orange GMT hand, is the no nonsense watch purpose-built for these admittedly niche groups. Building on the lessons learned from the original Explorer, which emerged from the prototype Oyster that saw the top of the world from Edmund Hillary’s wrist, it has long remained in the shadows of the rest of the Rolex sport range, due to its limited market.

More recently however, as the likes of the Submariner and Daytona become ever more gentrified, with their gold and platinum shells and ceramic bezels, the demand by collectors for a return to Rolex’s roots has been satisfied by the simplicity of the Explorer II.

It is a watch that represents the essence of the brand. Crafted only in steel, and with just two dial options, black or white, it is a pure performance model, rather than a status symbol.

The ref. 16570 first appeared in 1989, and ran right up until 2011. Powered by the Cal. 3185 for most of its life, the 3186 took over in 2006, curing the hand wiggle that sets the two apart.

A long running model certainly, but one missing an important feature beloved by vintage enthusiasts. That distinctively orange 24-hour hand, known colloquially as the Freccione, after the Italian for arrow, turned a far more subdued red and shrank to a fraction of the size. Almost an apology of its former self, it proved a turn-off for buyers and left an extremely capable watch a poor seller, even by its own modest standards.

But, as is the way with Rolex collectors, who are an authority unto themselves, what was once an unpopular model often gets a new lease of life years or decades down the road (just ask any original Daytona owner).

The ref. 16570 is now seen as an important transition, albeit a long one, reference. Demand for the last of the 40mm Explorer II’s is increasing steadily, a model every bit as indicative of the brand as the GMT-Master series, but with a more attainable price tag.

With the Cal. 3185, Rolex continued their ethos of building rock-solid movements to sit inside their range of iconic watches. Always beautifully functional, and with nothing more than the essentials, it was made to do a job and to do it for several lifetimes.

The post The Rolex Caliber 3185 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3185/feed/ 0
The Grail Watch Series: Sea-Dweller https://beckertime.com/blog/grail-watch-series-sea-dweller/ https://beckertime.com/blog/grail-watch-series-sea-dweller/#respond Mon, 22 Jan 2018 18:33:49 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177206 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 post The Grail Watch Series: Sea-Dweller appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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. Both are groundbreaking in their own ways, setting the benchmark for other manufacturers to follow.

However, within these groups of emblematic watches are a very specific subset that, for whatever reason—be it rarity, history or provenance—have been elevated even further into horology folklore. These are the ones sometimes known as the holy grail watches.

It can take the minutest of details, particularly with Rolex, to turn an otherwise familiar piece into one of these highly-coveted and extremely valuable objects of watch collector’s desires. A change in shape of the crown guard here, the switch from matte dial to glossy there; even as tiny a variance as a shift in text font or color can send prices soaring and enthusiasts drooling.

For the first in our series covering some of the grail watches from Rolex’s extensive back catalog, we’ll take a look at two vintage examples of the brand’s middle child of dive pieces—the Sea-Dweller.

The Double Red

Rolex Sea-Dweller Double Red

The relationship between Rolex and the pioneers of underwater exploration goes back almost to the formation of the company itself. The Oyster had emerged in the 1920s, proving itself during Mercedes Gleitze’s English Channel swim as the first usable waterproof watch case. Decades of typically relentless Rolex innovations followed, culminating in the Submariner in 1953, the blueprint for just about every dive watch that has followed for the last half a century.

While the Sub’s impressive 100m of water resistance was more than enough to cope with the demands of the burgeoning recreational diving community in the 50s and 60s, the professionals needed a more heavy duty solution, designed to withstand even deeper descents and one that would address the strangely more difficult problem of the ascents back to the surface.

The Helium Escape Valve

French commercial diving specialists COMEX, sometimes known as the NASA of the sea, had been at the forefront of the industry for several years by the time they started their collaboration with Rolex. The Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises had been experimenting with different gas mixtures to combat the dangerous effects of breathing compressed air at depth. Below 30m, the high proportion of nitrogen present had a narcotic effect on their divers, and beyond 60m, the partial pressure of the oxygen in the mix became toxic, causing seizures and blackouts.

The answer turned out to be helium, an inert gas with no narcotic side effects and one that eliminated the chance of oxygen toxicity when mixed at the right ratios.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Helium Escape Valve

While these Trimix and Heliox blends protected the human element, the watches the COMEX crews were using didn’t fare as well. After a deep commercial operation, where divers might spend days or even weeks living in a pressurized underwater environment, they need to spend an extended period of time decompressing in a hyperbaric chamber, being slowly brought back to the surface pressure to allow the gas bubbles that had dissolved into their tissues to escape. Without taking the time to decompress, the bubbles expand too quickly in the falling pressure, causing the syndrome known as the bends.

It soon became clear that the diver’s bodies were more efficient at this off-gassing than their watches. Built up helium bubbles inside the cases increased rapidly, popping out the protective crystals and damaging the mechanisms.

The result of the COMEX/Rolex partnership created to come up with a resolution to the problem was the Helium Escape Valve (HEV). Initially retrofitted onto a ref. 5513 Submariner, the HEV was a small, one-way valve fitted in the 9 o’clock position on the Sub’s case that allowed the gases to release more quickly.

The Sub’s Big Brother

These hastily cobbled together prototypes, renamed the ref. 5514, were successful enough during the rigorous testing phase to lead Rolex, in 1967, to develop a watch purpose built for the job; the first of the commercially available Sea-Dwellers. Designed from the ground up with the HEV in place, the ref. 1665 was very similar to the Submariner, but with a thicker case and a new domed crystal which omitted the Cyclops lens over the date window.

On the dial, displaying with pride the uprated performance of their new diving flagship, Rolex included two lines of red text with the designation ‘SEA-DWELLER, SUBMARINER 2000’.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665

It is this lettering that earned the initial example the nickname the ‘Double Red Sea-Dweller’, or the DRSD for short.

It is a name that has become legendary among vintage watch collectors. In production for 10 years, the DRSD went through four different dial alternations, each one changed so slightly it takes a trained eye to tell them apart, but which put massive premiums on the price of the various models due to their comparative rarity.

Only 100 of the original Sea-Dwellers with the Mark I dial were ever built, making it the most valuable of the series. Additionally, and almost uniquely in the Rolex canon, the case backs are engraved. The first generation emerged before the patent for the new HEV had been granted, so along with the Rolex logo and the words ‘Gas Escape Valve’ and ‘Oyster’, these debut pieces also have ‘Patent Pending’ inscribed on the back, a detail that can reduce vintage collectors to delirium.

The models that followed all had their own idiosyncratic quirks. The follow up with the Mark II dial was granted its patent halfway through its production run, meaning there are some examples with ‘Patent Pending’ and some with “Rolex Patent’ etched on the back. A fault in the paint has caused some of these second run dials to fade from black to a rich chocolaty brown, giving them a desirability almost on a par with the original. There’s really no such thing as a mistake with vintage Rolexes!

The Mark III and IV dials vary only superficially in the placement of the text and the design of the brand coronet, and were produced in much higher numbers, making them the most accessible in the series, price-wise.

The Great White

By 1977, Rolex decided to do more to set the Sea-Dweller apart from the watch on which it was so clearly based, and dropped the SUBMARINER tag from the dial text. Whereas the Sub had become their most universally adored creation, the vast majority of its fan base got no closer to the underwater realm than the pool bar. The Sea-Dweller was a different animal; over engineered and extremely capable, it was a watch meant only for serious professionals.

The first of this new wave, while it retained the same reference number of 1665, brought a number of alterations. Most significantly for collectors, gone was the red text. Instead, all of the lettering on the dial was in white, leading to its appropriately shark-based handle.

On the reverse too, Rolex introduced some variety to the Great White. The brand name now followed the curve of the case back rather than being engraved straight across as it had been on the DRSD. Both watches kept the same caliber, the Cal. 1575, recognized as one of the finest movements Rolex ever produced.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Great White

Although it was only in production for half as long as its predecessor, the Great White went through five different dial changes, distinguishable by such elements as the varying length of the lines of text or the size of the last letter R in ‘Chronometer’ (I’m not kidding!)

While the Great White enjoyed a successful run on a par with the DRSD, it was obvious its generation was coming to an end and the Sea-Dweller was overdue a major shake up. It even ran in conjunction with its eventual replacement for a number of years when the much altered ref. 16660, or the Triple Six, was launched in 1968. Featuring all that was bigger and better, such as a larger HEV and the first of the new high beat calibers, the Cal. 3035, the Triple Six Sea-Dweller also doubled the Great White’s water resistance, rated safe down to an incredible 4000ft.

Even so, the holy grail status of the last of the 1665 references was secure. Between it and the Double Red, they had cemented Rolex’s reputation as masters of the deep, a huge leap forward born of necessity, their technology on the cutting-edge and their design flawless.

Today, finding vintage examples of these historically important watches for sale isn’t difficult, although affording them can certainly present a challenge. Later models in good condition start well into five figures, while especially rare pieces such as the DRSD with the Mark I or II dial can easily top $100,000+.

But, as with all Rolexes, and particularly their grail watches, you would have to be very unlucky to lose money on a purchase. With the vintage market going from strength to strength, there are few better investments, and a classic Sea-Dweller reference from the brand’s golden age is one of the shrewdest.

The post The Grail Watch Series: Sea-Dweller appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/grail-watch-series-sea-dweller/feed/ 0
The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 2010s https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-2010s/ https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-2010s/#respond Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:41:29 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176634 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 […]

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 2010s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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 Savoy Grill.

Rolls Royce is no longer a car manufacturer, it is a statement of uncompromising excellence and trustworthiness.

In 2016, Rolex out-Rolls Royce’d Rolls Royce. For the first time, the Swiss watchmaking icon topped the Global RepTrak 100, the world’s largest annual corporate reputation study. Published by the Reputation Institute (RI), it ranks international firms on factors such as the public’s perception of their honesty and reliability and their willingness to recommend them to others.

This year, they went one better. In addition to again beating over 100,000 other brands to the top spot, Rolex were both the only watch manufacturer to break into the top 100 list and the only company ever to achieve ‘Excellent’ status—amassing more than an 80% positive reaction.

It is the culmination of more than a century of evolution and perfectionism that has opened up a chasm between them and anything even approaching a competitor.

In terms of Swiss watchmaking, there’s Rolex and then there’s everyone else.

Rolex in the 2010s

Far from slowing down and basking in the glory, the pace at Rolex HQ is only accelerating. The present decade has seen the company stretching its legs and flexing its muscles, adding to their range with both updated favorites as well as an all-new flagship model that continues their drive towards more complicated pieces.

While the rest of the industry battens down the hatches and tries to weather the Smartwatch storm, which is doing for the luxury mechanical end of the market what quartz did in the 70s, Rolex marches ever onwards and upwards, insulated by the scale of its reputation and the superiority of is offerings.

Below, we’ll take a look at some of the standouts of the 2010s so far.

The Sky-Dweller

Rolex Sky-Dweller

Rolex proved in 2007 they were more than capable of producing a complicated watch if so called upon. While the Yacht-Master II silenced many of their critics, it seems it also gave the brand a taste for the ultra functional, and 2012 saw them one-up themselves when they launched the even more complex Sky-Dweller.

Before it was unveiled at that year’s Baselworld event, the Rolex rumor mill had been in overdrive with fans speculating on just what the brand’s first new watch in a generation would bring. Outsiders knew nothing beyond the name, and many were convinced the crown’s latest would be an upgraded, tougher version of their other aviation-themed watch, the GMT-Master; much like a Sea-Dweller to the venerable Submariner.

Instead, what emerged was more along the lines of a reworked, GMT version of the Day-Date. Initially only available in precious metal variants, this was an unashamedly opulent watch for luxury travelers rather than a sturdy sports model for hardworking professionals.

Taking the crown as both the most complicated and most expensive member of the family, the Sky-Dweller continues the modern day Rolex aesthetic of heightened functionality, housed inside an opinion splitting, progressive visual design.

The Yacht-Master II’s looks proved challenging to a number of the brand faithful when it first appeared, and the Sky-Dweller’s unorthodox off-center sub dial proved likewise.

But, as is so often the way with Rolex, they have managed to find the most elegant, understated way to present a lot of information. In a watch with no pushers, no bezel engraving and just an hour, minute and seconds hand, they have created both an annual calendar and a dual time display.

How Does it Work?

The small oblique dial marked with a 24-hour track remains set to the reference time; that is, the time back home where you’ll return after your travels. A red arrow below the Rolex logo points to the hour. The main dial is for the local time, with a date window, complete with Cyclops, at three o’clock.

Look closely and you’ll also spot little cutout apertures above each hour index, one of which is a different color. These represent the months of the year—so a colored window in the one o’clock position is for January, two for February, etc. What the watch would have looked like if there had been more months in a year than hours in a day is fortunately not our concern.

The brilliance of the Sky-Dweller lies in its control. The fluted bezel, a Rolex design feature that goes back to their very earliest days, is actually another low-key version of the Ring Command we first saw on the Yacht-Master. But where that had either an on or off mode, the Sky-Dweller’s three-position bezel allows every aspect of the watch’s complications to be operated by just the crown. With each quarter turn of the bezel, a different function is unlocked—first, the date adjustment. Another turn lets you set the local time and finally, the last setting synchs all of the functions to allow the reference time in the GMT dial to be fixed.

Rolex Caliber 9001

It means the crown, the weakest spot for any mechanical watch, only has to be pulled out to one position, giving the whole structure an inherent strength, and does away with the need for additional buttons.

Inside, a brand new caliber regulates the whole process. The Cal. 9001 was built specifically for the Sky-Dweller; Rolex’s most intricate and complex movement to date, it consists of over 380 parts—60 for the bezel alone.

It all adds up to a new era, where the Sky-Dweller unseats the President at Rolex’s top table. It is an extravagant watch certainly, and one that makes no apology for it, but it is one that is eminently practical.

With Rolex, there are no complications for complications’ sake. Everything on the Sky-Dweller is useful—it is a beautiful slice of luxury, but one intended to make your everyday life just that little bit easier.

The Milgauss Z Blue Dial ref. 116400GV

A watch designed for scientists and engineers was never going to have the same all-encompassing appeal as one aimed at underwater adventurers or champions of motorsport. Even though the likes of the Submariner or the Daytona rarely made their way on to the wrists of their professed targets, the reflected glamor of the professions was enough to capture the imagination of mere mortals.

Rolex Milgauss 116400GV

The Milgauss therefore had always been the dark horse in the Rolex stable. Its USP was something very few ordinary people had to contend with when it first made an appearance in the 1950s. By shrouding its mechanism in a soft iron cage, it protected the watch from the effects of magnetic fields up to 1,000 Gauss—hence the name, with Gauss being the unit of magnetic flux density and mille the French for 1,000.

While it had, and still has, a cult following among collectors, Rolex pulled the plug on the model in 1988. It wasn’t until 2007 that it was reintroduced, when modern living made a watch that was shielded from the number one enemy of mechanical calibers much more relevant. These days, we are surrounded by far stronger electromagnetic fields than ever before; in our computers, phones, microwaves, etc. With 50-100 Gauss being more than enough to disrupt the delicate inner workings of a movement, the Milgauss suddenly seemed much more compatible with our everyday lives.

For that reissued reference, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Milgauss name, Rolex employed a green tinted sapphire crystal—the first time a colored glass had ever covered one of their watches. The process needed to create it was so complicated, not even Rolex, which owns copyrights numbering into the thousands, bothered to patent it.

In 2014, they took their gentle Swiss quirkiness one step further and released the Z Blue Dial ref. 116400GV. The same green glass now enclosed a face of electric blue which, coupled with its encircling orange minute track and trademark lightning bolt seconds hand, set the Milgauss apart as perhaps the most colorful model in the whole range.

Still very much the odd Rolex out in the brand’s professional collection, the Milgauss is enjoying something of a mini revival. While its tool watch brethren are released in more and more precious metal variants, with fancy ceramic bezels and other gentrifying additions, the Milgauss is what it has always been; a simple timepiece, there to do a job. Beloved by those who miss the old days of Rolex, its idiosyncrasies have won it a new legion of followers.

The GMT-Master II ref. 116710BLNR

When 2005 saw the introduction of Cerachrom, Rolex’s proprietary ceramic that gradually phased out the aluminum bezel inserts on many of their collection, it solved one of the age old ‘problems’ that had always plagued their vintage models. Over time, and with a watch’s usual everyday wear and tear, any piece’s bezel can be marked or start to fade.

With Cerachrom, an outrageously tough and resilient new material, those flaws became a thing of the past. Scratchproof, virtually unbreakable, and with a diamond polished surface that holds its color forever, it keeps the latest generation of Rolex bezels looking as if they just rolled out of the workshop whatever age they are.

However, while these are generally assumed to be good things, Rolex enthusiasts, and especially vintage collectors, are a slightly different breed. As far as they are concerned, the introduction of Cerachrom had two major disadvantages.

Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR

Firstly, ask anyone with an interest in older Rolexes and they will tell you that a time-aged bezel on a classic watch is a huge plus point. Not only does it tell the piece’s life story, it also sets it apart from any other example—no two faded bezels look the same.

And secondly, when it first appeared, Rolex’s official line was that it was impossible to add a dual color scheme to their new brainchild. So, why they chose the GMT-Master II, the watch with the most famous two-tone bezel in the world, to first showcase Cerachrom is one of the big horology mysteries.

The ref. 116718LN appeared with an all-black surround—a beautiful watch certainly and as dependable and rugged as ever, but almost indistinguishable at a glance from a Submariner. Online Rolex forums, not known for pulling any punches, were ablaze.

It wasn’t until 2013 that Rolex finally downgraded ‘impossible’ to ‘difficult’. That year, the first bi-color Cerachrom GMT-Master II appeared with the ref. 116710BLNR. When rumors the brand had cracked the process were confirmed, speculation was rife as to whether we should all expect the Coke or the Pepsi bezel on the inaugural offering.

In fact, Rolex surprised everyone. What emerged was a blue and black combination that quickly adopted the nickname The Batman.

As a color scheme, it actually made more practical sense than the Coke’s black and red or the Pepsi’s red and blue. Originally intended as a quick way for international travelers to visualize whether their destination was currently experiencing daylight or nighttime hours, what better way to picture it than with blue and black?

With formidable waiting lists drawn up even before the launch, the Batman proved a massive success and was the star of Baselworld 2013.

The GMT-Master series has always been one of the top four; Rolex’s biggest hitters and perennial fan favorites. With the reintroduction of a two-color bezel, it secured its rightful place among the Subs, Datejusts and Daytonas of the world and when, just a year later, the Cerachrom Pepsi appeared, the archetypal globetrotter’s watch completed its triumphant comeback.

For over 100 years, Rolex has led the way with innovation after innovation, creating emblematic, timeless watches that have defined the industry.

As a brand, they have no equal, either in the quality of product or the status of their name. Today, they are stronger than ever—and we can only wait and see what the next 100 years brings.

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 2010s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-2010s/feed/ 0
A Short History of Men’s Wristwatches https://beckertime.com/blog/short-history-mens-wristwatches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/short-history-mens-wristwatches/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:33:00 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176286 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, […]

The post A Short History of Men’s Wristwatches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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’.

Abraham Louis-Breguet

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, in 1810 or to legendary Swiss Watchmakers Patek Philippe some fifty years later.

What is certain is that Countess Koscowicz of Hungary became the very first recipient of a Patek Philippe ‘wristlet’ in 1868, the 19th century term for what would later be called the wristwatch.

Until well into the following century, these new contraptions were worn almost exclusively by women, and much more for decoration than any sort of accurate timekeeping—with aristocratic ladies having very little need to be precisely on time for anything.

The male alternative, as it had been for hundreds of years, was the pocket watch.

While it had evolved throughout its long lifetime to a point of impressive timekeeping, the pocket watch had always remained susceptible to the effects of the elements. With temperature variations, moisture or dust playing havoc with their fragile inner workings, wearing a watch safely tucked away in a vest pocket was as much a practical consideration to protect its intricate mechanisms than a fashion statement. For men, the only people allowed to hold positions in business or the military, the need to know the correct time was of far more importance than for women.

The Start of the New Wave

The beginning of the end for the pocket watch can be traced back as far as the Napoleonic era. There are reports of the French leader growing frustrated at having to constantly open his watch in the heat of battle.

While that may have started the first rumblings of the wristwatch revolution, it would take a little longer to truly cement its position, and as usual, it was the desperate inventiveness that only occurs during the hellishness of war that cemented its position.

The first examples of a workable men’s wristwatch were supplied to the German Imperial Navy by the Swiss manufacturer Girard-Perregaux in 1880. A naval officer had modified his standard pocket watch to fit on a strap on his wrist, simplifying its operation while simultaneously freeing up both hands. With the usefulness of this new arrangement clearly evident to his superiors, several of Girard-Perregaux’s watchmakers were sequestered to Berlin to mass-produce specially designed timepieces attached to bracelets.

However, these were still very much soldierly equipment, not seen on male civilian wrists. It would take two more campaigns before the utility and effectiveness of the wristwatch would truly prove itself.

The Second Boer War between 1899 and 1902 marked the first serious shift in public perception. With several watchmakers now supplying purpose-made ‘Service watches’, snapped up by soldiers to replace their own improvised efforts, their reliability and toughness in the harsh desert environments of South Africa gave them a reputation completely at odds with that of fragile pieces of jewelry worn exclusively by high-born ladies.

Rough and ready veterans returning home from the battlefields of the Boer War wearing watches on their wrist suddenly made it an acceptably masculine thing to do. More civilians started to emulate them, safe from the fear of mockery.

Along with the military doing its bit to dispel the ‘fad’ label that had been attached to the idea of the wristwatch, 1907 saw the start of its long association with the pioneers and adventurers of the world; a relationship that continues to this day in the marketing departments of the leading watchmakers.

Cartier Santos Watch

Jeweler Louis Cartier created the ‘Santos’, a wristwatch made especially for his friend, legendary Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. With nothing in the way of reliable navigation technology, an accurate timepiece was essential for the pioneering pilot to plot his course, and he had decried the impracticality of having to take his hands off the controls of his aircraft to work the simple cockpit clock during previous flights. His new Santos allowed him to work out his time and distance calculations while keeping tight hold of the yoke.

However, while the start of the 20th century saw some definite advances in the notion of the men’s wristwatch, with the likes of Omega and Wilsdorf & Davis (better known today as Rolex) spearheading the cause, they still languished far behind the pocket watch as the timepiece of the gentleman.

The War to End All Wars

It was the innovations in technology and the horrifying realities of life in the trenches that finally secured the importance of the wristwatch.

With World War I, a more modern type of warfare required a more precise form of timekeeping. The first war to be fought over immense distances, and with soldiers ensconced in subterranean ditches, the line-of-sight forms of communication of previous conflicts, such as semaphore, were rendered useless. Now, attacks had to be coordinated through radio transmission, with officers synching their watches to ensure offensives began at the same time.

While some still relied on the pocket watch, it was soon clear that the chaos of trench warfare required a much quicker way of ascertaining the time, while keeping both hands free as much as possible. Reaching into your vest or tunic, retrieving your watch, opening it and then replacing it again just wasn’t practical anymore.

‘Trench watches’ started to make an appearance from several English manufacturers to address this very issue. Simple, ruggedly constructed timepieces that fit on the wrist began replacing the officers’ own jerry-rigged items.

As pocket watches were still the standard government issue, any officer wanting to take advantage of this new equipment was expected to buy his own, and it led to a highly contested market amongst watchmakers. The fierce competition drove numerous innovations for a wristwatch fit for war heroes. WWI saw the introduction of luminous paint on hands and indexes to make the time more legible in the murk of the trenches. The porcelain dials of most pocket watches was replaced with much more resilient metal, and covered with unbreakable glass to further protect the watch in the throes of battle.

By the end of hostilities, the wristwatch had completed its transformation from a ladies accouterment to the accepted way for modern men to wear a timepiece, helped over the line by an entirely new type of public idol.

The Great War had brought the concept of aerial combat and the first fighter pilots had captured the collective imagination as little less than superhuman. The image of these fearless gentlemen warriors, going into battle in the skies above Europe, was irresistibly romantic. The world had a new type of champion to look up to and imitate; the aviator—and aviators wore wristwatches.

As the Roaring Twenties ushered in a decade of extravagance and hedonism, the pocket watch began to feel more and more antiquated. Giant strides were being made in aircraft and automobile design, with more and more daring feats attempted and records beaten. The wristwatch, still known as a strap watch, went from strength to strength—its association with those magnificent men in their flying machines, and with other prominent figures in this adventurous age, was seized on by a number of watchmakers, most effectively of all by a certain Mr. Wilsdorf.

The founder of Rolex set his company on its way to its current status as the world’s leading watchmaker by aligning his creations with the great and the good, making sure the pioneers of the world wore his products as they performed the kinds of feats mere mortals can only dream of emulating.

Mercedes Gleitze

After Mercedes Gleitze proved the imperviousness of the Oyster case during her swim across the English Channel in 1927, Rolex’s found their way onto the wrists of land and water speed record holders, and later, conquerors of the highest and lowest points on the planet.

By the end of the thirties, sales of wristwatches outdid pocket watches by fifty-to-one, signifying the completion of their move from military equipment to indispensable fashion accessory for the well-dressed man and woman.

In the subsequent decades, the pace of innovation has continued unabated. Fine mechanical watches are as desirable today as they have ever been, even seeing off the emergence of quartz in the seventies and the more recent rise of the Smartwatch.

A product of more than a century of constant refinement and perfection, high-end wristwatches are still one of the few pieces of jewelry men wear every day—an unmistakably masculine flourish to complete any outfit and one that tells its very own story.

The post A Short History of Men’s Wristwatches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/short-history-mens-wristwatches/feed/ 0
The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 2000’s https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-2000s/ https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-2000s/#respond Fri, 12 Jan 2018 17:29:51 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176484 Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for a mechanical watchmaker, the world wasn’t plunged back into the pre-technological dark ages at the stroke of midnight on Dec 31st 1999. While a real Y2K bug might well have seen Rolex’s customer base grow even more, at the dawning of the new millennium, it was difficult to see how […]

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 2000’s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for a mechanical watchmaker, the world wasn’t plunged back into the pre-technological dark ages at the stroke of midnight on Dec 31st 1999. While a real Y2K bug might well have seen Rolex’s customer base grow even more, at the dawning of the new millennium, it was difficult to see how the brand could have become any more successful.

The nineties had been very good for Rolex. The quartz crisis was like a barely remembered bad dream, and as the numbers rolled over to 2000 without a single plane falling from the sky or even one reactor meltdown, their reputation as the luxury watch manufacturer had become carved in stone.

By choosing not to compete with the cheap electronic timepieces flooding in from Japan and the U.S. and concentrating instead on producing the kind of remarkable watches that were something of an event every time you put them on, they had placed themselves so far ahead of their rivals in terms of public perception that it was barely a competition. Then, as now, you could ask anyone in the street to name the first luxury watchmaker that popped into their heads and be pretty much certain what the answer was going to be.

Rolex Innovations of the New Millennium

Behind the gates at Rolex HQ, the ethos remained the same as it always had. A company that knows more about time than most knows that it doesn’t stand still, and to maintain their unrivalled status they would have to keep their range of products updated with evermore ingenious and desirable innovations.

The first decade of the new millennium saw the Swiss giants come up with a hatful of modernizations for their fleet, some tucked away in the depths of the mechanisms, others very much visible, but all with the same intention; keeping them head and shoulders above anyone else in both quality and style.

It also introduced us to two watches; one similar to an old favorite in name only, representing their most complicated creation yet and another, an ultra tough variation on an iconic Rolex name that just happened to be celebrating its half-century.

Below we’ll look at some of the brand’s most important developments in the 2000s.

The Cal. 4130

Undisputed industry leaders or not, Rolex will not be rushed. Their all-conquering racer’s watch, the Cosmograph Daytona, had finally hit the big time in the eighties, some twenty years after its release, when its initial manually wound movement, the Valjoux 72, had been replaced with the heavily modified self-winding Zenith El Primero. It had lifted the Daytona’s popularity through the roof, with supply lagging so far behind the demand because of the time-suck of having to use third-party movements that waiting lists stretched on for years.

Rolex Daytona 116520

In 2000, Rolex released a new Daytona, the ref. 116520 with, for the first time, an all in-house automatic movement. The Cal. 4130 had taken five years of research and development, stripping out 20% of the parts of the previous caliber, increasing the size of the mainspring barrel and the balance wheel to give a longer power reserve and improved accuracy, and fitting a vertical clutch. Replacing the horizontal clutch of the El Primero movement (renamed the Cal. 4030 after Rolex had customized it) led to the elimination of backlash on the chronograph seconds hands—their tendency to ‘jump’ when activated as the teeth on the gears fought for alignment.

The result of all their hard work was a caliber recognized as one of the finest, most accurate and most reliable movements ever made. Loved by watchmakers everywhere for its ease of servicing, it has secured the Daytona’s status as the world’s favorite chronograph.

The Parachrom Bleu Hairspring

Rolex Caliber 3140

The same year as Rolex brought us the Cal. 4130, they quietly introduced us to a new type of hairspring, the Parachrom. Taking its name from its PARAmagnetic qualities and the Greek for ‘color’ (CHROM), the niobium, zirconium and oxygen alloy rendered the replacement for the Nivarox hairspring of old 10 times more resistant to shocks and completely unaffected by magnetic fields.

Finding its first home in, fittingly, the new Daytona, it was soon rolled out across the whole of the Rolex range. After a further 5 years of development, the oxide coating was thickened to 50-100nm to give even greater long-term stability, with the side effect of the spring turning its distinctive blue color as it reacted with the air. In 2005, the Parachrom Bleu debuted inside the Cal. 3186 of the GMT-Master II, before being adopted by all subsequent Rolex movements.

904L Steel

Widely recognized as the most counterfeited watchmaker in the world, Rolex has always looked for ways to make life as difficult as possible for those trying to forge their creations. In 2003, they took it to another level of economic muscle flexing when they changed their entire steel production line to 904L.

904L Steel

Unbelievably tough and exceptionally difficult to work, 904L steel is usually the preserve of the aerospace or chemical engineering industries. It is also around three times more expensive than the 316L steel they, and the rest of the world’s watchmakers, had been using until that point. As well as making it nigh on impossible for any imitators to fake one of their designs, the sheer scale of the financial outlay it took to replace their tooling facilities also ruled out competition from other, genuine, manufacturers.

Chest beating aside, this superalloy, with its extra Chromium, Molybdenum, nickel and copper content, is the perfect material for the brand’s range of tool watches. Its huge rust and corrosion resistance saw it serve a successful trial with the Sea-Dweller back in 1988 and its ability to hold a polish ensures a Rolex steel watch looks unlike anything else on the market.

The change to 904L steel was one of the clearest indications yet of just how strong a lead Rolex had over its competitors.

Cerachrom

Ensuring their legions of metallurgists were the hardest working people of the decade, 2005 also brought us the first example of the scratchproof, fade proof, practically unbreakable ceramic bezel insert, known as Cerachrom.

Whereas the aluminum surrounds Rolex had been using for decades were impressively tough, they were still at the mercy of ultraviolet rays, which caused their color to diminish over time. They were also relatively easy to mark, especially during the sorts of activities in which the watches they were attached to were meant to be worn.

Rolex GMT-Master II 116718LN

The new ceramic material solved these problems, and its diamond-polished surface gave the Cerachrom bezels a high gloss finish that forever stayed as lustrous as when they were first produced.

However, of all the models in its catalog Rolex could have chosen to introduce the new material, they decided on the GMT-Master II. As they hadn’t yet worked out a way to introduce a two-tone color scheme to Cerachrom, the ref. 116718LN (for Lunette Noire) featured an all black bezel. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Rolex faithful, as the very thing that set the GMT apart from the rest of the range was suddenly lost.

It would take a further eight years for the first of the bi-color surrounds to put in an appearance, when 2013 brought us the ref. 116710BLNR, a black and blue GMT that quickly became known as the Batman.

Even so, the GMT-Master remained one of Rolex’s most popular models, and Cerachrom has proved itself an impervious addition to many of the brand’s pieces. Although an impressive technological advancement, there’s many a vintage collector who will miss the unique look an aged bezel brings to a watch. Like a time worn face, what better way to tell your own story?

The Rolex Watches of the 2000s

The Submariner ref. 16610LV

When you’ve reached a dignified middle age, you’re allowed to go a little eccentric. Or that seemed to be the thinking of the Rolex higher-ups when they released the 50th anniversary edition of the most iconic dive watch ever made. Their half-century pat on the back to themselves emerged in 2003 when the Submariner ref. 16610LV was launched with a bright green bezel.

Rolex Submariner 16610LV

Immediately splitting opinion, and almost as quickly gaining the nickname The Kermit, it signified a huge departure for the normally straitlaced Swiss. While it may have had some initial detractors, it didn’t take long for it to gain an enthusiastic fan base, attracted just as much by its position as a slice of Submariner history as its unorthodox color scheme.

The first Sub to wear a Maxi dial, with its fatter hands and indexes, it also became the first to be made from Rolex’s new steel. The proportions of that bombproof case are regarded as possibly the most graceful in the series to date; subsequent iterations have taken on a more bulky, muscular frame.

But it’s the bezel that remains at the heart of the 16610LV’s appeal. Too early for Cerachrom, there’s a unique way the aluminum insert reflects light. It means the green changes color depending on the time of day, from a bright emerald to almost black. A real prize among collectors, the Kermit made for a fitting birthday present.

The Sea-Dweller Deepsea ref. 116660

While the venerable Submariner might be more likely to be worn under an immaculately tailored shirtsleeve than strapped around a wetsuit, the Sea-Dweller Deepsea is a very different animal.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 116660

Although it may be cast in the same mold as the Sub, the Deepsea was designed to go places no human, or even nuclear submarine, can venture. Kind of like comparing a Land Rover to a tank, the ref. 116660 launched in 2008 was aimed very much at the uncompromising professional.

Rated waterproof to an outrageous 12,800ft, the innovative Ringlock System gives the watch the ability to survive pressures of more than 5,500lbs of pressure per square inch.

To achieve that, the watch contains an inner compression ring made of Biodur 108, an alloy commonly used for surgical implants that is three times stronger than even the 904L steel of the Deepsea’s case and bracelet. The ring takes the bulk of the force pressing down on the crystal, the element with the largest surface area, and spreads it evenly around its circumference and onto the two-part case back. The TA6V titanium alloy of the back gives it the ability to flex, letting it soak up much of the pressure.

With Rolex’s usual engineering prowess, the new alloys and revolutionary construction allows the Deepsea to be much smaller than a watch that could happily survive a trip to the Titanic’s final resting place should be.

Even so, it is still a Kraken. The crystal alone is 5.5mm, the thickness of some dress watches. In all, it stands 17.7mm high with a 44mm diameter case, making it the brand’s biggest offering.

The culmination of Rolex’s long association with the world’s underwater pioneers, the Sea-Dweller Deepsea rewrote the rules for what a dive watch could achieve.

The Yacht-Master II ref. 116688/9

The lack of complications in Rolex’s range has long been the subject of scorn from the brand’s detractors, who have accused them of either a lack of imagination, or worse, of not possessing the necessary technical skills to compete with the likes of Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantine.

Rolex Yacht-Master II 116688

For decades, Rolex was quietly stoic about the jibes thrown their way, preferring to concentrate on producing and perfecting iconic, simple, three hand watches and leaving the gimmicks to others. The Day-Date was about as complicated as they were prepared to go.

But eventually, in 2007, it seems they were finally pushed too far. Proving they could mix it with the best of them, they released the Yacht-Master II, their most exquisitely complex watch ever, and one that redefined the word ‘niche’.

The yellow gold ref. 116688 and the white gold 116689 debuted simultaneously, with first-of-its-kind functionality aimed at solving that age-old problem that’s plagued us all at one time or another—timing the starting sequence of a sailing regatta.

While that may be the most specific reason ever to pour thousands of man-hours into creating an entirely new watch (35,000 went into designing the caliber alone), the result was nothing short of spectacular.

The launch of the Yacht-Master II caused a massive stir amongst brand followers, not just for the engineering brilliance, but also for its grandiose styling. A world away from Rolex’s usual understated minimalism, the latest release was a big, bold extrovert, screaming for attention.

Rolex Yacht-Mmaster II 116689

However, it was its performance that silenced the critics. The first watch to feature a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory, it was able to precisely time the convoluted starting procedures of a yacht race.

Introducing the concept of a Ring Command System, which has since found its way on to the Sky-Dweller, the bright blue bezel is directly linked to the watch’s movement and rotating it through 90 degrees unlocks the watch’s functions. The crown is used to set the stopwatch countdown, with the central dial displaying the elapsed seconds and the minutes indicated on the horseshoe-shaped track at the top.

But, the clever bit comes should you need to adjust the countdown at any time, if you either jumped the gun or were too late setting off. Pressing the lower pusher causes the seconds hand to ‘fly back’ and reset to their starting position, while the red minute hand also synchronizes to the nearest minute to compensate.

It enables wearers to precisely coordinate their approach to the regatta start line, avoiding any penalties for crossing too early and giving them the best chance of a strong race.

While it may be an acquired taste looks-wise for many brand purists, even Rolex cynics had to admit that, as a complication, it takes some beating. Powered by a new caliber, the Cal. 4160, very loosely based on the Daytona’s 4130, it was also Rolex’s most intricate movement, with 390 separate components.

A great big, colorful attention grabber, the Yacht-Master II was proof that if Rolex decide they want to dip their toes into the world of watch complications, they’ll come up with one of the best ever.

A new millennium signaled a host of fresh innovations pouring forth from Geneva, sealing Rolex’s status as the frontrunner for all things horology.

Next week, we’ll come right up to date with their most popular watches of the current decade.

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 2000’s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-2000s/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 3000 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3000/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3000/#respond Tue, 09 Jan 2018 06:40:39 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176280 One of the Simplest Movements The Rolex Caliber 3000 family started to appear in 1977. The movement phased out the first of the brand’s entirely in-house manufactured range of movements, the 1500 series. It was an extended process, with the two groups running simultaneously for a number of years. It wasn’t until 1990, for example, […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 3000 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
One of the Simplest Movements

The Rolex Caliber 3000 family started to appear in 1977. The movement phased out the first of the brand’s entirely in-house manufactured range of movements, the 1500 series.

It was an extended process, with the two groups running simultaneously for a number of years. It wasn’t until 1990, for example, that the Cal. 1570 was replaced in the Air-King ref. 14000 models with the new Cal. 3000.

Rolex Caliber 3000

One of the simplest movements in the series, the Cal. 3000 became the last caliber Rolex created themselves to not feature a Breguet overcoil on the hairspring.

A Balance Spring Dilemma

The hairspring, or balance spring, can be thought of as a watch’s heartbeat. This is an extremely fine metallic spiral attached to the balance wheel at one end. This caused an oscillation that controls the speed at which the gears of the watch, and ultimately its hands, turn.

The problem with flat hairsprings is their variation in tension, or pull, on the balance wheel as the watch winds down. As the spring loses its power, the swing of the balance wheel is reduced, causing the watch to speed up.

Louis Breguet’s Solution

Louis Breguet solved this more than 200 years ago in 1795. By taking a traditional hairspring and bending its final coil back over the top of the spiral, the new system secured the spring’s pivot point closer to the center. This ensured it stayed concentric in form, providing an equal amount of pull over a wider range of tension. It afforded a vast improvement in accuracy as well as giving greater shock resistance.

Today, you will find the Breguet overcoil in all of Rolex’s movements, as well as those of practically every other high-end watchmaker.

The Rolex Caliber 3000 Chronometer Certification

Rolex Caliber 3000

It was unusual for a caliber to come out of Rolex’s industry-leading manufacturing plant without a fundamental and well proven system. However, the Rolex Caliber 3000 was still a highly reliable performer and able to gain the coveted Chronometer Certification from the COSC. They successfuly designated it as accurate to within +4/-6 seconds a day. The quality of engineering ensured the movement achieved the sort of precision Rolex, and its customers, expected.

Measuring 28.5mm in diameter, with a thickness of 5.8mm, the Cal. 3000 is a relatively large mechanism. This is a factor that gives it an inherent strength ideal for life powering a number of the crown’s professional tool watches. The 27 jewel, bidirectional automatic winding caliber continued the high-beat 28,800 BPH balance frequency that had been ushered in by the first of the series, the Cal. 3035, in the mid-seventies. It gave the characteristic eight ticks per second sweep to the seconds hand that had become Rolex’s calling card.

It enjoyed an 11-year long run, replaced in 2001 by the Cal. 3130, which, along with a return to a Breguet overcoil, also updated another of its predecessor’s idiosyncrasies; its hairspring was fastened to a full balance bridge as opposed to a balance cock on the Cal. 3000.

The Rolex Caliber 3000 at Work

The simplicity and robustness of the Cal. 3000 was perfectly suited to three of Rolex’s most uncompromising designs. The Air King, the Submariner, and the original Explorer represented the kind of understated style that had put the brand on the map in the first place. Its modest, no date, three-hand watches built to last a lifetime and beyond, and tough enough to survive anything.

The Air King ref. 14000

One of a series of ‘Air’ watches released during the dark days of WWII, the Air King lined up alongside the Air-Giant, Air-Lion and Air-Tiger as Rolex’s tribute to the heroics of Britain’s RAF pilots. By war’s end, only the King had survived, and it has stayed in near continuous production to the present day, with just a short sabbatical from 2014 to 2016.

Rolex Air-King 14000

The Rolex Caliber 3000 was the engine inside two references of the classic aviator’s watch, both released at the end of the eighties—the ref. 14000 and 14010 are essentially identical save for the 14010’s engine turned bezel. They replaced the enduringly popular 5500 series, a range that had gone largely unchanged for 37 years.

Along with the upgrade in movement, the new models replaced the former’s high-sided acrylic crystal with a flatter, scratch-resistant sapphire.

Sometimes referred to as the entry-level Rolex, the Air King has always had a strong cult following amongst fans. With its single-minded economy of design, it has long been the favorite of the true blue brand purist—a watch of the utmost efficiency and no superfluous complications.

The Explorer ref. 14270

Another example cut from the same austere cloth, the Explorer runs the Air King close in the simplicity stakes. Released in the same year, 1989, as the above ref. 14000, the ref. 14270 had arguably even bigger shoes to fill.

Rolex Explorer 14270

Replacing the beloved ref. 1016, a watch with 25 years of history behind it, the Rolex designers adopted an if-it-ain’t-broke mentality to the new model’s styling. They retained the essence of straightforward unfussiness that has always set the Explorer apart. This ensured it as eye-catching only to those with a real appreciation of fine timepieces.

It is a watch for watch lovers. In addition, it is a sort of dark horse, anti-Rolex that is perfectly comfortable relinquishing the limelight to the likes of the Daytonas, GMT-Masters and Presidents of the world. The Explorer is the versatile, sophisticated choice for those who want faultless reliability inside a handsome shell rather than a status symbol.

Closest To Its Tool-Like Roots

However, there were a few concessions made to luxury. The ref. 14270, along with its new movement, was also the first of the series to receive the protection of the recently introduced sapphire crystal that now covered the Air-King. Its matte dial was replaced with a glossier, lacquered face and the newly applied hour markers were fringed in decadent white gold. It all served to take the Explorer subtly upmarket, a more go-with-any-occasion watch than its rough and ready forerunner.

Nevertheless, it managed to achieve that most difficult and thankless of tasks; pleasing the Rolex traditionalist. Many lovers of vintage watches point to the Explorer as the model that has stayed closest to the brand’s tool-like roots. Whereas the majority of the company’s sports offerings have appeared in various precious metal outfits, with a ceramic bezel thrown in here and there for good measure, the Explorer has only ever been forged from the toughest of stainless steels.

It’s still the watch that would show you exactly what time you conquered Everest.

The Submariner ref. 14060

Those traditionalists we talked about earlier have been known to refer to the Submariner ref. 14060, undoubtedly Rolex’s most recognizable creation, as the ‘last of the best’. Launched in 1990, this edition of the world’s favorite, and most counterfeited, dive watch marked a significant advance over the legendary 5513 it replaced.

Rolex Submariner 14060

With its Triplock crown uprating the water resistance to 300m from the previous 200m, along with a new sapphire crystal all pointing the way into the modern era, the 14060 still retained its classic Sub proportions—before the later Maxi case references lent it a more beefed-up, broad shouldered look.

The dial, too, remains one of the most admired. Lovers of uncluttered symmetry prefer the balance of a no-date display, especially as it does away with the undoubtedly handy but nonetheless controversial Cyclops lens. The minimal two lines of text added a further knowing nod to Subs of the past.

Designed to handle tough situations

Inside, the Rolex Caliber 3000 provided a high-beat replacement to the former 1520 movement. Its increased frequency gave the watch a design to handle tough situations and extra degree of shock proofing.

In production until 1999 when it transitioned into the ref. 14060M, an outwardly identical watch but housing the upgraded Cal. 3130, the purist’s preferred Sub managed to blend contemporary technology with the best of Rolex’s vintage identity.

Manufactured in huge numbers during its nine-year run, the ref. 14060 is an easily found and affordable gem from the history books.

The Rolex caliber 3000 is just about as simple a movement as it is possible to get from the Swiss watchmaking giant. It delivers a level of reliability and sturdiness that has become the standard for others to follow. Also, it has provided faultless service in some of the brand’s best-loved creations.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Rolex Caliber 3000 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3000/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 1520 / 1530 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-15201530/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-15201530/#respond Tue, 19 Dec 2017 21:22:30 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177064 The Next Generation In 1957, Rolex set about replacing their 1000 series of calibers. These were the first family of movements created entirely in-house by the manufacturer. It also introduced the next generation. Rather than launching the 1500 series in a great sweeping confusion across the board, they phased them in gradually over a number of years. […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 1520 / 1530 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
The Next Generation

In 1957, Rolex set about replacing their 1000 series of calibers. These were the first family of movements created entirely in-house by the manufacturer. It also introduced the next generation. Rather than launching the 1500 series in a great sweeping confusion across the board, they phased them in gradually over a number of years. These ran concurrently with the previous mechanisms in several models. They introduced Rolex Caliber 1520 and 1530 into this new wave.

The Rolex Caliber 1530 was the first of the new wave. It was the base caliber upon which the rest of the range would be founded.

The Rolex Caliber 1530

As a movement, the 1530 represented a major reworking on its predecessor. This explained Rolex’s tiptoeing approach towards its introduction. There was a host of new technology that still had to prove its worth out in the real world.

Rolex Caliber 1530

Rolex originally launched it as a 17-jewel movement. Additionally, it went through a number of significant upgrades itself during its successful run before retiring in 1965. Joining the first iteration, they also released it in 25 and 26 jewel versions. Its initial butterfly rotor graduated to the familiar half-moon type. Also, they replaced the brass colored gears with the red, Teflon-coated variety we generally see today.

While extremely precise and reliable, they considered the Caliber 1530 very much a workhorse caliber. Therefore very few were submitted for chronometer certification. Instead, Rolex fitted the movement into several of their non-chronometer models, such as the Air-King and the earliest versions of the Submariner, watches they initially deemed not to need mechanisms that had passed the rigorous COSC tests.

However, ask any watchmaker today what in their opinion is the best movement Rolex ever produced, and many will still say the Cal. 1530. Its lack of certification was down to its relative difficulty in regulating consistently rather than its overall accuracy. Before the innovation of Microstella screws were first introduced in 1959 on the Cal. 1565, the previous screw balance was far trickier to adjust, especially considering the volume of movements Rolex produce.

A comparatively low frequency caliber—18,000bph instead of the standard 28,800bph of all modern day Rolexes—the Cal. 1565 produced a five beat per second tick rather than the smoothly sweeping eight.

The Rolex Caliber 1520

In 1963, in a curious and extremely un-Rolex-like move, the Cal. 1530 started its own process of being phased out. Rolex replaced it by the less advanced Cal. 1520. As the numbers suggest, it represented something of a backwards step for the usually progressive thinking company.

Rolex Caliber 1520

It was centered on the same architecture as the Cal. 1530, and shared an identical base plate. However, it had several key differences, many of which were designed to keep its manufacturing costs to a minimum.

Rolex only produced it with a stick regulator, rather than with the Microstella system that had found its way onto the departing 1530 by the end of its run. The Breguet overcoil of the majority of Rolex’s output was substituted for a traditional flat hairspring, and it was originally released as a 17-jewel movement, although 25 and 26-jewel versions joined the range later in the production cycle.

An Impressive Performer

However, even with all the cost cutting measures, the Rolex Caliber 1520 was still an impressive performer. Rolex never intended to submit it for chronometer certification. With the full weight of the company’s engineering legacy behind it, it provided the brand’s ‘Precision’ models with a beautifully built and highly accurate engine.

Its increased frequency, 19,800bph up from the previous 18,000bph, gave it an extra boost in both timekeeping ability and resilience to shocks, and it remains a favorite among watch repairers for its workmanship and ease of maintenance.

Along with its date function equipped counterpart, the Cal. 1525, the Rolex Caliber 1520 powered Rolex’s limited selection of non-chronometer watches until 1980. By then, all but the Air-King had gained the certification and the 3000 series of calibers had arrived, becoming the standard issue for Rolex until the present day.

The Rolex Caliber 1520 & 1530 at Work

The Cal. 1530, in its role as test pilot for its host of new upgrades, sat inside two models in the Rolex rangel. One, the most recognizable form in the horology world, and the other, a simple yet underappreciated classic.

The Submariner

The world’s favorite dive watch started life in 1954, just three years before the launch of the Cal. 1530. They introduced it into the first reference of the Submariner’s third generation, the ref. 5508, succeeding the previous A260 caliber, but it took the debut of the ref. 5512 in 1959 before the Sub became the genre-defining piece we know it as today.

Rolex Submariner 5512

It was the 5512 that introduced crown guards to the tough tool watch, as well as a steel bezel. Along with its sister piece, they released ref. 5513 a few years later in 1962. This represented the last of the truly ‘pure’ Submariners among collectors. These were the final vintage references before the date feature and its controversial Cyclops lens made an appearance in 1965 with the ref. 1608.

Outwardly, the 5512 and 5513 look almost identical. In its earliest days, the 5512 contained the non-chronometer rated Cal. 1530 and had a corresponding two lines of text on its dial. They upgraded it to the more advanced and COSC recognized Cal. 1560 further along in its run. The resulting four lines of text, with the addition of ‘Superlative Chronometer, Officially Certified’, is the only convenient way of telling the two references apart.

Rolex never meant for the 5513 for chronometer status. It was, therefore, always the cheaper option because of it. Initially carrying the same 1530, they swapped it for Rolex Caliber 1520 in the mid sixties.

The Choice of Steve McQueen

Both watches went on to have incredibly successful runs. They discontinued ref. 5512 in 1978, not before it had become the preferred choice of a certain Steve McQueen, while the ref. 5513 lasted right up until 1989.

With their timeless, uncluttered design and robust steel construction, the last of the no-date Subs are high on the wish list of many Rolex enthusiasts.

Rolex Air-King 5500

The Air-King

A watch born from the struggles of the British RAF in WWII, the Air-King has lived its life in the shadows, a reserved dark horse next to the universally renowned GMT-Masters, Daytonas and Submariners of the world.

While its uncomplicated, naked dial doesn’t have the drama of much of the sports range, its very simplicity has garnered it its own cult following—lovers of watches that do what they do well, and nothing else.

A New Generation

Rolex released ref. 5500 in 1957. this was a new generation of the classic aviator’s timepiece and one that followed a similar path to the Submariners of the era. Debuting with the Cal. 1530 running the show, they tagged the first examples with ‘Super Precision’ text above the six o’clock position, denoting its lack of chronometer status. When the caliber switched to the Rolex Caliber 1520 in 1963, the text on the ref. 5500 also changed—sometimes to just ‘Precision’, or else omitting the label altogether.

In all, the ref. 5500 stayed in production for an incredible 37 years. Rolex barely altered the basic exterior design, even though they updated the movement several times.

As clean and straightforward as it is possible for a watch to be, the Air-King range has always been for those who appreciate the history of Rolex, and the reputation they forged on the back of faultless engineering and timeless style.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Rolex Caliber 1520 / 1530 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-15201530/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 5035 https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-5035/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-5035/#respond Fri, 01 Dec 2017 17:07:16 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=177037 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 post The Rolex Caliber 5035 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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 coldness of quartz was from another planet. Lacking in tradition, history and, most of all, passion, it was seen as a fad and nothing more, suitable for the kind of cheap, plastic, disposable watches that no self-respecting enthusiast would wear in a million years.

Rolex Caliber 5035

By the time they realized the extent to which they had misjudged the situation, the damage had already been done. The quartz crisis of the 1970s eviscerated the traditional Swiss watchmaking firms, killing off better than two thirds of the country’s manufacturers and throwing those that clung on by the skin of their teeth into a blind panic.

In a desperate bid to counter the insurgence of countless waves of electronic watches from Japan and America, 20 of the top Swiss brands bonded together into a consortium called the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH) in order to develop technology of their own.

Their first prototype, the Beta-1, put into production as the Beta-21, found its way into the watches of sixteen separate CEH companies. For Rolex, it was shoehorned inside the 40mm case of the ref. 5100.

Representing a significant stylistic departure for the world’s leading watchmaker, the 5100, with its distinctive integrated case and bracelet, had looks more in common with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak than with any of Rolex’s previous offerings. The limited run of 1,000 pieces sold out before production began, even though the exclusively 18k yellow gold construction landed it with a price tag that made it the most expensive watch the brand had ever produced. Along with its internal technological advances, it was also the first Rolex to receive a sapphire crystal and a Quickset date function.

However, while it may have been a hit initially, its appeal was short lived. In 1972, the 5100 was discontinued, as was Rolex’s association with the CEH. A manufacturer that had been the pioneer of so much in the mechanical watch world, using the same calibers as more than a dozen rival brands was never going to be the Rolex way. So, they did what they always do when necessity demands; they locked the doors and built a solution of their own.

The Caliber 5035

It took them five years. In 1977, the Cal. 5035 Oysterquartz emerged, an 11-jewel, 32khz caliber designed solely to sit inside the newly created quartz version of the Datejust. Simultaneously, the Cal. 5055 was launched to power the Day-Date models.

Rolex Caliber 5035

As you would expect, while it was clear Rolex was only getting involved with this new technology under sufferance, what they came up with became the standard for others to follow.

Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, the Cal. 5035 was constructed as much as possible along the same lines as the mechanical movements Rolex had been dominating the industry with for decades. The bridge, gear train and pallet assembly would be recognizable to anyone with a passing familiarity of the inner workings of a Submariner or Explorer. In fact, the entire drive mechanism of the 5035 is based very much on a traditional escapement and, with the exception of the pulse motor and electronics, the movement is almost identical to the mechanical Cal. 3035 launched the same year.

However, while that conventional automatic caliber could achieve an accuracy rate stringent enough to wear its ‘Superlative Chronometer’ tag from the COSC, the standards set down by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute for quartz movements were a different matter altogether. For that, the 5035 would have to be certified to within +/- 0.2 seconds a day.

Rolex Caliber 5035

Even for a company like Rolex it was a big ask, and one of the reasons they decide to break away from the CEH to develop their own system. To extract every last shred of precision from their quartz movements, they used an oscillator four times faster than that found in the Beta-21, as well as employing a thermistor to analyze the ambient temperature and regulate the frequency of the quartz crystal, making it one of the first analogue thermocompensation movements ever made.

While all these advances gave the 5035 a formidable performance, it wasn’t until 18 months into its production run that Rolex started to submit the caliber to the scrutiny of the COSC, and only after the quartz crystal in the oscillator circuit was altered to a tuning fork shape. Although no official data has been released, it’s believed these second generation movements had a mean variation of 50 seconds per year, making them the most accurate timekeepers the company has ever produced, by a huge margin.

The Cal. 5035 at Work

The Cal. 5035 and Cal. 5055, the only two quartz calibers Rolex ever mass-produced (with the exception of the Cal. 6621 in several of the Cellini range), stayed in production for 25 years. But, where the company famously makes around a million mechanical watches a year, in a quarter of a century, only 25,000 quartz pieces left the factory.

Today, those watches represent a fascinating slice of brand history. Their breakthrough technology and extreme rarity value, along with their archetypal 70s styling, make them an appealing target for vintage collectors.

Both the Oysterquartz versions of the Datejust and the Day-Date were manufactured to look strikingly different to their mechanical counterparts, with reluctant Rolex executives striving to ensure there could be no confusion between the young upstarts and watches that were the products of decades of laborious evolution.

The Rolex Datejust ref. 17000

The Datejust, the watch with the longest unbroken production run of any in the Rolex stable, has often been used as the guinea pig when the company wants to test out its new innovations.

The Oysterquartz model of the all-time classic was released in three variations; the steel ref. 17000, the steel and yellow gold Rolesor ref. 17013 and the Rolesor steel and white gold ref. 17014.

Pre Owned Mens Rolex Two-Tone Oysterquartz Datejust Gold Champagne 17013

While it retained the familiar fluted bezel of the traditional piece, it also carried over much of the ref. 5100’s styling, with the bracelet, case and lugs forming a unified whole that lacked the sweeping grace of the original and, if you squinted, could be easily mistaken for a Patek Philippe Nautilus. The design meant the ref. 17000 series wore a great deal larger on the wrist than its 36mm dimensions would suggest.

Although the case was a drastic departure from the norm, Rolex kept the dial elements identical to its mechanical stable mate. In fact, apart from the obvious inclusion of the ‘Oysterquartz’ text under the brand name, the only other way you could differentiate one dial from the other is the telltale seconds hand.

Debuted at the same time as the Cal. 5035, the Perpetual Cal. 3035 ushered in the 28,800bph frequency of all modern Rolex automatic movements. It is what gives the seconds hands on their contemporary models their trademark smooth sweeping motion of eight beats per second.

With the Cal. 5035, a stepper motor is used to drive the pallet fork, which in turn drives a pallet wheel that is linked directly to the hands. This 3,600bph system creates an audible, one beat per second ‘tick’ that sets the watch apart from anything else in the Rolex catalog.

The Vintage Oysterquartz

As was evidenced by the severely limited numbers in which it was produced, the Oysterquartz Rolex models were something of an oddity, and an acquired taste at best.

Even though the company could be accused of showing a certain lack of enthusiasm for the new quartz technology, when they did eventually decide to join the party, what emerged was one of the most over-engineered and advanced quartz movements ever made. In its day, it had virtually no rivals in terms of accuracy and sturdiness, and it is a testament to Rolex’s work ethic that a mechanism only made by the relative handful, from back in 1977, is still serviceable by their technicians today.

As products, the Cal. 5035 and Cal. 5055 served their purpose—helping the world’s most famous luxury watch brand ride out the worst of the crisis and proving they were the equals to any challenge.

The post The Rolex Caliber 5035 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-5035/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 1160/1161 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-11601161/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-11601161/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 19:59:03 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176631 In The Beginning The Rolex 1160 Caliber ran alongside the various iterations of the hugely popular 1500 series for a number of years. Rolex have always preferred to gradually phase in replacements for their calibers, rather than with a sudden, jarring leap. In the seventies, the 1500 series went through a similar process itself when Rolex superseded […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 1160/1161 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
In The Beginning

The Rolex 1160 Caliber ran alongside the various iterations of the hugely popular 1500 series for a number of years. Rolex have always preferred to gradually phase in replacements for their calibers, rather than with a sudden, jarring leap.

In the seventies, the 1500 series went through a similar process itself when Rolex superseded it with the 3000 range.  Rolex’s 1000 series of automatic calibers debuted in 1950, with the base model, the Cal. 1030. It marked the company’s first bi-directional self-winding movement. This is a highly reliable and accurate 18,000bph mechanism. It found great success inside that era’s Submariner, Oyster Perpetual and Explorer range.

From that basic, no date architecture, the Cal. 1030 went through a number of variations.  The GMT and calendar complications were added where needed, along with Rolex’s characteristically relentless upgrades as their technology progressed.

In 1964, the series entered its third generation when the Rolex released its 1160 and 1161 calibers simultaneously. With these new calibers came an extra jewel. There are up to 26 from the previous 25, along with a new balance frequency. This frequency increased for the first time to 19,800bph, or 5.5 beats per second. In addition, there was an inherent increase in accuracy and shock resistance.

Rolex 1160 Caliber

By that time, the Sub, Explorer and several other of Rolex’s simple, three-hand watches had found new engines with the 1500 family of calibers, the last low-beat movements the brand produced.

In addition, for the Rolex 1160 caliber, its modest dimensions saw it used in just one model in the Rolex catalog. At only 20mm wide and with a height of 5.4mm, it powered nearly 30 different references of the Oyster Perpetual series.

The Rolex 1160 Cal. at Work

Introduced in the 1950s, the brand’s simplest watch has one of the most confusing names. Subsequently, every automatic, waterproof Rolex wears the Oyster Perpetual tag. The company patented the self-winding mechanism in the 30s and called it the ‘Perpetual’ movement. The impenetrable shell they are housed in, formed by screwing the bezel, case back and winding crown down against a solid midsection, has been known as the ‘Oyster’ case since the 1920s.

However, Rolex also titled a particular collection of watches the Oyster Perpetual range. These were regarded by some as Rolex’s most versatile. About as basic as a watch can possibly be, the series has been in constant production for more than six decades and gone through a countless number of variations of materials and colors.

The Oyster Perpetual is as popular with women as with men. It is available in a slew of sizes, from 26mm to 36mm. The year 2015 saw it joined by another edition when a more modern 39mm was added to the lineup—not a monster by any means, but one keeping up with the fashion for larger timepieces.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual with Cal. 1160

The Oyster Perpetual Range

The Cal. 1160 began service in 1964 in the ref. 6544, a midsize, steel example of the range, and ended in the early seventies in the ref. 6807. Rolex replaced this with the Cal. 1570, which introduced a seconds hacking feature.

Although often regarded as the entry-level Rolex, and the watch that represents the buy in to the brand for new collectors, the Oyster Perpetual range still benefits from the same level of engineering excellence and attention to detail as anything else that bears the Rolex name, and nowhere more so than in its mechanism.

In addition, the Rolex 1160 is a chronometer certified movement, rated accurate to within -4/+6 seconds a day. Also, its free-sprung Nivarox hairspring features a Breguet overcoil, and it has a power reserve of 42 hours. Its balance wheel is regulated by Rolex’s Microstella system, two pairs of weighted screws on the inside of the balance rim that makes the wheel more aerodynamic and its adjustment easier to fine tune.

The Outsider

Moreover, the Cal. 1160 is one of Rolex’s lesser-known movements, with a relatively limited production run. Serving as the forerunner to the 1500 series, among the most popular and enduring family of calibers in the brand’s history, has consigned the 1160 to dark horse status in the history books.

However, as owners of vintage Oyster Perpetual watches will tell you, they are a precise and reliable performer, a simple and robust movement with a fine pedigree.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Rolex Caliber 1160/1161 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-11601161/feed/ 0
The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1990s https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1990s/ https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1990s/#respond Fri, 10 Nov 2017 15:50:12 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176284 By the start of the nineties, the name Rolex had become inextricably linked with notions of success and achievement. While there are some that give the company’s marketing department the lion’s share of the credit, the brand’s faultless public image had been established first and foremost on the back of an exceptional range of products. […]

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1990s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
By the start of the nineties, the name Rolex had become inextricably linked with notions of success and achievement. While there are some that give the company’s marketing department the lion’s share of the credit, the brand’s faultless public image had been established first and foremost on the back of an exceptional range of products.

What had made Rolex stand apart from other luxury goods makers was its overwhelming focus on quality. When you bought a Rolex watch, you were aware you were buying something very special; a piece of engineering excellence that was going to outlast you and be passed down to subsequent generations.

From an economics standpoint, it was a vastly different strategy from other vendors of high-end items. While slick advertising might convince you that you needed a certain type of car or a more powerful computer, such companies were reliant on customers replacing their products at a relatively high frequency. It all helped keep the wheels of production turning.

Rolex is different; from its origin way back at the start of the 20th century, its focus, or its obsession might be more accurate, was to build watches that lasted as long as possible and were as good as technology allowed—and if that wasn’t good enough, they would take it upon themselves to invent new technology.

The result was, when a customer acquired a Rolex watch, they were also getting a pedigree that went far beyond the monetary value. They were buying a product that was manufactured without any form of compromise in its construction, with little or no concession to the fickleness of fashion, and something that would accompany them through the major milestones in their lives. It gave people a genuine emotional connection that was unlike practically any other luxury product.

So it was ironic that, after the disastrous effects of the quartz crisis, it had taken the absolute antithesis of those exact values to rescue the Swiss watchmaking industry.

The Swatch, a cheap, trendy and above all, disposable watch, encapsulated everything Rolex was not. Nevertheless, it had sold, and continued to sell, in its millions, pouring desperately needed funds back into Switzerland. The Swiss had beaten Japan at its own game, using a quartz watch to end the quartz crisis and giving traditional firms the budgets to create pieces that made people fall back in love with the artistry and craftsmanship of mechanical watches again.

Rolex in the 1990s

While Rolex had dabbled in quartz technology, their focus was still very much on the watchmaker’s art—using decades of expertise to keep its range of classic timepieces at the pinnacle of what was possible with gears and springs.

The nineties saw the introduction of an all-new watch from behind the velvet curtain of Rolex HQ, an event as commonplace as spotting a unicorn in the wild. And it was also the decade that saw the end of one of their greatest and longest-serving creations.

Below, we’ll highlight the most popular Rolex watches of the 1990s.

The Yacht-Master ref. 16628

There is an unconfirmed story, as the vast majority of stories about Rolex tend to be, that the original Yacht-Master came into existence because the company decided to completely revamp the look of its most beloved and successful design, the Submariner.

Rolex Yacht-Master 16628

After working on a modernized version of the world’s favorite dive watch for an unspecified length of time in the eighties, senses were finally come to and the plans to replace it were scrapped. However, the new watch the team of Swiss boffins had come up with was deemed too good to leave on the shelf, and it was decided to release it as a completely separate nautically themed piece, unapologetic in its luxuriousness.

Why Rolex would ever choose to replace one of horology’s first real icons has never been properly explained by the rumor mill, and if it was ever a genuine notion, it was not, thankfully, one that stuck around for long.

What is in no doubt is that 1992 saw the appearance of the first all-new watch to emerge from Rolex since the Daytona was launched in 1963.

Of course, in this case, the term ‘new’ was stretched to near breaking point. When the Yacht-Master made its debut, its similarity to the Sub was evident to pretty much anyone blessed with the gift of sight. Its lines were somewhat softer and more rounded, and its all gold construction underlined its status as the deluxe version of the tough-as-nails tool watch.

Rolex Caliber 3135

Water resistance of 100m as opposed to 300m, and a gold bezel that rotated in both directions further cemented the Yacht-Master’s rightful place as above the waves rather than below, but otherwise, the two watches shared a caliber, the Cal. 3135, along with identical hands and dials.

Although it has never matched the incredible appeal of the Submariner, which is a statement that applies to just about every watch ever made, the Yacht-Master has remained one of Rolex’s most popular designs and one that neatly sums up the prevailing spirit of the post-quartz crisis nineties. Unwilling, and unable, to compete with electronic watches on price and accuracy, the Yacht-Master continued Rolex’s advance in the opposite direction. High quality mechanical watches, while still extremely impressive in terms timekeeping precision, were now more likely to be worn as symbols of advanced status and outward expressions of accomplishment. This new addition had no allusions to be anything other than a beautiful timepiece designed to catch the eye while lounging on deck or strolling through the privileged environs of the yacht club.

It also became the first of the Oyster Professional range to be made available in three sizes, with a mid-size 35mm standing alongside the ladies’ model and the full-size 40mm.

Today, it continues in the same luxurious vein, with precious metal-heavy versions in 40mm and 37mm, and bezels made from gold and platinum or Rolex’s ceramic compound Cerachrom.

Whatever the tall tales as to its origin, the Yacht-Master has proved itself worthy of its place in the Rolex canon; and for lovers of the all conquering Submariner, we can breathe a sigh of relief that the original is still very much alive and kicking.

The GMT-Master ref. 16700

The long, illustrious, yet confusing history of Rolex’s flagship aviator’s watch took another turn at the end of the nineties, when the last of the GMT-Masters bowed out, leaving the GMT-Master II with the playing field all to itself.

Rolex GMT-Master II 16700

Uniquely, the two series’ had run concurrently since the introduction of the Fat Lady in 1983, with the ref. 16760 debuting as the first model of the new range. While it’s often quoted as the being the watch that introduced the Quickset GMT hand feature, the major defining difference between the two groups, it was a previous reference of the original GMT family that holds that distinction. The ref. 16750 had been the watch to uncouple the 24-hour hand, allowing wearers to set a new time zone independently.

The 16750 had said its farewells in 1988 to be replaced by the ref. 16700, the last chapter in a story that went all the way back to 1954. The link between the GMT-Master and Pan Am is well known, as are the varied nicknames for its run of two-tone bezels. The initial blue and red color scheme was instantly christened the Pepsi; a functional as well as an immediately recognizable aesthetic stamp, it differentiated between the night and daylight hours as transcontinental travelers crossed time zones.

Following it, the black and red bezel quickly became known as the Coke, while the brown and gold surround garnered its moniker of the Root Beer, or alternatively, the Clint Eastwood. Unkindly likened in some quarters to the kind of upholstery usually found in 1970’s caravans, it was something of an opinion splitter.

The ref. 16700, the last of the original GMTs, seemed reluctant to be accept retirement and, for a watch at the end of its run, said a surprisingly long goodbye. Starting out in 1988, it eventually ended production in 1999. Made in much smaller quantities than the GMT-Master IIs of the same era, it was nevertheless a popular reference with fans, benefitting from near identical looks but with a more affordable price.

Rolex updated its movement to the newer Cal. 3175, which introduced the Quickset and hacking features, proving it wasn’t a watch to just go gently into that good night. Along with an upgrade in caliber, the 16700 also became the first of the pioneering series to be fitted with a sapphire crystal.

Even so, the GMT-Master was definitely winding down. Although it was given a new, slimmer profile, its case was only ever forged in steel, while its soon-to-be replacement was starting to appear in 18k gold, both yellow and white, from the depths of Rolex’s own foundry. Moreover, the 16700 came with just the Pepsi bezel, a classic look to end a staggeringly successful 45-year run.

At the end of the decade, Rolex stopped production and left the GMT-Master II to hold the distinction as its main pilot’s watch. While it has gone on to enjoy major upgrades itself, with Cerachrom bezels and evermore sophisticated internal mechanics, the original references have become increasingly revered as vintage purchases—a surprisingly attainable gateway into Rolex collecting for such an emblematic creation.

The nineties saw Rolex as a company at ease with itself. It had weathered the storm from the east far better than most, and its lifelong efforts to produce the finest timepieces possible had secured it an insurmountable reputation. Its stature as a brand now went far beyond horology. As Andre Heiniger, the company’s second CEO, said, “Rolex is not in the watch business. We are in the luxury business.”

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1990s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1990s/feed/ 0
Iconic Rolex Sports Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/iconic-rolex-sports-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/iconic-rolex-sports-watches/#respond Wed, 08 Nov 2017 19:51:18 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175922 There are two very distinct sides to the Rolex lineup: the dress watches and the sports watches. Whereas by nature, Rolex dress watches are designed to look great, Rolex sports watches are designed to look great and to serve a specific purpose. In fact, all Rolex sports watches began as a purpose-built tool for a […]

The post Iconic Rolex Sports Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
There are two very distinct sides to the Rolex lineup: the dress watches and the sports watches. Whereas by nature, Rolex dress watches are designed to look great, Rolex sports watches are designed to look great and to serve a specific purpose. In fact, all Rolex sports watches began as a purpose-built tool for a specific audience. Rolex even specifically labels them as Professional Series watches, although they’re more commonly referred to as Rolex sports watches by non-industry folk.

Although many of these timepieces are not actually used to their full potential today but rather, worn more for their style, the origins and functionality of Rolex sports watches still evoke plenty of admiration and respect among watch fans worldwide. Let’s take a closer look at some iconic Rolex sports models and highlight their beginnings, evolutions, and current standings.

The Explorer

1953 Rolex Explorer

While by today’s standards, the Explorer may not be the first watch you think about when considering a Rolex sports watch, this model was in actuality the one that started it all. In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made it to the top of Mount Everest and there were some Rolex Oyster watches along for the ride.

Later that year, Rolex introduced the Explorer watch not only as a tribute to that historic climb but also as a tool watch for the adventure-set. With its robust stainless steel construction, waterproof case, and clutter-free luminescent dial, the Explorer was built to withstand harsh conditions, thus ideal for adventure seekers. Today, the 39mm stainless steel Explorer is the most understated and affordable Rolex sports watch available.

The Submariner

1953 Rolex Submariner

Also in 1953, Rolex launched what would later become their most famous sports watch ever—the Submariner. Instead of tops of mountains, this time Rolex constructed a watch for divers to use while venturing deep under water.

In addition to being the first diving watch water resistant to 330 feet, the Submariner also came equipped with a rotating bezel to keep track of immersion times. The inaugural 36.5mm stainless steel Submariner has come a long way over the last six decades. There have been size increases, design enhancements, and improved water resistance and functionality. Today, the Submariner measures 40mm, is water resistant to 1,000 feet, and includes a unidirectional bezel for better safety. Plus, the Submariner is available in a range of materials—steel, gold, and two-tone steel and gold—and colors, and comes with or without the date function.

The GMT-Master & The GMT-Master II

1955 Rolex GMT-Master

Riding the jet age boom, Rolex literally reached for the sky with the introduction of the GMT-Master in 1955. At the request of Pan Am airlines, Rolex developed the GMT-Master watch, whose main function was to indicate two time zones simultaneously. With its center hands, extra 24-hour hand, and rotating bicolor bezel marked to 24 hours, the GMT-Master watch allowed pilots to read their local time as well as their home time.

Eventually, Rolex unveiled the GMT-Master II model, which permitted the tracking of three time zones since the 24-hour hand was made to be set independently from the main hour hand. It’s important to note that many GMT-Master I and GMT-Master II models sport a distinct two-color bezel. For instance, there’s the red and blue Pepsi bezel, the black and red Coke bezel, and the brown and beige Root Beer bezel. Today, the 40mm GMT-Master II Rolex sports watch is the quintessentially luxury watch for world travelers, offered in a slew of metals and bezel options.

The Cosmograph Daytona

1963 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

In 1963, Rolex revealed their sportiest watch to date with the Cosmograph. Given its ability to time events via the stopwatch function, the then-new Rolex chronograph was created with motorsports in mind. So to underline that connection with automobile racing, Rolex quickly added the “Daytona” name to the collection—the city widely considered as the capital of car competitions.

Over the course of its history, the Daytona went from a 37mm manual-wind chronograph in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, to a 40mm automatic modified Zenith-movement chronograph in the late 80s and 90s, to finally, an entirely in-house built automatic chronograph from 2000 onwards. Similar to the Submariner and GMT-Master II, the Daytona is offered in an assortment of metals, colors, and styles. From stainless steel models to full gold versions to two-tone editions to platinum examples, there’s a Daytona to suit almost anyone’s taste. Today, vintage, discontinued, and current Daytona chronograph watches are some of the most coveted sports watches in the market.

The Sea-Dweller

1967 Rolex Sea-Dweller COMEX

In the 1960s, the French commercial diving company, COMEX, was in need of an even more capable tool watch to accompany their commercial divers. So Rolex obliged and presented the Sea-Dweller in 1967 with water resistance to 2,000 feet. In addition to the increased water resistance, the Sea-Dweller also came equipped with the Helium Escape Valve. The HEV allowed for the automatic release of built up gasses from the watch that occurred during diver decompression times in specialized chambers, thus preventing damage to the timepiece.

The Sea-Dweller underwent several modifications over the years including better water resistance, newer calibers, and sapphire crystal. However, Rolex did discontinue the 40mm Sea-Dweller for a short time in 2008 to make way for the larger Deepsea model. However, the brand brought back the SD in 2014 with a new Cerachrom ceramic bezel. Finally, in 2017, Rolex released a new 43mm Sea-Dweller sporting, for the first time, a Cyclops lens over the date window.

The Explorer II

1971 Rolex Explorer II

In 1971, Rolex decided to take the Explorer watch legacy even further by creating the Explorer II watch. Specifically built for extreme adventurers such as spelunkers and polar explorers, the stainless steel Explorer II featured a 40mm case, a highly luminescent dial with a date window, a fixed bezel marked to 24-hours, and an extra 24-hour arrow-tipped orange hand. The combination of the extra hand and bezel permitted wearers to differentiate between day and night hours even when clouded in darkness for long periods of time.

While the Explorer II remained as a 40mm steel sports watch, in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, its look changed to include round lume plots, Mercedes style hands, and a red 24-hour hand that could now indicate a second time zone since it was independent of the main hour hand. In 2011, Rolex unleashed a larger 42mm version of the Explorer II, along with the revival of the famous orange hand.

The Yacht-Master

1992 Rolex Yacht-Master

In the early nineties, Rolex announced a brand new collection inspired by a nautical lifestyle, dubbed the Yacht-Master. To emphasize the luxuriousness of this then-new Rolex sports watch, the inaugural Yacht-Master was a full yellow gold model with a 40mm Oyster case and matching Oyster bracelet. A couple of years later, Rolex offered a 35mm midsize version and a 29mm ladies’ version.

During its short 25-year history, the Yacht-Master has become one of the company’s most versatile sports watch collections with a wide assortment of models. In addition to size variations, there are plenty of material choices too. There are Rolesium models that combine steel and platinum, two-tone models that combine either yellow or rose gold with steel, and Everose gold models with the innovative Oysterflex black rubber bracelet.

The Yacht-Master II

2000 Rolex Yacht-Master II

While the Yacht-Master is a casual chic Rolex sports watch, the Yacht-Master II was made with the competitive sailor in mind. Making its debut in 2007, at the heart of the Yacht-Master II is a regatta chronograph with the world’s first programmable countdown with a mechanical memory. Furthermore, the countdown is cleverly operated via the bezel, also known as the Ring Command Bezel.

The 44mm Yacht-Master is one of the larger Rolex sports watches available in a variety of metals. Depending on your preference, there are steel, two-tone steel and Everose gold, white gold and platinum, and full yellow gold models to choose from.

The Deepsea

2008 Rolex Deepsea

A relatively new model, Rolex released the Deepsea in 2008 to replace the Sea-Dweller. As the most extreme Rolex diving watch available, the steel Deepsea measures a very robust 44mm. Its Oyster case is resistant to an incredible 12,800 feet thanks to the Ringlock system featuring a nitrogen-alloyed steel central ring, a 5mm‑thick domed sapphire crystal, and a titanium caseback.

While the inaugural Deepsea includes the signature black dial, in 2014 Rolex launched a special D-Blue dial to commemorate James Cameron’s historic dive in the Deepsea Challenger submersible to the earth’s deepest point. The D-Blue dial gradients from blue to black to represent the darkness of the deep, while the “DEEPSEA” label features the same green color as the submersible.

Whether you’re into diving, flying, mountaineering, sailing, or cave exploring, there’s a Rolex sports watch to accompany you on your adventures. Whichever Rolex sports watch you decide on, they all boast incredible history, impressive longevity, fantastic practicality, and to top it all off, enviable looks too!

The post Iconic Rolex Sports Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/iconic-rolex-sports-watches/feed/ 0
The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1980s https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1980s/ https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1980s/#respond Fri, 03 Nov 2017 20:17:07 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176017 A Decade of Redemption Between the rise of the yuppie, the larger than life cultures in music and fashion, and the general ‘greed is good’ mentality of wanton excess, the 1980s can seem like the decade subtlety forgot. After the relative drabness and austerity that characterized the 70s, the 80s were all about color and […]

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1980s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
A Decade of Redemption

Between the rise of the yuppie, the larger than life cultures in music and fashion, and the general ‘greed is good’ mentality of wanton excess, the 1980s can seem like the decade subtlety forgot. After the relative drabness and austerity that characterized the 70s, the 80s were all about color and capitalism. Leading up to the era of Rolex in the 80s, the ever present threat of mutually assured destruction set a hedonistic tone. This tone was — spend now and worry about it tomorrow…if there is one.

For Swiss watch manufacturers, however, it was a decade of redemption. The quartz crisis had taken the industry by the throat in the seventies and did not let go. As a result, it was reduced to a pitiful shadow of its former glory and threatened to annihilate it completely. It finally reached the final point of do or die in 1982.

Japan had already taken the crown as the world’s leading watch producer. They were exporting huge numbers and were sealing the fate of over a thousand Swiss brands. Also, employment in the sector reduced its peak of 90,000 in 1974 to just 28,000 at its lowest point. Clearly, something drastic had to be done.

In much the same way, at the end of the sixties several major Swiss firms came together to form a consortium. They held the sole purpose of saving the industry they had spent centuries creating. The newly-established organization, the SMH, merged two huge but struggling umbrella corporations comprising of the SSIH. These were made up of Omega and Tissot among others. Additionally, this included the ASUAG, a group that included the likes of Rado and Longines.

The Swatch

In 1983, the SMH launched the Swatch on an unsuspecting public. A cheap, mass produced Swiss watch, it took the world by storm, helped by innovative marketing and skillful promotion. Fun, fashionable and disposable, it sold in the countless millions. It also poured much needed funds back into Switzerland and salvaged the remains of their manufacturing base.

Two years later, the Plaza Accord effectively broke the back of the Japanese Yen while strengthening the U.S. Dollar and Swiss Franc, rebalancing the power and essentially ending the quartz crisis.

Rolex in the 80s

For Rolex, this was the decade that saw the company finally acknowledge their complete turnaround in USP. They continued going through the motions of producing quartz watches. But, it was obvious they viewed electronics with a certain amount of distaste.

Even so, they recognized that the highest precision mechanical calibers couldn’t possibly compare with the worst of the cheap Japanese quartz movements in terms of accuracy. And Rolex’s were among the best ever made

They had weathered the storm better than most, thanks to their streamlined production methods and unrivalled reputation. However, it became acutely evident they would have to find another way to compete if they were going to survive.

The Transformation

It was the eighties then that saw the start of the transformation of Rolex. Now they went from being the world’s finest tool watches to becoming the universally accepted symbol of wealth and achievement. Sports models that could withstand the kind of punishment that only professionals could dish out were now much more likely to be found around a boardroom table. No longer are they only behind the wheel of an endurance race car or on the wrists of explorers, both above ground and underwater.

To Luxurious Watch Collecting

Through the kind of marketing that inspires PhD theses by the score, the name Rolex became just a quicker way of saying luxurious and aspirational. Watch collecting became a phenomenon. Affluent new connoisseurs began scouring the current and back catalogs of the major Swiss players. They were looking for that exclusive rarity to set them apart in the corridors of power. It could have been a recipe for Rolex to consign the roles of modernization and functionality to afterthoughts in favor of simply manufacturing bigger and prettier pieces to appeal to their fresh, upwardly mobile audience.

In fact, the opposite was true. The company continued to pioneer breakthrough technologies. They made relentless upgrades to their unequaled collection. In effect, they cemented their rightful place at horology’s top table.

It was a decade that saw some of the most enduringly popular versions of a number of venerable classics. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites.

The Cosmograph Daytona ref. 16520

Rolex in the 80s - 1988-rolex-daytona-16520

Perhaps Rolex’s biggest success of the eighties emerged from one of its most uncharacteristic missteps. The Daytona had been born in 1963 to a reception that was overwhelming in its apathy. Examples languished unloved on dealer’s shelves for years. In fact, there are reports that Rolex gave some away as a free incentive with the purchase of more desirable models.

Even the patronage of genuine Hollywood royalty did little to boost its appeal. Also, t he so-called Paul Newman exotic dial Daytonas proved just as, if not more, difficult to shift.

Automatic Movement

That changed practically overnight with the release of the second generation of the chronograph. The 1988 launch of the ref. 16520 saw the watch gain its first automatic movement. This was a heavily modified caliber from legendry Swiss manufacturer Zenith, called the El Primero. Previous versions had been reliant on the Valjoux Cal. 72, a beautifully made and highly reliable mechanism, but with the insurmountable drawback of being manually wound. In the quartz age, winding your watch every day was as outdated as the Ark.

For the 16520, Rolex customized the El Primero almost beyond recognition. They retained fewer than half its original parts. Furthermore, they did away with the date function and fit it with a new escapement and balance spring with a Breguet overcoil. The 36,000 VPH frequency was dropped to 28,800 VPH to help increase the watch’s power reserve and accuracy and require less frequent servicing. It also ensured the distinctive Rolex sweep to the seconds hand.

Renamed the Cal. 4030, it was the catalyst for the Daytona to become one of the most sought after watches of the era. It’s a distinction it holds to this day. Because of the time burden of having to rely on a third-party manufacturer to provide the movement, demand soon outstripped supply, with waiting lists stretching off into years and huge premiums being put on new models for well-heeled fans who just couldn’t wait.

The Vintage Watch Market

Along with the convenience of a self-winding caliber, the Daytona also grew to a larger 40mm from the previous 37mm. The dials now had lacquer instead of matte or metallic. And the iconic sub dials ringed with a contrasting outer track. Protecting it all was a new scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

The launch of the next generation model and the discontinuation of the last, saw the appeal for both reach epic proportions. Utlimately, it’s the Daytona that takes credit for starting the vintage watch market as we know it today. Possibly, it was possibly the most important sports watch ever made. No doubt, it was the eighties that saw it start its climb towards becoming the world’s favorite chronograph.

GMT Master II ref. 16760

Rolex in the 80s - 1983 Rolex GMT-Master II

By contrast, with the slow burn appeal of the Daytona, the GMT Master series was a hit from the very beginning. So much so, that when the first of the GMT Master II range launched in 1983, it ran concurrently with the triumphant original for a further 16 years.

The New Caliber 3085

That initial reference, while strikingly similar in design to its predecessor, contained a critical new caliber, the Cal. 3085. A long-awaited and logical addition to the archetypal traveler’s watch, it allowed, for the first time, wearers to uncouple the hour hand from the GMT hand. Although the Quickset date function had to be sacrificed, it meant setting the second time zone at a destination was now instantaneous, with the arrow-tipped 24-hour hand able to move independently. As a result, it was now even possible to track a third time zone by reading it off the rotating bezel.

With the new caliber came a thicker case. Its enhanced proportions garnered the 16760 the nickname the ‘Fat Lady’, along with a never before seen color scheme. Joining the blue and red of the Pepsi and the brown and gold of the Root Beer from previous incarnations, the first of the GMT Master II’s sported a black and red surround instantly labeled, naturally enough, the Coke.

The GMT Coke

As a two tone combination, the Coke made the most sense in relation to the GMT’s original purpose. Primarily intended as a way for international travelers, and pilots specifically, to tell at a glance what part of the day they would be flying into, the black half of the bezel representing the night and the red half for the daytime made the readout perfectly legible.

Along with its updated movement and unfamiliar colors, the Fat Lady also added a couple of other firsts for the GMT series. Its acrylic crystal was replaced with a sapphire for the first time. It used white gold to surround its hour markers. These two advances became standard issue on all subsequent releases.

Caliber 3185

Although it enjoyed a well-received outing, the 16760 only had a relatively short production run. It was replaced in 1988 by the ref 16710, powered by another new caliber, the Cal. 3185. While identical in functionality, the movement had a slimmer profile that allowed the return to a more slender case.

With a host of novel features, coupled with its ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ lifespan, the ref. 16760 has become one of the most desirable vintage Rolexes on the market. Only available in all-steel construction and always with the black and red two-tone bezel, the Fat Lady is an uncompromising beauty.

Submariner ref. 16610

Rolex in the 80s - 1984-rolex-submariner-16610

To end with, no review of the standout Rolexes of the 80s is complete without mentioning the most popular edition of the brand’s most popular model.

Just sneaking into the decade with a 1989 release date, the Submariner ref. 16610 has become the last of the non-ceramic Subs. Running all the way to 2010, its replacement was the first of the breed to feature a Cerachrom bezel—a cutting-edge material that not only resists fading and wear but also goes some way in solving the one dark side to the 16610’s success; forgeries.

Ruthless Perfectionism

The Rolex Submariner holds the dubious distinction as the most counterfeited luxury watch in the world. In fact, it’s estimated there are now more fakes than genuine articles on the pre-owned market.

So, while the latest example is more difficult to replicate, many fans of the brand point to the 16610 as the most versatile and aesthetically pleasing iteration of the 60-year old classic—the culmination of a lifetime of ruthless perfectionism.

From the very first Submariner released in 1954, it’s recognized as the professional tool watch that could get you in anywhere. Whether it was worn with a wetsuit or a tuxedo, there was nowhere the Sub couldn’t go and no outfit it couldn’t make better.

The 16610 took that concept to new heights, with lines even more graceful and refined than its predecessor, the 1680, along with the same sapphire crystal cover and subtle white gold upgrades to the hour markers as on the new GMT Master II. Still with a 300m-water resistance and, of course, that iconic unidirectional bezel, the 80s saw the ultimate dive watch become the only timepiece you would ever need.

The Vintage Market

Today, it’s the reference that represents something of a gateway into the world of vintage watch collecting. With its 21-year production run, there is no shortage of models on the market at attainable prices. The darling of the true blue aficionado, the 16610 is also first choice for those who want that one very special watch that can do everything.

For Rolex in the 80s, it was a decade that saw the first shoots of recovery for the Swiss watch industry after the mauling it had taken at the hands of the Japanese quartz phenomenon. With a cheap, throwaway fashion watch to thank for their salvation, along with a booming economy, the highest of the high-end manufacturers saw their artistry, tradition and craftsmanship find a new appreciative audience of people with money to burn.

Next week, we’ll delve into the nineties and the first new watch Rolex released in nearly 30 years.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1980s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1980s/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 1555/1556 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-15551556/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-15551556/#respond Mon, 30 Oct 2017 17:39:46 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=176021 It will seem strange to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with Rolex that the fiercely self-sufficient Swiss watchmaking giant didn’t start manufacturing its own calibers until 1957. Until then, the movements in its ever expanding and increasingly popular catalog had been sourced from the likes of long-term partner Aegler. That all changed with the […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 1555/1556 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
It will seem strange to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with Rolex that the fiercely self-sufficient Swiss watchmaking giant didn’t start manufacturing its own calibers until 1957. Until then, the movements in its ever expanding and increasingly popular catalog had been sourced from the likes of long-term partner Aegler.

That all changed with the introduction of the 1500 series, the first mechanisms made completely in-house by Rolex themselves. Starting with the base model, the Cal. 1530, the range grew to consist of a slew of variations on its basic architecture to cover the diverse functionality of the brand’s watches.

With Rolex notoriously making very few models with radical complications, several of the 1500 series were able to find homes inside more than one famous name. The long-running Cal. 1560 and 1570 for example, powered everything from the Explorer to the Submariner to versions of the Datejust—simple, three-hand watches with nothing more demanding than a date function to contend with.

When Rolex did decide to come up with a more complicated piece however, it was with their typical obsessiveness for detail and a healthy dose of panache.

One and Only

Rolex Caliber 1555/1556

The Rolex Day-Date, perhaps better known by its unofficial nickname The President for its long and illustrious association with the great and the good, was first seen just a year before the introduction of the new range of movements. To that point the only watch from any manufacturer to simultaneously present both the date and the day of the week spelled out in full, the President quickly took the crown as the brand’s flagship creation.

With its unique complication, the Day-Date was in need of a caliber all to itself. While the first two references in the series continued to use third-party movements, by 1959, Rolex had perfected the Cal. 1555; a variant of the 1530 with the added utility necessary to drive the second calendar display.

The ref. 1803 ushered in the next generation of the Day-Date. With its upgraded engine affording a slimmer and more graceful profile than its predecessors, it still had a substantial weight and presence thanks to the all precious metal construction—a tradition that continues to this day, nearly sixty years down the road.

Although the new caliber had the same diameter as the rest of the 1500 series at 28.5mm, it was the thickest out of the entire range, measuring 7.03mm top to bottom. The 18,000 VPH frequency gave the Day-Date a five ticks per second beat, not quite the smooth sweep of later models, but still highly accurate and steadfastly reliable.

Rated as a 25-jewel movement, it actually contained an additional three or four jewels in the calendar mechanism that, while not the handy Quickset version that made its debut in the seventies, benefitted from the instantaneous midnight date change system still used by Rolex today.

In common with its sibling calibers, the 1555 shared the same setup of free-sprung Nivarox hairspring with Breguet overcoil and a balance wheel regulated by Rolex’s patented Microstella screws. Protected by KIF Flector shock absorbers, it used a traditional stone lever escapement and had a power reserve of 42 hours.

The 1555 was produced from 1959 to 1967, overlapping in some models of the Day-Date with its successor, the Cal. 1556, released in 1965.

Ostensibly identical, the only major difference between the two movements was a considerable rise in balance frequency. The later caliber followed the example set by the rest of the 1500 series and saw its rate increased to 19,800 VPH. As well as a marginal improvement in accuracy, the higher beat gave the mechanism an added imperviousness to shocks.

In addition, the 1556 was rated as a 26 jewel movement, with the top end of the center wheel receiving the extra stone, although it too had supplementary jewels in the calendar that weren’t included in the official count.

At the start of the seventies, the whole of the 1500 family of calibers received their biggest update when the hacking function was introduced. Now, pulling out the winding crown stopped the seconds hand, an innovation intended to help make setting the exact time easier.

The 1556 was the last of the series to power the Day-Date. It was replaced in 1978 by the Cal. 3055, which brought with it the convenience of the Quickset date change to the newest version of the President, the ref. 18038.

In all, the 1555 and 1556 powered more than a dozen different models of Rolex’s crowning achievement. With the exquisite design housing the ultra reliable workhorse, they formed an impeccable partnership for nearly 20 years.

The post The Rolex Caliber 1555/1556 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-15551556/feed/ 0
The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1970s https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1970s/ https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1970s/#respond Fri, 27 Oct 2017 14:41:16 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175722 As the 1970s began, Switzerland’s almost total dominance of the watchmaking industry was suddenly faced with its biggest challenge to date. Since the end of WWII, they had been enjoying a virtual monopoly, producing mechanical wristwatches that were so far in front of any other nation in terms of style, innovation and accuracy that they […]

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1970s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
As the 1970s began, Switzerland’s almost total dominance of the watchmaking industry was suddenly faced with its biggest challenge to date. Since the end of WWII, they had been enjoying a virtual monopoly, producing mechanical wristwatches that were so far in front of any other nation in terms of style, innovation and accuracy that they commanded somewhere in the region of ninety percent of the market.

Ironically, it was the country’s spirit of constant invention that brought their industry to within a whisker of destroying itself. Shortly following the war, a Swiss engineer named Max Hetzel, working for Bulova, pioneered a new type of watch, with an electronically charged tuning fork powered by a 1.35-volt battery replacing the balance wheel. Called the Accutron, it was released commercially in 1960, ushering in the first rumblings of what was to become known as the quartz crisis.

Mechanical Versus Quartz

Mechanical VS Quartz

Mechanical watches were a product of their time. Enjoying their heyday in the fifties and sixties, their technology remained at the cutting edge throughout the post-war era and into the jet age.

The seventies were altogether different. America had conquered the moon, the world was deep into the space age and even the remarkable engineering present inside Switzerland’s finest marvels was starting to look a little old fashioned. People were demanding more precision, more convenience and lower costs.

Enter quartz. An abundant natural crystal found all over the world, its unique properties had been attracting the interest of watch manufacturers for almost a decade before any major breakthrough occurred—in particular, the mineral’s piezoelectric effect, its ability to vibrate at a definite frequency when an AC voltage was passed through it.

Several prototype watches had emerged, from Europe, America and Japan, all looking to address the inherent limitations of mechanical calibers; namely, the inaccuracy of an unwinding spring when compared with that of an electronic movement, no matter how painstakingly engineered that spring might be.

Along with better timekeeping, quartz also had mechanics beaten in the robustness stakes, as the oscillating movement of the traditional balance wheel was always at the mercy of temperature shifts, the effects of magnetic fields or shock. Removing the balance wheel and substituting it with crystals also removed the problems. In addition, quartz watches needed no costly servicing and their batteries lasted for years and were easily and cheaply replaced.

Switzerland, for the first time, was caught napping. Even though it was one of their own countrymen who had laid the foundations for the new technology, quartz watches were seen by many in the industry as a passing fad. As the fad did anything but pass, and the benefits of these relatively inexpensive and extremely accurate timepieces saw them explode in popularity, a consortium of twenty Swiss manufacturers was formed, called the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH). A research organization, it was charged with developing quartz movements to allow the home of mechanical watchmaking excellence to compete in the electronic market.

While the CEH, which counted Rolex as one of its major shareholders, experienced a certain amount of success, the damage had already been done. The quartz crisis acted as a virtual cull of the Swiss watch industry, bankrupting two thirds of the country’s manufacturers.

The Beta-21 and the Rolex Date 5100

Rolex Beta 21

In 1970, the first movement produced by the CEH was launched. The Beta-21 powered watches from sixteen different companies, including Rolex, who fitted it inside what was, for the time, an enormous 40mm case. Officially known as the Rolex 5100 Beta-21, its dimensions and the fact that it was only released in 18k yellow gold saw it quickly nicknamed The Texan.

While the watch was a huge success for Rolex, with the limited run of 1,000 selling out before production even began, the new movement was less well received. Large, ungainly and above all, expensive, the Beta-21 seemed to miss the whole point of quartz technology, and the much cheaper and just as accurate watches from Japan and America continued to decimate the Swiss firms.

More importantly for Rolex, the awkward shape of the movement meant it couldn’t be shoehorned into an Oyster case, the very element upon which they had built and maintained their peerless reputation. The 5100 became their most technologically advanced and costliest model, its modern tonneau styling and round dial signifying a considerable design departure for the brand. It was also the first watch to be launched by Rolex featuring a sapphire crystal and Quickset date function.

However, after the initial sensation, interest in the 5100 quickly died off and it was discontinued in 1972, the same year Rolex parted ways with the CEH in order to do that most Rolex-esque of things; develop their own quartz technology.

The Rolex Oysterquartz

Rolex Day-Date 19018

Never a company to be rushed, it took them five years. In 1977, two brand new and completely unique quartz calibers were introduced—the Cal. 5035 for the Datejust ref. 17000 and the Cal. 5055 for the Day-Date ref. 19018. After decades spent in the obsessive pursuit of traditional watchmaking perfection, these 11 jewel, analogue thermocompensation quartz movements were, and still are, the most accurate calibers Rolex has ever made.

It was five years of research, design and testing well spent. With a 32khz oscillator and the latest in CMOS semi-conductor technology, Rolex’s first and only in-house quartz movements were certified to COSC chronometer standards of +/- .07 seconds a day. Even their own mechanical calibers, recognized as some of the best in the world, couldn’t get close.

The watches themselves, while bearing familiar names, looked very different from their traditional counterparts. Andre Heiniger, Rolex’s second CEO and the man most credited with making the company what it is today, was adamant his quartz pieces should bear as little resemblance to the originals as possible. While they were now housed in Oyster cases, both watches became even more sharp and angular than the original 5100, bearing more similarities with the AP Royal Oak than the graceful curves of Rolex’s signature style. The solid link integrated bracelet further distanced quartz design from the mechanical.

Further proof of the brand’s reluctance to engage with the revolution any more than was absolutely necessary is found in the number of these watches made. Whereas for the last 40 years, Rolex have produced somewhere around one million mechanical pieces a year, between the Oysterquartz’s launch in 1977 and its eventual demise in 2003, only 25,000 examples passed through the factory gates.

The two references sold fairly well, helping Rolex weather the storm that was swallowing up so many of its contemporaries in the seventies. A big draw for consumers was the watch’s relatively affordability.

The labor intensive nature of constructing mechanical calibers, requiring watchmakers who are equal part scientist and artisan, puts an unavoidable premium on the cost of manufacture. With quartz movements, this assembly is much less intricate, leading to a corresponding drop in price. While this was good news for potential customers, the reduced profit margins made them unpopular with retailers, who stocked them only out of sufferance.

Rolex Quartz Today

It would be fair to say that the only thing Rolex do better than making watches is selling watches. Their marketing strategy is held up as the most consistently effective of any luxury brand.

By their own standards, the marketing of their quartz models was fairly lackluster. One of the better examples of them pushing the positive attributes of their new calibers happened in 1978, when Oysterquartz watches accompanied Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler as they became the first men to climb Everest without additional oxygen.

It was a neat dovetail with Hillary and Tenzing’s achievement 25 years previously, also wearing Rolexes, as well as going someway to dispel the public notion that quartz movements were more fragile than their mechanical equivalents.

Even so, it was obvious that Rolex was merely treading water with quartz technology, just waiting for the resurgence in demand for traditional watchmaking. While they continued to produce prototype quartz movements throughout the seventies and eighties, including smaller calibers for the ladies range, only one, the 6621 found inside some of the Cellini range, ever went into mass production.

The extreme rarity and unusual quirks of the quartz Datejust and Day-Date have made them highly desirable among hardcore Rolex collectors. Probably the least well known of any of the vintage models, their scarcity makes them extremely tricky to find.

Coming from some of the darkest days for the Swiss watchmaking industry, Rolex’s quartz watches are a bona fide slice of horology history.

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1970s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1970s/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 3055 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3055/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3055/#respond Mon, 23 Oct 2017 19:12:49 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175725 Modern Rolex movements are variations on the theme of a handful of base calibers, with the company systematically upgrading components as technology progresses or adding functionality where needed. For a brand that produces as many watches as Rolex, it makes sense not to have to reinvent the wheel every time a new model is launched. […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 3055 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Modern Rolex movements are variations on the theme of a handful of base calibers, with the company systematically upgrading components as technology progresses or adding functionality where needed. For a brand that produces as many watches as Rolex, it makes sense not to have to reinvent the wheel every time a new model is launched.

In the case of the Cal. 3055 released in 1977, it formed part of the 3000 series of movements that ushered in the high beat frequency era, giving the emblematic flowing seconds hand of all latter day Rolexes.

Like its foundation movement, the 3035, the Cal. 3055 has a balance speed of 28,800vph, producing an eight ticks per second sweep, while also adopting the other party piece of the 3000 series, the Quickset date function. Whereas previous calibers had called for wearers to wind the hands through 24-hours to advance the day of the week, the new movement featured a second position for the crown, enabling it to be pulled out halfway to set the date independently of the time. It was a simple innovation that solved one of the biggest problems for the brand’s calendar watches and was incorporated into every Rolex date caliber by 1983.

Delving into the depths of the Cal. 3055, the 27 jewel, self-winding movement has a 42-hour power reserve and uses the series-wide arrangement of free-sprung Nivarox hairspring with Breguet overcoil and Glucydur balance wheel, regulated by Microstella screws.

With a balance wheel made from beryllium, copper and iron, working together with a nickel/iron alloy hairspring, the 3055 practically eliminates the effects of temperature variation on the movement’s isochronism. The Microstella system does away with the need for balance screws, replacing them with four timing weights placed on the inside of the balance rim—a design that creates greater inertia and less drag, with a more precise adjustment to the rate.

As a free sprung caliber, the 3055’s hairspring is able to contract and expand concentrically, giving it a great deal of stability across different positions and, as there’s no regulator for it to come into contact with, the subsequent reduction in friction reduces the amount of wear on the component.

The Cal. 3055 at Work

Rolex Caliber 3055

An unusual aspect of the Cal. 3055 is, unlike the vast majority of Rolex’s engines, it was only ever used in one model of watch. More general purpose movements from the brand find homes inside a variety of different cases; the 3135, for example, powered everything from the Submariner to the Yacht-Master to the Datejust.

The rare Rolex calibers that are created for just a single piece tend to be the most complicated. The Cal. 4130 chronograph was built specifically for the Daytona; the Cal. 9001 was needed to run the ultra-complex Sky-Dweller. For the 3055, with its dual calendar function, there was only going to be one port of call.

The Day-Date ref. 18038 was the continuation of Rolex’s masterpiece flagship that debuted in 1956. The first wristwatch to display both the date and the day of the week, it was and still is the pinnacle of the brand’s considerable catalog.

For the 1977 edition, the 36mm ref. 18038 was released in 18k yellow gold with a fluted bezel, and came with a new sapphire crystal—a virtually scratchproof shield for the elegant dial. Inside, the Cal. 3055 brought instantaneous midnight changes for both the day and the date but, as a single Quickset movement, only the date could be adjusted with the crown. President wearers would have to wait until the 3055’s successor, the Cal. 3155, to arrive in 1988 for the convenience of a double Quickset function.

Alongside the ref. 18038, Rolex also brought a different slant to the Day-Date when it launched the ref. 18078. While identical internally, the ‘Bark President’ featured a textured dial reminiscent of tree bark that was carried over onto the center links of its bracelet. It remains one of the most unusual and distinctive versions of the piece, even among the countless other finishes in which it has been made.

Conclusion

The Cal. 3055 enjoyed a successful 11-year run, providing the kind of understated reliability that characterized all of Rolex’s 3000 series calibers.

The watches it powered are now considered classics of the era and, as smaller 36mm versions of the legendary President, are highly sought after by both male and female vintage collectors.

A product of the brand’s relentless pursuit of perfection, the Cal. 3055 is a true symbol of engineering excellence.

The post The Rolex Caliber 3055 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3055/feed/ 0
The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1960s https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1960s/ https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1960s/#respond Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:53:19 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175527 Aspirational Vintage Rolex Timepieces The 1950s had been a decade of incredible inventiveness and creativity for Rolex. It saw the Swiss giants bring us a series of watches that would become benchmarks. Not just for the brand itself, but for watchmaking in general. Names such as the Submariner, the President, and the GMT-Master represented the […]

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1960s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Aspirational Vintage Rolex Timepieces

The 1950s had been a decade of incredible inventiveness and creativity for Rolex. It saw the Swiss giants bring us a series of watches that would become benchmarks. Not just for the brand itself, but for watchmaking in general. Names such as the Submariner, the President, and the GMT-Master represented the pinnacle of engineering excellence. These were among the most coveted and aspirational timepieces in production.

As the 1960s arrived, Rolex set about the process that has secured them as the most successful watchmakers on the planet to this day. They were persistent with their never-ending improvement of their already state-of-the-art designs.

The pace of change at Rolex is relentless. Their constant evolution in technology and performance saw the 1960s produce some of the most well-loved and collectible versions of their signature models.

But the decade also saw one more iconic watch launched on an unsuspecting public. It was the last all-new creation to emerge from the company for more than 30 years. And it was something very special indeed.

We’ll save that one till last, as we look at some of the most popular Rolex watches of 1960s.

The Submariner ref. 1680

Popular Rolex Watches of 1960s - Rolex Submariner 1680

Rolex’s relationship with the ocean goes back almost to the formation of the company. The Oyster became the first commercially viable waterproof case in the 20s, proving its worth on Mercedes Gleitze’s cross-channel swim. Buoyed by early successes, Rolex challenged itself to produce the ultimate companion for divers and all underwater explorers. The Submariner was the result.

By the time the ref. 1680 first appeared in 1969, the Sub had already been through several revisions following its 1953 debut. So what makes the 1680 so special?

To start with, it was the first of the series to feature a date function. They magnified the window at 3 o’clock by a Cyclops lens set into the Plexiglas crystal. To accommodate it, they replaced the caliber in the previous model, the Cal. 1570, by the Cal. 1575. This was  identical in every way save for the new complication.

All About The Dial

However, what really sets the 1680 apart and makes it one of the most desirable of the early Subs and something of a gateway into the heady world of vintage Rolex collecting, is the dial.

For devotees, the dial is everything. In fact, a subtle feature of the text on the 1680’s face puts it near the top of the list for ardent fans. With the rest of the writing in traditional white, the name Submariner is picked out in red. It’s just a single line but it makes the 1680 a highly prized and cherished edition. It is known universally as the Red Submariner.

Although the reference was in production for 10 years, only the models released before 1973 featured the different color text. Also, their relative scarcity only added to their value. In addition, they released it with seven dial variations during its run. Each had just enough subtle distinctions to confuse all but the most obsessive.

Numbered Mark I to Mark VIII, they released two of the dial versions, II and III, simultaneously. Because of a manufacturing flaw, several of these earlier dials faded from black to brown, an imperfection so rare it makes them the holy grail for Submariner collectors.

Water Resistance to 200m

But beyond all the minutiae, the 1680 remained completely true to its pedigree. While it may have had the all-encompassing good looks that go with anything from business suit to jeans and t-shirt, it was still the ideal watch to accompany enthusiastic divers—with its rotatable bezel helping keep track of immersion time and its waterproof rating now upped to 200m.

Rolex produced their most successful and emulated creation in hundreds of different versions during its lifespan. However, the 1680 remains a standout example.

Sea-Dweller ref. 1665

Popular Rolex Watches of 1960s - Sea-Dweller 1665

Although the  diving communities preferred the Submariner as the companion for those embarking on the new sport of recreational SCUBA diving, the professionals who made their living working at the fathomless depths of commercial saturation diving needed something more. A lot more.

In much the same way as Pan Am nearly 10 years previously, French deep-sea specialists Comex (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises) partnered with Rolex in 1963 in the design of a watch able to withstand the rigorous demands of their profession.

With Comex’s crews needing to spend many hours deep underwater breathing helium-rich mixtures, the gas’s tiny molecules would penetrate the cases of their standard issue watches. These bubbles would expand rapidly upon ascent and the pent up pressure eventually blew out the watch’s crystals, often with significant force.

Helium Escape Valve

To combat the problem, Rolex devised the Helium Escape Valve, or HEV. This was a mechanism to allow the steady release of the gas before it caused any damage. Also, they retrofitted the first HEV to the ref. 5513 Submariner, renamed the 5514. This proved so successful for Comex it paved the way for the Sea-Dweller series.

The official name of the first reference, the 1665, was the Sea-Dweller Submariner 2000, alluding to the watch’s uprated water resistance of 2000ft. Like the Submariner ref. 1680 we looked at above, it garnered an unofficial nickname by picking its title out in red text on the dial, this time over two lines—the 1665 is known to collectors as the Double Red Sea-Dweller, or DRSD.

Double Red Sea Dweller (DRSD)

To further distinguish it from its smaller sibling, and leave no one in any doubt over its capabilities, the DRSD adopted a thicker case and a domed crystal to give an extra dimension of protection against the crushing pressures of deep sea operations.

In production until 1977, when it was replaced by the Great White, the Double Red also went through a number of variations. The first generation was only produced for a year and in severely limited numbers. Some estimated that not more than 100 were ever made. The ‘patent pending’ engraving on the case back, referring to the new HEV technology, is the easy way to spot these especially desirable rarities.

Although with a more niche audience than the all-conquering Submariner, the Sea-Dweller has proved extremely popular among Rolex fans. While the Sub has gone on to become almost a fashion statement, released in precious metal versions and with eccentric color schemes, the Sea-Dweller has doggedly remained a watch for serious professionals.

Strong enough to withstand practically anything, it is a hugely impressive example of fine watchmaking.

The Daytona ref. 6239

Popular Rolex Watches of 1960s - Daytona 6239

There was once a time when the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona didn’t exist. Even more unbelievably, there was also once a time when nobody wanted to buy one.

Rolex launched their current hottest property in the horology world in 1963. However, it was met with a huge collective shrug of indifference. Rolex dipped its toe into the world of the chronograph before, but they were relatively half-hearted attempts. The brand preferred the simplicity of the three-hand watch. Other manufacturers had been making chronographs better for longer.

But, much like their connection with the pioneers of underwater exploration, Rolex also had a long and fruitful association amongst those with an unquenchable thirst for speed.

Sir Malcolm Campbell

Sir Malcolm Campbell, the British land speed record holder, had become the first male sports testimonee for the company in the 30s, piloting his Bluebird racer to greater and greater feats, and wearing a Rolex Oyster Perpetual as he did so. He broke his own record on the hard packed sands at Daytona Beach, Florida a total of five times.

Le Mans

By 1962, they replaced the sands with a Super Speedway, and Rolex was sponsoring their annual 24-hour endurance race, an event as important in the motor racing calendar as the legendary Le Mans. To celebrate, Rolex launched their new flagship chronograph. The earliest examples actually featured the name Le Mans before it was changed to appeal to a larger American audience.

Manually-Winding Valjoux Movement

The initial reference, the 6239, debuted with a manually-winding Valjoux movement. They heavily modified it, particularly with the inclusion of Rolex’s own shock absorption system. Additionally, it stayed as the engine inside the Daytona until 1988. Then, Rolex replaced it with the watch’s first automatic caliber, the El Primero, from Swiss watchmaker Zenith.

And that was the problem. Manually-wound watches were becoming old fashioned even as the Daytona was making its entrance. As a result, dealers found themselves barely able to give the watch away. Examples that are now sold at auction for incredible sums sat gathering dust on shelves for years.

The Vintage Watch Market

By the late eighties, having to wind your watch daily was a relic of another time. It also was the introduction of the first automatic Daytona that opened the current frenzy. Credited with starting the vintage watch market as we know it today, the overwhelming popularity of the modern pieces sparked collectors to rediscover the earlier models.

The ref. 6239 became especially sought out. It was the genesis for the most popular chronograph in the world. Its efficient and clearly legible design and the simplicity of its operation have stayed the same for the last 50 years.

An original 6239 example is now one of the most desired classic watches among discerning collectors. Released in a number of variants, there is one particular style that stands head and shoulders above the rest, possibly the most valuable vintage timepiece it is possible to buy.

Exotic Dials

The exotic dial Daytonas, with their Art Deco motifs and multicolored dials were even more disliked on their release than the standard models. Today, they sell for figures that read like phone numbers. As a result, it is all down to their association with one man.

Paul Newman

Movie legend Paul Newman was gifted an exotic dial ref. 6239 by his wife Joanne Woodward in 1972 to celebrate the start of his professional motor racing career. That reference, and five others with similar designs released in the years that followed, we will know forever as the Paul Newman Daytonas. If you have a spare $10m, you can bid on Newman’s original model as it goes under the hammer at auction in New York this year. During this time, the experts predicted it will become the most expensive Rolex ever sold.

The Daytona is an institution in the world of watchmaking. No longer merely the archetypal driver’s watch. It now transcended its speed king heritage to become a striking expression of status and success. The chronograph all others are compared to, it is possibly the most important sports watch ever made.

The 1960s were a decade of improvement and perfection for Rolex. Their stable was now full of timeless designs. Their brand continued to lead the way in pioneering technology. This ensured their creations stayed at the forefront of what was possible.

It is a philosophy they have followed ever since. It has also secured their reputation as the finest watchmakers in the world.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1960s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1960s/feed/ 0
A Rolex Timepiece for Every Type of Luxury Home https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-timepiece-every-type-luxury-home/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-timepiece-every-type-luxury-home/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:47:26 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175538 Luxury Homes and Rolex Luxury Watch Lifestyle As a partner and licensed real estate agent of Points West Agency, I have the honor of helping my clients find their dream home. What I’ve learned over the years in real estate is that luxury comes in all shapes and sizes. These range from lakefront compounds and […]

The post A Rolex Timepiece for Every Type of Luxury Home appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Luxury Homes and Rolex Luxury Watch Lifestyle

As a partner and licensed real estate agent of Points West Agency, I have the honor of helping my clients find their dream home. What I’ve learned over the years in real estate is that luxury comes in all shapes and sizes. These range from lakefront compounds and beach houses, to horse ranches and high-rise condominiums with sweeping views of the city. Just as there is a luxury home for every buyer, there is also a luxury timepiece for every consumer.

This week, I teamed up with preowned online Rolex retailer, BeckerTime.com. Together we bring you the best Rolex watch models that pair perfectly with the most luxurious types of homes. Rolex watches are regarded as one of the most sought-after timepieces in the same sense that luxury homes are a highly sought-after asset to own.

Check out my luxury homes and Rolex pairings below to find how much these two luxuries have in common!

Rolex Yacht Master + Beachfront Home

Luxury Homes and Rolex Yacht Master

Sleek, sporty and distinguished. The Rolex Yacht Master is the watch of the open seas. The Yacht Master is just as at home aboard an ocean-bound yacht as it is on a beachfront deck while sipping a cool drink and overlooking the waves.

The Rolex Yacht Master blends function and style in the same way that beachfront homes give owners direct access to the beloved seas. This is both in casual and high-end settings. From clean, modern builds, to luxurious beachfront cottages, waterfront homes are highly desirable. Beachfront properties are often more than double the value of homes overall. According to Zillow, the most expensive and luxurious properties can be found in Hawaii, California, and the coast of the Long Island Sound.

Finding yourself surfside soon? Don’t forget to pack your Rolex Yacht Master. Shop BeckerTime.com’s selection of authentic used Rolex Yacht Master watches.

Rolex Air King + High-rise Condominium

Luxury Homes and Rolex Air King

The Rolex Air King is a classic. It is a timeless model that pays homage to the pioneers of flight and mile-high aviation. So, it’s only fitting to pair with a high-rise condominium for you and your timepiece to live among the stars.

A simple yet refined watch is perfect for the buyer who appreciates door service, valets, hardwood floors, marble baths, and a private elevator. In the market for sweeping views from above the city? Find inspiration from Points West Agency’s recently sold high-rise luxury condo in the Turtle Creek neighborhood of Dallas.

Meanwhile, let your taste for all things sky-high begin by viewing BeckerTime.com’s selection of preowned used Rolex Air King watches.

Rolex Explorer II + Lakefront Compound

Luxury Homes and Rolex Explorer II

The Rolex Explorer II is great for the outdoors. However, it will also stand out stylishly in your next board meeting. In fact, Rolex Explorer II watches have redefined luxury with a sexy, yet substantial look. By the same token, lakefront compounds have come a long way. With panoramic views, spacious living, custom details, outdoor pavilions, extraordinary boat docks and recreational vehicles, you have finally met a luxury watch that loves sporting and adventure as much as you do.

Check out this listing, a lakefront compound on Possum Kingdom Lake, to see if you and your Rolex Explorer II are ready for the outdoor adventures ahead.

Rolex GMT Master II + Ranch Property

Luxury Homes and Rolex GMT Master II

Boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, and trail riding, not to mention a horse barn and airstrip with a private hangar. These are just a few of the activities that await you on a luxury ranch property, such as Driftwood Ranch in Fort Worth.

Likewise, the Rolex GMT Master II combines functionality with rugged good looks. Whether taking your GMT Master II for a trip on a private jet, or riding off into the sunset, this watch is versatile, resilient, and ready for any adventure and occasion.

Shop BeckerTime.com’s full selection of preloved used Rolex GMT Master II watches.

Rolex Datejust + Mediterranean Mansion

Luxury Homes and Rolex Datejust

Castle Creek Lane seems more than fitting for the address of this recently sold luxury Mediterranean home in Plano, Texas. Mediterranean-style homes reflect those traditionally found in Spain, France and Italy. In addition, they are known for low-pitched roofs, arched windows and openings, wrought-iron detailing, and expansive outdoor living areas. Just as Mediterranean-style homes are easily recognizable and highly prized, so is the classic Rolex Datejust. This luxury watch’s aesthetics and function transcend time and trends. It continues to amass global appeal. A mainstay in the lineup of Rolex brand watches, these are meant to be owned and cherished.

No matter the types of luxury homes and Rolex watches you prefer, Points West Agency and BeckerTime are here to help you tap into your life of luxury. Contact us today to get started!

About Ryan Pafford

Fulfilling a lifelong desire to serve the community, Ryan Pafford is one of the partners and real estate agents at Points West Agency. Ryan specializes in working with buyers and sellers of both luxury properties and commercial land for development in the Denton, Parker, and Tarrant Counties. His personal mission is to provide unmatched service with the highest standards. Equally important, he understands each client’s individual needs with thoughtful listening and communication.

Ryan started his professional career in IT, then transitioned to marketing. Finally, he pursued his calling in real estate when he joined as a partner at Points West Agency. Ryan co-founded the Agency to bring something genuine and fresh to the real estate marketplace. Any client who has worked with Ryan knows what this fresh approach means; he and his team of professional agents are communicative, attentive, knowledgeable about the communities they serve, resourceful, friendly, honest, energetic, creative, and make it a point to go above and beyond their clients’ expectations. This fresh approach also means shunning the traditional brokerage model of cut-throat agents competing against each other. Rather, Points West Agency fosters a culture of partnership in which all clients and listings are represented in a cooperative environment by all its agents, thereby ensuring its clients and listings have and maintain the competitive edge.

A resident of Aledo, Ryan is proud to call Parker County home with his wife and young son. If you’re considering buying or selling a home, or if you simply have questions about the area or need a local referral, Ryan welcomes your phone call or email any time at (817) 717-6036 or ryan@pointswestagency.com.

BeckerTimeBE

The post A Rolex Timepiece for Every Type of Luxury Home appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-timepiece-every-type-luxury-home/feed/ 0
Don’t do Counterfeit Rolex https://beckertime.com/blog/dont-counterfeit-rolex/ https://beckertime.com/blog/dont-counterfeit-rolex/#respond Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:20:09 +0000 http://beckertime.com/?p=60547 Two Types of Buyers of Fake Rolex Watches As we have covered here before, counterfeit watches are big business with the Swiss watchmaking industry. It is estimated that tens of millions of counterfeit (a.k.a. knock-off) watches flood the market every year creating billions dollars in revenue. There are two types of buyers for fake Rolex watches: Those […]

The post Don’t do Counterfeit Rolex appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Two Types of Buyers of Fake Rolex Watches

Fake Rolex and Other Watches

As we have covered here before, counterfeit watches are big business with the Swiss watchmaking industry. It is estimated that tens of millions of counterfeit (a.k.a. knock-off) watches flood the market every year creating billions dollars in revenue. There are two types of buyers for fake Rolex watches: Those that don’t know and those that do know.

Street Seller Scam

The Scammers

When traveling, be wary of people attempting to sell you a watch on the street. Especially if they are trying to pass it off as being genuine. In my travels in Mexico, people selling “Rolex” watches have approached me saying that they are made in Rolex’s Guatemalan factory. Or, that their father owns Rolex (yes, I have actually had someone tell me that their father owns Rolex). In Europe, hawkers have approached friends attempting to sell a “Rolex” for pennies on the dollar because the original owner needed quick cash.

Obviously, these people are trying to scam tourists. Legitimate retailers of authentic timepieces will not be selling on “the street” as they will have a storefront. It is not to say that all watches purchased from a storefront are authentic, so caution is still advised. Don’t allow emotion to overtake common sense. If the deal is too good to be true, it most likely is. Learn more about buying genuine Rolex pieces by checking out how to authenticate rolex watches.

Rolex Daytona Replica

For Those That Know

For those that know, it seems they purchase knock off watches thinking that they are costume jewelry purchased on vacation and that they will have a nice watch that matches the fashion of the day. Or to artificially elevate one’s perceived stature by wearing a fake watch and passing it off as genuine. They may believe that they do no harm.

Consequences of Counterfeit

Fake Watches

All of these temptations bolster the counterfeit industry for which the Swiss watchmaking industry and legitimate businesses that revolve around the Swiss watch market, such as BeckerTime, all suffer. Counterfeit watches violate trademark and are illegal to import into the United States as well as other countries. Counterfeit watches also fund criminal and terrorist organizations. As a result, they hurt many innocent people. So if a counterfeiter approaches you, tell them you are not interested. If they persist, walk away.

Bottom line, don’t do counterfeit!

BeckerTimeBE

The post Don’t do Counterfeit Rolex appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/dont-counterfeit-rolex/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 2130/2135 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-21302135/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-21302135/#respond Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:06:45 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175532 Rolex’s second generation of their in-house 2000 series calibers first appeared in 1983. As scaled down versions of some of their most trusted and widely-used movements, specially engineered to power their range of women’s watches, the Cal. 2130 and 2135 replaced the initial Cal. 2030/35 that had found success inside the Ladies Oyster Perpetual, as […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 2130/2135 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Rolex’s second generation of their in-house 2000 series calibers first appeared in 1983. As scaled down versions of some of their most trusted and widely-used movements, specially engineered to power their range of women’s watches, the Cal. 2130 and 2135 replaced the initial Cal. 2030/35 that had found success inside the Ladies Oyster Perpetual, as well as the ladies and midsize Datejust.

During the 13-year run of the initial series of calibers’, Rolex had been busy making their typically relentless incremental advances to not only the functionality of their movements, but also to their accuracy. When the updated range was released, the level of precision Rolex had achieved set a new benchmark for mechanical watches. The Cal. 2130 and 2135, the no date and date versions respectively, have the highest first time pass rate of any movement tested by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. To gain the distinction, every mechanism is subjected to a grueling 15-day certification schedule, with tolerances of just -4/+6 seconds a day, measured against two atomic clocks. Each is tested in five different positions and across a range of temperatures, from 46.4ºF to 100.4ºF.

The feat was made even more impressive by the extremely small size of the components involved. At just 20mm in diameter and 5.83mm in height, the 29-jewel calibers still manage to provide a 42-hour power reserve. The automatic, self-winding movements beat at 28,800vph, the standard frequency of all modern Rolexes that provides the characteristic eight ticks a second smooth sweep of the seconds hand, as well as giving an increased shock protection.

Rolex Caliber 2130

Similarly to their predecessors, both the 2130 and 2135 feature a Glucydur balance wheel, an alloy of copper and beryllium that is non-magnetic and particularly resistant to variations in different temperatures. Their Nivarox hairsprings utilize a Breguet Overcoil, where the last spiral turn is bent back over the top of the spring to provide a more consistent tension over a broader range, further increasing the watch’s accuracy.

Both calibers are also protected by the Kif shock absorption system, which allows slight lateral and vertical movement of the watch’s balance staff to prevent it from snapping, using a spring-mounted jewel setting.

One real and very welcome difference between the two generations of the 2000 series is found on the 2135. It became the first of the ladies’ movements to include a Quickset date function, allowing wearers to adjust the calendar complication by simply pulling the crown out to the second position and winding through the days of the month. Previously, changing the date had required the tedious process of spinning the hands through 24 hours.

The 2130/2135 at Work

The new convenience of the Quickset function, sometimes known as the rapid calendar advance, made the Cal. 2135 the ideal engine for both the ladies and the midsize Datejust. In all, the movement was used in nearly a dozen different versions of Rolex’s long-running and hugely popular dress watch, starting in 1983 with the 29mm ref. 68240 and culminating at the end of the caliber’s production run in 1999 in the 31mm ref. 68273.

Rolex Caliber 2135

A Watch for the Open Seas

In 1992, Rolex introduced their first all-new model since the Daytona had been released nearly 30 years before. The Yacht-Master, very much a luxurious version of the venerable Submariner, turned out to be a success in its own right—so much so that, two years later, it became the first of the brand’s sports watches to be made available in three different sizes.

The 35mm and 29mm edition of the Yacht-Master were launched in 1994 to sit alongside the full-size 40mm model, and the Cal. 2135 proved the perfect fit for these smaller nautically-themed timepieces.

For the simpler Cal. 2130, it took the place of the 2030 inside the elegant shell of the Ladies Oyster Perpetual range, surely the most uncomplicated yet tastefully sophisticated of the women’s collection. Powering a total of seven of the OP series, it provided a wholly accurate and reliable movement for both 26mm and 31mm sizes.

Conclusion

There have only been three generations of the 2000 series of smaller calibers for Rolex’s catalog of women’s watches. The 2130/35, the middle child of the range, are the subject of the brand’s incessant striving for the ultimate in precision and dependability. The most consistently reliable movements tested by the COSC, they are testament to Rolex’s perfectionism.

The post The Rolex Caliber 2130/2135 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-21302135/feed/ 0
Short History of Women’s Wristwatches https://beckertime.com/blog/short-history-of-womens-wrist-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/short-history-of-womens-wrist-watches/#comments Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:38:48 +0000 http://beckertime.com/?p=977 Converted pocket watch to be worn on the wrist for women Womens Wristwatches Began in the Early 1800’s Finding a comprehensive history of womens wristwatches in the watchmaking history books is somewhat difficult. This is because the start of wristwatches was back in the early 1800’s. At that time, they were not considered serious timepieces. […]

The post Short History of Women’s Wristwatches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Womens Wristwatches - Vintage Womens
Converted pocket watch to be worn on the wrist for women

Womens Wristwatches Began in the Early 1800’s

Finding a comprehensive history of womens wristwatches in the watchmaking history books is somewhat difficult. This is because the start of wristwatches was back in the early 1800’s. At that time, they were not considered serious timepieces. As a matter of fact, the first chronicled wristwatch was designed for a woman. Combined with the influence from the watch world that was primarily a male dominated industry, the history of womens wristwatches is very fragmented. Wristwatches for women were commonly known as “Wristlets.”

The “Strap Watch”

Caroline Murat (Queen of Naples 1808)
Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples (1808)

In fact, the first womans wristwatch is credited to Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) who made the watch for the Queen of Naples on June 8, 1810, and Patek Philippe made a wristwatch for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary in 1869.  During this time, and onward for the next 100-120 years, men viewed wristwatches as women’s items. As a result, men would carry pocket watches in their waist coat.

The Boer War

It was not until the Boer War (South Africa 1899-1902) that the notion of wristwatch for men became to take hold.  During the Boer War, Africa’s climate was too hot for a jacket or vest/waist coat to carry pocket watch. Subsequently, soldiers would begin wearing a small pocket watches on their wrists. World War I soldiers also wore wristwatches. But the fashion during this period was for pocket watches. Men considered wristwatches only for women. However, Louis Cartier (1875-1942) is credited for making the first mans wristwatch in 1904 for his friend Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont was an early aviation pioneer. Subsequently, he needed a timepiece for his flights.  However, if a man wore a watch on his wrist, it was considered a “strap watch”  to discern it from the perceived feminine model.

After World War I

During the late 1920’s, womens wristwatches prevailed, as men continued to see wristwatches as feminine. Wristwatches did not see widespread use until the 1920s, or even 1930s as evidenced below:

“…after the end of World War I, a lawyer was arguing a point of law in court when Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis noticed that the lawyer was wearing a wristwatch. The judge halted the lawyer in mid-sentence and asked him if he served in the war. When the lawyer responded he had not, Judge Landis ordered him to remove the watch, admonishing him that it was inappropriate for non-veterans to wear a wristwatch. Judge Landis was appointed the commissioner of Major League Baseball to clean up the sport’s image after the “Black Sox World Series” scandal in 1919. This involved “Shoeless” Joe Jackson of the Chicago White Sox and seven of his teammates. Landis ruled baseball with an iron fist from Nov. 12, 1920 to Nov. 25, 1944.”

— Frederic J. Freidberg, “The Illinois Watch”

Womens Wristwatches - Mercedes Gleitze
Mercedes Gleitze entering the English Channel wearing a Rolex

Mercedes Gleitz

In the famous 1927 “Daily Mail” image of Mercedes Gleitz English Channel swim, shows eight man’s wristwatches, two pocket watches, and fifteen lady’s watches. Rolex’s 1930 product line also reflected the preference for lady’s wristwatches featuring 79 lady’s watches and only 37 men’s models, and, well 23 pocket watches.  Also, Rolex capitalized on its 1920 offering of the men’s Prince model with a women’s model known as the “Princess.” Rolex’s Princess was marketed for its accuracy carrying a Kew A Certificate, and for years was the most expensive watch Rolex sold.

The Tool Watch

Womens Wristwatches - Mercedes Gleitze Rolex

It was not until the 1930’s that men’s “strap watches” became wristwatches. They no longer considered them feminine. The 1950’s was the breakthrough decade for widespread wristwatch use when Rolex and other Swiss watch companies pushed the concept of the “tool watch” as a necessary tool worn on the wrist. Learn more complete fascinating details about Rolex and its rich history.

References

The Best of Time Rolex Wristwatches. 2006.  James Dowling and Jeffrey P. Hess.  Write Time Partners II.
The Rolex Report: An Unauthorized Reference Book for the Rolex Enthusiast. 2002.  John E. Brozek  4th Edition. InfoQuest Publishing

Website References:

http://www.worthpoint.com/blog-entry/short-history-wristwatch
http://watchismo.blogspot.com/2007/08/watchismo-times_24.html
http://secondtimeround.com/cartier-history.html
BeckerTimeBE
 

The post Short History of Women’s Wristwatches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/short-history-of-womens-wrist-watches/feed/ 2
The History of the Men’s Yellow Gold Yacht-Master Ref. 16628 https://beckertime.com/blog/history-mens-yellow-gold-yacht-master-ref-16628/ https://beckertime.com/blog/history-mens-yellow-gold-yacht-master-ref-16628/#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:47:33 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175229 In 1992, Rolex unveiled a brand new model dubbed the Yacht-Master. While the name wasn’t new—Rolex had actually made a prototype in the late 1960s called the Yacht-Master Chronograph with only three known pieces to exist—the watch sporting the vintage name was definitely new. The very first model that launched the Yacht-Master collection was the […]

The post The History of the Men’s Yellow Gold Yacht-Master Ref. 16628 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
In 1992, Rolex unveiled a brand new model dubbed the Yacht-Master. While the name wasn’t new—Rolex had actually made a prototype in the late 1960s called the Yacht-Master Chronograph with only three known pieces to exist—the watch sporting the vintage name was definitely new. The very first model that launched the Yacht-Master collection was the men’s yellow gold Yacht-Master ref. 16628. Let’s get a closer look at the finer details.

First in Line: The Men’s Yellow Gold Yacht-Master

rolex-yacht-master-16628-front

While the Yacht-Master collection eventually had a wide assortment of sizes and materials, the inaugural model was the Yacht-Master ref. 16628. It was a men’s yellow gold Yacht-Master with a 40mm case. From its Oyster case to its Oyster bracelet, the Yacht-Master ref. 16628 was crafted entirely in 18k yellow gold—a luxurious take on a sports watch if we’ve ever seen one!

Powering the men’s versions of the Yacht-Master watch is the famous Rolex Cal. 3135 automatic mechanical movement. Aside from the time, the Yacht-Master also includes a date window at 3 o’clock. Naturally, like the majority of Rolex date watches, the Yacht-Master is also equipped with the Cyclops magnification lens on the sapphire crystal for better legibility of the date.

Particularly interesting was the Yacht-Master ref. 16628’s new style of bezel. The full gold bezel with a sandblasted finish includes polished raised numerals for a dramatic look. While the 18k yellow gold bezel is certainly precious, it’s still functional as a time-lapse bezel thanks to its ability to rotate both ways. Whether or not the men’s yellow gold Yacht-Master is ever used to time how long it takes to get between two positions while sailing is beside the point. But, if the need arises, the Yacht-Master can do it.

Another noteworthy design touch on the very first Yacht-Master ref. 16628 was the use of black hour markers with yellow gold surrounds. Those dark indexes really pop against the crisp white dial. However, because of their material, they do not glow in the dark. Rather, accompanying the black hour markers are small luminescent triangles that aren’t that noticeable in daylight but come to life in darkness. Therefore, the triangles, coupled with the luminous Mercedes-style hands provide optimal visibility in low light.

The Later Years of the Men’s Yellow Gold Yacht-Master

rolex-yacht-master-16628-side

A couple of years after the Yacht-Master ref. 16628’s debut with the white dial, Rolex added a blue sunray dial. This time, the blue background housed white lume plots. That contrast, coupled with the red YACHT-MASTER label on the dial came together for a fantastic version of the Yacht-Master ref. 16628. Over the ensuing years, more dial options were added to the men’s yellow gold Yacht-Master including mother-of-pearl, champagne, and others.

The men’s yellow gold Yacht-Master was only in production for less than 20 years. The ref. 16628 is, in fact, the only reference number for a men’s yellow gold Yacht-Master. Rolex discontinued all full yellow gold Yacht-Master watches in 2011 and never replaced them with updated versions.

Although today the stainless steel and platinum versions of the Yacht-Master are more ubiquitous, we’ll never forget the first. And here’s hoping that Rolex will someday bring back the men’s yellow gold Yacht-Master!

The post The History of the Men’s Yellow Gold Yacht-Master Ref. 16628 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/history-mens-yellow-gold-yacht-master-ref-16628/feed/ 0
The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1950s https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1950s/ https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1950s/#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:45:58 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175327 The American Dream While there’s healthy debate over whether the 1950s was, in fact, the greatest ever decade, one thing is undeniable; the world was owed a holiday after suffering through the horrors of the deadliest war in history. It was an era that certainly had plenty going for it, in America particularly. After years […]

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1950s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
The American Dream

While there’s healthy debate over whether the 1950s was, in fact, the greatest ever decade, one thing is undeniable; the world was owed a holiday after suffering through the horrors of the deadliest war in history.

It was an era that certainly had plenty going for it, in America particularly. After years of financial penury, the US economy skyrocketed with huge growth and low debt. Also, unemployment was at its lowest level in generations.

The American Dream was in full flow, translating into a massive explosion in purchasing power. People suddenly found themselves with money to spend, and were looking for ways to spend it.

WWII Boosted Rolex Reputation

The Second World War had been kind to Rolex in a number of ways. Firstly, as Switzerland had stayed officially neutral during the conflict, their watchmaking industry had powered on as usual. In the rest of the world, watch factories were appropriated by the war effort, more or less ending them as competition. It left the Swiss firms with the market practically to themselves at the end of hostilities. It was something they took full advantage of.

And secondly, Rolex’s conduct throughout WWII only added to their reputation. However, not just as manufacturers of the highest quality, but also as a company with a strong sense of morality. The firm’s flagrant support for the allies was something not soon forgotten. In fact, everything from their anti-Nazi marketing stance to their help for captured POWs brought them an appreciative and fiercely loyal fan base.  Learn more about this fascinating time period for Rolex and their vintage Rolex watches 1940s era.

Popular Vintage Rolex 1950 Watches

Of course, the peerless creations emerging from behind the curtains of rolex HQ helped it along. Whether or not the 1950s was America’s best decade, for the crown, it is hard to think of one better or more successful.

Names that have since passed into watchmaking folklore made their first appearance in the 50s. In fact, of the five most popular vintage Rolex 1950 watches ever, three were born in this one decade alone.

A New Age

With its mood of unbridled optimism and adventure, the post-war years brought a new age of exploration; of brave pioneers tackling the planet’s most extreme environments and pushing themselves to the limits. And whether at the top of the world or the bottom, their trusted companion was Rolex.

Below, we’ll look at some of the most popular watches from perhaps the brand’s most important decade.

The Explorer ref. 6350

Rolex Explorer 6350

Of all Rolex’s sports watches, so often overlooked, it’s the Explorer that has the longest and richest history. And it all started on top of the highest peak on earth.

Rolex had been sponsoring expeditions to conquer Mount Everest since 1933.  They attempted to collect important data on the performance of its watches in the harshest conditions imaginable.  This was also the kind of brand advertising that money can’t buy.

By 1953, it had backed a total of nine abortive efforts. These included one a year before featuring Tenzing Norgay.  He got within an agonizing 300 meters of the summit. The Nepalese Sherpa gave a gold Datejust from the company for his efforts.

Sir John Hunt’s Expedition

Sir John Hunt’s expedition of ’53 saw a small group of 15 tackle the ascent. This included Norgay and New Zealand mountaineer, Edmund Hilary, finally conquering the summit at 11.30am on the 29th May. The pair wore Oyster Perpetuals supplied free by Rolex. This was on the condition they would be sent back to Geneva for testing once they returned home. The climbers duly sent both watches back after their successful attempt, along with letters of thanks.

The Oyster Perpetual Explorer Launch

The notoriously secretive watchmaker never revealed what tests were performed on those fabled timepieces. Yet, within a few months, the first Oyster Perpetual sporting the Explorer name launched, with the reference number 6350.

It was the start of a series still going strong today, more than 60 years later, and with a design that, even by Rolex’s standards, has barely altered. In stylistic terms, the Explorer range is among the simplest three-hand watches in the brand’s lineup; a perfectly legible, starkly beautiful example that has avoided the precious metal versions and gemstone enhancements of the rest of the sports collection. For true Rolex purists, the Explorer is the last of the real tool watches, and the one that has stayed closest to the company’s original philosophy.

Rolex 6350 Set the Standard

Those first 6350 references set the standard the rest of the range has followed ever since. Always with a black dial and the characteristic 3,6,9 Arabic numerals, even the case size has only undergone minor changes. Where the first examples were a traditional 36mm, today’s Explorer has stubbornly resisted the current trend for oversize watches and stayed sub-40 at 39mm.

The legend that started on top of the world shows no signs of stopping; the Explorer will always be the watch that conquered Everest.

The GMT-Master ref. 6542

Popular Vintage Rolex 1950 GMT Master 6542

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. WWII had been the first conflict to see aerial combat play a major role in total victory and the speed of aircraft development had been immense, as both allied and axis powers fought to maintain supremacy of the skies. While turbine engines had come too late to play a significant role in piloted aircraft, the jet-powered German V-1 and V-2 rockets had decimated London.

As the 1950s dawned, so did the jet age. The new engines opened up transcontinental routes, as airliners were able to fly much higher, faster and further than ever before.

Pan Am Airways

One side-effect of this revolution was the phenomenon of jet-lag. Passengers and crew alike struggled with the effects of travelling between different time zones. In an effort to help their pilots, Pan-American World Airways, known to you and me as Pan Am, approached Rolex with a request for a watch that could display both the local and home time simultaneously.

In 1954, Rolex obliged with the first of the GMT-Master series, the ref. 6542. It was an immediate hit with business travelers as well as professional aviators. The combination of a 24-hour hand and the two-tone bezel representing night and day were ideal tools. These helped combat the psychological strain of international travel.

The Popular Pepsi

Although that first reference had only a relatively short production cycle, they replaced it in 1959 by the long-running and hugely popular ref. 1675. Its distinctive looks, so different than anything that had come before, secured the GMT-Master’s reputation. They immediately nicknamed the blue and red color scheme ‘Pepsi’. Even today, it is still one of the most recognizable watches in Rolex’s catalog.

It was short-lived, thanks mainly to the need for crown guards and for the fragile Bakelite bezel to be swapped for an aluminum one. However, the ref. 6542 did find one superstar endorsement. In that greatest of all Bond movies, Goldfinger, the titular antagonist’s female pilot sports a ref. 6542 as she fights a losing battle against the super spy’s prodigious charms.

The first of the GMT-Master series, therefore, will forever be known as the Pussy Galore.

The Day Date ref. 6511

Popular Vintage Rolex 1950 Day Date 6511

Until the mid-fifties, the Datejust had been considered Rolex’s flagship—a watch worn only by the privileged few, with its status cemented by its place on the wrists of such luminaries as Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower.

In 1956 however, Rolex outdid themselves. As if to celebrate their rank as the most respected and aspirational watchmakers in the world, they released an unashamedly elitist new creation, a piece that symbolized success more than any other.

The Day Date was and is, for Rolex, a complicated watch. On its launch, the ref. 6511 became the first timepiece from any manufacturer to display both the day of the week written out in full as well as the date. The additional mechanics needed to facilitate all this led to an uncharacteristically bulky appearance for a dress watch, and the initial reference spent only about 12 months in production. Its ref. 6611 replacement was ostensibly identical but enjoyed a more svelte, slimmed down profile.

The Prestigious President

Regardless, the Day Date immediately became a must-have for those who shaped the destinies of companies or entire countries. Owning the most prestigious watch from the most prestigious watchmaker was seen as the ultimate statement of intent. Soon it was found at the head of every boardroom table in every size and shape of office—including oval.

The Day Date’s nickname, the President, was adopted after Lyndon Johnson officially became the first commander in chief to wear one in 1963. Technically, Kennedy had taken ownership of a yellow gold example, albeit briefly, 12 months before, when Marilyn Monroe presented one to him as a gift following her scandalous rendition of Happy Birthday Mr. President.

“JACK, with love as always from MARILYN”, it said on the back.

“Get rid of it”, said JFK to an aide.

The President Bracelet

While the President name has never been formally linked to the watch itself by Rolex, it was indeed the name the company gave to the bracelet specially designed for its launch. The semi-circular, three-link design of the President bracelet is a mixture of elements from the two other metal Rolex bands, combining the elegance of the Jubilee and the masculinity of the Oyster. It is an unmistakably luxurious addition to the brand’s premier watch, and is always fitted with the Crownclasp, giving it a seamless connection.

The Jewel In The Crown

The Day Date, like its bracelet, has only ever been crafted from platinum or 18k gold. Today, the vast choice of styles available reflect the different tastes of the President’s wide-ranging and diverse admirers. Everyone from heads of state to hip hop moguls wears Rolex’s finest with pride, and the Swiss giants accommodate their individual sensitivities with models of the utmost subtlety through to brash showstoppers dripping with gemstones of every color.

Whichever of the dozens of varieties it comes in, the President Day Date remains in the same position it has occupied for the last 60 years; as the absolute jewel in the crown’s crown.

The Submariner ref. 6204

Popular Vintage Rolex Submariner 6204

Any list of the most important and popular watches, from any manufacturer of any decade, must include the Rolex Submariner.

The blueprint for virtually every dive watch that followed, it would be rude to say its design has been plagiarized by legions of competing brands; perhaps ‘emulated’ would be a kinder word.

Rolex already had a long history of creating waterproof watches by the time the first Sub put in an appearance. The revolution of the Oyster case had played a major role in propagating the wristwatch as a concept for men way back in 1926. Then in the 30s, they partnered with fellow Swiss maker Panerai in supplying timepieces to the Italian Navy.

Learning from these various experiences, and with the encouragement of Rolex director and keen amateur diver Rene-Paul Jeanerret, the early fifties saw the company set out to create a true tool watch to survive the trials of a life aquatic. And the Submariner ref. 6204 was the result.

Auguste and Jacques Piccard

True to form, Rolex had tested the prototype of the watch to the extremes. In 1953, father and son duo Auguste and Jacques Piccard set a world diving record when they took their bathyscaphe to a depth of 10,335 feet, with a specially made version of Rolex’s newest creation strapped to the hull. The watch, with the reference 6200, was functioning perfectly on its return to the surface.

Jacques Cousteau

A further marketing coo took place the same year when legendary underwater innovator Jacques-Yves Cousteau, a close friend of Jeanerret, wore one of the first models prominently in his Oscar-winning documentary The Silent World, about his adventures exploring the ocean depths.

So when the Sub made its debut at the 1954 Basel Watch Fair, it was already a highly sought after piece. It was the first watch to boast water resistance of 100m. The ref. 6204 was tough enough to satisfy those indulging in the popular new sport of SCUBA diving while, crucially, being stylish enough to wear to just about any occasion.

Today Most Iconic and Timeless

Pretty soon, it was the only watch to be seen with. Its discreet, minimalist design somehow spoke volumes, identifying wearers as men of both action and excellent taste. The first reference was in production for only a year. Subsequently, it set the basic DNA for every model that has since come along for the last 60 years.

Put a 6204 next to one of today’s range of Subs, and the similarities are glaring. That famous bezel may be made of ceramic now. The proportions have beefed up somewhat. But a 21st century Submariner is still recognizably a very close relative to the 1950s original. It is perhaps the most iconic and timeless watch design ever created.

Birth of the Milgauss

The 1950s was a golden era for Rolex, a decade when they could simply do no wrong. Together with the emblematic pieces we’ve looked at above, it also saw the birth of the Milgauss. This included its huge anti-magnetic resistance and the introduction of the Cyclops lens that magnified the date window in a number of their models.

Next week, we’ll groove into the sixties and the first sighting of Rolex’s fabled chronograph.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1950s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1950s/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 3135 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3135/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3135/#respond Mon, 09 Oct 2017 20:36:26 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174890 Rolex 3135 Sets the Standard One of the major contributing factors to the incredible success Rolex have enjoyed during their more than a century in existence is their stubbornness in sticking to an overriding philosophy—creating timeless designs and subjecting them to constant and relentless improvements to keep them at the forefront of modern technology. It’s […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 3135 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Rolex 3135 Sets the Standard

One of the major contributing factors to the incredible success Rolex have enjoyed during their more than a century in existence is their stubbornness in sticking to an overriding philosophy—creating timeless designs and subjecting them to constant and relentless improvements to keep them at the forefront of modern technology. It’s an ethos that has seen the outward appearance of the majority of their watches change relatively little over the years. However inside, the movements powering them have gone through innovation after innovation. Arguably, their most successful and widely-used caliber, the Rolex 3135, is just such a movement.

Reliable, Accurate, and Robust Movement

In continuous service since 1988, they have updated and tweaked it numerous times, with little or no fanfare. And sometimes so subtly that even experienced watchmakers struggle to see the difference. But the unceasing evolution of its no-nonsense, utilitarian design has seen it remain the first choice caliber for some of the crown’s most iconic timepieces.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at what many experts consider the most reliable, accurate and robust automatic movement ever made.

The Cal. 3135

Rolex 3135

Ground-breaking advances and high-tech materials make up the Rolex 3135. Yet, for nearly 30 years as Rolex’s go-to-movement, the element that has had the biggest influence is its physical size. At 28.5mm in diameter and 6mm in height, it is particularly large by modern standards.

When it launched in the late eighties, the trend for bigger watch sizes was starting to gather pace. This gave Rolex the freedom to create a larger caliber.  Learn more about this trend for mens full size Rolex watches and the model options that are available. This trend increased the inherent strength of each separate component. It is this fundamental solidity that has given the 3135 the ability to endure the rigors of everyday use. Rolex intended their watch owners to wear these professional watches in the harshest environments imaginable.

A Higher Frequency

The 3135 is a continuation of the 3035 series. Rolex launched it in 1977 and was profoundly different from its predecessors. As the company’s first high-beat movement, it increased the balance speed from 19,800 BPH to 28,800 BPH. This higher frequency has since become the standard across all of Rolex’s range. It also allowed the caliber to provide more accurate timekeeping and better withstand outside influences, such as shock.

Also in keeping with the 3035, the 3135 includes Rolex’s Microstella system. This did away with balance screws and replaced them with just four timing screws on the inside of the balance rim. It kept the wheel’s diameter as large as possible without any increase in its mass. Also, this created greater inertia and less drag, allowing for a more precise adjustment.

Rolex made the free sprung balance wheel in the 3135 from a high performance alloy of beryllium and copper known as Glucydur. Many of the world’s top watchmakers favor its rigidity and resistance to the effects of temperature variations. Used in conjunction with a Breguet overcoil, the earlier examples of the 3135 featured a hairspring made by the Swatch Group-owned company, Nivarox. Rolex has always been fanatical about manufacturing every element that goes into their watches themselves. In fact, it took more than five years of research and development before they perfected their own in-house hairspring in 2000.

The Parachrom Bleu, now used in all of the brand’s watches, is made up of niobium and zirconium. It’s treated with an oxide coating that gives it its distinctive blue coloring. The alloy is said to be ten times more resistant to shocks than the previous hairspring. In addition, it is completely anti-magnetic. (The name comes from ‘paramagnetic’ and ‘chrome’, Greek for ‘color’).

The Winding System

Rolex introduced the first automatic winding rotor, or ‘Perpetual’, movement way back in 1931 and have been perfecting their design ever since. Read more interesting facts on the Rolex Perpetual Movement and its launch. The bi-directional and highly efficient rotor system in the 3135 has a couple of uncharacteristic quirks. For instance, the two gears that allow the mainspring to be wound in either direction are coated in PTFE, otherwise known as Teflon. This increased its efficiency and also colored the gears a deep red. This is a trait specific to Rolex and used to identify many a counterfeit in the past.

The other unusual feature in the movement is the use of synthetic rubies to mount the rotor. Most other manufacturers embed the axle of the rotor mechanism in ball bearings. Whereas Rolex   elected to do away with any moveable parts in order to reduce the amount of wear. It is a system that works beautifully. Also, the fully wound mainspring in the Rolex 3135 gives a healthy power reserve of 50 hours, but does mean sticking to the prescribed servicing and lubrication schedules is particularly important.

The Cal. 3135 in Action

The list of watches that utilize Rolex’s 31-jewel workhorse caliber reads like a who’s-who of the brand’s greatest creations. The caliber is used in just about every one of the company’s three-hand timepieces at some point and in some form since its inception.

The Submariner and the Deepsea

Rolex 3135 -Rolex Submariner 16610

While the Sea-Dweller 4000, the forerunner of today’s version, was using the 3135 up until 2008, the latest iteration relaunched this year has the all new Cal. 3235 ticking away inside its controversial freshly fattened up body. Check out a more detailed look into this next generation movement, the new Rolex Caliber 3235.

The two other Rolex mainstays; the Submariner, easily the world’s favorite dive watch, and the insanely tough Deepsea, are both still championing the older caliber. These watches are designed for everyday wear. While many of them are not bought by the sort of underwater adventurers the Rolex marketing department would have you believe, they are still likely to suffer a heavy amount of daily mistreatment. The Rolex 3135 has always been a match for the worst their owners could throw at them.

Similarly, the most recent 40mm Yacht Master is essentially a Submariner in a fancy suit, and powered by the same movement.

Datejust 36

Rolex Datejust 36 Ref. 16233

The unassuming 36mm Datejust series is the perfect setting for the eminently functional, down-to-earth nature of the 3135. The two are both beautifully crafted archetypes, with no superfluous details or exotic complications.

While a 41mm model launched this year with the same updated movement as the new Sea-Dweller, there is no sign of Rolex’s longest-running classic replacing its engine any time soon.

Conclusion

With the exception of some of their Cellini range, there are no Rolex watches with a transparent case back to allow wearers to see the movements in action. Accordingly, Rolex calibers have never been manufactured to look pretty. They’ve always been designed to be completely practical, wholly reliable and to last a lifetime.

The Rolex 3135 is an almost faultless example of that spirit. It might be modest in its appearance and functionality, but it remains a caliber by which all others are still judged.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Rolex Caliber 3135 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3135/feed/ 0
NOMOS Has Struck Gold https://beckertime.com/blog/nomos-struck-gold/ https://beckertime.com/blog/nomos-struck-gold/#respond Mon, 09 Oct 2017 06:41:56 +0000 http://beckertime.com/?p=62896 NOMOS Glashütte Glashütte is a very famous watchmaking town in Saxony, Germany. It is also home to a real powerhouse in top-end horology and watchmaking, A. Lange & Söhne. Within this Mecca of watchmaking in Germany is another brand that has been making waves in the last 20 or so years. If you have not […]

The post NOMOS Has Struck Gold appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
NOMOS Glashütte

Glashütte is a very famous watchmaking town in Saxony, Germany. It is also home to a real powerhouse in top-end horology and watchmaking, A. Lange & Söhne. Within this Mecca of watchmaking in Germany is another brand that has been making waves in the last 20 or so years. If you have not heard of them before, this company is NOMOS. This company has a really strong identity and ethos, which has led to much of its success. Also, they are renowned for their Bauhaus inspired designs for their watches. But more importantly, all of their movements are made in-house and have been since 2005. How many watch companies can boast that? NOMOS Glashütte is a manufacturer at its very best. It produces great movements, timeless design, and last but not least, the portfolio is very affordable.

NOMOS Glashütte -Bild 329

It currently consists of a number of models, some of which I really like, such as the Orion, Tangente and also the Zurich.

The NOMOS Lambda

At Salon QP in 2013, NOMOS released two new models that sit at the very top of their product portfolio. These are the Lambda and Lux. Today I will write about the Lambda, as it is one of my new favorite watches. This inspires me as I’m sure it happens to you guys when you see what these wondrous watch companies keep producing!

NOMOS Glashütte - Bild 329

Lovingly Produced in Glashütte

The Lambda is a new watch in solid white gold or rose gold, with an ultimately minimalist design that is so achingly elegant. Needless to say, I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. Sporting a new handwound movement named the DUW1001, it features two mainspring barrels which allow for an 84 hour power reserve. Also, a trademark Glashütte three quarter plate has been adorned with a sunbeam polished pattern. This is only found at NOMOS. Another trademark detail is the hand-engraved balance cock which is engraved with the words, “Mit Liebe in Glashütte gefertigt.” Literally meaning, “Lovingly Produced in Glashütte.”

NOMOS Glashütte - Bild 008

Lambda With Blued Hands

The dial is a true piece of minimalist art, displaying obviously the time, but also at the 12 o’clock position. The oversized 84 hour power reserve indicator is accurate to the hour. Also featured is a small seconds sub-dial just under the center of the dial. All very crisp and clean. However, my only criticism, and this is true in both the white and rose gold versions, is that the hands are too similar a color to the dial, making it hard to read. Luckily NOMOS are not so arrogant to not take on-board feedback. They have already managed to produce a white gold Lambda with blued hands, which I prefer. What do you think?

NOMOS Glashütte NOMOS Glashütte

Just take a look at the picture of the movement on its own. I took this wth the camera on my phone! Unprofessional, I know, but just look at it! Beautiful.

It really felt great on the wrist, not too big, not too thick, and I almost walked off with it…

This is the sobering part of this article. All of this comes at a price. The rose gold is £11800/ $17800 USD, the white gold is £12800/ $18800 USD.

 

 

 

BeckerTimeBE

The post NOMOS Has Struck Gold appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/nomos-struck-gold/feed/ 0
Check Out BeckerTime in VoyageDallas! https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertime-in-voyagedallas/ https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertime-in-voyagedallas/#respond Fri, 06 Oct 2017 16:32:36 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175516   Did you see BeckerTime in VoyageDallas last week? VoyageDallas sat down with Matthew Becker to discuss all things BeckerTime. Matthew shares everything from challenges he has overcome along his journey to success. He also discusses his plans for BeckerTime in the future. He shows readers his personal side, while also giving a more in-depth […]

The post Check Out BeckerTime in VoyageDallas! appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Matthew Becker

 

Did you see BeckerTime in VoyageDallas last week? VoyageDallas sat down with Matthew Becker to discuss all things BeckerTime. Matthew shares everything from challenges he has overcome along his journey to success. He also discusses his plans for BeckerTime in the future. He shows readers his personal side, while also giving a more in-depth look at how BeckerTime started. In case you haven’t seen it, find some highlights below.

BeckerTime in VoyageDallas Highlights:

  • BeckerTime was born simply out of a passion for collecting watches between father and son.
  • Of course, one of the most difficult moments Matthew has dealt with after almost 20 years of business is when his father passed away.
  • Every business has challenges; it is all about finding solutions for those challenges so you can remain on a successful trajectory.
  • BeckerTime is a leading online retailer of pre-owned luxury timepieces, with nearly 20 years in business, tens of thousands of five-star reviews, and one of the largest inventories of authentic pre-owned Rolex watches in the world.
  • BeckerTime is getting ready to celebrate its 20th year in business.

VoyageDallas is an online publication that promotes collaboration and support for small businesses, independent artists and entrepreneurs, local institutions and more that make the city of Dallas interesting. Therefore, they spotlight various business owners across the DFW metroplex and tell their interesting and unique stories.

Read the entire article at VoyageDallas and visit our Facebook to let us know your thoughts!

The post Check Out BeckerTime in VoyageDallas! appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertime-in-voyagedallas/feed/ 0
The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1940s https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1940s-2/ https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1940s-2/#respond Fri, 06 Oct 2017 16:31:24 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175116 Vintage Rolex Watches of World War II As the 1940s dawned, the war that would soon engulf the entire world had already been raging in Europe for several months. German forces swept across the continent almost unopposed. During this time, the Treaty of Paris in 1815 ensured Switzerland the policy of self-imposed neutrality. In reality, […]

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1940s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Vintage Rolex Watches of World War II

As the 1940s dawned, the war that would soon engulf the entire world had already been raging in Europe for several months. German forces swept across the continent almost unopposed. During this time, the Treaty of Paris in 1815 ensured Switzerland the policy of self-imposed neutrality.

In reality, finding themselves surrounded by Axis forces and occupied territories on every border, the country’s military mobilized against possible invasion in just three days. Their long history of democracy and upholding of civil liberties brought passionate criticism of Hitler’s fascist atrocities. As a result, the Swiss government refused to deport any of their Jewish citizens into the hands of the Nazi regime.

However, one part of Switzerland that did uphold its neutrality was its watchmaking industry. The country’s many manufacturers had no qualms about selling their products to the governments and militaries on both sides of the conflict. With one exception.

Wilsdorf’s Support For The Allies

Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf was German by birth, but had spent much of his life in Switzerland. Subsequently, he was unequivocal in his support for the Allies. His company’s advertisements from the era speak of the pursuit of freedom and defiance of tyranny.

Wilsdorf even had a policy of sending replacements for the confiscated watches of Allied officers held as prisoners of war. Of course, this was based on the understanding the recipients would send payment for them once they returned home.

The quality of Rolex watches was already making them highly desirable. Particularly amongst pilots in the British RAF. They preferred their increased legibility and robustness over that of standard issue military timepieces.

Popular Vintage Rolex Watches 1940s

As for the watches themselves, the 40s saw the introduction of yet another Rolex innovation introduced into the design of one of their most iconic creations ever. Also, along with the definitive Rolex, the turbulent decade conjured up other familiar names that are still going strong today.

Below, we’ll look at some of the most popular vintage Rolex watches 1940s decade.

The Datejust

Vintage Rolex Watches 1940s - Rolex Datejust Ref-4467-1947

For many people, the Datejust is Rolex. Debuting in 1945 with the ref. 4467, it was launched to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the company. It has been in constant production ever since. On its release, it married the two ground breaking revolutions that had put the Rolex name on the map. Then it added a third: housing the Perpetual movement inside the Oyster case. Now, it became the first waterproof, automatically-winding wristwatch to also display a date aperture.

Originally, it was only available in yellow gold with a cream dial. It was also unveiled in Geneva at an event hosted by Wilsdorf himself and sat on the first in-house bracelet Rolex crafted specifically for the piece. The Jubilee bracelet had its elaborate five link design. This lent an even greater sense of occasion to Rolex’s flagship watches for the last 70 years. Additionally, it gave them a dressier and less sporty look.

The Rolex Bubbleback

That first 36mm Datejust was nicknamed the ‘Big Bubbleback’ for the enhanced proportions it needed to house its movement. This was arguably the model that ushered Rolex into the major leagues among watchmakers. World War II had secured the reputation of the wristwatch as a vital accessory; more practical and convenient than a pocket watch, they were also able to better withstand tougher conditions. The simple, modest design and faultless reliability of Rolex’s newest offering signified everything people were searching for. As a result, sales of the Datejust skyrocketed.

In 1948, the company achieved another milestone when their 100,000th watch rolled out of the factory gates. They celebrated by presenting British Prime Minister Winston Churchill with a specially-made rose gold version of the Datejust. This was complete with the Churchill family coat of arms engraved on the case back. It was the kind of luminary endorsement Wilsdorf loved. No doubt, this only served to increase the status of Rolex as a brand favored by the elite.

The First U.S. President To Own A Rolex

A few years later, in 1951, Dwight D Eisenhower became the first US President to own a Rolex. The company sent the five-star General a Datejust of his own to mark the production of their 150,000th piece.

Today, the watch is available in just about every conceivable configuration of metal, dial and color. It is still one of the best sellers the brand produces. It also follows that it is a testament to the agelessness of the design that the modern version is still very recognizably from the same DNA as that first reference.

The Air King

Rolex Air King Air Tiger 1940

Aerial combat had come of age in WWII. The daring exploits of both Allied and Axis pilots quickly became the stuff of legend.

Hans Wilsdorf produced a line of ‘Air’ watches following the Battle of Britain of 1940. This served to pay tribute to the brave Royal Air Force and their desperate struggle to preserve superiority of the skies over England. RAF pilots had been paying for their own Rolex Oysters since the 30s. They found them to be much better suited to the rigors of battle than the 30mm Speedkings that were standard government issue at the time. In time, the Rolex founder discovered the high regard his watches were held in. So, he set his company to make a series of manually-wound models designed specifically for aviation. With names like Air-Tiger, Air-Giant, Air-Lion and Air-King, they were larger than the typical Rolex pieces of the day. Finally, all the better for reading at a glance in stressful situations.

The Vintage Pilot Watch

By the end of the war, only the Air King remained. It was available in four sizes—31mm, 34mm and 36mm, with a lady’s version at 26mm. Christened the ‘Warrior’s Watch’, stylistically it was, and still is in the modern-day version, one of the simplest designs the brand makes. It was an uncomplicated three-hand timepiece. However, it had no date function, but it did have a beautifully stark and clearly readable dial.

It was such a popular model that the Air King has joined the Datejust as one of the longest serving pieces in the Rolex catalog. This model enjoyed numerous updates in its unbroken production run up until 2014. After a brief hiatus, the much missed pilot’s watch reappeared two years later with an all-new version. Because, it was still among the most practical and least fussy layouts from the brand.

With everything you need from a watch and nothing extraneous, the Air-King was a fitting tribute to the heroes of aviation.

The 3525 Chronograph

Vintage Rolex Watches 1940s - Rolex-3525-Chronograph

Unusually for a company responsible for so much progress in the development of the wristwatch, Rolex struggled to come up with a viable chronograph of their own for many years. It wasn’t until the legendary Daytona emerged in 1963 that it can be said they experienced any significant success. Until then, many other brands had been making them better for longer.

One of the exceptions—and the first chronograph to sit inside an Oyster case—was the ref. 3525. Actually launched in 1939, the Second World War saw it gain an enthusiastic and very specific audience.

Upon capture, British Prisoners of War would routinely have their watches confiscated, as their German guards remained wary of the Allies’ ability to hide tiny silk maps, magnetized compass needles or other paraphernalia that could aid their escape inside the cases. Incredibly, Rolex ran a system that allowed these prisoners to request a replacement directly from the company, with the understanding that they were to “not even think about payment” until they were home and safe.

The Rolex 3523 Monoblocco

Rolex sent out more than 3000 new watches to internment camps during the war, many with personalized letters from Hans Wilsdorf himself. The most sought after was the chronograph Rolex 3525. Nicknamed the ‘Monoblocco’, (from the Italian for ‘one block’, as the case and bezel were formed from one solid piece of metal) the 3525 series housed calibers from the Swiss manufacturer Valjoux, who were still making chronograph movements for Rolex until as recently as 1988.

The Great Escape

But it was Rolex’s reputation for faultless accuracy that has sealed the 3525’s place in the history books, and popular culture. Several of the pieces made their way to a POW camp in what is now Poland, called Stalag Luft III. It was here in 1944 that one of the largest mass breakout attempts of the war took place, immortalized in the movie The Great Escape.

For over a year, some 600 prisoners dug three tunnels, Tom, Dick and Harry, under the camp fences, with only Harry being completed; of the other two, one collapsed, the other was discovered by the Germans. For more interesting stories about Rolex, check out more facts about Rolex.

Glow In The Dark Watch

Several of the escape committee, when they found out about Rolex’s offer of supplying replacement watches, ordered the Rolex 3525 specifically for its renowned precision and reliability, and used them to time the exact movements of the prison guards. The radium lume on the hands and dial was also a vital feature, making the watch easier to read in the darkness of the tunnel and during the night flight through the surrounding forests.

In all, 70 prisoners escaped before the attempt was discovered, with all but three being rounded up in the days that followed. An enraged Hitler ordered 50 of those recaptured men to be executed in violation of The Geneva Convention.

Of the men that survived and returned home after the war, many kept the watches that had been sent to them and presumably, with the honor of British officers at stake, paid their bills to Mr. Wilsdorf.

While the 1940s marked some of the darkest days in history, for the Swiss watchmaking industry, it was the decade that saw them achieve total dominance. With watch production effectively halted in other countries, and America especially, to concentrate on manufacturing for the war effort, it saw Rolex emerge at the top of the tree—the biggest and most recognizable name in luxury watches, a place it has occupied ever since.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1940s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1940s-2/feed/ 0
Celebrities and Their Luxury Timepieces https://beckertime.com/blog/emulate-your-favorite-celebrity-in-a-way-you-can-keep-your-individuality-intact-by-buying-a-used-rolex/ https://beckertime.com/blog/emulate-your-favorite-celebrity-in-a-way-you-can-keep-your-individuality-intact-by-buying-a-used-rolex/#respond Wed, 04 Oct 2017 06:01:43 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=150832 Famous Watches of Celebrities You might be sitting in the swivel chair waiting to get your hair cut wondering what hairstyle is right for you. If you are like many, you will likely request a hairstyle worn by your favorite celebrity. Who can blame you? After all, you can’t go wrong walking into work looking like […]

The post Celebrities and Their Luxury Timepieces appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Famous Watches of Celebrities

You might be sitting in the swivel chair waiting to get your hair cut wondering what hairstyle is right for you. If you are like many, you will likely request a hairstyle worn by your favorite celebrity. Who can blame you? After all, you can’t go wrong walking into work looking like Daniel Craig from the forehead up. Celebrities are at the core of style and fashion. We see a movie star wearing a certain style of jeans and we rush to Macy’s to buy the same style. The only problem with this is that we are just copying them. For instance, we copy their hairstyles, their brand of jeans and the shoes they wear. Of course, there is a better way to emulate your favorite personality and keep your individuality intact. Simply wear one of the famous watches of these well-known superstars.

Not All Celebrities Wear Rolex

Famous Watches - Luxury Timepiece

Seriously, celebrities love their luxury timepieces. Often, we see them sporting their trend-setting choices of wrist wear. Now, if you were to pick one of our many preowned Rolex watches, you would be wearing the same brand watch worn by many top stars.

However, you would not necessarily be copying any of them. That is, nobody will accuse you of wearing a Rolex watch because Jeff Bridges wears a Rolex. But not all celebrities wear Rolex watches. So, we’ve listed  famous watches worn by top names in the industry. In addition, you may want to check out these celebrity watches worn by the top NFL Quarterbacks.

The Luxury Timepieces of the Celebrities:

Jeff Bridges– As mentioned before, Jeff bridges does wear a Rolex watch, a Submariner to be more precise.

Brad Pitt– Brad Pitt prefers to wrap a Patek Phillipe around his wrist. Also, it has been confirmed that Mr. Pitt is a watch enthusiast and owns an extensive collection of luxury watches.

Matt Damon– Matt Damon is a fan of Rolex watches as well. If you happen to run into him on the street or at the airport, check his wrist. It is likely he is wearing a vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer. Also, there’s  a rumor that Matt gifts Rolex watches to friends.  This is one very good reason to send him a Christmas card next year.

Jessica Simpson– Jessica Simpson owns an extensive collection of Rolex watches and enjoys showing them off to the world. There is photographic evidence she owns a gold Rolex President, a Submariner and a gold Day Date.

Orlando Bloom– It is common knowledge that this actor owns a collection of rare watches including a very rare Rolex Milgauss.

Leonardo Dicaprio– We know Leonardo for his excellence in acting and his choice in timepieces. During a recent premier of his new film, he was spotted wearing a TAG Heuer Calibre, a very nice watch indeed. We just wonder what watch he will wear when he wins that elusive Oscar for best actor.

Danica Patrick– There are no laws that state only movie stars can wear luxury watches. Danica Patrick was once seen wearing a white Tissot T-Race watch. Very nice.

Eric Clapton– In fact, even iconic rock stars wear luxury watches. Eric Clapton is an avid watch collector and loves his collection of vintage Rolex watches.

So there you have it. The famous watches worn within this celebrity watch collection presents us with a wide selection from which to choose.

BeckerTimeBE

The post Celebrities and Their Luxury Timepieces appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/emulate-your-favorite-celebrity-in-a-way-you-can-keep-your-individuality-intact-by-buying-a-used-rolex/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 2030/2035 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-20302035/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-20302035/#respond Tue, 03 Oct 2017 14:20:10 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175316 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 […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 2030/2035 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
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

Rolex Caliber 2030 and 2035 Movement - Cal. 2030

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

Rolex Caliber 2030 and 2035 Movement - Cal. 2035

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.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Rolex Caliber 2030/2035 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-20302035/feed/ 0
Do Rolex Papers Matter? https://beckertime.com/blog/do-rolex-papers-matter/ https://beckertime.com/blog/do-rolex-papers-matter/#respond Tue, 03 Oct 2017 06:12:28 +0000 http://beckertime.com/?p=405 Purchasing a New Rolex A Rolex wristwatch, when purchased new, comes complete with a cardboard outer box and inner spring loaded presentation box. Also, a watch cushion that fits in between the watch and the band. It also includes an owner’s manual and a Genuine Swiss red chronometer hang tag. Sometimes Rolex includes a Rolex Swimpruf […]

The post Do Rolex Papers Matter? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>

Purchasing a New Rolex

A Rolex wristwatch, when purchased new, comes complete with a cardboard outer box and inner spring loaded presentation box. Also, a watch cushion that fits in between the watch and the band. It also includes an owner’s manual and a Genuine Swiss red chronometer hang tag. Sometimes Rolex includes a Rolex Swimpruf green hang tag with the watch’s model number and a warranty card. The diving models such as the Submariner sometimes include a metal anchor. Many times, there is a plastic bezel protector and cleaning cloth also included in the presentation box.

Purchasing a Pre-Owned Rolex

However, when purchasing a pre-owned Rolex, do Rolex papers matter? It really depends on whether the buyer is purchasing a watch, or the watch complete with the watch’s provenance. Similar to art, antiques, and other historical items, any extra item that contributes to the story of the piece increases its value. The original boxes, papers, and sales receipts all contribute to the provenance of a watch. For older vintage watches, the original paperwork helps verify authenticity. In addition, it adds to the watch’s provenance, especially when the original owner was famous. Watches worn by famous people, especially during historic events, fetch a premium at auction versus the same watch from the same era without any contributing provenance.

Purchasing A Vintage Rolex

That said, should the absence of box and papers prevent a buyer from purchasing a watch that speaks to them? The answer is certainly not. Unless you buy a vintage watch and the price is based on the watch’s provenance. Then it could add to its value. However, the original box and papers do not increase the value that much. Buying a watch is not like buying an automobile. A  legal document isn’t required for transferring ownership. However, sales receipts and watch documents do help in verifying authenticity and legal ownership.

But, a network of dealers transfer many Rolex watches within the secondary market. The watches are in fact authentic and the dealers legally own them. Yet, the original paperwork and packaging may have fallen by the wayside. Or they sold the presentation box separately. If the watch is relatively new, especially if less than two years old, the warranty card should be included as the watch is still under warrant by Rolex. Also, if a Rolex Service Center recently serviced the watch, they will issue a new warranty card to re-affirm a two-year warranty by Rolex.

Purchasing a Pre-Owned Rolex At BeckerTime

Beckertime watches do not have box or papers as they were not retained by the original owner. Most Beckertime watches come with a 1 year warranty, operating instructions, and a lifetime trade-up certificate to exchange your Beckertime watch for another one carried in the store.

So, if the Rolex speaking to you is a collector’s item, with high value because of the provenance associated with it, box and papers are certainly justified, especially if the watch is going to stay in a box for display. If the Rolex speaking to you does not have box and papers, it should not be a deal-breaker because it would be hard to wear the box and papers on one’s wrist.

BeckerTimeBE

The post Do Rolex Papers Matter? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/do-rolex-papers-matter/feed/ 0
NFL Quarterbacks: Who Wears What (Rolex)? https://beckertime.com/blog/nfl-watch-who-wears-what-rolex/ https://beckertime.com/blog/nfl-watch-who-wears-what-rolex/#respond Mon, 02 Oct 2017 18:08:32 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175269 NFL football player Dak Prescott, of the Dallas Cowboys — Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Rolex Celebrity Watches Worn by Top NFL Quarterbacks Dak Prescott – Datejust 41 Cowboys’ superstar quarterback, Dak Prescott, wore the impressive Datejust 41 model to this year’s ESPY Awards. The smooth features on the Datejust 41 complimented Prescott’s style perfectly as […]

The post NFL Quarterbacks: Who Wears What (Rolex)? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
NFL Quarterbacks who wear Rolex - Dak Prescott
NFL football player Dak Prescott, of the Dallas Cowboys — Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Rolex Celebrity Watches Worn by Top NFL Quarterbacks

Dak Prescott – Datejust 41

Cowboys’ superstar quarterback, Dak Prescott, wore the impressive Datejust 41 model to this year’s ESPY Awards. The smooth features on the Datejust 41 complimented Prescott’s style perfectly as he took the stage. He wore the watch to receive the award for “Best Breakthrough Athlete.” The model is a new take on a classic look – something one could say of Dak Prescott as well! With 28 touchdowns under his belt and less than two years in the league, Prescott is sure making a name for himself in the NFL.

GET THE LOOK: Shop BeckerTime.com’s used Rolex Datejust watch models.


NFL Quarterbacks Who Wear Rolex - Cam Newtom Rolex Yacht-Master Platinum

Cam Newton – Rolex Yacht-Master II

Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, is seen wearing the Yacht Master II. Additionally, like Newton, this line is known for its perfect blend of function and style. Newton was the NFL’s first overall draft pick by the Panthers in 2011. The Yacht Master II is our first pick when it comes to the ultimate combination of performance and flair. Undoubtedly, Newton’s flashy post-touchdown dances are the embodiment of the Yacht Master II.

GET THE LOOK: Shop BeckerTime.com’s selection of used Rolex Yacht Master II watches.


Tom Brady Rolex Milgauss GQ

Tom Brady – 50th Anniversary Rolex Milgauss

Just as Tom Brady holds a special place in the history of football, the 50th Anniversary Milgauss model holds a special place in the history of Rolex. Brady is one of only two players to win five Super Bowls. Additionally, he remains the only player to have collected the trophy while playing for a single team. Just as the Milgauss is Rolex’s only watch to use colored sapphire glass. All in all, the legendary quarterback and time-honored watch are a perfect match for each other.


NFL Quarterbacks who wear Rolex - Russel Wilson

Russell Wilson – Rolex Datejust

Winning is no new feat for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Before his time as a Super Bowl XLVIII champion, Wilson and his high school team appeared in Sports Illustrated after winning state. Just as Wilson has been a timeless asset to the world of sports, the Rolex Datejust has managed to transcend time and fashion. Since 1945, the Datejust remains an iconic style and is one of the most recognized watches.

Now that you know the NFL Quarterbacks who wear Rolex, shop BeckerTime.com’s selection of luxury preowned Rolex timepieces at BeckerTime.com.

BeckerTimeBE

The post NFL Quarterbacks: Who Wears What (Rolex)? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/nfl-watch-who-wears-what-rolex/feed/ 0
The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1930s https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1930s/ https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1930s/#respond Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:35:17 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174892 With the dawn of the 1930s, the world suddenly found itself facing an almighty hangover following the carefree hedonism of the Roaring Twenties. The Wall Street crash of October 24th 1929 ushered in the era known now as the Great Depression, the longest and most severe economic slump ever suffered by the industrialized world. But […]

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1930s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
With the dawn of the 1930s, the world suddenly found itself facing an almighty hangover following the carefree hedonism of the Roaring Twenties. The Wall Street crash of October 24th 1929 ushered in the era known now as the Great Depression, the longest and most severe economic slump ever suffered by the industrialized world.

But while the west agonized, and America in particular, with unemployment rising as high as 25%, it marked a turning point for Swiss watchmaking dominance. Their federal government acted quickly in battening down the hatches to weather the worst of the recession, outlawing the export of watch components to other countries for assembly and taking strict control of every aspect of the industry, from production techniques to pricing.

Although FDR’s New Deal brought the first signs of recovery as early as 1933, it wasn’t until the end of the decade that the economy returned to pre-depression levels, by which time the world had even bigger problems.

For Rolex, shielded at the heart of the insular Swiss watchmaking industry, it was a time of even greater innovation—continuing the strides it had made in 1926 with the Oyster, the first truly waterproof case, and their ongoing efforts to popularize the men’s wristwatch.

With the problem of protecting their timepieces from the elements essentially solved, Rolex turned their attention to cracking the last remaining issue—manually wound movements.

Having to wind your watch daily was more than a simple inconvenience; with the Oyster case, the crown was the design’s only potential weak point. Although hermetically sealed once it was firmly in place, unscrewing it each day eventually caused the interior waterproof seals to wear out, allowing moisture and dust to enter the mechanism.

The Perpetual Movement

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 1933

The first self-winding wristwatch had been invented in 1923 by John Harwood, from the Isle of Man in the U.K. Although the Harwood Self-Winding Watch Company owned the patent on the idea and had put the system into production, it had not been a huge success and the company fell victim to the Great Depression in 1931.

With the concept now up for grabs, Emile Borer, the head of research at Rolex’s long-time partners Aegler, developed on Harwood’s original design, replacing the semi-circular weight with a unidirectional rotor able to turn through a full 360 degrees.

The winding crown now used solely for setting the time, Rolex’s watches became instantly more secure and durable, and because the rotor delivered a constant tension to the mainspring as it moved, their accuracy was also vastly improved.

It was the development that finally sealed victory over the pocket watch, as the relatively small amount of motion experienced by a watch kept in a vest pocket as opposed to on a wrist would never be enough to automatically power a movement.

The first Rolex ‘Perpetuals’ were launched in 1933 and, because of the extra bulk of their new mechanisms, required a correspondingly thicker case to accommodate them, thus starting the longstanding tradition of unofficial nicknames being given to the Swiss watchmaking giant’s creations. These early pieces with their rounded exterior were immediately christened ‘Bubbleback’.

Below, we’ll look at some of the most popular watches from the 1930s that made use of this ingenious new system which still forms the basic architecture of almost every modern automatic watch today.

Rolex Bubbleback 3131 & 3132

Rolex Bubbleback 3131

The earliest Bubbleback models, starting with the ref. 1858, featured a three-piece case construction with a deeply convex back to house their various calibers. By 1935, Rolex had refined their movements with a simplified balance wheel, known as the ‘Super Balance’ and a year later included it in mechanisms powering two of the most important watches in the company’s history.

The references 3131 and 3132, both introduced in 1936, were the first Oyster Perpetuals to appear with a two-piece case and were among the first from the company as a whole to be made available in a range of different materials. Along with a choice of 9, 14 and 18k pink or yellow gold, the new models also launched in Steelium, Rolex’s stainless steel alloy, and Rolesor, their combination of steel and yellow gold that is still extensively used across the current lineup.

Inside, the ref. 3131 used the latest 620 caliber, with the 3132 containing the 630. Virtually identical, the only difference was in the seconds hand—the 620 had the standard central sweep seconds and the 630 a subsidiary seconds hand on a sub dial.

Stylistically, it’s easy to look at these two watches from way back in the 1930s and see in them the basis for all future Rolexes. The round cases have moved away from the rectangular and cushion-shaped Art Deco designs of the ‘20s, taking with them much of their jewelry-like quality and ushering in a new role as robust and reliable tools for a more serious age.

Packed full of the sort of innovations for which the name Rolex was starting to become synonymous, the ref. 3131 and 3132 mark a significant chapter in the brand’s story.

The Rolex Oyster and the Quest for Adventure

Rolex Oyster 1930

While the world may have been reeling in economic turmoil, the spirit of the adventurer in the 1930s was as strong as ever. It was the decade that saw incredible feats being achieved both in the air and on land. And the intrepid pioneers who pushed their bodies and their machines to the limits presented Rolex with the perfect opportunity to test their own creations—and gain the kind of publicity money just can’t buy.

In 1933, the Houston Expedition, commanded by the gloriously named RAF squadron leader Douglas Douglas-Hamilton (or Lord Clydesdale to give him his proper title) completed the first ever flight over Mount Everest. At a time when Hillary and Tensing were still barely teenagers, the two Westland bi-planes of the mission circled 100 feet above the summit of the highest peak on earth, relying on the fragile mechanics of their engines in the thin and frigid air.

Not only did the crews return safely to their base in Purnea, India, but the Rolex Oysters worn by all four aviators proved completely reliable, despite having to deal with the vicious gradients in temperature and pressure and the brutal humidity of the region.

Back on the land, and the relentless pursuit of speed was also in its golden age. On the 3rd September 1935, Sir Malcolm Campbell became the first man to break through a major milestone when he piloted his Bluebird racer to over 300 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The British Royal Air Force Captain had been breaking his own speed records for eleven years, including five times at a place that will be forever linked with Rolex—Daytona Beach, Florida.

The conditions under which these achievements took place, with the hard-packed surfaces producing huge amounts of fine debris, coupled with the bone-jarring vibrations the watches were subjected to, were perhaps the sternest test to date for Rolex’s engineering. Campbell wore his Oyster on several of his triumphant runs, as well as when he successfully switched to breaking water speed records, and they remained as precise and robust as ever.

In a telegram to the company, Campbell wrote, “Rolex watch worn during record attempt and still going splendidly, notwithstanding rough usage received”. He became the first male sports figure to become a Rolex testimonee, although he always refused any fees from the company and bought all his watches himself. As an ambassador for the brand, Campbell was in a league of his own.

The 1930s were a turbulent decade and led to some of the darkest days in history. But as is so often the case, out of great adversity came great achievement. For Rolex, with their unrivalled innovations in the Oyster case and now their new Perpetual movements, it marked the start of their domination of the watchmaking industry.

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1930s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1930s/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 3035 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3035/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3035/#respond Wed, 27 Sep 2017 17:08:57 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=175106 The 1960s was a golden age for Rolex and saw the company in full swing, launching a number of its most important and enduring creations—in both the watches themselves and in the movements that powered them. Of these, the 1500 series of calibers stand out as enduring classics and are still very much revered by […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 3035 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
The 1960s was a golden age for Rolex and saw the company in full swing, launching a number of its most important and enduring creations—in both the watches themselves and in the movements that powered them.

Of these, the 1500 series of calibers stand out as enduring classics and are still very much revered by collectors and enthusiasts today. The 1570 in particular, one of the last of the series and the engine inside signature watches from the brand such as the Explorer, Submariner and Sea-Dweller, is widely regarded as one of the best mechanical movements ever made.

So its replacement in 1977 had a tough act to follow.

When the Cal. 3035 ended the 12-year run of the 1570, it became the first high-beat caliber Rolex had ever made. By increasing the balance speed from 19,800bph to 28,800bph, the new movement was able to offer an even greater level of accuracy and robustness than the already formidable abilities of its predecessor.

It was this new speed on the 3035, causing the seconds hand to ‘tick’ eight times per second, that introduced the smooth sweep that is so characteristic of Rolex watches.

Along with upping the movement’s frequency, which has since been adopted by every subsequent model Rolex has produced, the Cal. 3035 also led the field in another aspect; it was the first automatic caliber to feature a quickset function.

Known alternatively as the ‘rapid calendar advance’, the quickset function on the 3035 allowed the wearer to change the date on their watch simply by pulling out the winding crown to the second position and turning counter clockwise, needing one and a half rotations to advance each digit. It was the development that eliminated the tedious process of having to wind the hour hand through a 24-hour cycle and was a significant improvement on the previous movements.

Internal Similarities

Much of the basic architecture of the 1570 was carried over onto the newer 3035, Rolex seeing very little reason to meddle with a well-proven and successful formula. Both calibers use a free sprung balance with Breguet overcoil although, of course, the 3035 has a higher speed.

Rolex Caliber 3035

They both also combine it with Rolex’s Microstella regulating system, an arrangement of four timing screws that act as weights on the balance rim, changing the inertia of the balance itself when moved towards or away from its center. It allows for a much higher level of precision when adjusting the rate than using a regulated balance with a traditional hairspring.

The 3035 also saw Rolex change to a fast rotating barrel, improving the stability of the drive train and upping the power reserve to 50 hours from the previous 42 hours.

Proportionally, there is little difference between the two, with the 3035 measuring a little more than half a millimeter thicker than its forerunner, and it is a 27 jewel movement as opposed to 26.

The Cal. 3035 at Work

Some of the most sought-after vintage models in Rolex’s recent history have housed the Cal. 3035. Below, we’ll take a look two enduringly popular examples.

The Sea-Dweller ref. 16660

Rolex Sea-Dweller 16660

An important part of the Sea-Dweller’s continuing saga, the 16660, known as the ‘Triple Six’, was released in 1978 and became the first of the line to contain the new caliber.

Considered a transitional reference, it ran concurrently for a number of years with its predecessor, the ref. 1665, or the ‘Great White’.

Although they shared a model name, there were more than a few differences between the two. Most importantly, the new watch was rated waterproof to 4,000 feet—more than double that of the previous piece. It also boasted a larger Helium Escape Valve to allow gases to release safely during ascents from great depths.

The Triple Six was the first Sea-Dweller to have its dial protected by a sapphire crystal, today something that is customary across the entire Rolex range, and it switched to a bezel that only rotated in one direction. For divers, it was a crucial safety feature that eliminated their chance of underestimating their time underwater.

Inside, the Cal. 3035, with its increased frequency bringing a greater accuracy and resistance to shocks, was a welcome addition for a dive watch designed for professionals working in the harshest environments.

The ref. 16660 was a big step forward for the Sea-Dweller and remains a highly-coveted piece in the vintage collector’s market.

The Datejust 36mm

Rolex Datejust 36mm 1977

Rolex’s longest running model, the 36mm version of the Datejust was powered by the Cal. 3035 from its introduction in 1977 until it was replaced by the current movement, the 3135, in 1988.

The company has often used the Datejust to trial their major upgrades, and so was the case here when it became the first in the lineup to feature the new mechanism.

Perhaps the watch that is the most quintessentially Rolex, the Datejust is the epitome of simple, functional design and found the perfect complement in the thoroughly practical and beautifully designed 3035.

Available in dozens of variations of dial, color and material, outwardly the Datejust always has a style to match any occasion. Inside, the caliber ticks away with a faultless reliability that ensures the watch lasts several lifetimes.

The Cal 3035, with its high beat frequency, introduced the smooth tick that has become trademark Rolex. A painstakingly engineered and wholly dependable workhorse, it was a worthy successor to the celebrated 1500 series.

The post The Rolex Caliber 3035 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-3035/feed/ 0
Nerding Out on The Modern Milgauss https://beckertime.com/blog/nerding-modern-milgauss/ https://beckertime.com/blog/nerding-modern-milgauss/#respond Tue, 26 Sep 2017 18:13:00 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174904 The Milgauss is Rolex’s antimagnetic watch that can withstand up to 1,000 gauss of magnetic forces. It was presented in 1956 for scientists and technicians who had to deal with magnetic fields in their day-to-day professional lives. Although the Rolex Milgauss was in production for over three decades, it was never a blockbuster like the […]

The post Nerding Out on The Modern Milgauss appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
The Milgauss is Rolex’s antimagnetic watch that can withstand up to 1,000 gauss of magnetic forces. It was presented in 1956 for scientists and technicians who had to deal with magnetic fields in their day-to-day professional lives. Although the Rolex Milgauss was in production for over three decades, it was never a blockbuster like the Submariner or GMT-Master. So Rolex eventually discontinued the Milgauss watch in 1988.

However, in 2007, Rolex brought back the Milgauss to the surprise of almost everyone in the watch community. As is characteristic of the brand, Rolex kept signature details of the vintage Milgauss collection but presented it in a completely contemporary fashion. Let’s delve into the modern Milgauss ref. 116400 and nerd out on this awesome scientist’s watch.

Similarities and Differences between Vintage Milgauss and Modern Milgauss Watches

Vintage VS New Rolex Milgauss

Vintage Milgauss watches sport a 38mm case, which for its era, was considered a large size for a men’s watch. Today, Rolex increased the size even more to 40mm to fit into current watch trends. To also match modern tastes, the Milgauss ref. 116400 includes a bolder dial with thicker luminescent indexes and plenty of colors.

Very early editions of the Milgauss (ref. 6543 and ref. 6541) included a rotating and graduated bezel similar to the Submariner. This bezel was eventually replaced with a smooth bezel in the 1960s with the ref. 1091. Similar to the ref. 1091, the modern Milgauss ref. 116400 is also equipped with a smooth stainless steel bezel.

But most importantly, the modern Milgauss ref. 116400 comes along with the distinct lightning bolt seconds hand. Rolex introduced this unique detail on the early Milgauss watches as a nod to the scientific community the watch was created for. The thunderbolt was then dropped in the ref. 1091, but thankfully it’s back. Plus, to really show it off, the lightning bolt hand is in a vibrant orange color—as is the MILGAUSS label, in addition to other elements on the dial. A very modern color choice indeed.

How Does Rolex Make the Modern Milgauss Anti-Magnetic?

Rolex Caliber 3131

Magnetic forces have serious effects on watch movements. However, living up to its name, the Milgauss is able to keep accurate and precise timekeeping even when exposed to high levels of magnetism.

Like vintage models, the current Milgauss protects its automatic movement with a shield. If you were to take off the screw-down caseback,  the capital letter ‘B’ with an arrow above it–the symbol for magnetic flux density–engraved into the shield.

The shield protects the Rolex Caliber 3131 mechanical movement powering the Milgauss ref. 116400. The anti-magnetism of the caliber is further enforced thanks to the paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. The in-house self-winding Caliber 3131 offers 48 hours of power reserve.

What is Milgauss Glace Verte and Z-Blue?

Rolex Milgauss 116400GV

When the revamped Milgauss made its debut in 2007, there were three versions: one with a white dial, one with a black dial, and one with a black dial and green sapphire crystal. In fact, the model with the green sapphire crystal carries the reference number 116400GV where “GV” is “glace verte” or “green ice” in French. Scratchproof and fade proof, the green tint on the sapphire crystal lends a futuristic glow to the timepiece. Rolex claims that it took years to develop the green crystal concept and weeks to produce each one. As a result, they didn’t even bother to patent the process!

Seven years after the first modern Milgauss, Rolex offered another version with a Z-Blue dial. The Z-Blue dial is also exclusive to the Milgauss collection and its vibrant color pairs so well with the green crystal, in addition to the orange details. It’s a look that is instantly recognizable and charismatically contemporary.

Rolex essentially took a little bit of this from vintage models and added a little bit of that from modern styles and innovations, and created the modern Milgauss—much like a scientist does in the lab!

The post Nerding Out on The Modern Milgauss appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/nerding-modern-milgauss/feed/ 0
In-Store vs. Online Purchases https://beckertime.com/blog/in-store-vs-online-purchases-myths-part-1/ https://beckertime.com/blog/in-store-vs-online-purchases-myths-part-1/#respond Mon, 25 Sep 2017 16:03:10 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174533 Comparison: The In-Store vs Online Shopping Experience Consumers often think buying from bricks-and-mortar retail stores is safer than purchasing a product online. Is this really the case, though? Since the launch of e-commerce, consumers have become smarter when shopping online. Consumers have learned about knowing what questions to ask, what research to do and how to […]

The post In-Store vs. Online Purchases appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Comparison: The In-Store vs Online Shopping Experience

Consumers often think buying from bricks-and-mortar retail stores is safer than purchasing a product online. Is this really the case, though? Since the launch of e-commerce, consumers have become smarter when shopping online. Consumers have learned about knowing what questions to ask, what research to do and how to protect yourself while shopping. All too often, we wait until we have a bad shopping experience to research and learn about the store we chose to purchase from. BeckerTime CEO, Matthew Becker, shares insight on some of the common myths surrounding  in-store vs online shopping.

MYTH: Salespeople ensure a safer shopping experience.

In-Store vs Online Shopping - Online Purchase

Consider the human interactions you have when shopping in-store. There are people all over the store. Salespeople are constantly greeting you and someone is always asking if you need any help finding something. The entire mall shopping experience is based on letting your guard down in hopes of being able to sell something to you. Overall, it is a very hectic shopping experience as opposed to the laid back atmosphere we indulge in when shopping online. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the various people and sounds. Unfortunately, this typically results in you looking through your shopping bags when you get home and asking yourself, “Why did I buy this?”

Compare that experience to any human interaction you may have while shopping online, if any. Unless you’re sitting with a friend or family member, online shopping tends to be a very solitary, calming experience. This allows for more concentration. Meaning you’re much more likely to do your due diligence and research before purchasing something. It allows for a more “thought out” shopping experience. This usually results in a purposeful and safe online purchase.

MYTH: Shopping in person ensures a positive after-sale experience.

In-Store vs Online Shopping - In-Store Purchase

Contrary to popular belief, in-store shopping is not as personal as shopping online. Once you make your store purchase, you no longer exist to the company. You give them your money and in exchange, you receive something you may (or may not) have wanted. This is due to the fact that brick-and-mortar retailers do not understand the massive impact one bad review can have on a company. These retailers usually do not feel or see the effects of a bad experience, considering how large they are in size. While the in-store experience may feel very personal, the overall experience is usually more impersonal. Issues and conflicts can slip through the cracks of a big retailer.

On the other hand, online retailers are extremely Internet savvy and know about the power of a bad review, so they don’t let anything slip through the cracks. An online store with bad customer service has the potential to go viral. This makes the after-sale experience of online shopping a much more positive one.

MYTH: Dealing with post-shopping issues is easier if you deal with an in-store associate.

In-Store vs Online Shopping - In-Store Returns

Brick-and-mortar store systems seem to be getting hacked more and more often nowadays. It’s becoming easier for hackers to steal your information when you physically swipe your card at a store. Thanks to encryption programs, online payments have become more secure throughout the years. There are extensive protection measures that have been put in place dedicated to protecting online shoppers. Paying in cash is even more dangerous because there’s no way to track your purchase. Should you be dissatisfied and have to work through a return, exchange or refund, there’s no record to work off of which could result in lost funds and a purchase that is of no benefit to you. To think that paying in-store is safer than online is an outdated myth.

These common misconceptions about shopping in-store can be extremely dangerous to the common consumer. It tricks you into handing over the protection of your purchase. It also doesn’t allow you to do proper research into the company you’re giving your money to. Shopping in-store is not necessarily safer if you haven’t asked the right questions to ensure a positive and safe shopping experience.

As one of the world’s premier pre-owned luxury online retailers, our experts at BeckerTime are here to help ensure you find the perfect watch at the right price. View our authentic selection of pre-owned Rolex watches and other luxury timepieces online today at BeckerTime.com or give us a call at (817) 503-2334.

BeckerTimeBE

The post In-Store vs. Online Purchases appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/in-store-vs-online-purchases-myths-part-1/feed/ 0
The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1920’s https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1920s/ https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1920s/#respond Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:51:17 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174561  The Vintage Rolex 1920s Oyster Innovation To kick off our series covering the most popular watches from Rolex’s long and illustrious history, we’ll begin way back in the 1920’s. It was the decade in which Rolex truly became Rolex. It was finally transitioning from the original name of Wilsdorf and Davis, and starting to build […]

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1920’s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
 The Vintage Rolex 1920s Oyster Innovation

To kick off our series covering the most popular watches from Rolex’s long and illustrious history, we’ll begin way back in the 1920’s.

It was the decade in which Rolex truly became Rolex. It was finally transitioning from the original name of Wilsdorf and Davis, and starting to build the reputation for unparalleled excellence that continues today.

The ‘20s was also the decade that saw the men’s wristwatch start to increase in popularity. Up until then, they were seen very much as feminine items. As a result, men traditionally opted for pocket watches on a chain. After the First World War and the rigors of battle,  however,  the practicality of wearing a watch on the wrist proved itself and the concept slowly started to catch on.

Still in its infancy and under the guidance of founder Hans Wilsdorf, the name Rolex was already starting to be associated with the highest levels of timekeeping accuracy. In 1910, his obsessive focus on precision had seen the fledgling company produce the first ever wristwatch to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision from the Official Watch Rating Centre in Bienne. A few years later, in 1914, another creation achieved a class ‘A’ certificate from the Kew Observatory in the UK. This was an award previously only granted to marine chronometers.

The Roaring 20s

So with these early successes, it was a logical progression for Wilsdorf to shift the whole operation from its original base in London to the Swiss city of Geneva in 1919. Switzerland was already the watchmaking capital of the world. And now, surrounded by the finest precision engineers, Rolex was able to start making strides in the development of the wristwatch.

And it was the roaring 20s that saw them achieve one of their most successful innovations ever—The Oyster.

Below, we’ll take a look at the development of the first of the vintage Rolex 1920s Oysters, along with some of the other most popular designs of the time.

The Rolex Art Deco Telephone Dial

Vintage Rolex 1920s Oyster - Rolex Art Deco Telephone Dial

Think of the 1920s, and your mind immediately conjures up images of the insouciant decadence of The Great Gatsby and the burgeoning of the Jazz age. But, perhaps most of all, it’s the decorative stylings of the Art Deco movement that best define the decade. It’s personified by the bold lines and sleek, streamlined forms taken from Cubism and the Bauhaus School. In fact, Art Deco influenced everything from fashion to architecture and furniture making to product design.

One of the most popular Rolex series of the era, the ladies ‘Telephone Dial’ watches, were steeped in the design motifs of Art Deco. The Arabic or Roman numeral hour markers were given the elegant flourishes of what was known as the ‘Empire’ style. They set them with long, graceful cathedral hands.

The cases were sometimes circular or in softly curved geometric shapes. They were small and delicate, housing the manually-wound ‘Rebberg’ movements from Rolex’s longtime cohort, the legendary Swiss watchmaker Aegler.

Aegler specialized in making the particularly intricate calibers to fit inside lady’s watches. Also, they manufactured lever escapement mechanisms when the majority of other firms were still producing the less accurate cylinder escapements.

The ladies Telephone Dial watches are among some of the most tasteful and aesthetically refined models Rolex have created. They perfectly reflected the opulence and richness of the period.

The Rolex Prince

Rolex Prince 1930

Another design dripping with Art Deco influences was the Rolex Prince range. These date back to 1928 and continue even today under the Cellini name—Rolex’s line of stylish dress watches.

With its distinctive rectangular case, the shape allowed for a dual dial display. The top for the hours and minutes hands, while an only slightly smaller sub dial underneath marked the seconds. The legibility of the lower dial quickly led to the Prince series. They referred to this as ‘the doctor’s watch’, as it made the timing of a patient’s pulse rate much easier for physicians.

With a movement again sourced from Aegler, the Prince range set new standards for precision and simplicity in a wristwatch. The shaped caliber had the winding barrel at one end and the balance at the other. This left room for a longer mainspring to provide a 58-hour power reserve. The large balance wheel delivered a greater accuracy.

Of the long line and many variations of the Prince range, the first two models released remain the most well-known. The Classic, ref. 1343, had the clean rectangular lines of the period. Yet, the Brancard, ref 971, featured the elegantly flared sides its name suggests. ‘Brancard’ in French means ‘stretcher’.

Made from a variety of precious metals, the Prince was available in yellow gold, platinum or sterling silver. It was an unashamedly luxurious and beautifully sophisticated watch. It was a real product of its age because its irregular shapes represented the experimental, tradition-breaking ethos of the 1920s.

The Rolex Oyster

Rolex Oyster 1926

Rolex launched the Oyster in 1926. It was t he first truly pioneering innovation from Rolex. It was also one of the most significant in watchmaking history up until that point,

Rolex had been evolving the concept of a waterproof timepiece for some time. The simple snapback cases used for pocket watches for hundreds of years had always been plagued by moisture entering the fragile internal mechanism.

They had previously developed their Hermetic watch, featuring a screw down cap that sealed in the entire movement. Although effective, the winding crown was the Achilles heel in any water resistant watch design. Typically because it had to be contained inside the case. That meant having to completely open up the watch to wind it or adjust the time.

The Oyster had the first ever serially produced waterproof case. As a result, Rolex changed the way wristwatches were regarded by the world. They were no longer seen as delicate items of jewelry for women or little more than gimmicks for men. By introducing the idea of screwing down the bezel, case back, and winding crown against the solid middle case to form an impenetrable shell, the wristwatch was suddenly a robust tool. It became a practical, durable device that was impervious to the elements and the worst that life could throw at it.

The cushion-shape of the original Rolex Oyster watches is another example of typical Art Deco design. While today they use almost exclusively round cases for their creations, Rolex developed the now iconic dive watch for the Italian watchmaker Panerai from the shape of those early Oysters.

The First Celebrity Endorsement

Along with founding a whole new direction in engineering, the Oyster also introduced another first—the celebrity endorsement.

More than anything else, Hans Wilsdorf had few equals as a marketer. He was among the earliest in any industry to recognize the value of aligning his brand with extraordinary people. He enabled them to tell the story of his products for him. So, in 1927, when he learned of the British professional swimmer Mercedes Gleitze’s attempt to swim the English Channel, he seized the opportunity to raise awareness of his new waterproof watch by persuading her to wear one during her crossing.

It was, in fact, her second time at the challenge. Her first claim to have successfully achieved the feat had been subject to allegations of cheating so, just 14 days after that initial attempt, she set off again. This time, the icy waters of the Channel defeated her. Consequently, they hauled her out of the water barely conscious, a mere seven miles shy of the coast.

Regardless, the Oyster she wore around her neck for the 10-hour endeavor worked faultlessly, cementing the reputation of Rolex’s technical wonder. Before long, their authorized dealers were displaying models suspended in fish tanks as testament to their water resistance.

The 1920s was a pivotal decade for the young Rolex company, and one that laid the groundwork for the relentless series of innovations that have set the company so far apart from every other watchmaker today.

Next week, we’ll look at the most popular Rolex watches of the 1930s, and see how the company coped with the highs and lows of the decade.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Most Popular Rolex Watches of the 1920’s appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/popular-rolex-watches-1920s/feed/ 0
Lightning Bolts and Stars: Celebrities Who Wear the Stainless Steel Milgauss https://beckertime.com/blog/lightning-bolts-stars-celebrities-wear-stainless-steel-milgauss/ https://beckertime.com/blog/lightning-bolts-stars-celebrities-wear-stainless-steel-milgauss/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:24:30 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174953 While there are plenty of flashier Rolex watches out there like the President and Daytona favored by celebrities, there’s another quirkier model that has its own fan base among the A-list crowd too—the stainless steel Milgauss! Let’s discover the celebrities who wear the stainless steel Milgauss, shall we? What’s the Rolex Milgauss? The Rolex Milgauss […]

The post Lightning Bolts and Stars: Celebrities Who Wear the Stainless Steel Milgauss appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
While there are plenty of flashier Rolex watches out there like the President and Daytona favored by celebrities, there’s another quirkier model that has its own fan base among the A-list crowd too—the stainless steel Milgauss! Let’s discover the celebrities who wear the stainless steel Milgauss, shall we?

What’s the Rolex Milgauss?

Rolex Milgauss 116400

The Rolex Milgauss is brand’s antimagnetic watch. As its name denotes, it’s resistant to one thousand gauss of magnetism. This is thanks to a clever shield protecting the movement within. One of Rolex’s longest standing collections, the Milgauss’ origins date back to the 1950s. Rolex introduced it specifically for scientists required to work in high magnetic fields to do their jobs. Although Rolex discontinued the Milgauss in the late 1980s, the company brought back the model in 2007 with the modern stainless steel Milgauss ref. 116400.

While the Milgauss is still very much a scientist’s watch in spirit complete with its anti-magnetic powers and lightning bolt seconds hand, it has also gravitated towards another clique comprising of actors, professional athletes, and well-known personalities.

Male Celebrities Who Wear the Stainless Steel Milgauss

Celebrities Who Wear The Stainless Steel Milgauss - Tom Brady
Tom Brady – © Getty Images

We’ve spotted several male celebs sporting the stainless steel Milgauss. First up is top quarterback for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady. Even if Brady is actually an ambassador for TAG Heuer, he still wears the Milgauss ref. 116400 on both the stainless steel Oyster bracelet, as well as, a leather strap. Another athlete who wears a stainless steel Milgauss is French tennis player and Rolex ambassador, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  You can also learn more about other sports icons and their Rolex.

Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig – © Just Jared

Moving over to the silver screen, Daniel Craig, who famously plays James Bond while wearing Omega watches, likes to wear his Rolex Milgauss when not on set. Also, Orlando Bloom, of Pirates of the Caribbean fame, is a fan of the stainless steel Milgauss. A watch enthusiast, Bloom actually owns both a modern Milgauss watch—which has a custom black PVD coating—in addition to a vintage Milgauss that he wears on a leather fat strap.

Usher
Usher – © Haute Time

Finally, musical artist, Usher, is another well-documented devotee of Rolex watches. He has several models in his collection including a platinum Day-Date, a yellow gold Daytona, and a stainless steel Milgauss with the distinct green sapphire crystal.

Female Celebrities Who Wear the Stainless Steel Milgauss

Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston – POPSugar

Despite the fact that the 40mm stainless steel Milgauss ref. 116400 is marketed as a man’s watch, it has also found an audience among female celebs. Hollywood actress, Jennifer Anniston is often seen wearing men’s Rolex watches. Her signature timepiece is a solid yellow gold Day-Date 36 Rolex President. However, she sometimes switches that out for a custom black PVD Milgauss too.

Nicky Hilton
Nicky Hilton – Blogger

Fashion designer, socialite, hotel heiress, and model, Nicky Hilton is yet another female celebrity that enjoys wearing men’s Rolex watches. She alternates between her Everose gold Daytona, stainless steel Daytona, and her stainless steel Milgauss with a black dial.

Given that the stainless steel Milgauss is not a lavishly expensive Rolex watch but still a fave among the celebrity-set, speaks volumes about its appealing design. A vibrant orange lightning bolt to match the shine of these stars is the perfect style combo.

 

 

BeckerTimeBE

The post Lightning Bolts and Stars: Celebrities Who Wear the Stainless Steel Milgauss appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/lightning-bolts-stars-celebrities-wear-stainless-steel-milgauss/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 1560/1570 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-15601570/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-15601570/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:27:02 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174569 The Rolex 1560 and 1570 Movements In the early days of the company, Rolex sourced the intricate movements that powered their watches from the likes of Aegler, one of Switzerland’s finest watchmakers. It wasn’t until 1957 that they developed their own truly in-house movement, the 1500 series. They became a mainstay of the company, remaining […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 1560/1570 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
The Rolex 1560 and 1570 Movements

In the early days of the company, Rolex sourced the intricate movements that powered their watches from the likes of Aegler, one of Switzerland’s finest watchmakers. It wasn’t until 1957 that they developed their own truly in-house movement, the 1500 series. They became a mainstay of the company, remaining in production for 20 years. Rolex proved themselves as thoroughly reliable engines inside a number of Rolex’s most iconic designs. Two of the most dependable and hardworking iterations were the Rolex 1560 and 1570. They base these movements on the same architecture as the first caliber in the series, the 1530. But where the 1530 wasn’t a chronometer grade movement, meaning it hasn’t passed the vigorous testing set down by the COSC (the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute), both the 1560 and 1570 were.

To gain certified chronometer status, the calibers had to prove themselves accurate to within -4/+6 seconds a day over a 15-day period. They performed testing in a variety of temperatures and positions. Only the movements that passed were able to display the text ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ on their dials.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at the Rolex 1560 and 1570 movements and the watches that housed them.

The Rolex Caliber 1560

Rolex 1560 and 1570 - Rolex Caliber 1560

The 1560 was the start of the second generation of the 1500 series calibers. They released this movement in 1959 and it remained in use until 1965. With a 26 jewel self-winding automatic movement, it had a Rolex p/n 7980 balance assembly with Microstella screws, a Bregeut free sprung hairspring. It also had a frequency of 18,000 bph. Furthermore, the KIF Flector shock absorbers protected the 1560. Also, it used a traditional stone lever escapement and had a power reserve of 42 hours.

Rolex released this series with a date function version, the 1565, and with the addition of a 24-hour hand in the 1565GMT. Although there was no Quickset mechanism, the 1500 calibers came with the cam and jewel system. This system was able to create an instantaneous date change at midnight, still used by Rolex today.

The unfussiness of the original, no-date movement made it the ideal caliber to sit inside the Oyster Perpetual series. This began with the ref. 1002 released at the end of the fifties. Its modest height of 5.75mm and diameter of 28.5mm, or 12.5 lignes, allowed it to fit comfortably in the 34mm to 36mm cases of the range.

Moreover, they also used this movement in two more of today’s most highly coveted vintage watches.

Rolex Sports Models

The Rolex Explorer ref. 1016 is considered by purists to be one of the brand’s most starkly beautiful designs. Also, it’s one that changed very little in its long production run from 1963 to 1989. Originally powered by the 1530, it was soon replaced by the more accurate and chronometer certified 1560.

As one of Rolex’s sports watches, it was always somewhat overshadowed by the likes of the Daytona and the GMT Master. These models were given significantly greater updates over the years. But, as a discreet and extremely simple three-hand timepiece with no complications, the Explorer 1016 is a timeless and elegant example.

The other model to house the 1560 was anything but overshadowed. The Submariner 5512 was launched in 1959, again with the quickly exchanged 1530. It remained in production for nearly 20 years.  In fact, the Submariner became an icon of the Rolex brand and one of the most influential designs ever made. Today, the ref. 5512 Submariners are a huge favorite among collectors; a surprisingly attainable classic that represents an important milestone in Rolex history.

The Rolex Caliber 1570

Rolex 1560 and 1570 - Rolex Caliber 1570

The movement that superseded the 1560 shared the vast majority of its elements, with a few notable improvements. The 1570 marked the third generation of the 1500 series. It comes with the balance assembly Rolex p/n 8106, again with a Breguet hairspring. However, it’s with a higher frequency of 19,800 bph, or 2.75Hz.

The main difference between the two calibers came in 1972 when the 1570 gained a hacking feature. It was now possible to stop the sweeping seconds hand by pulling out the watch crown, activating a hacking lever that interrupted the balance wheel and simplifying the act of setting the watch accurately.

The 1570 became one of the most popular and highly regarded movements Rolex had so far produced. Used in the continuing series of Oyster Perpetuals, it was still powering the 5512 Submariner in 1978 and even the Explorer ref. 1016 until the end of its run in the late eighties.

Similarly to its predecessor, Rolex also manufactured it as a date and GMT version, the 1575, which proved the perfect companion to the Explorer II released in 1971, as well as the GMT-Master and Datejust series.

In 1967, it was the obvious choice for Rolex’s newest and toughest model, the 1665 Sea-Dweller. A dive watch made for the high pressures of professional saturation diving, it boasted a water resistance of 2000ft and was the first commercially available watch to be protected by a Helium Escape Valve.

The 1500 series of movements were the start of a long line of calibers. In fact, Rolex manufactured these entirely in-house. Also, the Rolex 1560 and 1570 were two of the most successful. In keeping with the ethos of the company as a whole, they were beautifully engineered and elegantly simple, and broke new ground in precision and reliability.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Rolex Caliber 1560/1570 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-caliber-15601570/feed/ 0
The Electrifying Three-Part History of the Rolex Milgauss https://beckertime.com/blog/electrifying-three-part-history-rolex-milgauss/ https://beckertime.com/blog/electrifying-three-part-history-rolex-milgauss/#respond Thu, 14 Sep 2017 16:05:45 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174707 Rolex Milgauss History – Three Parts By the mid-1950s, Rolex had already developed tool watches for adventurers (Explorer), for divers (Submariner), and for pilots (GMT-Master). The company then turned their attention to another community in need of a specific type of watch—scientists. Due to the nature of their work, scientists, engineers, and medical professionals required […]

The post The Electrifying Three-Part History of the Rolex Milgauss appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Rolex Milgauss History – Three Parts

By the mid-1950s, Rolex had already developed tool watches for adventurers (Explorer), for divers (Submariner), and for pilots (GMT-Master). The company then turned their attention to another community in need of a specific type of watch—scientists. Due to the nature of their work, scientists, engineers, and medical professionals required a watch that could withstand high levels of magnetic forces. Magnetic fields are very detrimental to watch movements and can cause them to become magnetized. A magnetized timepiece will, in fact, speed up, thus rendering it useless as a timekeeping instrument. Rolex’s answer to the dilemma? The Milgauss watch. Read on for a quick three-part Rolex Milgauss history lesson on its anti-magnetism and appeal.

Milgauss History Part I

Rolex Milgauss History - Ref. 6543

The name Milgauss is a portmanteau of the French word for 1,000, “mille,” and the unit for measuring magnetism, “gauss”. Therefore, as its name suggests, the Rolex Milgauss can take on 1,000 gauss of magnetic forces with no harm to the movement. This is because of an iron shield protecting the automatic movement within the case. To prove the Migauss’ resistance, Rolex had the watches tested by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)—the world’s leading particle physics lab.

According to this Rolex Milgauss history, the inaugural Milgauss made its debut in 1956 as the ref. 6543. This was quickly followed by the ref. 6541 that same year. Since only very few examples of the Milgauss ref. 6543 were ever made, it’s an elusive model that shows up rarely in the vintage watch market. The ref. 6541, on the other hand, is a popular vintage Rolex and is often (incorrectly) cited as the original Milgauss.

At first glance, the Milgauss ref. 6541 looks very much like a Submariner of the same era thanks to its steel Oyster case, black rotating bezel with 60-minute markings, and red text on the dial. However, exclusive to the Milgauss is its signature design detail, the lightning bolt seconds hand, emphasizing its connection to the scientific community. Another coveted design touch of the Milgauss is the honeycomb dial housed within its large (for the times) 38mm case. In addition to its attractive style, the honeycomb dial is said to have played a part in beefing up the watches resistance to magnetism on account of the two metal layers of its construction.

Milgauss History Part II

Rolex Milgauss History - Ref. 6541

In the 1960s, Rolex replaced the Milgauss ref. 6541 with the updated Milgauss ref. 1091. Surprisingly, many of the design details that made the Milgauss stand out in the first place were no longer there. Gone was the thunderbolt seconds hand in favor of a red-tipped straight seconds hands. Furthermore, the black honeycomb dial made way for a plain black or white dial. Plus, a smooth domed bezel took the place of the original rotating graduated black bezel.

While the ref. 1091 was a very different looking watch to its predecessors, technically it still held up its promise of ultra resistance to magnetic forces. Rolex eventually discontinued the ref. 1091 in 1988. And with that, they laid to rest the Milgauss collection …temporarily.

Milgauss History Part III

Rolex Milgauss History - Ref. 116400

Almost two decades after suspending Milgauss production, Rolex Milgauss history shows us that they revived the scientist’s watch with a completely modern iteration. They introduced the Milgauss ref. 116400 at Baselworld 2007.

To keep up with today’s style trends, the modern Milgauss ref. 116400 sports a larger 40mm stainless steel Oyster case, along with a matching steel Oyster bracelet. The first editions of the Milgauss ref. 116400 offered two dial options in black or white. But most importantly, the iconic lightning bolt seconds hand has returned, and in a vibrant orange color no less. Rolex also included a special anniversary edition of the modern Milgauss with the ref. 116400GV where GV stand for “glace verte”, which translates to “green glass”. Hence, protecting the face of the Milgauss ref. 116400GV is a green sapphire crystal that gives a futuristic aura to the watch.

In 2014, Rolex enhanced the collection with the Milgauss ref. 116400GV Z-Blue dial edition. The vibrant blue dial coupled with the ultra modern green crystal come together in one of the most distinct looking Rolex watches to date.

Perhaps the quirkiest member of the Rolex lineup, the Milgauss, illustrates the Swiss watchmaker’s obsessive pursuit to create watches that are both beautiful to wear and practical to use in a range of environments, whether the bottom of the ocean, high-up in the sky, or in the middle of a laboratory.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Electrifying Three-Part History of the Rolex Milgauss appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/electrifying-three-part-history-rolex-milgauss/feed/ 0
6 Facts About Rolex You May Not Have Known https://beckertime.com/blog/6-facts-rolex-may-not-known/ https://beckertime.com/blog/6-facts-rolex-may-not-known/#respond Wed, 13 Sep 2017 15:16:55 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174149 Interesting Facts About Rolex and its Brand History They may be the most famous watchmakers in the world. However, the Swiss colossus that is Rolex is notoriously secretive about the goings-on behind its walls. Even the most basic information remains a jealously guarded secret; no one outside the company, for example, even knows exactly how […]

The post 6 Facts About Rolex You May Not Have Known appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Interesting Facts About Rolex and its Brand History

They may be the most famous watchmakers in the world. However, the Swiss colossus that is Rolex is notoriously secretive about the goings-on behind its walls. Even the most basic information remains a jealously guarded secret; no one outside the company, for example, even knows exactly how many watches they produce each year.

Their insistence on keeping every detail of their operation a mystery only deepens the enigma surrounding the brand. Of course, this leads to a healthy fund of rumors and wild stories.

Its true, that the inscrutable horologists remain tightlipped about the outlandish tales dreamt up on internet forum gossip. But there are a number of facts that have been backed up by stone-cold evidence.

Here, we look at six facts about Rolex and explore some of the lesser-known particulars that every Rolex fan should know.  For a more in-depth look, you can refer to Rolex and its Rich History and Timeline.

Born in England

For a name that has become synonymous with Swiss watchmaking, Rolex started out as neither watchmakers nor Swiss.

Founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf, a German, and his English brother-in-law Alfred Davis, the company that would go on to become Rolex was originally christened, you’ll be amazed to learn, ‘Wilsdorf and Davis’.

Wilsdorf & Davis

They Operated from premises in Hatton Garden, London’s prestigious jewelry quarter. Initially, they participated in the watch assembly. They sourced the best parts from a number of different Swiss manufacturers and combined them inside English watchcases. As a result, jewelers bought the resulting fine timepieces and sold them under their own name.

Rolex First Logo

It wasn’t until three years later that the company started making its own watches and adopted the name Rolex. In 1919, following World War 1 and the resulting astronomical hike in import and export taxes in Britain, production finally shifted to Geneva where it has remained ever since.

The Name Rolex Doesn’t Mean Anything

Over the years, there has been a great deal of overthinking on the origins of the name Rolex. Some have suggested it’s a derivation of the apt phrase hoROLogie EXcellence, for example. In fact, the name itself has no meaning. It is similar to George Eastman’s reasons for branding his photographic company Kodak. He chose it for completely practical reasons.

Firstly, Rolex is pronounced the same in any language, anywhere in the world. It doesn’t resemble any other word so can’t be confused with another name or product, and it is easily memorized. It’s also short enough to fit comfortably on a watch dial while still remaining legible.

There are other rumors as to its roots. One is the belief that Wilsdorf thought the name sounded like a watch being wound. You can judge that one for yourself!

Rolex Has Seen the Top of the World

Facts About Rolex - Rolex at Everest

Rolex made their reputation by supplying the true adventurers of the world with tools. They designed these tools to survive the most challenging environments imaginable.

In 1953, Rolex was among the sponsors of the expedition that saw Kiwi mountaineer Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay conquer the highest peak on earth. The company supplied the team with prototype Oyster Perpetuals. Also the team understood that they would return these prototypes for testing, when, or if, they made a safe descent. Incredibly, the watches performed perfectly throughout the climb. And the men who conquered Everest did, indeed, send them back to Geneva for analysis.

Nobody quite knows what testing Rolex carried out. However, those pieces from the top of the world formed the basis for the first of the Rolex Explorer series.

…and the Bottom

Deep Sea Prototype

In 1960, the U.S Navy bathyscaphe Trieste became the first vessel to explore the deepest part of the ocean. This was  a small valley in the floor of the Pacific’s Mariana Trench known as the Challenger Deep. Rolex’s association with underwater exploration had been going on for several years. It was by this point that they tested their designs for the ultimate waterproof watch. When the monumental dive into the Challenger Deep took place, a prototype Rolex Deep Sea Special accompanied the Trieste to its 35,814ft target. They strapped it to the outside and subjected it to pressures of more than a metric tonne per square centimeter.

After its safe return, one of the submersible’s pilots, Jacques Piccard, sent a telegram to Rolex HQ reading, ‘Happy to announce your watch works as well at 11,000 meters as it does on the surface’. The Deep Sea Special No. 3 currently sits in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.

The Most Expensive Rolex Ever Sold… For Now

The name Rolex tends to conjure up a number of word associations. Key among them are the likes of ‘exclusive’, ‘luxurious’ and ‘success’. But at the forefront of most people’s minds when they hear the name will always be the word ‘expensive’.

While the buy-in price certainly seems high, Rolex’s remain one of the very few luxury items that appreciate in value the longer you own them. Particularly, if you buy pre-owned, you can be reasonably assured that you will be able to sell your watch in the future for at least as much as you paid for it. This means you have spent years wearing a beautiful timepiece for free. So in real terms, Rolex’s are not expensive at all.  Especially if you take advantage of BeckerTime’s LifeTime TradeUp benefits with their pre-owned Rolex Watches.

Facts about Rolex - Most expensive Rolex sold to Bao Dai

There are, of course, exceptions. In May this year, a yellow gold Rolex Triple Calendar Moonphase ref. 6062, the only one of its kind with a black dial and diamond indexes, sold for a staggering $5,060,427 at auction in Geneva. Belonging to Bao Dai, the playboy last emperor of Vietnam (and known as the Bao Dai Rolex) it became the most expensive example from the brand ever sold.

Paul Newman’s Cosmograph Daytona

That sum may soon pale into insignificance however when, in October, the absolute holy grail of Rolex’s goes under the hammer in New York as Philips auctions off Paul Newman’s Paul Newman. The exotic dial Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6239, the first of a number of the Daytona range owned by the great actor, was considered lost for decades. This was before it reappeared last year to the unbridled frenzy of every Rolex collector in the world. Far from missing, Newman had gifted the watch to an ex boyfriend of his daughter, Nell in 1984, who remained unaware of its significance for 30 years.

They are now selling it to help fund the Nell Newman Foundation, a charity set up to carry on her father’s philanthropic work.  Experts are predicting a possible sale price of somewhere in the region of $10m.

Without Rolex, There Would Have Been No Great Escape

During the Second World War, British officers captured by the Nazis and held in prisoner of war camps would routinely have their watches seized by their captors. But amazingly, Rolex allowed them the opportunity to order replacements and sent them. The Swiss company, while officially neutral, made no secret of their support for the Allied forces and sent new watches to the camps for free, on the understanding that prisoners would pay for them upon their release—the honor of British officers being beyond doubt.

Several of the RAF pilots imprisoned in Stalag Luft III, the camp in what is now Poland that was immortalized in the movie The Great Escape, received a selection of Rolex watches, which were highly prized even then for their precision and, crucially, the brightness of the radium lume in their hands and dials—handy should you find yourself in the dark for an extended period of time.

They used the watch’s extreme accuracy to time the movements of the prison guards. This aided the escape of more than 70 prisoners through the tunnels dug under the camp.

(If you’ve never seen the movie, they all get away and live happily ever after!)

So without Rolex, we would have been robbed of the sight of Steve McQueen, the coolest man who ever lived and the only prisoner of war to wear a leather jacket as a military uniform, leaping barbed wire fences on a motorbike.

Those are six facts about Rolex that we do actually know about the world’s number one watchmaker. As you’d expect with a history as long and illustrious as Rolex’s, there are a wealth of other stories and legends surrounding the brand. It’s up to you to choose which ones to believe.

BeckerTimeBE

The post 6 Facts About Rolex You May Not Have Known appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/6-facts-rolex-may-not-known/feed/ 0
Sports Icons and Their Rolex https://beckertime.com/blog/sports-icons-rolex/ https://beckertime.com/blog/sports-icons-rolex/#respond Tue, 12 Sep 2017 15:49:30 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174146 Prominent sports icons and their Rolex connection to fine timepieces is a relationship that will continue for many years to come. Rolex has long had an association with the famous and the infamous from every walk of life. Over the years, their creations have adorned the wrists of a hugely diverse list of luminaries; everyone from presidents […]

The post Sports Icons and Their Rolex appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Prominent sports icons and their Rolex connection to fine timepieces is a relationship that will continue for many years to come. Rolex has long had an association with the famous and the infamous from every walk of life. Over the years, their creations have adorned the wrists of a hugely diverse list of luminaries; everyone from presidents to rock stars, religious leaders to Hollywood royalty.

From the outset, the company has aligned itself with the very highest of high achievers. Rolex leaves it to their ultra exclusive clientele to show off their creations. Ultimately, they tacitly say more about the brand than any slick advertising campaign ever could. Discover more about Rolex sponsorships in sports. Because the only thing more sophisticated than a Rolex watch, is Rolex marketing.

A Perfect Match

One particular group of individuals has always presented an especially tempting target. Elite sports stars are the superhuman men and women who compete at the pinnacle of their respective fields. They encompass all the values of dedication, resilience and relentless pursuit of excellence that have been the backbone of the Rolex name for over a century.

You’ll find the watchmaker’s colors displayed prominently at a host of prestigious sporting events. They are the official timekeepers of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and F1 Grand Prix. They also sponsor everything from major golf tournaments to a number of global yacht races.

While the highly lucrative role of Rolex ambassador is reserved for those rare few who can be described as true sporting legends, it seems just about every top athlete is a fan of the brand.

Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most prominent sports icons and their Rolex connection to the many fine timepieces that they wear.

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor

Floyd Mayweather & McGregor

During the buildup to their long-awaited Nevada showdown, the two not-at-all shy and retiring fighters waged a war of wealth on each other in a protracted psychological battle for supremacy. The pair’s Instagram feeds showcased the lavishly opulent lifestyles they had earned for themselves. They also displayed, among many other things, the incredible number of watches they had amassed.

rolex-gmt-master-ii-116759-SARU

Drenched In Precious Stones

For sheer bling factor, it was a walkover. ‘Money’ Mayweather’s collection of some of the most expensive timepieces available is estimated to be worth well in excess of $7m. In addition, the undefeated champion has a particular fondness for the crown. Not content with their already significant price tags, his Rolex’s have been encrusted from top to bottom with every conceivable precious stone until they prove as big a threat to the eye as the recent solar eclipse. Among the most extravagant are two of the already heavily embellished special edition GMT Master II range released in 2007, the ref. 116759 SARU and SANR. Mayweather has upped the ante by dripping the dials, bezels and bracelets in diamonds as well, until there’s barely a square millimeter that doesn’t glisten. His countless assortment of Datejusts, Day Dates, Yacht Masters and Sky Dwellers have all received similar treatment.

rolex-day-date-40mm

By comparison, Conor McGregor has remained uncharacteristically discreet with his collection. He’s happy to take his watches as they come and restrains from adding any extra touches.

Even so, he’s not immune to the allure of gemstones. His pool of 40mm Day Dates have diamond hour markers. He also has a choice of models cast in platinum, Everose or yellow gold in a selection of dial colors.

‘Notorious’ has also accumulated several gold Sky Dwellers. However, he’s seen most often wearing the 44mm yellow gold Yacht Master II.

With the monster payday both fighters enjoyed following their bout, we can only guess at what further additions they’ll be making.

Roger Federer

Sports Icons and Their Rolex - Roger Federer

Considered perhaps the greatest tennis player of all time, Federer holds the record for the most Grand Slam men’s singles Championships, with 19.

His relationship with Rolex has been long and lucrative. He signed one of the biggest sponsorship deals ever in 2006. Additionally, a note that he’s worth $15m a year for over 10 years.

The choice of Federer as a Rolex ambassador was a logical one. Hailing from Basel in Switzerland, home of the world’s largest luxury watch trade fair, he is the living embodiment of the ideals Rolex has always lived by; sophisticated, modest, graceful and better than just about anyone else out there.

As for his watches, he has been most often associated with the company’s flagship dress watch, the Day Date, aptly nicknamed The President. Some of the most important figures in recent history wear this model. Clearly, it is a fitting choice for the legendary player.

This year, after missing six months of the season with a back injury, Federer defeated arch rival Rafael Nadal in a bruising five-set encounter to win the Australian Open. Hoisting the trophy, the bezel on his GMT Master II BLNR proved a nice match to the blue of the courts inside Melbourne Park. This was the  first Rolex to sport a two tone Cerachrom surround. The blue/black coloring earned the watch the unofficial label of Batman.

Reportedly the owner of a formidable collection of the brand’s premium offerings, he has said his most treasured watch is the vintage Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6263. His wife, former professional tennis player, Mirka Vavrinec, gave it to him for his 30th birthday.

Sir Jackie Stewart

Sir Jackie Stewart

One of motor racing’s true icons, Sir Jackie Stewart, is otherwise known as ‘The Flying Scot’. He racked up 43 podium finishes in his nine-season career, including a total of 27 wins.

His involvement with Rolex dates back to 1966. This is when he used part of his first substantial paycheck for qualifying for the Indy 500 to treat himself to a yellow gold Day Date. Two years later, he signed the contract that still holds to this day as a Rolex Testimonee. That same year, the company also adopted two other titans of sport icons, golfing great Arnold Palmer and skiing champion Jean-Claude Killy.

Although his racing career was relatively short, Stewart packed in three world championship victories. To celebrate the first of those wins, Andre Heininger, the second chairman in Rolex’s history and the man credited with making the company what it is today, presented Stewart with the special edition King Midas watch. All gold with an unusual asymmetrical case, it was only made in limited numbers, with one going to another king—Elvis.

Today, the racing legend owns somewhere in the region of two dozen Rolex watches. Many of them awarded as prizes for Grand Prix triumphs. He won at Monaco three times, the most challenging circuit on the F1 calendar. Yet, it’s the Daytonas that he particularly values. Last year he was presented with a new model to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first Monte Carlo win.

A Class Act

Jackie Stewart has been a Rolex ambassador for the best part of 50 years now. The two brands have been very good for each other. Stewart is exactly what the watchmaker looks for in one of its advocates. He continues to remain a class act both on and off the track. And for his part, Stewart has always gone out of his way to promote his sponsor’s products. He even has his left shirt sleeves tailored to be slightly shorter. All the better to see the beautiful creation on his wrist.

The Definitive Expression of Success

For decades, epic sports icons and their Rolex relationship are definitive expressions of success. An aspiration by everyone driven to be the very best. So it’s natural that those in the ultra-competitive world of professional sports turn to the Rolex brand. It’s their ultimate reward for when they reach the heights the rest of us can only dream of.

BeckerTimeBE

The post Sports Icons and Their Rolex appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/sports-icons-rolex/feed/ 0
A Rolex President Like No Other: The Gold Oysterquartz Day Date https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-president-like-no-gold-oysterquartz-day-date/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-president-like-no-gold-oysterquartz-day-date/#respond Thu, 07 Sep 2017 13:37:25 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174388 Starting in the late 1970s up until the early 2000s, Rolex produced quartz watches that were dubbed Oysterquartz. The Rolex Oysterquartz was available in a variety of materials including steel, two-tone steel and gold, and solid gold. For a solid gold Oysterquartz however, we have to turn to the Day-Date editions. Join us as we […]

The post A Rolex President Like No Other: The Gold Oysterquartz Day Date appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Starting in the late 1970s up until the early 2000s, Rolex produced quartz watches that were dubbed Oysterquartz. The Rolex Oysterquartz was available in a variety of materials including steel, two-tone steel and gold, and solid gold. For a solid gold Oysterquartz however, we have to turn to the Day-Date editions. Join us as we discover the gold Oysterquartz Day Date collection.

The Origins of the Gold Oysterquartz Day Date

The Rolex Oysterquartz made its debut in 1977. While these were not the first Rolex quartz watches, they were the first to run on in-house quartz movements.

Oysterquartz Day-Date 19018

There were two main models that bore the Oysterquartz name—the Datejust and the Day Date. Rolex cleverly balanced classic design details of the traditional (i.e. mechanical versions) Datejust and the Day Date watches with traits that are exclusive to the Oysterquartz version.

For example, similar to the traditional Rolex President watch, the Oysterquartz Day-Date is only available in precious metal. In this case, there are only gold Oysterquartz Day-Date watches in either yellow or white shades. Furthermore, like their mechanical counterparts, the gold Oysterquartz Day-Date watches sport a 36mm Oyster case. However, the Oysterquartz versions actually wear bigger thanks to the distinct angular shape of the case.

Additionally, the gold Oysterquartz Day-Date watches also come with the signature President bracelet, but in an integrated style. Of course, as its name suggests, the gold Oysterquartz President timepieces also include the pair of iconic day and date windows that made the collection so famous. But, this time, powering the watches’ functions is the Rolex Caliber 5055 quartz movement.

Although early models of the Datejust Caliber 5035 were not COSC-certified, all Caliber 5055 movements beating at the core of Oysterquartz Day Date timepieces are indeed certified chronometers. As a result, all gold Oysterquartz watches will include the “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” designation on the dial.

The Variety of the Gold Oysterquartz Day Date Lineup

During the 25-year production run of gold Oysterquartz President watches, Rolex released an assortment of references. The first and most classic choices are the Oysterquartz Day Date ref. 19018 in yellow gold and the ref. 19019 in white gold. Both these models include the iconic fluted bezel and integrated President bracelet. Dial options include stick indexes, Arabic numerals, Roman numerals, and even diamond markers.

The yellow gold Oysterquartz ref. 19048 and the white gold Oysterquartz ref. 19049 are identical to the above Day Date watches except they also include a diamond bezel with 44 brilliant-cut gems.

Oysterquartz Day Date 19028

Particularly interesting editions of the gold Oysterquartz Day Date watches are those with the pyramid design details. The Oysterquartz ref. 19028 includes an intricate pyramid motif on both the bezel, as well as, the center links of the President bracelet. On the other hand, the yellow gold Oysterquartz ref. 19038 and ref. 19068 boast both pyramids and diamonds.

There are also other ultra-luxurious iterations of the gold Oysterquartz decorated with a range of precious gems such as the ref. 19058, ref. 19078, ref. 19148, and ref. 19168.

So, if you’re looking for a solid gold Oysterquartz, then look no further than the varied Rolex Day Date President quartz collection. An interesting piece of Rolex history with a unique look that will always impress, the gold Oysterquartz Day Date is truly a Rolex President like no other.

 

 

 

BeckerTimeBE

The post A Rolex President Like No Other: The Gold Oysterquartz Day Date appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-president-like-no-gold-oysterquartz-day-date/feed/ 0
The New Rolex Watches From Baselworld 2017 https://beckertime.com/blog/the-new-rolex-watches-from-baselworld-2017/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-new-rolex-watches-from-baselworld-2017/#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 07:00:39 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=173473 Seven New Offerings The annual watch lover’s candy land known as Baselworld acts as a seven-day springboard for the world’s premier brands to showcase their newest creations before they are turned loose on a salivating public. For 2017, the new Rolex watches from Baselworld dominated proceedings with their largest ever display, measuring over 13,000 square feet […]

The post The New Rolex Watches From Baselworld 2017 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Seven New Offerings

The annual watch lover’s candy land known as Baselworld acts as a seven-day springboard for the world’s premier brands to showcase their newest creations before they are turned loose on a salivating public. For 2017, the new Rolex watches from Baselworld dominated proceedings with their largest ever display, measuring over 13,000 square feet and spread across three stories.

The run up to every Baselworld event sets the rumor mill into overdrive with enthusiasts trying to second guess just what might emerge from the ultra-secretive Rolex headquarters. This year, we’re treated to new Rolex watches from Baselworld with seven new offerings from the Geneva-based giant. Below, we’ll give you the low-down on each one.

The Sea Dweller ref. 126600

The Sea Dweller Ref. 126600

As 2017 marked the Sea Dweller’s 50th anniversary, the release of an all-new version was very much expected. However, the unveiling of the ref. 126600 caught many by surprise and proved somewhat controversial.

At 43mm, it has grown significantly from its previous 40mm size. Now, it is only slightly smaller than the behemoth-like Deepsea. But, to the dismay of many purists, the new model appeared with the edition of a Cyclops lens over the date window at 3 o’clock. Now, the Sea Dweller has always had a date function. However, it has also always had a faithful following who specifically preferred the symmetry of the dial without the Cyclops. Of the brand’s range of dive watches, the Deepsea is now the only one left without magnification.

Perhaps, to appease the traditionalists, Rolex has included subtle elements that hark back to the designs of yesteryear. Most notably the name Sea Dweller picked out in red as a homage to the classic ‘double red’ models of the late sixties.

Inside, everything comes back up to date with the new Cal. 3235. This is the first movement to be named a Rolex Superlative Chronometer. It certifies that the caliber has a timekeeping accuracy of just -2/+2 seconds per day. This is twice as stringent as the industry standard. Take a closer look at a next generation movement, Rolex Caliber 3235.

The Cosmograph Daytona

The Cosmograph Daytona

The revamped stainless steel versions of the Daytona were the undoubted stars of the 2016 show. This year they added three precious metal variants—in yellow, white and Everose gold. Rolex’s most successful watch ever, the new range continues with the popular Cerachrom bezel. For the first time, Rolex offers them with the Oysterflex bracelet that made its debut on the Yacht-Master.

The elastomer strap with its nickel titanium core is supple enough to mould to the natural shape of your wrist while preserving all the strength of a metal bracelet. It also retains the rock solid Oysterlock clasp to prevent from accidental opening.

Sitting inside is the Cal. 4130, which, incredibly for a company like Rolex, is their first all in-house chronograph. Now considered one of the sturdiest and most accurate movements ever made, it has powered the Daytona series since 2000.

The new gold range with their black ceramic surrounds and the sportily informal Oysterflex bracelet project a cool, laidback attitude. Currently, the watch world’s most sought after timepiece. The only thing more impressive than a Daytona is the length of its waiting list.

The Datejust 41

The Datejust 41

The watch that is perhaps the most quintessentially Rolex, the basics of the Datejust’s discreet, understated design have barely changed over its more than 70-year history.

The new 41mm size collection was introduced last year with two precious metal versions, yellow gold and Everose and steel. As a result, 2017 Rolex answered many fans’ pleas. They launched an all stainless steel variant. This more affordable example of one of the all-time classic Rolex watches also benefits from the next generation caliber 3235 that drives the Sea-Dweller, along with a leaner case, slimmed down hour markers and a bezel in white gold.

The Datejust series has always been the most varied in the Rolex lineup. Rolex offers its line with a bewildering range of different configurations of dial colors, bracelets and indexes. Also, they offer them with either a flat or fluted bezel.

Widening the collection even further, an 18k white gold and steel model was launched alongside the 904L steel version.

The Sky Dweller

The Sky Dweller

Rolex launched its most recent creation, the Sky Dweller, in 2012. It stands as one of the most complicated and expensive watches in the lineup.

Previously only made in all gold—yellow, white or Everose—2017 saw the release of the first examples of the series in two-tone Rolesor. There’s a pair of new Sky Dweller models to choose from, in yellow gold and steel, and white gold and steel.

Along with the new metals used in its construction, which give the Sky Dweller a (relatively) more accessible price point, it has also been given a subtle facelift for this year.

The information-heavy dial gets baton indexes rather than the previous Arabic or Roman numerals. In addition, they lengthened the center hands to improve legibility. This provides a more balanced overall look.

The ingenious Ring Command Bezel stays, as does the incredible caliber 9001, making the dual time zone Sky-Dweller the ultimate watch for serious global travellers.

The Lady Datejust 28

The Lady Datejust 28

Following the trend for women wearing larger watches, the 2017 Lady Datejust ups its case size to 28mm from the previous 26mm.

The classically feminine edition of Rolex’s emblematic Datejust follows in the footsteps of the men’s watch and now comes in a stainless steel version as well as a new Rolesor model, combining steel and white gold.

This series is also available with a similarly exhaustive range of dial options as the men’s version. And, they upgraded its movement, the next generation Cal. 2236 with Rolex’s patented Syloxi hairspring. This is the first time the brand has used silicon for the component. It increases the power reserve to more than 55 hours.

The Lady Datejust range has been an elegant symbol of prestige since it appeared in the late fifties and the 2017 model continues its heritage, in a size perfectly suited for smaller wrists.

The Cellini Moonphase ref. 50535

The Cellini Moonphase Ref. 50535

The Cellini series, Rolex’s line of exquisite dress watches, has always remained a little overshadowed by the all-conquering sports models. This year however, the return of a Moonphase complication has been causing an excited buzz among collectors who have been waiting for it to make a comeback since the 1950s.

The Cellini Moonphase is about as retro as Rolex gets. Its slim, minimalist design and modest 39mm dimensions are long-standing traditions of the brand. But, far from being old fashioned, the lunar phase module that sits in the 6 o’clock position will stay accurate for 122 years, thanks to a newly-improved caliber 3195. The blue enamel disk uses a piece of genuine meteorite to represent the moon. A small gold arrow at the top makes its position easily legible.

Crafted from 18k Everose gold, it also has a date feature, which you can read on the outer numerals of the simple white lacquer dial.

One of the new Rolex watches from Baselworld, the release of the Cellini Moonphase, was met with very little fanfare. However, its combination of sophisticated styling and much-missed functionality saw it become the star of the show.

The Yacht Master II

The Yacht Master II

One of Rolex’s most technically impressive and opinion splitting models, the Yacht Master II, arrived at Baselworld 2017 sporting a few subtle dial tweaks and a simplified and improved caliber, the 4161.

The definitive seafarer’s watch, the complex movement allows for pinpoint timing accuracy during regattas, with on-the-fly synchronization and a programmable countdown with mechanical memory.

A combination of pushers and a Ring Command Bezel similar to that found on the Sky Dweller control the host of functions on the Yacht Master II. This is an incredibly impressive engineering feat from a watchmaker that rarely produces complications.

New shape hour markers replace the previously square indices at 12 and 6 o’clock—a rectangle and triangle respectively. Additionally, they superseded the original thin baton hour hand by the more traditional Mercedes style, with a luminescent disc for improved clarity.

Rolex released the newest Yacht Master II in four models—yellow gold, stainless steel, steel and Everose, and white gold and platinum.

Now in its 100th year, Baselworld has become the most important destination for both the makers and lovers of fine timepieces.  And, as always, the release of these new Rolex watches from Baselworld delighted their fans and continued the brand’s heritage as the most important luxury watchmaker in the world.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The New Rolex Watches From Baselworld 2017 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-new-rolex-watches-from-baselworld-2017/feed/ 0
How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 4 https://beckertime.com/blog/avoid-an-online-scam-part-4/ https://beckertime.com/blog/avoid-an-online-scam-part-4/#respond Thu, 31 Aug 2017 18:59:08 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=174038 Online Scams Part 4: Authenticate Your Purchase You’ve done the research, verified the source and finally made a preowned luxury purchase. You hit complete purchase. Now, you eagerly wait to have the product show up on your doorstep. In our final Online Scams Part 4 blog series on how to avoid an online scam, we focus on how […]

The post How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 4 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Online Scams Part 4: Authenticate Your Purchase

You’ve done the research, verified the source and finally made a preowned luxury purchase. You hit complete purchase. Now, you eagerly wait to have the product show up on your doorstep. In our final Online Scams Part 4 blog series on how to avoid an online scam, we focus on how to authenticate your purchase. This final phase is short and sweet. Just two steps and you’re on your way to wearing an authentic luxury item.

Step One

Examine your Rolex

Throughout our Online Scams series, we have discussed each step necessary to help protect you from getting scammed, especially when buying preowned. First things first. When you receive your order, it’s imperative to check all parts of the item, including logos, markings, etc. Make sure they are consistent with other similar items of the same age from the same brand.

It is also important to keep in mind that products change over time…so a 1960’s item may be different than a 1990’s, etc.  If an item is different, it does not mean it is fake or wrong.  It means you need to confirm that what you received is genuine. Examining all parts is crucial when authenticating your item. It’s also helpful to check (if applicable) for a model number, a serial number, and/or a part number. Also, know where these numbers are located on the product, should you need to access it later.

Step Two

Inspect your Watch

After examining your purchase, if you want to further authenticate it, take it to a professional who is a brand expert. Having the right person authenticate your purchase is just as important as buying from a reliable retailer. Be sure to look at online reviews and experience to help find the right professional.

There are many individuals out there who lack the expertise to properly evaluate the product you’re looking to authenticate. However, the right qualified expert knows exactly what product details to analyze to validate authenticity. They are familiar with the changes and differences within a brand. For example, if you have a prized designer dress that needs cleaning, you’d take it to a dry cleaner with the expertise to handle this particular piece over another establishment who hasn’t dealt with designer items. He or she will know what chemicals, methods of cleaning, and handling procedures are best to care for the dress.  Just because a company or person is in the “trade” does not mean they are an expert in what you need authenticated.

Find The Expert

Additionally, you would be surprised by how many companies or “experts” do not want to admit they do not know something or it is beyond their level of expertise.  Receiving wrong information can be damaging…You could lose out on a good item if the authenticator provides incorrect information (stating there are authenticity and/or functionality issues with an item when there are not) or you could keep a bad item (because they stated there were no authenticity and or functionality issues with an item).

Rolex Expert Watcher

Another thing to remember is that a sales person is not necessarily an expert.  A sales person is generally trained to know what they sell.  An example is if you need to authenticate your vintage Corvette. Taking the vintage Corvette into a a dealership that specializes in new and used (modern) cars will be a different experience compared to taking the Corvette into an independent mechanic or expert that specializes in vintage Corvettes.  I would trust the mechanic or expert that specializes in vintage Corvettes over a sales person at a dealership.

That’s it. Our Online Scams Part 4 series lays out our insider tips to help you make a verified purchase and avoid an online scam. We hope you now shop the preowned market safely and with confidence. If you’re in the market for a preowned Rolex or other luxury timepiece, our BeckerTime experts are here to ensure you find an authentic watch. View our genuine selection of preowned luxury timepieces online today at BeckerTime.com or give us a call at (817) 503-2334.

The post How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 4 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/avoid-an-online-scam-part-4/feed/ 0
Check Out Matt Becker on CEO Blog Nation https://beckertime.com/blog/mattbeckerceoblognation/ https://beckertime.com/blog/mattbeckerceoblognation/#respond Wed, 30 Aug 2017 21:41:55 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=173965 CEO Matthew Becker Did you see BeckerTime CEO Matthew Becker on CEO Blog Nation? He shared some of the biggest hurdles he faced when founding BeckerTime.com. Also, eleven other CEOs and entrepreneurs were featured. They discussed their biggest business hurdles with CEO Blog Nation’s own Gresham Harkless. So, if you haven’t checked out the article, […]

The post Check Out Matt Becker on CEO Blog Nation appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Beckertime CEO, Matt Becker
CEO Matthew Becker

Did you see BeckerTime CEO Matthew Becker on CEO Blog Nation? He shared some of the biggest hurdles he faced when founding BeckerTime.com. Also, eleven other CEOs and entrepreneurs were featured. They discussed their biggest business hurdles with CEO Blog Nation’s own Gresham Harkless. So, if you haven’t checked out the article, find some of the highlights below.

CEO Blog Nation Highlights

  • Starting a business can be difficult even with a strong business plan and necessary capital.
  • When dealing with high-value items, customers want to know that their product is authentic. Sometimes it is harder to earn the trust of the buyers when you launch a company.
  • You have to go out of your way to prove yourself to the buyers and build strong, lasting relationships with them.
  • One of the biggest difficulties in starting a new business is attracting the clientele needed to produce the numbers to sustain the new business.
  • Lastly, clients that waste your time, have unrealistic expectations or fail to pay on time can be a drag on business growth.

CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. The outlet provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

Read the entire article on CEO Blog Nation to read the entire article and visit our Facebook to let us know your thoughts!

The post Check Out Matt Becker on CEO Blog Nation appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/mattbeckerceoblognation/feed/ 0
How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 3 https://beckertime.com/blog/avoid-an-online-scam/ https://beckertime.com/blog/avoid-an-online-scam/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 18:33:08 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=173434 Online Scams Part 3: Payment Methods to Finalize The Sale You’ve done your research and decided where to purchase your next preowned luxury timepiece. It’s just about time to press “complete purchase” and celebrate your online victory. But before you get excited about the delivery notification you’ll receive, it’s important to pay attention to one […]

The post How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 3 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Online Scams Part 3: Payment Methods to Finalize The Sale

You’ve done your research and decided where to purchase your next preowned luxury timepiece. It’s just about time to press “complete purchase” and celebrate your online victory. But before you get excited about the delivery notification you’ll receive, it’s important to pay attention to one last thing: payment. In our Online Scams Part 3 blog series on how to avoid an online scam, we’ll focus on payment methods used to finalize the sale. We will also discuss how to watch out for scams.

Paying with a Credit Card

Credit Cards

When it comes to buying online, paying with a credit card ensures that your order confirmation goes through. It also protects you in the event the seller doesn’t deliver on their end. As a result, if your order never shows up or you receive something completely different, you can facilitate a refund through your credit card company. If the seller refuses to help resolve any issues that result from the purchase, your credit card company can help. Credit card fraud protection works in your favor. Reversing charges is usually as simple as a phone call, as long as you act quickly.

Third Party Payment Services

3rd Party Payments

Third party payment services, such as PayPal, are also excellent choices when making an online purchase. Also, services like these add an extra layer of protection by keeping your credit card and bank information hidden from online retailers. Additionally, third party payment services typically offer buyer protection as well, in the event your orders don’t arrive. Think of it as an insurance policy of sorts.

Secure Methods

SSL Secure Payments

There’s an excitement that follows completing an online purchase and our first instinct isn’t to think of the “what if’s.” What if my order doesn’t arrive? What if it’s fake? Make sure you use a secure method of payment. It gives you, the customer, the peace of mind needed to overcome a worst-case scenario.

If you’re in the market for a preowned Rolex or other luxury watch, our BeckerTime experts are here to ensure you find the perfect watch at the right price, and not fall for an online scam. View our authentic selection of preowned luxury timepieces online today at BeckerTime.com or give us a call at (817) 503-2334.

BeckerTimeBE

The post How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 3 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/avoid-an-online-scam/feed/ 0
BeckerTime CEO Shares Tips on How to Run a Successful Online Business https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertimeinceoworldmagazine/ https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertimeinceoworldmagazine/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 17:15:16 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=173687 CEO Matthew Becker BeckerTime was featured in CEOWORLD Magazine this week!  With almost 20 years of experience in the e-commerce world, BeckerTime CEO, Matthew Becker, has a deep understanding of the ins and outs of how to run a successful retail business online. Presently, with the e-commerce boom, more retailers are turning to selling their products online. […]

The post BeckerTime CEO Shares Tips on How to Run a Successful Online Business appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Beckertime CEO, Matt Becker
CEO Matthew Becker

BeckerTime was featured in CEOWORLD Magazine this week!  With almost 20 years of experience in the e-commerce world, BeckerTime CEO, Matthew Becker, has a deep understanding of the ins and outs of how to run a successful retail business online. Presently, with the e-commerce boom, more retailers are turning to selling their products online. But what are the best practices to become a successful online retailer? Matthew Becker shares a few tips with readers of CEOWORLD Magazine and sheds some light on how to run a successful online business. In case you missed it, be sure to check out BeckerTime in CEOWORLD where he shares some of the highlights below.

CEOWORLD Magazine Highlights

CEOMagazine

  • You have to build trust and that does not happen overnight. Once you build trust and offer a great experience, customers will come back.
  • Always be genuinely passionate about the product you’re selling and helping your customers
  • Be able to adapt to an ever-changing market place
  • In order to keep your business growing, you must keep improving and keep reinvesting in your company.
  • Your customer base is your number one asset; show them you care about their experience and know they have other options when it comes to buying online
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative

CEOWORLD Magazine is the world’s leading business magazine written strictly for CEOs, CFOs, top managers, company directors, investors, senior executives, business leaders, high net worth individuals, and the most globally powerful men and women. With content that ranges from successful business strategies and emerging trends to expert opinions and proprietary research, it’s no wonder CEOWORLD Magazine has seen more than 12.4 million page views!

Read the entire article at CEOWORLD and visit our Facebook to let us know your thoughts!

BeckerTimeBE

The post BeckerTime CEO Shares Tips on How to Run a Successful Online Business appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertimeinceoworldmagazine/feed/ 0
The Rolex Caliber 3235 https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-3235-2/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-3235-2/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:22:08 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=173483 For something the majority of Rolex wearers will never see, the announcement of a completely new movement to power one of the brand’s impeccable lines of watches. The Rolex Caliber 3235 causes fans a huge amount of excitement. In keeping with their reputation as the epitome of Swiss discretion, nothing in the Rolex catalog features […]

The post The Rolex Caliber 3235 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
For something the majority of Rolex wearers will never see, the announcement of a completely new movement to power one of the brand’s impeccable lines of watches. The Rolex Caliber 3235 causes fans a huge amount of excitement.

In keeping with their reputation as the epitome of Swiss discretion, nothing in the Rolex catalog features a see-through case back to let you observe these miniature works of art in action.

However, just the hint of a new date-only caliber in 2015 set Rolex forums blazing. Many speculated the diameter of the movement would have to be widened if it was to accommodate a mainspring barrel capable of delivering the rumored 70-hour power reserve. That in turn would increase the size of the watch as a whole. Devoted followers prepared themselves for the likes of a 42mm Submariner.

In the end, thanks to Rolex’s typically innovative engineering processes, that didn’t happen. Instead, what emerged from the highly secretive plant in Bienne was the Rolex Caliber 3235. This is a next generation movement protected with a total of 14 patents. They designed it to run longer with even greater accuracy.

Let’s take a more detailed look.

The Rolex Caliber 3235

The Caliber 3235

The 39mm Pearlmaster was the first watch to debut the caliber at Baselworld 2015. It has since gone on to be the engine inside two more of Rolex’s especially iconic designs; the 50th anniversary edition of the ultra tough dive watch The Sea Dweller ref. 126600, and possibly the brand’s most famous and enduring design, the 41mm version of the Datejust.

The new Rolex Caliber 3235 is based on the architecture of the movement inside Rolex’s flagship, the Day Date 40. We typically know this as the Rolex President watch, released a year before. The two mechanisms share similar features although, obviously, the 3255 of the President’s watch has an additional day complication.

The caliber itself has replaced more than 90% of the parts of its predecessor, Rolex’s longest running and most successful movement, the Cal. 3135. This mechanism has found its way inside more of the brand’s offerings than any other. The Yacht Master, the Submariner and the Deep Sea still use the 3135.

True to the Rolex design philosophy of relentless improvement, of evolution rather than revolution, virtually every component in the Rolex Caliber 3235 was ruthlessly tweaked and modified to offer greater efficiency over the previous model. Learn more about what Rolex can teach us about quality.

The New Chronergy

The New Caliber 3235 Chronergy

Most significantly, there’s a new type of escapement known as the Chronergy. The escapement is the part of a watch that helps regulate the power delivered from the mainspring via the oscillator. It consists of two main components, a pallet fork and an escape wheel. That ticking sound you hear in mechanical watches is the teeth of the pallet fork engaging and disengaging with the escape wheel. This slowly releases the energy, one tooth at a time.

The new Chronergy is an improved version of the most common type of the mechanism called the Swiss lever escapement. The escape wheel was skeletonized, using a cutout design that greatly reduces its overall weight, and therefore, its inertia. The pallet fork’s teeth are only half as thick as before. However, the contact surfaces on the escape wheel have doubled. The modifications, along with shifting the components to be geometrically offset, have increased its efficiency by 15%. And, by constructing the pieces from nickel-phosphorous, they become highly resistant to magnetic fields.

As well as the new escapement, another major innovation with the Rolex Caliber 3235 concerns the mainspring barrel. This caused so much discussion on internet forums when the first whispers of a three-day power reserve surfaced. However, Rolex was able to maintain the barrel’s original size by halving the thickness of its walls.

Also, the new monobloc-shaped rotor on the self-winding module rotates on ball bearings to enhance its speed. This allows for more rapid winding of the longer, high-capacity mainspring inside.

In-House Engineering

In-House Engineering

These breakthroughs are only possible through ongoing research and development into production techniques. Rolex is fanatical about controlling every aspect of the watchmaking process. As a result, they develop everything that goes into their movements in-house.

They are also able to create the miniscule components that make up their calibers using cutting-edge technology processes such as LiGA. This is an electroplating system used to manufacture microstructures.

But, while Rolex may have the most advanced watchmaking machinery in the world, their calibers and all of the separate elements that go into a completed watch, are assembled by hand. When you think about the micron-sized parts these highly trained technicians work with, it’s extremely impressive.

Along with the hardware contained inside one of their pieces, Rolex also develops and synthesizes its own lubricants to keep everything running smoothly. For the newly optimized gear train in the Caliber 3235—the series of wheels that transmit the energy from the mainspring to the escapement—a new high-performance oil is created to give more stability and a longer useful life. By reducing the friction between parts that could slow the movement, they ensure a higher level of reliability. Uniquely among watchmakers, modern Rolex’s only need servicing every ten years.

The Future of Rolex Calibers

The Future Calibers

As well as the uprated power reserve of 70 hours, Rolex’s newest caliber consumes 30% less energy than previous movements. By maintaining the same physical dimensions as its predecessor, many experts are predicting it’s only a matter of time before it replaces the Caliber 3135 that has been the brand’s mainstay for nearly 30 years. Rolex themselves are being predictably tightlipped about it.

Along with all the new features, the Rolex Caliber 3235 contains the Parachrom bleu hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers that have become standard issue across the range and that have put Rolex’s movements at the top of the watchmaking tree for consistency and precision.

They redefined that level of accuracy in 2015 when the 3235 became the first movement to receive Rolex’s own certification as a Superlative Chronometer. Not content with the industry recognized classification set down by the COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Institute, Rolex laid out their own criteria for their movements that are twice as exacting. That means a tolerance of just -2/+2 seconds a day. And to make it even tougher on themselves, they test each movement a second time after they fit it into the case. No other watchmaker is quite so demanding. Discover the rich Rolex history that has led to its name becoming synonymous with quality and distinction.

Conclusion

Rolex have long been the benchmark in the world of fine watches. While the outside appearance of their creations is easy to appreciate, they carry over that same ethos of uncompromising quality onto the inside, as well.

Incredibly, for the new Rolex Caliber 3235, Rolex has even gone to the trouble of improving the caliber cosmetically, with beautiful beveled edging and circular graining on a number of the components.

It’s a typically understated level of grandstanding for the world’s most famous watchmaker.

BeckerTimeBE

The post The Rolex Caliber 3235 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-caliber-3235-2/feed/ 0
In Honor of the Solar Eclipse, Learn How Solar-Powered Watches Differ from the Rest https://beckertime.com/blog/learn-how-solar-powered-watches-differ-from-the-rest/ https://beckertime.com/blog/learn-how-solar-powered-watches-differ-from-the-rest/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:18:25 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=173538 The solar eclipse that is passing through the U.S. on Monday has been generating quite a bit of buzz and for good reason. Monday is the first time in 38 years we get to bear witness to such an event. A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth and […]

The post In Honor of the Solar Eclipse, Learn How Solar-Powered Watches Differ from the Rest appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
The solar eclipse that is passing through the U.S. on Monday has been generating quite a bit of buzz and for good reason. Monday is the first time in 38 years we get to bear witness to such an event. A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to three hours. Thus the inspiration for us at BeckerTime to see what watches and the solar eclipse have in common. So we dug deeper into how solar-powered watches differ from mechanical and battery-powered watches.

Solar-powered Watches

seiko-solar-watch

A solar-powered watch is powered partly or entirely by solar cells. Some of the earlier solar-powered watch models were created in the 1970s. Usually, sunlight or artificial light is absorbed by a solar panel behind the face of the watch which powers the watch to function. The dial is sometimes located on the solar panel or the layer above the panel. This converts the light to electrical energy to power the watch. The watch usually stores energy in rechargeable cells to power itself during the night or when covered by clothing. Today, solar-powered watches are quite inexpensive.

Perpetual & Mechanical-powered Watches

Mens Rolex 14K Gold Shell Date Champagne 1550

People often wonder how Rolex watches are powered without a battery. Rolex does not use a battery to power most its watches but rather relies on absorbing power from natural movement. Also, the natural movement known to power Rolex watch movements can be distinguished as perpetual and mechanical movements. Perpetual movement watches are self-winding and require continuous movement to power through the day. Learn more about a Rolex Perpetual Movement. Mechanical movement watches are wound from a mainspring. The mainspring stores the energy and transfers it through a series of gears and springs. Most luxurious timepieces are perpetual or mechanical-powered to allow for the fine craftsmanship that makes these watches look and perform great.

Battery Watches

Gevril GV2 Stainless Steel Certified Chronotimer Watch 4604

A battery powered watch is exactly what it says: a watch powered by a battery. The battery is located on the back part of the watch. As a result, a jeweler usually has to change the battery when it needs replacement.

BeckerTime would love to help you choose from some of Rolex’s most popular watch models. In fact, we offer a large selection of preowned Rolex timepieces, paired with our personalized customer service, to help ensure you find the perfect watch at the right price. From now through Tuesday, shop our Solar Eclipse Sale! Customers receive $200 off all Rolex watches with a $2,500 minimum purchase using the coupon code: ECLIPSE2017. Sale ends Tuesday, August 22 at midnight PST. View our selection online today at BeckerTime.com or give us a call at (817) 503-2334.

In the meantime, enjoy viewing the Total Solar Eclipse 2017. It will be a rare but amazing sighting!

BeckerTimeBE

The post In Honor of the Solar Eclipse, Learn How Solar-Powered Watches Differ from the Rest appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/learn-how-solar-powered-watches-differ-from-the-rest/feed/ 0
Rolex Water Resistance – Have You Checked Lately? https://beckertime.com/blog/checked-watches-water-resistance-lately/ https://beckertime.com/blog/checked-watches-water-resistance-lately/#comments Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:01:34 +0000 http://beckertime.com/?p=59453 Aren’t All Rolex Watches Waterproof? Similar to most Rolex owners, you probably give little thought to your Rolex water resistance rating. However, it’s a concern every Rolex owner should have, regardless of the model or how you use it. Waterproof Or Water Resistant? Rolex does a fantastic job marketing their impressive Rolex Oyster case – used […]

The post Rolex Water Resistance – Have You Checked Lately? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Aren’t All Rolex Watches Waterproof?

Similar to most Rolex owners, you probably give little thought to your Rolex water resistance rating. However, it’s a concern every Rolex owner should have, regardless of the model or how you use it.

Rolex Water Resistance

Waterproof Or Water Resistant?

Rolex does a fantastic job marketing their impressive Rolex Oyster case – used on nearly every Rolex made. In fact, many people mistakenly think that it is impossible for water to ever penetrate a Rolex Oyster case. So let’s begin by clearing up one common misconception – no Rolex watch is completely waterproof.  Instead, Rolex water resistance carries a rating which essentially certifies to what depth a Rolex will remain water resistant under ideal circumstances. A water resistant watch like a Rolex isn’t waterproof just like stainless steel isn’t stain proof. And the level at which your Rolex is water resistance rated again assumes ideal circumstances. If you haven’t maintained your watch recently, chances are its water resistance rating is considerably less than the advertised rating. So don’t take for granted that your Rolex watch is “waterproof” before going near water. Learn more about the water resistant rating here at Waterproof or Water Resistance.

I’m Not A Diver So Why Do I Care About Rolex Water Resistance Ratings?

You don’t have to be Jacques Cousteau to be concerned about maintaining the water resistance of your Rolex. Because there are many, many factors which can over time reduce the Rolex water resistance rating, making the watch susceptible to water damage from even benign, mundane every day activities. All Rolex watches have gaskets and seals around the various entry points into the case (at the crystal, the case back, and the crown). These components and their effectiveness can degrade over time under the best of circumstances. Extreme temperature inversion (such as what happens when you enter and exit a sauna, hot tub, or even a hot shower while wearing your watch) can accelerate the natural degradation of the seals. Left unchecked, that degradation will slowly chip away and reduce the water resistance of your Rolex to the point where nearly any moisture source can penetrate inside the case.

To Err Is Human

In addition, simple human error impacts Rolex water resistance levels. To wind your Rolex, you have to unscrew the crown. When you do so, you compromise the water resistance rating of the watch until the crown is screwed back down. It’s a pretty simple mistake to forget to screw the crown back down. In some cases, the crown on a Rolex will simply come unscrewed on its own and pop out. Consequently, this is easy to overlook and accidentally jump in the shower or just wash your hands.

Now, just because water is present with the crown unscrewed, it’s not an immediate death sentence for our watch. Again, there are rubber gaskets and seals that work in conjunction with the Rolex crown to keep water out. But if those gaskets and seals haven’t been changed in a while or have been degraded by other factors, water could penetrate the case.  The take away here is that everyone (not just deep sea divers) should be concerned with maintaining Rolex water resistance rating of their watch.

Rolex Water Resistance

After Market Modifications/Accessories Can Degrade Water Resistance.

To achieve industry leading water resistance levels, Rolex designs and manufactures components to highly precise and extremely specific tolerances. When you replace factory components with non-Rolex “after market” components, you risk diminishing the water resistance of your Rolex.

In some cases, people use after market components to save money. For instance, they replace their factory Rolex sapphire crystal with a sapphire crystal made by another 3rd party manufacturer. But the crystal covers a huge hole in the watch where moisture can enter. Does this 3rd party manufacturer know the precise measurements needed to ensure the crystal they are providing maintains the same water resistance when placed in your watch? Does the manufacturer have both the expertise and the machines necessary to achieve the exact measurements and tolerances that a factory Rolex crystal does? Do you even know who this 3rd party manufacturer is in order to ask these important questions? You should ask these questions if you intend to install any non-Rolex component on your Rolex for any reason.

Life Happens – And It Can Affect The Water Resistance Of Your Rolex

Normal, everyday things which just happen can and do impact the water resistance of your Rolex. Have you ever bumped your watch into something like a door knob? Chances are, such an impact won’t even scratch the finish, much less do any internal damage. But there’s a very real chance that a strong impact could unseat a seal or gasket. This would, in turn, reduce the water resistance of your watch.  The worst part is, if it happens, you won’t know it because all outward and visible signs indicate that your watch is just fine. Of course, if “life happens” and you do get some visible damage to your watch (like a cracked crystal), then repair the watch before going near water.

Rolex Water Resistance

If your Rolex water resistance rating is compromised, you might get lucky and only experience condensation forming under the crystal. Usually, if this is caught early, doesn’t translate into permanent damage. However, if you’re not so lucky, the dial will get wet and usually must be replaced. Unfortunately, if you’re really unlucky, water will seep into the movement and go unnoticed for months. Eventually, the time-keeping functions will cease altogether due to water damage. When this happens, it’s really expensive. You start asking questions like “is it cheaper to replace the movement or just by a new watch?” You don’t ever want to have to ask those kinds of questions. Because so many variables outside of their control can impact the water resistance of a watch, most pre-owned Rolex vendors do NOT warranty the water resistance of a pre-owned Rolex.

What Can I Do To Maintain My Rolex Water Resistance Level?

Regularly pressure check your watch to maintain its water resistance level. This is particularly true if you dive with your watch. But it’s also important even if your watch never sees any depth greater than your kitchen sink. The good news is that most watch service professionals have the equipment necessary to properly pressure test a watch. Generally, this is not expensive to do. Neither is it expensive to replace the rubber gaskets and seals on a Rolex. You should replace these annually, at a minimum. Keep in mind, the costs to pressure test and maintain your Rolex water resistance rating pales in comparison to the costs of repairing watch damage – which could easily equal the cost of buying another Rolex. So don’t ignore regular testing and maintenance… and remember to keep that crown screwed down at all times.

BeckerTimeBE

The post Rolex Water Resistance – Have You Checked Lately? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/checked-watches-water-resistance-lately/feed/ 1
How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 2 https://beckertime.com/blog/avoid-online-scam-part-2/ https://beckertime.com/blog/avoid-online-scam-part-2/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:41:37 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=170029 Avoid Online Scams Part 2 Your intuition is your best source when making a purchase online. While you may know exactly what you want to buy, you don’t always know which website is best to complete the sale. In our Online Scams Part 2 blog series, we’re focusing on different aspects of the online buying process to help […]

The post How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 2 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Avoid Online Scams Part 2

Your intuition is your best source when making a purchase online. While you may know exactly what you want to buy, you don’t always know which website is best to complete the sale. In our Online Scams Part 2 blog series, we’re focusing on different aspects of the online buying process to help you avoid the scammers.

In our first blog post of this series, “How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online – Part 1,” we advised you to do your research before purchasing from an online retailer. The key takeaway: buy the seller before you buy the item.

Along with that same vein, Online Scams Part 2 points out a few more tips to help you drill down into who you’re buying from before you hand over personal information.

Get In Touch

Get in touch

In the event that you have questions about the item you wish to purchase, get in touch with the company first. Make sure there is a valid phone number and/or email address for customer service. Is the representative friendly and helpful on the phone? Do they provide knowledgeable information about the product you are interested in? A voice on the other end of the phone will help reassure you that you’re dealing with a legitimate company and not an online scam.

Ask Questions

Ask Questions

Many companies just focus on the bottom line and simply selling product. It’s important to have a list of questions ready to ask a company when making the final decision to buy. This can help you evaluate how friendly and responsive the company is. Consider the company’s location. Ask how long it will take to get the product, and how the company guarantees authenticity. Will they insure the product? Also, do you need to sign for it upon arrival? It’s your right to ask as many questions as you wish in order to verify that the company is legitimate and selling genuine products. This helps ensure they care about more than just dollars in their pockets.

Test Their Knowledge

Their Knowledge

The online retailer you’re considering a purchase from should be extremely knowledgeable about its products. If not, and if you can’t get clear answers to your questions, you could be dealing with an online scam. Employees of the company should respond quickly and with confidence. They should have all the answers you need, whether it’s asking how to care for the item or inquiring about how the company will handle a broken or lost item. At BeckerTime.com, we have watch experts who know every detail about our products. We guarantee the authenticity of our preowned Rolex and luxury watch selections, and we take the time to educate our customers on every aspect of our products. In fact, that’s one of our favorite parts of the job. We want our customers to know what they’re buying and love their BeckerTime purchases.

Do your research

Research

Sound familiar from our last blog post? Well, it’s that important. The company should act in a professional manner and always respond to phone calls or emails within a timely manner. If your gut is telling you something is off, do more research. Unfortunately, fake businesses do exist and there are people out there who will waste no time scamming you. If you’re unsure about a company, look to Facebook groups, forums, and other websites that verify companies, such as the Better Business Bureau. Look for news articles that talk about the company and its products. BeckerTime.com, and our CEO Matthew Becker, are regularly featured in articles, ranging from Inc. Magazine and CEOWORLD to Luxury Daily and Playboy Radio. Don’t ever be afraid to do more research and ask others for opinions on their experiences.

Expect peace of mind

A company should focus on you, the customer! You are the priority for a lasting relationship. A company should always have a description of their warranty for their products or refund policies. The refund policy should be easy to read and straightforward. There should always be a description of shipping fees, processing fees, and any other fees associated with purchasing the product. In short, you should know exactly what your total cost will be. Also, you should be clear what your options are if the product does not turn out to be all you hoped. You need to be able to purchase the product with peace of mind. BeckerTime.com is proud to provide a full 30-day money-back guarantee to give our customers the peace of mind they deserve.

Our Online Scams Part 2 series recommends that even if you don’t have questions before the purchase, you still want to do your due diligence to ensure there are easy ways to reach customer service, in the event there is a problem with shipping, the product, or anything else.

Our BeckerTime experts are here to help ensure you find the perfect watch at the right price when you’re in the market for a preowned Rolex or other luxury watch. View our authentic selection of preowned luxury timepieces online today at BeckerTime.com, or give us a call at (817) 503-2334. You know we’ll answer the phone!

BeckerTimeBE

The post How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 2 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/avoid-online-scam-part-2/feed/ 0
Wear Your Used Luxury Watch With Pride But Remain Humble https://beckertime.com/blog/wear-your-used-luxury-watch-with-pride-but-remain-humble/ https://beckertime.com/blog/wear-your-used-luxury-watch-with-pride-but-remain-humble/#respond Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:03:49 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=162318 A Watch Lovers Profile of Inconsiderate People We have all seen them and many of you have probably even met one face-to-face. This is the type of dude who gives watch wearers a bad name. This could be the guy at work who plays the absurd game of my watch is better than yours, the very […]

The post Wear Your Used Luxury Watch With Pride But Remain Humble appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
A Watch Lovers Profile of Inconsiderate People

We have all seen them and many of you have probably even met one face-to-face. This is the type of dude who gives watch wearers a bad name. This could be the guy at work who plays the absurd game of my watch is better than yours, the very same guy who drives the oversized pickup that he doesn’t know how to park.  You know the type, they are the ones who still keep their cell phones latched to their belts and wear Bluetooth devices at all times, even when eating at a restaurant. It is really hard to believe these inconsiderate people still exist.

Anyway, we have put together a list of these inconsiderate watch-wearing dudes for your viewing pleasure.

Inconsiderate People

Brand Basher Dude

This type of dude is the one who is always putting down others by dissing whatever brand watch they happen to be wearing. In fact, it doesn’t matter the watch you are wearing. For example, if you are wearing a Tag Heuer, he will give you any number of reasons why Tag Heuer watches are subpar. Also, if he can’t think of anything bad to say about your watch, he will tell you all the cool things about his watch. We are all entitled to our own taste. So follow this rule: Never bash a brand of watch to the person wearing that brand.

Dude Who Tells Everybody, I mean Everybody, How Much His Watch Costs

If you want to impress people with your income, write a big check to a charity.

Fake Watch Dude

You’re a fool if you wear a fake watch and try to imply it’s the real deal.

If you own an expensive luxury watch, thats great. Just remain humble.  But, don’t be that dude that wears fake watches and ruins it for all watch lovers.

BeckerTimeBE

The post Wear Your Used Luxury Watch With Pride But Remain Humble appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/wear-your-used-luxury-watch-with-pride-but-remain-humble/feed/ 0
How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 1 https://beckertime.com/blog/not-get-scammed-purchasing-online-part-1/ https://beckertime.com/blog/not-get-scammed-purchasing-online-part-1/#respond Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:35:00 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=172861 Avoid Online Scams Every day, ecommerce sales are increasing. In fact, 79% of Americans now shop online. With so many online purchases, it’s important to know how to prevent getting scammed. With nearly two decades of experience in the ecommerce business world, BeckerTime.com CEO, Matthew Becker, has a deep understanding of online scams and how not […]

The post How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 1 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Avoid Online Scams

Every day, ecommerce sales are increasing. In fact, 79% of Americans now shop online. With so many online purchases, it’s important to know how to prevent getting scammed. With nearly two decades of experience in the ecommerce business world, BeckerTime.com CEO, Matthew Becker, has a deep understanding of online scams and how not to become a victim when purchasing online. So, I sat down with Becker to learn more about the best practices consumers should take before purchasing online. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be breaking down the best practices in a series of blogs.

Do Your Homework and Vet the Company

You’ve done your research. You’ve finally settled on what you’d like to purchase, but who you purchase from is just as important as what you purchase. With an abundance of online stores, how do you properly vet a company? How do you know what the company is selling is authentic? (This is especially important with preowned luxury purchases.) First up…

Research, research, research

You might not be able to identify online scams right away. It’s important to read reviews, look into the seller’s policies and benefits for buyers, check authenticity guarantees, browse social media pages, as well as compare companies. By doing this research up front, you’re ensuring an informed purchase decision. And, chances are, if someone has been scammed by a company in the past, they will make their experience known and you will find repeated complaints. (Beware of the ‘fake’ reviews versus the real. For example, BeckerTime has tens of thousands of positive reviews on eBay. We can’t make those up.) Remember, buy the seller before you buy the item.

Make sure the company stays true to its word

One way to spot an online scam is to see if a company stays true to its word. Does the company make empty promises? Or, do customers feel the company did a great job? One great way to find this out is to check out the company is through the Better Business Bureau. With ratings that are based on 13 elements, you’ll quickly find out if a company is genuine or scamming customers.

Is the company an expert in what it’s selling?

When you’re making an investment, it’s important that you deal with professionals who are experts in what they sell. For example, the BeckerTime.com team has decades of experience buying and selling luxury timepieces. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even ones that might seem “dumb.” A well-educated, great company will have no problem answering all your questions. If you feel the company is not an expert, it increases your chances of being scammed. Which leads me to the last tip…

Does the company focus on customer service?

When you’re dealing with a great company, the customer service is top-notch! That’s because the company puts its focus on you, the customer. Many companies only focus on the bottom line instead of fostering a lasting relationship with customers. Is the company easily accessible (i.e. does someone actually answer the phone when you call during business hours)? Do you feel that the company is responsive? Also, is the company considerate when responding? These are important questions to ask yourself to avoid online scams. Personalized communication is the key to not only creating a great pre-sales relationship, but also maintaining a great relationship that extends long after the sale. Successful companies, like BeckerTime.com, emphasize an amazing customer service experience.

If you’re in the market for preowned Rolex watches or other luxury watches, our experts are here to help ensure you find the perfect watch at the right price, and not fall for online scams. View our authentic selection of preowned luxury timepieces online today at BeckerTime.com or give us a call at (817) 503-2334. You know we’ll answer!

BeckerTimeBE

The post How Not to Get Scammed When Purchasing Online: Part 1 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/not-get-scammed-purchasing-online-part-1/feed/ 0
BeckerTime CEO Shares Insights with Luxury Daily https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertime-ceo-shares-insights-luxury-daily-2/ https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertime-ceo-shares-insights-luxury-daily-2/#respond Tue, 01 Aug 2017 16:34:34 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=172698 Best Preowned Luxury Retailer Online Did you see BeckerTime in Luxury Daily? BeckerTime CEO, Matthew Becker, shares his top insights in an article for choosing the best preowned luxury retailer online. Buying a luxury timepiece online can be daunting, and difficult to know where to start. As a result, Matthew Becker shares his knowledge with the […]

The post BeckerTime CEO Shares Insights with Luxury Daily appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Best Preowned Luxury Retailer Online

Did you see BeckerTime in Luxury Daily? BeckerTime CEO, Matthew Becker, shares his top insights in an article for choosing the best preowned luxury retailer online. Buying a luxury timepiece online can be daunting, and difficult to know where to start. As a result, Matthew Becker shares his knowledge with the readers of Luxury Daily on how you can make an informed decision on where to buy your next preowned luxury timepiece. So, if you haven’t checked it out, find some of the highlights below.

Luxury Daily Highlights

  • When buying a preowned luxury timepiece, consider a renowned brand like Rolex, which retains and appreciates in value if purchased right.
  • Also, look for a retailer that specializes in the brand you’re looking for. They’ll be able to be your best resource for education on everything from styles to maintenance.
  • Do your research! Consider retailers’ return policies, online reviews and even the company’s history.
  • Only buy from retailers who offer a no-hassle, money-back guarantee.
  • Always make sure to find a retailer who is willing to build a long-term relationship with you, the customer.

Luxury Daily is the world’s leading luxury business publication. This daily news resource provides news, information and resources about luxury goods, such as apparel, arts and entertainment, automotive, consumer electronics and jewelry. With content ranging from news and analysis of the world’s leading luxury brands and retailers to industry-expert opinion pieces, just like Matthew Becker’s article.

Subscribe to Luxury Daily to read the entire article. If you do not want to subscribe to Luxury Daily, click here to view a PDF copy of the article.  Don’t forget to visit our Facebook to let us know your thoughts!

BeckerTimeBE

The post BeckerTime CEO Shares Insights with Luxury Daily appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertime-ceo-shares-insights-luxury-daily-2/feed/ 0
Hunting for Golden Eggs: The Gold Shell Rolex Air King Watch https://beckertime.com/blog/hunting-golden-eggs-gold-shell-rolex-air-king-watch/ https://beckertime.com/blog/hunting-golden-eggs-gold-shell-rolex-air-king-watch/#respond Mon, 31 Jul 2017 14:32:55 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=172623 Since it’s the ultimate expression of prestige, there are many that dream of owning a gold Rolex watch. But perhaps some think that these luxurious timepieces are completely out of reach. While there are certainly plenty of gold Rolex watches that carry hefty price tags, there are also some that are much more affordable. Enter […]

The post Hunting for Golden Eggs: The Gold Shell Rolex Air King Watch appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Since it’s the ultimate expression of prestige, there are many that dream of owning a gold Rolex watch. But perhaps some think that these luxurious timepieces are completely out of reach. While there are certainly plenty of gold Rolex watches that carry hefty price tags, there are also some that are much more affordable. Enter the Rolex gold shell Air King. Let us give you the inside scoop!

What is Gold Shell?

Gold shell, also known as gold cap or gold filled, is a process that was used by Rolex starting in the 1950s. A thick layer of yellow gold is bonded to the stainless steel case to offer the yellow gold look without the eye-popping prices.

Gold shell is not to be confused with gold plating, which has a much thinner layer of gold. Therefore, gold shell is more precious (in terms of metal component) than gold plating.

Rolex often referred to their gold shell watches as “Golden Eggs” in their marketing materials. Several vintage Rolex collections have gold shell options including Oyster Perpetual, Date, and Air-King.

The Vintage Gold Shell Rolex Air King ref. 5520

Air-King 5520 Gold Shell

Rolex produced the first gold shell Air King model with the ref. 5520. Like the majority of Air King models, the gold shell Air King ref. 5520 sports a refined 34mm Oyster case. And for this particular model, Rolex capped the stainless steel case with a heavy layer of 14k yellow gold.

The gold shell Air King ref. 5520 includes a straightforward and classic dial. There are the three gold center hands, the gold stick indexes, and the gold Rolex coronet. There’s also a little bit of text including “Rolex Oyster Perpetual,” “Air King” in the famous vintage style font, as well as “Precision.” Precision on the dial indicates that the gold shell Air King ref. 5520 runs on the Caliber 1520 automatic mechanical movement.

Air-King 5520 Gold Shell

While the dial is straightforward, there are several color variations available including silver, black, gold, and others. Interestingly, there are even some gold shell Air King ref. 5520 with the Dominos Pizza logo on the dial! In the 1980s, Dominos used to run the “Rolex Challenge” where franchises were rewarded for reaching sales goals with a Rolex watch.

The Rolex gold shell Air King ref. 5520 continued to be in the brand’s catalog until 1986 when it was discontinued. Although it’s not a particularly common Rolex watch, there are some Rolex Air King ref. 5520 available in the secondary market.

A Gold Rolex that Won’t Break the Bank

While 34mm may seem small to some, remember that many of the top watchmakers are now going back to smaller and slimmer style watches. Particularly as a dress watch, 34mm is very elegant and can easily fit under a dress shirt cuff.

So if you’re looking for a gold Rolex watch with a timeless look that will not empty your pockets, then take a closer look at the gold shell Air King ref. 5520. Whether on a matching gold bracelet or fitted with a sophisticated leather strap, you don’t want to miss this Rolex watch. For more sophistication, we welcome you to view our fine collection of used Rolex Air King timepieces here at BeckerTime.

BeckerTimeBE

The post Hunting for Golden Eggs: The Gold Shell Rolex Air King Watch appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/hunting-golden-eggs-gold-shell-rolex-air-king-watch/feed/ 0
Check Out BeckerTime in CEOWORLD Magazine! https://beckertime.com/blog/check-beckertime-ceoworld-magazine/ https://beckertime.com/blog/check-beckertime-ceoworld-magazine/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 21:07:31 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=172626 Did you see BeckerTime in CEOWORLD Magazine this week? With nearly 20 years of experience selling preowned luxury timepieces, CEO Matthew Becker knows a thing or two about how to choose the best preowned luxury retailer online. But, with all the online options available where do you start? Matthew Becker shares a few tips with readers […]

The post Check Out BeckerTime in CEOWORLD Magazine! appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Did you see BeckerTime in CEOWORLD Magazine this week? With nearly 20 years of experience selling preowned luxury timepieces, CEO Matthew Becker knows a thing or two about how to choose the best preowned luxury retailer online. But, with all the online options available where do you start? Matthew Becker shares a few tips with readers of CEOWORLD Magazine to help guide you to make the best decision. In case you haven’t seen it, find some of the highlights below.

CEOWORLD Magazine Highlights

  • Determine how much you’re willing to invest. For instance, a good rule to follow is to spend about one month’s salary on your first preowned luxury timepiece purchase.
  • Understand the true value of a preowned luxury watch.
  • Do your homework! Don’t settle for the first website you look at; instead look for a seller that specializes in what you’re buying.
  • Only purchase from an online retailer that genuinely cares about the customer and isn’t looking for just another sale.
  • Look for online preowned luxury retailers who offer a warranty on their timepieces.
  • Find an online luxury retailer that creates added value for you as a long-term customer.

CEOWORLD Magazine is the world’s leading business magazine written strictly for CEOs, CFOs, top managers, company directors, investors, senior executives, business leaders, high net worth individuals, and the most globally powerful men and women. With content that ranges from successful business strategies and emerging trends, to expert opinions and proprietary research, it’s no wonder CEOWORLD Magazine has seen more than 12.4 million page views!

Read the entire article at CEOWorld and visit our Facebook to let us know your thoughts!

The post Check Out BeckerTime in CEOWORLD Magazine! appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/check-beckertime-ceoworld-magazine/feed/ 0
See BeckerTime featured in Inc. Magazine https://beckertime.com/blog/see-beckertime-featured-inc-magazine/ https://beckertime.com/blog/see-beckertime-featured-inc-magazine/#respond Tue, 25 Jul 2017 06:00:23 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=170542 Did you see BeckerTime featured in Inc. Magazine this week? Writer, Brian Roberts still remembers the day he purchased his first Rolex – a stainless steel Datejust with an aftermarket diamond bezel. Since this purchase, Roberts’ curiosity on how one can succeed selling such a high-dollar specialty item online intensified. He reached out to BeckerTime to learn […]

The post See BeckerTime featured in Inc. Magazine appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Did you see BeckerTime featured in Inc. Magazine this week? Writer, Brian Roberts still remembers the day he purchased his first Rolex – a stainless steel Datejust with an aftermarket diamond bezel. Since this purchase, Roberts’ curiosity on how one can succeed selling such a high-dollar specialty item online intensified. He reached out to BeckerTime to learn how we’ve thrived for the last two decades. In case you haven’t seen it, find some of the highlights below.

Inc. Magazine Highlights

  • Purchasing a Rolex marks a period of growth and transition in one’s life; it’s a major milestone.
  • BeckerTime is one of―if not the―largest seller of pre-owned Rolex sellers on eBay for a decade now.
  • BeckerTime attributes twenty years of profitable growth to great customer service.
  • When you’re selling something high-value, trust is a large part of the transaction.
  • When BeckerTime receives negative reviews we take it personally because we want every customer to not only love their purchase but also experience great customer service.
  • BeckerTime aims to treat customers like family.

Read the entire piece for yourself Inc. Magazine. Visit our Facebook to let us know your thoughts!

The post See BeckerTime featured in Inc. Magazine appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/see-beckertime-featured-inc-magazine/feed/ 0
Spotlight On: Most Popular BeckerTime Rolex Watches, Ever https://beckertime.com/blog/spotlight-popular-beckertime-rolex-watches-ever/ https://beckertime.com/blog/spotlight-popular-beckertime-rolex-watches-ever/#respond Fri, 21 Jul 2017 15:51:46 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=172382 You’ve done it. You’ve made the decision to purchase a preowned Rolex watch. But, with so many amazing