Top Rolex Everose Gold Wristwatch Models

Cast in their own foundry, Rolex introduced their Everose gold alloy in 2005. Its composition, meant to help their wristwatches retain their pink hue for a lifetime, is a closely guarded secret. Even after over ten years in production, not every model is available in this unique material. Of the 2016 Everose gold configurations offered by the watchmaker, I have selected a few that truly shine in this precious metal. 

Everose Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller with Chocolate Dial (photo: Rolex/Breanna Galley)
I came across a photo of the Everose gold Sky-Dweller with Chocolate dial on UFC fighter Connor McGregor's wrist recently and couldn't resist reposting it to my Instagram feed. It looked so fresh and bold that I thought it was a customization. Only after inquiring on the forums did I find out that it is in fact a standard configuration offered by Rolex on this model. While it still looks great in white and yellow gold, the Sky-Dweller really sets itself apart in rose gold. It is available with a chocolate dial, as shown in the photo above, or with a Sundust dial on either an Oyster bracelet or brown alligator leather strap.

Everose Gold Rolex Day-Date (photo: Rolex)
As I mentioned in my post about grail watches last week, I think the Everose gold Day-Date 40 with chocolate dial is a real stunner. The yellow gold configuration is more common, as seen on Justin Timberlake and other celebrities, but this pink gold version takes one of Rolex's most recognizable watches and makes it look exotic. The President bracelet looks fresh but still sophisticated in this tone and the light shining off the fluted bezel draws the eye in without appearing too flashy. This is the perfect Day-Date for anyone who thinks that yellow gold watches are too gaudy.

Everose Gold Rolex Daytona on Black Leather Strap (photo: Rolex)
Rolex's Cosmograph Daytona model has become ubiquitous in the past few decades. Aside from the Submariner, this is the Rolex model that I see most frequently on the street and in photos. While you will have to pay a premium and search high and low for the new ceramic Daytona, the Everose gold configuration shown above has been around for longer and is easier to get onto your wrist. The first Daytona to feature their Cerachrom bezel insert, it offers the sporty aesthetic of the race watch with the elegance of a black alligator leather strap. 

Everose Gold Rolex Yacht-Master on Oysterflex (photo: Rolex)
The Yacht-Master shown above in rose gold is unique, not only due to the material used for the case, but for the Oysterflex bracelet it comes with. Introduced on this model in 2015, the black elastomer bracelet features an Everose gold Oysterlock clasp. This configuration offers a stark contrast to the stainless steel options for this model, with an aesthetic that resembles luxury timepieces by watchmakers like Audemars Piguet. The strap makes it a bit more difficult for this watch to transition to more formal settings, but it is ideal for those who may actually send time on the open seas.

Everose Gold Rolex Pearlmaster (photo: Rolex)
The Everose gold Pearlmaster shown above with a diamond paved dial and bracelet is a dazzling addition to their ladies lineup. In this instance, the warm tone of the pink gold creates a wonderful contrast with the cool tones of the diamonds on the dial, bezel and bracelet. This Pearlmaster is more a work of art than a wristwatch. The roman numerals, hands and crown at 12 o'clock give it an almost ancient feel, as if this timepiece was found in the vault of an empress or queen.

It is clear that Rolex saves its radiant Everose gold alloy for their most prestigious timepieces. While I would welcome more pink gold configurations, I feel that keeping these configurations limited only increases their allure. For more information on any of the models above, visit the Rolex Models section of this site. Check out the Tech section for information on Everose gold and other exclusive Rolex materials or visit rolex.com.

Adam Levine Wearing a Rolex

A Los Angeles native, singer Adam Levine has amassed an impressive collection of luxury watches since he shot to fame in the early 2000s as frontman for the rock/pop band Maroon 5. Becoming a judge on The Voice in 2011 has increased both his name recognition and net worth. The new season of the hit singing competition show premieres September 19th on NBC.

Singer Adam Levine in People Magazine wearing a Rolex GMT-Master II (photo: People)
Levine started his musical career early, eventually forming a garage band named Kara's Flowers while attending Brentwood School. While the band got signed to a label, they disbanded after their first album failed to sell more than 5,000 copies. Levine moved to New York where he attended one semester of college before dropping out and getting the band back together under the name Maroon 5. Their first album, Songs About Jane, was a sleeper hit, reaching success on the charts a couple of years after its release. They would go on to win several Grammy Awards, tour the world and work with many successful songwriters.

Married to Namibian supermodel Behati Prinsloo since 2014, the couple welcomed a child shortly thereafter. In addition to his success in music and television, the singer has also released fragrances and clothing lines. His commercial success has helped him put together a vast collection of fine wristwatches, including the GMT-Master II he is wearing in the photo above for a photoshoot for People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive shoot. He has also been seen wearing several vintage Daytona models, Day-Dates and Submariners. Bob's Watches posted a few photos showing the singer wearing several Rolex models here.

The Grammy winner is wearing a yellow gold Rolex in the embedded photo below from his Instagram feed. His choices seem to suggest that he is a purist, preferring to sport rare vintage Daytona models over trendy modified pieces. For more information on the watches, visit the Rolex Models section of this website or rolex.com. For information on the latest season of The Voice, check out nbc.com/the-voice.

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A photo posted by Adam Levine (@adamlevine) on

The Rolex Institute Presents Codex: Ashes and Snow

Gregory Colbert is a Canadian artist whose photographic, filmic and literary work focuses on moments of contact between man and the animal kingdom. In 2002, he presented a show at the Venice Arsenal entitled Ashes and Snow. The largest solo exhibition ever mounted in Italy, it caught the eye of the chairman of Rolex at the time, who purchased pieces and encouraged the artist to take his show around the world. 

Codex: Ashes and Snow by Gregory Colbert (photo: Gregory Colbert Facebook)
The photographic portion of the exhibit features sepia and umber toned photos Colbert shot in various locations around the world. Documenting his years traveling to places like India, Egypt, Burma, Borneo and Namibia, the original photographs show interactions between man and beast. None of the shots are digitally superimposed, meaning that the boy reading a book in front of an elephant in the photo above is actually sitting in front of the elephant. For the exhibition, the photos were printed on handmade Japanese paper, giving them a natural look and feel. 

The literary component consists of 365 letters from a man to his wife over a yearlong journey. The title, Ashes and Snow, is revealed in the final letter and the photos and films are tied into the narrative. In addition to the photos and letters, the exhibition features films that contain poetic narratives that tie in the themes of endless connection between humans and the natural world. "When I started Ashes and Snow in 1992, I set out to explore the relationship between man and animals from the inside out. In discovering the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, I am working towards restoring the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony with animals," Colbert said about the project. 

After the success of the original exhibition, Colbert decided to take the show to the world, enlisting the help of Colombian architect Simón Velez to create the Nomadic Museum. A sustainable structure made using shipping containers and bamboo, the 55,219 square foot structure featured 2 galleries and 3 theaters that could be assembled and broken down in different cities across the globe. It traveled the Atlantic for shows in New York City, Los Angeles and Mexico City, then crossed the Pacific for an exhibition in Tokyo for millions of people to experience.  

The Rolex Institute has immortalized the show on their website entitled Codex: Ashes and Snow. They present the images from the show in the style of an ancient codex for those who have not been able to experience the Nomadic Museum in person. For more information on Gregory Colbert, visit his official website at gregorycolbert.com. For more information on Rolex and the Arts, visit rolex.com

Best Rolex Watches for Under $5,000

If you have $5,000 to spend on a watch and you really want a Rolex, you will not be able to purchase most of their 2016 models new, but you still have options. In my post about the cheapest 2016 Rolex model on the market, I recommend taking a look at Rolex's sister company, Tudor, for brand new models under $5,000. However, if you have your heart set on a Rolex and are okay with purchasing one pre-owned on the gray market, there are a few models that you can find to fit your budget. 

Rolex Submariner Date
When people talk about the gray market, they refer to the market for watches that are not sold by the original manufacturer, but are acquired and sold legally through other entities. In other words, you are buying a Rolex, just not directly from Rolex. There are many online shops that offer pre-owned watches from reputable sellers. The Rolex Forum has a Classifieds section where people can sell and trade their timepieces. Other sites like WatchRecon aggregate listings from various sellers to give you an idea of what's available online. There are also shops like Bob's Watches, Chrono 24 and Hodinkee that sell pre-owned timepieces.

In terms of which Rolex models you can find pre-owned for under $5,000, you have a few options as well. The most commonly posted models within this price range are Oyster Perpetual and Datejust models with cases usually under 36mm in diameter. I've seen midsize Air-King and Explorer I models priced in that range as well, but they are a little more scarce than the OP and DJ models. The 42mm Explorer II model is the largest stainless steel pre-owned Rolex that you can find in this range, though the ones in better condition usually go for more. The stainless steel Submariner and Sub Date can also be found for just under $5,000, though the majority are priced closer to $6,000. Every once in a while you can find a Milgauss and GMT-Master II in this price range, but they are more scarce than any of the models mentioned above.

There are some risks involved with purchasing a luxury watch on the gray market. I have run into forum threads that accuse sellers of posting the photo of one watch and sending the customer another. There is also due diligence required to make sure that the timepiece you are purchasing is authentic and has all of its original parts. Rolex will not service a watch that contains any parts that aren't theirs, so if you would like the option of sending your watch to them for service in the future, you should make sure that the watch you purchase is in its original configuration, unless indicated otherwise. Luckily, there are usually very helpful Rolex enthusiasts on forums and subreddits that would be more than happy to assist in assessing a pre-owned watch's value and condition.

Essentially, purchasing a pre-owned Rolex on the gray market means that you can get a good deal, but also requires you to assume all of the risk involved in purchasing a watch from someone other than the watchmaker. There is no champagne and hors d'oeuvres offered to you while you shop and no guarantee that you will get exactly what you are looking for, but if you want a Rolex for under $5,000, it's still a possibility if you play your cards right.

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Are Rolex Watches Self-Winding?

Rolex 2236 Movement (photo: Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer)
The first mechanical watches manufactured by Rolex and other Swiss watchmakers in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century required one to wind the crown to power the movement inside the case. The Perpetual rotor, developed by Rolex in 1931, changed that. With the addition of a half-moon shaped oscillating weight to rotate 360 degrees with the motion of the wearer's wrist, the Perpetual rotor provided enough energy for the movement to power itself. 

You may have noticed that, save the models in their Cellini line, Rolex watches have the words 'Oyster Perpetual' printed on the dial. The word Oyster refers to the waterproof Oyster case, developed by the watchmaker in 1926. The Perpetual part refers to the rotor and indicates that the timepiece is in fact self-winding or automatic. There are still luxury watchmakers, like Panerai and others, that still offer mechanical watches that require winding, but all of Rolex's current models are self-winding.

For more information on Rolex's Perpetual rotor, check out my previous post about the innovation in the Tech section of this website. You can also find information on Rolex's official website at rolex.com

What is a Grail Watch?

According to Arthurian legend, the holy grail is the chalice that Jesus drank out of during the last supper, which Joseph of Arimathea later used to collect his blood after his crucifixion. This mythical artifact is highly sought after in medieval tales and more recently in movies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail. As it relates to wristwatches, a grail watch means different things to different people, but generally refers to a collector or watch enthusiast's most coveted timepiece.  

What is a Grail Watch? (photo: Jessica Ruscello)
While most grail watches do come with a large price tag, affordability is not the only thing coming between many watch enthusiasts and their ultimate timepiece. Scarcity is also something that would prevent one from attaining their grail watch. There are many rare vintage timepieces that are simply not available for sale all the time, and when they do hit the market, they are snatched up quickly. Your grail could be a simple stainless steel sports watch that is in the same price range as the current model, but has a dial or configuration that you prefer. You could also have a sentimental reason that makes you place a certain timepiece above all others.

The difference between a grail watch and the actual holy grail is that a grail watch is more than just a legend. Some have to put money away for years and search high and low, but a grail watch is always attainable as long as you can find it and afford it at the time. So, what happens after you acquire your grail watch? For many people, once they own their grail watch they walk into the sunset with it strapped onto their wrist and leave it for their children in their will. And for those who love the chase more so than the timepiece itself, they find another watch to obsess over until they can make it theirs and move onto the next conquest.

If I were forced to choose a grail watch right now (there are several that I hope to be able to own someday in the not-too-distant future) it would have to be the Everose gold Rolex Day-Date with the chocolate dial and diagonal motif shown in the photo above. I would say that the yellow gold GMT-Master II with the green dial comes in a close second, but the rose gold on the Day-Date just speaks to me and the chocolate dial compliments it in a way that still impresses me every time I see it. And if I am going with a precious metal configuration, I would give the edge to a classic dress watch like the Day-Date because that's what those materials are meant for. I love Rolex's sports models, but I usually prefer them in their stainless steel configurations.

Will I ever come to own my grail watch? I hope so, but I can't say it's the only watch that would make me happy forever. There are a few Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe models that I would absolutely love to own, and since I have no plans of robbing a bank or winning the lottery, I will likely have to choose between a few of my top timepieces in the end. However, I will say that even deciding upon a grail watch for this blog post has helped me figure out what I love about the watches that I love, so I think that choosing a grail watch is ultimately a worthwhile exercise.

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Who Owns Rolex?

The majority of the world's most reputable companies, like Apple (AAPL) and Disney (DIS), are publicly traded companies with abbreviations that you can find on any stock ticker. If you are looking for the abbreviation for Rolex to gather information on the company, you may be surprised to find out that it's not in fact a publicly traded company and information on their annual production and profitability is not available to the public.

Who Owns Rolex? (photo: rolex.com)
On September 07, 1945, the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation was created to assume ownership of the Rolex company in the event of the death of its founder, Hans Wilsdorf. Wilsdorf's wife May died in 1944 and the couple had no children, so Wilsdorf decided that the company should become part of the foundation after he died. He passed away on July 6, 1960, and since then the company has been owned by the foundation. With no shareholders or board of directors, the profits of the company are reinvested in the company, with portions donated to the company's charitable initiatives. They are not required to report their annual production, profits and donations to the public, so the exact amounts are shrouded in mystery and speculation.

Given their expansive production facilities and quest for full vertical integration, it is clear that the majority of their profits are reinvested in the company. However, the watchmaker has several notable philanthropic programs that constitute donations to charity. Run by the Rolex Institute, the Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative and Awards for Enterprise honor human achievement and and strive to create meaningful impressions on the world achievement in the arts and philanthropy. 

Rolex Awards Ceremony at the Royal Society, London, Arthur Zang, 2014 Rolex Young Lauterate & Hayat Sindi, 2014 Jury Member (Photo: Rolex Awards/Nick Harvey)
The Awards for Enterprise were launched in 1976 to honor men and women who advance human knowledge in the areas of science, health, applied technology, exploration, discovery, environment and cultural heritage. Now in its 40th year, it has helped 130 pioneers work on making the world a better place for humanity. Its sister program, the Menor and Protégé Arts Initiative, brings emerging talents in the areas of architecture, dance, film, literature, music, theater and visual art together with masters in the field for a year to ensure that artistic excellence is passed on from generation to generation.

The watchmaker is also the official timepiece for many institutions of the arts, like the Met in New York City and La Scala in Milan. Additionally, in 2001 the watchmaker opened a watchmaking school in Pennsylvania, Lititz Watch Technicum, to meet the educational needs of young American watchmakers. Always looking to associate their brand with excellence and human achievement, it is likely that Rolex will continue to support art and culture for decades to come. Not beholden to shareholders and stock market volatility, the company can focus solely on continually improving their production process and contributing to the advancement of culture.

For more information on the company's contributions to the arts, including their arts testimonees and sponsored events, visit the Rolex and the Arts page of this site. For a list of the current protégés from the arts initiative, click here or visit the watchmaker's official website at rolex.com for additional information.

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Should I Buy a Rolex Without Its Original Bracelet?

When shopping for a vintage or preowned Rolex online, you may come across a listing for a watch with a leather, NATO or rubber strap on the original Rolex case. While aftermarket straps are a wonderful way to change up your wristwatch configuration, especially for outdoor activities, buying a watch without its original bracelet could become a problem for you in the future should you decide to send it to Rolex for servicing or replacement parts. 

Rolex Explorer II Case
The legal notice on Rolex's official website makes it clear that any modifications to the watch, including the bracelet, void their warranty:

Any addition or substitution of parts or accessories with those not manufactured by Rolex, as well as any alteration, modification or other material change made to or on Rolex products by a third party not authorized by Rolex cancels the warranty. Rolex does not approve any modification made by non-authorized third parties on the Rolex products, including the addition of verbal and graphic elements, as well as any customization activity (such as black coated watches, the addition of aftermarket diamonds, bezels, dials and bracelets, etc.). These modifications may harm the quality and the integrity of the Rolex products. (source: rolex.com)

I called their customer service department in New York City to verify this and they confirmed that in order for the watchmaker to perform any service to the timepiece it must have all of its original parts, including the bracelet. They also confirmed that their replacement parts are available on a trade-in basis only, so you have to send them your original bracelet in order to purchase a new one. What this means is that if you buy a Rolex case with no bracelet, not only will you not be able to get it serviced by them, but you will also not be able to purchase a replacement bracelet from them, either. 

Rolex Oyster Bracelet (photo: Rolex)
This information seems to contradict what some Rolex owners have posted to forums about purchasing bracelets as 'spares' or 'extras' in addition to their originals. However, I would be weary of purchasing replacement bracelets from anyone other than Rolex because it is very likely that if you are purchasing a Rolex part on the secondary market, it is not authentic. After all, if everyone has to trade in the original bracelet in order to purchase a new one, the chances of finding an authentic bracelet anywhere else are slim to none. 

It may be tempting to purchase a Rolex without its original strap based on the price, but the money you save on the initial purchase may not be worth the trouble of figuring out what to do with your watch in the event that you need to service it in the future. As long as you have the original bracelet, not matter what condition it's in, you will always be able to purchase a replacement from the watchmaker in the future.


Rolex Models Without the Cyclops Magnifying Lens

One of their most polarizing innovations, Rolex's Cyclops magnifying lens is the easiest way to differentiate between a Rolex and another watch at a glance. However, there are many who prefer a clean crystal on their timepieces over a magnified date. For those who have a negative reaction to the Cyclops, there are a few Rolex models, even a couple with date functions, that don't come with it.

Rolex Cyclops Magnification Lens (photo: Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer)
Introduced in 1953 on the Datejust model, the Cyclops was designed to increase the visibility of the watch's date window and make it easier to read. The magnification lens and crystal were originally fashioned out of one piece of plexiglass, but in the 1970s, Rolex began using sapphire for their crystals and subsequently began making the Cyclops out of sapphire as well, affixing it onto the crystal. Today's lenses feature an anti-reflective coating that helps reduce the glare that comes from the light being refracted off it.

If you prefer a timepiece with no magnification lens, there are several Rolex models that don't come with one. The Cosmograph Daytona and Yacht-Master II models don't have a date function, so those would be good choices. The Submariner has a model configuration with no date and the Explorer I and Milgauss models don't come with one either. There are Oyster Perpetual models that are available without the date as well. However, if you are set on a Rolex but would find the date function useful, there are two models that you can look at that feature a date aperture but no Cyclops lens.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 (photo: Rolex)
The two Rolex models that feature a date function but no Cyclops are the Sea-Dweller 4000 and the Deepsea. Shown in the close up photo above, the Sea-Dweller 4000 is the closest you can get to a Submariner Date with no magnification lens. It has the same size case as the Sub, 40mm, and a 60-minute graduated bezel with a Cerachrom insert. Aside from that, the Deepsea is the only other model that they currently offer with a date function but no Cyclops. Available with either a black dial or the D-Blue dial that features a blue gradient design, it is larger than the Sea-Dweller 4000, with a 44mm case and a depth rating of 3,900 meters. 

As far as new Rolex watches go, these are the only models currently available without the Cyclops magnification lens. The Cyclops is an innovation the company takes pride in, so you will find it on most of their date models. Aside from the Oyster case itself, it is one of the most singular design aspects of Rolex watches and will likely remain affixed to their crystals for decades to come. So, if you can't get onboard with the look of it, I would recommend that you check the date on your smartphone and go with a model without the date function. 

Which Rolex Holds Its Value the Best?

While most people would associate the word value with its financial connotation, there are many different ways to appraise the value of a wristwatch. Most finance professionals would discourage one from calling a luxury watch an investment, but it is hard for people not to think about watches in financial terms when they read news stories about watches fetching hundreds of thousands - even millions - of dollars at auction. 

Rolex Submariner Ad from 1966 (photo: Rolex)
Even though I wouldn't call a watch an investment, Rolex watches do hold their value well compared to other brands. This isn't true for every model configuration, though. When thinking about a Rolex in terms of resale value, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that once you take the stickers off your watch, it is no longer considered 'Brand New In Box' or BNIB. So even though you may have paid full retail price for the watch, you will not be able to get that amount back for it unless it is a model that is fetching a premium, like the ceramic Daytona released at Baselworld this year.

Many attribute the high resale value of Rolex watches to the fact that they don't change their models too much from year to year, which means that a Submariner from 1966, like the one shown in the vintage advertisement above, doesn't look that different from a Submariner from the eighties or nineties. The consistency of their designs combined with the watchmaker's dedication to quality and innovation gives their vintage and preowned models a larger market than other watches that may have changed over the years based on passing trends. However, not all Rolex watches retain their value like the Submariner.

The First Rolex Submariner Model from 1953 (left) and the 2016 Submariner (right)
If you are looking for a Rolex that will retain its value, your best bet would be a stainless steel sports model. They are the most popular configurations and most retail for less than $10,000 US, giving them a larger market than precious metal configurations. The Submariner, GMT-Master II and Daytona models are the most popular of the group, making them a safe bet in terms of resale value. Right now, the GMT-Master II BLNR and ceramic Daytona models are highly sought after and hard to get, so if you are able to acquire one without paying above retail, you can be sure that its value will hold up over the next few years.

The Rolex models that are less likely to retain their value over time are their Datejust and Oyster Perpetual models. The reasoning is that there are so many different configurations available for those models that it dilutes the secondary market, making it tougher to find a buyer for one particular configuration over another. So, while it's nice to have options in terms of dial colors and hour markers when you are purchasing your timepiece from a dealer, it is those same options that will lower the resale value of the watch.

The best way to look at a luxury watch purchase from Rolex is as an investment in yourself. Their watches have become a symbol of success and excellence and being able to purchase one is an accomplishment in and of itself. Some models may have a better resale value than others on the market, but the true value of a luxury timepiece is the way you feel when it's on your wrist.

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Photographer Ben Pogue Featured in The Rolex Magazine Edition 05

Photographer Ben Pogue (photo: wschupfer.com)
In the fifth edition of The Rolex Magazine, they feature an interesting photo spread entitled 'Carte Blanche' featuring a series of minimalist photographs of a deconstructed Yacht-Master II by artist Ben Pogue. This edition is dedicated almost entirely to the skipper's watch, with several articles covering sailing, yachting and the watch itself. However, perhaps the most interesting visuals in the magazine come from Pogue's unique photographs.

Born in rural Australia, Pogue first developed his eye for photography by picking up back issues of Interview and other publications at garage sales. He eventually studied the craft at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology before traveling to America to work as a photographer's assistant. Since then, he has become a noted photographer in his own right, working with clients like Chanel, Jil Sander, Nike and Reebok. His work has also appeared in US Vogue, Esquire and V Magazine.

The photo below is one of a few examples of the work Pogue did with the Yacht-Master II for the magazine pictorial. By deconstructing the parts of the watch and arranging them in a minimalist manner, he is able to create an abstract representation of the timepiece that takes on a life of its own. In addition to this image, there are photos that feature large red, blue and black triangular shapes with details and texture created by lining up the hour markers, hands and bezel in geometric patterns. The use of primary colors and commercial products gives the work a pop art feel while also honoring the design aesthetic that sets the Yacht-Master II apart from other nautical watches.

To check out the rest of the brilliant photos, pick up The Rolex Magazine Edition 5. For more of Ben Pogue's work, check out his portfolio on wschupfer.com.

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Photo from 'Carte Blanche' spread in The Rolex Magazine, Edition 05 by Ben Pogue

Who Wears a Rolex Sky-Dweller?

Irishman and UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor will go up against welterweight Nate Diaz on Saturday, August 20th in a highly anticipated rematch after their first fight a few months ago. When he is not in the gym training for his next battle, the mixed martial arts superstar spends time curating a wardrobe worthy of a distinguished gentleman that includes the finest luxury timepieces in the world. His latest acquisition is the Everose gold Rolex Sky-Dweller with a chocolate dial shown in the photo below. 

UFC Fighter Conor McGregor wearing an Everose gold Rolex Sky-Dweller (photo: McGregor's Instagram)
Introduced by Rolex in 2012, the Sky-Dweller is their most complicated watch, featuring an annual calendar and second time zone feature controlled by a Ring Command bezel. Only precious metal configurations are available, making it a prestigious addition to the watchmaker's Oyster Perpetual line. The case diameter measures 42mm and the bezel is fluted, giving the large watch a textured look that reflects the light and catches the eye.

The Sky-Dweller is popular amongst athletes, with golfers Tiger Woods and Adam Scott photographed wearing it - Scott modeling the watch for Rolex's Sky-Dweller ads. Rolex brand ambassador Roger Federer also has a Sky-Dweller in his collection as does boxer Floyd Mayweather. A boxing match between Mayweather and McGregor has been floated around for months, with McGregor recently saying he would accept the match under Mayweather's terms.

"Right now I have Floyd running around the Showtime offices gathering my money. That's what he's doing. He's running around the Showtime offices, begging for those executives to come up with $100 million cash for me to fight me. So as soon as he gets my money, we can fight." McGregor told mmafighting.com, citing financial hold ups for the delay.

Sports stars aren't the only fans of the Sky-Dweller. The greats of hip hop and R&B have also embraced the model, with Jay Z, 50 Cent and Chris Brown all photographed wearing one over the past few years. Trey Songz is also a Sky-Dweller owner, showing it off all over his Instagram feed. I've embedded a photo of Songz rocking his Sky-Dweller with Dave East below. For more information on the Sky-Dweller, visit the Rolex Models page on this site or rolex.com for more information.

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A photo posted by treysongz (@treysongz) on

Rapper Future Wearing a Rolex in GQ with Giorgio Armani

Atlanta rapper Future was photographed for the fall 2016 issue of GQ Style alongside fashion legend Giorgio Armani and a $2.6 Million Bugatti. The publication thought of pairing the rapper with the designer and luxury car partly because he was featured on a hit song titled 'Bugatti' by Ace Hood earlier in his career. Armani has recently designed an exclusive clothing line for Bugatti that Future is photographed wearing for the magazine. 

Future and Giorgio Armani in front of a Bugatti in GQ (photo: GQ/Nacho Alegre)
The shoot took place in the courtyard of Armani's home in Milan, where he runs an empire that includes hotels, restaurants, bookstores and cafés, all in addition to his work as a fashion designer. Many of the items from his men's line for Bugatti are priced upon request and are made from such prestigious materials as cashmere and crocodile leather. The Bugatti Chiron, shown in the photo above, boasts a top speed of 261 miles per hour, making it one of the fastest and most expensive cars in the world.

Future has earned his place among the top rappers in the world, releasing three albums that went number one on the Billboard 200 chart within a seven month period. He has worked with the top hip hop artists in the game, including DJ Khaled and Jay Z in the song 'I Got the Keys' off Khaled's latest LP Major Key. The video, linked below, shows them wearing Rolex timepieces in the black and white hit video embedded below.

MTV recently released a short documentary about Future called 'Future's Reign' in which he gives viewers an inside look at his Purple Reign tour. In recent interviews, the father of four speaks on moving back to his hometown from Beverly Hills to reconnect with family and friends, something he has missed after years on the road promoting his music.

'I know how much he suffers to be where he is. He’s suffered just like I’ve suffered. So...we’re friends in a way,' Armani told GQ about the hip hop heavyweight. For more information on the shoot and Armani's Bugatti collection, visit gq.com or pick up the fall issue of GQ Style. 

Which Rolex Models Come With Leather Straps?

You may have seen photos of your favorite Rolex model on a leather strap on Instagram, as there are many companies that sell aftermarket straps that fit most watches. However, you can only buy a handful of Rolex models with a leather strap direct from the watchmaker. The photo below shows a few of their 2016 leather model configurations. 
Rolex Sky-Dweller, Cellini Date and Cosmograph Daytona Models on Leather Strap
Introduced in 2012, the Sky-Dweller model is available in 18 karat white, yellow or Everose gold with either an Oyster bracelet or alligator leather strap. The yellow gold configuration is shown above on brown leather. The leather strap is equipped with a folding Oyterclasp and 5mm Easylink extension system for additional comfort. The Everose gold Sky-Dweller is also available on a brown leather strap and the white gold configuration with a black leather strap.

Rolex's entire Cellini line of comes on leather straps in either black, brown or blue, like the Cellini Date shown in the photo above. The Cellini line is unique in that they do not use the Oyster case that all of their other models use. The Cellini case is slim and more circular than the Oyster case, making it the ideal watch to wear with a suit. Also available on a leather strap from Rolex is their famed Cosmograph Daytona model. Their 18 karat gold models come with either an Oyster bracelet or a black alligator leather strap.

Rolex Day-Date 36 on Green Leather Strap
Rolex's Day-Date 36 models on leather strap are available in a variety of color configurations. The yellow gold version is shown on a green strap with green dial in the photo above. The white gold Day-Date 36 is available on a blue strap and the Everose gold on brown leather. In addition to the Day-Date, Rolex offers their Datejust 36 on pink and white leather straps.

The models mentioned above are the only ones that are currently available on a leather strap manufactured by Rolex. There are vintage and pre-owned models from previous years that you can find on a leather strap, but if you are looking to purchase a Rolex on a leather strap, I would recommend calling the company directly to make sure that the strap was issued by them on the original timepiece. If you buy a pre-owned Rolex with an aftermarket leather strap, you will not be able to purchase an Oyster, President or Jubilee bracelet from them in the future, as you must have the original bracelet issued by Rolex in order to be able to purchase a replacement from them.

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How to Spot a Rolex by Their Most Iconic Innovations

Whether checking wrists on the street or trying to spot a fake, there are a few ways to tell a Rolex from any other watch. The watchmaker has been innovating their production processes since Hans Wilsdorf was at the helm and still hold patents on some of their most iconic innovations. You will not find the following parts on any watch other than a Rolex.

Cyclops Magnifying Lens
Cyclops Magnifying Lens (photo: Rolex)
It is often difficult to identify a Rolex from far away, but one of the easiest ways to do so is to locate the Cyclops magnifying lens affixed to the crystal above the date aperture at 3 o'clock on their date models. There are many who consider this an eyesore on an otherwise symmetrical watch, but this magnification lens is one of the most recognizable parts of a Rolex. You can spot the light reflecting off it from a distance, even in pictures or stills from television interviews or movies.

“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,” read a notice to the press in the 1950s when Rolex rolled out this innovation, making it clear that Rolex watches would be the only ones to feature this innovation.

Oyster Case
Oyster Case (photo: Rolex)
Rolex introduced their iconic Oyster case in 1926 and it instantly became legendary due to the hermetic construction that made it the first waterproof case for a wristwatch. In 1927, English swimmer Mercedes Gleitze swam the English Channel with a Rolex and showed the world that after 10 hours in the water, the watch was still functioning. The news soon traveled the world and thus began the era of the Rolex Oyster case.

Today, all Oyster cases are guaranteed waterproof up to 100 meters. The middle case is stamped out of a solid block of metal, either 904L stainless steel, 18 karat gold or platinum, with a fluted screw down case back and friction fitted crystal and bezel.

President Bracelet 
President Bracelet (photo: Rolex)
Introduced in 1956 on the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date, the President bracelet is unique to the brand and has become as identifiable as the Day-Date itself over the years. Many refer to configurations that feature this bracelet simply as a Rolex President. It features a Crownclasp that conceals all but the crown from view when the watch is on the wrist. While the Oyster bracelet is more commonly seen on Rolex watches, the President bracelet is easier to spot due to its unique semi-circular three piece links.

Winding Crown
Twinlock Winding Crown (photo: Rolex)
Rolex models come equipped with either a Twinlock or Triplock winding crown to seal the Oyster case and uphold its depth rating. The unique design and functionality of their winding crowns make them difficult to emulate. This means that checking the winding crown is an easy way to identify a Rolex. They all have a crown logo with either two dots or three under, identifying it as a Twinlock or Triplock crown, respectively.

The Triplock winding crown is reserved for Rolex's dive watches, the Submariner, Sea-Dweller and Deepsea. It features an additional layer of security that allows them to take the Oyster case deeper than ever before, protecting the movement from dust and water and also allowing the wearer to adjust the time and date functions.

Oysterlock Clasp
Rolex Oyster Bracelet with Oysterlock Clasp
More commonly than the President bracelet, you will see Rolex watches with their Oyster bracelet featuring flat three piece links with either brushed or polished center links. Attached to the Oyster bracelet you will find another identifiable aspect of Rolex watches: the Oysterlock clasp shown in the photo above. The safety catch has their signature crown on it that features a small lip designed for added security in addition to its aesthetic appeal.

There are certainly more innovations that are unique to Rolex, especially inside their movements. However, when it comes to identifying a Rolex without opening the case, the above innovations are the most distinguishable features that make a Rolex a Rolex. For in-depth looks at all of these innovations, visit the Tech section of this blog or check out Rolex's officiate site at rolex.com.

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Best Rolex for Daily Wear

Generally speaking, if someone is looking to purchase a luxury timepiece, they mean to wear it often. Some work environments are more appropriate for a Rolex than others, but the idea is usually to wear the watch every day. On forums, enthusiasts refer to timepieces meant to be worn on a daily basis as 'daily beaters' or simply as 'beaters' due to the figurative beating they receive after daily wear. Some feel that the moniker is demeaning to the brand, but it is usually just meant to differentiate between an everyday watch and a 'grail' watch, which holds more value and takes longer to acquire than other timepieces.  

Stainless Steel Rolex Submariner Date, GMT-Master II, Yacht-Master II, Explorer II and Deepsea Models
When purchasing a watch to be worn on a daily basis, the first logical factor to consider would be your work environment. If you have a career that keeps you active and/or outdoors, that should be taken into consideration. In that case, I would recommend a stainless steel watch from Rolex's professional series. The photo above shows a line up of their most well-known stainless steel configurations, including the popular Submariner and GMT-Master II models. Each has its own unique legacy with functionalities that range from regatta timers to 24-hour hands. Some are larger than others, so the size of your wrist in relation to the height and diameter of the case is another factor to consider when looking at these models. For more information on case sizes, check out my Rolex case size comparison entry here.

If you dress in a suit every day, a stainless steel tool watch may not be as appropriate for your work environment. In this case, you may want to consider a dress watch. You can find my blog on the best Rolex to wear with a suit here. Most gentlemen's blogs suggest a watch with a leather strap and a low profile case to wear with a suit. Rolex has a couple of dress watches available on leather straps, including the classic Day-Date model that features their Oyster case. Their Cellini line comes on leather as well. The Cellini Time shown in the photo below features a brown alligator leather strap and Everose gold case. While it is unlikely that anyone would refer to this dress watch as a daily beater, it is the ideal watch to wear in luxury environments such as high end retail or upscale residential real estate.

Everose Gold Rolex Cellini Time (photo: Rolex/Jean-Daniel Meyer)
A precious metal configuration may seem out of place at some of your daily stops, but that shouldn't discourage you from purchasing a gold or platinum Rolex if you fall in love with one. After all, a luxury watch purchase is more of an indulgence than a necessity, so the most important factor to consider before your daily watch purchase should be the way you feel when you're wearing it. Rolex has spent over a hundred years perfecting their watchmaking skills and in the process have created some of the most durable and reliable timepieces on the market. Their innovations, such as the virtually scratch-proof Cerachrom bezel insert on their ceramic models, make it very difficult to destroy one of their watches. 

When it comes to taking a beating on a daily basis, most of their models are up for the challenge. So, when choosing a Rolex for daily wear, go with whatever makes you happy. Whether purchasing your grail watch or a stainless steel model with a functionality that will help you throughout your workday, the most important thing to keep in mind is the satisfaction you feel with your watch on your wrist. 

What Are the Parts of a Mechanical Watch?

If you are new to the watch world, you may not be familiar with the different parts that make up a mechanical watch. I have put together this basic list of watch parts for anyone who still isn't sure what's what when they read about their favorite wristwatch models. I included photos of each component with a brief description of its function below.

Rolex Oyster Case (photo: Rolex)
Rolex's Oyster case is shown in the photo above in stainless steel with a gold fluted bezel and gold winding crown. The case houses and protects the movement, a small mechanism that powers the watch. The case above is empty, but does have the crystal and Rolex's Cyclops magnifying lens attached. The back of the case, visible through the crystal, is referred to as the case back. Rolex's case backs are all made of metal and screw into the middle case. Other watch brands feature clear case backs that expose the inner workings of the movement.

Dial and Hands of a Rolex Datejust (photo: Rolex)
The dial or watch face is the part of a watch that displays the hour and sometimes minute indicators and conceals the movement from sight on a completed watch. The hands are attached to the dial and move around as the day progresses. Some dials feature date apertures and other displays, like the chronograph of the Daytona, for example. They come in various colors and styles and feature arabic or roman numerals in some configurations.

Rolex Cerachrom Bezel Insert (photo: Rolex)
The bezel is the ring that surrounds the crystal of a watch. Bezels vary from model to model, some with utilitarian purposes and others purely aesthetic. The gold fluted bezel on the Oyster case in the first photo is an example of a bezel that serves an aesthetic purpose. The blue and black bezel in the photo above features a 24-hour display that allows the wearer to set the 24-hour hand of the GMT-Master II to the time of any GMT timezone with the turn of the bezel. The GMT bezel turns clockwise and counterclockwise and is known as a bi-directional bezel. A unidirectional bezel, as seen on the Submariner model, turns only one way.

Rolex's Twinlock Winding Crown (photo: Rolex)
The crown of the watch seals the case from the righthand side and also interacts with the movement to allow the user to adjust the time. Depending on the complication of the movement (a complication is any other function of the watch in addition to telling time) the crown can also be used to adjust other aspects, including the date and countdown timers. Rolex offers Twinlock or Triplock winding crowns with double or triple protection against water entering the case, indicated by the number of dots under the crown logo. The crown must be sealed at all times to protect the movement from water damage.

Rolex 3235 Movement (photo: Rolex)
The watch movement, also known as a caliber or calibre, is the center of operations of the timepiece. It controls the power, functionality and precision of the watch and sits inside the sealed case between the dial and the case back. The movement has a series of component parts that contribute to its functionality, which you can take a look at in the Tech section of this blog. Rolex manufactures their movements in-house and, aside from the materials used for the case and bracelet, the quality of the mechanical movement usually determines the value of the timepiece. Rolex offers their watches with automatic or self-winding movements, meaning that you don't have to wind the crown in order to power the movement.

Gold Rolex Oyster Bracelet with Oysterlock Clasp (photo: Rolex)
The most common Rolex bracelet is the Oyster bracelet shown above in yellow gold. When metal links are involved, you refer to it as a bracelet. Leather and rubber watchbands are what you would call straps. Rolex has a limited number of bracelet and straps options available on their models which you can read about in detail here. Their most notable is the President bracelet that is commonly seen on precious metal configurations of dress watches like the Day-Date or Datejust. The clasp is the part of the bracelet or strap that you open to put it on then close to secure it on your wrist. Rolex has a couple clasp options that you can read about here with various sizes and functions.

For more information on all of the watch parts shown above and an in-depth look at the tech innovations that set Rolex apart from other watchmakers, check out the Tech section of this site and visit the watchmaking section of rolex.com.

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Rolex and the Opera

Rolex named its first arts testimonee, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, in the 1970s and has since been inextricably tied to the world of opera. The list of testimonees has grown to include such greats as Plácido Domingo, Cecilia Bartoli and Jonas Kaufmann since then and the watchmaker has also become the official timepiece of many of the most prestigious opera houses in the world. 

Plácido Domingo in Simon Boccanegra, at The Royal Opera House in 2010 (photo: Rolex/Catherine Ashmore)
Teatro alla Scala has been one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world for over 200 years, setting the stage for memorable performances from some of the most gifted operatic talents of all time. It has hosted the premier of many famous operas in its lifetime, including Verdi's Otella and Falsta, Bellini's Norma and Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Plácido Domingo gave a memorable Otello performance there and Cecilia Bartoli has also graced the stage of La Scala.

Rolex is also official timepiece of the Royal Opera House in London. The photo above shows Domingo in Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera in 2010. Rolex is also the official timepiece for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and the Ópera National de Paris. The watchmaker is Exclusive Partner of the New Year's and Summer Night Concerts at the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The New Year's Eve concert celebration is shown in the beautiful photo below.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, New Year's Concert (photo: Alamy images)
Other notable arts testimonees include tenor Juan Diego Flóres, bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and Rolando Villazón. Rolex is also Main Sponsor of the Salzburg Festival, featuring 180 classical and contemporary performances that include opera and drama. The festival is known for introducing new works onto the international music scene. I have embedded the trailer for the 2016 festival, which is currently under way. For more information on Rolex and its ties to the arts, visit the arts and culture section of rolex.com.


Should I Wear My Rolex While I Exercise?

Rolex watches are built to last a lifetime or even longer with proper maintenance and care. All Oyster cases are waterproof up to 100 meters and made from high grade metals, including their 904L stainless steel. The bezels on their newer professional models feature Cerchrom bezel inserts that are scratch-resistant. However, just because they are designed to be virtually indestructible doesn't mean that they will not develop scratches and dings over time. 

Should I Wear My Rolex While I Exercise? (photo: Stephen Di Donato)
One of the more common questions that I come across about Rolex watch maintenance is whether or not to take it off before exercising. There are a few different variables to consider when deciding to exercise with your Rolex on. The first and most important variable to consider before taking off your watch to work out is where you will put it. Theft is a serious issue when it comes to luxury timepieces and a gym locker is not a safe place to keep your Rolex while you work out, nor is the glove compartment of your vehicle. So, if you work out after work and wear your watch to your worksite, I would keep it on at the gym to avoid having to call the watchmaker to report it stolen.

If you do have a secure place to store your Rolex while you workout, the next thing to consider is the intensity of your workout. Some people feel fine jogging or running with their watch on and rinsing the sweat off before taking a shower. However, if you incorporate high intensity elements to your training sessions that include weights, pushups or pull-ups, I would recommend taking your watch off as it is more likely to get scratched - or worse. Weights slip off of sweaty hands all the time and the crystal of your Rolex can shatter as a result.

If you are willing to risk shattering the crystal and dinging the case and bracelet of your watch with a weight, you should also consider the cost of servicing your watch prematurely due to scratches.  The more you ding it, the sooner it will need to be polished. So, even if you don't shatter the crystal, you will still be incurring an additional maintenance cost for exposing your Rolex to additional wear. With that being said, it is ultimately up to the owner of the watch to decide how to care for it. If you must work out with your watch on, I would recommend buying a rubber strap for comfort and to avoid scratching the original bracelet, which is costly to replace through the manufacturer.

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How Do Watches Reflect the Times?

For many watch collectors and luxury watch enthusiasts, it is the legacy behind their favorite timepieces that fuels their passion and intrigue. To create a luxury wristwatch that will stand the test of time, watchmakers must master the art and science of watchmaking, incorporating technical innovations and changing aesthetics over time to meet the needs of contemporary consumers. Designed to last a lifetime, watches are meant to be handed down from one generation to another and in the process, they offer insights into the past that go beyond telling time. 


First Rolex Oyster Perpetual Model, 1931
Early Rolex models, like the first Oyster Perpetual model from 1931 shown in the photo above, adhere to an elegant aesthetic that is now reserved for dress watches. In the 1920s and 1930s, men's fashion trended toward tailored suits, with sweaters and jackets considered casual. The Fashionisto offers a glimpse at depression-era fashion in this post on 1930s men's fashion. The fact that men wore suits almost exclusively when leaving the house makes it logical that the wristwatches they wore would seem formal and dressy based on current trends. These days, the idea of wetting a dress watch with a leather strap seems almost reckless, with so many waterproof stainless steel dive watches available. Back then, however, wearing anything other than a dress watch would have been considered a faux pas.
First Submariner, Milgauss and GMT Models from the 1950s
After World War II, men's fashion became less rigid and suits began to be replaced by more casual clothing, especially by the youth. It was an age of exploration, with submarines exploring the ocean floor and airlines like Pan Am offering passengers the chance to see the world. This decade also saw the introduction of the stainless steel tool watches that dominate the market today. The first Submariner, Milgauss and GMT models were all introduced in the mid-1950s and have seen little change since then in terms of aesthetic. Rolex still offered dress watches, like their popular Datejust model, but innovations in watchmaking allowed them to apply their craft to making watches that do more than just tell time.

Apple Watches
Advances in technology would affect the Swiss watchmaking industry in the 1970s and 1980s with the advancement of quartz movements. This technical innovation saw the end of many traditional Swiss watchmakers, with companies like Rolex incorporating the technology into their watches to stay above the trend. Many call it the quartz crisis, while others attribute the growth of companies like Rolex after the 1980s to the fact that many other luxury watchmakers in their industry ceased operations as a result. Technology is still affecting the luxury watch industry today with the advent of the smartwatch. I recently covered the rise of the Apple watch in post found here. I don't believe that smartwatches will take customers away from companies like Rolex, but they still represent an innovation in watchmaking that is reflective of the tech boom of the past decades.

Rolex's 2016 Yacht-Master II and Deepsea models
While technology and innovation with always play an important part in the watchmaking industry, the current trend in luxury watches is size. In 2007 and 2008, Rolex released their largest wristwatches, the Yacht-Master II and Deepsea models shown in the photo above. With 44mm cases, these nautical tool watches offer contemporary customers Rolex watches that size up to the large cases offered by companies like Panerai. Size matters these days and while many would advise against wearing one of these models with a suit, the reality is that men's fashion is far more sporty now that it ever has been. Many work environments now allow for rolled up or even short sleeves, freeing men from the restrictions of a suit and tie and allowing them to accessorize with tool watches instead of traditional dress watches.

As society moves forward and technology with it, luxury watches follow suit. Collectors and enthusiasts appreciate the combination of craftsmanship and design aesthetic that have gone into creating the wristwatch models that have endured for decades, offering them a glimpse into the ingenuity and sensibilities of days past. What the future holds for luxury watches remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: wristwatches are designed to tell the time, but they are also telling of the times.

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