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Tagged with 'rolex'

Why Rolex Makes Their Own Alloys

Just like Omega (click here to read the full article on Omega’s alloys), Rolex also makes their own unique and patented alloys. Rolex even took it a step further. While Omega has their own unique combinations, Rolex even has their own foundry, where they physically make their own alloys with their own precious metals. Rolex doesn’t just assemble watches, they melt their own metal and make their own gold.

Today, we are going to find out which unique alloys come out of Rolex’s foundry.

 

 

Rolex Cellini Everose Gold

Everose gold

Everose is an exclusively patented rose gold alloy that is used on all the modern rose gold watches of the Rolex line-up. The alloy was introduced in 2005, and has been a huge success ever since.

Everose was developed for the same reason Omega developed Sedna gold. Rose gold is partially made of copper, and copper can fade over time. This phenomenon is sped up if the material touches salt water. Given that the 126655 Yachtmaster is a rose gold watch designed for racing yachts at sea, I’d say that the odds of the watch touching salt water are pretty big.

When you add platinum to this alloy, the red glow will never fade, and the watch will always keep its rich red color.

 

Rolesor

Rolesor is Rolex’s take on gold, and shows why Rolex is a pioneer. Omega patented its first alloy in 2013, Rolex patented Rolesor in 1933, and has been using Rolesor ever since.

White Rolesor is an alloy of Oystersteel and white gold. Yellow Rolesor is an alloy of Oystersteel and yellow gold. Combining the precious metals with Oystersteel makes the material much stronger and more robust than regular 18k gold. A smart move, since Rolex offers most of their sports watches in precious metals. You can’t market yourself as the leader in sports watches and use regular soft yellow gold that’s prone to scratches and dents. Sharp edges like a fluted bezel would be made dull in a matter of days if the bezel would be made from regular softer gold.

 

Discover our Selection of Rolex Watches
  1. Submariner Date 40
    Submariner Date 40
    €14,890.00
  2. Daytona
    Daytona
    €35,750.00
  3. Daytona 40
    Daytona 40
    €31,500.00
  4. Oyster Perpetual Explorer II 42
    Oyster Perpetual Explorer II 42
    €10,890.00

 

How Do Anti-Magnetic Watches Work?

Whether you like it or not, we are surrounded by magnets. The device you are using to read this exact article is filled with magnets. It doesn’t matter if you read this on a laptop, your phone or your tablet. You could of course print out this article and read it on paper, but your printer also contains magnets, so that defeats the purpose.

Magnets mean bad news for watches, since the movement of your automatic watch is usually made out of steel. It’s irrelevant if your watch has the price of a pair of sneakers, the price of a small car or the price of a large house, most of them are made out of steel.

This can cause a problem, since steel is magnetic. If your balance wheel isn’t balanced, it won’t keep good time, that’s no rocket science.

 

 

Omega Seamaster Chronometer 160000 Gauss

Why Was This Invented?

You might think that anti-magnetic watches were specifically designed to protect your watch from household-electromagnets, like speakers and laptops. In fact, the concept of anti-magnetic watches have been around longer than household electromagnetic devices have.

Rolex introduced the first antimagnetic watch, the Milgauss, in 1956. The watch was developed for engineers who worked in power plants and around factories with high electromagnetic fields. The Scientists of the CERN in Geneva all wore Rolexes, because the Milgauss was the only watch that they were able to wear during their job in the 1950’s. Keep in mind that in the fifties, a Rolex was used as a tool watch, not as a piece of jewelry.

Rolex was the first to tackle this problem, but ever since, there have been many changes and upgrades over the years.

 

Two Different Approaches

Today, there are two different ways to tackle magnetism in watches:

The first way is to protect the entire movement. This can be done by shielding the whole movement with a magnetically permeable material. Usually soft iron is used. The soft iron can be easily magnetized, but doesn’t contain the magnetism. Once the magnetic field leaves, the material will cease to be magnetic. This way, the soft iron shell protects the movement.

The second method is more modern. This approach is to remove all vulnerable parts, and change them with nonferrous materials that can’t be magnetized. Removing all vulnerable parts is the literal version of the saying ‘better safe than sorry’. An iron-nickel alloy has been used the last few decades. The most recent improvement in the field of anti-magnetic balance springs is silicone. This has been the best and most efficient solution so far.

 

From Pioneer To Has-Been

Rolex was the first to explore the field of antimagnetic watches. The Milgauss had some seriously impressive stats in 1956. Notice the key words, ‘in 1956’. The Milgauss was resistant to 1000 gauss. You could have guessed that from the name Milgauss, because mille means 1000 in French, and Gauss is a measurement of magnetic induction. Today, models like the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra have ratings up to 15.000 gauss. Looks like Rolex is still stuck in the fifties.

 

Modern Rolex Nicknames you NEED to know

Reference numbers are boring and long. If you ever meet someone who says ‘Hey, check out my new 210.30.42.20.01.00’ instead of ‘Hey, check out my new Omega‘, run away from them. No one likes a show off.

Because a brand like Rolex has had about a gazillion different variations of Submariners and GMT-Masters over the years, people came up with nicknames to make it more easy to talk about a certain model. Below, you will find the most important and most used nicknames for modern Submariners and GMT-Masters. Did you already know them all?

 

 

Rolex Pepsi

Pepsi (BLRO)

The Pepsi has to the first one on the list without a doubt. The Pepsi might be one of the most famous & recognizable Rolex models ever made. They were a huge hit in 1955 when they came out, and they are just as popular today.

The Pepsi has had many different evolutions and reference numbers over the years, but they always have one thing in common, the letters BLRO at the end. BLRO stands for Bleu-Rouge, what means blue-red (the colors of the bezel) in French.

Next to the latest stainless steel version, there is also is a white gold model with blue dial, black dial and meteorite dial.

 

Batman (BLNR)

If you have only watched the most recent Batman movies, this name won’t make any sense to you. The nickname Batman represents the blue& black color combination on the bezel, while modern Batman wears a black suit with a gold belt. The name is linked to the Batman from the comics, where he wore a black/grey suit with a blue cape.

The original Batman (ref 116710BLNR) was introduced in 2013 and discontinued in 2018. The next year, successor 126710BLNR was introduced. The new model had roughly the same design with some small updates and a Jubilee bracelet. Some call it the Batgirl, others cringe heavily at that name.

 

Kermit-Hulk-Cermit (Or Starbucks)

These are the 3 generations of the Submariner LV series. Not LV as in Louis Vuitton, but as in lunette vert, translating to green bezel in French.

The original Kermit (ref 16610LV) was the first Submariner with a green bezel, released for the 50th anniversary of the Submariner in 2003. The bezel was made from aluminum.

The Hulk came later, and wore the reference number 116610LV. This Submariner had a ceramic bezel, sunburst green dial (compared to the black dial of the Kermit) and much beefier case. The Hulk was introduced in 2010 discontinued in 2020.

The Cermit (Ceramic Kermit, get it?) or Starbucks (because the watch looks like the Starbucks logo) is a mix of both watches. It was released in 2020, and carries features of both the Kermit and the Hulk: a green ceramic bezel but with a black dial.

 

Smurf (LB)

The Smurf is...you might have guessed it.. Blue. The first Smurf (116619LB) is known for its white gold case and bracelet, and its blue dial and blue ceramic bezel. Fans have been begging for a blue Submariner with steel case for years, but Rolex keeps this color for precious metals. The fans got some hope in 2020 when a blue bezel-black dial Submariner render was leaked. Could it happen, a steel& blue Submariner? At the release, it quickly became clear that the new model, the 126619LB, also had a full white gold case and bracelet. Looks like the fans need to have a bit more patience.

 

Root Beer (CHNR)

The Root Beer has been around for a long time, and came back not so long ago. This model has also had quite a lot of different variations since its release in the sixties, but all of the reference numbers ended with CHNR: Chocolat-Noir.

The Root Beer always has a brown& black color combination on the bezel of a GMT-master. It was first introduced in the sixties, and was re-introduced in 2018 on the two tone 126711CHNR and rose gold 126715CHNR.

 

Coke

The Coke has been out of production for years, so it’s technically not a ‘modern’ Rolex. Fans have been rooting for the return with a ceramic bezel for years. A ‘Coke’ is the nickname for a GMT Master with red and black bezel. Current available colors are red& blue, blue& black and brown& black. There is a good chance that Rolex will bring back the famous red& black combination on a future GMT master.

 

Discover our Selection of Rolex Watches
  1. Submariner Date 40
    Submariner Date 40
    €14,890.00
  2. Daytona
    Daytona
    €35,750.00
  3. Daytona 40
    Daytona 40
    €31,500.00
  4. Oyster Perpetual Explorer II 42
    Oyster Perpetual Explorer II 42
    €10,890.00

 

Green Is The New Blue

Whether you love them or hate them, green watches are hot. Surprisingly, this hasn’t always been the case. Today, many brands try to experiment with the color green in their own way. Just a few years ago, green watches were as uncommon as red, orange or purple watches are today. They were more seen as a gimmick than as a watch to wear on a daily basis.

 

green is the new blue

Today, we are going to see which watches had a great influence in making the color green mainstream in watchmaking.

Rolex Submariner LV

Since the release of the new updated 2020 green Submariner, the green Submariner has had 3 big variations: 16610LV (known as the Kermit, made from 2003 until 2010), 116610LV, (known as the Hulk, made from 2010 until 2020), and the latest 126610LV (known as the Starbucks, released in 2020 and still in production). Every model has of course their own variations, but it’s easy to consider these 3 as different models.

The 16610LV ‘Kermit’ was released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Submariner in 2003. Even though the latest 126610LV is the only model that is still in production, all three reference numbers are very popular today and highly sought after.

Rolex Daytona 116508 ‘John Mayer’

Another Rolex that has played a huge roll in the mainstream popularity of the color green is the 116508 Daytona, known as the ‘John Mayer’ Daytona.

The watch was released in 2016, together with the stainless steel 116500LN Daytona’s. These steel Daytona’s were such an immense success that they stole all the attention. Meanwhile, models like the yellow gold case with green dial 116508 and white gold case with blue dial 116509 were completely overshadowed. It was until John Mayer claimed in a Hodinkee video in 2019 that he believed that these watches were underrated and that they could be ‘the next big thing’. A few days after the release of the video, the watch became unavailable at retailers and the value of the watch instantly shot up.

Rolex often uses green with their ‘celebrational’ models, where a green dial or bezel is added to an existing model. Think of the 117618LN GMT Master 2 green dial, the olive green Day-Date 40 and the above mentioned 16610LV Kermit.

Panerai

Panerai is a brand that definitely shouldn’t go unmentioned.

The Panerai Luminor with bronze case and green dial, aka the ‘Bronzo’ was a huge hit when it was released. When people were accusing Panerai that ‘all their watches looked the same’ they responded with the bombshell that was the Bronzo.

A fully bronze Luminor case with a green dial was the right way to refresh their image. Today, bronze is commonly used material in watchmaking, but in 2010, a bronze case was a fairly ‘new’ thing, and green dials were just as rarely seen on sports watches.

10 years later, Panerai offers a large variety of bronze Luminors, as well as a beautiful selection of olive-dial Radiomirs.

IWC

IWC has had a few home runs while experimenting with green as well.

IWC doesn’t focus on one certain model or one particular shade of green, but they try to experiment and try different variations.

A few examples: the Spitfire IW326802 and Spitfire dual time zone IW327101 have a bronze case and matte khaki green dial. This gives it a very casual and sporty look. The Pilot Chronograph IW377726 on the other hand has a completely different vibe. The watch has been given a steek case and a ‘Racing Green’ sunburst dial with the classic chronograph layout. This gives it more of a classy, race style vibe.

5 things you didn’t know about Rolex

Rolex is one of the most well known and most respected brands in the world. Even if you don’t know anything about watches, you have heard of Rolex.

 

5 things you didn't know about Rolex

1: The name Rolex means... nothing.

Hans Wilsforf wanted a name that could be pronounced in every country and language. Looks like he succeeded, because it’s impossible to butcher the name Rolex. You think that’s a stupid motivation? Have you ever heard an American pronounce ‘Jaeger Le-Coultre’?

2: Rolex is 114 years old

Rolex was founded in 1905, which is relatively young, compared to it’s competitors. Blancpain, for example, is from 1735.

3: Rolex wanted to send the Daytona to the moon.

Rolex lost the space battle to Omega. The Daytona was first named ‘cosmograph’. This is actually pretty ironic: The Omega Speedmaster was designed to be a race watch, but ended up being a moonwatch, and the Rolex Daytona was designed to be a moonwatch, but ended up being a race watch. Nevertheless, both ended up in a good place.

4:The most expensive Rolex sold for €15.500.000

The most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction was the original Paul Newman Daytona. It was also the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction. The watch belonged to legendary actor and playboy Paul Newman, and had a major influence on today’s vintage market.

5: Rolex makes their own gold

To ensure the best quality of gold, Rolex has its own foundry inhouse. Rolex is actually the only watch brand in the world that makes its own gold.

Discover our Selection of Rolex Watches
  1. Submariner Date 40
    Submariner Date 40
    €14,890.00
  2. Daytona
    Daytona
    €35,750.00
  3. Daytona 40
    Daytona 40
    €31,500.00
  4. Oyster Perpetual Explorer II 42
    Oyster Perpetual Explorer II 42
    €10,890.00

5 Rolex models you didn’t know existed

Rolex stays very loyal to its models. The first Datejust was introduced in 1945, the Submariner in 1953, the GMT-master in 1954, and the Day-Date in 1956. These are all watches that are still available (and extremely popular) today. It looks like they never change a winning team. But still, there are a lot of Rolex models that are completely forgotten over time.

Here are 5 models you didn’t know existed:


Zephyr

The Zephyr was born in the fifties, but was never really popular. Even today, you can find them for 2/3k, which is a bargain for a rare vintage Rolex.

These are the perfect ingredients to be a future collectible. Maybe the price will shoot up in a few years, who knows. 


Albino Explorer

This is a white dial Explorer 1. Yes you read that right. Not a white dial Explorer 2, known as the Polar explorer, but a white dial 1016. 

There is very little information available about this watch. Rolex never even confirmed that this watch was produced. There are also some white dial submariners and white dial GMT masters, made for Pan Am, but the white dial Explorer 1 is a mystery. 


Space Dweller

This one might be harder to spot. It’s a 1016 explorer, but with a different line of text. Only a very small batch of Space Dwellers were made in the late sixties, and they were only available for the Japanese market. Rumours say that only about a dozen were produced, but once again, no one knows for sure. 


King Midas

The Kind Midas is kind of a forgotten Rolex model. It was born in the seventies, and was quite popular in its day. Back then, it was one of the most expensive watches in the Rolex catalogue. Today’s prices are around 12-17k, depending on the condition. 

Fun fact: Elvis Presley was spotted wearing a King Midas several times. 


Air Tiger

This name might ring a bell. Is it linked with an Air King? It is! 

Rolex released a few ‘air’ models in 1945. The air models were designed for the British Royal Air Force. There were 4 air watches released: Air Tiger, Air Lion, Air Giant and Air King. We all know which one survived. 


The Rolex Daytona

The sixties were wild years. Especially for Rolex when the legendary founder Hans Wilsdorf died. The Deep Sea Special went to the seabed with a submarine and thanks to this the Rolex Sea-Dweller was introduced. But the most important news from that period came in 1963.

The Rolex Daytona

The introduction of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. The inspiration for the name Daytona (which appeared on the dial in 1964) is easier to guess: this chronograph had to become a race watch. Initially, the watch was named after another legendary race 'Le Mans' but that was quickly changed. By then, Rolex already sponsored the annual 24 hours of Daytona for two years. The watch was not a direct hit, but due to low production numbers, the demand only increased in the following years. The best-known model is undoubtedly the Paul Newman Daytona (never mentioned by Rolex, but simply named after his stylish wearer).

Rolex Crown

Markings on the Rolex crown

The Rolex crown is one of the, if not the most important part of a Rolex watch. There’s even a complete history behind it. It’s the only piece the wearer has control of. There are so many articles written about this little but super important piece of the watch, going from actual manufacturing to functionality.

Rolex Crown


Today we’re going to talk about the little markings on the watch’s crown. If you own a Rolex, you can actually check it right now. You’ll see small dots, bigger dots maybe with a little dash underneath it. But what do they mean for your watch? Let us give you a quick explanation regarding this topic.

The little dots/dash will tell you if your watch has a Twinlock or Triplock crown. The combination of dots and the dash changes depending your Twinlock or Triplock crown and tells you which metal is used in your Rolex. You will quickly recognize it by looking at the picture below.

/////////////////////////        Steel/Yellow Gold              White Gold            Platinum
  TWINLOCK          Only small dash              2 small dots          1 small dot
  TRIPLOCK            3 small dots small dot/bigger dot/small dot big dot/small dot/big dot

 Take a look at our second hand Rolex watches below.