Rolex Builds on the Classic DateJust line at Baselworld 2018

New Rolex DateJust 36 Reference 126231 Oystersteel with Everose gold  (Images from Rolex.com)


During Baselworld this year Rolex introduced the new generation of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36, in either Everose Rolesor (combining Oystersteel and 18 ct Everose gold) or yellow Rolesor (combining Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold). The Rolesor has been a feature of the Datejust since 1933. The new Datejust 36 timepieces are equipped with a 36 mm case featuring redesigned lugs and sides, and calibre 3235.

Although I prefer solid color options to these dual color designs, I have to say that these new combinations are quite stunningly attractive. And, I do appreciate the 36 mm case design which is more appropriate for smaller wrist sizes than the large 40 and 44mm cases. The DateJust is the epitome of the classic Rolex timepiece and the new enhancements and dial color options only add to the already impressive Rolex design. Like all Rolex watches, the new-generation Datejust 36 carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist.

The new Datejust 36 watches are equipped with calibre 3235, a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. This self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional perpetual rotor offers new gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability. It incorporates the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, this escapement is also insensitive to magnetic interference. It has a power reserve of up to 70 hours. The Oscillator has a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour.

The winding crown is fitted with a Rolex Twinlock double waterproofness system. The Oyster case of the Datejust 36, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 330 feet. Its middle case is crafted from a solid block of Oystersteel. The crystal is a scratch-resistant sapphire with a cyclops lens at 3 o'clock over the date window.

The new Datejust 36 watches are available on an Oyster or a Jubilee bracelet, which benefit from a concealed attachment system, ensuring seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case. They are also equipped with an Oysterclasp and include the Easylink rapid extension system, patented by Rolex in 1996, that allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm for additional comfort.


Rolex Datejust Reference 126203

I like the simplicity of design on this yellow gold Rolesor Reference 126203. It has a solid domed bezel made from 18 ct yellow gold, a white dial and hour markers with yellow gold surrounding long lasting blue luminescent markers. The hour and minute hand have the luminescent markers near the tips. The simplicity of the design is followed through to the yellow Rolesor Oyster bracelet which has a simpler style to the Jubilee style seen on most of the other Datejust models.
Rolex DateJust Reference 126231

This Rolex Datejust contains everose gold surrounded diamonds on a chocolate dial with a fluted everose gold bezel. It uses a Everose Rolesor Jubilee bracelet.
Rolex DateJust 36 Ref: 126233 in Oystersteel and Yellow Gold

This timepiece isn't as over the top as the 126283 RBR since it only has diamonds surrounded by 19 ct gold on the dial. The bezel instead is fluted 18 ct gold and it matches the gorgeous champagne color dial. Also, it uses an 18 ct gold and steel Oyster bracelet which has a simple but exquisite beauty.
Rolex Datejust 36 Ref: 126281RBR in Oystersteel and Everose Gold
This reference is noteworthy because of the dark Rhodium dial and gem settings at Roman numerals VI (6) and IX (9). The other numerals are in Everose gold. The bezel has 52 diamonds surrounded by everose gold. The Rolesor style bracelet combines Oystersteel and 18 ct gold on the Jubilee style bracelet.
Rolex Datejust 36 Reference 126283 RBR with Yellow Gold and Oystersteel

The Reference 126283 RBR features an 18 ct yellow gold bezel with 52 diamonds and a white mother of pearl dial. The dial has 10 hour markers made with 10 ct yellow gold surrounding a diamond. Only the Rolex crown at 12 o'clock and the date window at 3 o'clock steal space from the extravagance of this gem encrusted timepiece. The bracelet is a jubilee style with 5 piece solid links. and an Oysterclasp with Easylink comfort extension technology.
Rolex Datejust 36 Reference 126231 with Everose Gold and Oystersteel

I prefer the Roman numeral design in Everose 18 ct Gold to the jewel hour markers of this reference. The fluted gold bezel and Oyster bracelet follow the Everose gold design. Even the hour, minute and seconds hands have the Pink gold, making this a stunning and solid piece. The white lacquer dial also helps the Everose gold to stand out with exceptional luxury and readability.


Rolex Unveils the New Rolex GMT Master 2 at Baselworld


New Rolex GMT Master II launched at Baselworld 2018 (Images from Rolex.com)
The Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II timepiece is a favorite of world travelers because of its ability to read time in two different time zones simultaneously.  Famous singers, actors and business persons who travel often quickly realize the benefits of the GMT as they can quickly adjust the hour hand without losing precious seconds.  The dual color bezel is available in either Blue and Red or Black and Brown.  The Black and Blue portion of the dial indicates night time hours while the Brown or Red portion of the dial represents daytime hours.  The Red 24-hour hand with luminescent triangular tip indicates the 2nd time zone.

The Red/Blue combination is a favorite for decades since the original release of the Red and Blue GMT Master back in 1955, and is oft copied.  However, the brown and black combination above works extremely well on this 18 carat Everose gold version on this reference 126715CHNR.

The new Rolex GMT-Master II is powered by a perpetual mechanical self-winding caliber 3285 manufactured in house by Rolex.  The power reserve is a long-lasting 70 hours.  It has a centre hour, minute and seconds hands and a 24-hour display. The second time zone has an independent rapid-setting of the hour hand. The instantaneous date window appears at the 3 o'clock position with a cyclops lens above for easy readability. Most important for quick time setting, it utilizes a stop-seconds for precision.  The hour, seconds, minute and 24 hour hands all are painted with long-lasting blue luminescence with approx. 8 hours of visibility.

The scratch resistant sapphire crystal and triplock waterproofness system gives it water resistance up to 330 feet.  The case is the standard 40 mm oyster design.  The dual color steel/gold reference 126711CHNR and everose reference 126715CHNRboth have an Oyster Bracelet with flat three-piece links and a folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink comfort extension link.  The all steel Blue/Red reference 126710BLRO sports a Jubilee five-piece link bracelet.
Two Tone Rolex GMT Master II with Everose Gold and Steel with Black and Brown Bezel

Rolex Celebrates the Daytona at Baselworld with Diamonds and Sapphires

Diamond and Sapphire bedazzled Rolex Daytona revealed at Baselworld 2018  (Photos: Rolex.com)
Rolex didn't hold back with this Daytona, pulling all punches and making a statement as a Jeweler of the highest quality.  Rolex wants to dispel the myth that they use low quality gems or are a watchmaker first and gemologist second.  In this Daytona the combined 36 baguette cut sapphires in the circular formation along the bezel where the tachometer markings would normally go for a typical Daytona.  On the case itself, Rolex opted for 56 diamonds of several different sizes.  The gem artistry that went into the design of this piece is amazing.

They opted to go for 18 carat Everose (pink) gold for this Daytona which seems to sparkle and reflect many of the rainbow colors it is presenting.  On the dial, the rainbow sapphires are cut into hour markers and lay on the black dial near the outer ring where the sapphire matches the outer ring sapphire color.  So for example, the blue sapphire ranges from 8 o'clock to the 6 o'clock position both on the bezel and on the dial.  The impressive workmanship is doubled when you consider the gem selection that went into finding gems that would graduate the rainbow look.  The Reds melt into the Blues and Blues into Purples and so on.

The inner dial is a pink gold color which nicely matches the case and bracelet.  Although I wouldn't consider a gem-set Rolex as high on my list of wish-list items, I think this Daytona has made an impact on my viewpoint of Rolex being just a watchmaker of the highest order.  This piece clearly establishes them as gem-setting masters and gemologists of the highest order.  Clearly each gem had to be selected with stringent quality and then placed to reveal its beauty, color and sparkle.  Yet, being true to the watchmaking requirements, all gems must have strength and resistance to magnetic fields and shocks in order to qualify for inclusion on a Rolex.

It is with great difficulty that we must move onto the components of this timepiece.  The gems must take the top podium step in any discussion regarding this timepiece.  However, this isn't to undermine the Rolex artistry of the timepiece itself.  This Cosmograph Daytona is powered by a caliber 4130 self-winding movement which gives a power reserve of approximately 72 hours.  Even with all the gems on the case, it is only a 40 mm diameter.  Although it is unlikely that an owner would ever wear this piece in the ocean or in a swimming pool, the timepiece utilizes a triplock waterproofness system and is water resistant to 330 feet.

The bracelet is a Oyster with flat three-piece links.  It uses an Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink comfort extension links for easy adjustments.  On the dial, it has a center hour, minute and seconds hands in Everose gold.  It has a small seconds at 6 o'clock,  a 30 minute counter at 3 o'clock and a 12 hour counter at 9 o'clock.





Rarest Rolex on the Planet "The Unicorn" Goes up for Auction

Rolex Daytona 6265 in White Gold
This is a vintage Rolex Daytona Reference 6265 in solid 18k white gold.  It was a special order made in 1970 and delivered to a German retailer in 1971.  It is rare because Rolex did not make any white gold manual-winding Daytonas - only thought to have been produced in yellow gold or stainless steel.  Of course, vintage Daytona's are in high demand, but this is a one of a kind making it a priceless artifact.  Nicknamed "The Unicorn" partly because of its rarity and partly because of its white gold color, the Reference 6265 is going up for auction at Phillips, with proceeds going to Children Action.
John Goldberger, collector and owner of "The Unicorn"  Image: Hodinkee

Famed collector John Goldberger, and author of 100 Superlative Rolex Watches and Patek Philippe Steel Watches, is the current owner of the rare Daytona.  He acquired the timepiece just eight years ago.   Upon picking up the Daytona for the first time, he noticed that this did not feel like a stainless steel Daytona.  It was much heavier.  Although Rolex used white gold in their production of Day-Date models during the 1970's the precious metal never made it to the Daytona line which was designed to be an every-day watch.  Most Daytonas were made in stainless steel to stand up to the wear and tear of daily use.

The Unicorn has a black "sigma" dial and white gold hour markers.  The bracelet comes from a white gold reference 1507 Oyster Date, but is not the original band that came with the timepiece.  It isn't known what band was delivered with the white gold model.  The crown and pushers are made from stainless steel, rather than white gold.  The Daytona bezel with tachymetric scale supports measuring average speeds up to 200 miles or kilometers per hour.  It has a small seconds hand at 9 o'clock a 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock and 12-hour counter at 6 o'clock.  On modern Daytonas the dials at 9 and 6 are swapped.

The Unicorn will likely fetch millions for the charity, if recent history and astronomical price increases at auction are any indication.  The question is whether it will set new records, considering its rarity.  Certainly the most expensive Daytona, the Paul Newman, which recently went for over 17 million, has celebrity fame to drive the price up.  The Newman watch though was not nearly as rare as The Unicorn.  We will find out on May 12, 2018, in Geneva, where the Unicorn will be featured as part of the Daytona Ultimatum auction.

LeBron James' Rolex Collection

Labron James wearing a Yellow Gold Day Date  Image:Getty
LeBron James is arguably the greatest basketball player in history.  Certainly he is the most noteworthy player to play in the NBA since Michael Jordan and is often compared with Jordan's greatness.  Although he has less NBA Championship rings (three as compared to Jordan's 6), he is an absolute force of nature on the court and still has many more years left to play.  He is taller and stronger than Jordan and can play all 5 positions, making him one of the most versatile players in NBA history.  Most impressively, James has powered his team to attending 8 championship series in his career, and notably 7 of the last 7, and winning it all 3 times on two different teams.

James is touted for his consistency (averaging over 37 points a game), durability (very few injuries) and a multitude of skills including defensive, offensive, rebounding and assists.  James is the ambassador to Audemars Piguet and is most often seen sporting the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph LeBron James.

However, James has been spotted wearing his share of Rolex timepieces.  He has been spotted with three different Rolexes, all showing his preference for new timepieces in Yellow Gold.

Rolex Day Date in Yellow Gold
Rolex Presidential Day Date in Yellow Gold
The Rolex Day-Date was released in 1956 and was noteworthy becoming the first wristwatch to display both the date and day of the week on the dial.  Due to the President bracelet and the luminaries that have worn the Day-Date, the Day Date became known as the "Presidents" watch. 

The Presidential Day-Date II Reference 218238BKRP has a stunning black dial and Arabic numerals in 18k gold.  The case and bracelet are made from 18k gold. The fluted bezel gives the timepiece a distinct luxury, often adding a level of sophistication and a distinctive look of alternating light and dark gold.

It is the smallest of the three Rolexes in LeBron's collection at only 41mm, but it sports both the day of the week at 12 o'clock and the date at 3 o'clock.

The Day-Date II is powered by a caliber 3156 with 48 hours of power reserve.  It has a twinlock double waterproofness system, supporting a depth of 330 feet.

Sky Dweller in Yellow Gold
Rolex Sky Dweller in Yellow Gold
The Rolex Sky-Dweller provides information that global travelers need to keep track of time.  It has the Dual Time Zone function so that you can see two time zones simultaneously.  The center hour, minute and seconds hands indicate the local time.  The hour hand can be adjusted quickly in one hour increments forwards and backwards without stopping the watch, preserving time accuracy.  This is a key requirement for the King who needs to have quick hour adjustments when traveling back and forth to basketball stadiums across the US.

The Sky Dweller has a 24 hour display allowing the wearer to distinguish daytime from night time hours.  The Date change is linked to local time and the date changes in a few milliseconds at midnight in its aperture at 3 o'clock.  The scratch resistant sapphire crystal has a cyclops lens over the date window for better readability.

This timepiece is stunning for several reasons.  It has a champagne color dial and 18 ct gold hour numerals.  It has a matching 18 ct gold Oyster bracelet with Oysterclasp system. The Sky-Dweller is slightly smaller than the Yacht-Master II, at 42mm.  It is powered by a caliber 9001 self-winding movement with a 72 hour power reserve.  It has a Twinlock double waterproofness system which supports a depth of 330 feet.



Rolex Yacht-Master II in Yellow Gold

LeBron's has exquisite taste with this gorgeous Yacht Master II in 18 ct yellow gold. It is a distinctive design embodying the spirit of the sailor, and combining the rich heritage of Rolex who has been designing timepieces for regatta's since the 1950's.

Rolex Yacht-Master II in Yellow Gold
The Yacht Master II is a large 44 mm timepiece with a blue Ring Command bezel. The bezel can be used as a programmable countdown which can be synchronized with regatta race start times. It has an Oyster bracelet with an Oysterlock folding clasp and the Easylink comfort extension link allowing the wearer to increase the bracelet length when needed.

Touches of blue and red are extended through on the white dial. It has luminescent hour markers surrounded by yellow gold, with a large triangular marker at 12 o'clock and a rectangular one at 6 o'clock for increased visibility.  The luminescent hour hand is clearly defined as a circular disk and is clearly distinguished from the minute hand.  The Chromalight display provides long-lasting blue luminescence in dark situations.

The countdown clock can be programmed for a duration between 1 and 10 minutes and is noted by a hand with a large red triangle with luminescent inside.   There is an additional small seconds dial at 6 o'clock.

The Yacht-Master II uses scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and has a triplock triple waterproofing system, supporting a water-resistance up to 330 feet deep.  The Caliber 4161 self-winding movement provides reserve power up to 72 hours.

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