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 pioneered and perfected the artform of creating vulcanized rubber bands for fine timepieces, especially for Rolex.  Not only did they add a luxurious new band to Rolex - giving Rolex owner's many color options, but it appears to fuse perfectly with the Rolex design. The Rubber B unique T-shaped design at the curved end link between the lugs took the market by storm and has appeared on many celebrities, including Justin Bieber and even Prince Andrew.

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.

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