Solid Gold Skeleton-Dial Rolex Daytona

Gold Rolex La Montoya Limited Edition Daytona.

There was a question in Quora asking why Rolex didn't have a transparent case.  The same question could be asked about why Rolex doesn't use skeletal dials.  Well, the Rolex La Montoya Limited Edition Daytona has both.  Rolex dedicated this unique timepiece to Juan Pablo Montoya, famous race car driver - 3 time Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona champion.  Montoya has won the Daytona 24 in 2007, 2008, and 2013, the Indianapolis 500, and the Grand Prix of Monaco.  His greatness is embodied in this ultimate timepiece bearing his engraved name.  

This timepiece was crafted by Artisans de Genève - watchmakers of the highest order who work to personalize timepieces to fit you specific requirements.  This timepiece was originally priced at $70,000.  However, only 42 of these watches were ever produced, making them exceptionally rare.

This exceptional timepiece took 2 years to develop and the help of 100 Swiss craftsmen.  Starting with a standard gold Rolex Daytona reference 116508Artisans de Genève modified the skeleton Rolex 4130 movement by hand and added a 21 carat yellow gold rotor and other elements inside the movement so that the beauty of the timepiece would be stunning through the sapphire glass on both the front and back.  A carbon forged bezel replaces the standard black bezel on regular Rolex Daytona's.  However, the 100 meter waterproof resistance remains the same.  

The 3 dials on the timepiece are colored in yellow, blue and red - representing the colors of the Columbian flag - Montoya's native country.  A red tip is added to the second hand - a nice touch to an overwhelmingly spectacular timepiece. 

A stainless steel version of this timepiece is also made - off the base reference 116520 model.  The outstanding excellence of this timepiece is unmistakable.  It is hard to tell what a timepiece of this magnitude would fetch in an auction today.  However, the high demand for Rolex and for Daytonas in general would make this timepiece's value soar.  

The Artisans de Genève were smart to retain much of the standard excellence of the Daytona timepiece.  The 40 mm case remains a perfect size for most Rolex owners.  It provides a 72 hour power reserve.  The yellow gold Oyster bracelet with folding clasp remains untouched.  This timepiece retains all of the Chonometer and Tachymeter functions of any Rolex Daytona.  It has the ability to time laps and account for the speed of the car up to 500 mph or kph.

The Rolex Daytona "La Montoya" is an outstanding timepiece.  Although it takes a considerable Mod to make this timepiece, all of the exquisite features of the original Daytona remain intact.  It is amazing that Rolex has not started to develop skeletal dial timepiece or adding a see-through sapphire back on its Rolex lineup.  Perhaps the success of this modded version will inspire Rolex to custom design some timepieces to add these features in future models.  I would especially love to see them add a transparent back to the Presidential Day Date.  Why hide such beauty from the world?

The Forgotten Rolex - The Rolex Turn-O-Graph Thunderbird

Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph Reference 116264
The Forgotten Rolex - The Rolex Turn-O-Graph
I made a discovery when I was looking through a selection of new Rolex timepieces.  I saw this interesting Rolex that was clearly something I have never seen before.  I thought I had discovered a hidden treasure... a rare species.

The timepiece looked like a Rolex Datejust, but it has some unique differences.  Specifically the seconds hand is bright red.  The date in the 3 o'clock aperture is also red.  But the most unique difference is that the bezel has a 0-60 marking on it in 10 second intervals.

A New Datejust?
So, this was clearly NOT a Datejust even though it retains the name Datejust on the dial.  It wasn't quite like anything I had seen before.  However, it had many of the same features were there.  It has the Oyster case, luminous hour markers and Mercedes-style hands and a screw down crown.  This model is the 116264 which was produced sometime in the early 2000's.  This reference features a Caliber 3135 automatic movement in it.  This one features a Jubilee bracelet and a 36mm case.

As I started to look online, I found that this new Rolex, was actually one of the original Rolex timepieces which had been discontinued and recommissioned in the early 2000's for a short while before being discontinued yet again in 2011.
Vintage Turn-o-graph Ref 6309 with dauphine hands and hour markers.  Photo from Phillip's.

Historically Importance of the Rolex Turn-O-Graph
Pictured above is a vintage Turn-O-Graph reference 6309. This was a later model Turn-O-Graph featuring some exceptionally attractive Dauphine hands and hour markers.  This integrated the Turn-O-Graph into the Datejust lineup and added the date window with cyclops lens. It features a caliber 743.

But if we step back in time a bit further we can see the Reference 6202 with exceptional patina on its more standard hour markers - often found on modern Submariners and other Rolex Lineups.
Vintage Turn-O-Graph 6202 - picture from chrono24
This early Turn-O-Graph Ref 6202 was launched in 1953.  It looks much like a Submariner with the black rotating bezel.  Although the Turn-O-Graph, wasn't the first Rolex with a rotating bezel (that honor goes to the 1937 Ref 3346 Zerographe), it is the first one to be put into regular production. It featured a Caliber A260 movement.

The Turn-O-Graph acquired its name "Thunderbird" because in 1953 the U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds - the pilots began wearing the timepiece while performing.  Rolex capitalized on the partnership and issued rare Thunderbird Turn-O-Graphs to the talented pilots.  This made the Turn-O-Graph one of the first Official Military timepieces.  And since it was worn by these acrobatic pilots of the USAF, the Turn-O-Graph became the first Rolex pilot's watch.
Rolesor version Reference 6609 - Picture by Chrono24

The Turn-O-Graph is also the first Rolex to use 2-toned gold and steel - the first "Rolesor" sports watch.

Inspiration for the Submariner and GMT
The Rolex Turn-O-Graph's rotating bezel and design became the inspiration for both the Submariner and the GMT-Master. The introduction of the Turn-O-Graph into the Datejust line most likely killed the model since its unique appeal of its rotating dial was probably lost since the GMT and Submariners took off with great fanfare.  Datejust users were probably not impressed by the "tool" functionality.  The distinctive Turn-O-Graph features really never became standards.  You could see many different bezels, hour markers, hands, and more.  Unlike many distinctive Rolex timepieces, the Turn-O-Graph kind of lost its unique identity - trying to take on too many looks.  It never developed its unique style.

However, it is clear that the Submariner and GMT-Master owe their popularity today to the early Turn-O-Graph designs.  Vintage Turn-O-Graphs have been fetching a nice price in auctions today, but haven't had the kind of outrageous success  of the Rolex Daytona.  So, it is still possible to pick up a vintage Turn-O-Graph for a reasonable price in comparison.

Where Did the Name Rolex Come From?

Where Did the Name Rolex Come From?

Rolex is probably the MOST recognizable brands in the world. 

However, the earliest name for the brand was nowhere even close to the name we so adore and admire.  The Founder of Rolex was Hans Wilsdorf.  He was born in Germany but moved to Switzerland as a young man and started working for a watch export company.  Soon he moved to London with his brother-in-law Alfred Davis, and created Wilsdorf & Davis Ltd. 

Early Hans Wilsdorf (Pre-Rolex) timepiece (image:
Interestingly, men initially thought that the watches that Wilsdorf designed and assembled were un-masculine.  Most men preferred the larger pocket watch. 

In 1908 Wilsdorf registered a trademark for the name "Rolex". 

What makes Rolex a great name?

  • Wilsdorf thought that Rolex sounded like a watch being wound.
  • Easily pronounceable in many languages.
  • It is only 2 syllables.
  • The name ROLEX, it goes Consonant, Vowel, Consonant, Vowel, Consonant.  
  • LEX sounds much like Luxury.  
  • The name is short and easy to remember.  

However, it wasn't until 1915, during the World War 1 conflict against Germany, that Wilsdorf decided to rename the company, Rolex Watch Co. Ltd.  Clearly he wanted to avoid the prejudice against Germany that came with the WWI conflict.  This was a good bet, because many soldiers who utilized a timepiece far preferred to have one of these highly durable wristlets rather than a pocket watch that could break or take precious time to pull out of their pocket in the heat of battle. 

At the time, Wilsdorf also relocated the company headquarters in Geneva Switzerland in 1919, which avoided heavy taxation from the post-war Great Britain.

Hans Wilsdorf Watch (Image:

Name Timeline For Rolex

  • Wilsdorf & Davis, Ltd.  (1905-1915)
  • Rolex Watch Co. Ltd. (1915-1920)
  • Montres Rolex SA (1920)  (In Geneva)
  • Rolex SA (1927)
    • Montres Tudor (SA) - a Sub Brand to Rolex SA, offering Tudor watches since 1946)
  • Currently owned by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation - a registered charity which does not pay corporate income taxes.

How Long Does a Rolex Last

How Long Does a Rolex Last?

The simple answer is that a Rolex can last a lifetime or more as long as it is well cared for.  Just like any piece of equipment, a fine timepiece needs to be looked after by professional watchmakers and gemologists.  Depending on the kind of timepiece you purchase, you might need to have specific things to address.

3 Things to Do to Protect Your Rolex

  • First - Make sure you Screw Down Your Winding Crown tightly to ensure waterproofness.  This is most important for diving watches.  However, if you take your Rolex swimming or in the shower, this becomes the top priority.
  • Second - If you have a metal band, wash and clean your Rolex using soapy water and a soft brush.  However, do not wash a leather band.  We highly recommend a Rubber B or similar rubber band for normal wear and tear.  You can preserve your original leather band in a case or drawer for years, while enjoying the beauty of your Rolex with a more functional rubber band. 
  • Third - Wind your Rolex often.  If you wear your Rolex, you don't need to do this.  However, if you don't wear your Rolex, you could purchase an autowinder that can keep your timepiece working and ready to go when you need it.
Rolex timepieces can last many years without much care at all.  However, some of the luster of the metal might start to lose its shine, and often the scratch resistant sapphire crystal can still get scratched.  This is certainly not the end of the world.  Scratches do add character.  And even the highly "worn" Paul Newman timepiece went at auction for over $16 million.  So, collectors still will pay a premium for a highly sought after timepiece even if it would be considered in "Poor" or "Well-Worn" shape.  

Rolexes are made to be worn.  The purpose behind Rolex, is to make a durable timepiece that can withstand the life activities of the man or woman wearing it.  Whether it is diving in the ocean, climbing a mountain, or racing on a yacht or racecar at breakneck speed the Rolex is bound to keep up and exceed your expectations.  

How Rolex Services Your Rolex

Some experts suggest sending the Rolex in for servicing every 5 years.  Just as you would send your car into service every 3-6 months to change out the oil and rotating the tires, Rolex owners are often urged to send their timepiece to Rolex for care and cleaning.  Here is what Rolex does to preserve the function of your timepiece.
  • Complete Disassembly - Rolex takes all of the pieces of the timepiece apart.  This means they remove the entire band from the watch, and the movement out of the case itself.  
  • Cleaning the Movement - Dust and debris can get inside a timepiece over time.  Rolex uses ultrasonic devices to clean the movement completely.
  • Replacing Components - Each watchmaker examines individual components in the movement and identifies components that may require replacement.  Genuine Rolex replacement parts are used to preserve the integrity of the movement.
  • Timing Calibration - Rolex watchmakers meticulously adjust the balance wheel for several days to make sure the timepiece provides precise timekeeping performance.
  • Refinishing the Case and Bracelet - Cleaning is not limited to the movement.  The entire case and bracelet are examined for damage and wear and tear.  Parts, such as links in a band, might be used to replace damaged links.  Everything is cleaned with the same precision as the movement - restoring the lustre of the entire timepiece.
  • Lubrication - One of the biggest reasons for having Rolex service your timepiece is for them to add their advanced lubricant to minimize friction and prevent wear and tear, while preserving accuracy.
  • Reassembly - Each timepiece is reassembled with ultra care and precision.
  • Testing the Waterproofness - The newly reassembled timepiece is tested to meet pressure-resistance, a vacuum test, compression test, and a condensation test.  If even the slightest bit of moisture is found inside the case, these tests will reveal all.  
  • Final Quality Check - During this final checklist, the watchmaker tests power reserve, timing accuracy and overall appearance of the watch one last time for the highest possible standard of quality.
After achieving all of this, Rolex offers a two-year service guarantee.  Servicing can cost approximately $600 - $1000.  However, it could be more or less depending on the model.  Some service centers have their own watch experts and may charge less for a complete servicing.  However it is imperative that Rolex timepieces are serviced by only authorized Rolex Dealers.

Ellen DeGeneres's $750k Vintage "John Player Special" Rolex Daytona

Vintage Rolex Daytona, nicknamed the "John Player Special" Image from
Famed celebrity Ellen DeGeneres is a highly accomplished timepiece collector with both new and vintage Rolex watches in her collection.  Although she often gifts timepieces to her friends, this is one she is definitely keeping and wearing on a daily basis.  The timepiece pictured has a rubber band, however, the one Ellen recently acquired has a gold band.

The Rolex Daytonas have become highly sought after in collector's circles, and the prices for these vintage Rolex Daytonas have continued to rise astronomically.  Although 750k sounds like a huge amount for a used Rolex, this rare and coveted timepiece, now with Ellen Celebrity status attached to it, will definitely make this timepiece even more valuable as time goes by.

There are estimated at less than 400 of these rare Daytonas in circulation today.  These timepieces originally sold for about $700 which is approx 5k in today's prices.  That would actually be a bargain in today's Rolex market since most new gold Rolexes sell for 20-30k or more.  Rolex Daytonas are in such high demand that it might cost much more and take some time to acquire a new gold Daytona.  The price of gold is also much higher today than it was in the 1960's when these John Player Specials were sold.

The John Player Special Paul Newman Daytona Ref. 6241 was named after the Formula One Racecar from the 1970's and of course Paul Newman who championed the 3 dial stopwatch during his lifetime.
Example of the John Player Rolex Daytona with Gold band and inner gold ring on the bezel

Unique features of this timepiece include a top left dial that has a 60, 15, 30, 45 rather than 60,20,30,40 on the dial.  The case is yellow gold with gold pushers and a large winding crown.  This timepiece is not automatic as so many Rolex timepieces are.  The early Daytonas were all self-winding.  However, the pushers allowed racecar drivers or their fans or pit crew to accurately estimate their speed between laps.

The black tachymeter around the edges went to a vintage speed of only 200 mph since racecars hadn't broken the 200 mph barrier during the 1960's.  Modern Daytona's are equipped with a tachymeter that goes to 400 mph or kph.

The yellow gold is beautifully complimented by the black dial and black bezel.  The 3 inner dials are gold with black markings.  The actual timepiece has simple black dots with gold tips acting as the hour markers around the entire edge of the timepiece at standard hour positions 1 through 12 o'clock.

Clearly this is a more elegant example of the tool watch.  The combination of Gold and Black coloring throughout is Rolex artistry at its finest and clearly something Ellen would admire.  Although she owns steel versions of the vintage Rolex Daytona, when you are a superstar celebrity, wouldn't you rather wear the gold and black version?  Although it has elements of a new Rolex, Ellen would know that her timepiece is nearly priceless in comparison.

Is Owning a Rolex a Good Investment?

Is Owning A Rolex a Good Investment?

Rolex prices have been soaring for the last 20+ years.  Rolex investments have had the opportunity to pay off nicely for the Rolex owner with some skill and negotiation.  

Not every Rolex investment will generate a positive gain.  

Although every Rolex has value, not every Rolex has the same value to collectors and investors.  The Rolex Daytona is highly sought after, but shines like a bright star over less sought after Rolex watches.  For example, the Milgauss or even the standard Oyster Date-Just will not fetch much attention by investors.  And therefore their prices have sagged to much lower levels.  

Rolexes Hold Their Value But Can Drop From the Original Price.

One of the greatest things about Rolex is the ability for them to hold their value.  Especially well cared for timepieces, can still appear new, and retain their value.  Unlike a car that depreciates quickly, a Rolex will not depreciate as fast.  And over time, a vintage Rolex can start rising in price.

Do This to Retain your Rolex Investment

  • Seek the Help of Professionals - Watch Collectors know what is hot in the market.  They know what to look for in order for an investment to rise in price.  They know for instance, whether it is better to own a Submariner with or without the date, or whether a steel case is better than a gold one.  They know how rare a timepiece is by the amount of components that are produced each year of that model.  They also know what things collectors and the market in general are looking for.  Just as you would look to a quality broker to recommend a stock, looking at a professional for watch investment advice is critical.
  • Take Care of Your Rolex - Make sure you clean and maintain your Rolex.  It is important to know that you are not only looking to make the timepiece last for you, but also for its future owner - whether that be to someone you sell it to, or gift it to.  
  • Let Rolex Service The Timepiece - Vintage timepieces may not need to be serviced as frequently.  However, new timepieces can increase in value if you prove that it has been serviced recently and often by Rolex Certified Professionals.  

Avoid these Rolex Traps When Investing in Rolex

  • It isn't all about the bling - Some Rolex timepieces are encrusted with an endless supply of diamonds and other gems.  However, collectors don't value the timepiece based on the number of dimonds.  In fact, all-steel Rolexes may rise in value faster than a timepiece worthy of a Rap Artist.
  • Pay Attention to the Price - One of the best ways to make a positive investment is to get a quality price.  You can win just by buying when there is a discount.  Basically if you bought a Rolex Daytona when nobody was buying them in the 1960's and 1970's, you would have made a huge profit if you sold it today.  There are many discount vendors who buy wholesale from authorized Rolex Distributors when the price is right.  This means that the 40-50% markup might drop to 10-20%.  So, if you bought at the lower markup, you will have a much better chance at turning a profit.  
  • Cheaper Isn't Always Better - Just because a Rolex is cheap, doesn't mean that this is the right one to buy.  It could be cheap because the demand is non-existent. 

What Rolex Would You Love to Find in Your Couch?

What Rolex Would You Love to Find in Your Couch?

A recent story was told by Paul Alteri of Bob's Watches.  It was of a Canadian woman who purchased a 2nd hand couch for $25 at a thrift store and found a Daytona 6241 Paul Newman, worth millions, in between the cushions.   

Ok.  So, it is pretty obvious that from a price perspective, finding an old Rolex Daytona would probably be first on everyone's list.  However, let's take away the profit potential from the equation here.  Let's say, you had an opportunity to happen upon a Rolex timepiece and that timepiece would have the highest resale value of any timepiece sold.  Here you get to make the decision based purely on aesthetic reasons.  Which one do you like better?  Which one would you rather find, whether it be to wear it yourself, or to gift it to someone you care about?

Here are my top three.  

#3 The Rolex Yacht-Master

The Rolex Yacht-Master is one of the timepieces I would most like to find because of it's absolute beauty and distinctive appeal.  I don't own a yacht.  I love boats.  Although this would not be the first timepiece on my "buy list", I would certainly love to own one.  

Wearing a Yacht-Master shows you have taste, culture and style.  You are seen as a man or woman of ultimate leisure - who appreciate the finer things in life.  

The Red, White and Blue are not only highly legible and readable, but it is also an American icon and color palette.  You honor more than yourself when you don this beautiful timepiece.

#2 Rolex Sky-Dweller

The Rolex Sky-Dweller is another timepiece that would not be first on my buy list.  However, it is stunning and practical.  The rotating dial adds huge visual appeal to it.  I think I admired it even more when I saw LeBron James showing off this timepiece - of course in Gold.  Frankly, I am perfectly fine with finding a steel version of this one in my couch with the dark blue with luminescent hour markers and date window.  

The Rolex Sky-Dweller is ideal for travelers.  The 2nd time zone in the center dial and big red triangle makes it easy to see both your current time zone and your home base zone at one glance.  I love the fact that it represents the 2nd zone in 24 hour markers.  It has a militaristic appeal allowing you to track in 24 hour marks rather than just relying on notations of AM or PM.  The sophistication and intricacy that went into the development of this caliber is incredible.  

As if this was not enough, there is a MONTH calendar around the actual dial.  So, not only do you get the day of the month aperture at 3 o'clock, but the hour markers can show you what month 1-12 you are in.  A red square appears above the hour marker for the month you are in.  Pictured above, you can see it is in the 11 o'clock position, indicating November. 

#1 Rolex Daytona with Black Rubber Strap and Gold Case, Champagne Dial.  

If you read through some of my blogs, you will see that this is a timepiece that I absolutely love.  It is a Rolex Daytona with gold and black coloring throughout.  It is spectacular in every way.  Not only does it have a timer and complexity with its pushers at 2 and 4 o'clock, but it is absolutely one of the most stunning timepieces you could own from the Rolex collection.  

Even though most collectors are looking for vintage Daytona's and this one would hardly compare in resale value, this is what speaks luxury, and exceptional style.  The black and gold is very masculine and not over the top with gold.  It is comfortable to wear, because of the rubber band. The champagne dial looks unbelievable against the black inner dials and black and white luminescent hour markers.  I love how you get hour markers all around the dial with the exception of the 12 o'clock position where the crown sits.  Most Rolexes drop the 3 o'clock hour marker because of the date aperture.  

The black bezel with gold markings finish off the timepiece.  It makes me want to get out on the highway and drop the foot pedal to the metal.  

It is a cut above the standard steel Daytonas.  The golden luxury makes this timepiece look good any time day or night.  

Best Tool Watches Ever Made - By Rolex

Rolex has defined the market when it comes to watch design to target a specific task.  In short, we call this the tool watch.  Although Rolex adds its luxury and personality to each timepiece raising the bar of excellence and value - a collectible masterpiece that can be sought for and cherished by all - the tool watch is inspired by the need to provide accurate time and other functions in the most extreme situations and circumstances.

The YachtMaster II is a tool watched designed to countdown with a mechanical memory and an on-the-fly synchronization with the Yacht Race countdown clock.  The countdown can be programmed from 1 to 10 minutes.  Rolex took on the considerable technical challenge to develop the Yacht Master.  The Ring Command bezel of the Yacht Master II regatta chronograph operates in conjunction with the internal mechanism of the timepiece. Adding to the complexity of this countdown tool, the Ring Command bezel is both attractively set in ocean blue with numeral inlays, however it is also simple to use.

The YachtMaster II has all of the typical features you might expect from a Rolex timepiece - Oyster case, Oyster bracelet, sapphire crystal, screw down waterproof crown, and an automatic self-winding movement which is the result of over 35,000 hours of development.  The patented function of the calibre 4161 movement comprises some 360 components.  The new calibre also features a power reserve of 72 hours.

The 44 mm case is available in steel or in 18 ct yellow gold.  However, the dial and coloring utilizes the US and regatta coloring of Red, White and Blue throughout - giving the timepiece a unique appeal that can be recognized by Yacht owners instantly.  Owners of the Yachtmaster II are not only owners of one of the finest tool timepieces made, they are also part of an exclusive club.

The Submariner tool watch was specifically designed to withstand the diving depths to 1000 feet.  The Deep Sea model supports an extreme depth of 12,800 feet with its patented Helium escape valve.

Designed from the ground up to be a diver's watch, the triplock triple waterproofness system provides protection tot he inner perpetual movement.  The highly legible chromalight display provides long lasting luminescence under water - even in deep under water situations.  The bezel rotates in one direction, and has 60 minute graduations coated in platinum.  This allows the diver to rotate the bezel in order to accurately monitor diving time and decompression stops.  Even the knots in the bezel allow excellent grip underwater even with diving gloves on.  An extra luminescent capsule is added to the zero marker to ensure legibility even in extreme darkness.

Leaving nothing to chance, the Rolex team designed a folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system to allow divers to wear the timepiece on top of a dive suit as easily as putting it on their wrist.  It is not a secret that the master of tools himself - James Bond - first made good use of his Rolex Submariner in all of his spy activities.

The Rolex Daytona is arguably the best tool watch designed in the world.  Rolex has been tied to auto racing since the early days of World Land Speed Record holder Malcolmn Campbell in 1935. The early years of racing on the Bonnevile Salt Flats in Utah and the early Daytona Florida Races (where the Rolex Daytona derives its name) became a growing obsession for the Rolex dynasty.

Collectors worldwide clamor to find some of the early versions of this tool - the self-winding movement versions of this highly collectible masterpiece.  Rolex released the 4130 calibre this year, with a more reliable, more sparsely populated component movement allowing for a larger mainspring - thus increasing the power reserve from 50 to 72 hours.

However, the Daytona has been setting records long before its current set of enhancements.  Rolex created its trademark tachymetric bezel which allows drivers to measure elapsed time and read average speeds.

The chronograph functions activate the 3 dials on the timepiece through the two pushers at 2 and 4 o'clock.  One press to start, stop or reset the chronogrph produces a a clear click that provides an accurate start to the timing without sacrificing reliability of the timepiece itself. The center hand is accurate within 1/8 of a second and provides the Chronograph function.  Stop seconds provides accurate time setting.  There is a 30 minute counter at the 3 o'clock position, a 12 hour counter at the 9 o'clock position and a small seconds hand at 6 o'clock.

All three of these tool watches by Rolex are leaders in the industry today as much as they were when they were first released.  Although there are other tool watches developed by Rolex and other companies, these three timepieces are in my opinion, the greatest tool watches developed, exhibiting the pinnacle of watchmaking expertise.

The Entire Watch Industry Depends on Rolex

Rolex is clearly the #1 most recognizable luxury brand in the world.  However, Rolex's impact on the entire watchmaking industry is felt by the entire industry.  Rolex has worked hard since early on to be the center of action - wherever that might be.  This has helped lift  the entire watchmaking industry and carry them upon its back.

Rolex and Tennis

Even before Roger Federer became a Rolex Brand Ambassador, Rolex became a partner and official timekeeper for some of the greatest tennis competitions worldwide.

  • The Australian Open hosted at Melbourne Park (renamed Rod Laver Arena after the great tennis champion).
  • Roland-Garros in Paris for the French Open
  • Wimbledon in England
  • US Open in New York

Rolex and Sailing & Yachting

One of the sports that epitomizes the Rolex love for dynamic sportsmanship and the spirit of excellence is yachting.  Rolex has sought to be part of so many regattas and prestigious yacht clubs that it would seem that no race would be complete without Rolex's presence.  The high standards and the constant reaching to achieve better results through the smallest attention to detail is an essential part of both Rolex's culture and the culture of yacht racing.  Here are a few partnerships Rolex has become bound to over the years:
  • The New York Yacht Club
  • Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
  • Maxi Yacht Roex Cup in Sardinia's Porto Cervo on the Costa Smeralda
  • SailGP
  • Rolex Fastnet Race
  • Rolex TP52 World Championship

Rolex and Golf

Before Tiger Woods became a Rolex Brand Ambassador - perhaps the most famous of the Rolex Ambassadors - Rolex has been sponsoring golf tournaments across the world.  
  • The US Open and US Women's Open
  • The Open
  • World Golf Championships
  • Rolex Series
  • Players Championship
  • US FedexCup Playoffs
  • The President's Cup
  • The Solheim Cup
  • The Evian Championship

Rolex and Racing

The Rolex passion for racing has a history that goes all the way back to the 1930's.  From that point forward, Rolex was hooked and had to be part of some of the top competitions worldwide.

  • Formula 1 Racing - featuring 21 races in 21 countries across the globe.
  • Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco
  • FIA World Endurance Championship
  • The 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • Rolex 24 at Daytona
  • Goodwood Revival
  • Monterey Classic Car Week

Rolex and Exploration

Rolex has sought to be part of the greatest exploration adventures ever undertaken - from the early 1953 expedition to the top of Mount Everest led by Sir John Hunt to the Deep Sea triumphs of the Trieste by Jacques Piccard where they set a depth record of 10,916 meters as they explored the Mariana Trench.
  • Deepsea Challenge - with film-maker James Cameron - diving to the depth of 10,908.
  • Deepsea Under the Pole I, II and III  from 2010 through 2017 Rolex helped explores understand the climate equilibrium, biolumninescence and underwater exploration techniques in the Arctic and Antarctic.
  • Perpetual Planet Campaign
  • Partnership with the National Geographic Society and Sylvia Earle's Mission Blue Initiative.
  • Rolex Awares for Enterprise from 1976 more than 140 Laureates have achieved outstanding feats of discovery in science, exploration, health, the environment and human culture.

3 Unstoppable Rolex Trends That Will Continue in 2020

One of the greatest things about Rolex is its predictability.  The greatest luxury brand in the world - Rolex - does not have to move fast in order to continue its domination of the watchmaking world.  In fact 80% of all watch advertising is done by Rolex.  And the brand value keeps rising along with incredible demand.  

There are 3 trends though that we will continue to see Rolex pursue in order to push the envelope of what it expects of itself.  

1. Rolex will Continue to Add Oysterflex Bands to its Timepieces.

Rubber B and other brands have pioneered and perfected the artform of creating vulcanized rubber bands for fine timepieces, especially for Rolex.  Rolex was slow to adopt and roll out its own rubber band itself which it named the Oysterflex.  It is flexible rubber in black and works great and extending the coloring of an timepiece with a black dial, or to complement a yellow gold timepiece with a black bezel or other touches of black throughout.  Black and yellow gold are a combination with excellent luxury and beauty.  Add to that the strength of vulcanized rubber and the comfortable fit it naturally has.  Plus rubber works great in sporty situations and compliments the athletic lifestyle that many of the Rolex timepieces are built to support.  

I have no doubt that more timepieces will be offered with Oysterflex as an option.  Currently you only see it on a sparse number of Rolex timepieces such as the Yachtmaster and the Rolex Daytona.  Expect to see Rolex roll out the Oysterflex to many other of its lineup of timepieces.

2. New High-Power Reserve Calibers will Replace Old Calibers

We have seen this year where Rolex rolled out several new calibers which have multiple features and enhancements.  The new calibers have fewer components, enhancing reliability.  The movement features new components offering greater resistance to shocks and temperature variation.  But most impressive, is the increased power reserve - increasing power reserve from around 40 hours to 70 hours or more.  I expect Rolex to roll out more calibers and fitting all of their remaining timepieces with these new higher reserve models.  
3. Gemology Will Be a Growing Focus for Rolex

Rolex has made a big movement towards adding gems to its lineup of Rolex timepieces.  They have started a campaign promoting their gemology as the finest in the world.  They select the finest gems, hand picked to fit in their timepieces.  At Baselworld the last two years, the centerpiece of the Rolex lineup are watches almost engulfed with gems - encircling the bezel and throughout.  In order to find stones of the exact shape and size to encircle a timepiece so perfectly is an unbelievable achievement and certainly showcases the talents of Rolex's gemological prowess.

The Rolex Daytona was for many years produced in steel only.  Its purpose was simple - be a tool for race drivers.  However, the resurgence of interest in Daytona opened the door for Rolex's gem team to start adding bling to an otherwise stark tool watch.  Rolex has now started adding diamonds and more to some of its Rolex Daytona's.  I fully expect their gemologists to continue to influence other Rolex timepieces with their masterful use of sapphires and diamonds to create something new and artistically fashionable.

Best Labor Day Rolex Timepiece

Rolex Oyster Perpetual
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39mm, coming in at $5,700, should be on every person's list as the best Labor Day Rolex timepiece.  It is a workhorse and has the beauty and luxury that is simple and timeless.  This is a working man's timepiece.  It can go wherever you want to go and do whatever you want to do with it.

Made with 904L Oystersteel it is extremely resistant to scratching and maintains its beauty even in harsh environments.  The white dial is distinctive for its readability, and the domed dial and Oyster bracelet are both simple and not overly decorative.  It is a working man's timepiece - a blue collar Rolex if there ever was one.  And at under 6k, it is one of the most affordable Rolexes you will find.

Although the power reserve is still clinging to the old 48 hour standard, the rest of the features still display what a Rolex is all about.  The single winding crown is easy to access.  The luminescent hour markers indicate the time in day and night with perfection.  Hard workers will often need to leverage this capability as they come home late at night from a hard day of work.

There aren't any distractions or features that clutter up the face of this timepiece.  It does its job - telling you the time - better than almost any other fine timepiece on the planet.  This timepiece aspires to be the best there is, while demonstrating the exceptional in its simplicity.  The Oyster case gives its water resistance to 330 feet, and the scratch resistance of the sapphire crystal protects its face from tarnishing.

This timepiece would look fantastic on both a man or a woman and will look good with casual or formal attire.

So pay homage to your working brothers and sisters this Labor Day and consider picking up this Rolex Oyster Perpetual.

Comparing Tudor Watches with Rolex

As you probably are well aware, Rolex also controls the Tudor brand.  And, although Tudor seems to be a bit more aggressive in its styling, and cutting edge in its approach, the models for the most part look awfully similar to their Rolex counterpart.

As prices in Rolex continue to skyrocket, it might make sense for first collectors to start their collection with a lower priced Tudor rather than a Rolex they can't yet afford.  So, in the article that follows I am going to compare some of the models and show  you how similar these models appear to be.


The fantastic GMT tool watch has a utility that allows the owner to track two time zones at the same time, while also knowing the day of the month from the date window.  However, the timepiece is much more than just a tool.  It has an exceptional beauty and a distinctive look that is recognizable by all as a fashionable icon of pure value.

Rolex GMT Master II
The Rolex GMT-Master II comes in with a price tag of $9,250, but communicates tremendous value and nostalgia to the wearer and to anyone that comes to view this piece of jewelry on his wrist.  Two color tones on the bezel, in Pepsi colors of Red and Blue are offset by engraved numerals and graduations, provide the ability to keep track of a 2nd time zone, as notated by the big 24 hour Red Hand and arrow tip.

A world traveler, businessman, a sports icon or artist who is often in a different city from night to night, might use the bezel to easily rotate to the current time rather than needing to adjust the hands using the winding crown.  A useful feature, indeed.  Even digital watches or cell phones for that matter, would take longer to set the time than a GMT timepiece.  However, the original time is still fully preserved, allowing the wearer to know what his home city's time is currently at.

If they might need to call their wife, say goodnight to their children, or even call the office, knowing what time their home base is at becomes essential.
Tudor GMT
The Tudor comes in at less than half the price of the Rolex - clocking in at a mere $3,625.  Although you might notice the fabric strap pictured above, the Tudor GMT also comes on a steel bracelet or a brown leather strap.

The look and feel is almost identical to the Rolex GMT Master II.  The same Pepsi colored dial and 24 hour hand in matching Pepsi Red gives you that important 24 hour adjustable clock.

Both dials are black and have luminescent hour markers and luminescent hands.  Even the 24 hour and seconds hands have luminescent tips that  provide exceptional visibility even on a plane at night time when business travelers might be catching a red eye.

There are some slight variations on the numeral prints around the rotatable bezel.  The Rolex does have a useful cyclops lens over the date aperture.  The Tudor has a slightly larger case at 41 mm to the Rolex 40 mm case.  And the Tudor features a waterproofness system that surpasses the Rolex with a 660 feet depth of support, as compared to the Rolex support for only 330 feet of depth.

The Tudor has a larger winding crown, but the Rolex features two crown guards on either side of its winding crown.

However, both models are featuring the new power reserve with 70 hours of reserve power.  The bezel can be rotated in either direction with speed and precision.  Both exceptional models feature a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protecting the timepiece underneath.  Both timepieces are certified as a chronometer by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute.

The Rolex GMT II is one of the top Rolex timepieces made today.  However, the ability to use the Tudor GMT as a diver's watch adds another level of utility to already useful tool.  I'd give the slight edge to Tudor in the battle of the GMT's for this solitary reason.

The Chronograph Car Racing Timepiece

The Chronograph and the Rolex Daytona have taken the world by storm.  Although this has not always been the case, Rolex Daytona has become valued as one of the most precious Rolex timepieces, and certainly the most collectible models around.  So, for this section we will compare the Daytona to the Tudor counterpart - the Black Bay Chrono.
Rolex Daytona in 18 ct Gold
The Rolex Daytona has seen tremendous attention by Rolex in recent years.  It hasn't always seen this kind of scrutiny and was relegated for many years to the backburner while other models received more attention and focus.  The surge of collector interest has made Rolex really drive their car-themed timepiece and put development into overdrive.  

The Rolex Daytona pictured above comes in at a pricey $27,500.  However, it features the new Rolex Oysterflex bracelet.  This black rubber band provides comfort and a color continuity matching the black bezel and inner dials on the champagne colored dial.  Even the hour markers have touches of black surrounding the luminescent white hour markers.  

The champagne and gold coloring throughout the Rolex Daytona work in perfect harmony with the black coloring.  It is as if these two colors were always meant to be together.  

Tudor Black Bay Chrono
The Tudor Black Bay Chrono is an all steel chronograph coming in at only $5,100.  Not only is it only a fifth of the price of a Daytona, but it is far more accessible since the Daytona is backlogged with a waiting list.

Notable markings indicating speed in kilometers or miles per hour, the Tudor has the capacity for up to 500 mph/kph as opposed to 400 mph/kph on the Daytona.  The Rolex has a small seconds at the 6 o'clock position.  Tudor has replaced that with a date window aperture.  Like the GMT, the Tudor version is 1 mm larger in its case size than the Rolex - sporting a slightly heftier 41 mm over the 40 mm Rolex case.  Again, crown guards appear on the Rolex model and not on the Tudor.

The Tudor is also waterproof to 660 feet as compared to the 330 feet of resistance for the Rolex.  However, both are powered by the new calibre with 70+ power reserve in each model.

Although there is so much going for the Tudor, and you can't go wrong with owning the Black Bay Chrono, the Rolex Daytona is far worth the extra money to own this rare collector's item.  The beauty of this Rolex Daytona model is off the charts.  Although Tudor designers might say that having the date aperture gives it a utility that outstrips the Rolex Daytona, the classic Newman 3 dial that has become so sought after by Rolex collectors has a distinctive look and appeal that should not have been messed with.

And although the ability to dive with the Tudor is a fantastic feature, this isn't enough to overcome the new reworked luxury that the new Rolex Daytona communicates with its Gold and Black coloring.  The Rolex Daytona wins - and it isn't even close.

Day + Date

Rolex Presidential Day-Date
The Presidential Day Date, at a price of $34,850, is one of the most glamorous and fashionable men's timepieces that communicates status in an authentic and nostalgic manner.  Presidents have actually worn this timepiece as have many other top luminaries world-wide.  

Besides this, the Presidential Day-Date from Rolex is a perfectly designed work of art.  The above shows a yellow gold model and Roman numerals on the white dial.  The bezel is fluted and a presidents bracelet with semi-circular three-piece links gives a fantastic beauty to the overall look of this timepiece.  This is a perfect compliment to a man's suit - speaking power and style without overstating the obvious.

Tudor Glamour Day + Date
I admire Tudor, priced at $4,350, for attempting to put out a Day Date model of their very own.  However, it won't take long to see that the Rolex timepiece is in a class of its own.  The Tudor doesn't even have the new features that the Rolex has packed into it.  The Rolex has a 70 hour power reserve as compared to the 38 hour reserve for the Tudor.  The Tudor doesn't have any more waterproofness built into its model - featuring only a a 330 ft depth support - identical to the Rolex.

The Tudor case is also slightly less beefy at 39mm as opposed to 40 mm on the Rolex.  This is where the Tudor starts to lose tremendous ground to the Rolex - clearly being lapped multiple times over.  The bezel is hardly spectacular - almost non-luxurious.  Even though there are diamonds as hour markers, the small form factor isn't as luxurious as the more useful and luscious gold roman numerals. The date aperture is way too small compared to the Rolex which is also enhanced by the cyclops window.

The bracelet is nice with its 5 piece links but incomparable against an all gold presidents style bracelet which speaks luxury in every language.

Clearly in the first two head to head battles, I would say Tudor has a foothold and I wouldn't knock anyone for beginning their collection with either model.  The features matched Rolex and the look also was comparable.  However, in the Day-Date battle, Tudor has dropped the ball and didn't make an effort to keep up with Rolex.  They appear to be playing little league and aren't even on the same playing field as Rolex.  I wish Tudor would step up and make a better attempt.  I would start by removing the word "glamour" from the name and then look at the elements of the Presidential Day Date that have made it an iconic timepiece for decades.

Winner the Rolex Presidential Day-Date.

Overall, in this competition, Rolex wins 2 to 1.  And in the first challenge I'd say that Tudor just barely pulls out the victory over the Rolex GMT Master II.

Tudor Black Bay Bronze
I do have to say that Tudor has really come out with some truly exciting timepieces.  Most notably the Black Bay Bronze model which has a 43mm bronze case and yellowed patina luminescent hour markers and hands that give it a classic look that collectors look for in older Rolex models.  However, it is new, powered by a 70 hour power reserve calibre MT5601 and supports a waterproofness depth of 660 feet.  This is a stunning timepiece that Rolex doesn't really have a comparable model to compete with it.  At only $4,050, I'd put this Tudor first on my wish list.

5 Things Rolex Doesn't Want You to Know

Rolex is one of the iconic brands ever created.  However, even the best brands have some dirty little secrets that they would rather not expose to their client base of fans.  Here are five things that Rolex doesn't want you to know.

1. Rolex has seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years - as the popularity of timepiece ownership has gone up.  That isn't earth shattering news.  However, rather than increase supply with the increasing demand, Rolex has chosen to keep its watch supply low.

This has had the effect of creating a waiting list for popular Rolex timepieces - even people offering to pay more for a "Pre-owned" Rolex timepiece just to get their hands on their coveted possession.  This has driven up the cost of both New and Pre-Owned Rolexes.  Some prices (for example - Daytona's) have gone through the roof and demand doesn't seem to be slowing.

Most companies would increase supply to help meet demand and stabilize prices.  Not Rolex.  It is true that every Rolex watch takes approximately a year to produce.  The craftsmanship that goes into a Rolex is incredible.  But a top tier brand like Rolex could acquire talent like no other brand if they wanted to.  Even at 800,000+ timepieces produced each year, the skyrocketing demand is forcing prices to increase rapidly - making Rolex ownership harder for the working man or woman.

2. Rolex is originally an English Brand.  Yes, Rolex is entirely designed, developed and produced in Switzerland today.  However, Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis created the company in London, England in 1905.

They registered the name Rolex in 1908 and renamed the company Rolex Watch Co. Ltd. in 1915.  

It wasn't until 1920 that the company moved its base of operations to Geneva, Switzerland, not because they wanted to tap into the horological tradition and history of Switzerland, but merely to avoid heavy taxation from a recovering post-war Britain.

3. Rolex is not the most exclusive timepiece made today.  A major goal of any fine brand would be to separate themselves and make themselves appear to be more luxurious than other brands.  However, although Rolex is exceptionally valuable, there are plenty of other brands that are rarer right out of the gate.  Although there are plenty of watch brands that may have an exceptionally pricey timepiece or one that is built with enough diamonds to fill a mine. However, here are a few timepiece brands that will outprice a Rolex typically out of the gate.
  1. Patek Philippe
  2. Audemars Piguet
  3. Vacheron Constantin
  4. Lange & Söhne
  5. Jaeger-LeCoultre
  6. Roger Dubuis
4. Rolex Foundary's value might be more valuable than Fort Knox.  Yes, security in Rolex HQ is pretty tight.  Rolex manufactures its own gold, calibers and has plenty of gemologists onsite.  And Rolex watches hold their value and have more value than an ounce of the same amount of gold.  

According to a US Government agency in 1973, the value of Fort Knox gold was worth about 6 billion.  That might be worth 190 billion today, assuming the gold stash is still intact and not sold off to pay for US ballooning debt. But to take the 6 billion and compare it against a profit of 5.5 billion of Rolex indicates that Rolex does have a pretty impressive stash of their own.  

Although Rolex may only make a profit of 5.5 Billion, the value of their remaining gold, finished timepieces, and gem collection would far exceed 6 billion.  Would it be worth 20 billion on the open market?  800,000 finished Rolexes sold at 30k each would amount to $24 billion, which is 4 times 1973 value of Fort Knox gold.  

5. Rolex is likely a made up word.  Some people guess that Rolex comes from the French term "horlogerie exquise" or Horological Exquisite (exquisite timepiece).  However, there is no proof that backs that up.  

Unlike so many fine brands that are named after the early founders and horological experts that designed the timepieces, Rolex is a name that Hans Wilsdorf created the name to be easily spoken in any language.  

In fact, he thought the name sounds like a clock when it "hurt itself." Rolex, in fact, could be the sound of a broken clock?  That would definitely be a secret Rolex would want to keep under wraps.

10 Things I Hate About Rolex

First, I want to say that I love Rolex and wearing one is a great thrill and honor.  However, for this post I am going to dig up the things about the brand that I dislike.  It isn't all Rolex's fault and you will see what I mean in a moment.

1. Rolex metal scratches fairly easily.  For all that is said about Rolex 904L steel and custom blended gold from its own foundry, the Rolex timepiece actually scratches rather easily.  The shiny polished metal doesn't take much to get buffed up.  However, this is not specifically a Rolex issue, as many other high end timepieces also scratch easily.

I would expect an heirloom piece which Rolex clearly is, would be much better when it comes to retaining its pristine new look.  That is not the case.  However, Rolex is still a Rolex even with a few scratches on it.  It certainly doesn't bring the value down much at all and adds some character to a timepiece that is admired the world over.

2.  Prices keep  going up.  This is one of the biggest secrets that Rolex doesn't want you to know about.  Certainly if you can't afford a Rolex, their sister brand Tudor is definitely an option for you as well.  The Oyster case and movement look and act almost identical to a Rolex for a fraction of the price.

However, Rolex timepieces are becoming a great investment for collectors that are buying and stashing their timepieces for only a few years.  I don't know how long that will continue.  However, the cost to owning a Rolex keeps rising.

3.  There is no digital Rolex.  I said it.  You may not agree with me, but I think Rolex would be the perfect brand to come out with an infinitely serviceable digital timepiece with analog crossover.  Perhaps the digital mechanism could be upgraded every 3 years with a new module to support the latest and greatest programming.  But combine the digital features of a Samsung with the analog features and design of a Rolex and you get a timepiece that can not just do anything, but would not be something that could be handed down for generations.

I think Rolex is the perfect brand to do this.  Currently with Apple watches and Droid watches, after 3 years the former model will end up in the trash bin.  Rolex has a history of making timepieces that last.  They could offer to service these timepieces for the life of the watch and manufacture the digital components with constant upgrades so that these timepieces could live on and survive for generations.

4. The random serial number system.  Implemented in 2011 in order to help retailers disguise the fact that their Rolex inventory might be the same inventory as the previous year, the serial number system no longer tells the buyer when a timepiece was manufactured.  Yes, you can find out from Rolex itself the manufactured date, but it isn't self evident as it used to be.  In previous years you could look at the serial number engraving and easily determine the year it was produced.

5. Can't custom design your Rolex.  If Rolex determines that it wants to put a Jubilee bracelet on a particular model and stop making it with an Oyster bracelet, you can't opt to swap out the bracelet you prefer to own.  And you can't easily get a spare bracelet from Rolex without buying the whole timepiece.  Perhaps you would like a specific metal, a specific dial, bezel, and bracelet.  You can't pick and choose.  You only can choose from what is already manufactured.

6.  Rolex time pieces must be serviced every 5 years.  The cost of a Rolex service is $500 and you need to send it to Rolex for servicing.  That is quite an expense and upkeep cost, especially considering you could get a beautiful new Hamilton for about that price.

7.  Limited power reserve.  With Panerai timepieces hitting 10 days, you would expect Rolex to compete with some high power reserve models of their own.  I have to comment that Rolex has started upgrading their lineup to approx. 72 hours of power reserve - up from 48 hours.  However, I don't expect Rolex to hit 6 to 10 days of power reserve for years - if ever.

8.  People often have negative reaction to you wearing a Rolex.  Sometimes they think your timepiece is automatically fake.  They may think you to be ostentatious for wearing such an expensive timepiece.  Worse yet, they will strike up conversations about your timepiece - often asking the same questions you have heard over and over again.  Rolex is certainly a conversation starter.  If you are not a fine conversationalist, owning a Rolex could be a problem.

9. No Rolex is perfect.  Although Rolex spends much time and effort to create a superlative chronometer, a Rolex often needs to be adjusted regularly.  It doesn't keep as perfect time as your digital counterpart.

10. You can't own them all.  This is probably the most troubling aspect of owning a Rolex.  Because of the cost of a Rolex, you can only own one or two, perhaps.  Even two might be too much or too extravagant.  If you collect timepieces, you might own 5 or 6 timepieces or more.  However, with Rolex you need to get real selective and pick the one you will own for a long time or your lifetime.  If you have never  owned a Rolex, it is a daunting task to decide which piece you will settle down with.

Rolex Superlative Chronometer Official Certification Developed in 1956

The Rolex Superlative Chronometer certification COSC has been a mainstay for Rolex since the mid 1950's.  Rolex guarantees your watch is accurate to -2/+2 seconds per day, after casing. The COSC requires only a -4/+6 per day accuracy.  Even Omega's Master Certification requires a 0/+5 accuracy. 

Rolex considers accuracy the utmost importance to its timepieces and strives to achieve near perfection in its craft - demanding of itself higher standards than the competition.  

Rolex runs each of its timepieces through a battery of tests internally.  Besides precision, Rolex tests waterproofness, power reserve, and self-winding.  Once completed, these movements are sent out to COSC for an official independent certification, before casing.  

The Green Seal that comes with a Rolex includes a guarantee and warrantee of 5 years.  The green seal means that Rolex has spent tremendous amount of money and time to ensure each timepiece is accurate and reliable.  On many of the timepieces Rolex proudly displays the Superlative Chronometer wording on  the dial itself.  

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