Rolex Cyclops Lens

11:43 AM

Rolex developed and patented their Cyclops lens, the magnifying lens that is affixed to the crystal over the date aperture, in the 1950s. It was introduced on their first Datejust model in 1953 and is now used on all of their date models except for the Sea-Dweller and Deepsea. 

Photo of Rolex crystal with cyclops magnification lens
Rolex Cyclops Lens (photo: Rolex)
“To all watchmakers: we draw your attention to the fact that the watch crystal with the specially shaped magnifying lens is a Rolex exclusivity protected in Switzerland and abroad. We will not hesitate to instigate legal proceedings against any counterfeiting.” Rolex sent out this statement in 1955 warning watchmakers against replicating this innovation. As a result of this protection, their Cyclops lens has become one of the most recognizable features of Rolex date models.

The Cyclops lens was manufactured from plexiglass until the 1970s, when Rolex began manufacturing their sapphire crystals. The Cyclops was made from sapphire ever since, and more recently received another upgrade, this time in the form of an anti-reflective coating. It magnifies the date by two and a half times.

The Cyclops lens is difficult to replicate, making it a good way to spot a fake Rolex. It is also the easiest way to identify a Rolex date model from far, either in a photo or in person.

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