Project X Black-Out Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR

Project X Designs specializes in the customization of luxury watches by brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. The London based company offers a variety of bespoke watches, including limited edition and blacked out pieces, like the Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR shown below.

Photo of Black-Out Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR by Project X (photo: Project X)
Black-Out Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR by Project X (photo: Project X)
The 'Black-Out' effect is achieved by applying a military grade 'Diamond-Like Carbon' coating to the timepiece with the company's logo engraved on the case back. The timepieces they have in stock are purchased directly from the watchmaker and while the original warranty from Rolex is no longer valid due to the customization, Project X offers their own warranty to customers.

Blacked out watches are not for everyone, but the BLNR looks particularly bad ass in black. It certainly lives up to the name 'Batman' in this case. This Black-Out model retails for $16,872 USD and is available for immediate delivery through the Project X website,


How to Identify a Fake Rolex

Great attention to detail is required to be able to distinguish between a good counterfeit Rolex and the real thing. Fake Rolexes run the gamut from cheap, light-weight knock-offs purchased on Canal Street in New York City to more sophisticated replicas equipped with mechanical movements that can run a person upwards of $500 US. 

How to Spot a Fake Rolex
How to Spot a Fake Rolex (photo: Rolex)
The most telling sign of a fake Rolex is the timekeeping, naturally. While some counterfeiters can present a replica with decent weight, lettering and even serial numbers, the timepieces will never pass Rolex's Superlative Chronometer Certification testing with a precision of -2/+2 seconds per day.

The date of a Rolex wristwatch changes exactly at midnight with a swift motion. If you wind the watch past 12 o'clock and notice that the date changes slowly or prematurely, you know it's not authentic. The date magnification should be 2.5 times its original size and the numbers should appear centered. Also, winding the crown of a Rolex clockwise will move the time forward, not backward. This detail is another telltale sign that a watch is a fake.

Aside from functionality, there are also design details that can give away a knock-off. Rolex does not manufacture watches with a clear case back, so that is one way of determining the real thing from a fake. If you have someone who works with Rolex watches to open the case, the movement will determine the authenticity. While serial numbers and design elements can be copied, a Rolex movement cannot be replicated even by competitors in the industry.

The finishing of each Rolex wristwatch configuration is consistent, so if you notice that a part of the case or bracelet is polished differently, it may indicate that the watch is not authentic. Some bracelets feature polished center links while others come in brushed steel. These are the details that may be more difficult to recognize if you have not studied the model configuration, but they are dead giveaways.

The best way to avoid ending up with a fake Rolex is to deal with a trusted Authorized Dealer and stay away from any deal that seems too good to be true. Demand paperwork to authenticate the watch and verify the serial number with Rolex independently. Rolex is very consistent with their watchmaking and their prices worldwide, so it pays to be scrupulous with who you do business with when it comes to these timepieces.


Yellow Gold Rolex Day-Date 40

If you've seen Justin Timberlake's music video for 'Can't Stop the Feeling!' you may have noticed the gold Rolex on his wrist. Known as the 'Presiden't Watch' the Day-Date model was introduced in 1956 and was the first Rolex to feature the President bracelet. 
Photo of Yellow Gold Rolex Day-Date 40
Yellow Gold Rolex Day-Date 40 (photo: rolex)
One of the most identifiable characteristics of this model is the arc-shaped window that displays the day of the week at the 12 o'clock position. The first wristwatch to spell out the day on the dial, the day display is now available in 26 languages.

The Day-Date is only available in 18 karat gold or 950 Platinum, adding to the prestige of this timepiece. The gold versions feature a fluted bezel as seen on the yellow gold configuration shown in the photo above. The platinum version with the ice blue dial comes with a smooth bezel.

The 40 mm Day-Date is powered by a new-generation 3255 movement, this timepiece received Rolex's Superlative Chronometer Certification for its precision of -2/+2 seconds per day after casing. The suggested retail price for the yellow gold Rolex Day-Date is 33,200 Swiss francs or approximately $33,459 US.


Justin Theroux Wears a Gold Rolex

Justin Theroux is an American actor, screenwriter and director known for his role on HBO's The Leftovers and for being romantically linked to Jennifer Aniston. He has been photographed wearing several gold Rolex models, including the gold Day-Date in the photo below. 

Justin Theroux Wearing a Gold Rolex Day-Date
More recently, Theroux has been spotted wearing a yellow gold Submariner. A shot from his Instagram account is posted below with him showing off his Sub outside of an In-n-Out Burger in Arizona. 

The actor has received praise for his portrayal of Kevin Garby in The Leftovers. Damon Lindelof, one of the shows creators, announced that the third season (currently in production) will be the final season of the series in an interview at the Peabody Awards in New York City earlier this week. 

Theroux will appear in the feature film 'Girl on the Train' set for release later this year. In addition to his recent acting roles, Theroux co-wrote Zoolander 2 and Ironman 2. 

A photo posted by @justintheroux on

Rolex Superlative Chronometer Certification

All Rolex movements receive certification from the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (or COSC) before going into their respective cases. This certifies that those movements are precise within up to -4/+6 seconds a day. After the watches are assembled, they receive an in-house certification by Rolex known as the Superlative Chronometer Certification that certifies their precision up to -2/+2 seconds per day. 

Photo of Rolex Superlative Chronometer Green Seal (photo: Rolex)
Rolex Superlative Chronometer Green Seal (photo: Rolex)
The green seal shown above comes with all new Rolex wristwatches based on this certification. They also have the words 'Superlative Chronometer' inscribed on their dials. The certification consists of testing precision, waterproofness, power reserve and self-winding.

The precision of each fully assembled watch is tested over a 24 hour cycle. Waterproofness is tested by submerging each watch into a hyperbaric tank. The water pressure in the tank is set to the equivalent of 10% over the depth rating for most models, 25% for dive watches.

All of these extra steps are taken by the watchmaker to guarantee that all of their watches meet their own standards of quality and excellence in Swiss watchmaking.


How to Choose a Rolex

photo of Rolex Submariner Date and Deepsea Side by Side
Rolex Submariner Date and Deepsea Side by Side
While Rolex is a very recognizable brand that has been around for many years, it can be difficult to decide which of their wristwatch models best suits your lifestyle. Model configurations vary in size, material and pricing, each with their own unique characteristics. While no one can tell you which Rolex model(s) to choose, your decision can be made much easier when you have all of the information necessary to properly evaluate them.

Although the decision ultimately comes down to personal aesthetic and functionality in most cases, pricing is usually a big factor in determining which Rolex model to choose. Rolex offers many of their popular models in 904L stainless steel, like the GMT-Master II BLNR shown in the photo below. Most of their stainless steel models are priced under $10,000 US. I put together a list of my picks in this category that includes suggested retail prices in a previous entry found here.

Photo of Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR
Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR (photo: Rolex)
Rolex also offers configurations that combine stainless steel with gold. They refer to this combination  as Rolesor and their rose gold as Everose. The Yacht-Master II model is one of their largest models and comes in two tone Everose Rolesor as shown in the photo below. Check it out along with many other Rolesor model configurations on my list of the best Rolex models under $25,000.

Photo of Rolex Yacht-Master II Model in Everose Rolesor (photo: Rolex)
Rolex Yacht-Master II Model in Everose Rolesor (photo: Rolex)
If gold is what you're looking for, Rolex has many model configurations that really shine in white, yellow and Everose gold. Rolex makes the gold used for their wristwatches in their own foundry located at their Plan-les-Ouates site in Geneva, Switzerland. Most of their gold models are priced under $50,000 and you can check out my picks here. Their popular Cosmograph Daytona model is shown below in yellow gold with a blue dial.

photo of Yellow Gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (photo: Rolex)
Yellow Gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (photo: Rolex)
If price is not an issue and you are looking for a classic Rolex with a modern aesthetic, I would recommend the Platinum Day-Date model with the ice blue dial shown below. Justin Timberlake wore the yellow gold version of this model in his latest music video. The suggested retail price for this model is 59,600 Swiss francs or approximately $60,180 US.

Platinum Rolex Day-Date 40 (photo: Rolex)
Another thing that makes it easier to decide which Rolex model is right for you is by seeing it on somebody else. I have a Style section on this blog dedicated to showing which celebrities wear what models. Golfer Adam Scott was tapped as a Rolex brand ambassador and was featured in their ads for their newest model, the Sky-Dweller.

Photo of Golfer Adam Scott in ad for Rolex Sky-Dweller (photo: Rolex)
Golfer Adam Scott in ad for Rolex Sky-Dweller (photo: Rolex)
For those who like to know what makes their watches tick, I have added a Tech section to this blog with information on Rolex movements, materials and technical innovations. I have also created a Historical Timeline following the watchmaker from its founding by Hans Wilsdorf in 1908 to the present for those who like to know more about the company they are buying from.

My hope is that this information will help bolster your understanding of Rolex watches and allow you to make a wise purchase decision. For more information about Rolex and their wristwatch models, including model comparisons, check out my Rolex Shopping Guide.

Rolex 3235 Movement

Rolex's Datejust 41 and Pearlmaster 39 models come equipped with their new generation movement, Calibre 3235. This movement is protected by 14 patents and features many of the watchmaker's latest tech innovations, including their blue Parachrom hairspring and Chronergy escapement

Rolex 3235 Movement (photo: Rolex/Jean-Daniel Mayer)
This movement improves upon the precision, reliability and power reserve of its predecessors. With a 70 hour power reserve, it truly does represent the future of Rolex's integrated watch production. All Rolex watches are subject to extensive in-house testing to ensure that they will meet the requirements of a superlative chronometer.

In order for their timepieces to receive the Rolex Superlative Chronometer Certification, they must function at a precision of -2/+2 seconds per day after casing. Rolex has updated their certification requirements as recently as 2015 to ensure that all of their timepieces are worthy of their green seal.

The video clip below provides some insight into the process of putting together a Rolex movement at their production site in Bienne, Switzerland.


How Much Do Rolex Watches Cost?

Rolex prices vary significantly depending on the size, material and model chosen. The watchmaker releases a list of suggested retail prices every year that the Authorized Dealers are meant to follow when pricing watches to customers. Prices range from approximately $5,000 US to upwards of $100,000 depending on the model configuration. 

Photo of Rolex Explorer
Rolex Explorer (photo: Rolex/Alain Costa)
The most affordable Rolex watches are made from their 904L stainless steel alloy and are priced under $10,000. I have compiled a list of my picks for the best configurations in this category that you can check out by clicking here. It includes many of their popular models, including the Submariner, Explorer and GMT-Master II BLNR.

For under $25,000, you can get a Rolex with a combination of stainless steel and gold. Within this budget, you can get a two-tone Yacht-Master II, a diamond Datejust II or a Rolesor (combination of stainless and gold) Cosmograph Daytona. I added a few more popular Rolex models to my list, found here.

With the exception of platinum and diamond entrusted models, most of their higher end Rolex models fall under $50,000. This will get you a Sky-Dweller, a Day-Date or a gold Daytona. The gold GMT-Master II that I featured on my list (found here) is also a very nice value in this price range.

You can check out Rolex pricing for most models on the Rolex Forums as well. They have a static list of Rolex prices across countries.


Rolex Deepsea vs Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days GMT

Rolex Deepsea (ref 116660) vs Panerai Luminor 1950 (PAM233)
Rolex Deepsea (ref 116660) vs Panerai Luminor 1950 (PAM233)
If you're looking for a large stainless steel dive watch priced under $15,000 US, you have most likely come across the 44mm Rolex Deepsea and the Panerai Luminor 8 Days GMT, also with a 44 mm case. These timepieces are similar in size and material, but differ in functionality and aesthetic.

The Deepsea features a self-winding 3135 movement manufactured by Rolex with a power reserve of 48 hours. The PAM233 is equipped with a manually-wound P.2002 movement manufactured by Panerai. It has a power reserve of 8 days, though it can go 10 days without being wound according to the forums.

photo of Rolex Deepsea vs Panerai PAM 233 Case Comparison
Rolex Deepsea vs Panerai PAM 233 Case Comparison
As the name indicates, the PAM233 features a GMT hand that allows the wearer to set the time in two locations at once. It has a date aperture at 3 o'clock, a power reserve display above 6 o'clock and a sub-dial at 9 o'clock with the seconds and am/pm. The case features the crown protector that this model is known for and a domed crystal visible in the photo above. The depth rating for this model is 100 meters.

The Deepsea also features a domed crystal and a date aperture at 3 o'clock. With a graduated 60-minute unidirectional Cerachrom bezel, it allows divers to monitor their time underwater. The depth rating on this model is 3,9000 meters - a significant difference for those looking to use the dive watch for its intended purpose.

Rolex Deepsea vs Panerai PAM233 Side by Side
The PAM233 comes with a calf leather strap (shown in photo with a Panerai brown/beige calf leather strap) while the Deepsea features a stainless steel Oyster bracelet. The Deepsea adheres to Rolex's classic dive watch aesthetic while the Luminor has more of an old-world flair in its design. The Luminor 1950 case in unique with its brushed and polished steel and the domed crystal.

The Rolex Deepsea retails for approximately $11,831 US and the Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days GMT goes for $12,300. With a difference of only about $500, the purchase decision would come down to the aesthetic and functionality. The Deepsea represents the modern dive watch with all the bells and whistles and the PAM233 offers a vintage look and feel in a contemporary timepiece.


John Mayer and Ben Clymer Discuss The 2016 Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN

If you frequent Rolex Forums, you may have come across a thread about the recent article published by Hodinkee that features an abridged transcript of a telephone conversation between musician John Mayer and Hodinkee Founder Benjamin Clymer in which they discuss being amongst the first in the US to receive the coveted 2016 Cosmograph Daytona with the black ceramic dial shown in the photo below. 

2016 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN (photo: Rolex)
The byline of the article credits Mayer as the author and the conversation centers around how they feel about receiving the current 'it' watch before most. Very little attention is paid to the design, legacy or wear of the watch itself. Instead, they speculate how much this wristwatch would sell for on the secondary market and Mayer likens the release of this Daytona configuration to a software update for the iPhone released by Apple.

Members of the Rolex Forum were quick to pan the article and offer negative opinions about Mayer and Clymer based on the focus of the conversation. Mayer is no stranger to negative press, but Clymer was hit particularly hard as someone who has let his success get to his head.

The executive editor of Hodinkee took to the forum to plead his case to his detractors, stating that he received his Daytona based on the timeliness of his e-mail request to Rolex. He even included screenshots of his e-mails to validate his position in line. While it is still likely that Rolex showed him preferential treatment based on his massive platform and influence in the watch world, that is not something he should have to defend. After all, it is his years of hard work and dedication to Hodinkee that got him on that list.

What seems to have upset most of the negative commenters was the editorial content of the article itself. Hodinkee is known for quality content, so when they printed this transcript of a casual telephone conversation between friends, they opened themselves up to allow the readers to decide the tone and apply their own characterization to it. While the actual conversation wasn't inherently controversial, the way that people feel about celebrities and privilege certainly played a part in the backlash that followed its publication.


M. Shinoda X BWD Daytona

Bamford Watch Department is a luxury watch customization company based in Mayfair, West London. It was founded in 2003 by George Bamford to personalize steel sports watches from brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. While purists may have some reservations about bespoke Rolex watches, they have become quite fashionable recently.

Photo of M. Shinoda X BWD Daytona watch
M. Shinoda X BWD Daytona (photo: BWD)
The blacked out Rolex Daytona shown in the photo above is a collaboration between BWD and Mike Shinoda from the multi-platinum selling band Linkin Park. It features a military grade titanium coating with a skull designed by Shinoda on the dial just below 12 o'clock. This model is available only through the Bamford Watch Department and is priced at £19,000, or approximately $27,528 US according to current exchange rates.

While some on Rolex forums posit that these bespoke watches are no longer covered under Rolex's warranty, it should be noted that according to Bamford's FAQ, all of their timepieces are covered by a 2 year warranty provided by BWD. They offer several customizable design options on a range of luxury watches through their website at You can also see some of their work on their Instagram account.


A photo posted by @bamfordwatchdepartment on

Sexiest Female Celebrities Who Wear Rolex Watches

Some of the sexiest women in the world wear Rolex watches. While I usually post photos of them actually wearing them in the Style section of this blog, I decided to put together some editorial photos that showcase their sex appeal. Featuring actress Charlize Theron, music superstar Rihanna, Olympic athlete Lindsey Vonn and Supermodels Cindy Crawford, Alessandra Amborsio and Rosie Huntington-Whitely, this collection of photographs shows these stunning beauties through the lens of the world's top fashion photographers. 

Cindy Crawford
Photo of Cindy Crawford in TsUM Fall/Winter Ad Campaign 2010-2011 (photo: TsUM)
Cindy Crawford in TsUM Fall/Winter Ad Campaign 2010-2011 (photo: TsUM)
Shot by fashion photographers Mert & Marcus for Russian department store TsUM's Fall/Winter 2010-2011 advertising campaign, Cindy Crawford proves that she is still one of the sexiest women in the world in this photo. Styled in lingerie, black pumps and a black blazer, she poses on a bed holding an apple and showing off her amazing legs. Her signature beauty mark is visible just above her red lips. The businesswoman and mother of two is semi-retired from modeling, passing the torch to daughter Kaia Gerber, who is the spitting image of her mother.

Rosie Huntington-Whitely
Rosie Huntington-Whitely shot by Luigi and Iango for Lui Magazine's June 2015 Issue (photo: Lui)
Rosie Huntington-Whitely and fiancé Jason Statham have been photographed wearing many different Rolex models by the paparazzi. While Rosie would look beautiful wearing a potato sack, the photo above truly captures just how sexy she is. Shot by Luigi and Iango for Lui Magazine's June 2015 issue, she wears nothing but golden serpentine jewelry with red lips and nails. There's something about the shape of her eyes and lips that is oozes sex appeal - not to mention the perfect proportions of her body.

Lindsey Vonn
Photo of Lindsey Vonn in the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
Lindsey Vonn in the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (photo: SI)
Lindsey Vonn is an American Olympic gold medal winning alpine skier and Rolex brand ambassador. She was shot for the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue by Frederic Pinet wearing a swimsuit painted on by Joanne Gair. The athlete's body may be conditioned for skiing, but these photos show that there is a secondary benefit to those workouts. Her bikini body displays a perfect mix of muscle and curves, proving that a woman can excel in sports but still retain her feminine sensuality.

Alessandra Ambrosio
Photo of Alessandra Ambrosio Shot by Ellen von Unwerth for Vogue Brazil
Alessandra Ambrosio Shot by Ellen von Unwerth for Vogue Brazil (photo: Vogue)
In a photo feature entitled 'Mais Amor Por Favor' for Vogue Brazil's 2014 September issue, Brazilian born Victoria's Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio posed for Ellen von Unwerth in a neighborhood called Vidigal. Styled by Yasmine Sterea, Ambrosio gives an ultra-sexy contemporary take on the 1950s pin up in the photos. In the shot above her legs look like they go on forever as she turns to the camera with a seductive gaze. 

Photo of Rihanna Shot by Annie Liebovitz in Cuba for Vanity Fair
Rihanna Shot by Annie Liebovitz in Cuba for Vanity Fair (photo: VF)
Music superstar Rihanna is no stranger to being on magazine covers. She recently graced the cover of Vogue for their April 2016 issue and in November of 2015 she appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair in a photo shot by Annie Liebovitz in Cuba. Rihanna is a muse to many fashion designers and seems very comfortable showing off her curves and tattoos in editorial shoots. Here she lays on a bed in Cuba in a room that is frozen in time since the end of the Cuban revolution in 1959.

Charlize Theron
Photo of Charlize Theron Captured by Mert & Marcus for W Magazine
Charlize Theron Captured by Mert & Marcus for W Magazine (photo: W)
South African Charlize Theron is an Oscar winning actress and fashion star, stunning on the red carpet with her classic beauty and statuesque body. She has represented Dior in popular ad campaigns for their J'adore fragrance and appeared in blockbuster films like Mad Max: Fury Road (alongside Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Tom Hardy). She shows off her long legs in this shot with warm light illuminating her face in the backseat of a classic car. She's wearing what appears to be a bondage-inspired neckpiece paired with black pumps.


NFL First-Round Draft Pick Eli Apple Does Not Wear a Rolex

The style section of this blog is usually reserved for photos of celebrities wearing Rolex watches. However, a few weeks ago Annie Apple, mother of Giants first-round draft pick Eli Apple, made headlines for not allowing her son wear a borrowed Rolex to the 2016 NFL Draft held on April 28, 2016 in Chicago.

Eli Apple, Giants 2016 First-Round Draft Pick (photo: CBS Sports)
Annie Apple was subsequently interviewed by several media outlets and stated that she didn't want her son, who at the time was an unemployed college dropout, to misrepresent himself to the world by wearing Rolex watches and diamonds that were not his. Instead, she bought him a charger for his smartphone so that he could check the time on draft day on there instead.

While celebrity endorsements are the primary form of marketing used by luxury watchmakers today, it is important to make the distinction between a paid celebrity brand ambassador and someone borrowing luxury items from jewelers to walk red carpets that will be covered by the international press. It is also important for people to see that owning a Rolex is something to work toward.

While Apple is certainly in a position to own a luxury watch soon in his new role as a cornerback in the National Football League, his mother helped him inform the public of the distinction between owning a Rolex and posing for a photo with a Rolex on your wrist.


Rolex Ringlock System

The Rolex Deepsea model has a depth rating of 3,900 meters due, in part, to its patented Ringlock case architecture. After spending years conducting research and sending experimental dive watches into the deepest parts of the ocean, the watchmaker has come up with a system that allows the case to sustain the massive pressure placed upon it in the deep. 

Diagram of Rolex Deepsea's Ringlock System (source: Rolex)
Diagram of Rolex Deepsea's Ringlock System (source: Rolex)
The diagram above shows all of the elements of the Ringlock system. The middle case is stamped out of a solid block of 904L stainless steel and is equipped with a Triplock winding crown. Inside the case is a 5.5 mm thick domed sapphire crystal with a crystal gasket. Responsible for withstanding the water pressure, a nitrogen-alloyed steel compression ring sits under the crystal. Underneath, a grade 5 titanium case back is held against the case by a screw-down case back ring.

The helium escape valve is also a component of protecting the case in the deep. Helium enters the case in the deep and this valve allows it to escape without damaging the case on the way back up. All Deepsea models go through rigorous waterproof testing in a hyperbaric tank designed by Rolex with COMEX before being released into the market.


Billy Bush Wears a Rolex Submariner

American television host Billy Bush made headlines this week after the announcement that he will become an anchor for the 9 o'clock hour of NBC's Today Show. Bush has been the host of Access Hollywood for 15 years and the career move will require him and his family to move from Los Angeles to New York City, his hometown.  

Photo of Billy Bush Wearing a Rolex Submariner on Bravo's Watch What Happens: Live
Billy Bush Wearing a Rolex Submariner on Bravo's Watch What Happens: Live (photo: Bravo)
Bush was a guest on Bravo TV's Watch What Happens: Live alongside Chloe Grace Moretz, star of Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, back in 2014. He wore a Rolex Submariner for the appearance, shown in the photo above. He has been photographed wearing the dive watch at several appearances through the years.

The new Today Show anchor is the nephew of American President George H. W. Bush and cousin of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States. Jenna Bush Hager, his cousin, is a correspondent for the Today Show.

The addition of Billy Bush to the Today Show comes after Natalie Morales took on a new role as the show's west cost correspondent. She will also replace Bush as host of Access Hollywood Live. For more information about Bush's new role on the Today Show, visit


Cindy Crawford Wearing a Rolex Submariner

Cindy Crawford is one of the first fashion models to be considered a 'Supermodel' in the early 90s. The American beauty grew up in Illinois, graduating from high school in 1984 as valedictorian and earning a scholarship to study chemical engineering at Northwestern University. After her first quarter, though, she quit to pursue modeling full-time - a decision that has paid off in the long run. 

Photo of Cindy Crawford Wearing a Rolex Submariner in 1989
Cindy Crawford Wearing a Rolex Submariner in 1989
Crawford was signed to Elite New York in 1986 and would soon grace magazine covers around the world. In 1989, she became host of MTV's House of Style and posed for the photo above around the same time. In it, she wears a Rolex Submariner in a scuba-themed shoot. She was photographed wearing Rolex watches in the early 1990s, however, in 1995 she became a brand ambassador for Omega watches. The relationship that has lasted for over 20 years, so Crawford is rarely photographed wearing any other watch brand.  

The model turned businesswoman has collaborated on several successful business ventures, including skincare and furniture lines. She has been married to businessman Rande Gerber since 1998 and the couple has two children together - 16 year old Presley and 14 year old Kaia.

Kaia is following in her mother's footsteps by entering into the modeling world. The spitting image of her mother, the pair appeared on the cover of Vogue Paris' April 2016 issue. The proud mom posted the cover shot onto her Instagram account - shown below. 

Best Rolex Watches for Under $50,000

Photo of Best Rolex Watches for Under $50,000
Best Rolex Watches for Under $50,000 (photo: Rolex)
Prices for new Rolex models range from less that $10,000 to over $100,000 depending on the model configuration you choose. Most of the models under $10,000 are professional models made with 904L stainless steel. Model configurations in the $25,000 price range usually feature a combination of steel and 18 karat white or yellow gold. 

In the $50,000 range, you can choose from most of the Oyster Perpetual models in white or yellow gold. I focused on gold configurations for this list as most are not available for less than $25,000. (Note: All of the pricing information below is based on Rolex's suggested retail price in Swiss francs converted to USD based on current exchange rates.) For a list of the best Rolex models for under $10,000, click here. For the best Rolex models under $25,000, click here

Rolex GMT-Master II (Reference 116718 LN)
Photo of Yellow Gold Rolex GMT-Master II
Yellow Gold Rolex GMT-Master II (photo: Rolex)
The popular GMT-Master II model takes on a different aesthetic in the yellow gold configuration. While the 'Batman' and 'Pepsi' models that feature the two-tone bezels are favorites in Rolex forums, the yellow gold GMT configuration with the green dial shown above is an elegant watch that will never go out of style. The combination of the green with the black bezel and yellow gold is unique but also quintessentially Rolex. This is a great watch for an executive with classic style or a fashionable person looking for a strong and sturdy timepiece to anchor any look. The suggested retail price for the gold GMT-Master II shown above is 31,700 Swiss francs, or approximately $32,489 US. 

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (Reference 116528)

Photo of Yellow Gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
Yellow Gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (photo: Rolex)
Another popular Rolex model that is transformed in a yellow gold configuration is the Cosmograph Daytona shown above with the blue dial. While there may be a 2 year waiting list for the 2016 stainless steel Daytona with the white dial and black ceramic bezel, this yellow gold Daytona fuses functionality with classic design to create a beautiful gold timepiece. It will never go out of style and, as is the case with any of their gold watches, it will retain its value over time. The blue dial also differentiates it from other more common Daytona configurations. The suggested retail price for this yellow gold Cosmograph Daytona is 33,100 Swiss francs, or approximately $33,924 US. 

Rolex Sky-Dweller (Reference 326939)

Photo of White Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller
White Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller (photo: Rolex)
The newest of the Rolex models, the Sky-Dweller is an ideal timepiece for frequent flyers. This watch displays the month and date and features a 24-hour sub-dial that allows the wearer to set the time in two locations at once. It is high end in design, with a fluted white gold bezel like the Day-Date model. This model is popular with celebrities such as Jay-Z and UFC fighter Connor McGregor. With a 42 mm case, it is larger than most Rolex models. The priciest piece on this list, the white gold Sky-Dweller shown above goes for 46,600 Swiss francs, or approximately $47,760 US. 

Rolex Yacht-Master II (Reference 116688)
Photo of Yellow Gold Rolex Yacht-Master II
Yellow Gold Rolex Yacht-Master II (photo: Rolex)
With a 44mm case, the Yacht-Master II is the largest model on this list. Although most who wear the watch will likely not use the regatta timer functionality, the nautical design and size of this watch make it a highly coveted timepiece. The combination of yellow gold and the blue ceramic bezel is particularly complimentary in this configuration. At a price point of 41,500 Swiss francs or $42,533 US, this gives you a lot of watch for the price. Anyone looking for a large gold nautical watch for under $50,000 should check out this configuration or the white gold version which goes for 4,400 Swiss francs more. 

Rolex Day-Date 40 (Reference 228239)

Photo of White Gold Rolex Day-Date 40
White Gold Rolex Day-Date 40 (photo: Rolex)
The Rolex Day-Date 40 is a great wristwatch that can be worn everyday, but is designed for a formal setting. This elegant timepiece adheres to Rolex's classical design standards, recently upgraded to a 40 mm case to make it competitive with the larger models that currently dominate the market. The fluted bezel and roman numerals look particularly beautiful against the blue dial of this configuration. Most Day-Dates are priced over $50,000, making this white gold version particularly appealing to someone who may not want to spend so much but still own a sophisticated Rolex timepiece. The suggested retail price for this Day-Date is 35,800 Swiss francs or approximately $36,691 US. 

Rolex Datejust 36 (Reference 116238)
Photo of Yellow Gold Rolex Datejust 36
Yellow Gold Rolex Datejust 36 (photo: Rolex)
The Rolex Datejust model stands out amongst other models because of its simplicity. However, it is its simplicity in design that makes this timepiece a great alternative for those who don't care for the bells and whistles that come with the professional models. The Datejust comes in a few different sizes, shown above in 36 mm. With diamond hour markers and a black dial, this configuration adds a bit of sparkle to the Datejust that would be perfect for a Tony Montana type. The suggested retail price for this gold Datejust is 29,600 Swiss francs (approximately $30,984 US).

For an in-depth look at each of these models, browse the Rolex Models section of our Rolex Shopping Guide page. Click here for information on Rolex gold and visit our Tech page for more info on Rolex materials and precious stones.

Rolex Precious Stones

As they are with most of their materials, Rolex is meticulous about the selection and setting of their precious stones. All of the diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires used in their watches are inspected by their in-house gemology department to ensure quality. 

Photo of Rolex Precious Stones
Rolex Precious Stones (photo: Rolex/Cédric Widmer)
The criteria used by Rolex to determine diamond quality are carat, cut, clarity and color. All diamonds must be clear and colorless. In terms of cut, they only use full, brilliant, trapeze or baguette cut stones from the top of the professional classification scale. For colored stones, they use professional machinery usually only found in gemological laboratories to make sure that all stones selected are uniform in color.

Aside from choosing the highest quality precious stones, Rolex also ensures that the stones are set properly by hiring skilled gem-setters who specialize in bead setting, channel setting, bezel setting and prong setting. Their gemology department is located in their Chêne-Bourg site in Geneva, Switzerland.


Supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio Wearing a Rolex

Brazilian Supermodel and Victoria's Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio has been photographed wearing several Rolex watch models through the years. The mother of two was shot by Sebastian Faena for the Botinera Babes feature in the April 2010 issue of V Magazine. Representing her native country, she holds a Brazilian flag while wearing a diamond Rolex in the photo.

Photo of Alessandra Ambrosio in V Magazine's 2010 Botinera Babes Spread
Alessandra Ambrosio in V Magazine's 2010 Botinera Babes Spread (photo: V/Sebastian Faena)
Ambrosio channeled her inner football wife for the shoot, although in reality she is married to Jamie Mazur, a businessman from California who has also been spotted wearing a Rolex. They have two children together, Anja (age 7) and Noah (age 5). Ambrosio posted the family photo below to her Instagram account last winter during a family vacation.

When she is not spending time with her family or walking the runways of the world, Ambrosio is busy developing and promoting Ale by Alessandra, a global lifestyle brand featuring women's apparel inspired by her 'Brazilian Bohemia' aesthetic. Check out the collection at


A photo posted by @alessandraambrosio on

Best Rolex Watches for Under $25,000

Closeup photo of yacht-master ii model
Best Rolex Models Under $25,000 (photo: Rolex)
When shopping for a new Rolex watch, it can be difficult to figure out which models and configurations fit into your budget. Pricing for these timepieces varies considerably depending on the model and material you select. For example, while most Cosmograph Daytona models are priced well over $25,000, you can still find configurations (like the Rolesor Daytona below) that may fit into your budget. 

The models I chose for this list represent the best value for a new Rolex watch within a price range of $10,000 to $25,000. Most of the models below are priced under $15,000, with a few noteworthy exceptions. (Note: All of the pricing information below is based on Rolex's suggested retail price in Swiss francs converted to USD based on current exchange rates.) For a list of the best Rolex models for under $10,000, click here. For a list of the best Rolex models for under $50,000, click here

Rolex Yacht-Master II (Reference 116681)
Photo of Rolesor Everose Rolex Yacht-Master II
Rolesor Everose Rolex Yacht-Master II (photo: Rolex)
The model with the largest price tag on this list is the Yacht-Master II in Rolesor Everose, a combination of stainless steel and rose gold. This beautiful nautical watch features a regatta timer and a blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel. The 44 mm case is one of Rolex's largest and the YM2 is one of the newer Rolex models, introduced in 2007. While the functionality is designed for yacht racing, this is a great timepiece for anyone who appreciates a nautical aesthetic. The combination of the rose gold with the stainless steel is particularly complimentary to this model. The suggested retail price for the Rolesor Everose Rolex Yacht-Master II is 24,000 Swiss francs, or approximately $24,746 US.

Rolex Deepsea (Reference 116660)
Photo of Rolex Deepsea with D-Blue Dial
Rolex Deepsea with D-Blue Dial (photo: Rolex)
The Rolex Deepsea also features a 44 mm case, shown above with the D-Blue dial that commemorates the Deepsea Challenge of 2012. With a depth rating of 3,900 meters, this watch lives up to its name. This model is larger than the Submariner, Rolex's most popular dive watch, with a thicker case and a Fliplock extension link that extends the Oyster bracelet by 26 mm. I chose the version with the D-Blue dial for this list because it is unique and may be more valuable in the long run after Rolex stops offering this configuration. The suggested retail price for the Rolex Deepsea with D-Blue Dial is 11,800 Swiss francs, or approximately $12,167 US.

Rolex Datejust II (Reference 116333)
Photo of Diamond Rolex Datejust II
Diamond Rolex Datejust II (photo: Rolex)

If someone were to ask me to close my eyes and think of a Rolex, a Datejust model would probably be the first one that pops into my head. Event though I have had a Deepsea for a few years now, there is something about a gold Datejust that screams Rolex. The Datejust II maintains the classical elements of the original with a 41 mm case. The model configuration shown above features diamond hour markers, a fluted 18 karat gold bezel and a Rolesor Oyster bracelet. Based on the size and materials used, I feel that it is a great value at 13,000 Swiss francs, or approximately $13,404 US.

Rolex GMT-Master II (Reference 116713 LN)
Photo of Rolesor Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex GMT-Master II (photo: Rolex)
While the GMT-Master II BLNR or 'Batman' is perhaps the most well known model configuration (featuring a blue and black ceramic bezel), this model looks particularly sophisticated in yellow gold or a combination of yellow gold with stainless steal. The stainless and yellow gold version is shown above, referred to as 'Rolesor' by Rolex. The yellow gold elements compliment the black dial and black Cerachrom bezel, with the green 24-hour hand providing a complimentary color detail. The suggested retail price for the Rolesor GMT-Master II is 12,400 Swiss francs or approximately $12,785 US.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (Reference 116523)
Photo of Rolesor Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
Rolesor Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (photo: Rolex)
A favorite among celebrities and race car enthusiasts, the Cosmograph Daytona is Rolex's most coveted model. While most are priced well over $25,000 and have waiting lists of up to two years in some cases, there are still a couple Daytona configurations in this price range. The Rolesor Daytona shown above features a black dial and gold bezel, giving it a particularly elegant look. The suggested retail price for this configuration is 16,100 Swiss francs, or approximately $16,601 US.

Rolex Submariner Date (Reference 116613 LB)
Photo of Rolesor Rolex Submariner Date
Rolesor Rolex Submariner Date (photo: Rolex)
The Rolex Submariner Date is a popular model among professionals and divers alike. Its sleek, yet sporty design aesthetic allows it to transition from the board room to the beach with ease. While most people choose a stainless steel configuration for this model, the Rolesor version with the blue ceramic bezel and dial is a beautiful alternative. The mix of cool and warm tones creates a color balance that is consummately nautical and a watch with 18 karat gold at this price point is a good deal if you ask me. After all, this is a timepiece that will never go out of style. The suggested retail price for the Rolex Submariner Date is 12,800 Swiss francs, or approximately $13,198 US.

Rolex Day-Date 36 (Reference 118135)
Photo of Everose Rolex Day-Date 36 on Black Leather Strap
Everose Rolex Day-Date 36 on Black Leather Strap (photo:Rolex)
Rolex's Everose gold provides a great alternative to traditional yellow and white gold. It gives any timepiece a uniquely contemporary appearance that still harkens back to the gold watches that dominated the market in the early 20th century - particularly when paired with a leather strap. The 36 mm Day-Date in Everose gold on a black leather strap is a perfect synthesis of traditional and modern watch aesthetics: the size and black leather strap are more traditional, while the fluted rose gold bezel and black dial give it a modern touch. This is one of the few Day-Date models prices under $25,000 and is well worth the price tag of 22,500 Swiss francs (approximately $23,200 US).

Rolex Yacht-Master (Reference 116622)
Photo of Rolesium Rolex Yacht-Master (photo: Rolex)
Rolesium Rolex Yacht-Master (photo: Rolex)
The only watch on this list to feature Rolex's 950 Platinum, the Rolesium (Rolex refers to the combination of platinum and stainless steel as 'Rolesium') Yacht-Master model is a great option for those who like the cool tones of platinum and stainless steel. The bezel is made of platinum and the blue dial of this configuration compliments it perfectly. The Yacht-Master model has qualities of both the Submariner and Yacht-Master II, making it a good alternative for anyone who can't decide between the two. The suggested retail price for the Rolesium Yacht-Master is 11,000 Swiss francs, or approximately $11,342 US. 

For an in-depth look at each of these models, browse the Rolex Models section of our Rolex Shopping Guide page. For information on Rolex's 950 Platinum or Everose Gold, visit our Tech page.

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