Rolex Models Without the Cyclops Magnifying Lens

4:01 PM

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. 

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