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.

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