Time, Elegance, Luxury, Rolex
When we think of Oysters, we tend to think of sea creatures that are served on a platter for seafood
When we think of Oysters, we tend to think of sea creatures that are served on a platter for seafood lovers to consume. But according to Hans Wilsdorf, “the Oyster” is the name of the first waterproof wristwatch that saw the light of day. After revolutionizing what was once an ordinary wristwatch, Mr. Wildorf took advantage of his initial success and founded “Rolex Watches” at only 24 years old.
The infamous Rolex brand was created in 1905 and resided in London, specializing in the making and distribution of luxury timepieces.
In the early 1900’s, wristwatches were known to be unreliable and inaccurate. Wilsdorf’s goal was to make a watch that was both precise and elegant. He relied on a Swiss watchmaking company located in Bienne, Switzerland to craft his timepieces in the most accurate way possible.
Wilsdorf wanted the design of his watches to contain dials that would showcase precise movements, have luxurious links or straps occupying the wrist, and a rich display like no other.
Wilsdorf spent a lot of time perfecting the art of precision and accuracy in his early years of watchmaking. His study would eventually pay off and garner huge success towards his company. By 1910, Rolex became the first wristwatch in the world to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision. Four years later, the Kew Observatory, located in Great Britain, granted a Rolex wristwatch a class “A” precision certificate. From then on, Rolex timepieces became notorious for their dial’s sharp precision.
In 1919, the Rolex company moved to Geneva, Switzerland, an internationally known city that specializes in watchmaking even to this day.
Fast forward to present day and Rolex is still known as one of the most luxurious chronographs you can possess. Its impact on high fashion has not gone unnoticed and its consistency has allowed it to reign supreme throughout its years of existence.
There have been many Rolex designs that have manifested in recent years. What you may not know is that each design is separated into two signature categories, “Classic Watches” and “Professional Watches”.
There are seven timepieces that fall under the Classic Watch category: Day-Date, Sky-Dweller, Datejust, Lady-Datejust, Oyster Perpetual, Pearlmaster, and Cellini.
The Day-Date, a.k.a “the President’s bracelet”, was created in 1956 and became the first wristwatch to display the date and full weekday in a small window on the dial. This watch is fully waterproof with prices varying depending on the type of specs you wish to obtain.
The Sky-Dweller is perfect for frequent travellers. This elegant watch displays the time in two time zones that coincide simultaneously and also possesses an annual calendar. The annual calendar automatically differentiates between months that have 30 days or 31 days. It also tells you the current month using a red mark as indication.
The Datejust first launched in 1945. This watch prides itself on its basic functions and aesthetics that have never gone out of style. It was the first wristwatch that created the path for all other Rolex innovations that are still used in most of the company’s modern wristwatches.
The Lady Datejust is exactly what you’re thinking, the original Datejust specifically tailored towards women. This watch was launched in 1957, 12 years after the first Datejust was unveiled. It takes the elegance of the male timepiece and slightly modifies itself to fit all women.
The Oyster Perpetual is the direct descendant of the OG Oyster, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch. This timepiece has a basic design that continues to keep the tradition of it’s ancestry. And yes, it is still waterproof with excellent chromatic precision.
The Pearlmaster is by far the fanciest wristwatch you can obtain in Rolex’s classic form. This timepiece is mostly made of exquisite gems that include diamonds, sapphires, or rubies. Rolex’s experienced specialists study each gem in a gemmology laboratory to ensure that each gemstone is of top quality.
The last model of Classic Rolex watches is the Cellini. The Cellini is labeled as “a timeless classic”, simply displaying the hours, minutes, and seconds on the watch. There are two other versions of this watch that each possess a slightly different display. One is called the “Cellini Date”, which has a separate dial that shows the current day, days gone by, and days to come. The other is called the “Cellini Dual Time”, a watch that simultaneously displays the current time and the time somewhere else in the world.
There are eight timepieces that fall under the Professional Watches category: Cosmograph Daytona, Sea-Dweller, Submariner, GMT-Master Ⅱ, Yacht Master, Explorer, Milgauss, and Air-King.
The Cosmograph Daytona was first introduced in 1963 and was made to pay homage towards the world of motor sports. It’s design is specifically tailored towards those who race professionally. This watch allows drivers to measure elapsed time in the form of hours, minutes, and seconds on the dial. It also features a tachymetric scale that reads the average speed over any given distance based on elapsed time. This instrument is able to measure speeds up to 400 units per hour, which are expressed in miles or kilometers.
Rolex took the term waterproof to a whole other level with this next collection. The Sea-Dweller and it’s sister watch, the Rolex Deepsea, are two timepieces specifically designed for deep sea divers. The Sea-Dweller is water-resistant up to 4,000 feet and the Rolex Deepsea is water-resistant up to 12,800 feet! According to the watch manufacturer, each timepiece comes equipped with a 60-minute graduated, unidirectional rotatable bezel that helps divers safely monitor their dive and decompression times.
There is nothing too special about the Rolex Submariner worth mentioning. It is basically a bigger and better version of both the Sea-Dweller and Rolex Deepsea. This watch is also tailored specifically for deep sea divers.
The original GMT Master was first launched in 1955 and was originally designed to be a navigation instrument for travelers venturing across the globe. Rolex decided to revamp this watch in 1982 and released a second version that seemed to attract a bigger audience of world travellers. What is special about the GMT-Master Ⅱ is that it is able to display either the local time and the reference time, or the local time and that of an alternative time. Basically, travellers are able to read their local time as well as the time “back home” by the way you read the hands on the dial. It is also easy to adjust when crossing different time zones.
The Rolex Yacht Master and Yacht Master Ⅱ are the ideal watches for all professional sailors alike. What is unique about this timepiece is it’s “countdown” feature that allows sailors to set a timer at the start of every race. According to Rolex, once the countdown is launched, it can be synchronised on the fly to match changes in the official race countdown.
The Explorer and Explorer Ⅱ models tested Rolex’s design and innovation to the fullest. These watches are specifically made for pioneers and mountaineers who dare to go where most wouldn’t. Rolex constantly sampled these watches for years, dating back as far as the 1930’s. As decades passed, they got constant feedback on how to improve their “Explorer” series and have recently started to perfect its design. This watch is known to function under the most extreme conditions such as freezing temperatures, snow storms, and high elevation.
The Milgauss was first created in 1956 and got its name from its own design. According to Rolex, this watch can withstand magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss. The first part of its name, “Mil”, comes from the French word “mille”, which means one thousand. This timepiece is specifically designed for scientists seeking extraordinary discoveries.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Rolex’s Air-King. Paying homage to pilots and aviation, the Air-King can withstand long distance flights and high elevation. It’s design not only features your average 3, 6, and 9 numerals to mark the hours, but it also includes a 5-minute scale for navigational time readings.
Rolex’s Celebrity Trademark
The elites tend to possess the fanciest of objects and some of the most extravagant delicacies that exist. Rolex’s mission is to be one of the top wristwatch brands worn by some of the biggest names in high fashion culture.
Various celebrities, athletes, performers, and highly trained professionals consider Rolex one of the “go to” labels for telling time.
For example, John F. Kennedy wore his Rolex Day-Date often, hence its nickname “The President’s Watch”. Elvis Presley sold out the Houston Aerodrome six days in a row. As a result, the organizers of the concert gifted Elvis with one of the most expensive Rolex watches at the time known as, the Rolex King Midas. Legendary actor, Steve McQueen possessed a Rolex Explorer and made a huge impact on the luxury brand.
Paul Newman was another famous Rolex watch wearer. According to CNBC, the late American actor was gifted a Rolex 6239 Daytona chronograph from his wife. The watch included a special message engraved on the back that read, “DRIVE CAREFULLY ME”. In October 2017, the watch was sold at the Phillips’ inaugural watch auction in New York for a whopping $17.75 million. This exchange set a world record for being the most expensive watch ever sold at an auction.
It comes to no surprise that Rolex is still considered one of the top watch specialists in the game. It’s elegance and detailed designs are what separate it from its competition. Acquiring one of these timepieces will definitely be a purchase you won’t regret.