The Three Types of Movements Produced by Rolex

Rolex Produces three kinds of movements - Manual Winding, Automatic or Self-Winding, and Quartz.  Yes, Rolex does have quartz movements!!  

Automatic or Self-Winding - Rolex is primarily known for its wide variety of automatic and self-winding timepieces.  It is found in the large majority of all timepieces produced by Rolex for a half century.  The movement involves a rotor that gives power to a spring mechanism that keeps the timepiece powered for 48 hours on most older Rolex models, and now 72 hours on the new Rolex models.  Rolex made significant enhancement in the most recent calibers that provide more power reserve than the older generation of calibers did.  

Automatic watches are recharged by the movement of one's wrist.  As you move and are active, the timepiece uses that movement to gently wind the watch to increase power to the timepiece so that it becomes perpetually powered.  If you wear your Rolex Automatic each day, you will have enough power to run the timepiece without having to set it or wind it manually.  Some owners, have their timepieces on a winding machine, so that their collection of Rolexes and other brands are always ready to wear.  The machine moves in one or more directions in order to make sure all of the timepieces are at full charge when you put it on your wrist.  However, if you only have one Rolex, a winding machine is unnecessary.  Just put it on your wrist and wear it!!
Rolex Cellini Moonphase - Manual Winding Timepiece

Manual Wind - Automatic watches need to be manually wound when they run out of power.  So, although, an automatic can be self-powered, that is not the only way to wind the timepiece.  Many owners pop out the crown and carefully wind their timepiece even though it will gain power as they wear it, especially if the watch spent some time in a drawer or otherwise unworn.

Although it is commonly known that the Men's Cellini are manually wound, what you may not know is that the ultra popular vintage Rolex Daytona's also were powered by a Valjoux 72 manual winding caliber.  Each of these watches need to be wound daily in order to run and accurately display time.

Quartz - When quartz came out and popularized in the 1970's, many thought the fine timepiece industry would be crushed and that the horological mastery lost in the annals of time.  However, this did not come to pass.  In fact, Rolex, Patek Philippe and AP are more popular today than ever before.  However, with that said, the quartz movement is by far the most precise of the 3 types of methods.  It is necessary on occasion to have a need to change out the battery of the timepiece.  The quartz movement can be found in many Ladies Cellini models today.

What is the difference between a Rolex Chronograph and a Rolex Chronometer?

Rolex Daytona is both a Chronograph and Chronometer
Launched in 1963, the Rolex Daytona contains the Chronograph features such as the stopwatch functionality typically used in the racing industries.  Modern Daytona Chronographs have three additional subdials (also called registers) on the face of the timepiece.  These subdials are controlled by the two pushers on the right side of the watch, above and below the winding crown.  These pushers allow the racecar driver to accurately time the speed attained during a lap and the amount of time it takes to travel the whole course.  This can also be used in other active sports.

Rolex often rebrands certain things, as they have done in the photo above.  Instead of their Daytona, only being a chronograph, Rolex dubbed it a "Cosmograph."  Certainly there is a marketing element to it.  However, since the Daytona is both a Chronograph and a superlative Chronometer, I would say that the excitement leading to giving their Daytona a new nickname, is well deserved.

The Superlative Chronometer for a Rolex timepiece is quite different from a Chronograph/Cosmograph.  It indicates that the timepiece has been assembled with extreme care and tested to ensure that the watch meets the most rigid precision standards. 
Watches that are given the "Superlative Chronometer" label have been certified by the COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute.  It tests the accuracy of the movement for 15 days and under various conditions.  The time must be accurate to between -4 and +6 in order to pass the test.
As if not to be undone, the Rolex Marketing Machine also awards its chronometers with the Green Rolex Seal, which is boxed with all new chronometers. Again, I don't hold it against them.  The thrill of handcrafting each Rolex masterpiece is worth an extra award.  So, why not a green seal of approval?

Should You Buy a Rolex or the new Apple Watch 4?

Apple Watch 
Certainly digital watches have taken the world by storm.  However, that has not diminished the interest or value of time honored horological masterpieces such as timepieces made by Rolex.  So, if you are asking yourself whether you should buy the new Apple watch or a Rolex, you are not alone.  I will make a case for both.  Yes, both.

I have worn an Apple watch and it does have some benefits you can't ever achieve in a timepiece.  I'll talk about those in a minute.  However, after the initial awe wore off, I found myself moving the timepiece to my other wrist.  I wore both timepieces for a time, until I just stopped finding the need to wear the Apple watch except when I worked out.

Yet, I continue to wear my Rolex Submariner or Presidents Day Date every day.  Typically I wear the Day Date when I am dressing up for business or a party where we are dressed up.  I'll where the Sub all other times.  I know the Day Date could handle a beating, but I try to keep it in pristine form.  The Sub works great and I beat it up pretty well, doing yard work, swimming, and even running around town.  I never worry about it and it just plain works.

Initially I bought the Apple watch for the health benefits that were touted by my company's health plan.  And just like anyone who starts the year off with good intentions, I used it for several weeks as I increased my workout activity.  It is awesome being able to see how many steps you are walking, looking at your heart rate and monitoring your sleep patterns.

I don't own any gym equipment that I can pair with.  And the gym that I go to (part of my community) doesn't have any either.  I would expect this to be a cool feature.  I never shared my activity (or lack thereof) with my friends.  I know that the ability to share the activity rings is a popular feature.  But I am fairly private about that stuff and I don't see how that would be a benefit to me.  However, I did "get points" for my health plan so I did use the Apple watch to prove that I wasn't being lazy, so I could win points for myself and my team.

I use my iPhone 6+ with a belt holster which gives me a quick draw.  So, it never leaves my side.  Although it was great knowing who texted me or called me on the watch, I found that if I didn't grab my phone as I was used to, I could miss the call.  So, rather than look at the watch to "screen" the call, I would just pick up the darned call.

It was very cool to have a Knight Rider-esque watch having Siri on your wrist.  I am very interested to see what the new Apple watch 4 looks like and has added to it as it comes out.  Since my Apple Watch Series 3 still works fine, I probably will just do some window shopping at the apple store rather than purchasing it.  But you never know.

The new Series 4 is soon to be released on Sept 12 if reports are accurate.  It is supposed to have a "Walkie-Talkie" mode that might be a very good feature.  The battery life is supposed to increase significantly.  That was one of the negatives of owning an Apple Watch.  You still had to take it off every so often and charge it.  Since you would typically do this at night, you could miss out on the sleep monitoring features that are so highly touted.  Once off my wrist, I would forget about putting it back on.  My Rolex Sub would never come off, day or night.

The new Series 4 will come with the watchOS 5 which comes with new software, features and functions and the health sensors will be greatly improved.  I am trying to talk myself into the purchase, maybe for the holidays...  However, I would probably spend the money to upgrade my iPhone rather than invest in a new Series 4.

Golf Superstar: Jack Nicklaus with his Presidents Day Date
I love the story about Jack Nicklaus who certainly has the money to own any timepiece he wants to buy, but has owned one Rolex Day Date for his entire golfing career.  As a big fan of the Golden Bear, I started taking a liking to the Presidential Day Date myself.  I found that several luminaries and presidents were linked to the timepiece.

Personally, I like the additional feature of the day of the week at the 12 o'clock position and the day of the month at the 3 o'clock position.  I generally forget what day it is and it is a pain and embarrassing to have to reach to my cell phone to figure out those simple things. Although the day of the week is not on my Sub, I do have the date on there and that is generally enough for most situations.

One difference between an Apple watch and a Rolex is the fact that Apple keeps coming out with new ones.  Here I own a Apple 3 and now the Apple 4 is just to be released.  Already I feel my Apple 3 is worthless, and certainly I wouldn't be able to get anything for it in a week.  And those expensive Hermes bands and accessories are a further waste.  Who wants someone's old Apple 3?

However, even though Rolex recently came out with some new enhancements such as more power reserve in the newest Rolex timepieces, I don't feel the nagging urge to run out and replace my old timepieces.  Nicklaus certainly never felt the urge to get a new Rolex.  He owns the best.  Why change?

And of course, the resale on these seems to be spiraling upwards.  The Apple value depreciates fast, but the Rolex, for the most part, increases.  So, even though I enjoy wearing the Rolex, it doesn't undermine the value.  Someday I will gift them and so someone else will get further joy wearing these timepieces.  If I gave them my old Apple watch, I think they would be understandably disappointed.

How do you wind up your Rolex?

The idea behind the Automatic timepiece is the fact that with daily wear you really never have to wind your timepiece.  Certain older Rolex's required a daily winding using the crown.  However, all Rolexes in the past 40 years or more are built with Auto-self winding mechanism which winds itself as you wear the timepiece.

This year Rolex has greatly enhanced the Power reserve on most of their timepieces by coming out with new calibers which nearly double the Power Reserve from 40 to  70 hours of reserve. When does this come in handy?  Say you take your watch off and leave it on your bed stand for 2 days.  Older Rolexes would require you to either wind them manually using the crown and to manually adjust the time to the current time.

The new Rolexes can go almost 3 days without winding them.  Not every Rolex has received the new caliber, but most have.  I would expect Rolex to address the other lines of Rolex timepieces and apply the new caliber's to them by next year.  Although Rolex hasn't caught up to the Panerai 10 Days of Power Reserve, the 70 hours of reserve does cut the difference and is more than sufficient for Rolex owners that use their timepiece on a daily basis.

If you do need to wind your Rolex it is recommended to do so before putting the timepiece on your wrist.  In order to manually wind your Rolex, you need to first unscrew the screw-down crown into the first popped out position.  Then wind the timepiece slowly in the clockwise position.  Be careful to not overwind the timepiece.  Remember that you will add charge to your timepiece as you wear it. Also, be careful to screw the crown down on the case so that you ensure waterproofness to your Rolex.

If you have multiple Rolexes or other timepieces and you would prefer them to always be wound and ready to go, then it is time to invest in a watch winder.  Winders will rotate the timepieces in either a clockwise position, counter clockwise, or both clockwise and counter clockwise.  For Rolex, the clockwise rotation is all that is needed.

What Makes the Rolex Submariner More Desired than the GMT Master?

Rolex Submariner No Date
The Rolex Submariner is a classic timepiece which was made for the sportsman.  Even if a man doesn't dive or is even physically active, the Submariner is a go-to Rolex for every man.  This may be partly because of the men that wear the Submariner such as James Bond in the books and early Sean Connery films.  But I believe it s largely to do with the fact that men think of themselves as adventurers, able to dive, swim or take part in sports activities without a moment's notice to effect on their timepiece.

The Submariner has a very masculine appeal, with black dial, black bezel, and luminescent hour markers that can be viewed in a theater as much as under 200+ meters of water.  The steel case and large links in the bracelet make for a tough timepiece that can withstand daily wear and tear with the best of them.  The timepiece exudes strength, power, and energy.  It looks spectacular at work in a suit or at play on the beach.  Just as Bond would be up for anything, the Sub markets to the motivational desire that drives men to achieve and overcome any obstacle.

We can see in this chart provided by that the submariner prices have skyrocketed over the last 58 years, and yet the timepiece has never been more popular.  The prices are still reasonable for men of both middle to upper class.  The timepiece will not break the bank and isn't ostentatious with people that might be put off at seeing a Gold or Diamond encrusted timepiece on one's wrist.

The Rolex Submariner is very easy to service.  It doesn't have fancy dials like the Daytona or an extra 24 hour hand as the GMT.  In fact, although the Submariner has both options with Date and No-Date, most collectors opt for the simpler no-frills No-Date version.

The GMT Master II is also a fantastic timepiece.  It is less popular probably because it appeals to the traveler rather than the sportsman.  Businessmen who are traveling between time zones can appreciate the 2nd time provided by the 24 hour hand and the rotating bezel.  However, this feature can't be appreciated by the majority of men who stick largely or entirely to one time zone.  In addition, the standard Blue and Red bezel is less stoic than the black bezel of the standard Submariner.  With that said, the GMT Master II does offer a black bezel and large link bracelet which looks awfully similar to the Submariner Date.  See below.  
Rolex GMT Master II with Black bezel looks very similar to the below Submariner with Date.

Rolex Submariner with Date
The Rolex Submariner line also has two very popular alternative colors (Green bezel and dial - aka the Hulk) and the (Blue bezel and dial).  Although Brad Pitt would scoff at any Rolex that isn't Black on Black (black bezel and dial), Robert Downey Jr. was happy to show off his Green "Money" Submariner.

Both Rolex timepieces are exceptional in quality and workmanship and at initial glance I would find it hard to differentiate between either model.  Yet both would be easily recognizable as a Rolex since they have the same Oyster case, look and feel.

In the end I would say that it is probably the fact that the Submariner is a far more marketable timepiece, not only in name (sounding similar to the Naval Submarine), but also in functionality.  Therefore the Submariner has become the de facto standard for a man's first Rolex in his timepiece collection.

What Makes Rolex Datejust Iconic?

Recently a Quora question came in asking What Makes Rolex Datejust Iconic?

A case could be made that nearly all Rolex models are “iconic”. However, I would probably say that the Datejust is iconic because the name of Rolex is a household name, and the look of the Oyster case is highly recognizable as Rolex luxury.

The Datejust is simple in design. Yet, it has all the components that make a Rolex a Rolex. It doesn’t have all the dials that the Daytona has. It doesn’t have the Day at the 12 o’clock position as the “Presidential Day Date” has. It isn’t a dive watch like the Submariners, or a climb watch like the Explorer.

The Datejust just provides the date, time and the look and feel that lets everyone know you are a true connoisseur of exceptional Swiss-made horology. It looks good at work and at play and can be had at a price that isn’t outrageous. It is iconic because literally everyone knows with a single glance that you are wearing a Rolex.

The Datejust is also one of the oldest models manufactured by the Swiss giant. Although much has been done to improve the manufacturing and quality of the Datejust over the years, the Datejust provides exceptional timekeeping and longevity, making it a shoe-in for an heirloom that can be handed down from father to son, or mother to daughter, generation after generation.

I would like to point out that although most Rolexes are marketed to men, the Datejust appeals to both men and women. The example above shows the Rolesor (dual color design with steel and yellow gold) and exquisite diamond setting in the hour marker positions and all around the bezel. The value of this timepiece can easily be measured by the 52 diamonds and the gold links and case carved from a pure block of yellow gold, but is increased substantially by the Rolex workmanship that built this timepiece with painstaking care.
The Rolex Datejust has been Rolex's most popular model for decades. Although the Rolex Daytona has raised eyebrows recently in the resale market, the Datejust was far more popular than the Daytona for nearly the entire lifespan of the two models' existence. Today you can see that the Datejust has many more dial colors, bezel offerings, band options and hour markers to choose from. Yet in all cases, the Datejust is easily identifiable as a Rolex. This year Rolex tipped their hat to the Datejust and not only redesigned the lugs and sides, but also equipped them with the new calibre 3235, giving the timepiece nearly double the power of older models.

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