Beckertime, LLC https://beckertime.com Pre-Loved Rolex & Luxury Timepieces Mon, 13 Aug 2018 17:13:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 Gold Shell Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/gold-shell-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/gold-shell-rolex-watches/#respond Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:07:25 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181208 A gold Rolex watch has long been a potent symbol of success and achievement. They have also long been fairly costly. Starting way back in the 50s, the brand sought to address the price issue, and get their creations onto more wrists, by releasing gold shell watches. These were pieces with stainless steel cases, covered […]

The post Gold Shell Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
A gold Rolex watch has long been a potent symbol of success and achievement. They have also long been fairly costly.

Starting way back in the 50s, the brand sought to address the price issue, and get their creations onto more wrists, by releasing gold shell watches.

These were pieces with stainless steel cases, covered in a layer of gold around 240 microns thick, which was then pressure formed, hammered and soldered into place.

Rolex, with that famously madcap Swiss sense of humor, sometimes referred to these models as ‘golden eggs’ in their advertising, and the process was likewise used by other manufacturers such as Omega and IWC.

The Most Affordable Option

The gold shell watches were a more attainable middle ground between the utilitarian steel models and the all-out opulence of solid 18k.

With such a thick coating of precious metal, these pieces were still certainly not cheap, but they were a definite step up from other methods of achieving similar results, such as plating. Treated with a layer of gold as thin as 10-20 microns, gold plated watches were particularly susceptible to scratches that would expose the base metal underneath.

The gold shell process, otherwise known as gold cap, offered a far higher level of durability, and Rolex used it on models such as the Oyster Perpetual, the Date and the Air-King.

At Beckertime, we have a wide selection of these gold shell watches, offering a heap-full of vintage charm at a much more affordable price point.

The Rolex Air-King ref. 5520

The Air-King has a long and storied history in the Rolex saga. One of a series of ‘Air’ watches made on the instruction of company founder Hans Wilsdorf, they were built to commemorate the heroics of Britain’s RAF during the Second World War.

While the rest of the range, the Air-Giant, Air-Tiger and Air-Lion, quickly fell by the wayside, the Air-King has been in almost constant production since 1945, with only a brief two-year hiatus from 2014-2016.

Rolex Air-King Ref. 5520 Gold Shell

The watch stands as one of the most enduring designs in the whole of Rolex’s lineup, and none more so than the iconic ref. 5500. Debuting in 1957, the ref. 55XX series went on virtually unchanged for an incredible 37 years.

Also available in steel and Rolesor versions, between 1974 and 1986 a tiny handful were produced in gold shell, the ref. 5520, and they are a particularly rare find on the vintage market.

Throughout the ref. 5520’s life, it retained the Air-King’s traditional 34mm dimensions—an unusually large size for a watch born at the end of the war, but especially small by today’s standards.

It was powered exclusively by the Cal. 1520, a non-COSC rated movement, which led to all examples of the gold shell Air-Kings having the ‘Precision’ tag on their dials, rather than the ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ we are more used to seeing today.

As a watch, the ref. 5520 was simplicity itself, as was the whole of the Air-King series. Fitted with a smooth, clean bezel, the face was also as straightforward as could be, with stick markers and pencil hands. A time-only piece, it had no complications to distract attention and it was issued with a small choice of dial colors, including black, champagne and silver.

One of the most understated icons in Rolex’s history, it is the perfect vintage dress watch, with plenty to appeal to both male and female audiences.

The Rolex Date ref. 1550/15505

Often confused with the omnipresent Datejust, for obvious reasons, the Rolex Date is something of an enigma in the brand’s family.

Mens Rolex 14K Gold Shell Date Champagne 15505

At 34mm, it is slightly smaller on the wrist than the customarily 36mm Datejust, although visually you would be hard pressed to spot any difference. It was also made available in fewer combinations of bezel, metal and dial type, with the range staying more under the radar than its bigger stable mate. There are solid gold and Rolesor versions, but the majority were issued in stainless steel.

Many see the watch as more a continuation of the Oyster Perpetual line, the series that started life in the 1920s and first put Rolex on the map, upgraded with a date function and Cyclops lens.

Whether you consider it a smaller Datejust or a fancier Oyster Perpetual, it doesn’t really matter. It, like the Air-King above, came with a gold shell variant, firstly in the form of the ref. 1550.

Launched in the early 1970s, the ref. 1550 was powered by the Cal. 1575, one of those movements that makes hardcore Rolex fans go all misty-eyed. The third generation of Rolex’s famed 1500 series of calibers, it introduced not only a higher frequency than its predecessor, at 19,800bph, it also brought with it the convenience of a hacking function. Now, setting the time could be achieved more accurately by pulling out the crown and stopping the seconds hand.

Pre Owned Mens Rolex Gold Shell Date with a Silver Dial 1550

When the ref. 1550 was itself replaced towards the end of the decade, becoming the ref. 15505, it was driven by the new Cal. 3035—the engine which introduced the now-standard Rolex 28,800bph frequency, as well as being the first automatic mechanical caliber with a Quickset date function.

Both references were ideal candidates for the stealthy luxury of gold shell construction. Not so much the entry-level Rolex, but rather the next stage up, the Rolex Date deserves a golden finish, and coating rugged stainless steel with a thick layer of it is the perfect compromise between appearance and price.

Today, both watches represent excellent bargains and a surprisingly inexpensive gateway into the world of truly fine vintage collecting. A fascinating slice of history that can be worn every day, the Rolex Date is a timeless brand emblem.

The post Gold Shell Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/gold-shell-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
What’s the Difference? The Rolex Sea-Dweller 40mm Vs. The Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-sea-dweller-40mm-vs-the-rolex-sea-dweller-43mm/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-sea-dweller-40mm-vs-the-rolex-sea-dweller-43mm/#respond Thu, 09 Aug 2018 13:01:38 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=179156 It may not seem that important in the whole scheme of things, but when Rolex decide to up the size of one of their watches, particularly one of their greatest hits, it’s actually a pretty big deal. The trend for larger watches has been gathering pace since the late 90s. Before then, pieces in the […]

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Sea-Dweller 40mm Vs. The Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
It may not seem that important in the whole scheme of things, but when Rolex decide to up the size of one of their watches, particularly one of their greatest hits, it’s actually a pretty big deal.

The trend for larger watches has been gathering pace since the late 90s. Before then, pieces in the 37mm-40mm range were the norm, with the occasional outlier sneaking in that broke the self-imposed barrier, but these were generally sports models for a specific niche audience.

What started as a fad at the beginning of the new millennium has since become the accepted standard, and these days, models that would have been seen as outrageously oversized a few short decades ago are now perfectly conventional.

Rolex has shown the most resistance to the movement, stubbornly refusing to add even a single extra millimeter to legendary names such as the Submariner or the GMT-Master—professional models that have kept their dimensions unchanged for generations.

However, even the most successful watchmaker in history has had to make some concessions to modern times and their most recently released models have all conspicuously grown up.

So, we now have a 41mm Datejust and a 40mm President. The flagship Sky-Dweller comes in at 42mm, while the gargantuan Yacht-Master II and the kraken-like Deepsea both top out at 44mm.

The Middle Child

At last year’s Baselworld Fair, Rolex surprised everyone. It was well-known that a 50th anniversary edition of the brand’s iconic Sea-Dweller was on the cards, but what they unveiled was an all-new model that had grown from its 40mm origins to 43mm, leaving it within a hair of its even bigger bigger brother.

It was a fascinating departure for the watch that has always sat in the middle of the dive trio but, with the benefit of hindsight, possibly one we should have been expecting.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 40mm

Rolex have taken steps to differentiate the Sea-Dweller from the ever-present Submariner all the way throughout its production run. While they most certainly share significant portions of their DNA, the Sea-Dweller has long been the more mature, seriously-minded of the two.

It was the watch that introduced the Helium Escape Valve, a vital addition that allows expanding gas bubbles to escape from the interior without damaging the crystal. Until last year, it may have had the same diameter as the Sub, but it has also always had a thicker, more robust case to grant it its deeper depth rating. And it has never succumbed to the allure of precious metals in its construction, unlike its smaller sibling.

So giving it bigger dimensions to help separate them even more, as well as fit in with contemporary fashions, was a double benefit.

But it leaves us with almost two different watches—the 40mm and 43mm Sea-Dwellers.

Below, we’ll take a look at both.

Sea-Dweller 40mm

The Submariner had already been around for over a decade before the need for anything more than its 300m of water resistance surfaced.

Rolex Mens Submariner Comex Ref. 5514

By the mid-sixties, professional saturation divers were routinely working at great depths, sometimes living in underwater chambers for days or weeks at a time.

Before their immersion times were tracked and regulated by the highly precise monitoring systems common today, a reliable watch was absolutely paramount.

One of the world’s biggest commercial diving operations, a French company named COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises) approached Rolex in a bid to create a watch that could not only withstand the crushing pressures its crews were working at, but would also survive the ascent back to the surface.

The Helium Problem

At depths below 30m, breathing gases start to behave differently than they do at sea level. Oxygen becomes toxic and nitrogen produces an anesthetic effect known as nitrogen narcosis—both clearly not ideal for divers. To get around the problem, helium is introduced into the mixture, either with just oxygen to create Heliox, or with both oxygen and nitrogen to make Trimix.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665

One problem of using helium, apart from making divers’ voices go funny, is the size of its bubbles. Helium has one of the smallest molecules of any element, and can easily penetrate inside watch cases. As divers returned to the surface and the pressure on them decreased, the helium bubbles would expand and, with nowhere else to go, would pop the crystals off the watch face, escaping along the path of least resistance.

To allow for the gas to leave the watch before that happened, Rolex developed a one-way regulator, set into the case at the nine o’clock position. The HEV, or Helium Escape Valve, was originally trialed on the ref. 5513 Submariner, making it the ref. 5514, and proved effective enough that it led onto the production in 1967 of the first Sea-Dweller, the ref. 1665. More affectionately known as the Double Red, or the DRSD, for the two lines of red writing on its dial, it was rated down to 2,000ft, far outstripping the Submariner’s abilities.

Now massively collectable, DRSDs change hands for huge sums, especially the early pieces, and mark the start of a highly successful run of models still going strong today.

The Date Window

Rolex Submariner 1680

However, it was something the Sea-Dweller didn’t have that gained it much of its fan base. Since the ref. 1680 from 1969, the Submariner has always included a Cyclops over its date window. While useful, many have complained it spoils the overall balance of the dial.

Although the Sea-Dweller has always had a date function, because of the depths it was designed for, it was impossible to fit it with the magnifying lens, as the pressures on it would have caused it to break. It was therefore the choice for those who appreciated a little extra symmetry in their dive watches.

A Brief Hiatus

The Sea-Dweller continued on its merry way for 40 years, never selling in as great a number as the Sub, but earning itself a reputation as the cool, more exclusive outsider because of it.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 16660

Over the years the HEV got bigger, sapphire crystals were fitted and the depth rating doubled, now good for a plunge down to 4,000ft. Calibers came and went—the Cal. 1575 from the original was replaced with the Cal. 3035 in 1978’s ref. 16660 which introduced the high beat 28,800vph frequency of all modern Rolexes, and upgraded again in 1988 with the Cal. 3135 in the ref. 16600.

Then, in a move no one expected, and one that caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth, Rolex binned the Sea-Dweller altogether in 2008 to clear the decks for their new brainchild, the ridiculously tough Sea-Dweller Deepsea.

A masterpiece of watchmaking brilliance or not, with its unique architecture rating it safe down to 12,800ft, the Deepsea wasn’t able to capture the imagination as well as its stable mates, and six years later in 2014, the Sea-Dweller 4000 made a triumphant return.

The Last of the Breed

Rolex Sea-Dweller 116600

The ref. 116600 was the first in the Sea-Dweller range to sport the brand’s recently patented Cerachrom bezel, a near indestructible ceramic material that resists fading and scratches, no matter how hard a life it has. It also debuted the Maxi dial, with fatter hands and larger hour indexes to aid legibility. And its bracelet was given the extremely practical Glidelock extension system that allows for fine adjustments to its length without the need for tools.

However, as convenient as these additions were, there is another reason the ref. 116600 has become the darling of the pre-owned Sea-Dweller market. It was the last reference to be made without a Cyclops lens over its date window.

The Sea-Dweller 43mm

What a difference a small bubble makes. The Cyclops lens was introduced back in 1954 on the Datejust and now sits over every date window in the Rolex range, with just one exception. The Deepsea, designed to carry on working more than two miles underwater, currently has the only non-magnified dial. With a potential five tons of pressure per square inch to contend with, there is simply too much force pressing down on the crystal for the lens to survive.

On the Sea-Dweller though, Rolex have found a way to make it work, and managed to upset a proportion of their fans in the process.

A trademark element or not, the Cyclops has always spilt opinion, and those who have consistently picked the Sea-Dweller over the Sub for its very lack of the lens are now somewhat lost.

The Deepsea is a big watch to be wearing all day, and is missing the essential versatility shared by most of Rolex’s sports models. Given the choice between it and the previous generation Sea-Dweller, more and more fans are deciding to go vintage.

The ref. 126600

That is something of a shame as the latest ref. 126600 is a bit of a stunner.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600

While adding 3mm to the diameter doesn’t sound much of a bump, it makes a world of difference. It has given the watch more presence, but Rolex have managed to hit a perfect balance with it. The other elements have grown in proportion, so the hands, bezel, indexes and bracelet are bigger, but subtly, not in ways that draw too much attention.

The case has been intelligently redesigned too, with shorter and more curved lugs so it still suits smaller wrists.

It is more comfortable to wear than its predecessor as well, which had a slightly top-heavy aspect that caused a certain amount of wobble.

But the best part of the new creation is what has gone on inside.

The Cal. 3235

Rolex Caliber 3235

Replacing around 90% of the parts from the previous caliber, the Cal. 3135, commonly regarded as one of the best movements ever made, the Cal. 3235 is a true next generation mechanism, protected by 14 patents.

Along with a new rotor, winding system and gear train, it also features a new barrel and high capacity mainspring that gives a power reserve of 70 hours.

But the most hard work has gone into a completely restructured escapement, called the Chronergy. With pallet fork teeth half the thickness of before and a skeletonized escape wheel, the efficiency has been increased by 15% and it is now even more resistant to the effects of magnetism thanks to the components being constructed from a nickel-phosphorous alloy.

Which is Best?

So, should you go for the latest 43mm version or track down a vintage piece in 40mm?

There is, of course, no right answer. The contemporary model is the most technically proficient, as you’d expect, and is more in keeping with modern tastes size-wise.

Delving into the archive, there are some beloved classics to choose from, with nicknames that make collectors’ eyes light up—the Triple Six, the Great White and, if your pockets are deep enough, the Double Red itself.

It all comes down to personal taste (and possibly how good your eyesight is, where the Cyclops is concerned) but it is comforting to know that you can’t really make a bad choice.

Whatever its size, the Sea-Dweller is still one of the very best.

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Sea-Dweller 40mm Vs. The Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-sea-dweller-40mm-vs-the-rolex-sea-dweller-43mm/feed/ 0
The Rolex Watches of the Hit TV Show Modern Family https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-the-hit-tv-show-modern-family/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-the-hit-tv-show-modern-family/#respond Wed, 08 Aug 2018 13:43:40 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182924 ABC just announced the return of their hit show, Modern Family, this fall. The tenth season of the show is slated to start September 26, which is great news for the fans of the show. While we recently covered Modern Family’s star Sofia Vergara’s Rolex watches, it seems her cast mates are fans of the […]

The post The Rolex Watches of the Hit TV Show Modern Family appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
ABC just announced the return of their hit show, Modern Family, this fall. The tenth season of the show is slated to start September 26, which is great news for the fans of the show. While we recently covered Modern Family’s star Sofia Vergara’s Rolex watches, it seems her cast mates are fans of the Swiss luxury watch brand too. Let’s get a closer look at Ed O’Neil, Ty Burrell, and Eric Stonestreet’s Rolex watches.

Ty Burrell’s Rolex Watch

Ty Burrell's Rolex Watch
Credit: The Awesomer

Ty Burrell plays the loveable yet goofy dad, Phil Dunphy on Modern Family and has won a slew of accolades for his role, including Emmy, Screen Actor Guild, and Critics’ Choice awards. In real life, we’ve spotted Ty Burrell wearing a stainless steel Rolex GMT-Master II. His personal Rolex even made it into one the Modern Family episodes in season five.

The actor’s particular model is the current GMT-Master II ref. 116710LN with a black ceramic bezel and matching black dial. A solid everyday Rolex watch to have on hand.

Ed O’Neill’s Rolex Watches

Ed O'Neill Rolex Watch
Credit: Aceshowbiz

Ed O’Neill has been making audiences laugh as far back as the 1980s when he played Al Bundy on Married with Children. These days, Ed O’Neil plays Jay Pritchett on Modern Family, father-in-law to Phil Dunphy and husband of Sofia Vergara’s Gloria Pritchett. As a wealthy character, Jay Pritchett is often seen with some very nice watches on his wrist including some Rolex watches—which turns out may actually be Ed O’Neil’s personal Rolexes.

Off camera (and in Modern Family) we’ve often seen Ed O’Neill wearing a stainless steel Rolex Daytona chronograph with a white dial. In season three of Modern Family, Jay Pritchett was also spotted wearing a steel and ceramic Submariner with a black dial. Two classic Rolex sports watches.

Eric Stonestreet’s Rolex Watch

Eric Stonestreet's Rolex Watch
Credit: Wikimedia

Eric Stonestreet plays the hilarious and dramatic Cameron Tucker on Modern Family, son-in-law of Ed O’Neill. As Cameron Tucker, Eric Stonestreet has picked up two Emmy awards and plenty of Screen Actor Guild awards as part of the ensemble of Modern Family.

While Cameron Tucker does not seem to wear any watches in the show, Eric Stonestreet does, in fact, wear a Rolex Datejust quite often. His particular model is a stainless steel Datejust with a white gold fluted bezel, steel Oyster bracelet, and diamond indexes on the silver dial. Nicely done.

From GMT-Master II to Submariner to Datejust to Daytona watches, these three leading actors on one of TV’s most-watched comedy series certainly have fantastic taste in watches.

The post The Rolex Watches of the Hit TV Show Modern Family appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-the-hit-tv-show-modern-family/feed/ 0
The Visionaries Who Built Rolex https://beckertime.com/blog/the-visionaries-who-built-rolex/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-visionaries-who-built-rolex/#respond Tue, 07 Aug 2018 15:07:32 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182876 Incredibly, for a company that has been in existence for over a hundred years, the leadership of Rolex has only changed hands six times, three of which happened in the last 10 years. It has always been an incredibly secretive and insulated brand, even today, and that cloistered philosophy extends to the people allowed to […]

The post The Visionaries Who Built Rolex appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Incredibly, for a company that has been in existence for over a hundred years, the leadership of Rolex has only changed hands six times, three of which happened in the last 10 years.

It has always been an incredibly secretive and insulated brand, even today, and that cloistered philosophy extends to the people allowed to run it.

Technically a non-profit charitable trust, the private firm is wholly owned by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, named after the man who started the business in 1905.

Today, it stands as the single most successful watchmakers of all time, worth somewhere in the region of $8 billion.

Below, we’ll look at the people who brought Rolex to its current position, at the very top tier in the world of horology.

Hans Wilsdorf

Hans Otto Wilhelm Wilsdorf was born in Kulmach, Bavaria on March 22nd, 1881.

An orphan by the age of 12, he was brought up by his maternal uncles and attended a boarding school in Coburg before going on to study business at university in Bayreuth, the former hometown of Richard Wagner.

After moving to Geneva, he first worked for a pearl dealer before going on to join Cuna Korten, a Swiss company that exported fine pocket watches. With his gift for languages, being fluent in English, German and French, he was in charge of handling the business correspondence from Cuna Korten’s European vendors. It was this experience that gave Wilsdorf both his grounding in strategic marketing as well as his love of watches.

Hans Wilsdorf

After completing his compulsory national service in the German army in 1902, he moved to London, where he again worked for another luxury watchmaking firm, further enhancing his knowledge of every aspect of the industry.

He met and married Florence Frances May Crotty and gained British citizenship. Crucially, he also gained a brother-in-law, Alfred James Davis, and the two set up in business together in 1905, when Wilsdorf was just 24 years old.

Opening a store at 83 Hatton Gardens in central London, to this day the heart of the city’s jewelry quarter, the new company of Wilsdorf & Davis specialized in selling rather than manufacturing watches. They sourced the finest components from all over Europe, and particularly Switzerland; movements from Aegler, for instance, and bracelets from Gay Frères, the legendary accessory maker who also crafted bracelets for the likes of Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet.

The watches they created were then sold on to jewelers, who would add their own name to them.

Yet, although the firm had become one of the most successful in the watch trade in just a few short years, Wilsdorf was desperate to have his branding included on the dial, something that no one in his position had ever been able to convince jewelers to agree to.

By 1908 he had hit upon the name Rolex. Much like Kodak, it is a word that has no meaning, but had a few points in its favor as far as Wilsdorf was concerned. It was short enough to fit on a watch face and still leave room for the jeweler’s own mark. It was easy to memorize, had a pleasant sound and would be pronounced the same in any language.

However, it would still take a further 20 years before all the watches the company sold would carry the name. At first, Wilsdorf inscribed Rolex on one in every six models that passed through his hands, then on two and later three, helped on by the successes the business was having. In 1914, for example, a 25mm Rolex wristlet watch became the first non-marine chronometer to be awarded a class ‘A’ certificate for accuracy by the Kew Observatory. Wilsdorf & Davis was slowly becoming synonymous with an uncompromising commitment to excellence.

That was also the year WWI broke out in Europe and anything sounding even remotely Germanic was due a particularly frosty reception in Britain, so in 1915 the brand officially became Rolex and, with an enormous tax hike following the war, Wilsdorf left London for new offices in Geneva, Switzerland.

By 1925 he had run out of patience and invested heavily in an extensive advertising campaign, which succeeded in persuading dealers to include the name Rolex on five out of every six watches they sold. And two years later, the company perfected the single most important innovation in the evolution of the wristwatch; a waterproof and dustproof housing called the Oyster. It marked the last time a model would leave their manufacture without the Rolex name on it.

Not only was Wilsdorf a remarkable visionary, inflexible in his demands for products of the highest quality, he was also single-minded in his determination to control every facet of his company. By partnering with fellow luxury watchmaker Carl F. Bucherer in 1924, the pair were able to resist being consumed by the Federation of Swiss Watch Manufacturers, the powerful cartel that dominated the industry. It became one of horology’s most successful alliances and changed the face of watchmaking forever.

Wilsdorf remained at the helm of Rolex until his death in 1960, a driving force guiding the company to ever greater heights of innovation and success. He was the brilliant mind behind not only the Oyster, but also the Perpetual automatic movement, and some of the most iconic watches in history were created in his tenure. Models such as the Submariner, the GMT-Master, the Milgauss, the Datejust, the Day-Date and the Explorer all benefitted from Wilsdorf’s direction.

When his wife passed away in 1944, he transferred all his shares in Rolex to the Hans Wilsdorf Trust, which put statutes in place ensuring that the company could never be sold or made public. It remains in control of Rolex today.

It may be more than 50 years since his death, but the influence of Wilsdorf and his genius for design and marketing can still be felt in every Rolex product released. A true giant in the world of horology, he created the single most successful watchmakers in history.

André Heiniger

Perhaps even more than Wilsdorf himself, his successor André J Heiniger is the man credited with making the name Rolex a byword for luxury and affluence.

He became only the second director in the company’s history when he took over the reins in 1962, two years after Wilsdorf died at the age of 78.

André Heiniger

Born in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland in 1921, the former lawyer joined Rolex in 1948 and had risen to the position of head of Rolex South America by the time the chief executive’s position opened up.

With a catalog of some of the most innovative models available from any manufacturer to work with, Heiniger set about transforming the company’s reputation from being the maker of technically impressive tool watches to one of the ultimate lifestyle brand—the timepiece of choice for the wealthy and influential.

In fact, the famous quote attributed to him that seems to most sum up his leadership style is the one where a friend asked him how the watch business was going.

“I’ve no idea,” he replied. “Rolex is not in the watch business. We are a luxury business.”

A very private man, and so a perfect fit for the notoriously circumspect brand, Heiniger was seldom seen in public. One of the rare occasions he appeared was to present the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, an accolade for achievements in science, exploration and the environment that Heiniger himself created in 1976 to commemorate the invention of the Oyster case. Held every two years, the $75,000 prize is presented to five recipients with particularly notable accomplishments.

After his retirement in 1992, Heiniger stayed on as Chairman of Rolex, and subsequently Chairman Emeritus, from 1997 until his death on January 3rd2000, aged 79.

He was the man responsible for bringing Rolex to where it is today. An enigmatic, low-key figure, his 34-years at the helm revolutionized the brand.

Patrick Heiniger

André Heiniger’s son Patrick joined Rolex in 1986 as commercial director. Born in Buenos Aires in 1950, he, like his father, had trained as a lawyer and specialized in international and intellectual property law.

He took over as managing director when André retired in 1992 and as CEO from 1997.

Patrick Heiniger

He reinforced the brand image that his predecessor’s had built up, further consolidating Rolex’s position in the market as the creators of timeless design classics worn by the successful and accomplished.

However, his time at the head will be forever remembered for his overseeing of the complete vertical integration of the company’s manufacturing base. Rolex had been buying up the assorted firms that supplied them with the various components of their watches for decades, but it was Patrick who masterminded the consolidation of more than 30 separate sites down to just four, immense, purpose-built facilities, in and around the canton of Geneva.

Handling the entire production from start to finish, the complexes guarantee Rolex complete autonomy. At Acacias, the world HQ building houses the R&D department and is where final assembly and testing takes place. Dials are made at Chéne-Bourg, which is also home to diamond and jewelry setting. The 11-storey Plan-Les-Ouates, five levels of which are underground, is where Rolex operates its own gold foundry and where it makes its cases and bracelets. And finally, the enormous base at Bienne is the production facility for the brand’s range of class-leading movements.

That last marks another triumph for Heiniger Jr’s legacy. He was the man who finally managed to purchase one of Rolex’s longest standing collaborators, Aegler. The Swiss watchmakers had been supplying the brand with calibers since Wilsdorf’s earliest days and bringing them in under the Rolex umbrella was the final step in giving the company absolute control.

In 2002, Patrick created the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, a philanthropic program to help pass on artistic heritage to future generations and to help young artists develop their skills under the guidance of world renowned teachers.

Patrick retired from Rolex in 2008, but not before being honored with the insignia of Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honor and being appointed Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.

There was an air of controversy surrounding his departure, and the famously taciturn company said very little as to why their esteemed head left so abruptly. They were, though, quick to quash any rumors about lost investments in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Tragically, in 2013, the reason for his exit became clear when Patrick Heiniger died aged 62 of a ‘long illness’.

Although only a relatively short term compared to his forerunners, the second Heiniger to run Rolex left an indelible stamp, bringing complete independence to the legendary watchmaker.

Bruno Meier

On December 20th2008, for the first time in the company’s history, Rolex took on a CEO from outside either the Wilsdorf or Heiniger families.

Bruno Meier

Bruno Meier, chief financial officer at Rolex since 2005, was a logical choice to take over the top job.

With the financial crisis hitting hard, the well-connected former banker who had previously run Deutsche Bank’s operations in Switzerland, was the man to steady the ship.

While other manufacturers were feeling the pinch, the breadth of Rolex’s reputation safeguarded the brand from the worst of the fallout. As Meier himself said at the time, “In a period of crisis, Rolex is a safe haven. For the client, and also the retailer.”

However, like some of the more sought-after watches on the vintage market, Meier appears to have been something of a transitional model.

Just three years after his appointment, and with the Swiss watch industry enjoying a resurgence, particularly in emerging markets such as Hong Kong and China, he was replaced by the head of Rolex Italia, Riccardo Marini.

Riccardo Marini

Riccardo Marini

The result of a decision to update corporate structures in order to continue the dynamic development of the brand, prepare for the future and cope with a pickup in markets’, Bruno Meier made way for Gian Riccardo Marini on 3rdMay, 2011.

Marini’s family were among the first Rolex retailers in Italy, teaming up with Franco Locatelli and Ronchi (the first to sell Rolex in Milan) to create ROMALO in 1947.

In the 1970s, Riccardo became commercial director at ROMALO, setting up their first service center for training Rolex dealers and vendors, and in 1993, the company became a full subsidiary of the brand.

He has been mainly associated with strengthening Rolex’s ties with golf and sailing, as well as directing the creation of limited edition pieces.

Yet, like Meier before him, Marini was barely given time to warm his seat, and found himself replaced by a new face in 2014.

Jean-Frédéric Dufour

The company’s sixth CEO, and the fourth since 2008, Dufour arrived just three years after Marini landed the main role.

Jean-Frédéric Dufour

With the impeccable pedigree of not only being the head of resurgent watchmakers Zenith since 2009, he was also trained under the tutelage of Jean-Claude Biver, once chief of luxury brand Hublot and the man usually credited with saving the watch industry from the quartz crisis.

As with Marini replacing Meier, it is not clear why the Italian’s duration was so short-lived, but his age is sometimes touted as possible reason.

Marini was 64 when he took over at Rolex; Dufour was a youthful 45. The brand could well have been looking to freshen up its image with a younger audience, while still maintaining its standing with its faithful old guard of fans. The new man would seem the ideal age to span the generations.

Whatever happens, the fate of the world’s leading luxury brand seems to be in safe hands. How long Dufour lasts is anybody’s guess, but hopefully he will be given plenty of time to leave a definitive mark of his own.

Photos from Rolex and Rolex Magazine.

The post The Visionaries Who Built Rolex appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-visionaries-who-built-rolex/feed/ 0
Tool Watch Time: Rolex Watches for Nerds https://beckertime.com/blog/tool-watch-time-rolex-watches-for-nerds/ https://beckertime.com/blog/tool-watch-time-rolex-watches-for-nerds/#respond Mon, 06 Aug 2018 14:50:32 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182553 In the next installment of our Tool Watch Time series where we explore utilitarian Rolex watches developed for specific needs, we take a look at timepieces built for what we affectionately call, nerds. That is, Rolex watches built explicitly for scientists, engineers, doctors, and other professionals. What particular needs does this group have when wearing […]

The post Tool Watch Time: Rolex Watches for Nerds appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
In the next installment of our Tool Watch Time series where we explore utilitarian Rolex watches developed for specific needs, we take a look at timepieces built for what we affectionately call, nerds. That is, Rolex watches built explicitly for scientists, engineers, doctors, and other professionals. What particular needs does this group have when wearing a watch? Since many of these professionals spend time in areas that have high-magnetic fields and magnetism is very detrimental to the functionality of a mechanical movement, they would need an antimagnetic watch. So today, let’s have a closer look at antimagnetic Rolex watches.

Antimagnetic Rolex Watch #1: Milgauss Part 1

Rolex Milgauss Ref. 6543

In 1956, Rolex introduced the stainless steel Milgauss antimagnetic watch for the scientific community. The name of the watch is a contraction of the words “Mille” (French for 1,000) and “Gauss” (the unit of measurement for magnetism). Therefore, as its name suggests, the Rolex Milgauss can endure magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss. Rolex achieved this antimagnetic ability thanks to a pair of protective shields—one on the movement and one on the case.

Rolex Milgauss Ref. 1019

Aside from the Milgauss’ antimagnetic capabilities, the watch also has other interesting design features. Early models of the watch, the Milgauss ref. 6543, had a 38mm Oyster case—quite large for the era—a marked rotating bezel similar to the Submariner, a honeycomb dial, and a lightning bolt seconds hand.

As is often the case, Rolex modified the Milgauss over the years. However, the following iteration after the Milgauss ref. 6543, the Milgauss ref. 1019, lacked many of the features that gave the Milgauss its quirky personality. While the resistance to 1,000 gauss remained, gone were the lightning bolt seconds hand, the honeycomb dial, and the rotating bezel. They were instead replaced with a straight seconds hand, black or white dial, and a smooth steel bezel. Undoubtedly due to a shortage of interest, Rolex shelved the Milgauss collection in 1988.

Antimagnetic Rolex Watch #2: Milgauss Part 2

Rolex Milgauss Ref. 116400

Not to be defeated, Rolex re-introduced the Milgauss in 2007. This time, Rolex merged modern considerations and vintage touches. The new Milgauss ref. 116400 sports a 40mm Oyster case with a smooth steel bezel. Furthermore, not only did the lightning bolt shaped seconds hand return, but this time in a bright orange hue—accompanied by other orange accents—sitting on a black or white dial. There was also the debut of the anniversary Milgauss ref. 116400GV, where GV (Glace Verte) refers to the unique green tinted sapphire crystal protecting the dial. Powering these contemporary antimagnetic Rolex tool watches is Cal. 3131 with 48 hours of power reserve.

In 2014, Rolex extended the modern Milgauss range with the Milgauss ref. 116400GV “Z Blue” edition with a bright blue dial sitting under the green crystal. Very modern, very striking, and very nerdy—in the best way possible.

Antimagnetic Rolex Watch #3: Air-King

Rolex Air-King Ref. 116900

Aside from being one of Rolex’s oldest collections, the Air-King was always considered to be one of the most affordable watches from the brand with basic features and classic designs. However, Rolex discontinued the classic Air-King in 2014 only to bring back a completely new version in 2016. And the new Air-King ref. 116900 is the model we’re discussing here because like the Milgauss (and unlike older versions of the Air-King) it is indeed antimagnetic.

Featuring a 40mm Oyster case, a black dial, white minute numerals and white gold Explorer-style 3,6,9 hour markers, Mercedes-style hands, along with green and yellow dial details, the Air-King ref. 116900 is unlike any previous models that shares its name. Beneath the flashier exterior of the Air-King ref. 116900 is the same Cal. 3131 of the Milgauss with the customary protective shield. As a result, the Air-King is also antimagnetic and can be classified as a tool watch for the purposes of our discussion.

If you frequently find yourself in high magnetic fields or you just like the concept of a watch that can withstand such an environment, then the Rolex Milgauss or Rolex Air-King are tool watches definitely worth considering.

The post Tool Watch Time: Rolex Watches for Nerds appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/tool-watch-time-rolex-watches-for-nerds/feed/ 0
Jonah Hill’s Leading Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/jonah-hills-leading-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/jonah-hills-leading-rolex-watches/#respond Thu, 02 Aug 2018 22:36:10 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182586 Actor, producer, screenwriter, and all-around hilarious Hollywood celebrity, Jonah Hill is best known for his roles in the movies Superbad, 21 Jump Street, Moneyball, War Dogs, and Wolf of Wall Street. The famous actor also seems to have a penchant for luxury watches—particularly Patek Philippe, Panerai, and Rolex watches. Read on to find out which […]

The post Jonah Hill’s Leading Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
.instagram-media,.embed-responsive-16by9{margin:30px auto!important;}

Actor, producer, screenwriter, and all-around hilarious Hollywood celebrity, Jonah Hill is best known for his roles in the movies Superbad, 21 Jump Street, Moneyball, War Dogs, and Wolf of Wall Street. The famous actor also seems to have a penchant for luxury watches—particularly Patek Philippe, Panerai, and Rolex watches. Read on to find out which Rolex watches Jonah Hill has in his collection.

Jonah Hill
Credit: Getty Images

Jonah Hill’s Rolex Submariner Hulk

One Rolex watch that we see often on Jonah Hill’s wrist is his Submariner ref. 116610LV, also known as the “Hulk” in Rolex collecting communities. This particular modern stainless steel Submariner gets its nickname thanks to its bright green ceramic bezel and bright green dial combination.

Sized at a generous 40mm, this vibrant green Submariner certainly stands out on Jonah Hill’s wrist and we applaud his choice.

Jonah Hill’s Yellow Gold Rolex Day-Date President

For Jonah Hill’s next watch, we move away from sports watch to the other side of the Rolex spectrum with a classic yellow gold Rolex Day-Date watch. It doesn’t get much more iconic than a solid yellow gold Rolex President watch and we love Jonah Hill’s version with the matching champagne dial. The overall monochromatic look of the piece is timeless.

HELLO, BEANIE! @beaniefeldstein ❤

A post shared by Jonah Hill (@jonahhill) on

Judging from how it wears on his wrist, we assume it’s a larger Day-Date 40 rather than the more traditional Day-Date 36.

Jonah Hill’s Yellow Gold Rolex Daytona

A well-rounded Rolex collection should (in an ideal world) include a Daytona. There’s no denying the appeal of Rolex’s signature chronograph watch and a yellow gold version just takes it to a whole new level. And it looks like Jonah Hill has at least two yellow gold Daytona chronos. The first one we spotted is the Rolex Daytona ref. 116508 with a gorgeous green metallic dial with red accents, which made its debut in 2016.

At work with this guy @jonahhill ✌ #JonahHill #Work #NYC

A post shared by Ruben Fajardo (@fajardo_ruben) on

The other yellow gold Daytona we’ve seen Jonah Hill sporting is one with a black dial—a classic combination.

Jonah Hill
Credit: Rex Shuttherstock

Jonah Hill’s Modified Blacked-Out Rolex Daytona

At the 2017 Golden Globes, Jonah Hill stepped out onto the red carpet in a black suit, no tie, and white sneakers. But what we were most interested in was his choice of watch for the evening. It happened to be a modified Rolex Daytona in an all-black color scheme with white registers on the dial. While Rolex does not make all-black watches, we like the custom black and white Daytona that Jonah Hill opted for to match his black and white ensemble.

Jonah Hill’s Movie Rolex Watches

Jonah Hill
Credit: Wikia

Aside from the Rolex watches he wears off screen, Jonah Hill has played some famous movie characters wearing some notable Rolex watches. For instance, his colorful character Donnie Azoff wears a yellow gold Rolex Daytona in the hit movie, Wolf of Wall Street.

In War Dogs, Jonah Hill plays Efraim Diveroli, who wears a stainless steel Submariner ref. 116610LN with a black dial and matching black Cerachrom ceramic bezel.

Jonah Hill
Credit: Columbia Pictures

Finally, in Moneyball, assistant GM Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill, has a stainless steel Daytona chronograph on his wrist with a white dial.

Whether off-screen or on-screen, it’s clear that Jonah Hill loves a good Rolex watch. We appreciate the variety of his collection, which includes Rolex dive watches, Rolex dress watches, and Rolex chronographs. We give Jonah Hill a solid 5/5 for his taste in luxury watches!

The post Jonah Hill’s Leading Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/jonah-hills-leading-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
Rolex Spotting at Comic-Con 2018 https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-spotting-at-comic-con-2018/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-spotting-at-comic-con-2018/#respond Wed, 01 Aug 2018 18:02:00 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182926 Tens of thousands of people descended upon San Diego last weekend for Comic-Con 2018. Although Comic-Con first began as a smaller convention focused on comic books and related low budget films and shows, today the popular event has exploded to become the largest show in North America with a host of Hollywood blockbuster movies also […]

The post Rolex Spotting at Comic-Con 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

Tens of thousands of people descended upon San Diego last weekend for Comic-Con 2018. Although Comic-Con first began as a smaller convention focused on comic books and related low budget films and shows, today the popular event has exploded to become the largest show in North America with a host of Hollywood blockbuster movies also partaking. As a result, amidst the incredible cosplay costumes flaunted by fans and impressive exhibits hosted by the industry’s most creative people, there are plenty of top television and films stars in attendance too. And where there are celebrities, there is almost always a slew of Rolex watches too. Find out what Rolex watches made it to Comic-Con 2018 on the wrist of some of the most popular celebrities right now.

Tom Hardy’s Rolex Submariner

The man behind the supervillain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Hardy, was at Comic-Con 2018 to promote his new film, Venom. While talking about his new flick, we couldn’t help but notice an awesome steel Rolex Submariner on his heavily tattooed arm. The Submariner ref. 116610LN to be exact, with the black Cerachrom ceramic bezel and black dial combo.

Bruce Willis’s Rolex Sea-Dweller

M. Night Shyamalan brought Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis back together again for the follow up to his Unbreakable film, which was released 18 years ago. Much to the delight of fans, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis were at Comic-Con 2018 to promote this new film, Glass. While there, Bruce Willis had a Rolex Sea-Dweller dive watch on his wrist. And because we spotted a Cyclops lens on the sapphire crystal of Bruce Willis’ Sea-Dweller, we know that it’s the latest SD ref. 126600 with the larger 43mm Oyster case that Rolex released in 2017.

Aaron Paul’s Rolex Datejust II

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of AMC’s hit show, Breaking Bad, the cast of the now-defunct series reunited at San Diego’s Comic-Con 2018 for a discussion panel. Actor Aaron Paul, who played Jesse Pinkman, arrived with his five-month-old daughter in tow. In the spirit of cosplay, tiny Story Annabelle was dressed in a Hazmat suit—much like her dad’s character in Breaking Bad. While he was holding his baby daughter, we clearly saw Aaron Paul’s favorite Rolex Datejust II on his wrist. Aaron Paul has been wearing this particular stainless Rolex Datejust II with a white gold fluted bezel and blue dial for a few years now and it suits him perfectly.

Norman Reedus’ Rolex Daytona

😎😎🤨 #SDCC #TWD #TWDFamily

A post shared by The Walking Dead (@amcthewalkingdead) on

Also at Comic-Con 2018 was the cast of AMC’s The Walking Dead, who were clearly enjoying each other’s company. One of the stars of the horror drama, Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon, had on his signature yellow gold Rolex Daytona chronograph. Sporting a sleek black dial, Norman Reedus’ precious Daytona is a striking contrast to his favorite all-black outfits.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Rolex Day-Date

Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Rolex Watch
Credit: We Are Still Negan

It seems that solid gold Rolex watches are a thing among the cast of The Walking Dead as Norman Reedus’ co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan—who plays Negan in the show—also rocked one at Comic-Con 2018. However, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s gold Rolex was none other than a Day-Date with a black dial. Yet, instead of the more traditional President bracelet and gold fluted bezel, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s yellow gold Rolex Day-Date includes a smooth bezel and sportier Oyster bracelet.

While we didn’t spot any Rolex “Batman” or Rolex “Hulk” watches at Comic-Con 2018, there were plenty of other awesome Rolex watches worn by celebs to fawn over.

The post Rolex Spotting at Comic-Con 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-spotting-at-comic-con-2018/feed/ 0
Rolex and Motorsports, Driving The Brand Forward https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-motorsports-driving-the-brand-forward/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-motorsports-driving-the-brand-forward/#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2018 13:34:15 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182886 If you’re a fan of Formula 1, you will no doubt be immersed in all the Grand Prix races happening all over the world right now. From France to England to Germany to Hungary, it’s a busy summer season for F1. You may have even spotted some Rolex branding at the circuits since the brand […]

The post Rolex and Motorsports, Driving The Brand Forward appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

If you’re a fan of Formula 1, you will no doubt be immersed in all the Grand Prix races happening all over the world right now. From France to England to Germany to Hungary, it’s a busy summer season for F1. You may have even spotted some Rolex branding at the circuits since the brand has been the Global Partner and Official Timepiece of the F1 since 2013. Rolex’s relationship with Formula is just a small portion of their overall support of motorsports and car events around the world. Let’s discover what motorsports events Rolex sponsors, who their driver brand ambassadors are, and highlight the Daytona, a chronograph built for the racing lifestyle.

Rolex Sponsored Motorsports Events

In addition to being a global partner of Formula 1, Rolex is also the title sponsor of the first F1 race of the season—the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix. Furthermore, Rolex is also a major sponsor of three of the sport’s leading endurance races.

There’s the Rolex 24 At Daytona, which takes place annually in January at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Rolex has been a title sponsor of the famous 24 At Daytona since 1992, and given that Rolex’s Daytona chronograph is named after the county’s speed capital, the relationship is fitting indeed! The winners of the 2018 edition of the Rolex 24 At Daytona each took home a specially engraved two-tone Daytona.

Racing Corvettes! #Rolex24

A post shared by Daytona International Speedway (@disupdates) on

Later in the year in June, there’s the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France. Along with being the oldest sports car endurance race, it is also the most prestigious and Rolex became the Official Timepiece in 2001. The winners of the 2018 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans each won a specially engraved steel and ceramic Daytona.

Reward ..

A post shared by Tom K 🔴⚪⚫ (@tomkristensen_com) on

Completing Rolex’s support of endurance racing is the brand’s partnership with the 12 Hours of Sebring event, also in Florida, as well as being the Official Timepiece of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The race is on 🏁 #LEMANS24 #LeMans #Racing #Rolex

A post shared by 24 Heures du Mans (@24heuresdumans) on

It’s not just high-adrenaline races that Rolex sponsors in the world of motorsports, the brand also partners with prestigious classic car events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in California, and the Goodwood Revival in the UK.

Rolex Motorsports Ambassadors

On top of sponsoring events, Rolex also has a list of motorsports ambassadors starting with Sir Jackie Stewart, who signed on in 1968. A legend in Formula 1, Sir Jackie Stewart won three World Championships and 27 Grand Prix races during his illustrious career. Other F1 drivers that are part of the Rolex family include nine-time Grand Prix winner, Mark Webber, and the 2016 F1 world champion, Nico Rosberg.

Rolex also counts Tom Kristensen as a brand ambassador, one of the most successful drivers in endurance racing ever.

The Daytona Chronograph Built for Motorsports

Perhaps the most famous luxury chronograph watch ever made, Rolex unveiled the Cosmograph Daytona chronograph in 1963. Named after Daytona Beach in Florida, home to a strong history of car racing, Rolex’s Daytona chronograph was built to race. Equipped with a tachymeter bezel charged to measure average speeds by using the chronograph hand on the dial, the Daytona’s duo of pushers on the case are there to start, stop, and reset that chrono hand.

The Daytona story includes three major parts thus far. The first is a collection of manual-wound chronograph watches manufactured from 1963 until 1988. The next chapter starts in 1988 with the first generation of automatic Daytona chronographs, powered by modified Zenith El Primero movements. The current phase began in 2000 when Rolex presented new versions of the Daytona running on an in-house chronograph movement, the Cal. 4130.

In true Rolex fashion, there have been plenty of different Daytona watches made throughout its history, from steel to gold to platinum to two-tone models. There are also a host of gem-set Daytona chronographs and the latest ones sport high-tech ceramic bezels.

As the Daytona chronicle continues to drive forward, Rolex has ensured that this legendary timepiece remains at the top of the podium.

The post Rolex and Motorsports, Driving The Brand Forward appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-motorsports-driving-the-brand-forward/feed/ 0
Rolex and Golf, Swinging Times https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-golf-swinging-times/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-golf-swinging-times/#respond Mon, 30 Jul 2018 18:18:42 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182822 Considered one of the most prestigious and difficult sports to master, it is no wonder that Rolex is a strong supporter of golf. From sponsoring the game’s greatest tournaments to partnering with some of the best players in the sport’s history, Rolex is one of the most prominent brands in golf. Tee up and join […]

The post Rolex and Golf, Swinging Times appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

Considered one of the most prestigious and difficult sports to master, it is no wonder that Rolex is a strong supporter of golf. From sponsoring the game’s greatest tournaments to partnering with some of the best players in the sport’s history, Rolex is one of the most prominent brands in golf. Tee up and join us as we explore Rolex’s involvement with golf and golfers around the world.

Golf Players Sponsored by Rolex

Rolex’s relationship with golf began in the 1960s when the brand officially teamed up with Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player—known as the Big Three—who went on to become absolute legends in the sport.

Since then, the brand has continued supporting a diverse range of top golf players. For instance, the most successful female golfer of all time, Annika Sörenstam is a long friend of the brand. Plus, the young Lydia Ko, who made history by becoming No. #1 at just 17 years old, is also a part of the Rolex family. Other current female golfers who are part of the Rolex roster include Anna Nordqvist, Lexi Thompson, and Brooke Henderson.

On the men’s side, Rolex counts a whole host of golfers as official brand ambassadors including one of the most famous golfer of all time, Tiger Woods. There’s also Phil Mickelson, who famously wears his Rolex Cellini watch on his left wrist while playing.

Adam Scott, Martin Kaymer, and Jason Day are also officially sponsored by Rolex, as are Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Jon Rahm, Thomas Pieters, and Brooks Koepka. An impressive list of golf champs indeed!

Golf Tournaments Sponsored by Rolex

Out of the four men’s major golf championships, Rolex is an official partner of three of them—The Masters in April, The US Open in June, and The Open in July.

Whose time is it to become a #USOpen champion? 📸USGA/John Mummert

A post shared by U.S. Open Championship (@usopengolf) on

The brand also sponsors The Ryder Cup and the President’s Cup, as well as the World Golf Championships, the World Cup of Golf, and THE PLAYERS Championship.

It’s time. @rolex

A post shared by #THEPLAYERS (@theplayerschamp) on

Rolex is also very active in women’s golf tournaments. In fact, the brand sponsors all five of the women’s golf majors. There’s the ANA Inspiration, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the U.S. Women’s Open, the Ricoh Women’s British Open, and the Evian Championship.

Rolex Watches for a Golf Lifestyle

Aside from Phil Mickelson, it’s very rare to see a golfer wearing a watch while on the course. Off the course, it’s a different story. Rolex positions their Day-Date watch as the ultimate timepiece for a golfer’s lifestyle. While this is most certainly not a sports watch, it is Rolex’s most prestigious dress watch that has become an international symbol of success.

Congratulations to @jordanspieth on his first @theopen victory! #Rolex

A post shared by ROLEX (@rolex) on

However, it’s worth noting that many of Rolex’s golf ambassadors like to wear other Rolex watches. For instance, Tiger Woods wears a Sea-Dweller Deepsea, Jordan Spieth wears an Explorer II “Polar”, Brooks Koepka wears a ceramic Daytona, Hideki Matsuyama wears a two-tone Submariner, and Justin Thomas wears a platinum and steel Yacht-Master.

With a fifty-year history already behind the partnership, it’s clear that the solid Rolex and golf relationship will continue on for decades to come.

The post Rolex and Golf, Swinging Times appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-golf-swinging-times/feed/ 0
Rolex and Yachting, Smooth Sailing https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-yachting-smooth-sailing/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-yachting-smooth-sailing/#respond Thu, 26 Jul 2018 13:33:10 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182766 When Rolex supports a sport on a global level, the brand pretty much goes all out. Take yachting for example. Rolex has been a part of the sailing world since 1958 when it partnered with the prestigious New York Yacht Club (NYYC). Fast-forward to today, and Rolex is the title sponsor of a whole host […]

The post Rolex and Yachting, Smooth Sailing appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

When Rolex supports a sport on a global level, the brand pretty much goes all out. Take yachting for example. Rolex has been a part of the sailing world since 1958 when it partnered with the prestigious New York Yacht Club (NYYC). Fast-forward to today, and Rolex is the title sponsor of a whole host of yachting events, such as the TP52 World Championship taking place this week in Cascais, Portugal. Come aboard as we explore the relationship between Rolex and yachting.

Yachting Events Sponsored by Rolex

From North America to South America, from Europe to Asia to Australia, Rolex has most of the continents covered in terms of partnerships with races and regattas. There’s the Rolex TP52 World Championship, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the Rolex Swan Cup, and the Rolex Giraglia.

Plus, there’s also the Rolex Middle Sea Race, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, the Rolex China Sea Race, the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, the Rolex Big Boat Series, and the Rolex Circuito Atlántico Sur. There simply isn’t another luxury watch brand that comes close to Rolex’s support of yachting and sailing around the world.

Yacht Clubs, Awards, and Sailors Sponsored by Rolex

Along with event partnerships, Rolex also has long-standing relationships with some of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs. Starting with the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) in the 1950s, Rolex now counts Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS), Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), the Royal Malta Yacht Club, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, the Yacht Club Italiano, and the Yacht Club de Monaco as friends of the brand.

The New York Yacht Club, the founding father of the famed America's Cup, with an illustrious Rolex clock situated outside. Link in Bio. . . A New York Yacht Club, a híres America's Cup alapítója, épülete előtt egy gyönyörű Rolex órával. . . Jedinstveni ambijent ispred renomiranog New York Yacht kluba simbolično dekoriše dopadljivi Rolex časovnik. . #PetiteGenevePetrovic #Rolex #RolexYachting #RolexYacht #Yachting #RolexYachtMasterII #RolexYachtMaster #YachtingClub #NewYorkYachtClub #RolexWatch #RolexYachting #RolexWatches #RolexPassion #Luxury #LuxuryLifeStyle #LuxuryLife #LuxuryWatch #LuxuryWatches #MensWatch #MensFashion #LifeStyle #LifeStyles #HappyLife #InstaDaily #Follow #PortoMontenegro #Beograd #Belgrade #Budapest #Budimpesta

A post shared by Petite Geneve Petrovic (@petitegenevepetrovic) on

What’s more, Rolex even organizes their own annual Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards. These awards honor the top male and female sailors. Official Rolex brand ambassadors include seven-time World Champion Sailor and Olympian, Paul Cayard, in addition to 13-time World Champion and five-time Olympic medalist, Robert Scheidt.

Mais uma!!! Estou na edição especial junho/julho da Versatille! @versatille #capa

A post shared by Robert Scheidt (@robert.scheidt) on

Rolex’s Yachting Watches

Rolex’s association with water dates back to 1926 when the company presented the world’s first waterproof watch, the Rolex Oyster. Since then, Rolex has focused on improving the water resistance of the famed Oyster case. As such, plenty of their watches strike the perfect balance between robustness and luxuriousness.

Rolex boasts not just one, but two watches dedicated to the nautical life. The Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II are some of the most recognizable in the brand’s lineup.

The Yacht-Master made its debut in 1992 and offers plenty of sporty luxury watch options for both men and women. There are the solid yellow gold Yacht-Master watches, the steel and platinum Yacht-Master watches, and the two tone gold and steel Yacht-Master watches. Furthermore, as of 2015, Rolex unveiled Everose gold Yacht-Master watches fitted with the brand new black Oysterflex rubber bracelets.

While the Yacht-Master watches are super stylish and functional watches, the Yacht-Master II collection offers a line of large 44mm tool watches built specifically for competitive sailors equipped with a regatta timer. Available in steel, yellow gold, white gold, and two tone steel and Everose gold, the Yacht-Master II is one of the newest watch collections from Rolex with its starting point in 2007.

It’s clear that sailing is a big part of the Rolex spirit. In turn, the Swiss watch brand is a significant player in the yachting world. However, lucky for us non-sailors, the partnership has inspired plenty of fantastic Rolex watches that can be enjoyed by those even beyond seafaring circles.

The post Rolex and Yachting, Smooth Sailing appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-yachting-smooth-sailing/feed/ 0
Reality TV Stars and the Rolex Watches they Wear https://beckertime.com/blog/reality-tv-stars-and-the-rolex-watches-they-wear/ https://beckertime.com/blog/reality-tv-stars-and-the-rolex-watches-they-wear/#respond Wed, 25 Jul 2018 23:59:56 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182646 Love it or hate it, reality television is a big part of today’s entertainment. Depending on the show, regular folk can become overnight celebrity sensations as they stream into the living rooms of millions of people around the world. From home improvement shows to singing contests to just watching people live their crazy lives on […]

The post Reality TV Stars and the Rolex Watches they Wear appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

Love it or hate it, reality television is a big part of today’s entertainment. Depending on the show, regular folk can become overnight celebrity sensations as they stream into the living rooms of millions of people around the world. From home improvement shows to singing contests to just watching people live their crazy lives on camera, the types of reality shows that are out there is expansive. While many of these types of television shows may not be at the top of our must-watch list, we did notice some awesome Rolex watches on the wrists of reality television stars. Here’s a roundup of some top reality TV stars and the Rolex watches they wear.

Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s Scott Disick’s Rolex Watches

A key cast member of the reality TV show phenomenon Keeping Up with the Kardashian, Scott Disick has always had a taste for the finer things in life. Aside from his incredible sports cars, Scott Disick also has a solid collection of Rolex watches.

New season

A post shared by Scott Disick (@letthelordbewithyou) on

The reality television star seems to have a particular fondness for yellow gold Rolex watches as illustrated by his yellow gold GMT-Master, yellow gold Sky-Dweller, yellow gold Day-Date, and yellow gold Daytona. However, he’s not above a steel Rolex sports watch either as he owns a vintage steel GMT-Master with a red and blue “Pepsi” bezel. In fact, he’s been quoted as saying, “you can wear this day, night; dinner, lunch, breakfast, and all the time pretty much.“ And we’d have to agree with him!

Scott also posted a picture to his Instagram account a couple of months back flaunting a vintage Daytona Paul Newman and a vintage steel Submariner—two heavy-hitters in Rolex’s lineup.

Fixer Upper’s Chip Gaines’ Rolex Watch

One of HGTV’s biggest television stars, Chip Gaines and his wife Joanna Gaines, make a living flipping houses in Waco, Texas and broadcast it for all to enjoy via their Fixer Upper show. While undertaking some heavy-duty home improvement projects, we couldn’t help but notice a steel Rolex watch on Chip Gaines’ wrist. At first, it was hard to determine what particular Rolex model it was because he has a habit of wearing it with the clasp facing up and the case facing down! Every time there’s a shot of him swinging a hammer on “demo day” or bolting a light fixture into the ceiling, we get a clear view of a clasp with the famous Rolex crown on it.

However, Chip Gaines did answer a fan’s burning question on Twitter when asked what kind of watch he wears on the show. He replied, “…the only watch I ever wear.. A Rolex sea dweller. This watch is a tough son of a gun.” Indeed it is.

Host Ryan Seacrest’s Rolex Watch

Ryan Seacrest has been a staple in American entertainment for decades. From his numerous radio shows to his hosting gig on American Idol to now co-hosting Live with Kelly and Ryan to his red-carpet interviews on E!, the reality television host has always kept busy. And you know how he keeps track of his hectic schedule? Often with a vintage Rolex Daytona ref. 6263 “Big Red” on his wrist.

An incredible vintage Daytona chronograph, the ref. 6263 includes a black bezel, silver dial, black subdials, and a big red “DAYTONA” marking above the register at 6 o’clock. In an interview with GQ, Ryan Seacrest said of his beloved Rolex, ““It’s there, it tells time, it’s a beautiful piece, it’s an antique, it’s from the seventies—but it doesn’t jump out and scream at you and it’s the right size and proportion for my body. I love the silver color and obviously it works with everything.”

Whether on the big screen at the theaters or on a smaller screen at home, it’s always fun to spot what Rolex watches celebrities choose to wear.

The post Reality TV Stars and the Rolex Watches they Wear appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/reality-tv-stars-and-the-rolex-watches-they-wear/feed/ 0
Hollywood Actresses Wearing Men’s Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/hollywood-actresses-wearing-mens-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/hollywood-actresses-wearing-mens-rolex-watches/#respond Tue, 24 Jul 2018 16:16:35 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182653 From Mark Wahlberg to Brad Pitt to Sly Stallone, we’ve highlighted many of the Rolex watches favored by Hollywood actors. But what about the ladies? Well, it seems that Hollywood’s leading ladies wear men’s Rolex watches too. What can we say, Rolex watches really are celeb favorites. Here are some of top Hollywood actresses and […]

The post Hollywood Actresses Wearing Men’s Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

From Mark Wahlberg to Brad Pitt to Sly Stallone, we’ve highlighted many of the Rolex watches favored by Hollywood actors. But what about the ladies? Well, it seems that Hollywood’s leading ladies wear men’s Rolex watches too. What can we say, Rolex watches really are celeb favorites. Here are some of top Hollywood actresses and the men’s Rolex watches they choose to wear.

Sofia Vergara’s Rolex Watches

Sofia Vergara Rolex Watch
Photo: Splash News

Sofia Vergara has been the highest paid television actress for the last five years thanks to her role in ABC’s Modern Family as Gloria Pritchett, along with a handful of lucrative endorsement deals. Over the years we’ve spotted Sofia Vergara wearing different Rolex watches including a stainless steel Datejust 36 with a diamond-set bezel and a mother-of-pearl dial.

Sofia Vergara Rolex Watch
Photo: PacificCoastNews.com

Then there are Sofia Vergara’s Daytona chronographs too. She often has a yellow gold Daytona ref. 116528 on her wrist and we’ve seen at least two different versions—one with a black mother-of-pearl dial and the other with the so-called Paul Newman tribute dial in black, red, and white. Sofia Vergara also has a gorgeous Everose gold Daytona with a matching rose gold dial and black registers.

Jennifer Aniston’s Rolex Watches

Jennifer Aniston is another famous actress that played a beloved TV character for many years. While Jennifer Aniston went on to make plenty of movies, she will forever be known as Rachel from NBC 10-year hit show, Friends.

😋

A post shared by Jennifer Aniston (@anistontoday) on

Jennifer Aniston Rolex
Photo: People

In terms of style, the Hollywood celebrity is known for her cool, casual, and chic California vibe. And she often finishes her look off with a Rolex watch. While early in her career Jennifer Aniston wore a stainless steel men’s Datejust 36, these days she’s rarely seen without her yellow gold Rolex Day-Date President watch on her arm. We’ve even seen her wearing a very cool custom black-out Rolex Milgauss watch too. Kudos for her picking the antimagnetic watch that’s not very common among Rolex’s female clientele.

Charlize Theron’s Rolex Watches

From The Devil’s Advocate to Monster to Mad Max, movie star Charlize Theron has an impressive body of work to her name. The South African native now calls Los Angeles home and has even ventured into producing movies.

Charlize Theron Rolex
Photo: Getty Images

For Rolex watches, Charlize Theron opts for some interesting men’s models. First, there’s the hefty Deepsea dive watch with a robust 44mm Oyster case that’s also thick in size thanks to the Helium Escape Valve, domed crystal, and Ringlock system. She wears it beautifully despite its robust size.

So much respect for this gem @iisuperwomanii

A post shared by Charlize Theron (@charlizeafrica) on

Charlize Theron’s other stainless steel men’s Rolex watch is an understated Datejust watch with a very wearable 36mm Oyster case. Perfect for everyday wear.

Lindsay Lohan’s Rolex Watches

Lindsay Lohan Rolex Watch
Photo: Getty Images

Although she’s young, Lindsay Lohan has been a fixture in the film industry for a long time. Beginning her career starring in hundreds of nationwide commercials, the child actor soon graduated to Disney films and other Hollywood movies like the Parent Trap, Mean Girls, and Freaky Friday. These days, Lindsay Lohan the businesswoman has stepped into the nightclub industry, opening up establishments in Athens and Mykonos.

Lindsay Lohan Rolex Watch
Photo: Just Jared

Judging from her choice in luxury watches, it’s safe to say that Lindsay Lohan has been collecting Rolex watches for a while too. We’ve seen her wearing a range of men’s Rolex watches. From stainless steel Datejust 36 watches to solid gold Day-Date President timepieces to Submariner diving watches, she has plenty. Lately, we’ve spotted Lindsay Lohan sporting the stainless steel GMT-Master II “Batman” characterized by its black and blue ceramic bezel—perfect for her jet-set lifestyle traveling all over the world.

Although there are thousands of beautiful Rolex watches specifically for women, these Hollywood actresses prefer to own the larger men’s versions. And why not—they certainly look fabulous on them!

The post Hollywood Actresses Wearing Men’s Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/hollywood-actresses-wearing-mens-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
Rolex Spotting at the 2018 ESPYS Awards https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-spotting-at-the-2018-espys-awards/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-spotting-at-the-2018-espys-awards/#respond Mon, 23 Jul 2018 15:35:21 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182803 Short for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award, the ESPYS are the equivalent of the Oscars but for the sports world. With a celebrity guest list that includes a mix of professional athletes, Hollywood stars, and chart-topping musicians, the ESPY awards are always a glamorous affair. The 2018 ESPY awards, held on Wednesday, July 18, […]

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

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

Short for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award, the ESPYS are the equivalent of the Oscars but for the sports world. With a celebrity guest list that includes a mix of professional athletes, Hollywood stars, and chart-topping musicians, the ESPY awards are always a glamorous affair. The 2018 ESPY awards, held on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, was no different. As expected, the red carpet was filled with extravagant outfits, flashy jewelry, and plenty of luxury watches. And that was from the men! Of course, this being a celeb-packed event, there were plenty of Rolex watches on show too. So, with that, here are some Rolex watches that we spotted at the 2018 ESPYS Awards.

JaVale McGee’s Rolex Day-Date

Fresh from his 2018 NBA Championship win with the Golden State Warriors, JaVale McGee will be joining the LA Lakers roster along with LeBron James for the next season.

COMMENT 🤙🏽 IF YOU BOUT THEM POSITIVE VIBES!

A post shared by Javale Pierre {2X} McGee (@javalemcgee) on

Known for his unique style, JaVale McGee did not disappoint on the red carpet of the ESPYS with a pair of rose-patterned pants and matching suit jacket topped with a red Gucci fanny pack. Contrasting with his fashion-forward outfit was his classic yellow gold Rolex Day-Date President watch on his wrist.

Odell Beckham Jr.’s Rolex Sky-Dweller

New York Giant’s wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., is no stranger to taking fashion risks and his outfit choice at the 2018 ESPYS was right in his wheelhouse.

Along with his black and white print shirt and shorts combo, oval sunglasses, and plenty of jewelry around his neck, the NFL player also had on an iced-out Rolex Sky-Dweller gleaming on his wrist complete with a vibrant blue dial.

Georges St-Pierre’s Rolex Daytona

Canadian mixed martial artist, George St-Pierre, or GSP to some, indulged in a photo op on the ESPYS red carpet with boxing legend, Sugar Ray Leonard.

While doing the pre-requisite boxer’s pose, we spotted a shiny yellow gold Rolex Daytona on GSP’s wrist. And rather than a matching yellow gold bracelet, his Daytona comes with the lighter black leather strap.

Travis Kelce’s Rolex Day-Date

Travis Kelce, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs NFL team, also brought his fashion game to the ESPYS with his floral patterned navy suit and black shirt combo.

Espys red carpet #traviskelce #kansascitychiefs

A post shared by Travis (@kelce87) on

However, it was his wrist that grabbed our attention since it was home to a stunning platinum Rolex Day-Date President with the iconic ice blue dial.

Adam Rippon’s Rolex Datejust

Figure skater Adam Rippon took home a bronze medal for Team USA at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic games but it was perhaps his win at the last season of Dancing with the Stars that made him an even bigger household name.

Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Adam Rippon made sure he stood out on the ESPYS red carpet with an embellished white jacket. What’s more, as always, the Olympian had his favorite two tone Rolex Datejust watch on as well.

Russell Wilson’s Rolex Submariner

In contrast to other celebs that night, Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback, Russell Wilson, kept it fairly conservative fashion-wise for the evening with a dark blue and black getup.

However, with his rolled-up sleeve, Russell Wilson’s two tone yellow gold and steel Rolex Submariner was on full display. We especially love that the blue dial of the Super Bowl champ’s Submariner matched his tailored jacket.

Kyle Kuzma’s Rolex Day-Date

Yet another athlete that rocked a bold pattern for the awards was LA Lakers’ power forward, Kyle Kuzma.

Espy 🤙🏾

A post shared by Kyle Kuzma (@kuz) on

To accent his teal snakeskin-print tuxedo jacket, Kyle Kuzma opted for a yellow gold Day-Date President watch. The precious metal luxury Rolex watch also flaunted a sparkling diamond-set bezel surrounding the black dial.

From Day-Date to Datejust, Submariner to Sky-Dweller to Daytona, it’s clear that a Rolex watch is the must-have luxury watch for any red carpet event.

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

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-spotting-at-the-2018-espys-awards/feed/ 0
Rolex and Tennis, A Fruitful Match https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-tennis-a-fruitful-match/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-tennis-a-fruitful-match/#respond Thu, 19 Jul 2018 18:28:42 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182757 Along with making superb watches, Rolex has managed to maintain their leading status in the luxury watch space thanks to clever marketing strategies. For instance, the brand aligns itself with a handful of prestigious sports, including tennis. The Swiss watchmaking giant has been supporting the sport of tennis since 1978, when the brand became the […]

The post Rolex and Tennis, A Fruitful Match appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

Along with making superb watches, Rolex has managed to maintain their leading status in the luxury watch space thanks to clever marketing strategies. For instance, the brand aligns itself with a handful of prestigious sports, including tennis. The Swiss watchmaking giant has been supporting the sport of tennis since 1978, when the brand became the Official Timekeeper of Wimbledon. Since then, Rolex has gone on to sponsor other top tennis tournaments and the sport’s best players. Let’s explore Rolex’s approach to tennis.

Tennis Tournaments Sponsored by Rolex

The oldest tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon just wrapped up their 132nd edition this past weekend. Also considered the most prestigious tournament in tennis, it’s a lifelong dream of every professional tennis player claim victory at the famous grass courts. Rolex has been a partner of Britain’s Grand Slam for four decades. As such, the Rolex clocks and logos are a familiar sight at Wimbledon’s home, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Rolex also sponsors other important tennis events such as the Australian Open, yet another Grand Slam. Plus, there’s also the Rolex Shanghai Masters, the Laver Cup, the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters, the NITTO ATP Finals, and Indian Wells.

Top Tennis Players Sponsored by Rolex

From Chris Evert to Bjorn Borg, from Tim Henman to Vijay Amritraj, Rolex has counted some of the best tennis players as brand ambassadors over the last 40 years. The Rolex tennis roster continues strong today with an impressive assortment of tennis champs.

A post shared by Chris Evert (@chrissieevert) on

On the men’s side, Rolex has one of the best tennis players in tennis’ history as an official ambassador—Roger Federer. The fact that both Rolex and Roger are Swiss makes the partnership even more ideal! Along with Roger Federer, current men’s tennis players sponsored by Rolex include Milos Raonic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Grigor Dimitrov, and Dominic Thiem.

Love is in the air down under😜🇦🇺#RF20

A post shared by Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) on

On the ladies’ side, Rolex currently sponsors Garbiñe Muguruza, Angelique Kerber, and Caroline Wozniacki. As a matter of fact, Angelique Kerber just clinched her first Wimbledon win by beating out Serena Williams this past Saturday. She had the popular steel and ceramic Daytona ref. 116500LN on her wrist as she held her first Wimbledon trophy and third Grand Slam title.

Rolex Watches Associated with Tennis

While tennis players don’t typically wear a watch on their wrist during a match, Rolex does position the Rolex Datejust as a watch for the tennis lifestyle off the court. Elegant, top performing, and classic are just a few of the traits that tennis and the Datejust share.

There is one particular two-tone steel and yellow gold Datejust 41 with a slate dial, green outlined Roman numerals, and smooth gold bezel that is particularly associated with tennis. In fact, it’s even referred to as the Datejust “Wimbledon” in some circles thanks to the colors on the watch.

One court, two teams, game on. #LaverCup

A post shared by Laver Cup (@lavercup) on

Next up on the Rolex tennis calendar is the Laver Cup, slated to take place September 21-23, 2018, in Chicago. Following this will be the Rolex Shanghai Masters, scheduled to happen October 7-14, 2018 in China. So, we’ll be tuning in to see what Rolex tennis ambassadors serve up in the next couple of months.

The post Rolex and Tennis, A Fruitful Match appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-and-tennis-a-fruitful-match/feed/ 0
Be Quick! The Rolex Daytona Cosmograph ref. 16520 https://beckertime.com/blog/be-quick-the-rolex-daytona-cosmograph-ref-16520/ https://beckertime.com/blog/be-quick-the-rolex-daytona-cosmograph-ref-16520/#respond Tue, 17 Jul 2018 18:15:41 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178373 The Rolex Daytona’s first step towards true world domination can be traced back to one reference. While the brand’s only chronograph had been hovering on the fringes for a quarter of a century, the ignored underdog and a perpetual disappointment in the Rolex stable, it wasn’t until 1988 that its rags to riches story really […]

The post Be Quick! The Rolex Daytona Cosmograph ref. 16520 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
The Rolex Daytona’s first step towards true world domination can be traced back to one reference. While the brand’s only chronograph had been hovering on the fringes for a quarter of a century, the ignored underdog and a perpetual disappointment in the Rolex stable, it wasn’t until 1988 that its rags to riches story really began.

It was the all steel ref. 16520 that brought the long-awaited automatic movement to the range, with every model subsequent to that containing one of several tinkered-with self-winding Valjoux calibers.

Even when the Daytona was first launched back in 1963, having to manually wind your watch was a concept out of the dark ages. The fact that a supposed high performance timepiece, aimed at the technologically advanced world of motorsport, would grind to a halt should you forget was an anathema to potential customers, and models which today sell at auction for prices that more closely resemble phone numbers, lingered on dealer’s shelves for years at a time.

Come the heady 80s however, and things started to change—and change big. Rolex were on the hunt for a self-winding chronograph movement, and they didn’t have to look far. A relative stone’s throw from their Geneva compound, legendary watchmaker Zenith was just starting to find its feet again following the mauling it had suffered at the hands of the 70s quartz crisis.

Before they were compelled to shut down production, they had been engaged in a fierce battle with a rival consortium of watchmakers to construct the first mechanical automatic stopwatch caliber. Their competition, formed from giants such as Breitling, Hamilton and Heuer had created the Caliber 11; six months later, Zenith, and their partners Movado, brought out the El Primero.

The El Primero and the Cosmograph

Forced to batten down the hatches to survive the onslaught of cheap, disposable electronic watches from Japan and elsewhere, the El Primero had gone into hibernation in 1972. There it stayed while the world recovered from its love affair with quartz and started to yearn again for the sort of horologic artistry that could only come from Switzerland.

Rolex Mens Daytona Cosmograph 16520

With Rolex beating down its door, Zenith dusted off the El Primero and started a fruitful partnership with their allies across the Alps that would continue for another 12 years.

However, this being Rolex, there was still a significant amount of work to do on a caliber generally acknowledged to be the best of its type in the world at that time.

Arriving as the El Primero, the mechanism would eventually leave as the Cal. 4030. In between, the engineering boffins in Rolex’s deep underground lair subjected Zenith’s movement to more than 200 separate modifications, swapping or discarding around half its original components.

Among the more noteworthy revisions were the removal of the date function and the fitting of a new escapement with a larger, free sprung Glucydur balance wheel, regulated by Rolex’s own Microstella screw system.

Gone also was the El Primero’s flat hairspring to be replaced with a Breguet overcoil, and the frenetic 36,000vph balance speed was dropped to a more stately 28,800vph—in keeping with the rest of the brand’s present-day range. It gave the signature sweep to the seconds hand that is a Rolex trademark, as well as allowing for a less frequent servicing schedule.

The New Generation Daytona

The ref. 16520 then marked the start of the Daytona’s journey to the uppermost echelons. When it launched in 1988 the reaction was immediate, with demand so intense there was no way for supply to keep up. Rolex’s reliance on a foreign-sourced engine slowed production down to such an extent that waiting lists started stretching off into years, with dealers cannily stockpiling watches for their favorite customers, or selling them for up to twice their official retail price to impatient queue jumpers.

Its arrival couldn’t have come at a better time. The relatively new phenomenon of watch collecting was reaching fever pitch, and with the release of a new Daytona and the withdrawal of the old, interest in both models went through the roof.

The ref. 16520, becoming better known as the Zenith Daytona, brought with it some aesthetic changes from its predecessor, along with the upgrade in power plant. The original 37mm case bulged to a more contemporary 40mm, and the dial was now given a glossy, lacquered finish rather than the previous matte or metallic.

Those iconic sub dials received a narrow enclosing outer track in an opposing color, the hour markers were now in an applied metal and filled with lume, and for the first time, it was all protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

By themselves, relatively superficial changes, but added together and combined with the convenience of the new mechanism, and the ref. 16520 was a spectacular success.

The Variations

As anyone with a nodding acquaintance of the brand knows, Rolex seemingly cannot resist toying with their designs once they have been released out into the wild. The Zenith Daytona is no different and there have been five different versions identified. Only ever released with black or white dials, their comparative rarity has a huge effect on their price on the vintage market.

Marks I and II, for example, feature what’s called the ‘floating’ dial, where the ‘Cosmograph’ tag is separated from the rest of the text above. Later models moved it to its more usual position directly under the ‘’Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ lines.

Rolex Mens Daytona Cosmograph 16520 Zenith Movement

The first three versions had an inverted ‘6’ on the 12-hour sub dial, as well as having three dashes in between the markers on the 30-minute counter. More recent examples corrected the ‘6’ and added a fourth dash.

And the final addition to the range, released around 1998, switched from Tritium to Superluminova for its lume, and so lost the tiny letter ‘T’ before and after the ‘Swiss Made’ text below the 6 o’clock position.

All minute amendments, and there are also a number of subsets of each version with ultra rare variations released for just a few short months, such as the porcelain dial with its unique white paint finish.

But perhaps the most interesting are the Mark IV Daytonas from the early 90s. Known as the Patrizzi dials, they are named after Osvaldo Patrizzi, the then chairman of auction house Antiquorum. In 2005, Patrizzi noticed the sub dial’s outer ring on the black dialed versions of the ref. 16520 Daytona was starting to discolor.

As it turned out, the organic varnish Rolex had been using on that portion of the dial was oxidizing, turning the once silver outline a light brown. Even better, the process was gradual and unique to each watch, with no two looking quite the same—which is just fodder to the world’s collectors.

Today, a Patrizzi dial can add a good 25% to the price of a standard ref. 16520.

Buying a Zenith Daytona

There are very few more attractive investment purchases right now on the vintage watch market than the Zenith Daytona.

Released in a range of materials over its 12 year run; yellow gold (ref. 16528), Rolesor (ref. 16523), gold with a leather strap (ref. 16518) and white gold on leather (ref. 16519), it is and has always been the utilitarian steel versions that command the most attention and highest prices.

The lack of precious metals means the ref. 16520 was the most affordable when first brought out, and that is the reason for their popularity and resulting scarcity. Just as it is with the latest Daytona, the steel versions are the ones everyone wants.

Housing the very last movement Rolex ever sourced from an outside company, before creating their own in-house replacement, the Cal. 4130, in 2000, the ref. 16520 is a significant piece of the brand’s history, as well as a beautiful example of the world’s favorite chronograph.

It was the model that changed the script for the also-ran Daytona, taking it from a struggling tool watch to an all out statement piece. Today, it is sitting on the cusp of grail watch status, with the particularly rare floating dial or Patrizzi editions being snapped up by forward thinking collectors, who regard them as the next big thing.

The ref. 16520 is also an unbeatable choice for those who prefer to buy their watches just for the appreciation of the watchmaker’s art, rather than as a potential future investment.

As its continuing popularity shows, there is nothing quite like a Daytona. The one piece every fan aspires to, there has never been a better time to acquaint yourself with this legendary watch.

The post Be Quick! The Rolex Daytona Cosmograph ref. 16520 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/be-quick-the-rolex-daytona-cosmograph-ref-16520/feed/ 0
Stainless Steel Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/stainless-steel-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/stainless-steel-rolex-watches/#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 21:46:56 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180330 Over its history, Rolex has produced a staggering number of watches. The variety in their selection is truly enormous and it is not difficult to get confused when faced with so much choice. Every person who comes to us knows they want a Rolex. But which one? Vintage or modern? A sports model or a […]

The post Stainless Steel Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Over its history, Rolex has produced a staggering number of watches. The variety in their selection is truly enormous and it is not difficult to get confused when faced with so much choice.

Every person who comes to us knows they want a Rolex. But which one? Vintage or modern? A sports model or a dress piece? What size? What dial color? What metal—steel, gold, platinum, two-tone?

It can seem like the list is endless. So to do what we can to help make your selection a little easier, we are going to be running a series of specially prepared articles, breaking down Rolex’s vast catalog by section.

Think of it as your own carefully curated playlist of the brand’s greatest hits, and hopefully it’ll act as a handy reference guide to make your decision that little bit easier.

To kick off, we’ll start with some of the most accessible models in the Rolex canon; the stainless steel pieces.

Stainless Steel Rolex

Rolex has built its reputation by making the toughest tool watches money can buy. Their steel models have been to the summit of Everest and to the deepest depths of the ocean. Explorers above ground and underwater have long put their trust in their rugged reliability, while the more formal offerings retain a nicely understated wrist presence that can match any occasion.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Explorer II White 16570

Throughout the range, there are some models that have only ever been made in stainless steel. There are some that started life in steel before being released in a variety of precious metals as their popularity grew. And there are still others that have had to wait for their steel versions, usually, as is the case with the Yacht-Master II and the new Sky-Dweller, where potential customers adored the watch but couldn’t stomach the price tags attached to the gold or platinum versions.

Here at Beckertime, we have a huge selection of steel Rolex watches, and below we highlight some of the best.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Often considered the entry-level Rolex, the Oyster Perpetual series is as simple as a watch can be; a straightforward, three-hand, no date creation that can trace its lineage back to the very earliest days of the brand’s story.

However, unlike, say, an entry-level car, one that’s missing all the things you really want, an entry-level Rolex is still a Rolex.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Oyster Perpetual Silver Arabic 116000

So, it has the same level of prowess in its engineering and the same obsessive attention to detail in its construction as models twice or three times the price.

The steel in its case and bracelet is identical to that used throughout the whole range. The calibers are fitted with the same groundbreaking components and subjected to the same consistent upgrades.

Oyster Perpetuals are perhaps the most unassuming watches Rolex make, or have ever made. In the archives, you will find gold versions, but the vast majority are forged from Rolex’s flawless stainless steel.

Interestingly, until very recently, they have never been larger than 36mm, so they make the ideal wear for both men and women. Or, for a truly elegant female timepiece, the Ladies Oyster Perpetual series are all under 30mm.

If you are looking for the perfect gateway into the world of vintage Rolex collecting, or are just after that one good watch that will last a lifetime and be passed down as an heirloom, the Oyster Perpetual should be your first port of call.

The Rolex Submariner

Think Rolex, think Submariner. Perhaps the single most iconic model ever built, it has been the undisputed champion of dive watches for over half a century.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner Black 14060

Launched in 1953 and an immediate success, it wasn’t long before the first gold examples put in an appearance. But it is that timeless design in all steel that tops most fans’ wish lists.

During its lifespan, there have been a slew of different references, with the usual minute variations in each that can add significant premiums depending on their relative scarcity. It is possible to spend incredible amounts on the rarest versions but, with the scale of Rolex’s output, the sheer number of Subs available to buy on the pre-owned market has kept their buy in price surprisingly attainable.

The most popular model of all time, from the world’s most successful watchmaker, there isn’t a Rolex collection complete without at least one Submariner.

The Rolex Explorer II

Designed for the world’s most hostile environments, the perpetually underappreciated Explorer II has only ever been forged from steel. (So if you see a gold one for sale, run!)

A dark horse with a rich history, it has always lived in the shadow of Rolex’s other sports watches, and particularly the GMT-Master—the first of their dual time models.

Rolex Explorer II 16550

However, in recent years, the Explorer II’s stock has been on the rise. As the rest of the range has gotten evermore gentrified, it is the Explorer that has stuck most rigidly to its tool watch roots. It represents the essence of Rolex, and has garnered itself something of a cult following because of it.

Launched in 1971, its outward appearance has barely altered over the last 40 years or so, the biggest change coming with the release of its most recent iteration, the ref. 216570, when it grew in size to 42mm from the previous 40mm.

Inside, its most significant improvement came in 1985, when the ref. 16550 introduced the ability to adjust its two hour hands independently from each other, turning it from a mere night and day indicator into a true GMT.

Certain versions of that particular reference also represent some of the most valuable examples of the watch. Available for the first time with a white, or Polar, dial, a defect in the paint causes them to fade to a creamy ivory after exposure to UV rays. It’s a progressive effect, making each one unique—magic words to serious Rolex collectors.

Always one of the toughest models around, the latest versions are made from 904L steel (or Oystersteel as I guess we’re all going to have to say now). Ultra-strong and virtually bombproof, it makes the Explorer II more than a match for the worst kind of punishment.

The Rolex Datejust

Up there with the Submariner in Rolex’s signature models, the ubiquitous Datejust range has one of the longest unbroken runs in the brand’s history.

A real innovation on its release, way back in 1945, it became the first self-winding waterproof watch with a date function.

Always the more attainable option than the exclusively precious metal President, the Datejust’s simple design and more modest persona has given it a wider reaching appeal.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Datejust Silver 16200

It is also the watch with possibly the most varied assortment of styles, from any manufacturer. The choice in different bezel, dial, bracelet and index configurations over the years are too great to count. There is a Datejust to suit literally anybody.

The stainless steel models, as well as underlining the less pompous nature of the watch, also makes it an extremely tempting purchase as far as price goes.

For a watch with such an impressive heritage, it is possible to join the Datejust owners club for a surprisingly small outlay.

At Beckertime, we always have a great assortment of both men’s and ladies Datejust models on offer, from rare vintage pieces up to the latest contemporary models.

The stainless steel Rolexes have long been the most popular versions in any particular series. Partly because of the lower costs, but also for the versatility. Their neutral tones complement far more situations than yellow gold can, as well as being more resilient as a daily wear.

Whichever model you have your eye on, take a look through our online store for the best selection of authentic stainless steel Rolex watches.

The post Stainless Steel Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/stainless-steel-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
What’s the Difference? The Rolex Day-Date Vs. The Rolex Oysterquartz Day-Date https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-day-date-vs-the-rolex-oysterquartz-day-date/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-day-date-vs-the-rolex-oysterquartz-day-date/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 20:10:57 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180173 The Rolex Day-Date, alternatively and better known as The President, has been leading from the front for the last 60+ years now. Launched in 1956, the flagship offering from the world’s most successful watchmaker has long been the first choice of the elite; an unashamedly luxurious statement piece and the ultimate symbol of achievement. Everyone […]

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

]]>
The Rolex Day-Date, alternatively and better known as The President, has been leading from the front for the last 60+ years now.

Launched in 1956, the flagship offering from the world’s most successful watchmaker has long been the first choice of the elite; an unashamedly luxurious statement piece and the ultimate symbol of achievement.

Everyone from hip hop moguls to…well, presidents—of both corporations and countries—have worn Rolex’s star creation, and the massive diversity across the range means there is a version suitable to be worn either on stage or in the highest seats of power.

Outshining the brand’s original front runner, the Datejust, released a decade or so prior, the Day-Date added a second complication; a notable move from a manufacturer that tends to shy away from excess functionality. So, while the Datejust became the first automatic, waterproof wristwatch to display the day of the month, the President one-upped it with the day of the week written out in full as well, in a window above the 12 o’clock index. The never-before-seen innovation, coupled with the watch’s stubbornly all precious metal construction, catapulted it instantly to the top of the tree, and it has stayed there ever since.

Rolex’s Quartz Years

However, even the very best are forced to move with the times on occasion. For the Day-Date, and for the rest of the mechanical watch industry, those times came in the 1970s, right at the heart of the quartz crisis.

The introduction of quartz technology had actually started in the 60s but, for once, the traditional Swiss firms had been caught dragging their heels. By the time they put up any serious resistance to the enormous number of cheap, battery-powered watches flooding in from Japan and America, it was more or less too late.

Rolex Mens Oysterquartz 5100 Beta 21

Around two-thirds of the country’s manufacturers, companies with generations of heritage behind them, were wiped out in short order. Twenty of those that survived, including Rolex, banded together into a conglomerate known as the CEH, or Centre Electronique Horloger. Their one aim was to develop a quartz movement of their own to even up the playing field.

The eventual upshot of the collaboration, the Beta-21, was put to work inside the watches of 16 of the CEH’s members. For Rolex, it was crammed into the ref. 5100, a model that had to be built around the movement. The awkward size and shape of the new quartz caliber meant it wasn’t able to fit into any of the brand’s existing Oyster cases, so the ref. 5100, coming in at a then-huge 40mm, was marked as ‘water resistant’ rather than ‘waterproof’.

That detail, along with Rolex’s reputation for rarely playing well with others, led to the obsessively independent brand breaking away from the CEH in 1972 to develop their own technology. Typically a company not to be rushed, it took them five years.

The Rolex Oysterquartz Day-Date

Oysterquartz 17014

In 1977, Rolex launched quartz powered versions of their two most emblematic stalwarts. The Datejust was released in three different variations; an all-steel (ref. 17000) a steel and yellow gold (ref. 17013) and a steel and white gold (ref. 17014). True to form, the Oysterquartz Day-Date appeared in precious metal only, in the ref. 19018 yellow gold and the ref. 19019 white gold.

Inside were two of the most over engineered and superbly accurate movements ever made, before or since.

While the Datejust took the Cal. 5035, with its single complication, the President was fitted with the Cal. 5055—very similar in design but with the added day of the week feature.

The Cal. 5055

While it may have taken Rolex a relatively long time to produce their two new movements, they each borrowed heavily from their mechanical equivalents. 1977 was a big year for both the Day-Date and the Datejust, with updated automatic versions as well as the quartz models all being rolled out simultaneously.

So the Perpetual Cal. 3055 inside the traditional President and the Cal. 5055 inside the quartz model shared as many components as possible, including the conventional Swiss lever escapement with its pallet fork and escape wheel. In fact, with the obvious exception of the latter’s electronics and pulse motor, the two were almost identical.

Rolex Caliber 5055

All the new movements also benefitted from a pair of features which had debuted, for Rolex at least, in the Beta-21. The Oysterquartz watches, and their Perpetual counterparts, introduced a hacking function that stopped the seconds hand while adjusting the time to allow for more precise setting. And a Quickset mechanism was introduced to allow the date to be changed by rotating the crown rather than having to spin the hour hands through an entire day.

The one unmistakable distinction between the two different types of caliber however, was in their accuracy. Whereas the Cal. 3055 more than satisfied the criteria for the COSC’s Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified tag, staying within the mean variation of +4/-6 seconds a day, the standards laid down for quartz movements were altogether more robust.

The first wave of the Oysterquartz watches were never submitted for testing, leading to the absence on their dials of the four magic words. It was only 18 months into their run, after the quartz crystal had been altered to a tuning fork shape, that Rolex put them forward for scrutiny.

Although the company has never made the results public, they were clearly well within the ± 0.2 seconds a day requirement, a performance that even Rolex’s decades of refinement couldn’t hope to match with springs and gears.

The Look

Mens Rolex 18K Gold Day-Date President Champagne 18238

Another element carried over from the ref. 5100 onto the quartz-driven Day-Date was its styling. For that original prototype, Rolex had enlisted the help of legendary watch shaper Gerald Genta, the man responsible for the Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet. The influences were immediately apparent, and Rolex kept the angular profile and integrated bracelet for their new battery powered model.

It is, purposely, a world away from the sleek, gentle curves of the traditional example. Rolex were very much dipping their toes into the murky realm of quartz under sufferance, and wanted to ensure no one was going to mistake the classic watch, cultivated over decades, with the one built for the new upstart technology.

The big, chunky quartz pieces were, and still are, an acquired taste; very much of their time, and lacking the understated subtlety that has long been the brand’s signature.

The Dial

One aspect Rolex left well alone was the dial which, with the exception of the Oysterquartz text, could have been lifted straight from a regular model of the time. So the railroad chapter ring is present and correct, and the hour markers, as well as the five-point coronet logo, are all applied gold. The slim, straight hour and minute hands have a sliver of Tritium lume, while the seconds hand, of course, has the telltale one tick per second jump of quartz, and bad counterfeit, Rolexes.

The Numbers

The Oysterquartz duo struggled on until 2001, with the remnants all being sold out by 2003. In that time, just 25,000 examples were made, a tiny fraction of the output devoted to the mechanical models.

Of those 25,000, the majority were given over to the three separate Datejust references so, correspondingly, there are precious few of the Oysterquartz Day-Dates in existence.

Even so, finding one to buy on the pre-owned market, and at a good price, is not difficult. It is also something well worth considering as an investment.

The unusual styling of the ref. 190XX models is completing something of a full circle and becoming more and more in vogue as time goes on. With prices for even the ultra rare special editions, such as the ref. 19028 with its pyramid detailing on indexes and bezel, still relatively attainable, they are pieces to snap up sooner rather than later.

For the mechanical examples, their place at the top is as secure as ever. They have retained the same basic DNA as always, with perhaps a slightly more muscular look these days compared to the earliest iterations. The biggest alteration in their appearance has come very recently in the form of a new 40mm version offered alongside the time-honored 36mm model. Following the trend for larger pieces for both men and women, you are just as likely to find the Day-Date on female as well as male wrists today. The choice in different bezel, dial and bracelet combinations remains as bewildering as ever.

Incidentally, the new Day-Date 40 released in 2015 is not to be confused with the short-lived and not especially well received Day-Date II, a 41mm watch from 2008.

Conclusion

The President’s watch has a legacy unlike any other, a chameleonic masterpiece that has represented the epitome of success and accomplishment for over six decades. Its battery powered parallel remains a fascinating wrinkle in the Rolex canon, an ultra accurate oddity that served its purpose and helped the brand weather the storm from the east.

Both are exceptional products, built by the most consistently impressive manufacturer of them all and the kind of watches no real fan’s collection is complete without.

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

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-day-date-vs-the-rolex-oysterquartz-day-date/feed/ 0
The World’s Billionaires and Their Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/the-worlds-billionaires-and-their-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-worlds-billionaires-and-their-rolex-watches/#respond Tue, 10 Jul 2018 18:58:02 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181872 It’s hard to imagine, but according to Forbes, there are 2,208 billionaires on this planet. This select group of ultra-wealthy people, aka the “three comma club,” includes 585 Americans—the largest nationality by far. Naturally, we were curious to see which members of the 2018 Billionaires Club wear Rolex watches and unsurprisingly, we found quite a […]

The post The World’s Billionaires and Their Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
It’s hard to imagine, but according to Forbes, there are 2,208 billionaires on this planet. This select group of ultra-wealthy people, aka the “three comma club,” includes 585 Americans—the largest nationality by far. Naturally, we were curious to see which members of the 2018 Billionaires Club wear Rolex watches and unsurprisingly, we found quite a few. Read on to discover what Rolex watches some of the world’s billionaires choose to wear on their wrists.

Warren Buffett’s Rolex Watch

Warren Buffet
Photo: Forbes

For a man who is worth an estimated $84 billion and currently the third richest person in the world, Warren Buffet has relatively modest tastes. The “Omaha Oracle” famously lives in the same house in Omaha, Nebraska he purchased in 1958 and he’s pledged to give away 99% of his vast fortune to charity.

He does however, wear a very prestigious Rolex watch and has done so for decades. We rarely see Warren Buffett without his 18k yellow gold Day-Date President on his wrist. The perfect luxury watch for such a successful businessman. In fact, not satisfied with just owning one of their products, it’s been reported that Warren Buffet tried to purchase the Rolex company in the past!

Carlos Slim Helu’s Rolex Watch

Carlos Slim
Photo: Gawker

The 7th richest billionaire on Forbes’ list and worth an estimated $67.1 billion, Carlos Slim Helu is a Mexican business titan that controls the America Movil telecom company, as well as other businesses in construction, mining, media, and real estate.

In terms of watches, we often see Carlos Slim with a sporty stainless steel Rolex Daytona chronograph on his arm with a sleek black dial and steel bezel. While not an inexpensive timepiece, Mexico’s richest man could most definitely afford more lavish Rolex watches. But the stainless steel Daytona is his pick and we applaud it!

Charles Koch’s Rolex Watch

Charles Koch
Photo: USA Today

Tied with his brother David for 8th place, Charles Koch is worth an estimated $60 billion with a 42% stake in Koch Industries—the country’s second largest private firm.

We’ve seen the Kansas native with some very nice watches on his wrist including some Patek Philippe pieces. But the one that caught our eye is Charles Koch’s understated stainless steel Datejust with a simple white dial and sturdy Oyster bracelet. Judging from how it wears on his wrist, we assume it’s a larger Datejust—maybe a Datejust II or Datejust 41.

Larry Ellison’s Rolex Watch

Larry Ellison

The co-founder and former CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison is worth an estimated $58.5 billion and ranks as the 10th richest man in the world. He spends his fortune amassing incredible lavish properties around the world, including owning 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

Larry Ellison’s timepiece tastes seems to lean toward robust stainless steel sports watches including models from Panerai, Richard Mille, and, of course, Rolex. Larry Ellison’s Rolex watch is none other than a stainless steel Submariner with the classic black dial and black bezel configuration.

Jim Walton’s Rolex Watch

Jim Walton
Photo: WikiMedia

The youngest son of the Sam Walton (the founder of Walmart), Jim Walton is worth an estimated $46.4 billion and is currently ranked as the 14th richest person in the world thanks in part to his role running Arvest Bank and stocks in Walmart.

Similar to some other members of the billionaire’s club listed here, Jim Walton favors a stainless steel Rolex watch—the Explorer to be exact. Long known as Rolex’s entry-level sports watch, this is one subtle Rolex watch for one of the world’s wealthiest businessmen!

Now it isn’t shocking to see that the super rich would opt for a Rolex watch, the leading luxury watch brand in the world. But what is interesting is that these ultra-wealthy individuals tend to (with the exception of Warren Buffett’s gold Day-Date) pick less inexpensive stainless steel models over flashier precious metal watches. At least that’s what they wear in public. Who know what kind of luxury timepieces they may have stashed away in their private collections!

The post The World’s Billionaires and Their Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-worlds-billionaires-and-their-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
Yellow Gold Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/yellow-gold-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/yellow-gold-rolex-watches/#respond Mon, 09 Jul 2018 14:16:37 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180865 Is there anything that can split an opinion quite like a gold watch? Once seen as the king of precious metals, yellow gold timepieces have been the victims of their own success and now tend to be viewed as either the retirement gift your grandfather was given, or else they are the self-congratulating wrist trophies […]

The post Yellow Gold Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Is there anything that can split an opinion quite like a gold watch? Once seen as the king of precious metals, yellow gold timepieces have been the victims of their own success and now tend to be viewed as either the retirement gift your grandfather was given, or else they are the self-congratulating wrist trophies Wall Street yuppies wore in the eighties—the decade subtlety forgot.

Modern trends have seen people toning down their look, going for the cooler shades of white gold or steel. Yellow gold is sometimes seen as too gaudy, too ‘look-at-me’ for the understated generation.

However, we are talking about a metal that has been used in the finest jewelry for millennia. It has a huge cultural and historical significance. It might, because of the cyclical nature of things, occasionally fall out of fashion and go into hibernation; but yellow gold always comes back into favor.

Recently, more and more watchmakers are returning to the metal for their designs. This year’s Baselworld event saw numerous manufacturers unveil new pieces utilizing its bold qualities, tempered by minimalist dials and restrained detailing.

Yellow gold, it seems, is enjoying a resurgence.

Yellow Gold Rolex

Rolex has been embracing the luxurious qualities of yellow gold since the very beginning. For perhaps the most aspirational brand in the world, it is an obvious choice. It has been a constant presence across the entire range, and today makes up a large proportion of their output, not just in their dress collection, but also in the pieces originally designed to be tool watches.

Models such as the Daytona or GMT-Master may have been created to perform a useful function, but their yellow gold versions now represent the ultimate in casually chic symbols of wealth and achievement.

Here, we’ll take a look at some of Rolex’s finest offerings in that oldest of the precious metals.

The Rolex Datejust

The watch with the longest unbroken production run of any in the Rolex stable, the Datejust was released to commemorate the 40thanniversary of the brand in 1945.

Considered the company’s original flagship piece, it was also a major pioneer—the first waterproof, self-winding watch ever made to display a date function. Although examples made in all flavors of precious metal would follow, for the debut reference, the ref. 4467, only yellow gold would do.

Vintage Rolex Ref. 4467

Such was, and still is, the popularity and all encompassing appeal of the watch, a Datejust forged in yellow gold is as recognizable a symbol of the Rolex name as the five pointed coronet.

All throughout the watch’s 73-year history, and the only slightly shorter run of the Lady Datejust released in 1957, both models have always had a yellow gold option.

That modest, timeless design has played host to every conceivable bezel, dial and bracelet connotation, and even today, sales of this septuagenarian are formidable.

Over the years, while the outer profile of the Datejust has barely altered, Rolex has continued to innovate, making the sort of relentless, incremental improvements that have long typified the brand and kept them at the pinnacle of the industry. Today’s version make look like a vintage model from times past, but inside, it ranks as one of the most modern and contemporary watches available.

The Datejust is what you buy whether you are the king of watch nerds or your interest in horology extends no further than wanting that one watch you can wear all day, every day, forever, and then pass on to the child who will do the same.

In whatever guise it comes in—yellow, rose or white gold, platinum, steel or Rolesor—it is a watch that transcends fashion.

If you were looking for your one and only Rolex, you’ve found it.

The Rolex Day-Date

The Day-Date took over the Rolex flagship mantle from the Datejust in 1956 and still holds the distinction today. Unlike the Datejust however, the watch that would go on to be nicknamed the President has only ever been forged from the finest of precious metals.

A solid yellow gold President, particularly on a matching eponymous bracelet, is an extremely bold statement of intent. It is a watch that has been worn by some of the most legendary figures in modern history, including many heads of state and national leaders—hence the name.

Mens Rolex 18K Gold Day-Date President Silver 1803

Although it could never be described as the shy and retiring type, Rolex adopted a technique with their all-gold models that would allow them to stand out enough to be noticed, but without ever crossing over into garish territory.

Yellow gold versions of the Day-Date and, in fact, the majority of their colored gold models, feature a mix of both polished and brushed elements. So, while the case, bezel and the bracelet’s center links gleam, the muted top surfaces of the outer links subdues the whole aesthetic, anchoring the look before it can overwhelm completely.

Similarly to the Datejust, the President has never stopped improving. Its twin calendar functions have gone from being adjusted via the hour hand, to a single Quickset to, finally in 1988, the convenience of a double Quickset as Rolex’s drive for technological perfection progressed.

The calibers have developed over the last 60+ years until they have surpassed all industry standards for accuracy and have had to be subjected to the brand’s own merciless tests.

The range of options is almost equal to the Datejust, but without the influence of stainless steel anywhere to be seen, and it too holds a world’s first—the first ever automatic wristwatch to display both the date and the day of the week spelled out in full. The latest models give the choice of any of 26 different languages.

The President, as its unofficial moniker suggests, is Rolex’s crowning achievement. It is the watch worn by those who have definitely ‘made it’, in whatever field of endeavor that might be.

In a catalog not short on status symbols, the Day-Date still ranks as perhaps the most aspirational of them all.

The Rolex Submariner

Once upon a time, the Rolex Submariner was a dive watch. Even more than that, it was the dive watch James Bond wore.

In truth, while its credentials still rank it as one of the most capable underwater companions you can buy, it stopped being used for its original intended purpose quite some time ago.

Mens Rolex 18K Yellow Gold Submariner Blue 16618

It is fair enough, I suppose. Dive boats, and the sport of Scuba diving itself, offer plenty of opportunities for scuffing, scratching and generally mistreating the sizeable investment Submariner wearer’s carry on their wrists.

These days, you are far more likely to see that iconic design, the most emulated and counterfeited watch of all time, peeking from beneath a well tailored shirt sleeve than strapped over a wetsuit.

The first Sub to emerge in yellow gold was a variant of the ref. 1680 from 1969, a big reference for the model as it was also the first one to feature a date function and, crucially, a Cyclops magnifying lens over the top of it. For many die-hard purists, the introduction of both signaled the end of the watch’s tool-like origins. Why would a diver need to know what day it was anyway?

By then, of course, the Sub had been in production for nearly 15 years, and had been such an astounding success it had spawned countless imitations from rival brands, and Rolex decided to go the ultra luxurious route to appeal to a different, and larger, audience. The steel versions still had the Bond-wannabe market cornered, the gold was for those who had no secret agent longings whatsoever.

The ref. 1680 added some welcome color to the range as well, with the option of a rich royal blue bezel and matching face that contrasted beautifully with the glimmering yellow gold of the case and bracelet. It, and the more understated example with black dial and surround, have remained constants in the Sub family ever since.

Gold’s inherent softness, especially compared to the ruggedness of steel, as well as its costliness, means the precious metal versions of the world’s favorite dive watch are even less likely to go diving than the standard model. But, with the same combination of polished and brushed elements on the bracelet and case, it retains a versatility that looks good in most environments—whether at work or play. The Submariner is such a well-loved creation, it is accepted pretty much anywhere.

It also easily crosses the boundary between what constitutes a man’s or a lady’s watch. Particularly in its yellow gold finery, the Sub’s relatively modest 40mm dimensions are appealing to more and more women; the perfect accompaniment to a range of outfits.

Although its tough as nails origins are still present in its DNA, the Rolex Submariner is now, along with the Datejust, the archetypal brand emblem. The dive watch all others aspire to, in the luxuriousness of yellow gold, it makes an outstanding statement.

At Beckertime, we have a superb range of yellow gold Rolex watches, each with a guarantee of authenticity from our in-house Rolex Certified Watchmaker. Take a look through our online store to find your next favorite watch.

The post Yellow Gold Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/yellow-gold-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
What’s the Difference? The Zenith Daytona Vs. The Rolex Daytona https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-zenith-daytona-vs-the-rolex-daytona/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-zenith-daytona-vs-the-rolex-daytona/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 20:00:33 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178989 In the world of luxury chronographs, there’s the Rolex Daytona and then there’s everything else. The most important and iconic wristwatch of the 20th century, a 45-year old example belonging to a certain Paul Newman recently sold at auction for the highest price ever paid for any watch from any manufacturer. Today, vintage pieces, with […]

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

]]>
In the world of luxury chronographs, there’s the Rolex Daytona and then there’s everything else.

The most important and iconic wristwatch of the 20th century, a 45-year old example belonging to a certain Paul Newman recently sold at auction for the highest price ever paid for any watch from any manufacturer.

Today, vintage pieces, with or without a connection to Hollywood royalty, change hands for incredible amounts, and demand for brand new steel models is so great you have more chance of being struck by lightning than walking out of a Rolex Authorized Dealer with one on your wrist.

Rocky Road

It undoubtedly hasn’t been all plain sailing however. Released in 1963 to a crashing wave of apathy, the Daytona spent its first quarter of a century as the perpetual spinster; left on the shelf, passed over in favor of other more popular and, crucially, more convenient options.

Those earliest pieces had one critical failing—their movement. Powered by an engine sourced from Swiss firm Valjoux, specialists in chronograph ébauche calibers, Rolex took their Cal. 72 and heavily modified it. Adding, amongst other things, a Microstella regulated balance wheel and a Breguet overcoil, it bettered on an already impressive performer.

Yet there was no getting around the fact that it remained a manually-wound movement. Launched in the era of the space race and with the first quartz watches making an appearance, winding a watch by hand was what you rolled your eyes at your dad for. As a result, customers walked straight past the Daytona and headed for the simpler, three hand and self-winding models on which Rolex had built their reputation.

The Zenith Daytona

The path to its current standing at the top of the horology mountain really didn’t start until 1988 with the release of the second generation.

Rolex Daytona Zenith 16520

Although the basic styling was similar to the original, the new range, starting with the ref. 16520, had grown in size up to 40mm from 37mm and its dials now came with a lacquered finish instead of matte or metallic. The trio of sub dials received a contrasting outer ring and, for the first time, crown guards and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal were used.

Other than that, the lineage was clear to see, but it was the internal elements that proved a game changer.

The El Primero

The first automatic caliber to be used inside the Daytona, and arguably the first automatic chronograph movement ever made, the El Primero fell into the eager hands of Rolex’s engineers from legendary Swiss manufacturer Zenith.

Zenith Daytona El Primero

Although it had been initially developed back in 1969, the quartz crisis had taken hold soon after and Zenith had been forced to shut down its production just three years later. Fast forward to 1987 and the worst of the danger had passed, allowing for assembly to start up again, now with Rolex knocking at the door.

But while the El Primero was recognized as the best chronograph movement in the business (one that is still being made today), it had a long way to go before it got to sit inside the Daytona. In the hands of Rolex’s technicians, it went through more than 200 separate modifications, leaving it with fewer than half its original components.

Its date function was removed and an entirely new escapement was fitted, with a larger free sprung Glucydur balance wheel and Microstella regulating system. The flat hairspring received a Breguet overcoil and the frequency was dropped to keep it in line with the rest of the professional range; from 36,000vph to a more relaxed 28,800vph.

By the time they had finished with it, Zenith’s El Primero had become Rolex’s Cal. 4030—and the Daytona had become a legend.

The Start of it All

Arriving at the end of the eighties, it burst into the limelight just as the craze for luxury watch collecting was reaching fever pitch. Demand for the flagship Cosmograph was all-consuming and Rolex’s reliance on an ancillary supplier hamstrung their speed of production so much they were unable to keep up. As such, waiting lists started to reach off as far as five years into the future, and the most impatient were more than happy to pay the huge premiums retailers added to the price to jump the queue.

The once ugliest of ugly ducklings had come full circle, and Rolex busied themselves releasing the Zenith Daytona, as it became unofficially known, forged from every flavor of precious metal, taking it worlds away from its spiritual racetrack home and into the realms of the ultimate status symbol.

The Rolex Daytona

While the Zenith-driven Daytona became the hottest property in the watch collecting scene of the eighties and nineties, the fascination with it started to spread back to its origins, and very soon collectors were clamoring for first generation examples as well.

Manually-winding or not, the classic references, and particularly the exotic dial Paul Newman versions, started to become more and more sought after. Many in the industry actually credit the Daytona with giving us the vintage market as we know it today. It all served to strengthen the watch’s, and Rolex’s, reputation.

Great news for the Swiss giant then. Their abject failure had become their most glittering success story almost over night.

However, there was still one overwhelming problem with the prodigal son. Rolex has always been fanatical about producing every element that goes into their watches themselves and seeing the calibers that ran their new darling being delivered to HQ from a third party was a situation that couldn’t possibly last.

The final piece in the Daytona puzzle was always going to be an in-house engine.

The Cal. 4130

It took them five years. Fittingly, the first all-Rolex Daytona was released at the dawn of the new millennium in the form of the ref. 116520.

Rolex Caliber 4130

Again, there was little to choose between it and the previous generation visually. The sub dials had shifted a fraction higher on the face and two of them, the standard seconds and the 12 hour counters, had swapped places. Beyond that, there didn’t seem much point in messing with such an obviously winning formula.

It was what was going on under the hood that wrote the headlines. Rolex’s relationship with Zenith ended with the arrival of the Cal. 4130; a barebones, stripped back movement entirely of Rolex’s own creation—and one now recognized as possibly the finest mechanical chronograph caliber ever made.

Taking their love of minimalist efficiency to new heights, the Cal. 4130 is made up of just 201 separate parts, a 60% drop on the El Primero, giving it the fewest components of just about any modern chronograph movement.

Engineering Prowess

To achieve it has taken a huge amount of creativity. While the Daytona’s exterior may retain a familiar look, the differences between the old and new calibers are legion. Elements such as the minute and hour stopwatch functions, controlled by two individual mechanisms in the Zenith movement, have been combined into a single module on the Cal. 4130. In doing so, it has freed up space for a larger mainspring, giving an uprated power reserve from 50 to 72 hours. It also means it can be adjusted with just one screw as opposed to five. In fact, in the entire unit, Rolex has only needed to use 12 screws rather than 40.

Rolex Daytona Ref. 116520

Additionally, the ref. 116520 received new cutting-edge materials, with the antimagnetic Parachrom hairspring earning its debut. A niobium and zirconium alloy, it is impervious to temperature variations and offers up to 10 times the shock resistance of standard hairsprings. In 2005, it was upgraded again with a thicker oxide coating to protect its surface, one which reacts with the air and turns the distinctive color that saw it renamed the Parachrom Bleu.

Ceramic ball bearings were used for the first time in the self-winding system too, seeing a 68% increase in winding efficiency.

But the most revolutionary aspect came with Rolex’s use of a vertical clutch. The El Primero, along with just about every other mechanical chronograph movement, uses a horizontal coupling system to control the starts and stops of its stopwatch functions. With the Cal. 4130, Rolex arranged a pair of discs one on top of the other, running in a constant mesh with the drive train. Engaging and disengaging them with a clutch eliminates ‘backlash’, the tendency with horizontal systems for the chronograph hands to judder as they fight to gain purchase, giving a smoother and more exacting performance.

It also means the stopwatch can be run for longer without it affecting the accuracy of the watch’s timekeeping, and it has the rare advantage of being removable, meaning it can be serviced to ensure its continued reliability.

Clash of the Titans

The Cal. 4130 completed the set for Rolex. The first all-new movement the brand had created for 50 years signaled the last of their watch’s power plants to be brought entirely in-house.

Undoubtedly a massive achievement, it has added even more, it that was possible, to the Daytona’s desirability.

Rolex Daytona Ref. 116500

The demand for both the Zenith and Rolex examples continues to grow, and prices vary massively, with the Zenith having the advantage of rarity on its side. No longer being produced, and with the usual variations in its features occurring during its 12-year run, regardless of whether they were intentional, has given collectors a number of curiosities to track down.

The Patrizzi dial pieces, for example, where the silver track around the outside of the ref. 16520’s chronograph counters has oxidized and turned brown, have become extremely attractive investments, with each one being unique.

Pound for pound, the most Daytona for your buck, in either form, are the yellow Rolesor versions. The mix of precious metal and robust steel gives a great amount of versatility and it is still possible to find examples in five figure territory. But only just.

As always, it’s the all steel models that remain at the top of most wish lists, and the very latest ref. 116500 with the Cerachrom bezel is one of the most beautiful and capable watches money can buy.

But whether you go vintage or contemporary, joining the Daytona family is a big moment for any Rolex fan. The watch they couldn’t so much as give away for decades has evolved into the one everyone wants.

A true slice of watchmaking history.

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

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-zenith-daytona-vs-the-rolex-daytona/feed/ 0
Two-Tone Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/two-tone-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/two-tone-rolex-watches/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 19:59:50 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180396 Rolex first patented the term Rolesor way back in 1933. A portmanteau of ‘Rolex’and the French for gold, ‘Or’, it has been used to describe their own proprietary blending of gold and stainless steel ever since. However, with the brand employing three different colors of the precious metal throughout their range, the combination varies slightly […]

The post Two-Tone Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Rolex first patented the term Rolesor way back in 1933. A portmanteau of ‘Rolex’and the French for gold, ‘Or’, it has been used to describe their own proprietary blending of gold and stainless steel ever since.

However, with the brand employing three different colors of the precious metal throughout their range, the combination varies slightly depending on which particular flavor the design uses.

The yellow and pink Rolesor pieces have a case forged in steel, with the bezel, winding crown and the bracelet center links constructed in 18k gold. These are the signature two-tone models that scream Rolex from across the room.

With white Rolesor, only the bezel is made from gold. Although it is similar in tone, it retains an unmistakable glow when paired against the brushed steel.

Best of Both Worlds

The main reason for two-tone Rolesor’s continued popularity is its versatility. The coolness of steel can subdue an otherwise overly formal all gold dress watch. Similarly, a dash of yellow or pink adds some welcome warmth to the utilitarian, tool-like nature of the brand’s range of stainless steel models.

At Beckertime, we have a wide selection of two-tone Rolesor watches. The flexibility of the arrangement is well suited to just about any piece in the lineup, and below, we’ll take a look at some of the standouts.

The Rolex Turn-O-Graph

The Turn-O-Graph, one of the lesser known names in the Rolex canon, is actually the holder of a number of important distinctions for the brand.

It was the first serially-produced Rolex to be fitted with a rotatable bezel, the groundbreaking element that went on to change the game for professional watches everywhere, not least of course the Submariner and the GMT-Master series.

And it was also the very first two-tone Rolesor sports model.

Rolex Mens Turn-O-Graph Two-Tone 6202

Beating those two legendary names to market by a year or so, the Turn-O-Graph debuted in 1953, with the ref. 6202. Although it had a very short-lived initial excursion, with only around 1,000 or so produced, by the mid-fifties, the model had proved itself successful. The second generation was released in a choice of all steel, all gold or in yellow Rolesor.

While the ref. 6202 looked almost indistinguishable from the Submariner of the time, these new models were adopted as part of the Datejust family. As such, they struck a good balance between tool and dress watch.

By the end of the decade, they had also become the official timepiece of the USAF aerobatic team, and Rolex changed the model’s name for the North American market in recognition—from then on, it was known as The Thunderbird.

Even so, the Turn-O-Graph has always been the unsung dark horse in the catalog. It dropped out of production for a few years before being reissued in the early 2000s with a clean new look and some eye-catching features, such as a bright red seconds hand and date counter against a crisp white dial.

But with customers still not beating down the door for it, the watch that paved the way for so much was finally granted its well-earned retirement in 2011. The first Rolex to be official military issue, and arguably the brand’s first tool watch, the Turn-O-Graph is a vital part of the Rolex story.

Check out some of the fine examples we have in our online store.

The Rolex Yacht-Master

Perhaps the most fitting use of Rolesor’s ambidextrous qualities, the Yacht-Master was designed to go from the rigors of life on the ocean waves to the privileged environs of the yacht club without breaking stride.

Originally touted as a replacement for the Submariner, it was eventually launched as an entity in its own right in 1992, clearly looking like a Sub in a fancy suit—a nautically-themed watch for the more well-heeled.

Much like the Turn-O-Graph above, the Yacht-Master introduced a number of new concepts to the Rolex brand.

Rolex Mens Yacht-Master Two-Tone 16623

It was the first Oyster Professional watch to be offered in three sizes; a ladies 29mm and a men’s 40mm as well as a midsize, coming in at 35mm.

It was also the watch that debuted Rolesium, a mix of steel and platinum in much the same way that Rolesor blends steel and gold. And, more recently, Rolex’s first ever rubber strap, dubbed the Oysterflex, was fitted to the Yacht-Master.

Although originally only available in solid gold, in 2005, one of the most enduringly popular variants in the range emerged, the ref. 16623, in yellow gold and steel.

The combination of the two metals, coupled with the softer, rounder lines of the case, underlined the Yacht-Master’s luxurious aspirations, as opposed to the Submariner’s more rugged appeal.

It came with a choice of dial colors too, each one contributing to a different aesthetic. The white, silver and champagne faces lent a more understated visual, while the blue, brown and mother-of-pearl were designed to be noticed. The solid gold bezel differed from the Sub, being bi-directional and having its oversize numerals polished and raised from the surface rather than engraved.

Rolex have pared down the range over the years and there are now only a 37mm and 40mm version available, but they have added a pink, or Everose, Rolesor model. With a chocolate color dial, it has a particularly warm richness to its design.

With gracefully curved lugs and a flat belly that makes it a supremely comfortable all day wear, the Yacht-Master makes a sophisticated addition to the tool watch range. Where you can liken the Submariner to the utilitarian robustness of a Land Rover, then the Yacht-Master has the opulent bearing of a fully kitted out Range Rover.

The Rolex Daytona

After a disastrous start that went on for decades, the Daytona has now become Rolex’s most sought after offering, and one of the most desirable watches of all time.

Mens Rolex Two-Tone 18K/SS Daytona Gray, Slate 116523

Really only springing to life post-1988 with the introduction of a self-winding caliber, the brand was obviously keen to make up for lost time. The Daytona started to emerge in a host of different guises in order to appeal to the widest ranging audience possible.

Like the majority of Rolex’s sports models, the Daytona stopped being a tool watch years ago and is now far more likely to be worn as a symbol of personal achievement. As such, it has been constructed from every type of precious metal, including the unsurpassed luxury of pure platinum.

Yet, as with the Yacht-Master, it is the half and half nature of Rolesor that offers everything you could want from a luxury racer’s watch.

Ideally suited to the two-tone color scheme, the industrial look of the steel case perfectly complements the yellow gold bezel, crown and two stopwatch pushers.

One of the best examples comes in the ref. 116523, possibly the most undervalued model in the entire range. Only recently upgraded to the latest ref. 116503, the predecessor is something of a bargain on the pre-owned market and is available with a choice of dials.

Rolex Caliber 4130

Whether you choose the black, white or mother-of-pearl faces, the overall look of the watch is both smart enough to wear as part of business attire, while still not looking out of place on a racetrack.

Best of all, inside ticks Rolex’s own class-leading Cal. 4130, recognized as one of the best automatic chronograph movements ever made. Its vertical clutch gives high precision starts and stops of the seconds hand and ensures timekeeping accuracy to within 1/8thsecond.

It is not too much to say that the Daytona is the most collectible watch in the world right now, and the ref. 116523 represents something of a gateway into a fairly exclusive club. The versatility of the yellow Rolesor styling gives it a multifaceted charm—at home in any situation.

The twin tones of Rolesor have been with us for several generations now and give an intriguing middle option between the functionality of steel and the full-blown opulence of gold. Working together, they give Rolex’s peerless range the look of pieces of jewelry that are tough and resilient enough to be worn everyday—which, really, epitomizes the brand itself.

The post Two-Tone Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/two-tone-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
Celebrities and their Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/celebrities-and-their-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/celebrities-and-their-rolex-watches/#respond Tue, 03 Jul 2018 13:58:26 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181529 While fame can be fleeting, lasting about 15 minutes according to Andy Warhol, the relationship between a major celebrity and their watch endures long after their time in the spotlight has faded into memory. And it seems the first port of call for many a personality once they’ve ‘made it’ is the nearest Rolex Authorized […]

The post Celebrities and their Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
While fame can be fleeting, lasting about 15 minutes according to Andy Warhol, the relationship between a major celebrity and their watch endures long after their time in the spotlight has faded into memory.

And it seems the first port of call for many a personality once they’ve ‘made it’ is the nearest Rolex Authorized Dealer, snapping up an exclusive piece of wrist wear to celebrate their newly elevated status.

The brand has long been the number one choice for the great and the good, with a client list that includes luminaries from the worlds of music and acting, sports and politics.

Some remain exclusive, while for others, the crown is just one manufacturer among many to grace their arm.

Below we’ll single out a few famous faces and the Rolex watches they call their own.

Justin Timberlake

With a long and glittering career and ten Grammies under his belt, Justin Timberlake can afford to indulge in some of the finer things in life.

Rolex Day-Date Yellow Gold Ref. 228238

Most definitely a watch guy, and with an obvious penchant for Rolex in particular, JT has been doing his bit in reawakening the trend for yellow gold over the last few years with his most recent acquisition, a Day-Date 40.

The President’s watch was front and center in both videos for his hit 2016 single ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’; a ref. 228238 with fluted bezel and champagne dial matching every costume change the star made.

Rolex’s flagship offering since it debuted in 1956, Timberlake’s example is a grandstander without being overly flashy—the perfect choice for a born showman.

Prince Harry

Rolex has been the go to choice for members of the British royal family for generations now, and man of the moment Prince Harry is no exception.

Rolex Explorer II Ref. 16550

Sixth in line to the throne, the Army captain and veteran of Afghanistan has been a fan of that toughest of the brand’s tool watches, the Explorer II, for some years.

He has been spotted wearing two different references of the cave adventurer’s watch, both with white, or Polar, dials. Prior to 2011 he sported the 40mm ref. 16550, a transitional model released in 1985 and the one that finally uncoupled the watch’s two hour hands to allow them to be set independently. However, that particular series is more famous for a rare Rolex mistake. The paint used on the dial had a tendency to fade from its crisp white finish to a soft creamy color—making them an especially tempting target for hardcore collectors, forever searching something unique.

More recently, Harry has upgraded to the latest iteration of the Explorer II, the 42mm ref. 216570, launched in 2011 to commemorate the 40thanniversary of Rolex’s underrated dark horse.

Ed Sheeran

A formidable talent with an even more formidable watch collection. English music sensation Ed Sheeran has enjoyed an incredible success story over the last few years, winning armfuls of awards and collaborating with the best the industry has to offer.

Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel Ref. 6239

With a fortune estimated at around $68m he can certainly afford to splash out on some of the finest watches available, and his vault contains high value pieces from the likes of Patek Philippe, Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet.

However, he has exceptionally good taste for such a young man, and the eagle eyed will have spotted the superstar also rocking one of the most sought after Rolexes on the vintage scene.

His ref. 6239, a steel Daytona with reverse panda exotic dial, accompanied him on stage at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show in London a few years ago, secured with a black bund strap in much the same way as one Paul Newman once wore it, the man who gave the watch its nickname.

With no sign of the phenomenon slowing down any time soon, we’re expecting more drool-worthy pieces making their way into Sheeran’s possession in the future.

Victoria Beckham

Forever a leader in the fashion world, the former Spice Girl and half of one of the celebrity world’s biggest power couples, Victoria Beckham is rarely seen without a beloved Rolex on her wrist.

Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold Ref. 116505

The style icon has amassed an enviable collection of some of the crown’s finest, and seems to have a specific fondness for the ultimate chronograph, the Daytona. Originally touted as very much a man’s watch, it is the patronage of trend setters such as Beckham that has seen the Daytona make the cross over into more unisex territory recently, despite its 40mm dimensions.

Alongside a solid yellow gold version, she also regularly appears with a stunning ref. 116505 in Rolex’s own Everose with a matching tone dial—a combination that manages to be both masculine and feminine at the same time.

Other pieces in her collection include the precursor to Justin Timberlake’s Day-Date, a ref. 118238, again in yellow gold with champagne face.

But perhaps the standout model remains a Stella dial Datejust—one of an extremely short-lived series from the 70s fitted with a retina-threateningly bright range of lacquered dials in a host of lurid colors. Victoria Beckham’s example comes in aqua green set into a yellow gold case.

Husband David is also clearly a fan of Rolex, with an impressive hoard of his own (and is currently a Tudor watch ambassador, Rolex’s sister company). Together, the couple epitomize the true spirit of the brand— pioneering, beautiful and effortlessly stylish.

The post Celebrities and their Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/celebrities-and-their-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
Celebrities Flaunting New Rolex Watches from Baselworld 2018 https://beckertime.com/blog/celebrities-flaunting-new-rolex-watches-from-baselworld-2018/ https://beckertime.com/blog/celebrities-flaunting-new-rolex-watches-from-baselworld-2018/#respond Mon, 02 Jul 2018 18:54:15 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182514 As many of you know, Rolex released a fantastic selection of new watches at Baselworld 2018. From new GMT-Master II models to a new bejeweled Daytona to an updated Deepsea, Rolex unveiled some real lookers this year. So the moment the curtains dropped at the Rolex Baselworld booth, phones were ringing off the hook at […]

The post Celebrities Flaunting New Rolex Watches from Baselworld 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

As many of you know, Rolex released a fantastic selection of new watches at Baselworld 2018. From new GMT-Master II models to a new bejeweled Daytona to an updated Deepsea, Rolex unveiled some real lookers this year. So the moment the curtains dropped at the Rolex Baselworld booth, phones were ringing off the hook at boutiques all over the world with Rolex fans trying to get their names at the top of the waitlist. A way to bypass those long lines? Celebrity status of course! Here are some celebrities wearing brand new 2018 Rolex watches pretty much before anyone else.

Mark Wahlberg Wears the New Rolex GMT-Master II 126715CHNR in Everose Gold

We were already aware that Mark Wahlberg is one of the biggest celebrity Rolex watch collectors around. He’s especially fond of solid gold Rolex sports watches, so it’s not surprising that the mega Hollywood star would be one of the first to own the brand new Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126715CHNR in Everose gold!

Crafted entirely in Rolex’s patented pink gold and sporting a black and brown Cerachrom ceramic bezel, some refer to this Everose GMT-Master II as the new “Root Beer” GMT due to its color combination. We caught a glimpse of Mark Wahlberg wearing his new rose gold GMT-Master II during a video he uploaded to Instagram and it looks fantastic on his wrist.

Nicky Jam Wears the New Rolex GMT-Master II 126715CHNR in Everose Gold

With close to 24 million followers on Instagram, singer/songwriter Nicky Jam’s celebrity status is undeniable. In fact, along with Will Smith and Era Istrefi, Nicky Jam is one of three artists behind the FIFA World Cup 2018 official song, Live it Up.

Aquí comíendo manguito un corito sano 😛 falta el primo Lucas

A post shared by NICKY JAM (@nickyjampr) on

Just like Mark Wahlberg, Nicky Jam opted to add the new Everose gold GMT-Master II 126715CHNR to his watch collection—also spotted on his Instagram account.

Travis Scott Wears the New Rolex Daytona Rainbow 116595RBOW in Everose Gold

Perhaps one of the most controversial Rolex releases of the year was the new Everose Daytona ref. 116595RBOW with a rainbow-colored sapphire-set bezel and multi-colored sapphires on the dial.

Happy Easter everyone. • Now these are my kinda treats🍫 @ROLEX 🐰

A post shared by A G (@andygreenlive) on

Whether you love it or hate it, this is one ultra-lavish Daytona chronograph that flaunts just how masterful Rolex are with gem-setting. While the Rainbow Daytona that was featured in all the official press pictures had a black dial and a solid Everose Oyster bracelet, there is also another version of the Everose Daytona Rainbow that’s even more opulent. Taking it even further, the second version of the ref. 116595RBOW includes a full diamond pavé dial and diamond-set bracelet to complement that rainbow sapphire bezel.

Travis Scott with Rolex Daytona Ref. 116595RBOW
Photo: @RodeoTheAlbum

We’ve spotted rapper Travis Scott with that full diamond dial version of the Rolex Daytona ref. 116595RBOW gleaming from his wrist. What’s more, he even posted a video with a close up of the sparkling Rolex and in the background we hear his song, Watch, playing in the background. The well-placed lyrics? “Look at your Rollie, uh, look at my Rollie, uh. That’s a small face, uh, this a big face, uh.”

The stainless steel GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLRO with the Pepsi bezel and Jubilee bracelet was by far the biggest Rolex release of 2018. Although we haven’t spotted any celebs wearing one in public just yet, stay tuned because it won’t be long until we see a few on some famous wrists!

The post Celebrities Flaunting New Rolex Watches from Baselworld 2018 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/celebrities-flaunting-new-rolex-watches-from-baselworld-2018/feed/ 0
What’s the Difference? The Rolex Submariner Vs. The Rolex Sea-Dweller https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-submariner-vs-the-rolex-sea-dweller/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-submariner-vs-the-rolex-sea-dweller/#respond Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:17:29 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=179878 You would think that deciding on what was officially the first ever dive watch would be a fairly straightforward task, but depending on your point of view, the Omega Marine, or the Panerai Radiomir, or the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms can all stake a claim. It’s a subject that causes much debate among watch nerds, but […]

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Submariner Vs. The Rolex Sea-Dweller appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
You would think that deciding on what was officially the first ever dive watch would be a fairly straightforward task, but depending on your point of view, the Omega Marine, or the Panerai Radiomir, or the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms can all stake a claim.

It’s a subject that causes much debate among watch nerds, but two things are generally agreed on. One, the Rolex Submariner was not the first, and two, regardless, it is still the model that most readily springs to mind when you hear the words ‘dive watch’.

The Development

Rolex, of course, had been pioneering ever greater waterproofing for their various timepieces for decades before the Sub put in its first appearance. The Oyster case, developed in the 1920s, had proved itself in environments once considered unthinkable for a wristwatch which, until then, had always been very much a fragile piece of jewelry worn almost exclusively by women.

With the Oyster’s impenetrable seals keeping not just water but also dust and humidity out of the delicate inner workings, the watch as an essential male accessory was born, winning its spurs on the battlefields of WWI.

The First Submariner

Between the wars, the Italian Navy recognized the need for a watch their elite diving unit could read in even the murkiest of waters. Their chosen supplier, Panerai, had long been utilizing the luminescent qualities of radium on their range of underwater instruments, unaware of its disastrous effects, and teamed up with Rolex on the project.

Vintage Rolex Submariner 6204
Photo: A Blog to Watch

The upshot of the collaboration, the Radiomir, used a Rolex Oyster case and Rolex movement and provided the inspiration for the brand to start producing dive watches of their own.

In the 1950s, the popularity of recreational diving took off, helped immensely by the invention of the aqualung by Émile Gagnan and a certain Jacques Cousteau who, by no coincidence whatsoever, was a close friend of one of Rolex’s board of directors, Rene-Paul Jeanneret. With Cousteau’s input, the first of the Submariners was made ready for its debut in 1953.

It was the birth of perhaps the single most iconic watch ever made. The ref. 6204, its design simplicity itself, had all the abilities to be the ideal dive companion, as well as the timeless good looks to be worn on just about any occasion and with any outfit. In short, it was the only watch you would ever need.

Rolex Mens Turn-O-Graph Two-Tone 6202

Over its now 60+ years of unbroken production, the materials and technology may have revolutionized, but its basic DNA is still instantly recognizable from that initial example. The 37mm case was inflated to 40mm by the end of the 50s and crown guards were brought in at the same time. Water resistance, originally 100m, improved first to 200m with the introduction of a bigger winding crown and eventually to the 300m we know today. A date window and a Cyclops magnifying lens were added, controversially, in 1969.

But it is the bezel that forever remains its most identifiable feature. Taken from the ref. 6202 Turn-O-Graph released a year before, sometimes known as the pre-Submariner, the rotatable surround with the graduated markings provided divers with a simple, reliable method of keeping track of their time underwater. For those Submariner customers who weren’t divers, i.e. most of them, it was a useful way of timing just about anything, while also providing a strong aesthetic element that made the watch stand out from the crowd.

Interestingly, it wasn’t until 1981, nearly 30 years later, that Rolex were able to give the Submariner the added safety precaution of a unidirectional bezel. Until then, the patent for it was held by Blancpain for their Fifty Fathoms model.

The Bigger Brother

The all-conquering Sub, then, could do no wrong. A genre-defining watch, shamelessly imitated by rival manufacturers and blatantly copied by forgers. First choice of James Bond, the Royal Navy and Steve McQueen (yep, not the Explorer II, honestly) it was responsible for making the dive watch the most popular type of sports watch, especially among those who did neither.

Rolex Mens Submariner Comex Ref. 5514

However, there was an elite group of individuals for whom a water resistance rating of 300m was never going to be enough. People who needed a dive watch for, of all things, diving.

In the 1960s, French commercial and industrial dive operators COMEX approached Rolex with a problem. Their crews were spending prolonged periods underwater at great depths, breathing a gas mixture that contained a proportion of helium to negate the effects both oxygen and nitrogen experienced when subjected to high pressures. With helium having some of the smallest molecules of any gas, the tiny bubbles were seeping inside their diver’s watches and, as they ascended back to the surface and the drop in pressure caused the bubbles to expand, the protective crystals covering the dials would be popped clean off, sometimes with extreme force.

The solution, in Rolex’s hands, was the Helium Escape Valve, or HEV. A small, one-way regulator set into the case at nine o’clock, it expelled the swelling gases safely and protected both watch and diver.

Taking a standard Submariner of the era (the model was up to the beloved ref. 5513 by this time), Rolex retrofitted it with their new innovation and sent it off to COMEX for testing. The renamed ref. 5514, a grail watch today if there ever was one, proved itself successful enough that it led onto the development of a purpose-built model, one suited to the extremes of saturation diving.

The Sea-Dweller

By 1967, the first of this new breed was ready. Quite clearly adopting the same design cues as the Sub, its thicker case and domed crystal, along with the HEV of course, set it as the more serious alternative to its smaller and older brother.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665

The ref. 1665, more commonly known as the Double Red Sea-Dweller (DRSD) for the two lines of red text on its dial, was rated good down to 2,000ft, more than doubling the Submariner’s resistance.

While both series’ have evolved over the last half a century, the Sea-Dweller’s upgrades have always been based on improving its already impressive functionality rather than positioning itself as a statement piece. So it has never succumbed to the allure of gold or Rolesor and has instead toughened up even more, its most recent all-steel iterations able to survive some 4,000ft underwater.

Though the Submariner’s variety has seen its fan base grow exponentially, with unorthodox examples in blue and green along with the precious metal versions that appeal across a broad spectrum, the Sea-Dweller has maintained an air of exclusivity. It has never sold in as great a number, but it has carved itself out a fiercely loyal following nonetheless.

That Damn Cyclops!

Along with its status as the more capable of the two, even though the likelihood of either watch being tested to its actual limit by the average wearer remains negligible, there was traditionally one more reason the Sea-Dweller has avoided being completely engulfed by the Submariner’s shadow.

When the first Sub with a date function emerged, the ref. 1680 from 1969, it launched with Rolex’s patented magnifying lens over its three o’clock window.

Known as the Cyclops, it had been unveiled on the Datejust in 1954, and has been the cause of huge debate ever since.

Without doubt a useful feature, it gives a 2.5x increase to the apparent size of the date numerals beneath but, in the eyes of many, ruins the simple symmetry of the dial.

Because of the depths the Sea-Dweller was designed to work at, and the subsequent crushing pressures inflicted on it, it had never been possible to outfit the watch with its own Cyclops, and its unadorned face was seen as the most aesthetically balanced of the two.

Until now.

Triggering equal parts joy and dismay, the latest Sea-Dweller reference, the 50th anniversary ref. 126600, appeared last year with a new 43mm shell, an all singing and dancing movement upgrade and, to the strangled cries of ‘sacrilege’ from some quarters, a big old bubble stuck on its crystal.

It has left the gargantuan Deepsea, the Sub’s even bigger bigger brother, as now the only date-equipped watch in the entire Rolex range with an unmagnified dial.

Although the Cyclops has always split opinion and will doubtless continue to do so, the Sea-Dweller’s newly increased dimensions mean it’s less of an issue than on the 40mm Sub. The extra millimeters give more surface area to play with, and the lens takes up a proportionately smaller amount of dial space. Love it or hate it, it doesn’t distract too much from what is a fantastically handsome watch.

So, Sub or Sea-Dweller?

The Submariner, possibly the most immediately identifiable watch ever made, has been with us now for more than six decades. That is a vast archive of treasures to explore, and it would be a rare person who didn’t find something in that back catalog to suit their tastes.

By comparison, the Sea-Dweller has always shunned the limelight and contented itself with a more utilitarian look, backed up by the formidable strength of its enhanced abilities.

Being forced to choose between them is not the worst problem in the world to have, to be honest, and is one of those times when you can’t really make a wrong decision.

The right choice is the watch that’s right for you, and whatever happens, you get to wear a genuine legend.

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Submariner Vs. The Rolex Sea-Dweller appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-submariner-vs-the-rolex-sea-dweller/feed/ 0
What’s the Difference? The Rolex Explorer II Vs. The Rolex GMT-Master II https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-explorer-ii-vs-the-rolex-gmt-master-ii/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-explorer-ii-vs-the-rolex-gmt-master-ii/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 15:32:41 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=179973 Until relatively recently, a Rolex watch with a GMT complication represented the brand at its most complex. The relentless pursuers of perfect three-hand simplicity have traditionally steered away from additional functions, with a dual time zone or a chronograph’s stopwatch seemingly as far as they were willing to push it. Lately, things have started to […]

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Explorer II Vs. The Rolex GMT-Master II appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Until relatively recently, a Rolex watch with a GMT complication represented the brand at its most complex. The relentless pursuers of perfect three-hand simplicity have traditionally steered away from additional functions, with a dual time zone or a chronograph’s stopwatch seemingly as far as they were willing to push it.

Lately, things have started to change over in Geneva, with the Yacht-Master II’s outrageously impressive regatta timer and the Sky-Dweller’s annual calendar (alongside its own unorthodox GMT feature) but for years, if you wanted a Rolex that could tell you the time both here and there, you had two choices; the GMT-Master or the Explorer II.

Travel Companions

However, while both watches have always had the all-important fourth hand needed to track a second time zone, the Explorer II was not a true GMT watch for the first few years of its life.

Rolex Caliber 1575

The two ranges have shared a movement throughout their respective runs, right up until the most modern iteration.

At the start of the GMT-Master’s life back in 1953, the 24-hour hand was linked to the 12-hour hand, without the ability to be set independently. The regular hour hand simply went round the dial twice a day, whereas the GMT hand was geared to only do it once.

It got over these shortcomings by bringing the bezel into play. Engraved with all 24 hours, the wearer simply rotated the surround until the extra hour hand pointed to the right time for the second zone they wanted to track. To give a bit of extra help, the bezel was split into two colors, representing night and day.

The Explorer II, launched in 1971, used the same caliber as the GMT of that era, the Cal. 1575, but its static bezel meant it was basically little more than an AM/PM indicator.

Right Tools for the Job

The reason for the difference in functionality was the two vastly dissimilar markets the watches were being targeted at. The GMT-Master was originally built, in conjunction with a team from Pan American Airways, as an aid to both pilots and passengers in combatting the effects of jetlag.

The increasingly popular transatlantic routes the airline was running had succeeded in making the world that little bit smaller, but crossing several time zones was playing havoc with globetrotter’s internal body clocks. Studies had shown that being aware of both local and home time went some way in overcoming many of the psychological symptoms, and the GMT-Master quickly became a practical tool and, with its unusual bi-color bezel, an aesthetically distinctive success story.

The Explorer II, on the other hand, had a far more specific remit. As the name suggests, it was aimed at those who ventured out, or down, into the unknown. Spelunkers, or cave divers, can spend days underground mapping subterranean caverns, and losing track of whether it is day or night up at the surface is pretty much guaranteed. Arctic adventurers face similar problems—at the poles, the sun barely rises in the winter, and in the summer it never sets, leading to a great deal of disorientation. The bright orange 24-hour hand on the Explorer II, along with its extra rugged stainless steel construction and luminescent markings every 2 ½ minutes, was designed to help deal with the effects.

Yet, because of its somewhat limited demographic and its lack of functionality compared with the GMT-Master, the Explorer II was, and has always been, the also-ran; the dark horse in the Rolex stable.

The Fat Lady Sings

The next step, for both watches, was obvious, but it was a long time coming. It wasn’t until 1983, some 30 years after the range made its debut, that the first GMT-Master II arrived. Although the original series was still running, this new ‘sequel’ was driven by a next generation caliber that finally uncoupled the two hour hands. Now both could be positioned however the wearer wanted, and even meant that a third time zone could be displayed by reading it off the bezel.

Rolex GMT-Master II 16760

The extra components required to run the complication gave the Cal. 3085 a bit of extra bulk, leading to the watch that housed it needing a correspondingly bigger case. The generously proportioned ref. 16760 immediately became known as the ‘Fat Lady’. It also announced a previously unseen color scheme. The red and blue of the original model’s ‘Pepsi’ bezel had changed to black and red, not surprisingly dubbed ‘Coke’ soon after.

With the final piece in the puzzle completed, the GMT-Master II continued its upwards trajectory. The Fat Lady was retired in 1988, making way for the slimmer-hipped ref. 16710 and the series has carried on gently evolving ever since, with increasingly advanced movements and cutting-edge materials.

Today, it remains one of the most quintessentially ‘Rolex’ watches in the lineup, a piece that is unmistakable in any of its many guises. Alongside the Coke and Pepsi examples, the vintage brown and gold ‘Root Beer’ and the contemporary blue and black ‘Batman’ top many collectors’ wish lists, as well as the incognito solid black bezels, and the range has appeared in both white and yellow gold and Rolex’s own Rolesor.

This year’s Baselworld also premiered a stunning Everose gold model, proving that a piece with an already impressive pedigree is in no danger of slowing down.

Now into its seventh decade, the GMT-Master II remains the world’s favorite travel companion.

Meanwhile…

The Explorer II had to wait a couple of extra years before it was fitted with the Fat Lady’s Cal. 3085, which turned it, at last, into a genuine dual time zone watch.

Rolex Explorer II 16550

The initial reference, the ref. 1655, had long been the conspicuous underperformer in the catalog, with even a link to Steve McQueen, completely unsubstantiated though it was, failing to do for this particular watch what Paul Newman did for the Daytona.

Nevertheless, in 1985, Rolex brought out the ref. 16550 with independently adjustable hour hands.

For the first time, the Explorer II could now be used as a real GMT. Unfortunately, the world already had one; it was called the GMT-Master—and the clue was very much in the name.

Although the two watches were practically identical; same case, same movement, just with different dials and bezels, one was stuck with an image problem and the other wasn’t. A colorful model aimed at the impossibly glamorous world of international luxury travel was always going to out-sexy the stubbornly utilitarian one intended for people who spent most of their lives blundering around in the dark.

Rolex didn’t help themselves with the ref. 16550 either. By using the thin arrow-tipped 24-hour hand straight from the GMT-Master, they removed the most distinctive element from the Explorer II, and a favorite among its small group of fans—the orange ‘Freccione’.

Still, this new reference did introduce a white dial alternative to the original black, but again, more problems loomed. A defect in the paint used for the white, or Polar, dials caused them to turn to a soft creamy color after exposure to the sun, while the black dials cracked under the same conditions.

True to vintage Rolex collecting rules, examples of both these types of flaws are now priced at a premium over fault-free models.

Out of the Shadows

Rolex Explorer II 216570

Much like the first GMT-Master II, the ref. 16550 was a transitional reference, only in production for a short while before it was replaced with the long-running ref. 16570. Its 22-year lifespan took the Explorer II up to its 40th birthday and the biggest overhaul of its makeup so far.

2011 saw the introduction of the ref. 216570, with a 42mm case that makes it the fourth biggest in the Rolex range. As well as giving the watch a welcome boost in wrist presence, it also served to finally set it apart from its dual time cousin.

Underlying the brand’s efforts to carve out a unique space for the Explorer in the lineup, it has, for the first time, been granted a movement of its own, the Cal. 3187. In addition, it follows the current nostalgia drive Rolex have been on with their other updated favorites and reintroduced the original Freccione (‘arrow’ in Italian) 24-hour hand.

A Tale of Two Time Zones

The GMT-Master II and the Explorer II are fascinating watches, in that, for most of their production runs, they have been physically almost identical, yet with massively different levels of appeal.

Just the addition of a rotating, two-tone bezel has seen one become a brand emblem, recognizable to anyone whether they have an interest in horology or not, while the other is the cult outsider; a tool watch in the real sense of the word.

But, although the GMT continues to don precious metal suits and roll out new color schemes, while the Explorer has stuck to its no-nonsense brushed steel, they both represent the very essence of Rolex—tough, practical and efficiently beautiful.

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Explorer II Vs. The Rolex GMT-Master II appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-explorer-ii-vs-the-rolex-gmt-master-ii/feed/ 0
What’s the Difference? The Rolex Men’s Datejust Vs. The Rolex Men’s Date https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-mens-datejust-vs-the-rolex-mens-date/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-mens-datejust-vs-the-rolex-mens-date/#respond Tue, 26 Jun 2018 22:56:03 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=179570 With a history as long and illustrious as Rolex’s, and with an output as prodigious, it can sometimes get confusing keeping track of the slew of different models the brand has released over the years. In their earliest days, and especially during their 50s and 60s heyday, an entirely new watch or an update of […]

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

]]>
With a history as long and illustrious as Rolex’s, and with an output as prodigious, it can sometimes get confusing keeping track of the slew of different models the brand has released over the years.

In their earliest days, and especially during their 50s and 60s heyday, an entirely new watch or an update of an existing design seemed to emerge from the company every five minutes, with reference numbers issued almost at random.

Staying on top of it all is tricky enough, and sometimes Rolex themselves seem to go out of their way to muddy the waters even more.

The Oyster Perpetual Date and the Oyster Perpetual Datejust are prime examples. Two watches, still in production after more than half a century, practically identical, but with the slightest of dissimilarities to warrant the change in name.

Below we’ll take a look at both and find out what difference a ‘just’ makes.

Date Vs. Datejust

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Datejust Silver 16200

It’s quite difficult to imagine now, with its modest styling and by-no-means-exotic complications, but when the original Datejust arrived in 1945, it was a radical trailblazer in the world of horology. The Oyster case and Perpetual movement secured its place as the first waterproof, self-winding wristwatch in the world to display a date aperture. Less than a decade later it debuted yet another innovation when it became the test bed for Rolex’s new Cyclops magnifying lens—an element that now covers every date window in the lineup bar the Sea-Dweller Deepsea.

Although it lost its official flagship crown soon after to the Day-Date, it has remained an absolute emblem of the brand and, alongside the Submariner or GMT-Master, is the watch that most immediately springs to many people’s minds when they hear the name Rolex.

A Question of Size

Throughout its long long life, and until very recently, the Datejust has stuck rigidly to its 36mm dimensions, traditionally considered the perfect size for a man’s watch.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Date Silver 15200

However, with the arrival of a 26mm Lady Datejust in the fifties, Rolex also released a smaller edition of their men’s watch, a virtual duplicate of the original but measuring only 34mm, and called it the Date.

Why they decided to shorten the name is unclear, but it has led some to consider it as a separate entity to the Datejust and more an evolution of the Oyster Perpetual line that started life in the 1920s; a version of the similarly sized Air-King, for example, but upgraded with a date function and Cyclops.

It is perhaps easier to think of it as a link between the two, and it has benefitted from most of the technical advances that have been applied to the Datejust over the last 70 years.

Rolex Caliber 3135

Although never available in quite the same number of infinite variations, there were still plenty of options presented to potential Date customers. Alongside the stainless steel models, examples in yellow Rolesor and all yellow gold appeared, as well as a choice of bezel types, including domed, fluted and engine turned—a technique that creates decorative grooves in the bezel’s surface.

As the technology, both inside and outside, improved on the Datejust, its smaller cousin was never far behind.

So the pair each received the convenience of a Quickset date function in 1983 (with the ref. 16XXX and ref. 15XXX series respectively) when the Cal. 3035 made its first appearance. Now, rather than having to wind the hands through 24-hours to progress the date, the crown could be set to a second position to adjust it independently.

By the end of the 80s, the movement was upgraded again, to the legendary Cal. 3135, Rolex’s longest and most widely used caliber. These 162XX and 152XX references also saw the introduction of scratchproof sapphire crystals, replacing the earlier acrylic.

The Latest Models

2009 saw the arrival of the short-lived Datejust II, a 41mm version of the understated dress watch, that signaled Rolex’s move into larger case size territory for their all time classics. Although the extra heft was a welcome element for more modern tastes, too much of the original model’s refined looks had been lost and it was discontinued in 2016 to make way for the Datejust 41. While the same in diameter, this new piece retains more of its ancestors graceful proportions.

Rolex Datejust II Ref. 116300

Now available in three sizes, (41, 36 and 31mm) and not including the Lady Datejust, it comes in just about every possible combination of metal construction, bezel type, dial color and bracelet style you can imagine. There is a Datejust to suit literally any taste, from the unfussy minimalist to the all-out showman.

By comparison, the Date has far fewer options. Only offered with the Oyster bracelet, you can choose between all steel models, or steel with a white gold bezel, either smooth or fluted; engine turned surrounds are sadly no longer an option anywhere in the lineup.

Although its last update in the early 2000s gave it a slightly stockier case and wider lugs, with its modest 34mm dimensions, it is still a small watch by today’s standards and it occupies an interesting position in the catalog. On Rolex’s official website you’ll find it listed on both the men’s and ladies pages.

The Difference

The Rolex Date is perhaps a more stealthy version of the Datejust. Very slightly smaller, although you’d be hard pressed to notice on the wrist, the biggest difference is really in the number of variations available.

If the modern Oyster Perpetual or Air-King lines are the ‘entry level’ Rolexes, should there be such a thing, then the Date could be seen as the next step up. Fantastically simple and effortlessly versatile, but with the added convenience of telling you what day it is.

Suited to just about any occasion and historically popular with both sexes, the Rolex Date and Datejust are the ideal all-rounders.

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

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-mens-datejust-vs-the-rolex-mens-date/feed/ 0
What’s the Difference? The Rolex Yacht-Master Vs. The Rolex Yacht-Master II https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-yacht-master-vs-the-rolex-yacht-master-ii/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-yacht-master-vs-the-rolex-yacht-master-ii/#respond Mon, 25 Jun 2018 14:17:10 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=179158 Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II – Contrasting Models Some of the most frequently asked questions we get here at BeckerTime concern the differences and similarities between certain models in the Rolex lineup. It can undoubtedly be a confusing area for those just starting to discover the brand. There are a number of pieces in the range […]

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Yacht-Master Vs. The Rolex Yacht-Master II appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II – Contrasting Models

Some of the most frequently asked questions we get here at BeckerTime concern the differences and similarities between certain models in the Rolex lineup.

It can undoubtedly be a confusing area for those just starting to discover the brand. There are a number of pieces in the range built for the same sort of work in the same sort of environment. The Submariner and the Sea-Dweller, for instance, both do the same job, except one does it deeper.

Rolex Mens Yacht-Master Two-Tone 16623

When you factor in the vintage market as well it can get even more mystifying. Many of the watches released by the Swiss giant have been around, in one form or another, for decades, going through a seemingly endless succession of upgrades and refinements, and choosing between them takes a fair amount of time-consuming research.

Occasionally, such as with their legendary aviator’s series, a revision is so significant it earns more than just a new reference number and gives rise to a sort of sequel to the original. Hence, when the GMT-Master finally got the movement that delinked its two hour hands, allowing wearers to set them independently of each other, it was launched as the GMT-Master II.

But while the follow-up was practically identical, visually at least, to the earlier piece, some of the models in the Rolex range to have been granted sequel status bear almost no relationship to their namesake whatsoever.

The Explorer and Explorer II is one example, with the former being a starkly elegant all-rounder and its sibling a rough and ready bruiser built for a life underground.

The Yacht-Masters

Possibly the biggest disparity between two similarly named models comes in the shape of the Yacht-Masters. In fact, the only real connection shared by the pair is that they can both be described as watches.

Rolex Yacht-Master 16622

Like the Explorers, it is the second of the two that actually has the functionality that justifies its name. The first Yacht-Master has nothing in particular to make a life on the ocean waves any easier, beyond the inherent waterproofness of its Oyster case. The Yacht-Master II, however, performs an incredibly complex, and incredibly specific, task—one of tremendous value to real-life skippers.

You get the feeling Rolex named themselves into a corner when they released the original Yacht-Master, and when they came up with the concept of the spin-off, they found themselves with no other option.

Regardless, it has left us with two fascinating and completely contrasting models.

Below we’ll take a look at both.

The Rolex Yacht-Master

There was something about the 1980s that gave rise to some bizarre decisions regarding several of the world’s most beloved and enduring products.

This was the decade, remember, that inflicted ‘New Coke’ onto a public perfectly content with old Coke. Likewise, someone sitting around a board table in Rolex HQ touted the idea of a completely revamped Submariner, a total overhaul of the company’s most famous and adored timepiece.

It was a notion interesting enough to be accepted and the company’s legions of designers and engineers were put to work to come up with the best way to kill their golden goose.

Fortunately, at some point wiser heads prevailed and the plan to replace the Sub was abandoned, but the work already completed on the new concept was judged too good to shelve altogether.

The Same but Different

Rolex Yacht-Master Ref. 16628

What had been created was ostensibly a Submariner in a fancy suit. Not released until 1992, it was promoted as a more luxurious nautically-themed watch—too pretty to be used as a tool for underwater adventures, but perfect to match with a polished teak deck or the tasteful décor of the yacht club.

It was also the first all-new watch to emerge from the Geneva base in nearly 30 years. The last one before that had been the Daytona in 1964.

Rolex Caliber 3135

Of course, we are playing somewhat fast and loose with the term ‘all-new’ here. When the ref. 16628 was unveiled, the blatant similarity to its diving cousin was fooling no one, but it proved itself a triumph nonetheless.

In a textbook case of ‘if-it-ain’t-broke’, Rolex made just a handful of distinctions between the two. Only available initially in 18k gold, it had softer, curvier lines to better match its privileged environs. Perfectly content with 100m of water resistance rather than 300m, it could also have a flatter case back, making it a more comfortable all-day wear, and its solid gold bezel was bi-directional, losing much of its usefulness as an underwater timer.

Beyond that, its dial layout and hands were identical to the Sub and the pair even shared the same caliber, the Cal. 3135.

Take Your Pick

Although it never proved as popular as the watch on which it was so clearly modeled, which is something you can say of just about any watch from any manufacturer, the Yacht-Master definitely found an audience and it debuted with a healthy waiting list already clamoring.

It was helped along by being the first in the Oyster Professional range to be offered in three sizes; together with the ladies model and the full size men’s, a mid-size version at 35mm was also available.

Rolex Yacht-Master 116655

Over its production run, still going strong some 26 years later, Rolex has continued to bring out a variety of models. Although the smallest size has been discontinued, leaving just a 37mm and a 40mm, it can be had in the chocolaty warmth of Everose Rolesor or the crisp coldness of steel with a platinum bezel, a combination developed specifically for the Yacht-Master and called Rolesium.

But the standout of the range has to be the ref. 116655 released in 2015. Debuting the near-indestructible Cerachrom bezel, it tops a lustrous pink gold case, and the watch is secured with the first rubber strap Rolex has ever produced.

This being Rolex however, calling the Oysterflex bracelet a rubber strap is a bit like calling The Beatles a boy band—technically correct, but somehow not. It is actually a flexible titanium and nickel alloy blade overmoulded with a high performance hypoallergenic elastomer (so there!) It means it is able to form to the shape of your wrist and retain all the comfort of a rubber strap, but with the durability of any of the brand’s famously robust metal bracelets. It even comes with the Oysterlock Safety Clasp that guards against accidental opening.

All told, the most recent addition to the original Yacht-Master family takes the range in a new direction. Alleviating some of the grandstanding of the yellow gold models, the black bezel and strap becomes instantly more sporty while still preserving an unapologetically opulent bearing.

Captain or landlubber, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the Yacht-Master failed to rob us of the Submariner, but it remains a wonderfully versatile and handsome creation in its own right.

The Rolex Yacht-Master II

When it was released, the Yacht-Master II really accomplished two tasks. Outwardly, its main purpose was to help skippers time the convoluted starting procedure of a sailing regatta. Its secondary objective was to address the Rolex detractors who have long been critical of the lack of complicated watches in the lineup.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Ref. 116680

The core of the brand’s output has always been simple, elegantly practical models, minimalist in design and built to last several lifetimes. For over a century, the chronograph has been as complex as they have gotten, or have needed to.

By 2007, it seemed as if they had finally had enough of the sneering and decided to come out swinging. The Yacht-Master II represented a massive departure for the company, usually the very definition of Swiss discretion.

Not only was it by far the most complicated piece ever to bear the Rolex name, its styling was also a world away from the typically subtle and reserved look fans had come to expect.

From its enormous 44mm dimensions and prismatic dial to its bright blue look-at-me bezel, it stood out from the rest of the catalog like a clown at a country club.

However, while its appearance immediately split opinion, even the most vocal of the brand’s faultfinders were silenced by its concept, its functionality and its sheer audacity.

The Regatta Timer

Rolex has never shied from creating watches aimed at the smallest of demographics. The Explorer II, for example, is the only model I’m aware of targeted exclusively at speleologists.

There may well be more sailing regatta skippers than cave divers, but it probably isn’t by much.

The relationship between Rolex and seafaring goes back to the fifties, so professional sailors have had a long wait for a watch of their own. Now that it is here though, it has certainly rewarded their patience.

Created to help coordinate the chaotic departure sequence of yacht races, it packs in an ultra-complex programmable countdown, and it was the first watch in the world with a mechanical memory and flyback function.

How it Works

With the wind being what it is, boats competing in a regatta can’t just sit at the starting line waiting for the off. Instead, they have to be maneuvered back and forth without crossing for a predetermined length of time before the race begins. The start of this sequence is signaled by a gunshot and is followed by two other signals at set intervals—usually 10 minutes in total.

Any yachts crossing the line too early are slapped with a penalty, while those crossing too late could find themselves out of the race before it begins.

So, being able to precisely time each stage of the procedure can mean the difference between winning and losing.

With split-second judgments involved, skippers need to be able to synchronize their watches with the official race clock, and adjust it on the fly if necessary.

It was a multilayered problem for Rolex and one that took all of their hard-won engineering prowess to solve.

The Bezel

There are only a limited number of elements that can be brought into play on one watch, so Rolex gave key responsibility to the Yacht-Master II’s bezel. While rotatable surrounds date back decades, helping divers keep track of their immersion times or travelers fight jetlag, this new watch introduced a whole new approach.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Ref. 116688

Now, instead of being a somewhat passive onlooker, the ‘Ring Command Bezel’ becomes integral to the entire operation. Directly linked to the interior mechanism, turning it through 90° unlocks the programmable operations, with the crown being used to set the countdown duration on the horseshoe-shaped inner gauge. Returning the bezel to its starting position locks and memorizes the setting.

The top pusher at two o’clock starts the countdown, with the small sub dial showing the elapsed seconds and the arrow-tipped hand counting down the minutes.

But, if the skipper has started his countdown too late or too early and needs to adjust it to match with the race clock, simply pressing the lower of the pushers causes the seconds hand to ‘fly-back’ to its starting position, and the arrow hand to go to the nearest minute, compensating for any discrepancy.

The Calibers

All functions that would be a breeze for a digital watch, but when you are working with gears and springs, it takes the sort of virtuosity far beyond most manufacturers.

Rolex Caliber 4130

On its release, the Yacht-Master II was fitted with the Cal. 4160, a heavily reworked version of the Daytona’s Cal. 4130, complete with its Rolex-specific vertical clutch.

By 2013, after a reported 35,000 hours of development, they perfected the purpose built Cal. 4161 especially for the Yacht-Master II.

Their most complicated watch to date necessitated their most component-heavy caliber, and the new movement is constructed from 360 separate parts.

Along with driving all the watch’s complex functions, it retained the legendary accuracy of the Superlative Chronometer certification, accurate to within +2/-2 seconds a day.

The Modern Yacht-Master II

After the subtlest of facelifts for its 10th birthday, pretty much the only subtle thing about the watch, there are now four variations of the Yacht-Master II. The Everose Rolesor or all steel models are possibly the two most adaptable, while the all gold piece is for the born extrovert. Completing the range is a Rolesium version similar to the original series Yacht-Master.

Although it hasn’t exactly opened the floodgates for waves of hyper-complicated offerings to come pouring out of Rolex HQ, the Ring Command bezel concept has been carried over onto the Sky-Dweller, which arguably offers even more functionality even without extra pushers cluttering up its case design.

The Yacht-Master II though started it all. An incredibly impressive performer with an unmistakable look, it is not only a world away from its namesake, it is in a league of its own.

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Yacht-Master Vs. The Rolex Yacht-Master II appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-yacht-master-vs-the-rolex-yacht-master-ii/feed/ 0
Men’s Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/mens-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/mens-rolex-watches/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:26:38 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180714 Back in the day, splitting Rolex’s extensive collection into convenient ‘his & hers’ categories was a simple process. The majority of the brand’s output was very much focused on the male customer, with the occasional model being taken away, shrunk to a more feminine size, renamed the ‘Lady Something or Other’ and offered for sale […]

The post Men’s Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Back in the day, splitting Rolex’s extensive collection into convenient ‘his & hers’ categories was a simple process.

The majority of the brand’s output was very much focused on the male customer, with the occasional model being taken away, shrunk to a more feminine size, renamed the ‘Lady Something or Other’ and offered for sale to a female audience.

Over time however, the tastes of both sexes have veered towards ever larger watches. So, while pieces such as the Lady-Datejust still exist, a 28mm version of the iconic stalwart, and the Lady Yacht-Master has only recently been retired, many of the models that started life generations ago as strictly men’s watches have now crossed over and have a true unisex appeal.

A Different Time

Is there such a thing as a purely ‘men’s’ Rolex anymore? The majority of the biggest names in the professional collection were born in the fifties and, in that era, the occupations the watches were designed to help were almost exclusively male-dominated roles.

Pan Am, for instance, commissioned Rolex to create the GMT-Master for their pilots in 1954—a full 20 years before the first female airline captain. Similarly, it wasn’t until 1975 that a woman stood on Everest’s peak, more than two decades after Hillary and Tensing had conquered the mountain and inspired the Explorer collection.

It was a vastly different time, and one that has been particularly slow to change. Now, however, there are no such barriers to either employment or adventure, and more and more women are wearing watches that would have been unthinkable in the past.

So the Rolex catalog really consists of exclusively ladies watches, and watches that, in a bygone age, used to be exclusively men’s.

Of course, there are a number of models that are still, for whatever reason, more popular with the boys. They tend to be the tougher, more utilitarian offerings; the ones that have stuck closest to the tool watch philosophy that first made Rolex’s name.

Below, we’ve singled out a few of our favorites.

The Rolex Explorer II

If we’re going to talk about all things rugged and manly, there is only one place to start, and that place is Steve McQueen. And if we are going to talk about Steve McQueen, we have to talk about the Explorer II.

Rolex Mens Explorer II 1655

Launched in 1971 to complement the original series created to mark the summiting of the highest peak on earth, the Explorer II was similar to its namesake in no way whatsoever.

Where the initial Explorer was the personification of simple, three-hand minimalism, its sequel was a hard-as-nails pioneer, destined for some of the most unforgiving environments imaginable.

The first Rolex Explorer II, the ref. 1655, emerged as the answer to the prayers of the world’s spelunkers; cave divers who spent prolonged periods underground in near total darkness. In such places, losing track of night and day on the surface is pretty much a given, so the watch’s bright orange additional hour hand tracked around the dial at half speed, pointing out the correct time on the 24-hour engraved bezel. Generous lume plots on the hands and at every two-and-a-half minutes on the indexes also gave it a greatly enhanced legibility.

Hollywood Royalty

So, it was an especially resilient and useful companion. The only problem was, nobody wanted one.

Rolex Mens Submariner 5512

While it shared the same movement as the aviator’s friend the GMT-Master, the Explorer’s static bezel meant it was not a true dual time zone watch. As essentially an AM/PM indicator, it had a limited marketability, and the workmanlike styling restricted its following even more. Set alongside the multicolored charms of the GMT, and the ref. 1655 came a very poor second.

But where does the King of Cool come in? Well, a contrived and completely unsubstantiated rumor in the mid-seventies suggested it had suddenly become Steve McQueen’s timepiece of choice, based solely on one blurred paparazzi photograph appearing in an Italian magazine of the movie star wearing a vaguely similar looking watch. In reality, it was far more likely to have been the ref. 5512 Submariner he wore extensively throughout his life, but the Sub needed nothing in the way of extra promotion. With Rolex keeping quiet about the probable mistake, the original Explorer II became known as the Steve McQueen Rolex.

The Dark Horse

Yet, unlike the magic McQueen’s contemporary Paul Newman worked on the exotic dial Daytonas, turning them from also-rans into some of the most desirable watches ever made, the spelunker’s watch still lagged a long way behind in the image stakes.

In truth, it is still the outsider’s choice and probably intentionally so. Rolex is by far the most famous watchmaker in history, with a litany of models so recognizable, even those with zero interest in horology can identify one from across a crowded room. That level of populism is fine for one type of collector—those who are comfortable for everyone to know they wear a Rolex.

Rolex Explorer II 1655

But the Explorer II has a fierce cult following, made up mainly of those who enjoy the appreciative nods of other, more knowledgeable admirers.

It has been kept stubbornly functional, never succumbing to the allure of precious metals in its construction and so has always lacked the versatility of its stable mates.

It is the dark horse, the understudy, and the purists love it for exactly that reason.

With its no-nonsense reputation and a link, however tenuous, to the poster child for masculinity, the Explorer II may be the ultimate man’s Rolex.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller

The Sea-Dweller shares the same ethos as the Explorer II. It was built for a definite purpose and has stuck to it, as all around much of the sports collection has been softened to appeal to a far wider market.

While Rolex broke new ground with the Submariner, there was always scope to go further with it. A water resistance of 300m met, and exceeded, the needs of recreational divers, but those who made their living working underwater required something extra.

Specifically, they needed a watch that could survive not just the crushing pressures of the descent, but also the trip back to the surface.

The problem professional saturation divers faced was the build up of helium bubbles.

Rolex Mens Submariner (Sea-Dweller) Comex Ref. 5514

At the great depths commercial crews face, their breathing gases have to be made up of a tightly controlled mix; either oxygen and helium, called Heliox, or oxygen, helium and nitrogen, known as Trimix.

Adding the helium reduces the detrimental effects of the other gases when put under pressure, but the drawback is the size of the bubbles.

Helium has some of the smallest molecules of any gas, easily small enough to find their way inside the cases of the divers’ watches.

When ascending from a prolonged Heliox or Trimix dive, the reduction in pressure caused the bubbles to expand, popping the crystals off the watch.

COMEX, the leading industrial diving company,  approached Rolex at the start of the 1960s, much like Pan Am had a decade before, to work out a solution.

The result was the HEV, or Helium Escape Valve. This one-way regulator, initially retrofitted to a ref. 5513 Submariner (to make the utterly grail-like ref. 5514) allowed for the bubbles to seep back out of the watch as they expanded, safeguarding the integrity of the timepiece as a whole.

With the initial tests successful, Rolex put the HEV onto a new, hardier body and the Sea-Dweller was born.

Dive Buddy

Unlike the Explorer II, it was an immediate success. It may not have sold in quite the same numbers as the ubiquitous Submariner on which it was so clearly based, but the Sea-Dweller’s image of the ultimate version of the ultimate dive watch gained it legions of devoted admirers.

That reputation has only strengthened over the years as it has stuck to its roots, while the Sub is far more likely to be seen worn with a business suit than a wetsuit.

The Sea-Dweller is the big brother, indifferent to unnecessary gold or platinum finery; only forged from the strongest steel and made to cope with conditions way beyond what its predecessor could handle.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 ft

Even the dial was kept more down-to-earth, lacking (until its most recent iteration) the controversial Cyclops over its date window that some felt had robbed the Sub of much of its symmetry.

And it only continues to get more robust. Its initial water resistance of 2,000ft was soon doubled to 4,000ft. It was the first of the brand’s watches to be cast in the insanely strong 904L steel now used across the entire range, and the latest model has received a significant upgrade in size, going from the traditional 40mm to 43mm, just a shave below the lunatic Deepsea.

Like the Explorer II, it is the way the Sea-Dweller has remained true to its origins that has kept it relevant in the wake of the rest of Rolex’s professional watches changing tack and becoming more of a status symbol.

It is perhaps the best all round dive watch there is—tougher than anyone could ever need and stylish enough to go anywhere.

The post Men’s Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/mens-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
The Watch Collector Series: What are the Different Watch Types? https://beckertime.com/blog/the-watch-collector-series-what-are-the-different-watch-types/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-watch-collector-series-what-are-the-different-watch-types/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:25:56 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180710 Like just about any specialized field, watch collecting comes with its own language—its own particular jargon and terminology. To the outsider or relative newcomer it can all be especially confusing; this is something, after all, that has had several hundred years to develop a unique vocabulary. As part of our watch collector series, we are […]

The post The Watch Collector Series: What are the Different Watch Types? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Like just about any specialized field, watch collecting comes with its own language—its own particular jargon and terminology.

To the outsider or relative newcomer it can all be especially confusing; this is something, after all, that has had several hundred years to develop a unique vocabulary.

As part of our watch collector series, we are going to go over some of the terms you will frequently come up against as you search for your ideal timepiece.

We’ll identify the most popular types of movement and how they differ from one another, as well as looking at some of the watches designed for specific situations.

Chronometer

When you first start to dip your toes into the world of luxury watches, the word ‘chronometer’ is one you will read time and time again. While it may strike you as a somewhat grandiose term, in reality, it just means a watch that has passed the strict tests for timekeeping accuracy as set by the COSC, or the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute.

In order to issue a chronometer certification, the COSC assesses watch movements over a total of 16 days, testing the uncased calibers in five different positions and at three different temperatures.

Only those that keep to within -4/+6 seconds a day, or a 99.99% accuracy, get to include the ‘Chronometer’ tag on their dials.

Some manufacturers, such as Rolex and Omega, go above and beyond the COSC and devise their own, even more grueling, standards.

For Rolex, their ‘Superlative Chronometer’ movements have been tested both in and out of their cases and deemed accurate to within -2/+2 seconds a day. And Omega’s ‘Master Chronometer’ calibers have similar accuracy as well as a resistance to magnetic fields of up to 15,000 Gauss.

Movements

Another cause for a certain amount of confusion comes from the different types of movements that power watches.

While there are countless variations on the theme, fortunately, where luxury watches are concerned, they can be broken down into two very broad groups—quartz and mechanical.

Quartz

Quartz watches are by far the most accurate, and also the least sought after by most collectors. (If you are going to be staying in horology-land for any length of time, you’re going to have to get used to these kinds of paradoxes!)

Quartz Movement

Quartz technology emerged in the late 1960s and almost wiped out the Swiss watch industry. Impossibly precise, easily maintained, but above all cheap, these battery-powered timepieces flooded the market from Japan and America and were hugely successful.

They work by passing an electrical current through a specially shaped piece of quartz crystal, which vibrates at a specific frequency; what is known as the piezoelectric effect.

This generates a pulse that is regulated by a device called a trimmer and the power is released via a stepper motor to drive the hands.

With few moving parts, it is a particularly hassle-free system that needs far less servicing than a traditional movement, and even the cheapest no-frills quartz watch can still outperform the best mechanical one for accuracy.

Mechanical Movement

Mechanical

Happily for us all, the ‘Quartz Crisis’ of the 70s and 80s didn’t completely obliterate all of Switzerland’s manufacturers. The best managed to ride out the storm and soon, demand for the artistry and craftsmanship of classic watches returned with a vengeance.

These types of timepieces, with mechanical calibers, can be further broken down into two main groups: manual and automatic.

Manual

The oldest form of wristwatch movement, manually-wound calibers are powered by a slowly unwinding mainspring rather than a battery, which transfers its energy through a series of gears and springs to the watch’s hands.

That mainspring has to be wound by the wearer using the winding crown on the side of the case. Depending on the type and make of the watch, it might require winding as frequently as every 24-hours or as infrequently as once a week.

Automatic

Automatic Movement

Otherwise known as self-winding movements, automatic calibers work in much the same way as their manual counterparts but with the added convenience of a rotor—a metal weight that spins with every movement of the wrist, transferring its energy and winding the mainspring.

Rolex first pioneered the technology in the 1920s, and dubbed it the ‘Perpetual’ and it has been adopted by almost every luxury watch manufacturer in the world.

An extremely popular type of mechanical movement, automatic calibers only require manual winding if left stationary for long periods of time; anything from one to three days, depending on their power reserve.

Tourbillon

In amongst the different subsets of mechanical watch movements, one of the most fascinating, intricate and incredibly expensive, is the tourbillon.

Tourbillon Movement

Originally developed to counter the ill-effects gravity has on the internal calibers of pocket watches, they consist of an escapement (the mechanism that transfers energy from the mainspring to the balance wheel) housed inside its own rotating cage. If you imagine one of those multi-dimensional gyroscopic devices NASA straps astronauts into to prepare them for weightless environments, it’s the same principle.

However, while it was a useful innovation for the pocket watch, which spent the majority of its life in just one position, with wristwatches being almost constantly mobile, the tourbillon is, for want of a better description, fairly useless.

Still, they are undoubtedly beautiful to watch in action. Of course, all that beauty comes at a price. As tourbillons are amongst the most difficult and time consuming movements to make, expect to pay well into five figures as a starting point.

Watch Types

There are a wide range of different watch types, far more than we have room to list here. So, I’ve picked out a few of the most common and, crucially, useful examples. These are the ones designed with additional complications that serve a practical purpose. In horology, a complication is simply a feature beyond just telling the time. It can be as complex as a moonphase indicator or as simple as a date function.

Chronograph

Often confused with the word ‘chronometer’, a chronograph is just another name for a stopwatch.

Mens Rolex Two-Tone 18K/SS Daytona Gray, Slate 116523

A chronograph generally has a number of smaller sub dials contained inside the main watch dial, counting off different intervals of time elapsed—the seconds, minutes and hours.

The stopwatch functions are started, stopped and reset by the use of either one or two buttons, known as pushers, which generally flank the winding crown on the side of the watch.

The challenge for makers of chronographs is keeping a watch which displays so much information legible. With at least two and more usually three supplemental dials, it is easy for the watch face to look too busy.

This has given rise to some all-time design classics, perhaps most notably the Rolex Daytona.

GMT

A GMT watch is one capable of telling the time in two different time zones simultaneously. Techniques vary from watchmaker to watchmaker, but among the most commonly used is to include a rotatable bezel with 24 incremental markings, and an additional hour hand which revolves once a day.

Rolex GMT-Master Pan Am

This GMT hand, usually a different shape and painted a distinctive color, will point out the second time on the bezel that surrounds the watch’s dial.

It was initially developed in the 1950s as a way for airline pilots to cope with the sensation of jetlag. For those flying the new long-haul intercontinental routes, being able to keep track of both the local time, as well as that of the eventual destination, was shown to combat many of the effects.

The very first watch of the type was produced by Rolex in conjunction with Pan Am and called the GMT-Master, a series still going strong today.

Dive Watch

There are several different types of sports watch, all with their own individual attributes that make them invaluable for their intended use.

One of the most popular is the dive watch. Although they don’t require any additional complications as such, they are all specifically designed to withstand extended periods underwater.

Owing much of their fame to James Bond and the Rolex Submariner he wore in several movies, the modern day dive watch has to include a certain list of properties in order to be officially recognized.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

As set down by The International Organization for Standardization, another Swiss institute similar to the COSC, a true dive watch must satisfy their ISO 6425 standard.

Among their requirements for mechanical watches are a minimum water resistance of 100m and a unidirectional bezel with markings at least every five minutes to measure elapsed time underwater. The watch must have enough luminosity to be readable in total darkness from 25cm, and have clearly distinguishable minute indicators. It must also have a running seconds hand and a high level of magnetic, chemical and shock resistance, as well as an accuracy of at least +/- 60 seconds a day.

The variation in style of dive watch is immense, but they all tend to be among the physically toughest type of timepiece available. They are designed to endure some harsh treatment and inhospitable environments.

For just that reason, many of the higher end models, such as the Sub or Omega’s Seamaster, are often worn as both as a daily watch as well as on smart, formal occasions.

Perhaps the most versatile of all the professional models, dive watches mark a great starting point into the world of collecting.

The post The Watch Collector Series: What are the Different Watch Types? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-watch-collector-series-what-are-the-different-watch-types/feed/ 0
BeckerTime is Back with their Second Annual Free(ze) Event https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertime-is-back-with-their-second-annual-freeze-event/ https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertime-is-back-with-their-second-annual-freeze-event/#respond Wed, 20 Jun 2018 13:26:23 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182211 Summer has officially begun! Along with rising temperatures and long lazy days, summer also means that BeckerTime will host their annual Free(ze) event. Back by popular demand, the BeckerTime 2018 Summer Free(ze) promotion will take place from June 21, 2018, until September 22, 2018. During this time, BeckerTime will offer a Rolex cleaning cloth and […]

The post BeckerTime is Back with their Second Annual Free(ze) Event appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Summer has officially begun! Along with rising temperatures and long lazy days, summer also means that BeckerTime will host their annual Free(ze) event. Back by popular demand, the BeckerTime 2018 Summer Free(ze) promotion will take place from June 21, 2018, until September 22, 2018. During this time, BeckerTime will offer a Rolex cleaning cloth and a genuine Rolex velvet pouch absolutely free of charge with every purchase of a used Rolex watch from BeckerTime.

Rolex Pouch and Rolex Cleaning Cloth

So, if you’ve been considering buying a pre-owned Rolex watch, now is the time to do it. If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know how important it is to take care of your Rolex to ensure it’ll look great all the time. And a big part of properly maintaining your Rolex watch is keeping it clean and storing it properly—which is where your free cleaning cloth and velvet pouch come in.

It’s the perfect season to finally get your hands on the Rolex watch you’ve always wanted. BeckerTime, one of the nation’s leading pre-owned Rolex retailers, boasts a wide range of models to choose from. You can choose from a classic with simplicity, like the Rolex Air-King or the Submariner dive watches. Or choose from the traditional Rolex Datejust to the iconic Rolex Presidential Day-Date — and everything in between. You’ll find all the top Rolex watches at fantastic prices right here at BeckerTime.

Please email us at rolex@beckertime.com or give us a call at (817) 503-2334 to learn more about this event or any of our pre-owned Rolex watches. Moreover, if you have any questions about our return policies, shipping procedures, and payment plans, we’d be more than happy to assist you.

Welcome the new Summer Season in style with a gorgeous icy cool Rolex watch on your wrist—plus some free goodies thanks to the BeckerTime Summer Free(ze) promotion.

The post BeckerTime is Back with their Second Annual Free(ze) Event appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/beckertime-is-back-with-their-second-annual-freeze-event/feed/ 0
The 36mm Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/the-36mm-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-36mm-rolex-watches/#respond Wed, 20 Jun 2018 12:57:58 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180562 There’s no doubt the dimensions of watches have steadily grown throughout their lifetime. The minute jewelry-like pieces that were once the sole preserve of women took a sizeable leap when the wristwatch became an acceptable male accessory. However, for decades, it was rare for a man’s watch to exceed 34mm, but the introduction of sports […]

The post The 36mm Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
There’s no doubt the dimensions of watches have steadily grown throughout their lifetime. The minute jewelry-like pieces that were once the sole preserve of women took a sizeable leap when the wristwatch became an acceptable male accessory. However, for decades, it was rare for a man’s watch to exceed 34mm, but the introduction of sports models, which out of necessity could measure 40mm+, started knocking that average ever upward.

From the late 50s/early 60s, 36mm became the new standard and remained so until relatively recently.

The trend of the last few years for brands to launch bigger and bigger watches is similar to the great Nikon Vs. Canon battle of the earliest days of the digital camera—two companies shoehorning more and more megapixels into their sensors until they went beyond what anybody wanted or needed. That conflict eventually petered out and it could be that watch sizes are following the same pattern. This year’s Baselworld saw a slew of new and updated models actually taking a step back in size, returning to more manageable, vintage-inspired proportions.

Today, a 36mm watch is seen as very much a unisex piece. The current Rolex catalog only has a couple of models listed in what they now call the mid-size, and you will find them featured in both the men’s and women’s ranges.

The archives of course are filled with the real gems, drawn from Rolex’s long and illustrious history.

Below, we’ll take a look at some of the exceptional 36mm watches in the lineup.

The Rolex Datejust

With perhaps the exception of the Submariner, the Datejust is most often the first watch that springs to mind when people hear the name Rolex.

A rock-solid mainstay in the collection since its launch in 1945, it stuck faithfully to its 36mm dimensions all the way up until 2009, when it finally bowed to convention and was joined by a 41mm sibling called, unsurprisingly, the Datejust II.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Datejust Silver 16200

Yet, while many appreciated the bump up in size, Rolex also decided to enlarge the hour indexes and the thickness of the bezel, leaving the Datejust II without the elegantly balanced proportions of the original.

Consequently, it was a rather short-lived outing, and was replaced a few years later with the Datejust 41, the same size on paper but with a return to the trademark graceful lines of the original.

With an unbroken production run stretching back now over 70 years, there are an extraordinary number of 36mm Datejusts available on the pre-owned and vintage market. It is the watch that has acted as a test bed for a host of Rolex’s innovations and has been constructed in as many different combinations of metal, dial, bezel type and bracelet as there are grains of sand on the beach.

It remains one of the brand’s top sellers, and the bewildering range of styles, coupled with the understated dimensions, make it at least as popular as a ladies watch as a man’s.

There is something about the design of the Datejust that grants it entry into just about anywhere, regardless of whatever particular configuration it comes in. Whether it is an unassuming steel monochrome or a diamond-accented yellow gold, it never seems either underdressed nor ostentatious.

A model that no Rolex collection is complete without, and the one that first put the brand on the map, the 36mm Datejust is a slice of horologic perfection.

The Rolex Day-Date

The watch that stole the flagship crown from the Datejust just 11 years into its run has mirrored much of its progression over the subsequent decades.

Available exclusively as a 36mm piece for the majority of its time to date, the President was also given a badly-received 41mm companion in 2008. The Day-Date II suffered from the same downfalls that afflicted the Datejust II a year later—namely the once refined styling elements made to look chunky and workmanlike. And, again like the Datejust II, it didn’t hang around very long before being displaced.

Mens Rolex 18K Gold Day-Date President Champagne 18238

The Day-Date 40 emerged in 2015 with its proportions restored to their best and sitting on a slightly smaller 40mm case.

Regardless of its size, the President has always been an unashamedly elitist creation, only ever made from the finest precious metals—all three of Rolex’s favored gold varieties along with the shimmering white of pure platinum. Consequently, its higher buy-in price has long made it the more exclusive option; a watch that represents the ultimate in aspiration and achievement.

Also similarly to the Datejust, the Day-Date has a real chameleonic quality. While it has never been sullied by anything as commonplace as stainless steel, not even in a Rolesor half and half version, it has almost matched the diversity of its older stable mate. It is a watch for those who have reached the pinnacle of any profession; whether they are the commander-in-chief, the chairman of the board or a top sports star, musician or actor.

Subsequently, its range of styles runs the gamut—the white gold and platinum pieces make a more lustrous alternative to steel, while still keeping an under-the-radar wrist presence welcomed in any boardroom. For those who are comfortable performing center stage, the President can equal just about any level of flamboyance, with jewel-encrusted surfaces or the retina-threatening luridness of the Stella dials.

Less humble than the Datejust but just as emblematic, the Day-Date is another watch from the old school that remains as beloved as ever.

The Rolex Oysterquartz

Rolex’s brief foray into the murky world of quartz technology left us with two pieces based on the previous pair of watches we’ve looked at here, which demonstrate an interesting point about case sizes.

The Oysterquartz Datejust and Day-Date are 36mm models which wear far larger than their numbers would suggest.

The quintessentially 70s style integrated bracelet on both gives them the appearance of being much bigger watches. It is a common optical illusion manufacturers have often used to give their designs more impact without actually increasing the size and it’s an effect that can be created with a number of elements.

Mens Rolex Two-Tone Oysterquartz Datejust Gold Champagne 17013

Rolex’s latest iterations of the Submariner and Explorer II, for example, have what is called a Maxi case—still the time-honored 40mm diameter but made to look bigger by beefing up the lugs and winding crown. Enlarging the size of the hands and hour markers has a similar effect, another technique Rolex use which they call the Maxi dial. With bracelets, a leather strap slims down a watch’s look, while the nature of metal will always make it seem larger and heavier, and one that is incorporated directly into the case will appear bigger still.

For the Oysterquartz watches, their pointed, angular facade was perfect, both to highlight the cutting-edge qualities of the technology within as well as to offer a complete visual separation from their mechanical namesakes.

Released in 1977, they were Rolex’s reluctant answer to the quartz crisis that was decimating the Swiss luxury watch industry all around them. Very much a product of their time styling-wise, inside, the quartz calibers were so overly engineered, in a way only Rolex can manage, that even today they still rank as some of the most accurate movements ever made.

In recent years, with the rise in popularity of both vintage Rolex and larger watch sizes, the Oysterquartz Day-Date and Datejust are enjoying a resurgence. There seems to be a mini seventies revival occurring, with even a root beer-inspired bezel cropping up on the latest GMT-Master II.

The quartz-driven Rolexes offer a quirky and surprisingly affordable alternative to the more obvious brand choices, with a healthy dash of nostalgia thrown in.

A 36mm watch was the ideal male standard for several generations, and is still the best choice for those with smaller wrists.

These days they complement just as many female outfits, and some credit the fact that more women started to wear 36mm pieces as the driving force behind the massive increase in men’s watch sizes.

Regardless, with Rolex’s colossal back catalog of models in the range, there is a 36mm piece to suit every taste.

The post The 36mm Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-36mm-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
Future Classics: GMT-Master ref. 1675 https://beckertime.com/blog/future-classics-gmt-master-ref-1675/ https://beckertime.com/blog/future-classics-gmt-master-ref-1675/#respond Wed, 20 Jun 2018 12:56:34 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178761 As with pretty much any innovation, a brand new product rarely hits the ground running. A manufacturer can test and retest their latest creation for only so long before they have to release it out into the wild and let its intended audience decide on its effectiveness and desirability. Rolex is no different, and watches […]

The post Future Classics: GMT-Master ref. 1675 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
As with pretty much any innovation, a brand new product rarely hits the ground running. A manufacturer can test and retest their latest creation for only so long before they have to release it out into the wild and let its intended audience decide on its effectiveness and desirability.

Rolex is no different, and watches which now stand at the pinnacle of what can be achieved in terms of design and engineering prowess didn’t just arrive there by luck or magic. They are the result of a never-ending dedication to incremental progress, stretching sometimes over generations.

However, with some of the brand’s biggest names, there is often one reference you can look to where you can say, this is the point at which they perfected the basics, and everything that followed is building on that essential blueprint.

For the Submariner, there’s an argument for that model being either the ref. 5512, which saw the introduction of crown guards, or even the ref. 1680 which brought us its first date function. With the Daytona, it might well be the ref. 16520 and the debut of an automatic Zenith movement bringing some self-winding convenience to the famous chronograph.

As for Rolex’s iconic pilot’s watch, the GMT-Master, the model that formed the underlying architecture for every iteration that followed was the ref. 1675 launched in 1959.

In For the Long Haul

One measure of the success of a design is the length of time it remains in production, and the ref. 1675 had an incredible run of some 21 years.

Unlike other Rolex big hitters, such as the Sub, which went through nearly a dozen tweaks and different reference numbers before landing on the ref. 5512 early in its career, the ref. 1675 was only the second version of the GMT-Master, taking over from the original, the ref. 6542.

Rolex GMT-Master 6542

A popular watch from the outset, and one that had been around for five years when it was superseded, the ref. 6542 had first put the piece on the map, even finding its way on to the wrist of James Bond’s easily swayed female adversary in Goldfinger. Known for eternity as the Pussy Galore (stop sniggering at the back), it had set an impressive benchmark for those that came after, but the fragility of its Bakelite bezel proved its downfall. Examples sent in for servicing post-1956 were returned with an aluminum replacement, one that didn’t crack in the heat or have numerals filled with Radium, the harmful effects of which were just becoming known.

The movement too was due an overhaul. Rolex had swapped and changed the caliber inside the 6542 three times in its short reign; the Cal. 1036, Cal 1065 and Cal. 1066. With the release of the ref. 1675, they introduced their legendary 1500 series to the range. Launched initially with the Cal. 1565, it earned the new watch the right to include the Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified text on its dial for the first time, having passed the stringent tests for accuracy laid down by Switzerland’s COSC.

The 18,000vph caliber was itself surpassed in 1965 by the updated Cal. 1575, bringing with it a swifter frequency of 19,600vph and, a few years later, a hacking function.

External Changes (and that bezel)

Any Rolex watch that stays in production for two decades is going to have all manner of tiny variations to its theme, whether intentional or not. Some are noticeable immediately, others take some looking for, but none of them are major enough to warrant updating the reference number.

Rolex GMT-Master 1675

With the ref. 1675, there are a host of alterations and revisions that can be used to date a particular example with, obviously, the older and rarer versions commanding the higher resale prices.

By the time of its introduction in 1959, the practicality of crown guards had been realized and the new GMT-Master was fitted with the same style of protective shoulders as its counterpart the Submariner. Nicknamed El Cornino, due to their resemblance to a pair of horns, they were phased out on both the GMT and its underwater cousin by 1965 to make way for the more rounded versions we are used to seeing today.

The dials, too, went through a series of different types in the first five years of production, before settling down somewhat after 1964. In the archives, if you’re lucky, you will find chapter ring dials, Swiss dials, the incredibly rare double Swiss and underline dials, along with the exclamation mark dials signifying the reduced use of Radium on the hour markers.

After the first few years, Rolex replaced the gilt faces with matte due to the complex process of producing the glossy version, as well as endowing the ref. 1675 with a thicker, more robust case—underlying its tool watch credentials.

The hands too changed during its run; or rather, the red GMT hand shifted in size, from a small, arrow-tipped version in the beginning to a significantly larger one as the later, matte dial types were introduced, all in an effort to make the globetrotters friend as legible as possible.

Pepsi Vs. Root Beer

But these details aside, any GMT-Master is all about the bezel. The two-tone color scheme was adopted from the very beginning, a practical as well as aesthetic detail, with the original red and blue, or Pepsi, livery being used to help travelers visualize whether they were going to be landing in the daytime or at night.

Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Root Beer

The brilliantly simple and elegant solution also sets the watch apart from not only its own stable mates but anything else available to buy from any other manufacturer as well.

It was the element that identified the GMT from across a crowded room and had been responsible for much of the model’s success and, even today, makes it one of the most recognizable watches in the world.

Yet Rolex outfitted their aviator’s companion with a number of other surrounds during its lifetime. In the early seventies, an all yellow gold version with a completely black bezel was released—an odd decision, as it not only missed the point of the bi-color border but also made the GMT almost indistinguishable from the gold Submariner at first glance.

There was, similarly, the option of a solid blue bezel, nicknamed the Blueberry, but your only real chance of obtaining one of these staggeringly rare beasts was to either order one specially through the likes of Tiffany or Cartier, or be a serving member in the French or UAE Air Force.

Much easier to get your hands on, if it was to your taste, was the Root Beer. Introduced early in the run, around 1963, it occupied the middle ground between the utilitarian steel and the opulent gold examples; a two-tone yellow Rolesor creation with an unusual, and polarizing, brown bezel and dial.

One you either loved or hated, it, like Steve McQueen’s Explorer and Paul Newman’s Daytona that preceded it, claimed its own slice of Hollywood patronage when Clint Eastwood wore one in several of his starring roles. Eagle-eyed viewers can spot it on his wrist in movies from Firefox through to In The Line of Fire.

Opinion dividing though it was, the color scheme persevered past the ref. 1675’s run and was still available until the late nineties on its replacement, the ref. 16753. Also featuring an all brown bezel to begin with, the later reference eventually sported a split toned brown and gold.

One immediately noticeable difference between the ref. 1675 Root Beer and its subsequent version is in the earlier piece’s hour markers. Known as the ‘nipple dials’, the indexes are formed of small cone-shaped points, topped with a spot of lume.

Buying a GMT-Master ref. 1675

A popular watch with a long life span equals a lot of models to choose from on the pre-owned market and, while certainly not cheap, a good example of this iconic piece with a Pepsi bezel can still be surprisingly attainable.

Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Pepsi

As is the way with vintage Rolex, and the cyclical nature of things in general, the initially far less popular Root Beer versions are fast becoming highly sought after, as fans look to shake up their collections with the rare and unusual.

From the very start right through to the present day, the GMT-Master series has been one of Rolex’s most prominent success stories; a watch born out of necessity that has gone on to become a legend.

The ref. 1675 is an enduring masterpiece in the brand’s lineup and an attainable gateway into the world of vintage Rolex.

The post Future Classics: GMT-Master ref. 1675 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/future-classics-gmt-master-ref-1675/feed/ 0
Blooper Reel: The “Wrong” Rolex Watches in Hollywood Movies https://beckertime.com/blog/blooper-reel-the-wrong-rolex-watches-in-hollywood-movies/ https://beckertime.com/blog/blooper-reel-the-wrong-rolex-watches-in-hollywood-movies/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:30:07 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181789 If you’re anything like us, you’ll be the first in the room to spot a Rolex watch in a movie. I have this annoying habit of yelling out the model and/or reference number of any Rolex I’ll see on screen, much to the chagrin of anyone sitting next to me! But sometimes, Hollywood, despite their […]

The post Blooper Reel: The “Wrong” Rolex Watches in Hollywood Movies appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
If you’re anything like us, you’ll be the first in the room to spot a Rolex watch in a movie. I have this annoying habit of yelling out the model and/or reference number of any Rolex I’ll see on screen, much to the chagrin of anyone sitting next to me! But sometimes, Hollywood, despite their big budgets and professional prop masters, will get it wrong. Here are three examples where the Rolex watch on screen had no business being there.

The Rolex Watch in American Hustle

The Rolex Watch in American Hustle
Photo: Watches in Movies

Released in 2013, American Hustle is a movie loosely based on the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and early 1980s where a pair of con artists is forced to work with law enforcement. It has an impressive cast of actors including Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence. Despite its ten Oscar nominations, there’s one glaring mistake we can’t overlook.

In the movie, FBI agent Stoddard Thorsen (played by actor Louis C.K. who wears a steel Submariner in real life given to him by comedian Chris Rock) rocks a full gold GMT-Master II ref. 116718LN. Never mind that it’s hard to believe that an FBI agent can afford a watch like that on his salary, but this particular GMT-Master II with a Cerachrom ceramic bezel wasn’t introduced until 2005—several decades after this movie takes place!

The Rolex Watch in Argo

The Rolex Watch in Argo
Photo: Watches in Movies

Based on a true story and directed by Ben Affleck, the 2012 movie Argo tells the tale of how six Americans managed to avoid capture when Iranian activists stormed the American embassy in 1979. The band of six hid in the home of the Canadian ambassador while waiting for a plan from the CIA to get them out of Iran without being caught. The man in charge of the mission was CIA operative Tony Mendez, played by Affleck.

While the movie is thoroughly gripping and went on to win three Oscars that year including one for Best Picture, we couldn’t help but notice the obvious mishap on Affleck’s wrist. His character, Tony Mendez, was clearly wearing the Rolex Deepsea ref. 116660. Although a fantastic watch, this hefty DSSD dive watch didn’t come out until 2008. That’s almost 30 years after the Iran hostage crisis began.

The Rolex Watch in The Big Short

The Rolex Watch in The Big Short
Photo: Watches in Movies

The Big Short movie is also based on real-world events, but this time about more recent ones. In 2005, hedge fund manager Michael Blurry, played by Christian Bale in the movie, recognizes that the American housing market is headed for some troubling times and bets against it for profit. Another character that made big money betting against the market was Mark Baum (based on the real-life hedge fund manager Steven Eisman), portrayed by actor Steve Carell.

Although the movie manages to explain complex financial structures in an easy-to-understand manner, there’s a slight wristwatch detail the crew missed. And we’re not talking about Anthony Bourdain’s sleek stainless steel Datejust with the blue dial that he’s wearing when he compares the financial markets to rotten fish—that one is fine. As is the Oysterquartz we also spotted in the movie. We’re talking about Steve Carell’s Submariner ref. 116610 with the black Cerachrom ceramic bezel. As many of you know may know, Rolex launched that particular Sub in 2010—a few years after the crash.

With all the moving parts it takes to make a great film, a seemingly small detail like a watch can get overlooked. However, if anyone over at Hollywood needs a Rolex expert to consult on what watches would be appropriate to star on screen, the team at BeckerTime would be more than happy to help!

The post Blooper Reel: The “Wrong” Rolex Watches in Hollywood Movies appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/blooper-reel-the-wrong-rolex-watches-in-hollywood-movies/feed/ 0
What’s the Difference? The Rolex Men’s Oyster Perpetual Vs. The Rolex Air-King https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-mens-oyster-perpetual-vs-the-rolex-air-king/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-mens-oyster-perpetual-vs-the-rolex-air-king/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:28:57 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=179761 What’s in a name? With the exception of their super dressy Cellini range, every model in the Rolex lineup is an Oyster Perpetual. Although we all know them better as, say, the Submariner or the Datejust, if we were going to give them their completely correct title, we should be calling them the Oyster Perpetual […]

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Men’s Oyster Perpetual Vs. The Rolex Air-King appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
What’s in a name? With the exception of their super dressy Cellini range, every model in the Rolex lineup is an Oyster Perpetual.

Although we all know them better as, say, the Submariner or the Datejust, if we were going to give them their completely correct title, we should be calling them the Oyster Perpetual Submariner or the Oyster Perpetual Datejust.

Of course, that’s a bit of a mouthful, hence why they are always shortened. But the omitted words are actually the absolute essence of Rolex itself, and possibly the two most important words in watchmaking history.

They denote the two groundbreaking achievements the company made in its very earliest days, innovations that turned wristwatches from ladies decorative accouterments into acceptably robust accessories for even the most masculine of men.

Oyster Perpetuals

Oyster refers to the famous waterproof Oyster case developed by Rolex in the 1920s. Building on their own Hermetic system, they became the first to introduce the idea of housing the watch’s delicate movement inside an impenetrable shell, formed by screwing down the bezel, case back and winding crown against a solid middle section. In a stroke, this one invention revolutionized how watches were viewed by the public. What were once fragile pieces of jewelry were now suddenly resilient enough to withstand previously unthinkable levels of use.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ref. 1007 34mm

Then, less than a decade later, the final obstacle in defeating the ubiquitous pocket watch was overcome when Rolex introduced their first self-winding caliber. Powered by nothing more than the movement of the wearer’s wrist, it brought an entirely new level of convenience—and they called it the Perpetual movement.

So there we have it, Oyster Perpetual.

Over the years and decades that followed, the range has grown to incorporate the individual models that we know today, but every one of the automatic, waterproof watches launched by the brand has worn the two words somewhere on their dial.

However, there has always been a separate series known simply as the Oyster Perpetual. Traditionally the most basic, three-hand, no-date watches it is possible to make, they have long been regarded as the entry-level Rolex.

Simplicity Itself

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Oyster Perpetual Silver Arabic 116000

Not to be confused with the Oyster Date series, the Oyster Perpetual range has been with us in one form or another for generations. Sir Malcolm Campbell wore an Oyster Perpetual when he broke handfuls of world speed records in the 1930s. It was an Oyster Perpetual that first saw the top of Mount Everest from Sir Edmund Hillary’s wrist, a model that developed into the original Explorer.

For most of its life, the men’s version has retained its 34mm dimensions, considered the ideal size until relatively recently. Today, while the 34mm is still available, that and the bigger 36mm editions are listed under both the men’s and women’s pages on the Rolex website. As modern tastes have evolved, women have started wearing larger watches, and the 39mm piece released in 2016 is now the one targeted exclusively at a male audience.

Throughout its run, the Oyster Perpetual has been forged from every flavor of gold, as well as in Rolex’s own two-tone Rolesor. However, the contemporary range, underlining its reputation for stark simplicity, only comes in 904L stainless steel.

Into the Archives

With an incredibly long history of unbroken production behind it, there are examples of the Oyster Perpetual to suit almost every taste available on the vintage market. Yet, as it has generally been seen as the ideal choice for people searching out that ‘one good watch’ that will last a lifetime and be passed down as a family heirloom, rather than just another piece to add to a collection, it has always retained an air of understated luxury. Unlike the more flamboyant versions of the Datejust, you won’t find many diamond-encrusted bezels or hour markers, at least in the men’s collection.

Instead, the Oyster Perpetual flies very much under the radar—the perfect embodiment of everything a fine watch should be, and nothing else.

The Rolex Air-King

The Air-King story officially starts at the end of WWII. Pilots from the British RAF had been fans of Rolex’s Oyster Perpetuals from the mid 1930s, preferring their larger dials over the standard government issue watches of the day, often buying them out of their own pockets.

Following their incredible heroism during the Battle of Britain, Rolex’s owner Hans Wilsdorf decided to pay tribute to the men with a range of aviation-themed models with names like Air-Tiger, Air-Lion, Air-Giant and, eventually, the Air-King.

By 1945, only the Air-King was still being made, a three-hand, time-only piece that would stay in production for a further seven decades.

Cult Favorite

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Air-King Silver 5500

Its early years saw it go through a number of short-lived references as refinements were made to the design until, in 1957, the ref. 5500 emerged. One of the cleanest and simplest watches the brand has ever brought out, the ref. 5500 went virtually unchanged for a total of 37 years.

During that incredible run it was fitted with two different movements, the Cal. 1520 and Cal. 1530. With both calibers being non-COSC rated, the dials on the earlier 1520 examples were marked either ‘Precision’ or would have no text at all, while the 1530s were designated ‘Super Precision’.

By the end of its term, the ref. 5500 had been upgraded with a number of dial variations, with Arabic numerals, baton indexes and particularly the Explorer-esque 3/6/9 version proving especially popular.

Modern Day Air-King

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Air-King Salmon Arabic 114200

Following a couple more modernizations throughout the nineties and into the new millennium, the Air-King received what, for it, was a major reworking with the ref. 1142XX series in 2007.

Given the same dimensions but granted a slightly thicker case to add some bulk, it was topped by a concentric dial and was set on a new machined Oyster bracelet. Originally issued with an engine-turned bezel, that was swiftly discontinued and replaced with the choice of the standard smooth surround or a more luxurious white gold fluted option. And, with the caliber 3130 beating away inside, the Air-King finally won COSC certification.

However despite its legendary name and faultless heritage, in 2014, Rolex decided to pull the plug on one of their longest-serving offerings, with many believing that was that for the warrior’s watch.

The ref. 116900

Just two short years later, in an apparent fit of nostalgia, an all-new Air-King made its triumphant return.

Rolex Air-King Ref. 116900

Mixing modern tastes with some healthy nods to the past, its 40mm dimensions makes it the largest example of the watch yet. It is also far thicker than previous iterations due to it actually having two cases—the outer case and a soft iron inner case, that shields the movement from the harmful effects of magnetic fields.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a trick it learned from the Milgauss, a model principally aimed at scientists and engineers. The two share both a casing style and a mechanism, the Cal. 3131.

The dial itself is straight out of the 1940s military, with numerals every five minutes as well as the Explorer’s larger 3, 6 and 9 at its poles. The Air-King signature is an exact replica of the earliest examples from the range and it is also the first ever Rolex to have the crown logo and brand name in two different colors.

Blasts From the Past

We are now in the unusual situation where the modern day Oyster Perpetual watches look very similar to vintage Air-Kings, while the contemporary Air-King is more like the bigger brother of the latest Explorer.

All three are examples of what Rolex has always done best, and better than just about any other manufacturer—the kind of unassuming yet achingly stylish timepieces that can be worn literally anywhere, with anything.

While the likes of the Submariner, the Daytona or any of the other famous names may grab all the headlines, they all owe a debt to these simple core offerings—the perfect gateway into the world of Rolex.

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Men’s Oyster Perpetual Vs. The Rolex Air-King appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-mens-oyster-perpetual-vs-the-rolex-air-king/feed/ 0
Top Tennis Players and Their Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/top-tennis-players-and-their-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/top-tennis-players-and-their-rolex-watches/#respond Mon, 18 Jun 2018 19:38:27 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182121 The French Open Grand Slam recently wrapped up and the Wimbledon Championships are just a few months away. That got us thinking about the top tennis players and Rolex watches they choose to wear. Rolex is a big supporter of tennis. In fact, this year marks 40 years of the watchmaker’s involvement in the sport. […]

The post Top Tennis Players and Their Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

The French Open Grand Slam recently wrapped up and the Wimbledon Championships are just a few months away. That got us thinking about the top tennis players and Rolex watches they choose to wear. Rolex is a big supporter of tennis. In fact, this year marks 40 years of the watchmaker’s involvement in the sport. The brand is not just a sponsor of large-scale events like the Australian Open and Wimbledon, but also boasts a large roster of tennis players as brand ambassadors. From the best tennis player in the sport’s history, Roger Federer, to young pros like Dominic Thiem. Here’s a list of the top tennis players and Rolex watches that they choose to wear.

Roger Federer’s Rolex Watches

The Swiss tennis legend has been part of the Rolex family since 2006. So, it’s easy to see that the relationship is a perfect match. Both hailing from Switzerland and both masters of their craft, the Roger and Rolex partnership can’t be beat.

Love is in the air down under😜🇦🇺#RF20

A post shared by Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) on

As expected, over the last two decades, Roger Federer has been spotted wearing some of the greatest watches from Rolex. We can only imagine how fantastic his personal watch collection is. These days, Roger Federer is partial to the new stainless steel Sky-Dweller with the blue dial. The 42mm sized case is perfect for his wrist, while the annual calendar functionality must come in handy during his frequent global travels.

Love this look 🎾😍❤😎 #federer #atpworldtour #rogerfederer #nike

A post shared by Roger Federer is the G.O.A.T (@rogerfedererocks) on

We have also seen Roger Federer wear other Rolex watches. These include the stainless steel and ceramic Daytona, a rose gold Daytona, the stainless steel GMT-Master II “Batman,” and a two-tone Datejust 40 with the so-called “Wimbledon” dial. The champ even has a 1981 vintage Daytona 6263, which he received on his 30th birthday—an incredible birth year watch, indeed.

Fun fact: Roger’s wife, Mirka Federer, is often photographed with a Rolex watch on her wrist. Her watches include the incredible platinum Day-Date President with an emerald bezel and diamond pavé dial, and also includes the colorful Everose Yacht-Master 40 with the rainbow sapphire bezel.

Milos Raonic’s Rolex Watches

Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic just announced his withdrawal from the French Open due to an injury. However, he has plenty of fans hoping for a swift return to the courts—perhaps as soon as Wimbledon.

The current Rolex watch of choice for the 27-year-old pro? The ever-popular stainless steel Daytona with the black Cerachrom ceramic bezel. Milos Raonic’s particular model has a white dial. This is also known as the Panda Dial. Aside from the super sporty Rolex chronograph, we have also seen Milos Raonic wearing an Everose rose gold Yacht-Master 40 with a black Oysterflex bracelet and a dressier two-tone Datejust watch.

Dominic Thiem’s Rolex Watches

Currently ranked #8, Austrian tennis player Dominic Thiem made headlines a couple of weeks ago when he defeated Rafael “The King of Clay” Nadal in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open. Now, all eyes are on Dominic Thiem to see how he’ll progress in his career.

On his wrist, Dominic Thiem sports the (naturally) stainless steel and ceramic Daytona chronograph—a favorite among tennis players it seems! However, unlike his colleague Milos, Dominic Thiem’s ceramic Daytona includes a sleek black dial rather than the crisp white one. We’ve also seen Dominic Thiem wearing a stainless steel Submariner, also with a black dial and black ceramic bezel.

Caroline Wozniacki’s Rolex Watch

Cinching her first Grand Slam title just this year at the Australian Open and currently ranked No. 2 singles player on the WTA tour, 2018 is shaping up to be a good year for Caroline Wozniacki. The immensely talented Danish tennis player is now also hoping to grab a few more Grand Slams this season.

When Caroline Wozniacki proudly kissed her Australian Open trophy, we couldn’t help but notice her sumptuous platinum and diamond-set Daytona chronograph gleaming from her wrist. That’s one seriously luxurious Rolex watch and a gorgeous example of a woman wearing a so-called man’s Rolex watch.

With two more tennis Grand Slam tournaments set to take place this year—Wimbledon and US Open—we’ll be rooting for a victory from any of the Rolex tennis ambassadors. Maybe then, we’ll see the new stainless steel GMT-Master II Pepsi with the Jubilee bracelet make an appearance alongside a tennis trophy.

The post Top Tennis Players and Their Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/top-tennis-players-and-their-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
MidSize Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/mid-size-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/mid-size-rolex-watches/#respond Mon, 18 Jun 2018 19:34:08 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180712 To Make Sure You Get The Size Right Making sure your watch is the right size for your wrist is one of the most important parts of the whole buying process. However, it is one that is often overlooked. It is even more critical today, with the recent trend for large pieces. But, getting it […]

The post MidSize Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
To Make Sure You Get The Size Right

Making sure your watch is the right size for your wrist is one of the most important parts of the whole buying process. However, it is one that is often overlooked.

It is even more critical today, with the recent trend for large pieces. But, getting it wrong can seriously detract from an otherwise great look.

Wearing a model that is too small can leave you looking like you are wearing a child’s watch by mistake. Too big, and you risk coming across as a goodfella.

Of course, two different watches that are technically the same size can wear bigger or smaller due to a number of factors, such as the relative dimensions of elements like the lugs, the crown or pushers, if it has them. The type of material it’s made from can also have an effect; a rose gold watch, for instance, will generally look smaller than a yellow or white gold one as the color of the metal tends to blend in slightly with skin tones. Even the choice of band can influence the appearance of size, with a leather strap making the whole watch appear slimmer and lighter than the same piece on a metal bracelet.

Midsize Rolex Watches For Those In The Middle

Lately, the line between what constitutes a ladies watch and a man’s watch has become decidedly blurred. While anything below 30mm still falls very much into the female category, more and more women are wearing a range of sizes traditionally aimed at a male audience.

A 36mm piece, once the upper limit then the standard for men’s watches, is now seen as being on the small side for men and an ideal size for a ladies model.

Even larger pieces, such as that most manly of chronographs, the 40mm Daytona, have been spotted on A-list female wrists. Rihanna, Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Anniston are all fans.

But what about those people who are right in the middle? Men with small to medium size wrists, or women after something with a little more presence than the delicately conventional, but not as outright masculine as a Daytona or a Sub.

Rolex have bridged the gap with several of the offerings in their lineup, releasing models with a true unisex appeal.

Below we’ll take a look at some of our favorites.

The Rolex Datejust 31mm

Although not officially fitted with the ‘Lady-Datejust’ label like the current 28mm piece, the 31mm Datejust has always been aimed specifically at women. In fact, ‘the men’s watch women prefer’ was the tag line from one of Rolex’s more recent advertising campaigns about this specifically sized watch.

As a family, the Datejust has enjoyed one of the longest unbroken production runs of any of the models in the brand’s history. Reaching all the way back to 1945, it has been a mainstay in the collection; once a true innovator and now almost a trademark of the company as a whole.

Pre Owned Mid Size Rolex Two-Tone Datejust with a Gold Champagne Dial 68273

The 31mm version is just one of five different sizes available for the Datejust. The smallest 26mm sprouted a couple of millimeters in 2016. But, the range grew at the other end as well with the introduction of a once unthinkable 41mm piece. In between lies the ubiquitous 36mm. This is the first iteration’s size and the one that put the watch on the map, along with a 34mm variant. This is called the Date rather than the Datejust—essentially the same watch but made almost exclusively in steel rather than precious metals (I know, it gets confusing).

The Average Watch Size Has Grown

As average watch sizes have grown over the years, the 31mm example has gone from being considered a mid-size in vintage collector circles to being described as small in the current catalog. It all really seems to depend on your own interpretation.

One thing that has never changed is the quality and attention to detail, as well as the sheer scale of choice, in the Datejust range.

It is the watch designed to appeal to literally everyone, with a model out there somewhere amongst the countless different variations that matches any taste.

During its 73-year history, it has been made in every possible combination of metal, bracelet, dial and bezel; from the subtly understated to the grandstanding showcase. It can be worn as the casual daily beater or the extravagant centerpiece, and everything in-between.

For many, it is the only Rolex they will ever want or need. For others, it can mark the start of an obsessive collection.

As a ladies watch, the 31mm model may be the perfect every day companion, offering more versatility than the next size up or down. It is an always elegant timepiece that can go from office to after party without breaking stride.

Whether its festooned with diamonds or unassumingly low-key, no one in a Datejust has ever been over or underdressed.

The Yacht-Master 35mm

On its release in 1992, the Yacht-Master brought with it a small handful of firsts.

It was the first all-new creation to emerge from Rolex in nearly 30 years. It also debuted a new metal combination—stainless steel and platinum, dubbed Rolesium in Rolex-ese. And it became the first of the brand’s sports watches to be offered in a choice of three sizes.

Splitting the difference between the full 40mm men’s model and the 29mm ladies watch, a 35mm example surfaced in 1994 to entice the middle ground.

Mid Size Rolex Stainless Steel & Platinum Yacht-Master 168622

Originally meant to be a complete reworking of the omnipresent Submariner,  the Yacht-Master was eventually launched as its own entity. It was a more luxurious nautically-themed offering than the rough and ready diver’s watch. However, the two pieces have more similarities than they do differences.

The copy/paste styling gave the pair identical dial layouts and hands, as well as a shared movement. The iconic bezel remains the most instantly recognizable feature on both. Although, the Yacht-Master’s surround is bi-directional. Also, it’s only been forged from either precious metal or Cerachrom in the contemporary series. And where the Sub’s markings are engraved, the skipper’s watch has them embossed and raised from the surface.

Other than that, the tracing paper designers at Rolex softened the Yacht-Master’s lines a little. And, with its water resistance reduced to 100m rather than the Submariner’s 300m, they were able to give its case a flatter underbelly that sits more comfortably on the wrist.

For Men Or Women

The 35mm version is one that can genuinely be worn by men or women. It’s also issued in a number of options. Alongside the Rolesium examples, all yellow gold and Rolesor models were also released. They came with a number of different dial colors—with white, silver, blue and mother-of-pearl among them.

Today, the midsize and ladies Yacht-Masters have been retired. However the 37mm piece is taking the place of both beside the 40mm men’s model. That means the vintage and pre-owned market is the only place to find them, and they remain surprisingly attainable.

For a watch with as much pedigree, and with as much weight in precious metal, the 35mm Yacht-Master represents a great buy and a strong investment. There are finite quantities of it left still out there. This means prices are only going to go one way over time.

An opulent reimagining of one of the all-time design classics, the Yacht-Master is built for a life of lavish indulgence.

The midsize Rolex is a welcome and often necessary addition to the range. Especially from a brand that recognizes the importance of getting every single detail absolutely right.

As a ladies watch, is gives just a little more presence than the traditional sizes. For men, it can give the perfect fit when modern trends leave them with just too much watch going on under a sleeve.

At Beckertime, we have a wide range of midsize Rolex watches in our online store. Swing by and find your next favorite timepiece.

The post MidSize Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/mid-size-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
White Gold Rolex https://beckertime.com/blog/white-gold-rolex/ https://beckertime.com/blog/white-gold-rolex/#respond Thu, 14 Jun 2018 21:00:58 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181077 There’s something very appealing about the personality of white gold. As valuable and costly as its yellow or pink siblings, white gold downplays its precious metal character, looking to the uninitiated almost exactly like stainless steel. That means any pieces of jewelry, and watches in particular, made in white gold are typically worn by people […]

The post White Gold Rolex appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
There’s something very appealing about the personality of white gold.

As valuable and costly as its yellow or pink siblings, white gold downplays its precious metal character, looking to the uninitiated almost exactly like stainless steel.

That means any pieces of jewelry, and watches in particular, made in white gold are typically worn by people completely comfortable in their own skin; those who can afford the very best, but who feel no need to shout about it. Class acts, in other words.

Rolex has been using the metal in their designs for decades, and even have their own foundry in the Plan-les-Ouates base in Geneva where they forge a proprietary 18k alloy.

Unlike practically every other manufacturer in the industry, Rolex do not rhodium-plate their white gold to ensure its luster. Instead, they add a palladium/silver mix that keeps it looking radiant, long after the electroplating of lesser pieces has started to wear off, revealing the yellow metal underneath. Rolex white gold stays white.

Here at Beckertime, we have a wide selection of some of the brand’s most timeless models available in the shimmering beauty of white gold.

Below, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites.

The Rolex Daytona

Although white gold is an obvious, if understated, choice for a dress watch collection, using the metal as the basis for any of Rolex’s extensive professional timepieces seems like something of a contradiction.

While it may have the appearance of ultra tough steel, gold is by nature a soft metal, not up to the rigors of a life spent underwater, competing in sailing regattas or timing laps in an endurance race car event.

Nevertheless, the Daytona has had a gold option for many years. The original series received a very limited number of yellow gold references, but it wasn’t until the second generation emerged in the late eighties that the world’s most popular chronograph adopted a white gold façade, in the ref. 16519.

Mens Rolex Daytona White Gold Ref. 16519

It was the final step in taking the watch away from its tool-like origins and planting it squarely in status symbol territory.

Suddenly, the ugly duckling that couldn’t even be given away for the first quarter century of its existence was instantly the most sought after, waiting list-building creation in horology-land.

It wasn’t all down to its new shiny white suit of course. The biggest driver of all this incredible success was, fittingly for a track day watch, a change of engine. The manually-wound Valjoux movement which had powered the Daytona since 1963 was banished in favor of the self-winding El Primero caliber from Swiss ébauche manufacturer Zenith. Rechristened the Cal. 4030 by the time Rolex’s engineers had stripped it to the bone and rebuilt it to their own specs, it was the catalyst for everything that came after.

Today, the Daytona is still the mechanical chronograph by which all others are judged. That first Zenith-powered white gold example became available in several different dial colors and with various diamond and ruby accented elements, spreading its appeal far and wide.

The current range has been supplemented even more, with white gold pieces topped with Cerachrom as well as metal bezels, engraved with the renowned tachymeter scale, along with the option of a rubber Oysterflex bracelet to give it back some of its sporty pretentions.

Ironically, with the enormous demand for the modern steel Daytonas putting a hefty premium on their price on the pre-owned market, a white gold example can be had brand new for a relatively modest additional sum—almost identical in looks and without the inconvenience of waiting for your name to reach the top of a list.

A stunning watch in whatever guise it comes in, and supremely capable, the Rolex Daytona is an all-time classic of fine watchmaking.

The Rolex Day-Date

That most decadent of all Rolex offerings, a Day-Date in white gold is more about simple elegance rather than the overt grandiosity of a yellow or rose gold piece.

It is as close as you will get to seeing what the President would look like in stainless steel. The universally recognized symbol of success and achievement has only ever been forged from precious metals—there has never been so much as a Rolesor example to distract from all that luxury.

Mens Rolex Day-Date White Gold Ref. 118239

The Day-Date was released in 1956, instantly taking the flagship crown from the Datejust launched a little over ten years before. What, for Rolex, is a complicated watch, it became the first automatic timepiece ever made to display both the date and the day of the week written out in full.

Now into its seventh decade of unbroken production, it has carved out a place for itself as the ultimate in aspirational symbols. The great and the good, the famous and infamous have all worn a Rolex Day-Date.

It is the chameleonic nature of the watch that has won it such a diverse client base. With fans ranging from heads of state through to hip hop moguls, the President has catered to them all with a variety of styles so numerous they are impossible to count. Even the discreet nature of white gold can be granted look-at-me status when topped with extravagantly colored dials and gemstone-enhanced bezels. Rather than competing with each other, these dispirit elements work together, creating a balanced whole.

Perhaps the biggest selling point for the President is the unchanging nature of its design. Particularly in its traditional 36mm guise, an example from the 1970s looks almost indistinguishable from a modern day version straight from the Authorized Dealer. The major difference is in price. You can join that exalted club of owners with a surprisingly small outlay, and still be wearing one of the most iconic watches of them all.

Whether you embrace white gold’s low-key nature and pair your Day-Date with a neutral dial, or go all out for eye-catching, colorful flamboyance, there are enough versions out there waiting to suit every taste.

The Rolex Submariner

Another watch with the sort of character that doesn’t immediately seem to lend itself to the luxuriousness of white gold, the Submariner was originally the epitome of rough and tumble adventure companion.

Yet, while James Bond would certainly have baulked at it, the modern Sub is far more likely to be worn around a water cooler than on secret underwater missions.

Though yellow gold has long played a part in the Submariner story, a white gold version is a fairly recent occurrence, and it forms one of the most distinctive pieces in the whole range.

It actually followed on from a watch Rolex released to celebrate the Sub’s 50thanniversary. For the first time, they fitted a colored bezel to their all-conquering steel dive legend—a bright green surround that quickly earned it the nickname the Kermit.

Mens Rolex Submariner White Gold Ref. 116619LB

When Kermit proved himself a popular break from the monochrome norm, Rolex carried on the theme a few years later in 2008 when they brought out the white gold ref. 116619LB, with a stunning blue bezel and dial to match. Just as swiftly garnering its own unofficial handle, the Smurf, it has been a standout success for the already ludicrously popular icon.

It is the perfect example of white gold’s conflicting nature. Looking like the ultra tough steel you would expect to find in a watch capable of surviving a plunge to the depths, only the more well-informed brand experts recognize it as the more lavish version, thanks to its unique coloring.

Although it would be a rare person to use an 18k gold watch, of any flavor, as a dive timer, the Smurf is still very capable if needs be. In fact, more than most.

The royal blue bezel is now in Rolex’s proprietary Cerachrom, an unbreakable ceramic that won’t fade under exposure to either UV light or, crucially, seawater. The Triplock crown secures the Sub to 300m underwater and the Maxi dial, with its extra large lume plots on the hands and hour markers, gives the watch a superior legibility in low light.

The Oyster bracelet comes complete with the ingenious Glidelock system that allows it to be micro adjusted to fit securely over a wetsuit, and inside, the whole show is run by the legendary Cal. 3135—the impregnable workhorse that has been powering the best of the best for the last 30 years.

In all, there is nothing else quite like the Rolex Submariner. And for a touch of subtle one-upmanship, not as blatant as a yellow gold piece, the Smurf is hard to beat.

The post White Gold Rolex appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/white-gold-rolex/feed/ 0
Rolex Counts Down to the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans Race https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-counts-down-to-the-2018-24-hours-of-le-mans-race/ https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-counts-down-to-the-2018-24-hours-of-le-mans-race/#respond Thu, 14 Jun 2018 21:00:10 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=182060 Engines are revving for the start of the world’s most prestigious endurance motorsport event—24 Hours of Le Mans. It is slated to take place June 16 at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France. This epic endurance racing event will test the skills of the drivers and mechanics of the machines. Naturally, […]

The post Rolex Counts Down to the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans Race appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

Engines are revving for the start of the world’s most prestigious endurance motorsport event—24 Hours of Le Mans. It is slated to take place June 16 at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France. This epic endurance racing event will test the skills of the drivers and mechanics of the machines. Naturally, the Official Timekeeper of the event is none other than Rolex. While we wait for the race to start, let’s have a closer look at Rolex and 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Specifically, the Rolex Daytona chronograph and its relationship to motorsports.

The Rolex Daytona Chronograph

Rolex’s famous chronograph watch was built as a tool watch for motorsports. In fact, it takes its name from the speed capital of the world. Introduced in 1963, the Daytona has always been associated with car racing and even actor and racecar driver Paul Newman famously wore Daytona watches. Equipped with a chronograph function and a tachymetric scale bezel, the Daytona can easily measure average speeds up to 400 miles (or kilometers) per hour.

From Manual Models to Automatic Chronographs

Over the course of its history, the Daytona underwent three major “engine” changes. The first Daytona chronographs were hand-wound and ran on Valjoux-based manual mechanical movements. In 1988, Rolex did away with the manual Daytona models and introduced the automatic Daytona chronographs. This time, the famed Rolex chronographs were powered by Zenith El-Primero-based movements. Finally, in 2000, Rolex presented the newest crop of Daytona watches, fitted with an in-house automatic chronograph movement, the Caliber 4130.

Rolex Daytona Variations

In true Rolex fashion, while the core look of the Daytona remains the same, there are plenty of variations. From steel to three shades of gold to two-tone steel and gold to ultra precious platinum, the Daytona comes in a range of materials. What’s more, even bracelet options are varied including metal bracelets, leather bands, and now, Oysterflex rubber straps too. Finally, depending on the year and model, you can find Daytona watches with metal bezels, aluminum bezels, and Cerachrom ceramic bezels.

Rolex Daytona and Motorsport Ambassadors

Along with sponsoring key motorsport events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Formula 1, FIA World Endurance Championship, Rolex 24 at Daytona, and Monterey Classic Car Week, Rolex also boasts some legendary drivers as official ambassadors.

Sir Jackie Stewart

There’s Sir Jackie Stewart, who was actually Rolex’s first motorsports ambassador. The “Flying Scott” secured three World Drivers’ Championships during his Formula One career between 1965 and 1973. We’ve seen Jackie Stewart sporting a range of Rolex watches from Submariner to a platinum President and of course, plenty of Daytona chronographs.

Tom Kristensen

Then there’s Tom Kristensen, who is the current record holder for most wins at 24 Hours at Le Mans with nine championships. Adding to Kristensen’s victories is his 2013 win at the FIA World Endurance Championship. Given his former profession, it comes as no surprise that Tom Kristensen’s go-to Rolex model is the Daytona and these days he wears the popular steel and ceramic ref. 116500LN.

Watch Your Back .. #PerfectTiming #RacerAtHeart #TomK /📸@tomgoneal

A post shared by Tom K 🔴⚪⚫ (@tomkristensen_com) on

Mark Webber

Another retired driver that’s part of the Rolex family (and a protégé of Sir Jackie Stewart) is Mark Webber. When he won the German Grand Prix in 2009, Mark Webber treated himself to a Rolex GMT-Master II—a watch he still wears today along with his stainless steel and ceramic Daytona.

Nico Rosberg

Moving away from endorsing IWC watches, Formula 1 champ Nico Rosberg recently signed on with Rolex with a three-year partnership. And a new contract means a new collection of Rolex watches! We’ve spotted Nico Rosberg wearing the green Submariner “Hulk” as well as the now-discontinued stainless steel Daytona ref. 116520. Even his wife, Vivian Sibold, is now wearing a gorgeous rose gold Daytona. We fully expect Nico Rosberg to widen his Rolex collection with a few more pieces in the near future.

good morning. it’s almost time for racing here in Montreal!!! 😜 @rolex

A post shared by NICO ROSBERG (@nicorosberg) on

The 2018 24 Hours at Le Mans will be the 86th edition of the legendary automobile endurance event. While we can’t promise that we’ll stay awake for the full 24 hours, we’ll certainly be watching the last few laps to see which team takes top spot on the winner’s podium.

The post Rolex Counts Down to the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans Race appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-counts-down-to-the-2018-24-hours-of-le-mans-race/feed/ 0
Watch Collector Series: Who Collects Watches? https://beckertime.com/blog/watch-collector-series-who-collects-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/watch-collector-series-who-collects-watches/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 15:09:28 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181779 There is a world of difference between a true watch collector and someone who simply owns a few watches. Many people have more than one timepiece, but the horologist (as good a term for a collector of watches as any) is a person who often goes to great lengths to acquire very specific models, usually […]

The post Watch Collector Series: Who Collects Watches? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
There is a world of difference between a true watch collector and someone who simply owns a few watches. Many people have more than one timepiece, but the horologist (as good a term for a collector of watches as any) is a person who often goes to great lengths to acquire very specific models, usually for very particular reasons.

So who are they? Is this an activity that attracts a certain type of individual over another?

Well, yes and no. At the risk of sparking a debate, the vast majority of hardcore collectors are men. The intricate mechanics inside a luxury watch, much like the practical splendor of the internal combustion engine, is just something that seems to tap into the underlying genetic makeup of the male of the species.

Rolex Daytona 16520

Where women are attracted by the beauty of jewelry for its own sake, men are attracted by jewelry that moves—that has a function.

But, other than most of them sharing a gender, the main factor that unites watch collectors is (how can we put this delicately?) a certain level of obsession. If we do away with delicacy altogether, by their own admission, they have a touch of the crazies about them.

Mens Rolex Submariner Ref 16613 Two Tone Blue Dial

It goes a long way to explaining why someone would pay a sometimes huge premium for a watch with a cracked dial or a faded bezel over a box-fresh, mint condition piece. Or why they are willing to spend significantly more, in the case of the Rolex Daytona for instance, for a model constructed from steel rather than in one of the range of precious metals.

It is an activity driven almost entirely by emotion, with little in the way of logic, and nothing can power emotion more than a good story. Every watch, new or vintage, has a tale to tell. The type, brand, age and condition of each individual piece has something to say. It can link the wearer to a certain time or historical event, and even to a particular person—real or fictional. No one has bought a Rolex Submariner, for example, without at least a subtle acknowledgement in the back of their minds to James Bond.

How Does it Start?

One day I would love someone to do a really in-depth study among watch collectors to see how they all got set along the path. What was the catalyst for their usually lifelong fixation with these tiny wrist machines? I’m guessing that for a disproportionately high percentage of them, it would have all begun with an heirloom being passed down from father to son.

Omega ref. 14713

In any event, it was how my (extremely modest) collection got started. My grandfather’s Omega CK ref. 14713, the archetypal retirement gift after his 36 years with British American Tobacco, was obviously passed down to my father and then, when he in turn shuffled off, to me. At 33mm, it looks a little small next to my great banana-fingered hands, but I still wear it on the very odd occasions my wife tells me I have to put a suit on.

It is the great beauty of watches for men, this very personal history wrapped up in each one—an element not lost on Patek Philippe, with their classic advertising campaign, ‘You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely take care of it for the next generation’.

For others, it can all start because one piece caught their imagination—something about it just spoke to their individual sensibilities. Usually before pulling the trigger and buying it, they will engage in a certain amount of research, about the watch itself and the brand as a whole, the story will take hold of them and that will be that. To distant cries of, “one of us!”a new watch collector is born.

Patek Philippe Collectors Watch

Of course, a number of people see the activity in mostly financial terms. A watch collection, especially in the current climate, is one of the best places to park money against future returns; as long as you invest in the right ones. Much like the stock market, there is no real ‘sure thing’, with personal taste playing too great a part. There are a number of pieces that could be hesitantly described as surer than others, with certain steel Rolex professional watches out in front. The most successful at the game are those who can spot the models that will become the real classics in years to come. It takes a thorough knowledge of the market and more than a little luck to join those ranks.

That leads on to an interesting question regarding who it is that collects watches and, more precisely, how much money they have behind them. While no one is going to argue that starting a collection wouldn’t be easier with a large amount of cash to throw around (there are, after all, very few occasions in life when that doesn’tmake things easier) it is by no means mandatory. It can simply be a case of working your way up to more valuable pieces in stages, starting with the more accessible and reinvesting any profits made after selling them on.

Building a solid catalog of watches is not, fortunately, the sole preserve of the super rich.

The Thrill of the Hunt

It is a weird phenomenon among a certain type of watch collector that their all-consuming interest in a particular model vanishes the moment they manage to acquire it.

For these people it is the practice of actually tracking down and securing the watch that is the most important thing, more than ownership. Learning all about the brand, doing exhaustive study on the exact piece, liaising with likeminded friends and acquaintances and, finally, winning the watch of their dreams—this is what they live for. And then they are on to the next one.

Maybe it’s a caveman thing, but it is a good explanation as to why no watch collector has ever uttered the words, “Finally! I’ve finished my collection!”

By Type

Some collectors stick religiously to one brand, hunting out ever more obscure pieces by the likes of Audemars Piguet or Patek Philippe. These are the people who become, over years of obsessive learning, absolute authorities on their chosen makes and are able to make sense of the sometimes completely incomprehensible minutiae that often goes hand in hand with manufacturers with hundreds of years of history behind them.

Others have a particular fondness for a certain type of complication; whether they are fans of tourbillons, or chronographs, or simple three-hand models.

And of course still others run free and easy with their collection, picking up the ones that appeal to them, regardless of name or function.

Ask any expert though, and they will all tell the budding collector to buy only the pieces they actually like, the ones that speak to them personally and  ignore the ones they feel they shouldgo for, because they might be the important model in the future.

So…?

The original question was, who collects watches? There was never going to be a short answer, because the world of horology is too diverse.

There are, however, some characteristics shared between the majority of people who indulge.

The biggest one is their mutual passion. There is no such thing as an apathetic watch collector. It is something that becomes at least a great fixation. In extreme cases, it turns into an addiction.

That is not necessarily a bad thing. There are, after all, worse things to be addicted to. For the collector, there is always one more; another model to add and it can take sometimes years to find.

One thing is definite though. If you were wondering when a good time to start a collection of your own might be, it is now. Average prices for vintage watches have been climbing steadily for years and are only predicted to continue, and with the number of reputable online vendors available at the click of a mouse, such as here at Beckertime, it has never been easier to secure your very first collector’s item.

The post Watch Collector Series: Who Collects Watches? appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/watch-collector-series-who-collects-watches/feed/ 0
The 34mm Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/the-34mm-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-34mm-rolex-watches/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 15:08:02 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181781 In the contemporary Rolex lineup, there is only a tiny handful of watches measuring 34mm. What was once a fairly typical size, even bordering on the larger side in the post-war era, is now considered particularly small for a man’s watch in the modern age. However, the vintage archives are chock full of 34mm beauties; […]

The post The 34mm Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
In the contemporary Rolex lineup, there is only a tiny handful of watches measuring 34mm. What was once a fairly typical size, even bordering on the larger side in the post-war era, is now considered particularly small for a man’s watch in the modern age.

However, the vintage archives are chock full of 34mm beauties; fascinating pieces which, thanks to Rolex’s peerless design prowess, make them still relevant and extremely wearable even today.

As the race for building ever larger watches shows the first faintest whiff of settling down, with this year’s Baselworld showcasing a number of models that have taken a slight step back size-wise, these smaller and historically significant pieces could well be in for a renaissance.

At Beckertime, we have a wide selection of 34mm Rolex watches. Below we’ll take a look at some of our favorites.

The Rolex Date

Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Date model is something of an oddity. Obviously part of the Datejust family, it loses half its name due to its slight reduction in size (from the 36mm that has long been the Datejust standard) and the fact that it was never made available in quite the same bewildering number of bezel, dial and metal combinations.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Date Silver 15200

It was launched a few years after the 1945 release of its larger stable mate, in the 50s around the same time as the first of the Lady Datejusts emerged and, while more limited in choice of finish, the range was still comprehensive enough to satisfy most.

The majority of the output was produced in stainless steel, making the Date the more low-key and affordable option, but you can still find plenty of examples crafted in white or yellow gold, along with Rolesor versions.

There are also several dial colors and styles as well as a selection of bezels; smooth, fluted or the much-missed engine turned surrounds that have died off in recent times.

It is a watch that is still very much alive and well in the current catalog, and it has been given a slightly bulkier case in its latest iteration, making it appear just that little bit larger. But, as is the way with watch sizes, the modern Date is aimed as much at a female audience as it is at men.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Commonly known as the entry-level Rolex, the Oyster Perpetual is the oldest, longest-running series in the brand’s history.

The epitome of three-hand simplicity and elegance, it is as straightforward as it is possible for a mechanical timepiece to be.

Mens Rolex Two-Tone 14K/SS Oyster Perpetual Champagne 1002

That name, which forms the backbone of every model in Rolex’s arsenal, is perhaps the most important in modern watchmaking. Breaking it down, ‘Oyster’ refers to the waterproof housing developed by the company in the 1920s, an innovation that took the wristwatch beyond its long-held place on the arms of aristocratic ladies and gave it a more masculine purpose. And ‘Perpetual’ is the name given to the self-winding mechanism Rolex perfected in the 30s—a vital revolution that did more than anything else to seal the fate of the pocket watch.

Over the subsequent decades, the Oyster Perpetual has diversified into the specific models we are familiar with today, but has also remained as a range of its own. They have seen and been a part of some of the most important achievements of human endeavor; they have broken land speed records on the wrist of Sir Malcolm Campbell and been to the ceiling of the world with Hillary and Tensing.

Like the Date, they are some of the least showy pieces in the book. You will find gold versions, but they are far outnumbered by the utilitarian stainless steel examples.

While the Oyster Perpetual often acts as the gateway into the world of Rolex collecting, they are just as likely to be bought by those searching for the one good watch that will last a lifetime and be passed down to future generations.

For many years, it stayed the perfect dress watch size of 34mm, but has now gone the way of the rest of the company’s offerings—the modern lineup is available in four sizes ranging from 31mm to 39mm.

The Air-King

When it made its first appearance in 1945, the 34mm Air-King was considered an enormous beast of a watch. It formed part of a series of ‘Air’ models Rolex created as a tribute to the bravery of British RAF pilots during WWII, along with the Air Tiger, Air Lion and Air Giant. The extra millimeters made it easier for the aviators to read the dials in combat situations, and were a vast improvement on the 30mm models which were standard government issue at the time.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Air-King Blue Arabic 14010M

While the others in the range were quietly retired over the years, the Air-King has endured to the present day, with only a two-year layoff for some well deserved R&R between 2014 and 2016.

Until its most recent reworking, the Air-King has stayed true to its 34mm roots, with a very short-lived foray into 35mm territory in the late 50s when the Air-King Date came and went without much fanfare.

In total there have been six references of the ‘Warrior’s Watch’, with the ref. 5500 from 1957 enjoying by far the longest uninterrupted run. With a modest choice of dials (the Explorer-esque 3/6/9 version one of the most sought-after) and just two caliber changes, it stayed in production virtually unaltered for an incredible 37 years.

Today, the Air-King and its humble dimensions and timeless lines is enjoying its role of cult favorite. With not even a date function to muddy up the design, it remains one of the most versatile and affordable vintage buys you could hope to find.

Built as a testament to the heroic few, it has a story and character that is hard to match.

The post The 34mm Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-34mm-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
The 40mm Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/the-40mm-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-40mm-rolex-watches/#respond Tue, 12 Jun 2018 21:58:17 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180564 As far as trends go, Rolex are much more likely to lead than to follow. Generally, the Swiss watchmaking colossus sets the pace and the rest of the horology world tries to keep up. Perhaps the only area in which they have ever been late to the game is for the relatively recent drift into […]

The post The 40mm Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
As far as trends go, Rolex are much more likely to lead than to follow. Generally, the Swiss watchmaking colossus sets the pace and the rest of the horology world tries to keep up.

Perhaps the only area in which they have ever been late to the game is for the relatively recent drift into larger watches.

The fashion for oversize pieces has been gathering momentum for a while now, with some crediting the mainstream arrival of Panerai’s dive models, and their celebrity endorsement by Sly Stallone, for the movement.

Since the turn of the new millennium, proportions have been gradually creeping up across the board, and Rolex eventually joined in with once unthinkably large new creations such as the Sky-Dweller and Yacht-Master II. Even more surprisingly, all time classics such as the Datejust and Day-Date, two emblematic watches that have represented the brand for over half a century, have also been sent away to bulk up. Now available in 41mm and 40mm editions respectively, alongside the long-accepted standard 36mm, they are essentially vintage watches for the 21stcentury.

However, while the Rolex lineup is certainly expanding in dimensions as a whole, there are some huge names in the catalog that have resisted the move.

Their most famous sports watches, usually the obvious choice for adding a millimeter or two, have stuck rigidly to their 40mm cases and don’t seem about to change anytime soon.

Below, we’ll take a look at some of Rolex’s best offerings in the 40mm category.

The Rolex Submariner

If we’re going to talk about Rolex sports watches, there can only ever be one place to start. The Submariner has been part of the collective consciousness for more than 60 years now; a design that has been emulated, copied and faked in numbers too huge to count.

Originally launched as a 36mm piece, it was upgraded to 40mm in 1959 with the ref. 5512 and has kept the same measurements ever since.

While there have been some people in recent years who have vocalized the idea of a larger Sub, Rolex has never succumbed and instead placated those fans by making the bigger brother, the Sea-Dweller, bigger still with the latest 43mm version.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner Black 14060

The Submariner is now the smallest of the brand’s dive trio. The Deepsea tops them all with a 44mm case, and their respective sizes tell us a lot about each watch’s particular role in the pecking order.

Obviously, as the different demands put on the individual watches grows as you go through the range, so do their cases. The Sea-Dweller and the Deepsea were created to withstand the insane pressures professional saturation divers have to deal with. With the Sub being designed for the recreational diver and needing to safeguard its waterproofness to ‘only’ 1,000ft, there has never been a need for it to get any bigger.

However, extremely capable though it may be, no one at Rolex is under any illusions over how many of its Submariner customers actually get their watches wet.

The Sub is now very much a status symbol, and it can be as low-key or as flamboyant as needs be. The original steel piece, with its black dial and iconic bezel, remains an understated masterpiece with enough versatility to be accepted anywhere. It’s also tough enough to wear as a faithful daily beater; any knocks or scrapes it picks up along the way only seem to add more character.

But where its two stable mates are only, and will ever only, be made in the strongest steel available, the Sub has a closet full of fancy suits. During its protracted run, it has emerged in full yellow gold finery, in white gold with rich blue toppings and in a range of two-tone models. You’ll find a pair of bright green examples, and a host of diamond-bedecked baubles that are far removed from the watch’s key mission statement yet retain an enthusiastic audience.

It may not have been the first. It may no longer be the most proficient. But the Rolex Submariner will always be the world’s favorite dive watch.

The Rolex Explorer II

While its latest iteration may have followed the prevailing tide and added a couple of mil on, for the first four decades of its life, the Explorer II stuck stubbornly to its original 40mm dimensions.

The eternally ignored, ultra-sturdy tool watch is enjoying perhaps its biggest moment in the sun right now. Seeing a Submariner or a GMT-Master out in the wild is not that uncommon, but spotting an Explorer II on a passing wrist is that much more of a rare event it stands the wearer apart as something of a non-conforming individual.

Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Explorer II White 16570

A watch always afflicted by an image problem, which in itself makes it almost unique in the Rolex lineup, the Explorer II was aimed at those adventurers who spent their lives dealing with either too much, or not enough, sunlight. The original reference from 1971, the ref. 1655, was touted as the ideal companion for spelunkers—cave explorers in other words. The additional bright orange ‘Freccione’ hour hand and the lume plots every two and a half minutes made it especially legible in the dark, while the engraved 24-hour bezel meant it was easy for people who hadn’t seen the outside world for a while to tell whether it was night or day up on the surface.

As useful as these qualities are, the fact remains that a life spent wandering about underground was never going to out-sexy that of a commercial airline pilot or Scuba diver, and so the Explorer II was often left on the shelf while the Subs and GMTs found appreciative homes.

However, with the cyclical nature of things, the simple straightforwardness of the Explorer’s all steel construction and shunning of the latest standard fancies, such as Cerachrom bezels, has given it a cult following—one that is growing every day.

Vintage fans old and young are identifying with the Explorer II and its adherence to the original Rolex spirit. Before they became the number one aspirational brand in the world, they made their name by building the sort of watches that were not just functional, but that stayed functional anywhere, doing anything. With the rest of the sports range emerging in evermore affluent versions that drag them away from their origins, the Explorer’s modesty and understated capabilities are refreshing, ironically because they have never changed.

Its appeal may not be as wide ranging, but it gives the watch a built-in exclusivity because of it.

One for the purists, it is the model for those who want their Rolex to outlive them and be handed down to future generations.

The Rolex Daytona

Like the Submariner, the Cosmograph Daytona started life in a smaller shell. Its 37mm size lasted throughout the whole of the wilderness years—the quarter of a century when the current hottest ticket in horology couldn’t even be given away.

In 1988 the watch and its desirability were transformed when it received its first self-winding caliber and housed it in a new 40mm case. The arrival of the Zenith movement signaled the start of the Daytona’s ascent to watch collecting’s top table, which is where you’ll still find it today.

However, not all 40mm pieces are created equal. There are a number of ways manufacturers can make their creations appear bigger or smaller than the numbers would suggest.

Mens Rolex Two-Tone 18K/SS Daytona Gray, Slate 116523

Of Rolex’s current crop of professional watches, some, such as the latest Sub and GMT-Master, have adopted what is known as the Maxi case, with thicker, more muscular-looking lugs and a bigger crown. Finished with fatter indexes and hands (called Maxi dials), on the wrist they have significantly more presence than their previous, non-Maxi cased predecessors, despite sharing the same dimensions on paper.

The Daytona on the other hand, along with the Yacht-Master and, strangely, the Sea-Dweller, have retained their svelte, graceful lines—and it gives them a more reserved look, one that doesn’t draw attention to itself in the way you would imagine.

It is a particularly welcome feature on the Daytona. It’s a busy watch to look at in the first place, with its trio of sub dials, its mass of bezel engraving and the two pushers flanking the winding crown. Enlarging various elements could be a recipe for an unbalanced, overly cumbersome design; much like with the short lived Datejust II and Day-Date II. From its 1963 debut, the Cosmograph has always been a lean, stripped down performer, carrying no excess weight—just as a racer should be.

Beyond its appearance though, there is a reason the Daytona has built the reputation it enjoys today. It has never lost sight of its original purpose and remains one of the most adept mechanical chronos ever made. Whether from the Zenith era, the 1988 to 2000 period where it was driven by the heavily modified El Primero engine, or the all in-house Rolex Cal. 4130 that has powered it ever since, it has always been the consummate professional.

Of the sports range, it is the model with by far the greatest variety. You’ll find Daytonas in every flavor of gold as well as ruinously expensive platinum versions. As is the way with Rolex, it is the least expensive steel editions that are the most sought after, and therefore the most difficult to buy brand new.

On the vintage and pre-owned market, prices for a genuine slice of watchmaking history start at the surprisingly attainable and rise to…well, how much do you want to spend?

Delve back into the watch’s archives and you will encounter models so rare they break world records at auction.

The Daytona, once the unloved ugly duckling, is now the chronograph by which all others are judged. As an emblematic sports watch, it is in a league of its own.

The 40mm watch is now considered a standard, just as the 36mm models were for several generations. For many, it is the perfect size—just enough of an attention grabber to make a statement, but not so much you can be mistaken for wearing a sundial on your arm.

Rolex’s back catalog is filled with a host of mouthwatering creations that measure up. Take a look through our online store to track down your own personal favorite.

The post The 40mm Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-40mm-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
Modern Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/modern-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/modern-rolex-watches/#respond Tue, 12 Jun 2018 21:55:12 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181531 Just as there has never been an official definition of what constitutes a ‘vintage’ watch, it obviously follows that there has also never been one for when a watch can be termed ‘modern’. With Rolex, it can be especially tricky to pin down when the change over between the two occurs. Some experts suggest the […]

The post Modern Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Just as there has never been an official definition of what constitutes a ‘vintage’ watch, it obviously follows that there has also never been one for when a watch can be termed ‘modern’.

With Rolex, it can be especially tricky to pin down when the change over between the two occurs. Some experts suggest the date a new feature or material is introduced marks the divide, but with the brand’s long-established ethos of incremental improvements, these are typically added to different models at different times. The Cerachrom bezel, for instance, was introduced on the GMT-Master II in 2005, but didn’t make it onto the Daytona until nearly 10 years later. So, is a 2005 GMT a modern watch but a Daytona from the same year vintage?

A Question of Size?

As a (very) general rule, Rolex watches have increased in size over the years. Models such as the Sea-Dweller and the Explorer II, both traditionally 40mm pieces, have each been granted some additional presence in their latest iterations with new 43mm and 42mm cases respectively.

Even those oldest of the old-guard, the Datejust and Day-Date, now have once unthinkable 40mm and 41mm options in the range.

Similarly, the watches that have stayed true to their time-honored dimensions on paper, such as the Submariner, have been reworked to at least give the impression of getting bigger. The Maxi case was introduced in the mid-2000s, complete with larger lugs and crown guards to add some extra heft on the wrist. Coupled with a similarly uprated Maxi dial, featuring fatter hour indexes, it has a far more substantial, muscly, and yes, modern look than before.

Keep it Simple, Stupid!

Rather than having to apply different rules for each individual model in the Rolex lineup, we are going to follow the same standards as we did with our ‘Vintage Rolex’ guide and pick 1979 as our cutoff point. It gives us nearly 40 years of incredible watches to choose from—pieces that have defined the brand as it enters its second century of production stronger than ever.

Below you will find a few examples of ‘modern’ Rolex, taken from the huge selection we currently have in stock here at Beckertime.

GMT-Master II

The original GMT-Master, the ref. 6542, was released in 1954, the first watch to display a dual time zone complication. While it was an impressively innovative and outwardly complex piece of engineering, it was actually brilliant in its simplicity.

Its combination of rotatable bezel and additional hour hand, geared to run at half the speed of the regular hand, allowed it to track two time zones simultaneously, pointing out the correct hour on the engraved surround.

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16760

Made in conjunction with Pan Am Airlines, it proved incredibly popular and continued in production, with the usual periodic refinements, all the way up until 1999.

However, in 1983, an improvement was made to the basic design that was so significant it warranted an entirely new (sort of) model name.

The ref. 16760, sometimes known as the Fat Lady on account of its generously curved case, became the first of the GMT-Master IIs. It addressed the one shortcoming of its predecessor series; the ability to the set the two hour hands independently of each other.

Now, not only could the GMT hand be adjusted instantaneously, the watch was able to keep track of three different time zones.

That model also brought with it a number of other firsts for the range, in the shape of a new black and red color scheme, nicknamed the Coke, as well as replacing the acrylic crystal with scratch resistant sapphire and introducing white gold surrounds on the indexes.

Since then, the GMT-Master II range has continued to go from strength to strength. It got its slender bodywork back in 1988 with the follow-up reference, the ref. 16710, and has been the recipient of Rolex’s relentless drive for perfection both inside and out. Along with 2005’s Cerachrom bezel, its various calibers have benefitted from the very latest in revolutionary engineering, with the Parachrom hairspring and Chronergy Escapement making their way into the most recent versions.

It is also a good example of the difficulties in defining vintage versus modern when it comes to Rolex watches. Although the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II ran concurrently until almost the start of the new millennium, with the older range remaining popular due to its near identical looks and far lower price point, there are not many that would describe the original series as ‘modern’, despite some models far exceeding our self-imposed 1979 rule.

It is just one of those discrepancies that makes collecting Rolex watches so intriguing, not to mention confusing!

Explorer II

It would be unkind, but fair, to say that the Explorer II has lived the majority of its life in the shadow of the GMT-Master.

Until its very latest version, it had always been given the same caliber as its aviation-styled sibling, yet, although it too has a second hour hand, it was never a true dual time watch due to the limitations of its fixed bezel. It meant it was in essence a large AM/PM indicator rather than a bona fide traveler’s timepiece, aimed at those who spent their lives in the total darkness of underground caverns, or else the perpetual sunlight of polar exploration.

Rolex Explorer II 16550

Its vintage debut reference remains its most sought after. The ref. 1655 was launched in 1971 and became known as the Steve McQueen Rolex, due to the fact that he never wore one (don’t ask!)

The dark horse by nature, it has stubbornly resisted any attempt to move it away from its tool watch origins. While the GMT-Master has become evermore gentrified, with gold cases and fancy ceramics, the Explorer II was and is made exclusively from the toughest steel available. It has a definite ‘anti-Rolex’ vibe, an instrument for telling the time in the most extreme environments, rather than a statement piece for displaying wealth.

Since that initial model there have only been three additional references in the series; the ref. 16550 which uncoupled the two hour hands much like the Fat Lady, and the near identical ref. 16570 which differed mainly internally with uprated calibers.

The biggest change came in 2011 when the Explorer II was finally granted a movement of its own along with new 42mm bodywork that saw it step away from its GMT-Master shade and into the spotlight. The ref. 216570 is now giving the Explorer II some well-earned attention and turning people’s focus back to previous references, reminding them why they fell in love with the brand in the first place.

A watch for watch lovers, and one to be handed down as an heirloom for generations to come.

Datejust

One of the ironies of writing about watches is that perhaps the most overused word is ‘timeless’. Yet, when it comes to the Datejust, there really isn’t another adjective that can do that design justice.

It is a shape that has been with us since 1945 and has barely changed since, mainly because it hasn’t had to.

Rolex Datejust II 41mm Ref. 116300SIO

It means that the Datejust, from just about any era, is pretty much immune to the notions of ‘vintage’ or ‘modern’. Visually at least, a Datejust is a Datejust is a Datejust.

Where the biggest differences can be felt are, again, internally, with Rolex’s famed 3000 series calibers making their entrance in 1977. Replacing the Cal. 1575, it was the Cal. 3035 that introduced the convenience of the Quickset function, allowing wearers to advance the date with a simple twist of the crown rather than spinning the hour hand endlessly through 24 hours.

It also brought us the now standard 28,800vph frequency that gives the brand’s watches that effortlessly smooth glide to the seconds hand.

That movement was replaced 11 years later with the even further refined Cal. 3135, complete with Glucydur balance wheel to better withstand temperature variations and the anti-magnetic and hugely shock resistant Parachrom Bleu hairspring.

Externally, while the basic silhouette has more or less stayed the same since the end of the Second World War, it has been crafted in every combination of metal, bezel type and dial color imaginable, making it the watch that suits every taste and pretty much every budget. You can spend enormous sums on gemstone enhanced, precious metal versions or go low-key with understated steel models.

Lately, Rolex has moved to bring the venerable Datejust to a younger, more contemporary audience with a range of 41mm pieces, cast in either all steel or their own Rolesor half and half creation.

Starting with the short-lived Datejust II, which upped the comparative dimensions of the bezel and lugs, it divided opinion too much to stick around for long. It was superseded by the Datejust 41, which kept the 36mm example’s elegant proportions, but simply enlarged them to give the septuagenarian classic a new lease of life.

Alongside the Submariner, it is the watch that screams Rolex the loudest—an absolute emblem of the brand and of watchmaking in general.

At more than 70 years of age, the Datejust still remains one of the biggest sellers, and will continue to do so long after lesser watches have been forgotten.

The post Modern Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/modern-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
Ladies Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/ladies-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/ladies-rolex-watches/#respond Mon, 11 Jun 2018 17:36:03 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181075 Although watch collecting is seen by some as a particularly male-dominated activity, the truth is, the skill and craftsmanship that goes into creating fine mechanical timepieces is something that can be appreciated equally by both sexes. The timelessness of many of Rolex’s designs make them suitable as either men’s or ladies watches. With modern fashions […]

The post Ladies Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Although watch collecting is seen by some as a particularly male-dominated activity, the truth is, the skill and craftsmanship that goes into creating fine mechanical timepieces is something that can be appreciated equally by both sexes.

The timelessness of many of Rolex’s designs make them suitable as either men’s or ladies watches. With modern fashions tending towards larger sizes for female wearers, the doors have been opened for more women to wear pieces initially intended for a solely male audience.

There are, however, several models classed as exclusively for women. Subjected to the same uncompromising standards as any of Rolex’s offerings, the brand’s ladies range is constructed with the same artistry and attention to detail, but with more feminine dimensions.

Here at Beckertime, we have a wide selection of these stunning timepieces. Below we’ve highlighted a number of our most popular.

The Rolex Lady Yacht-Master

The first of the Yacht-Master series was released in 1992 as a more luxuriously-appointed variant of the archetypal Submariner. The original 40mm piece was joined a few years later by both a ladies version at 29mm as well as a midsize in 35mm; the first of Rolex’s professional range to be offered in three sizes.

Since then, as times and tastes have changed, there is no official ‘ladies’ Yacht-Master anymore, or the midsize, and the current family consists of just the full 40mm model and a 37mm version that is listed as both a men’s and women’s watch.

Ladies Rolex Two-Tone 18K/SS Yacht-Master Tahitian MOP 169623

Clearly modeled on the Sub’s rugged good looks, the Yacht-Master borrowed heavily from the brand’s legendary diver, including elements such as the rotating bezel and identical handset and indexes.

But where the Submariner has at least tried to hang on to its tool-like credentials, the Yacht-Master is aimed at those who spend their lives riding the ocean waves rather than exploring beneath them.

It is a watch intended to look at home strolling a polished teak deck or lounging in the club following a regatta, so has only ever been crafted from Rolex’s own three flavors of gold, along with two-tone Rolesor and, another debut with this particular watch, Rolesium—a stainless steel case and bracelet, topped with a platinum bezel.

Its sleek lines and abundance of precious metals make it a particular favorite as a ladies watch in whichever size it comes in. Even the 40mm piece, thanks to its gracefully sweeping profile and delicate lugs, suits more slender wrists without overpowering.

As a pre-owned buy, the smaller 29mm and 35mm models represent tempting bargains. You will find superb examples for around the $5,000 mark—both likely to increase in value due to their finite supply.

The Yacht-Master is a sporty yet elegant all-rounder, the ideal choice for almost any occasion and with enough variety to suit any taste.

The Rolex Ladies Datejust

When the subject of a lady’s Rolex comes up, it is the Datejust that most readily springs to mind. Like its male-focused counterpart, it is one of the most versatile watches ever made, effortlessly treading the line between casual everyday companion and dressy evening wear.

Again, similarly to the Yacht-Master, more and more women are finding the traditional men’s sizes the perfect complement, especially the ubiquitous 36mm.

Ladies Rolex Two-Tone 14K/SS Datejust Silver 6917

However, the Lady Datejust range, originally a 26mm model and recently increased to 28mm, has been a staple of Rolex’s lineup since 1957. In 2012, the brand upped the stakes a little more by also introducing a 31mm version.

In its 60-year reign as the ultimate timepiece for sophisticated women, the Lady Datejust has been issued in a breathtaking number of different combinations of dial, bezel, metal and bracelet options.

Appealing to every taste and budget, it is available in anything from stainless steel all the way through to pure platinum, via yellow, white and pink gold and two-tone Rolesor versions.

It can be as inconspicuous or as flamboyant as you wish, with bezels ranging from smooth to fluted to dripping in diamonds, and the dial can be had in any color and set with every gemstone you can think of.

The Lady-Datejust has been such a phenomenon for Rolex that it is actually the brand’s biggest seller of all time, outstripping even the men’s version. There is practically no situation it cannot match, making it just about the only watch you will ever need.

The Rolex Lady Oyster Perpetual

Rolex’s simplest, least complicated offering, the Oyster Perpetual series has a history even longer than the Datejust.

The men’s version has traditionally been 34mm, recently joined by both 36mm and 39mm models and, typified by its stark minimalism in style and materials, is often regarded as the entry point to the brand for many.

Ladies Rolex 14K Yellow Gold Oyster Perpetual Champagne 67197

However, the Lady Oyster Perpetual family contains a few altogether more lavish pieces, with editions in gold and Rolesor, and some with the added luxury of diamond-enhanced bezels and hour markers.

The earliest examples were just 24mm in diameter, tiny by modern standards yet, while certainly diminutive, the watch has never seemed flimsy or delicate. Instead, it has the exquisite flowing lines that have always been the backbone of the Rolex design language—graceful rather than fragile.

Today, there are 26mm models, the smallest in the Rolex lineup currently, and 31mm, both classified as exclusively lady’s watches. Together with the three men’s sizes (the 34mm is now technically a midsize) there are a total of five different versions for the Oyster Perpetual.

As a watch, it is about as unfussy as it is possible to be, with not even a date function to spoil the view of the dial. Even those rare lady’s models with gemstone accents have an austere restraint, and the cleanness of its design means it remains as timeless an accessory for women as a little black dress.

If you are in the market for a watch you can wear everyday and never look over or under dressed, a Lady Oyster Perpetual should be top of the list.

The post Ladies Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/ladies-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
Four Famous People that Have Rolex Watches Named After Them https://beckertime.com/blog/four-famous-people-that-have-rolex-watches-named-after-them/ https://beckertime.com/blog/four-famous-people-that-have-rolex-watches-named-after-them/#respond Mon, 11 Jun 2018 15:04:41 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178834 It’s one thing to be a celebrity that boasts a large collection of Rolex watches, but it’s a whole other ballgame when you’re so famous that you have a Rolex watch (nick)named after you. Check out these four Rolex watches named after celebrities. These are the personalities whose names are as much part of the […]

The post Four Famous People that Have Rolex Watches Named After Them appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
It’s one thing to be a celebrity that boasts a large collection of Rolex watches, but it’s a whole other ballgame when you’re so famous that you have a Rolex watch (nick)named after you. Check out these four Rolex watches named after celebrities. These are the personalities whose names are as much part of the Rolex watch-collecting world as they are in their own domains.

Rolex Watches Named After Celebrities

Jean-Claude Killy

Jean-Claude 'Killy' Rolex
Jean-Claude ‘Killy’ Rolex

One of the best athletes of his time, Jean-Claude Killy is a former French alpine ski racer with three Olympic gold medals. Also, add a slew of World Cup trophies to his name. His dominance of the slopes catapulted Jean-Claude Killy to celebrity status where he starred in plenty of commercials, television shows, and even movies. Among his long list of endorsements, Jean-Claude Killy was also a Rolex ambassador, frequently featured in the Swiss watchmaking giant’s advertisement. Funny enough, however, while the ski champ promoted a range of Rolex models in those ads from the Explorer II ref. 1655 to the Datejust to the GMT-Master II, these are not the Rolex watches that are associated with him today.

Today, “Killy” Rolex watches refer to a group of vintage Rolex triple calendar Dato-Compax chronographs. Very rare and very collectible, Rolex manufactured these complex vintage watches from the 1940s until the 1960s. Whenever a Rolex “Killy” watch does come up for auction, it’s not uncommon for them to sell beyond $100,000 and some have even fetched more than $400,000!

Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen Rolex Submariner
Steve McQueen Rolex Submariner

For many, Steve McQueen needs no introduction. Famously referred to as the “King of Cool” the actor was at one point in his career the highest paid movie star in the world. In addition to his acting career, the Steve McQueen was also an avid motorcycle and auto racer.

In watch collection circles, the Rolex “Steve McQueen” refers to the Explorer II ref. 1655, which is, in fact, a misnomer. While auction houses frequently claimed that Steve McQueen wore a Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655 to boost sales of the slow-moving model, there seems to be no photographic evidence to support that claim. On the other hand, the celebrity was frequently photographed wearing a Submariner ref. 5512 as his daily watch—which was actually sold by Christie’s in 2009 for $234,000.

James Cameron

James Cameron Rolex Deepsea
James Cameron Rolex Deepsea

With movies such as The Terminator, Titanic, and Avatar under his belt, Oscar winner James Cameron is one of the most famous directors of our era. Along with filmmaking, we know James Cameron as a deep-sea explorer. In 2012, the Hollywood A-lister navigated the Deepsea Challenger submersible to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench. This is the first human to reach the 6.8-mile-deep underwater valley solo.

As a tribute the historic feat, Rolex created a special edition of the Deepsea professional diver’s watch. This is the first time the company explicitly creates a watch in honor of a person. The Rolex Deepsea “James Cameron” is mechanically identical to the standard model. The one with the 44mm stainless steel case, waterproof to 4,000 feet, and equipped with a helium escape valve. But it comes with a special D-Blue dial. The D-Blue dial features a color gradient that changes from bright blue to deep black. This is to mimic how the waters change the deeper one dives. Moreover, the bright green color on the dial is the same shade as the Deepsea Challenger submersible.

Paul Newman

Paul Newman Rolex Daytona
Paul Newman Rolex Daytona

To the outside world, most know Paul Newman for his movies, his racing career, and his philanthropy. But within the watch enthusiast community, they know him best for his association with very special Rolex Daytona models.

The so-called Daytona “Paul Newman” models are a group of vintage manual-wound Daytona watches that include specific Art Deco styled dials. Originally named “exotic” dials by Rolex, these distinct watch faces were not a popular option for the Daytona chronograph during their time. This all changed when auction houses pointed out that Paul Newman himself wears one. No doubt, Rolex watches named after celebrities plays a hand in propelling the status of the timepiece. And, this organic celebrity endorsement led to the stratospheric popularity of the Daytona “Paul Newman” models. Although Paul Newman passed away in 2008, he made headlines again in 2017 when his very own Daytona “Paul Newman” Rolex watch sold for a record-breaking $17.75 million—the most ever paid for a wristwatch at auction.

The post Four Famous People that Have Rolex Watches Named After Them appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/four-famous-people-that-have-rolex-watches-named-after-them/feed/ 0
The Rolex Watches of Ted Leonsis and the Washington Capitals NHL Team https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-ted-leonsis-and-the-washington-capitals-nhl-team/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-ted-leonsis-and-the-washington-capitals-nhl-team/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 19:58:03 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181833 Game 5 of the NHL’s Stanley Cup is scheduled for Thursday, June 7, where the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals will battle it out for glory. As Washington leads 3-1, if they win the next game, they cinch the most coveted cup in professional hockey. While we eagerly wait to see how the […]

The post The Rolex Watches of Ted Leonsis and the Washington Capitals NHL Team appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

Game 5 of the NHL’s Stanley Cup is scheduled for Thursday, June 7, where the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals will battle it out for glory. As Washington leads 3-1, if they win the next game, they cinch the most coveted cup in professional hockey. While we eagerly wait to see how the next game pans out, let’s have a quick look at what Rolex watches the Capitals’ owner, Ted Leonsis, and players TJ Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov wear on their wrists.

Ted Leonsis’ Rolex Watches

Ted Leonsis Rolex Watch
Photo: Bloomberg

Billionaire, Ted Leonsis is the founder and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Washington Capitals hockey team—as well as the NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and plenty of other professional sports teams.

With such wealth, it comes as no surprise that Ted Leonsis often wears a luxury timepiece on his wrist, including several Rolex watches. We’ve spotted Ted Leonsis wear at least three different types of Rolex watches. The first is a full yellow gold Yacht-Master 40, which is actually no longer in production. The second Rolex watch we’ve seen Ted Leonsis wearing yet another Yacht-Master 40, but the platinum and stainless steel version. And finally, continuing with the Rolex sports watches theme, we’ve also noticed Ted Leonsis with an ultra-luxurious 18k white gold Submariner with the blue ceramic bezel and blue dial—complete with the unfortunate nickname, the Rolex “Smurf.”

TJ Oshie’s Rolex Watch

Right winger for the Washington Capitals, TJ Oshie may not have had enough money on his Metro Card to exit the station to make it to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday (he was eventually let through by the Metro employees), but he certainly has the budget for nice watches!

One of TJ Oshie’s watches that caught our eye is his stainless steel GMT-Master II with the black and blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel. Due to its unique colorway, this particular GMT-Master II, which is part of the brand’s current collection, is also known as the Rolex “Batman” in watch collecting circles.

Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Rolex Watch

The 26-year-old Evgeny Kuznetsov is a center for the Washington Capitals and the Russian native has been flaunting some serious hockey skills during the Stanley Cup Finals so far, picking up four assists in Game 4 to help the Capitals get one step closer to their ultimate goal.

Ждем еду,Кузя мне читает чтзовский рэпак😂😂😳👍 @kuzy092

A post shared by Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) on

In this Instagram video with his famous teammate and captain of the Capitals, Alexander Ovechkin, we see Evgeny Kuznetsov with a distinct Rolex watch on his wrist. It’s none other than the full Everose gold Rolex Sky-Dweller with a 42mm case size and one of the most complicated Rolex calibers ticking within that provides the watch with an annual calendar and dual time zone functionality.

With Game 5 just around the corner, it’ll certainly be a big day for the Washington Capitals and the NFL. The Capitals are one win away from the Stanley Cup. Will the DC-based hockey players win the cup or will the Las Vegas Golden Knights bounce back and win Game 5 to take it to Game 6? Stay tuned for the action!

The post The Rolex Watches of Ted Leonsis and the Washington Capitals NHL Team appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-ted-leonsis-and-the-washington-capitals-nhl-team/feed/ 0
The Watch Collectors Series: Celebrity Collections https://beckertime.com/blog/the-watch-collectors-series-celebrity-collections/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-watch-collectors-series-celebrity-collections/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 14:38:23 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=180332 Like any occupation, the life of a celebrity has its pros and cons. Yes, the legions of adoring fans and pay checks that read like phone numbers definitely go in the ‘perks of the job’ column, but you have to measure that against living under constant scrutiny and with a paparazzo hiding in every bush. […]

The post The Watch Collectors Series: Celebrity Collections appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Like any occupation, the life of a celebrity has its pros and cons. Yes, the legions of adoring fans and pay checks that read like phone numbers definitely go in the ‘perks of the job’ column, but you have to measure that against living under constant scrutiny and with a paparazzo hiding in every bush.

One of the things that make it all worthwhile, of course, is having the sort of buying power that provides for the best of everything. And many of the world’s great and the good have chosen to spend their hard earned by amassing the sorts of watch collections we mere mortals can only dream of.

Below, we’ll take a look at how some of the biggest name celebrities in the business tell the time.

Eric Clapton

Legendary musician Eric ‘Slowhand’ Clapton (or ‘God’ if you were around in the 60s), is well known for his taste in the finer things in life. Whether it’s cars, suits, guitars or indeed watches, he has accumulated formidable hordes of them all over the course of his stellar career.

Rolex Milgauss 116400GV

But with the apparent ease with which he seems to give them up for auction at various points, you could be forgiven for thinking he doesn’t form much of an emotional attachment.

Whether that’s true or not, he has definitely been through some incredible timepieces in his life. With a particular fondness for both Rolex and Patek Philippe, and ultra rare editions specifically, he has owned, and sold, some of the most expensive models ever to go under the hammer.

In 2012, he parted with his Patek Philippe ref. 2499/100, a perpetual calendar chronograph with moonphase, one of only two examples forged in platinum, and walked away with around $3.6m.

Three years later, he unloaded an ‘Albino’ Daytona ref. 6263, one of four in existence, for $1.4m, briefly becoming the most expensive Rolex ever.

In his day to day life and on stage, the guitarist’s guitarist flits through a range of luxurious offerings and has been seen sporting the Milgauss ref. 116400GV, GMT-Master II ref. 116710 with an all black bezel and a yellow gold Daytona ref. 116528.

John Mayer

If we didn’t know Mayer was a fanatical watch collector before, we certainly do now after the recent legal misery between him and high end dealer Robert Maron.

Rolex GMT-Master II 126710 BLRO

Maron reportedly sold the musician upwards of $5m worth of vintage pieces over the years, with the majority of them being Rolex. However, when the company themselves noted some ‘discrepancies’ with one of the watches Mayer sent in for servicing (counterfeit and non-standard parts in other words) he was, justifiably, less than happy. The black, three-color dial on the Paul Newman Daytona, which has since been christened ‘the Mayer dial’ is one that is so rare and undocumented that many doubt it was ever released by the brand.

Without getting into the meat of the matter, happily it all seems to have been concluded and doesn’t seem to have soured Mayer on the whole watch collecting practice.

His catalog is immense and ranges from one-off Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillons in rose gold to vintage Casio G-Shocks, by way of Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks and just about every Rolex you can imagine.

Of all of them, he supposedly has a particular fondness for a white dial Explorer II, the first ‘real’ watch he bought after scoring his breakthrough with the hit album ‘Room for Squares’ in 2001. Since then, he has indulged his passion to the tune of, he estimates, tens of millions of dollars.

A champion of all things horology, John Mayer is the watch nerd in all of us.

Orlando Bloom

Another celebrity whose watch collecting secret was outed via the courtroom, the Lord of the Rings star fell victim to the infamous Bling Ring in 2009. The band of teenage burglars broke into Bloom’s home in the Hollywood Hills, relieving the actor of close to half a million dollars worth of fine vintage pieces.

Rolex Mens Explorer II 1655

Among the haul were seven classic Rolexes, including three Submariners; the beloved ref. 5513, the more modern ref. 16610LV ‘Kermit’ and, most heinously of all, an early big crown ref. 6538, the James Bond Sub.

Other notable pieces made off with by the light-fingered scamps were one of the very few inaugural Milgauss references, the ref. 6543 with a rotatable bezel and, on Bloom’s example, an ultra rare tropical dial.

Add to that a pair of Explorers—the beautifully understated ref. 1016 original and the Steve McQueen Explorer II ref. 1655, along with a GMT-Master ref. 1675 with a Pepsi bezel and the pointed crown guards of the earliest examples, and it’s hard not to feel sympathy for the actor for the scale of his loss.

Fortunately, justice prevailed and the larcenous gang were apprehended a few weeks later, reuniting Bloom with his collection.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Immensely talented, Oscar-winning actor, climate change activist and uber-wealthy heartthrob, the star of Titanic and The Departed wears many labels.

And to them, we can add serious watch collector. The Tag Heuer ambassador has several of the brand’s pieces in his private collection; among them, a vintage Carrera Chronograph from the 1960s and a limited edition Aquaracer.

TAG Heuer Vintage Carrera Chronograph

But he is known as a Rolex fan as well. In a 2015 auction hosted by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, a non-profit organization set up to help protect the earth’s threatened ecosystems, the star donated his own white gold Daytona ref. 116509 to the lot.

Along with other biddable items like a Harley Davidson ridden in the movie Terminator and the chance to attend a year of major events such as the Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival as the personal guest of, ahem, Harvey Weinstein, the event raised around $40m.

Known to immerse himself totally in his many diverse roles, DiCaprio’s attention to detail carries over to every aspect of the characters he plays, right down to the watches he wears.

So, as the eponymous dreamer in The Great Gatsby, it was an Art Deco-inspired Raymond Weil. As a conflicted smuggler in Blood Diamond, he strapped on a rugged, titanium Breitling Chrono Avenger, and as Jordan Belfort, the amoral charmer from The Wolf of Wall Street, he returned to the crown with a yellow gold GMT-Master.

Fine watch brands have long sought out celebrities from every field to wear their products. Getting the seal of approval from major influencers practically guarantees your creations will be seen by millions of people. Whether they wear it on screen, on the red carpet or just going out to buy milk, our fascination with the lives of the rich and famous means the association will stick in our minds.

Owning the same watch as your favorite celebrity might not bring you worldwide recognition and the admiration of your peers, but on the plus side, you can still walk down the street without your picture appearing in Us Weekly.

The post The Watch Collectors Series: Celebrity Collections appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-watch-collectors-series-celebrity-collections/feed/ 0
The Rolex Watches of Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-stephen-curry-and-the-golden-state-warriors/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-stephen-curry-and-the-golden-state-warriors/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2018 14:55:19 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181787 The NBA Finals 2018 are in full swing and the rivalry between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors is heating up. Basketball aside however, we’re looking at a different kind of match-up—the types of Rolex watches these celebrity athletes have on their wrists! We already checked out what Rolex watches the Cavs wear, […]

The post The Rolex Watches of Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

The NBA Finals 2018 are in full swing and the rivalry between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors is heating up. Basketball aside however, we’re looking at a different kind of match-up—the types of Rolex watches these celebrity athletes have on their wrists! We already checked out what Rolex watches the Cavs wear, so today we’re taking a look at the Rolex watches of the Warriors.

Kevon Looney
Photo: @Warriors

Kevon Looney’s Rolex Watch

With one NBA championship already under his belt, power forward/center, Kevon Looney is looking to secure another one this year with the Warriors. On his wrist we’ve seen a gleaming 18k yellow gold Submariner ref. 116618LN. Kevon Looney’s version comes with the classic black bezel and the ultra-modern black Cerachrom ceramic bezel. It’s not that often we see NBA players wearing a Rolex Sub, so we applaud his choice.

Javale McGee’s Rolex Watch

Javale McGee
Photo: @Warriors

30-year-old Javale McGee has played for several NBA teams including the Washington Wizards, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, and as of 2016, the center for the Golden State Warriors. To complement his fashion-forward style, Javale McGee likes to keep his choice in luxury watches classic with the ever-popular 18k yellow gold Rolex President. We’ve spotted with at least two different versions of the Day-Date—one with a fluted bezel and one with a sparkling diamond-set bezel.

Draymond Green’s Rolex Watches

Draymond Green
Photo: WWD

Power forward of the team, Draymond Green began his professional career with the Golden State Warriors in 2012 and has played with them since. With two NBA Championships already (2014/2015, 2016/2017), a third one may just be in Draymond Green’s near future. Along with his championship rings, Draymond Green also has a few Rolex watches. There’s his platinum Day-Date President with the signature ice blue dial along with a yellow gold Day-Date President too. Plus, a couple of years ago, Draymond Green gifted his formed coach from Michigan State, Tom Izzo, a stainless steel Datejust 40 with a caseback engraving that says, “Great start—DG.”

Kevin Durant’s Rolex Watch

After nine seasons in Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant signed on with the Warriors in 2016, where the team went on to win their 2016/2017 NBA Championship. Not only does the small forward for the Warriors have a slew of accolades to his name he’s also one of the highest earning players in the NBA. And what Rolex does Kevin Durant wear? The stainless steel and Daytona 116500LN with the black Cerachrom ceramic bezel. As one of the hardest watches to find today, he must have used his celebrity status to snag one.

Andre Iguodala’s Rolex Watches

Andre Iguodala
Photo: ESPN

Aside from his stellar basketball skills, small forward / shooting guard of the Warriors, Andre Iguodala is well-known in the watch collecting community for his love of luxury watches. He even appeared on a Hodinkee video to discuss some pieces in his collection. In addition to the Everose gold Sky-Dweller he showed us in the video, we’ve also seen Andre Iguodala wearing a platinum Rolex Masterpiece with a diamond bezel, a rose gold Daytona with a ceramic bezel and leather strap, and a yellow gold Datejust on a leather strap. All fantastic Rolex watches.

Stephen Curry’s Rolex Watches

Stephen Curry
Photo: USA Today

The undeniable star of the Warriors right now, point guard and incredible shooter, Stephen Curry, is the man of the hour. Signing with the Warriors in 2009, Stephan Curry has two NBA Championships and two MVP awards. In fact, he’s the first player in NBA history to be named Most Valuable Player by unanimous vote. He also has two Rolex watches (at least) that we’ve seen him wearing. The first is the stainless steel Rolex Deepsea dive watch with a hefty 44mm Oyster case. The second Rolex watch we’ve seen Stephen Curry wearing is the lavish Everose gold Day-Date 40 President with a chocolate dial decorated with the new-style laser-etched diagonal pattern. A top-notch luxury watch for an incredible NBA player.

We love the selection of Rolex watches that the Golden State Warrior players wear. From Submariner to Daytona to Deepsea to President to Sky-Dweller, there’s a diverse range of Rolex beauties to admire.

The post The Rolex Watches of Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-stephen-curry-and-the-golden-state-warriors/feed/ 0
The Rolex Watches of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-lebron-james-and-the-cleveland-cavaliers/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-lebron-james-and-the-cleveland-cavaliers/#respond Mon, 04 Jun 2018 22:46:24 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181731 It’s NBA finals and for the fourth consecutive year, it’s the Western Conference champions Golden State Warriors versus the Eastern Conference champions Cleveland Cavaliers. The dramatic Game One concluded on Thursday with a win for the Warriors. The next game will take place on Sunday. While we wait for Sunday’s game, let’s have a look […]

The post The Rolex Watches of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

It’s NBA finals and for the fourth consecutive year, it’s the Western Conference champions Golden State Warriors versus the Eastern Conference champions Cleveland Cavaliers. The dramatic Game One concluded on Thursday with a win for the Warriors. The next game will take place on Sunday. While we wait for Sunday’s game, let’s have a look at the Rolex watches of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavs.

LeBron James’ Rolex Watches

Is there a bigger celebrity athlete than Lebron James right now? In fact, every king needs a crown and King James’ coronet of choice is Rolex! Yes, he’s a paid ambassador for Audemars Piguet. He even has a Limited Edition Royal Oak Chronograph made in his honor. But that doesn’t stop LeBron James’ love of Rolex watches.

We’ve spotted plenty of Rolex watches on LeBron James’ wrist over the years and it’s safe to say he favors the yellow gold variety. For instance, we’ve seen him wearing a yellow gold Yacht-Master II with the bright blue Cerachrom bezel, the full 18k yellow gold Sky-Dweller, and an assortment of yellow gold Day-Date President watches. These have dials ranging from black to bronze to gray. Also, in this interview with Business Insider, which took place after his 2016 NBA Finals win, it looks like LeBron is wearing an Everose gold Rolex President.

Fun fact, the co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight, tells the story in his book, Shoe Dog, of the time LeBron James gifted him a Rolex. It was a 1972 Rolex—the year Nike was founded—and engraved with the message “With thanks for taking a chance on me.”

J.R. Smith’s Rolex Watches

Affectionately known as “Swish” to his fans and colleagues, the Cavs’ shooting guard, J.R. Smith is also a fan of Rolex watches. For instance, we’ve spotted the 32-year-old father of three daughters wearing a yellow gold Sky-Dweller—one of the brand’s larger models with a 42mm case size. We’ve also seen him wearing the ultra-precious Rolex platinum President with a sleek black dial. Great choices!

Kevin Love’s Rolex Watches

Power forward of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love, joined the Cavs in 2014 after his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The son of former NBA player Stan Love, it’s clear that like his teammates, Kevin Love also appreciates an awesome Rolex watch…or two.

Kevin Love’s duo of Rolex watches couldn’t be more different from each other. The first is the dressy and super prestigious Day-Date President in Everose rose gold. The other is the mega dive watch. Specifically, it’s the Rolex Deepsea with the special “James Cameron” dial that changes from vibrant blue to dark black.

Jeff Green’s Rolex Watches

A nine-year NBA veteran, Jeff Green signed on with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017. Now he’s making his first NBA finals appearance. And what is Jeff Green’s Rolex watch? A yellow gold Sky-Dweller, which we’ve noted in the past seems to be a favorite Rolex model of NBA players. However, we can’t argue with his choice, it’s one impressive looking Rolex annual calendar timepiece with a complex mechanism to boot.

As we watch the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors rivalry play out, we’re sure the following games will bring us more solid basketball and even more drama.

The post The Rolex Watches of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-rolex-watches-of-lebron-james-and-the-cleveland-cavaliers/feed/ 0
What’s the Difference? The Rolex Sea-Dweller Vs. The Rolex Deepsea https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-sea-dweller-vs-the-rolex-deepsea/ https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-sea-dweller-vs-the-rolex-deepsea/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 14:19:37 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178992 When it comes to mixing watches with water, Rolex has been leading the way since the 1920s. Their development of the Oyster case, the first serially-produced waterproof housing, revolutionized not only wristwatch design, but also the way they were viewed by the public. What had once been seen as delicate items of ladies jewelry were […]

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Sea-Dweller Vs. The Rolex Deepsea appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
When it comes to mixing watches with water, Rolex has been leading the way since the 1920s. Their development of the Oyster case, the first serially-produced waterproof housing, revolutionized not only wristwatch design, but also the way they were viewed by the public. What had once been seen as delicate items of ladies jewelry were now resilient enough to survive the worst that the elements could subject them to, transforming them at a stroke into vital tools for men.

The impenetrable shell created by screwing the watch’s bezel, case back and winding crown against a solid middle case still forms the basis of every one of Rolex’s professional range, with each model rated water resistant to at least 100m.

But within that lineup, of course, are the trio of dive watches—pieces that take that initial Oyster concept and stretch it to the nth degree. Starting in the 1950s with the Submariner, the model against which all other dive watches would come to be judged, it was built upon in subsequent decades to include both the Sea-Dweller and, eventually, the incredible Sea-Dweller Deepsea.

While the venerable Sub is now more likely to be seen as the ultimate all-rounder, worn with far more business suits than wetsuits, its two bigger brothers remain truer to their original purpose. With depth ratings standing at 4,000ft and 12,800ft respectively, these are the watches that provide the definitive failsafe for professional saturation divers—those with the epitome of high pressure jobs.

Below we’ll take a look at the similarities and differences between these two giants of the sea.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller

The concept for the first Sea-Dweller was born in 1963 at the request, and in conjunction with, Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises (Comex), a French company specializing in deep sea industrial and engineering operations.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Comex

At the depths that Comex’s divers work and live, in highly pressurized environments and sometimes for weeks at a time, breathing gases react differently than they do at sea level. With oxygen becoming toxic and nitrogen causing a potentially lethal anesthetic effect known as nitrogen narcosis, mixtures rich in helium are commonly used. Notoriously difficult to contain because of its tiny molecules, helium bubbles easily seep inside watch cases, expanding rapidly on the ascent back to the surface and blowing out the crystals. In the 60s, before every aspect of a diver’s immersion time was regulated by computer-controlled, automated systems, a reliably functioning and precise watch was vital.

Enter Rolex

The first challenge involved finding a way to safely expel the inflating helium before it could cause any damage, and the solution Rolex developed became known as the HEV, or Helium Escape Valve.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665

This tiny, one-way regulator set into the case at nine o’clock allows the minute bubbles to release back out of the watch as they expand under decreasing pressure. Originally retrofitted onto the ref. 5513 Submariner, making the holy grail-like ref. 5514, it proved itself so successful that it opened up the doors for the development of the Sea-Dweller.

First appearing in 1967 and starting with the ref. 1665, (also known as the Double Red Sea-Dweller, or DRSD, for the two lines of red text on its dial), it was issued with a thicker case than the Sub, along with a domed crystal to give it an uprated water resistance down to a staggering 2,000ft.

Relentless Progress

Over the last 50 years, the Sea-Dweller has evolved through several references, each one adding features to further enhance its performance in timekeeping precision or to give it an even greater endurance against underwater pressures.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 16660

In 1978, for example, the ref. 16660, or Triple Six, emerged sporting a sapphire crystal and a larger HEV, as well as a new waterproof rating of 4,000ft, doubling that of its predecessor.

Succeeding that, the ref. 16600 launched in 1988 with Rolex’s world-beating Cal. 3135, their longest serving caliber, commonly thought of as the most accurate and reliable mechanical watch movement ever made up until that time.

But, in a bizarre move, 2008 saw the highly regarded Sea-Dweller shelved to make way for the new behemoth, the Deepsea. It was a decision that bemused the brand faithful, who are generally not the shy and retiring type when it comes to voicing opinions, and the waves of displeasure eventually, six years later, permeated behind the curtain at Rolex HQ.

The Comeback Kid

The Sea-Dweller ref. 116600 arrived in 2014 and was welcomed back into the fray like a long-lost friend. Although it was only in production for three short years, escorting the range neatly up to its half century, it has gained an added significance among purists for something it’s missing.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 116600

One immediately noticeable visual difference between the Sea-Dweller and the Submariner has always centered on the date window. Since the first Sub to be fitted with a date function, the ref. 1680 from 1969, every subsequent iteration has included a Cyclops lens at three o’clock. While undoubtedly a useful addition, many feel it adversely affects the symmetry of the dial. The Sea-Dweller has always resisted the need to have any magnification over its window, and has garnered a significant fan base because of it.

However when, in 2017, the 50th anniversary ref. 126600 was released, with a never-before-seen 43mm case and the all-new Chronergy escapement inside its superb Cal 3235, there, too, was the Cyclops.

Even with Rolex attempting to soften the blow by resorting to a touch of nostalgia and picking out the Sea-Dweller name in red, it has remained a controversial addition, and one that has seen demand for its predecessor skyrocket. As the last of the series without a magnifying lens, the ref. 116600 is well on the way to future classic status.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea

Similar in name but a world apart in construction, the Sea-Dweller Deepsea surfaced in 2008 very much as a showcase for what Rolex were now capable of. The culmination of everything the brand had learned through a decades-long relationship with the pioneers of underwater exploration, the Deepsea took the concept of the dive watch to a completely new level.

That level, as it turned out, was as near as damn it two and a half miles straight down. Rated waterproof to some 12,800ft, it left its Rolex stable mates and just about every other commercially available dive model paddling in the relative shallows.

Groundbreaking Engineering

To create something capable of withstanding descents to those depths, down to the sort of places reserved for only the most specialized research submersibles, while still keeping the Deepsea’s dimensions somewhat wearable, took the sort of technological prowess few but Rolex could provide.

Building a watch that can survive pressures of around 5,500lbs per square inch could of course be achieved with a ludicrously thick and outsized case, but that sort of barn door engineering has never been part of the Rolex story. Instead, they have managed to keep the outward appearance of their masterwork recognizable as part of their all-conquering underwater trio by revolutionizing the interior.

The Ringlock System

With more than five tons of force to contend with, material choice for the Deepsea was always going to be a major consideration. Rolex already use the strongest steel of any manufacturer in the cases and bracelets of its standard range; the 904L steel usually found in the aerospace and chemical industries.

However, even that was not going to be sufficient to guarantee the Deepsea’s performance. Forming the backbone of the whole structure is what Rolex have called the Ringlock System.

Consisting of three main elements, including a crystal some 5.5mm thick, the same as some dress watches, as well as a case back made from grade 5 TA6V titanium, fundamental to the system’s abilities is an encircling central ring forged from BioDur 108, a nitrogen-alloyed steel used for surgical implants. Three times stronger even than the 904L used in the case, this band redistributes the crushing weight pressing down on the Deepsea’s crystal onto the two-part back, which is designed to flex slightly to absorb the pressure.

Together, the system not only soaks up the unimaginable forces at play but also makes the watch around ten percent slimmer than anything with comparable abilities.

Uncompromising

That being said, this is not a small watch. At 44mm in diameter, 48mm including the oversize crown, and standing at a height of 17.7mm, it is the biggest piece in the modern lineup. It means the Deepsea misses much of the versatility that the Submariner enjoys, and even the Sea-Dweller can be found under the sleeve of the occasional dress shirt.

The Deepsea, on the other hand, attends very few cocktail parties. It was built for a completely different environment, and for a completely different audience.

As an example, visionary movie director and pioneering adventurer James Cameron has become inextricably linked with the watch in recent years. When he made his descent to the deepest-known part of the world in 2012, a valley at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench called the Challenger Deep, a specially-made version of the Deepsea accompanied him on the voyage. Strapped to the outside of his submersible, the Deepsea Challenger, it survived the 35,756ft drop as Cameron became the first person to make the trip solo.

Two years later at the premiere of the documentary made to commemorate the voyage, Rolex released the Deepsea D-Blue Dial in honor of both the man and his accomplishment. Identical to the standard model on the inside, it is topped by a dial that graduates from a brilliant blue at the top to an abyssal black at the bottom, representing the dive into the immeasurable depths. To further separate it from the regular model, the Deepsea name is printed in the same green as the Challenger Deep sub’s color scheme.

Conclusion

Rolex wrote the book on dive watches with the Submariner. While that legendary name has gone on to get dressed up in yellow and white gold finery, underlining its new role as status symbol rather than tool, its two siblings have kept their authenticity.

While very few will ever be able to test them to anywhere close to their limits, their unrivalled toughness afford a real peace of mind.

Capable of amazing feats, in the most inhospitable environments imaginable, the Sea-Dweller and the Deepsea are triumphs of the watchmaker’s art.

The post What’s the Difference? The Rolex Sea-Dweller Vs. The Rolex Deepsea appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/whats-the-difference-the-rolex-sea-dweller-vs-the-rolex-deepsea/feed/ 0
The Grail Watch Series: The Rolex GMT-Master ref. 6542 https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-watch-series-the-rolex-gmt-master-ref-6542/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-watch-series-the-rolex-gmt-master-ref-6542/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 14:14:31 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178087 As any vintage Rolex fan knows, a reference with a short-lived production run in any of the brand’s model ranges is likely to become a highly sought-after piece. If the model range in question is one of the most popular and iconic in the catalog, and the particular reference represents the very first in the […]

The post The Grail Watch Series: The Rolex GMT-Master ref. 6542 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
As any vintage Rolex fan knows, a reference with a short-lived production run in any of the brand’s model ranges is likely to become a highly sought-after piece. If the model range in question is one of the most popular and iconic in the catalog, and the particular reference represents the very first in the series, all the ingredients are there for the sort of grail-like offering that causes collectors, and their bank managers, heart palpitations—for different reasons.

Rolex GMT-Master 6542 Stainless Steel

The GMT-Master ref. 6542 is a grail watch in the truest sense of the word. It emerged as Rolex’s answer to a question posed by Pan Am Airways; how to aid pilots in their fight against the new phenomenon of jet lag.

As the post-war economic boom of the 1950s took hold, and advances in aviation technology opened up the possibility of transatlantic travel for a new generation, tourists and flight crew alike were suddenly exposed to the realities of crossing multiple time zones.

What was a mere inconvenience for vacationers was a far more pressing matter for those charged with delivering them to and from their destinations safely. Having a simple and efficient way to visualize what time of day they would be landing in had proven to be an effective method for pilots to combat some of the neurological effects of jet lag.

Rolex’s solution was as stylish as it was effective. By taking the rotating graduated bezel concept they had pioneered with the Turn-O-Graph ref. 6202 from 1953, introducing a two-color scheme to it to differentiate night from day, and adding a fourth hand on the dial, the newly-formed GMT-Master could track both home and local time zones simultaneously.

Debuting in 1954, the ref. 6542 was an immediate success, ranking alongside the recently introduced Submariner in its popularity and advancing Rolex’s reputation as manufacturers of the ultimate tool watches—a revolutionary new field that Rolex themselves had established.

The Bakelite Bezels

However, admired as they were, the initial examples of the GMT-Master were about to run into trouble. That distinctive bezel, in the red and blue livery that quickly earned it the nickname the ‘Pepsi’, had two glaring problems.

Rolex GMT-Master 6542 Stainless Steel

Firstly, the material. Formed from one of the earliest types of plastic—Bakelite—it was far too fragile to hold a place on a watch touted as a sturdy companion for hard-working professionals. In hot tropical climates especially, it was prone to cracking so badly that it would be rendered essentially useless.

And secondly, the luminescent paint used on the hands and hour markers, and the bezel itself, proved to be dangerously radioactive, leading to a recall of every one of the 605 original GMTs that had been imported into North America.

While today the effects of radiation poisoning are well known, in the 50s Radium was considered not only safe to use as lume on watch dials but it was also added to certain types of water, chocolate and other consumables for its supposed health-giving properties. There was even Radium-infused toothpaste, said to give your teeth an extra radiance.

By 1956, just two years after the ref. 6542’s introduction, and following testing by the Atomic Energy Commission, Rolex was forced to issue a return on their new model. The brittle Bakelite surround was replaced with a plastic insert, and the much safer Tritium provided the glow rather than Radium.

All that means that first run GMT-Masters with their Bakelite bezels still intact are among the most coveted vintage timepieces from Rolex or just about any manufacturer, and they have price tags that reflect their rarity.

Features and Variations

Much like the early Submariners, the ref. 6542 is unique in the GMT series for its lack of crown guards. It wouldn’t be until 1959 and the second generation ref. 1675 that the protective shoulders for the winding crown made their first appearance.

Rolex GMT-Master 6542 Yellow Gold

Another trait shared with the Sub, on the very earliest steel versions of the GMT at least, are the long neck hour hands; a distinguishing feature that gave way to the more recognizable Mercedes-style post 1957.

The extra hour hand used to mark the second time zone came tipped with a small triangle at the end and was bright red in color to separate it at a glance from the others. And the seconds hand, white on the first models before changing to gold to match the main hands, had its own lume dot so it could be seen in the dark.

There are, of course, this being Rolex, some hyper-rare exceptions to the rules. 18k gold models appeared, with brown bezels and dials and sporting ‘alpha’ style hands—dagger-shaped hour and minute hands and a straight seconds hand without the lume.

However, there is another variant so scarce that it has almost entered mythology. About 200 special white dial gold GMTs were produced, the so-called ‘Albino’ models that were given exclusively to Pan Am executives. Possibly the rarest sports Rolex of them all, you would be hard pressed to even find anyone who has seen one, let alone track down an example of the watch itself.

The Dials and Calibers

As is the way with classic Rolex, there are further tiny variations in the dial make up that can add huge premiums to the price of vintage models.

Rolex GMT-Master 6542 Stainless Steel

The earliest pieces went through several phases; some with all their text written in gold to match the gilt dial, to limited numbers with the ‘GMT-Master’ name picked out in pink and even smaller quantities with a pink name and a red depth rating.

Yellow gold models were fitted with ‘nipple’ style hour markers, concave applied indexes that look a lot like…well, you know. And every iteration of the ref. 6542 featured a chapter ring, the graduated circle on the outside of the dial that Rolex doesn’t seem to favor anymore.

As for the movements, there were three in service in the GMT’s five year run. Starting with the Cal. 1036, it was joined by the Cal. 1065 and the Cal. 1066 around 1957.

Automatic, 18,000vph movements with date function and, of course, the fixed 24-hour hand, all three calibers were used interchangeably in the final two years of production.

Buying a ref. 6542

The first of the GMT-Masters has the same problem today as it had 60 years ago; namely the bezel.

Rolex GMT-Master 6542 Yellow Gold

Between the majority of them being replaced by Rolex because of the radioactivity scare, to the highly breakable nature of the ones that remained, coupled with the fact that the 6542 is a particularly rare beast anyway, and the selection on offer on the vintage market is sparse. And sparse in this instance is another way of saying expensive.

To give you an idea, an original Pepsi Bakelite bezel sold at auction in 2014 for $32,500. Not a watch. Not a bezel and, like, a car. Just a bezel.

It is fair to say the condition of that bi-color surround on the ref. 6542 is what dictates the price. A watch can be flawless in every other respect, but if the bezel is substandard, collectors will tend to walk away.

That’s not as strange as you might think. It is, after all, the defining feature of the GMT-Master, the crucial extra selling point that secures its place in the Rolex lineup. Even though the Sky-Dweller, introduced in 2012, is ostensibly the brand’s new flagship aviation-inspired model, with its highly impressive complications and annual calendar, it can’t match the GMT for user friendliness.

That elegantly ingenious response to Pan Am’s plea created a modern legend; an all out tool watch sophisticated enough to grace any wrist, and the one that started it all is at the top of every grail hunter’s wish list.

The post The Grail Watch Series: The Rolex GMT-Master ref. 6542 appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-watch-series-the-rolex-gmt-master-ref-6542/feed/ 0
The Importance of a Good Watchmaker https://beckertime.com/blog/the-importance-of-a-good-watchmaker/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-importance-of-a-good-watchmaker/#respond Wed, 30 May 2018 14:04:57 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181537 Similar to owning a car and having a trustworthy mechanic you can depend on, if you own a luxury watch—or several—it’s important to have a good watchmaker you can call upon should you need to. If well taken care of, a Rolex watch can last several lifetimes. But the key here is to take good […]

The post The Importance of a Good Watchmaker appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
Similar to owning a car and having a trustworthy mechanic you can depend on, if you own a luxury watch—or several—it’s important to have a good watchmaker you can call upon should you need to. If well taken care of, a Rolex watch can last several lifetimes. But the key here is to take good care of your watch. While there are some things you can do on your own to extend the life of your Rolex like regular cleaning, there are some things such as servicing that are best left up to the professionals. Let’s discuss the importance of a good watchmaker and how to find one.

Independent Watchmakers vs. Manufacturer’s In-House Watchmakers

A question we get a lot at Beckertime is whether one should trust their cherished Rolex watch to an independent watchmaker or only send it in to an official Rolex service center. While a Rolex service center of course means officially certified Rolex watchmakers, parts, and equipment, it does come at a hefty price.

Sometimes, that price is hard to justify—especially if you managed to score yourself a relatively inexpensive pre-owned Rolex watch—so it’s perfectly acceptable to depend on an independent watchmaker. Plus, Rolex watchmakers have very strict procedures they have to follow when servicing a watch, so that vintage Rolex watch that you send in may come back with replacement dials, hands, and other components that you actually don’t want to change!

It’s also important to note that most watch brands, including Rolex, will only service a watch that is 100% original and that does not have any customized or aftermarket parts. So if your Rolex watch includes a custom bezel, dial, band, or any aftermarket diamonds or other gems, you have to rely on an independent watchmaker to service your watch.

If you do decide to use an independent watchmaker, make sure that they are properly trained in dealing with Rolex watches and have all the relevant certifications, paperwork, and experience to do so. And don’t forget to research some reviews of past clients to understand what to expect. Also, any independent watchmaker worth your time will offer a warranty on his or her services, so inquire about that too.

Local Watchmakers vs. Shipping to Distant Watchmakers

Another question to ask yourself when looking into finding an independent watch repair center is whether to depend on a local watchmaker or a distant one that you’d have to ship your watch to. Although it’s relatively easy to ship an expensive watch using any one of the top couriers—we ship and receive hundreds of Rolex watches a month after all—shipping costs and insurance fees can quickly add up.

If you live in an area where you can find a great local watchmaker, that’s always a better bet in our opinion since you can easily drop by whenever you need to have your Rolex looked at.

Associations and Schooling for Watchmakers

AWCI

In the United States, there’s The American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute (AWCI), which provides certifications for independent watchmakers and clockmakers. Internationally, there’s also the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program (WOSTEP). Any watchmaker with these certifications has undergone extensive education and rigorous training in the art of watchmaking and is well versed to handle the cleaning, polishing, servicing, or repairing your Rolex watch.

WOSTEP

Regardless of if you decide to go with an official Rolex service center on independent watch professional, it’s important to find a good watchmaker that you can rely on to take good care of your Rolex watch. Do your homework, speak to fellow watch enthusiasts for some recommendations, and most importantly, go with your gut!

The post The Importance of a Good Watchmaker appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-importance-of-a-good-watchmaker/feed/ 0
Famous Guitarists and their Rock Star Rolex Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/famous-guitarists-and-their-rock-star-rolex-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/famous-guitarists-and-their-rock-star-rolex-watches/#respond Wed, 30 May 2018 14:01:10 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=181545 Fame, fortune, and the rock star lifestyle are just a few of the perks of being a legendary guitarist. And if you’re anything like these guitar heroes, then a penchant for luxury watches is a thing too. Here’s a roundup of some of the most renowned celebrity guitarists and the Rolex watches that grace their […]

The post Famous Guitarists and their Rock Star Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

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

Fame, fortune, and the rock star lifestyle are just a few of the perks of being a legendary guitarist. And if you’re anything like these guitar heroes, then a penchant for luxury watches is a thing too. Here’s a roundup of some of the most renowned celebrity guitarists and the Rolex watches that grace their talented wrists.

John Mayer’s Rolex Watches

Aside from his music and incredible guitar skills, John Mayer is well known in the watch enthusiast community for being a watch collector himself. He’s even contributed some articles to Hodinkee and is very vocal about the watches he likes and does not like. And among the watches John Mayer does like is a bunch of awesome Rolex timepieces.

🐼

A post shared by John Mayer 💎 (@johnmayer) on

Some of John Mayer’s vintage Rolex watches include a Submariner COMEX ref. 1680, a MilSub ref. 5517, and a Daytona ref. 6263. Along with vintage pieces, he also has a couple of very modern Rolex watches to his name including the white gold GMT-Master II with the famed Pepsi dial. It’s worth mentioning that John Mayer was one of the first in the US to receive 2016’s hottest watch of the year—the steel and ceramic Daytona ref. 116500LN. He opted for the white “Panda” version instead of the black dial model—and it looks great!

Dave Navarro’s Rolex Watches

It may come as a surprise to some, but guitarist, singer, songwriter, and tattoo aficionado Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers fame is a big fan of high-end watches too. Within his collection of luxury watches, we spotted some fantastic Rolex watches on his wrist.

With @toddnewman in the boardroom #NYC #deepseadweller #daytona #rolex

A post shared by Dave Navarro (@davenavarro) on

Similar to John Mayer, Dave Navarro was also an early recipient of the popular steel and ceramic Rolex Daytona in 2016 and the Panda dial is the version he selected. Dave Navarro’s other Rolex watches include an 18k yellow gold Day-Date President with baguette diamonds on the champagne dial, a steel GMT-Master II with the blue and black “Batman” bezel, a two-tone steel and yellow gold Submariner, a Yacht-Master II, and a Deepsea dive watch. From dressy to sporty, his choice in Rolex watches is certainly diverse.

Slash’s Rolex Watch

With his signature top hat, crazy hair, history with Guns N’ Roses, and immense guitar talent, there are few guitarists the world over that are as recognizable as Slash. And what does a celebrity guitarist like Slash wear on his wrist? The Rolex Submariner “Hulk.” named so for its bright green bezel, chunkier stainless steel Oyster case, and rich green dial.

Slash rocked his Rolex Submariner Hulk on stage just this month at the LA Zoo’s Beastly Ball, where he headlined the fundraiser for the zoo! Just like his go-to black top hat, Slash seems loyal to just one Rolex watch.

Eric Clapton’s Rolex Watches

Eric Clapton’s love affair with high-end watches goes back several decades. In fact, in the 1990s, Eric Clapton—without a doubt one of the greatest guitarists of all time—was an official Rolex ambassador appearing in several print ads for the Day-Date President.

Eric Clapton’s passion for watch collecting really came into the spotlight after he sold off some extraordinary pieces at auction including a vintage Yacht-Master prototype (one of only three ever made) and a vintage Daytona ref. 6263 “Albino” that sold in 2015 for $1.4 million—the most expensive Rolex ever sold at the time. He also sold his yellow gold Daytona just last year, which he wore on a black rubber strap.

These days, we’ve seen Eric Clapton wearing a bunch of other Rolex watches including the modern MIlgauss with the green sapphire crystal, a stainless steel GMT-Master II, and most recently, an unassuming stainless steel Datejust in this video interview with the Royal Albert Hall.

Adam Levine’s Rolex Watches

Frontman for Maroon 5, solo artist, and celebrity judge on NBC’s The Voice, Adam Levine has a very interesting Rolex collection packed with vintage classics. Adam Levine’s Rolex collection includes vintage Daytona chronograph “Paul Newman” models in steel and yellow gold, vintage Daytona watches with regular dials, a vintage Submariner with no crown guards, a host of vintage Day-Date watches with colorful “Stella” dials, and a vintage yellow gold GMT-Master, just to name a few.

Bro #adamlevine #maroon5 #jamesvalentine

A post shared by Adam Levine (FANS) (@_adamlevinefan) on

With pieces like these, it’s clear that Adam Levine is a serious and thoughtful Rolex watch enthusiast with a taste for the old school.

Given the wide choice of models, from old to new, tool watch to dress watch, it’s no surprise that the appeal of Rolex watches is widespread. And if this article has shown us one thing, it’s that a Rolex looks fab paired with tattooed arms!

The post Famous Guitarists and their Rock Star Rolex Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/famous-guitarists-and-their-rock-star-rolex-watches/feed/ 0
The Grail Series: McQueen’s Watches https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-series-mcqueens-watches/ https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-series-mcqueens-watches/#respond Tue, 29 May 2018 15:32:10 +0000 https://beckertime.com/?p=178089 This week’s grail watch post is going to take some explaining. We are going to be looking at two iconic vintage Rolex references, both linked to an altogether different type of icon, one of which he never wore but which bears his name, the other he wore religiously which doesn’t. Confused? You will be. The […]

The post The Grail Series: McQueen’s Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
This week’s grail watch post is going to take some explaining. We are going to be looking at two iconic vintage Rolex references, both linked to an altogether different type of icon, one of which he never wore but which bears his name, the other he wore religiously which doesn’t.

Confused? You will be.

The King of Cool

Was Steve McQueen the coolest man who ever lived? I’d never presume to offer my opinion but…yes. Yes, he was.

In his life he extinguished towering infernos, tore up San Francisco in a Mustang and leapt barbed wire fences on a stolen motorbike while wearing his standard issue POW leather jacket and khakis. He was a volatile, demonically charismatic screen legend, a reform school thug who went on to typify the perfect antihero for the counterculture generation.

Robust and self-assured, his style was no nonsense utility over showy statement; an uncompromising attitude that extended to every part of his life, including his watches.

While onscreen he is most commonly associated with the square dial, blue-faced Tag Heuer Monaco he wore in the 1970 movie Le Mans, in his personal life, McQueen was a Rolex fan. And the model he wore consistently for the last 20 years of his life, before his untimely death in 1980, was the ref. 5512 Submariner.

So far so good. But if you happen to engage in any research of the man and his brand, you will be presented with page after page of a very different model, one that has been inextricably linked to McQueen for decades, with exactly zero evidence that he ever wore one.

The ref. 1655, the first of the Explorer II range, will forever be known as the Steve McQueen Rolex. In the same way it took just one photo of Paul Newman wearing his exotic dial Daytona in an Italian magazine to eternally change that particular watch’s standing, so it was with McQueen and the Explorer.

The only difference is, with Newman, the Daytona was clearly visible in a posed studio shot. For McQueen, it was a grabbed, candid snap of the man in his natural habitat of the race track. On his wrist, poking out beneath the sleeve of his fireproof suit, is a Rolex. At some point, someone decided it was an Explorer II, although the angle makes it impossible to tell.

Never letting the facts hamper a great marketing opportunity, the probable mistake was left uncorrected by Rolex, and McQueen had far too much swagger to engage in any argument of that sort. So the legend remains.

As for the watches themselves, they each marked significant development in their respective pedigrees. Below, we’ll see just what it was that makes them the sort of true blue grail pieces that get collector’s hearts racing.

The Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655

Despite the similarity in name, the Explorer II was never intended as a successor to the original Explorer from 1953.

Rolex Mens Explorer II 1655

Whereas that model was the epitome of simple, elegant functionality, the ref. 1655 released in 1971 was a completely separate entity with a far more specific brief. With its all steel construction, fixed engraved bezel and bright orange 24-hour hand, the Explorer II had its sights fixed on a very select set of individuals from the start—one that, where sunlight was concerned, saw either too much or none at all.

Scientists and explorers whose life and work takes them to the extremes of the polar regions, where the sun never sets in the summer or rises in the winter, or else into the perpetual darkness of uncharted caverns, can quickly lose their sense of night and day.

With the Explorer II, the boldly colored ‘Freccione’ (literally ‘big arrow’ in Italian) hand always indicated the correct hour on the 24-hour graduated bezel, providing some point of reference for those who hadn’t or couldn’t see daylight for sometimes weeks at a time.

However, although it used the same movement as the ref. 1675 GMT-Master of the era, the Cal. 1575, the Explorer II was not a true GMT watch. The non-rotating surround meant it couldn’t be used to keep track of two time zones as the pilot’s watch could.

Between this perceived lack of usefulness, its extremely confining niche and a dial that many thought too cluttered and unreadable, and the ref. 1655 struggled to gain a foothold in Rolex’s sports range. Hold it up alongside the Subs, Sea-Dwellers and even the still marginalized Daytonas of the time, and it lagged a long way behind in popularity and outright sales.

Variations

Even so, it had a decent run. In all, the first of the Explorer IIs stuck around until 1985 and went through five different versions in its 14 years.

Rolex Mens Explorer II 1655

Identified as Mark I to Mark V, the only distinctions between each model are minute, even for Rolex, changes to the dial, bezel and hands. The Mark II dial, for example, that ran from 1972 to 1977, has the ‘Frog Foot’ coronet—a unique design of the brand’s logo that resembles, you guessed it, the foot of a frog.

The Mark III is known as the ‘rail dial’, a rare and highly sought after variant made between 1974 and 1977, where the letter ‘C’ of ‘Chronometer’ is lined up perfectly with the ‘C’ of ‘Certified’ in the two lines of ‘SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED’ text.

Other details, such as the four individual styles of bezel, which varied in the thickness and positioning of their fonts, or whether the seconds hand is straight or has a lume dot at the end (the ‘lollipop’ style) also have a great effect on prices for vintage examples.

Perhaps the biggest visible difference and the one that has the most bearing on the ref. 1655’s value is in the 24-hour hand. The original pieces were known for their bright orange color, but around 1975, Rolex decided to change them to red. However, the paint they used discolored badly over time, and these later red hands would fade back to orange, or even to yellow or occasionally bleach completely white, known as the Albino Explorers. All factors that can make dating a 1655 quite a challenge.

The Attainable Grail

Likened to many of the so-called grail watches we look at in this blog, the ref. 1655 can be had for a surprisingly realistic price.

Note I said realistic and not cheap. A good later example will still set you back northwards of $15k, early Mark I dials are twice that and beyond.

Nevertheless, this is one classic Rolex that represents a truly excellent investment. While prices have been increasing steadily for the last few years, it is still a severely undervalued watch compared to the other sports models from a similar period.

Always the dark horse in the stable, it has started to appeal to collectors searching for something different in a sea of Submariners and GMT-Masters. The out and out tool-like nature of the Explorer II has remained true to the essence of Rolex. Never a status symbol, it has now become a statement of individuality.

Whether or not he actually wore one we’ll never know, but Steve McQueen’s namesake has become, appropriately enough, the rebel’s choice.

The Rolex Submariner ref. 5512

The formative years of the world’s favorite dive watch were particularly unsettled. Certain models were launched and quickly discontinued, sometimes within as little as 12 months. Innovative features and upgrades would be introduced, each facilitating a new reference, meaning some of the earliest examples today number in the mere handful.

Rolex Mens Submariner 5512

By 1958, most of the teething problems had been ironed out to the extent that the emerging ref. 5512 stayed in production for two decades, and it represented both an important first and a significant last in the Submariner’s history.

It was the model that introduced crown guards to the range, a logical and welcome addition considering the harsh environments the watch was intended for, and which lent the piece the silhouette we know today. But it was also the last of the acrylic crystal breed to be offered without a date function. The Cyclops-magnified date window at 3 o’clock has been a bone of contention among Rolex devotees ever since its introduction, with those against it arguing it ruins the symmetry of an otherwise handsomely legible dial.

The ref. 5512 then, marks the end of the classic vintage Subs, and has a huge fan base accordingly. Simple, effective and effortlessly stylish, this was Steve McQueen’s watch, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.

Variations

Much like the ref. 1655 above, the Submariner ref. 5512 evolved during its run, but it is a little more complex than with the Explorer II.

Rolex Mens Submariner 5512

The very earliest examples were what is known as the 2-line models. When it was introduced, the 5512 was powered by Rolex’s Cal. 1530, a fine movement in itself, but non-chronometer rated. Having not passed, or been submitted for, accreditation from the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, or COSC, which lays down rigorous standards for the accuracy of mechanical watch movements, Rolex were unable to add the SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED text to the Sub’s dial. Therefore, the only writing other than the ‘Rolex’ and ‘Oyster Perpetual’ labels were the Submariner name and the water resistance, 200m-660ft.

During the mid-60s, the movement was upgraded to the Cal. 1560, and then to the Cal. 1570 a little later, both COSC-rated, which led to the more common 4-line dial examples, testifying to their chronometer credentials.

However, the story doesn’t end there. In 1962, the Submariner ref. 5513 was released, essentially the same watch but only ever offered as a non-chronometer. With identical looks but a cheaper price tag, the ref. 5513 was the more popular of the two and stayed in production all the way through to 1989, meaning there are vastly more available to buy on the vintage market, and they can cause the unwary collector some expensive headaches. It is not unheard of for a relatively common ref. 5513 being passed off as an especially valuable 2-line ref. 5512.

Crown Guards

The introduction of protective crown guards to the Submariner range succeeded in making an already desirable watch even more vital. Yet the very first pieces that were produced, and by very first we mean about the initial 100 examples, featured square guards that made it too difficult to unscrew the crown.

The shape was soon changed to a more pointed design, with those handful of original pieces going on to become the most sought after vintage models of the ref. 5512. As an interesting side note, the square crown guard cases Rolex had already gone to the trouble of making were shipped over to their sister company Tudor to be used for their own Submariner, the ref. 7928—which today stands as the rarest example of that watch as well.

Ever evolving, those pointed crown guards, sometimes referred to as ‘El Cornino’ for their horn-like shape, were themselves replaced in the late 60s for the rounder style we are all more familiar with in the contemporary Sub.

Bullitt’s Choice

By the time the 5512’s race was run in 1978, it had gone through countless tiny variations, particularly of its dial. Differentiated by Rolex collector’s own peculiar language, they are separated into groups such as chapter ring or non-chapter ring, underline, non-underline, exclamation points, meters first, gilt, matte and many more besides. Each has its place, and prices between two examples that to the uninitiated look to be virtually identical can be astronomical.

The ref. 5512 is a genuine all time great in the Rolex canon, regarded by many purists as the last of the breed—a perfect, masculine tool watch.

Happily, for such an important chapter in the Submariner story, late examples can be had for around the same price as the ref. 1655 Explorer II. The Sub was made in far greater numbers than the Explorer, leaving plenty of choice on the pre-owned market.

Rare, early pieces, of course, aren’t quite so attainable. Even if you can track one down, you are most likely to be presented with the ominous ‘price on request’ label where the dollar value usually is.

Those brave enough to request the price, and rich enough to pay it, end up with not only a rock solid investment, but an example of Rolex at their very best. The 50s and 60s were a golden age for the crown, and the Submariner ref. 5512 was arguably their finest creation.

And if it was good enough for Steve McQueen, it’s good enough for us.

The post The Grail Series: McQueen’s Watches appeared first on Beckertime, LLC.

]]>
https://beckertime.com/blog/the-grail-series-mcqueens-watches/feed/ 0
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.

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. He has 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. These include 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.

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 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 will inevitably get dirty. As it lives on your arm, it will 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 is thoroughly cleaned and polished to look like new. Also, any damaged parts are replaced. Furthermore, the movement of the watch is disassembled, re-lubricated to avoid friction, and after everything has been put back together, the watch is 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 th