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Rolex Watches: From Its Beginnings To Its Current Collection

Rolex 101: Brief History, Popular Watches, And Buying Tips

Rolex was started in 1908 by Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis. Together, they founded the Wilsdorf and Davis Company in London, England. The business idea of the company came from the vision of Hans to come up with watches that could be worn on the wrist. This was at a time when watches were timepieces on a chain and placed inside the pocket. Hans came up with the name ‘Rolex’ one day while he riding the double-decker bus in London.
In 1910, Rolex became the first watch to be awarded the Certificate of Chronometric Precision. This was a much-coveted certification from the Official Watch Rating Centre located in Bienne, Switzerland that rated Rolex watches as more accurate and precise than all the other luxury brand watches in the market at that time. This was the start of the many breakthroughs, innovations, and unparalleled standards that’d be set by Rolex.

The Current Rolex Collection
Rolex established two main categories of its collection watches: the Professional Collection and the Classic Collection. The first category consists of the various models of the Rolex brand for luxury sports and prestigious tool watch collectors. They’re distinguished by the fact that they’re specifically designed and made for particular activities, lifestyle purposes, or active environments.
The second category is made up of everything else in the Rolex brand collection. This includes both the formal designs and casual wear designs of the brand. But it’s generally accepted to use Rolex watches for either casual wear or formal attire occasions. It’s common for high net-worth individuals and corporate executives to wear Rolex dive watches with their suits during formal dinners and business meetings. Its all of these reasons why Rolex Watches hold their value for generations.

Here are some of the most popular members of the current Rolex Professional Collection:

Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner is considered by respected luxury and collection watchmakers and commentators alike as one of the most important models of sports watch designs ever made in the entire history of manufacturing sports watches. It has also been dubbed as one of the most iconic among the dive watches ever designed and built by watchmakers.
The Rolex Submariner was introduced to the market in 1953. It was the first to have a water resistance of up to 100 meters (roughly equivalent to 330 meters) among its class of dive watches. Its rating has already increased three times since then. Designers came up with versions using precious metals. There are also versions that include a date on its display.
Here are the key features of the Submariner:

⦁ Case size: 41 mm
⦁ Metals used: Oystersteel
⦁ Gold used: yellow gold and white gold
⦁ Main features options: time and date on display; time-only display
⦁ Dial colors: blue, black
⦁ Bezel: unidirectional; includes dive scale with 60 minutes; Cerachrom in green, blue, and black colors
⦁ Watch movement: Cal. 3230 (with no-date); Cal. 3235 (with date)
⦁ Water resistance: up to 300 meters (rough equivalent of 1,000 feet)
⦁ Bracelet: Oystersteel bracelet and clasp with Glidelock extension
⦁ Expected Price Range: USD$8,100-39,650

Rolex Sea-Dweller

The Sea-Dweller is considered in the Rolex world as the Submariner’s big brother. It was introduced in 1967. The Sea-Dweller was designed for saturation diving and featured the first Helium Escape Valve (HEV) ever made for the watchmaking industry when it first came out.
The HEV is a tiny regulator used to decompress the watch while it’s worn by the diver. It was made even bigger when it was reinvented with a 43mm case size several years ago. True to its name, the Sea-Dweller is a very robust watch that can withstand intense water pressure up to the sea-dwelling depth of 4,000 feet.

Here are the key features of the Sea-Dweller:
⦁ Case size: 43 mm
⦁ Materials used: Oystersteel and Yellow Rolesor
⦁ Features: time and date on display
⦁ Dial color: black
⦁ Bezel: unidirectional; includes dive scale with 60 minutes; Cerachrom insert in black color
⦁ Watch movement system: Cal. 3235
⦁ Water resistance: up to 1,220 meters (Rough equivalent of 4,000 feet; with a helium escape valve)
⦁ Bracelet: Oystersteel bracelet with Oyster clasp.
⦁ Extension systems: Glidelock and Fliplock
⦁ Expected Price Range: USD$11,700-16,600

Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller

The Deepsea Sea-Dweller is the third member of the underwater models of the Rolex collection. It’s also the largest watch in the entire line-up of the Rolex brand collection.
The Deepsea is an awesome product of precision engineering made up of alloys inspired by breakthroughs from the onset of the space age. It’s also set with a 5 mm thick sapphire crystal. With a water resistance of up to the depths of the sea at 12,800 feet, a diver wearing this deep-sea machine can go as far as two-and-a-half miles below the sea surface.
True to its engineering innovation, Rolex Deepsea’s ring lock system is able to evenly spread the intense water pressure around the surface of the watch.

Here are the key features of the Deepsea Sea-Dweller:
⦁ Case size: 44 mm
⦁ Materials used: Oystersteel
⦁ Features: time and date on display
⦁ Dial colors: black; dark blue
⦁ Bezel: unidirectional; includes dive scale with 60 minutes; Cerachrom insert in black color
⦁ Watch movement system: Cal. 3235
⦁ Water resistance: up to 3,900 meters (rough equivalent of 12,800 feet; with a helium escape valve and ring lock system)
⦁ Bracelet: Oystersteel bracelet with Oyster clasp.
⦁ Extension systems: Glidelock and Fliplock
⦁ Expected Price Range: USD$12,600-12,900

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona was introduced in 1963 and has been dubbed as the most famous chronograph in the world. In its current offering, it has the most number of variations among the watches that are part of the Professional Collection. It’s made in almost every kind of metal forged in the fabrication plants of Rolex. This includes a luxurious version made of expensive platinum.
The Daytona isn’t just about looks and appearances, though. It’s also one of the most proficient and precise mechanical watches currently being sold. It uses a chronograph made of a column-wheel that enables it to mark the time of any moment up to the precision of 1/8th of one second. It also has a vertical clutch which makes its stop and start actions so cosmic smooth.

Here are the key features of the Cosmograph Daytona:
⦁ Case size: 40 mm
⦁ Materials used: Oystersteel; Yellow Rolesor; Platinum
⦁ Gold: everose gold; yellow gold; white gold
⦁ Features: time with running seconds; includes a chronograph with 12 hours
⦁ Dial colors: various colors; comes with gem-set; mother of pearl
⦁ Bezel: fixed with a tachymeter scale; crafted from gold; Cerachrom; Platinum
⦁ Watch movement system: Cal. 4130
⦁ Water resistance: up to 100 meters (rough equivalent of 330 feet)
⦁ Bracelet: Oyster or Oysterflex with Oyster clasp.
⦁ Extension system: Easylink
⦁ Expected Price Range: USD$13,150-75,000

The Rolex Classic Collection is made up of models which weren’t designed and built with a specific sport or activity in mind. They’re mostly designed for everyday use and wear in typical day-to-day settings.

Rolex Oyster-Perpetual

The Oyster Perpetual is one of the most simple and unadorned models among the often flamboyant and fabulous other models and collections of the Rolex brand. The Oyster Perpetual Series is made up of mostly unisex watches. It’s made of Oyster steel yet it offers the least pricey selections among all the models of Rolex.

Here are the key features of Oyster-Perpetual:
⦁ Case size: 28 mm
⦁ Materials used: Oystersteel
⦁ Features: time only display
⦁ Dial colors: an extensive variety of colors
⦁ Bezel: fixed; smooth
⦁ Watch movement system: Cal. 2232; Cal. 3230
⦁ Water resistance: up to 100 meters (rough equivalent of 330 feet)
⦁ Bracelet: Oyster bracelet material with Oysterclasp.
⦁ Extension system: Easylink
⦁ Expected Price Range: USD$5,100-5,900

 

Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust was first released in 1945 and featured the first waterproof watch and the first that automatically adjusted its date with a winding function. It’s considered by many in the industry as the watch that really established the name of Rolex. Since then, it has been the consistent best-selling model of the Rolex brand to the delight of watch collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Here are the key features of the Datejust:
⦁ Case size: 28; 31; 34; 36; 41 mm
⦁ Materials used: Oystersteel; Everose Rolesor; Yellow Rolesor; White Rolesor
⦁ Gold: everose gold; yellow gold; white gold
⦁ Features: time and date display
⦁ Dial colors: extensive variety of colors and selection of styles
⦁ Bezel: fixed; smooth; gem-set; fluted.
⦁ Watch movement system: Cal. 2236; Cal. 3135; Cal. 3235
⦁ Water resistance: up to 100 meters (rough equivalent of 330 feet)
⦁ Bracelet: Oyster and Jubilee bracelet material
⦁ Extension system: Easylink
⦁ Expected Price Range: USD$6,500-35,000

Rolex Sky-Dweller

The Sky-Dweller is one of the top traveler’s watch models of Rolex. Some of its unique features are the dual time zone on its display that comes with the date display, and the annual calendar. Both of these features were technological breakthroughs when they’re first introduced.
Here are the key features of the Sky-Dweller:

⦁ Case size: 42 mm
⦁ Materials used: Yellow Rolesor; White Rolesor
⦁ Gold: everose gold; yellow gold
⦁ Features: time and date display; includes GMT functionality and annual calendar
⦁ Dial colors: white; black; champagne; blue; chocolate; dark rhodium
⦁ Bezel: fluted; ring command bezel
⦁ Watch movement system: Cal. 9001
⦁ Water resistance: up to 100 meters (rough equivalent of 330 feet)
⦁ Bracelet: Oyster and Jubilee bracelet with Oysterclasp.
⦁ Extension system: Easylink
⦁ Expected Price Range: USD$14,800-49,950

Conclusion
From its early beginnings when it was repulsed by watch collectors as overly complicated timekeepers, Rolex has already set so many watch industry records, engineering breakthroughs, and technological innovations. The name Rolex has already become synonymous with accuracy and precision, prestige and luxury, quality and durability. It has so many fabulous luxury watches in its lineup for all sorts of lifestyle activities.

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