Rolex Models That Fans of the Brand Love to Hate

Anyone in a creative profession is aware that introducing a bold design will usually result in a mixed bag when it comes to reactions from the public. A product that appeals to one segment of the market can (and usually does) simultaneously evoke the opposite reaction from another. 

Hate will always be a part of the ecosystem, especially now that it can be expressed anonymously on the Internet. I have come across many opinions about Rolex models in my research for this blog and have noticed that there are a few model and material configurations that seem to receive the bulk of the hate from fans of the brand.

Rolex Everose Rolesor Yacht-Master II (photo: Rolex)
The model that receives the most hate, bar none, is the Yacht-Master II shown above in its Everose gold and stainless steel configuration. The reasons given range from design to color to complication. Some think the dial is cluttered with useless functions like its regatta timer. Others dislike the blue bezel with the name of the model etched on it. Like the Deepsea, its case measures 44 millimeters in diameter, but the Deepsea doesn't garner the same amount of vitriol.

Equally detested on forums and comment threads are the configurations from Rolex's Cellini range. These dress watches are the only ones offered by the watchmaker without the Oyster case. Though that isn't specified as a reason to hate them, it seems that they lack the Rolex iconography that some find important. However, many are motivated to look at the Cellini collection to find a Rolex that doesn't look like the every other Rolex.

Rolex Cellini Time (photo: Rolex)

In terms of materials, there is a contingency that loathes two-tone model configurations. Diamonds are also a polemic material choice, with some claiming they are too feminine for a man's watch (it's almost as if they forget that women buy watches, too). Yellow gold is also seen as tacky or flashy by some, but doesn't seem to invoke the same amount of hate as two tone. The 36 mm yellow gold Rolex Day-Date shown below with diamonds on the bezel and dial is a great example of a configuration that would be destroyed by Internet trolls.

Honorable mentions for the most hated Rolex models go to the 2016 Air-King, the Milgauss and the Sky-Dweller. They inspire a decent amount of bellyaching, but also have a strong core of support. They are perhaps the most polarizing models of the bunch. Another polarizing subject is case size. Fans of vintage models loath the large case sizes that have become popular in recent years while other don't think a watch with less than a 36 millimeter case size is acceptable.
36 mm Yellow Gold Rolex Day-Date with Diamonds (photo: Rolex)
Ultimately, the Rolex configurations that inspire emotional reactions, even from the biggest fans of the brand, are more telling of these people's psychological and cultural influences than the watch itself. The design and marketing teams that decide which configurations will be introduced and which will be discontinued are well aware of the haters. They are also aware that strong negative reactions are usually paired with strong positive reactions from people who don't share the same sentiments.

If there's one thing that I have learned from reading comments from haters, it's that they want to be heard. Their opinions don't tend to result in anything other than quarrels with other keyboard jockeys, but that doesn't stop them from trying to tell Rolex how to run their business. The company will likely never dignify these comments with a response, because doing so would only make the haters think even more highly of their own opinions - something that should be avoided at all costs.


Rolex TV Spot Shown During 89th Oscars Telecast

As a sponsor for the 89th Oscars, Rolex created a beautiful Greenroom for celebrity presenters and winners to mingle backstage during the show. Viewers of the telecast were treated with a 60 second TV spot from the watchmaker that pieces together several cameos their wristwatches have made in cinema over the years. 

"It doesn't just tell time. It tells history," read the copy at the end. The wording itself is a bit confusing (what does it mean to tell history, anyway?), but it is just clear enough to illustrate their point. Rolex has been a part of cinematic history and chose to honor that tradition in a subtle way with their elegant advertisement. 

The spot features Hollywood legends like Marlon Brando, Faye Dunaway and Harrison Ford in scenes from classic films set to the familiar jingle heard in most of the videos on their YouTube channel. Watch the video below and visit for more information about the watchmaker's relationship with the world of filmmaking. 


Hodinkee Offers a Glimpse Inside the Greenroom of the 89th Oscars

89th Oscars Greenroom Sponsored by Rolex (photo: Rolex/Line 8 Photography)
The 89th Academy Awards will take place in the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood Highland Center in Los Angeles on Sunday. Rolex sponsors the Greenroom for the event and Hodinkee posted a few photos of the 100 square meter space. This area is where Oscar winners and presenters go before or after they hit the stage during the show and the watchmaker created a chic environment for them to gather in.

In a four day buildout, their Geneva-based design team spared no expense to offer the celebrities at the event an oasis that includes natural and luxury elements. Photographs of trees line the walls behind the bar with plush grey carpets on the floor. The fabrics used for the upholstery are chartreuse and grey-turquoise colored with modern metallic accents and a Venetian glass chandelier hangs from the ceiling. Photos of hollywood legends - some wearing Rolex watches - line the shelves with wall clocks and screens to watch the show.

Visit Hodinkee to check out photos of the space and for more information about the partnership with the Academy Awards.


Yellow Gold Rolex Datejust 31 with Diamond Bezel

Yellow Gold Rolex Datejust 31 with Diamond Bezel (photo: Rolex)
The Datejust is Rolex's most diverse model, with configurations for both men and women in several color combinations and materials. The yellow gold Datejust 31 (Reference #178288) is a wristwatch fit for the Oscars red carpet, with an olive green dial and dazzling diamond bezel. Part of their collection designed for women, it is a wonderful representation of the classic Datejust with a flare that is modern and sophisticated.

A President bracelet in yellow gold completes the elegant look of this reference, with a Crownclasp concealed beneath the links. The Roman numeral at 6 o'clock is set with diamonds for additional sparkle. Like all Datejust models, it has a date aperture at 3 o'clock with a Cyclops magnifying lens over it. The result is a regal watch with the precision that Rolex is known for. A 2235 self-winding mechanical movement powers this timepiece with a power reserve of 48 hours.

The size of the 31 mm case is just large enough to show off the gem setting work on the dial and bezel, but not large enough to feel cumbersome. Its Twinlock winding crown helps create a seal that gives it a depth rating of 100 meters. For more information on this Superlative Chronometer, visit


Academy Award Winner and Rolex Mentor Alejandro González Iñárritu

Academy Award Winner and Rolex Mentor Alejandro González Iñárritu
Rolex has recently become the sponsor of the Greenroom at the 89th Academy Awards, but their ties to the Oscars go further than sponsorships. Their Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative has coupled Oscar-winning directors with protégés in the film industry since 2004, when the program began to include film as a discipline. Alejandro González Iñárritu, the first Mexican director to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director, participated in the 2014-2015 initiative.

Iñárritu's most recent films, The Revenant and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), won several accolades that included Academy Awards. The Revenant's Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar for Best Actor for the film, a newsworthy accomplishment given the actor's multiple nominations in past years that never resulted in a win. Birdman, Iñárritu's first foray into comedy, won Best Picture in 2015 and high acclaim from critics.

The prolific Mexican director takes from life when creating his cinematic masterpieces. He traveled through Africa and Europe as a youth and later used the cultures he encountered in films such as Babel, his 2006 film. He began his career as a radio host in Mexico while studying at the Universidad Iberoamericana. He ascended the ranks to station director and made his station one of the most listened to in Mexico at the time. He later began his own production company, Zeta Films, to work on television spots and short films.

His first feature film, Amores Perros, was nominated for an Oscar as a Foreign Film entry and Iñárritu's directorial career took off after that. His films explore the intensity of the human condition in dire circumstances with vivid realism. His exceptional work made him an ideal mentor for Rolex's prestigious mentorship program. His protégé for the Rolex Arts Initiative was Israeli filmmaker and screenwriter Tom Shoval. For more information on the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, including the current participants, visit


Vintage Rose Gold Datejust Reference 6605

1957 Pink Gold Rolex Datejust (Reference #6605)
A unique example of a Rolex Datejust, the rose gold Reference 6605 shown above was introduced in 1957. While it still maintains the classic elements of a Datejust, the rose gold material and design details make it a rare vintage model that is still in good condition today. This piece sold in Hong Kong at a Phillips auction for just under $25,000 US in 2015.

This model's Oyster case, fluted bezel, Jubilee bracelet and Cyclops magnifying lens are all familiar. However, its galvanic black lacquer 'Swiss' dial and spade-shaped pink gold hour markers are more unique. The case measures 36 millimeters, a standard size of that time, and houses an automatic 1065 movement with 25 jewels.

The tone of the pink gold used for this model is very interesting as compared to the Everose gold alloy the watchmaker uses today. It looks just slightly darker than yellow gold, but not as pink as Everose. The combination of this gold alloy with the black lacquered dial creates an interesting juxtaposition that is not seen as often today, with the popularity of stainless steel and white gold models. To check out Rolex's current model configurations, including the Datejust 41, visit the Rolex Models page of this site.


Yellow Rolesor Rolex Datejust 41 with Jubilee Bracelet

Yellow Rolesor Rolex Datejust 41 with Jubilee Bracelet (photo: Rolex)

With the 89th Academy Awards around the corner, Rolex has added content to their official website to celebrate their partnership with the prestigious award show. The watchmaker took the opportunity to re-introduce their Datejust 41 model in yellow Rolesor with a Jubilee bracelet, a timepiece with a champagne dial that reflects the golden color of the Oscar statue.

This classic Rolex model is now manufactured in a modern case size, measuring 41 millimeters in diameter. Its gold fluted bezel is a signature of the watchmaker and the Cyclops magnifying lens over the date aperture at 3 o'clock adds another iconic element. The yellow Rolesor (a combination of 18 carat yellow gold and 904l stainless steel) Jubilee bracelet adds sophistication to this timeless model for a quintessentially Rolex configuration.

Equipped with a 3235 self-winding mechanical movement manufactured in-house by Rolex, the DJ41 has a power reserve of 70 hours. This Superlative Chronometer features a precision of -2/+2 seconds per day after casing. Inside the caliber you can find some of the watchmaker's best technical innovations, including the Perpetual rotor and paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. A screw-down Twinlock winding crown creates a double waterproof seal that, when combined with the hermetically constructed Oyster case, gives this timepiece a depth rating of 100 meters.

For more information on this Rolex model and their partnership with the Oscars, visit To check out more model configurations, check out the Rolex Models section of this site. If you're on the market for a Rolex and would like information on pricing and other details, check out the Shopping Guide.


Which is the Best Rolex for Me?

With Baselworld 2017 around the corner, many watch enthusiasts wonder if they should wait until after the international trade show to make their next wristwatch purchase. While the excitement of new Rolex configurations is palpable, it will be a while before anyone will get their hands on a 2017 model. When it comes to choosing the best Rolex model for you, taking a look at model introductions of years past will help you figure out which models to look out for in the new model year. 

2016 Rolex Explorer (photo: Rolex)
A model that received a subtle update in 2016 is the Explorer (Reference #214270), an often overlooked stainless steel professional model. The update included extending the minute hand and adding luminescence to the Arabic numerals at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. What people love about this model is that it combines understated elegance with a sporty spirit at a reasonable price. The symmetry of the dial makes it a pleasure to look at on a daily basis and the 904l stainless steel used guarantees the longevity of the timepiece should you decide to wear it daily.

2015 White Gold Rolex Day-Date
If you are looking for a more prestigious wristwatch made of gold or platinum, look no further than the 2015 Day-Date 40 (Reference #228239). Shown above in white gold, this classic model is often referred to as the 'President's Watch' because many powerful figures have chosen to wear it since its introduction in the 1950s. This model is favorite amongst popular music's elite, including Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. Opera legend and Rolex Arts Testimonee Plácido Domingo wears this model in platinum, adding to its legacy of excellence.

2016 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (photo: Rolex)
The hottest wristwatch model to be released by Rolex in the past few years, the stainless steel Cosmograph Daytona (Reference #116500LN) features a black Cerachrom bezel insert that gives the new configuration a classic look. Similar in aesthetic to the coveted vintage Paul Newman Daytona models, it is hard to come by, with waiting lists around the world at Rolex Authorized Dealers. If you are willing to wait and pay a premium, this Daytona will surely retain its value over time due to its popularity.

Rolex 2015 Oyster Perpetual Collection (photo: Rolex)
Finally, for those who value simplicity over complications, Rolex offers their Oyster Perpetual model in a variety of sizes and colors. With case sizes that range from 26 millimeters to 39 millimeters, they are suitable for both men and women. Their dials range in colors from blue to green, with red grape and champagne for those who prefer a bit of flair. These are their most reasonably priced models in addition to their versatility.

There are many more Rolex models to choose form on their official website. I have profiled many of them, including vintage models, on my Rolex Models page. If you are on the market for a Rolex at the moment, check out my Shopping Guide with information on pricing and model selection.


Vintage Rolex Reference 3335 Stainless Steel Chronograph

Vintage Rolex Reference 3335 Stainless Steel Chronograph (photo: Phillips)
With the worldwide popularity of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona model, it is hard to believe that there were any chronographs made by the watchmaker prior to its introduction. The reference 3335 above is a stainless steel chronograph released by the watchmaker in 1939. Known by collectors as a pre-Daytona, this rare vintage timepiece features a 12-hour register and other unique characteristics.

The 38 millimeter case houses a manual Valijoux 22 movement with 17 jewels. It comes on a leather strap with a stainless steel pin buckle. Its design is modern for a watch of that era and features telemeter and tachymeter scales in addition to chronograph sub-dials at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. Its hands are blue and the piece has a cream-colored patina that covers the entire dial, with most of the print still well-defined despite its age.

The price of this vintage Rolex was estimated by Phillips between $50,000 and $100,000 US. In a previous post I presented what I considered the rarest Rolex models, and while this piece didn't make it on that list, it is still considered a highly rare model based on its age and limited run. While there are chronographs from other watchmakers with similar styles, there are not many Rolex chronographs to speak of aside from the Daytona.


Bruno Mars Wearing a Gold Rolex Day-Date on 60 Minutes

Bruno Mars on 60 Minutes Wearing a Rolex (photo: CBS News)
Bruno Mars dominated the headlines proceeding the Grammys last night after performing a spectacular tribute to Prince, rated the number one performance of the night according to Billboard. He is no stranger to performing for a large audience, having performed at the Super Bowl Halftime Show twice in the past few years. 60 Minutes caught up with the singer before the Grammys for an interview and look back at where the Hawaiian artist grew up.

Born to a large family of musical performers in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mars grew up in a household of modest means. His ascent to stardom began with a record contract with Motown that fell through, leaving the performer to start over as a songwriter and producer. After writing and singing the hook for a few top singles, he signed a solo contract with Atlantic records and released Doo-Wops & Hooligans, the first of several hit albums for the artist.

Mars has a unique sense of style, as shown in the screenshot above from the 60 minutes interview. The recording artist paired a colorful button-down shirt with a yellow gold pinky ring and Rolex Day-Date. While many question whether a yellow gold watch looks too gaudy, Mars wears it well. It is also fitting that a performer of his caliber choose the President's watch. Some may think that yellow gold is a material set aside for Baby Boomers with classic taste, but this Millennial is proof that the Day-Date lives on as a symbol of success across many generations.

Check out his music video for the 24k Magic single, in which he wears the yellow gold Rolex along with a flamboyant Versace shirt, embedded below. To watch clips from his 60 Minutes interview, visit


Every Rolex Tells a Story: James Cameron's Submariner

Every Rolex Tells a Story: James Cameron (photo: Rolex)
While the world knows James Cameron as the Oscar winning director of blockbusters like Titanic and Avatar, the filmmaker and Rolex Testimonee also has a passion for exploration that is expressed in the watchmaker's latest addition to their Every Rolex Tells a Story series.

In one of the most interesting entries to date, Cameron shares the story of a stainless steel Submariner that he wore during the filming of Terminator 2 through is Oscar acceptance speech for Titanic. After making the film Avatar, he felt the calling to become an activist for the rights of indigenous people around the world. His efforts took him to the Amazon where he encountered the Kayapo tribe.

His interactions with the chief of the tribe, Ropni, resulted in a relationship that changed both of their lives. Visit to find out how his prized Submariner plays into this story. You can also watch a short video on the film career of the prolific director, released just in time to commemorate Rolex's partnership with the 89th Academy Awards.


The Most Beautiful Rolex Dress Watch of 2016

Everose Gold Rolex Cellini Dual Time (photo: Rolex)
While most of the buzz about Baselworld 2017 is centered around possible new releases in their Oyster Professional collection, I find that one of their most overlooked releases from 2016 is the Everose gold Cellini Date (Reference# 50525). The Cellini line in unique in that it doesn't use the Oyster case that we have come to expect from a Rolex. However, its round case and simple, symmetrical dial makes it one of the most beautiful dress watches to come from the watchmaker in 2016.

The Cellini Date shown in the photo features a brown guilloche dial that complements the pink tint of its 39 millimeter Everose gold case. The colors are perfectly matched, adding to the harmony of its aesthetic. The second time zone is displayed through an elegant sub dial at 6 o'clock that also displays a day/night indicator. The double bezel is both domed and fluted and the winding crown is flared with the Rolex emblem engraved on it. To tie in the warm color scheme, a brown alligator leather strap completes the configuration, with an 18 ct gold Everose buckle.

A COSC certified self-winding mechanical movement made in-house by Rolex gives this timepiece a power reserve of approximately 48 hours. With a precision of -2/+2 seconds per day, the Cellini Date is as reliable as it is attractive. The combination of Everose gold and a brown dial can be seen on other Rolex model configurations, like the Day-Date. However, the classic sophistication of the Cellini places it in a category of its own. To check out all of the available configurations for the 2016 Cellini collection, visit


5 of the Rarest Vintage Rolex Models in the World

If you follow Rolex's new model releases at Baselworld every year, you may notice that the watchmaker adheres to strict design standards that vary little from configuration to configuration. This aesthetic consistency has made their watches instantly recognizable and iconic, cementing the brand's classic style in the minds of consumers.

However, over the past century Rolex has released models that have become outliers based on their deviation from brand standards. Over time, their uniqueness and rarity has made these vintage pieces quite valuable to collectors. Some have commanded over $1 Million US at auction, and others are unrecognizable as a Rolex but for the brand name on the dial. I share 5 of the rarest models I have come across on the vintage market below. 

Rolex Reference 8171 "Padellone"
Rolex Reference 8171 "Padellone"
The idea that a stainless steel watch could sell for over $1 Million US sounds absurd, but the Rolex Reference 8171 shown above commanded that much at auction in Hong Kong last year. Known as the "Padellone" which translates to "large frying pan" from Italian, this exquisite timepiece features a moon phase indicator at 6 o'clock, with the day and month displayed at 12 o'clock and the date indicated by blue numbers on the outer ring of the ivory dial. Very few examples of this reference exist in the condition of this piece, making it highly attractive to collectors.

Rolex Reference 4645 "Neptune"
Rolex Reference 4645 "Neptune"
Rolex's Oyster case is one of their most iconic innovations and is featured on the majority of their wristwatch models. It is rare to find a vintage Rolex with a square case like the Reference 4645 shown above in yellow gold. Rarer still is the depiction of Neptune on the dial in a cloisonné enamel design. Created by Mrs. Nelly Richard for Stern Fréres as commissioned by Rolex, this is the only "Neptune" configuration on record. It was manufactured around 1953, likely for a VIP client.

Rolex Reference 79412
Rolex Reference 79412 
Perhaps equally as rare as the "Neptune" is the asymmetrical triangular gold Rolex shown above. Dating back to the 1960s, this Reference 79412 represents the watchmaker's foray into the modern aesthetic that dominated that era. A futuristic design made from classic materials, this configuration was designed by a French goldsmith for the watchmaker as part of a unique set featuring other asymmetrical modern cases. Their lack of commercial success upon release has made watches like this unicorns in the vintage Rolex market of today.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona "Oyster Sotto"
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman Reference 6263 "Oyster Sotto"
The watch with the most familiar face of the list, the Paul Newman Oyster Sotto shown above is considered rare due to the idiosyncrasies of its Mk2 dial. Selling for over $750,000 US at auction in 2016, the Oyster Sottos are the rarest among the Paul Newman Daytonas. The name translates to "Oyster beneath" in Italian and refers to the fact that the word "Oyster" is printed beneath the words "Rolex Cosmograph" on the dial.

Rolex Reference 8651 "Champs Elysée"
Rolex Reference 8651 "Champs Elysée"
Another extremely rare Rolex with a cloisonné dial, the Reference 8651 shown above sold for $572,000 US in Geneva last year. This "Champs Elysée" configuration features a Chimera, a winged mythological beast with the head of a lion, body of a goat and tail of a snake. Marguerite Koch enameled the dial of this 35mm 18k yellow gold piece for Stern Fréres on commission by Rolex. It features a black leather strap with gold plated buckle and a manually wound 17573 caliber.

There aren't many examples of rare Rolex models on the vintage market, which is why many of these references go for more than most people's homes at auction. The chances of seeing one on someone's wrist are slim due to the maintenance required to keep them in top condition, free from scratches and wear. To check out more Rolex models that have sold at auction in recent years, visit


Which Rolex Models Offer the Best Value?

rolex explorer ii
Which Rolex Models Offer the Best Value?
In a previous post, I shared my thoughts on which Rolex model holds its value the best. While my thoughts haven't changed in that regard, there is a difference between a watch that holds its value and one that offers the best value at purchase. For the latter, I would recommend considering a pre-owned Rolex from a reliable dealer. There are several models that offer the reliability and prestige that come with owning a Rolex at a price that can't be beat.

Best Value for a Professional Rolex
If you're looking for a stainless steel professional Rolex model at a value, I would recommend checking out the Explorer II model. There are usually many available certified pre-owned on websites like Crown & Caliber at prices lower than those of other popular models like the Submariner or GMT-Master II. The Explorer II has a large case size and a useful GMT complication with a brushed steel bezel that makes it ideal for the outdoors. For anyone curious as to how the Explorer II measures up to the popular Submariner Date model, I posted a side-by-side comparison here.

Best Value for a Rolex Dress Watch
If you spend most of your time in a suit, you may want to check out the Datejust and Air-King models. There are many stainless steel configurations available in the small to midsize range that offer a great value for a quality dress watch. These models are the most varied in terms of size and style, with many dial colors and materials to choose from. This makes them a bit more difficult to sell if you are thinking in terms of resale value, but it favors the buyer on the pre-owned market.

Best Value Retention
If you are looking for a watch that will hold its value should you ever want to flip it, I would recommend a Submariner or GMT-Master II. These models are in constant demand and have changed very little over the years. The BLNR has been difficult to find at dealers around the world and favored in Rolex's recent advertising efforts, giving it great value retention should you be able to get your hands on one. The same goes for last year's 'it' watch, the stainless steel Daytona 116500LN with the black Cerachrom bezel.

Regardless of which Rolex you choose, there is value in owning one regardless of how much you paid. Aside from the status associated with wearing one, they offer reliability and precision that has kept them at the top of their game for over a century. To check out their entire collection, visit


Rolex to Sponsor Greenroom at the 89th Oscars

88th Oscars Greenroom, 2016
For the second consecutive year, Rolex will be the Exclusive Sponsor of the Oscars Greenroom. This sponsorship fits nicely in the branding model of the watchmaker, focusing on centers of influence that exemplify excellence. In the world of cinema, nothing represents excellence in filmmaking like the Academy Awards, airing on ABC Sunday, February 26, 2017.

The watchmaker will tap into their Geneva-based design team to create a new design concept for this year's event. Last year their concept was to recreate a modern Hollywood Hills home, complete with a wall decal featuring the Los Angeles skyline. Framed photos of Hollywood legends also adorned the room, some wearing Rolex timepieces. Rolex wall clocks were also featured, allowing presenters to keep track of time while waiting to head to the stage.

This partnership with the Oscars comes just weeks before their presentation at Baselworld 2017 and after their splash at the Australian Open. Rolex's ties to cinema go beyond the award show, with filmmakers like Alfonso Cuarón and Martin Scorsese participating in their Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. James Cameron is also a part of the Rolex family as a Testimonee and inspiration for the D-Blue Deepsea model.


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