Rolex Developed and Patented Their Cerachrom Bezel in 2005

March 28, 2016

One of the exciting parts about the release of the 2016 Daytona at Baselworld 2016 was the addition of the black Cerachrom bezel to the iconic Rolex model. The 2015 model featured a 904l stainless steel bezel with a tachymetric scale engraved into it. 

Cerachrom vs. ceramic bezel rolex
Rolex's Patented Cerachrom Bezel
Rolex developed and patented their Cerachrom ceramic bezel in 2005. It was first available on their GMT-Master II model and later on the Submariner, Sea-Dweller and Yacht-Master models.

The process for creating the Cerachrom bezel takes over 40 hours. It begins with mixing zirconium oxide or aluminum oxide powder with pigment and a binding agent. This mixture is then heated up to 1500º after which numerals are carved into it. Then the bezel is sputtered with gold or platinum atoms and diamond polished until only the numerals are coated with gold or platinum for visibility.

This process made it particularly difficult for the watchmaker to achieve the classic red and blue pigment for the GMT-Master II Pepsi model released in 2014, which could be the reason they only made it available in white gold.

Rolex's Cerachrom bezel is highly durable and resistant to scratching and oxidation. It also retains its color after extended exposure to UV rays and salt water, making it ideal for the professional models.


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