OK, so my first reaction to the 2013 Rolex lineup was admittedly not a pleasant one. And while I still hold the sentiments expressed earlier, I will be breaking down each of the new pieces on their own merits. I’ve already taken a closer look at the platinum Daytona (why oh why couldn’t they have made something accessible to more Rolex fans?!), now let’s see the GMT-Master II with ceramic bezel.
The new Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II is presented in a 40mm 904L steel case, with a rotatable bezel featuring for the first time a two-colour ceramic Cerachrom bezel insert in blue and black representing day and night. Price will be just under $9,000.
The ceramic bezel (Rolex’s trademarked term is Cerachrom) is certainly an achievement — the ceramic component with two distinct colors is actually produced as a single piece of ceramic. So while it echoes the traditional two-colour bezel of the original GMT-Master and GMT-Master II models, this is a very high-tech bezel.The Cerachrom insert was first introduced in 2005. It is virtually scratchproof, highly corrosion resistant, and its color is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. One thing I recently learned is that the engraved 24-hour graduations are coated with a thin layer of platinum via a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process.
And there you have it. Rolex fans, rejoice.
by Kyle Stults on April 25, 2013
For the first time, the Rolex Daytona is cased in platinum. Diameter is 40mm. It will carry Reference number 116506 and be powered by Rolex caliber 4130. The watch has a bezel of Cerachrom, brown color, and a blue glacier dial. This is the “celebration” piece for 50 years of the Daytona. It looks nice but I think Rolex missed a real opportunity to celebrate such a milestone: the 50th Anniversary Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Reference 116506 will have a retail price of $75,000 when it hits stores later this year. In other words, unless you are at the extreme right tail of the Bell Curve, you may step down now.
I’m not a Rolex guy, so if you are please drop a comment let me know what you think.
And on the wonderful 50th anniversary of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, Rolex fans are treated to….*ZIP* *ZILCH* *NADA*! Well, I guess there is a Cosmograph Daytona in platinum case and a Cerachrome ceramic bezel. But the real story here is that 2013 for Rolex it looks to be all about….wait for it…COLOR! Yes, Master Watchmakers at Rolex have labored over this color and that, skillfully introducing a variety of smooth colors into existing Rolex models. Clearly they have put Photoshop to the task this past year, pushing the limits of the color matching tool like never before. Innovation at its finest.
Click through to see the 2013 Rolex Collection
Your 110% Unscientific Year-in-Review…
As I have done in prior years, a casual look at some of our articles that “went viral” during the year. All in good fun people! (those of you TV dinner eaters gettin’ bent out of shape in the comments — may I recommend you ring in the New Year with a bottle of Krug1996 Clos d’Ambonnay, it will surely brighten your spirits.)
I wish a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2013 to you all!
The Most Popular Watches on Perpetuelle During 2012
WINNER: The Rolex Deepsea Challenge
picture: Explorer James Cameron after successful voyage to deepest known point in the ocean
1996 Clos d’Ambonnay
“All Black” watches became quite popular starting a few years back, and although the brands themselves have mostly backed off the trend, the custom aftermarket modders seem to be still quite busy meeting the demands of consumers in the marketplace. I’ve written about several of the major modders at least once over the years — starting with my original article Black Watches – Bamford & Sons and Black-Out concept Fill a Niche and moving on to some of their soooo cool creations such as the Black-Out Concept Panerai Submersible, Pro-Hunter Maxi Dial Submariner Date, Project X Designs Blacked Out Rolex Explorer II Orange. Note that the business here is not just making these watches black, but also adding phenomenal color accents on the dials, etc. It is a competitive business, for sure, and each company has their own unique way of doing things in order to sell their services, but as I have never used their services I am not partial to any one (so please no asinine comments from any of the co’s I just graciously mentioned above).
Anyway, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve written about any of this, but out of curiosity I recently jumped on the Black-Out Concept website and I discovered awesomeness — BOC now has a “Simulator” feature which allows you to create your own custom watch. It is pretty damn cool and as such I wanted to give a quick run down.
First you select the watch you would like to customize — at present the list consists of Rolex Daytona, Deepsea, Submariner, GMT Master II, Yacht Master, Milgauss GV and Audemars Piguet Kasparov:
After selecting your watch, you are then able to customize the watch. And WOW can you customize! For example, for the Rolex Deepsea there are over 20 different components of the watch (mostly on the dial) that you can change to a variety of colors. Even a custom engraving on the caseback!
Basically each and every component of the watch can be set to the whims of your imagination using the Black-Out Concept Simulator! The possibilities are virtually endless, and you can spend hours playing with various color combinations (guilty!)!. If you decide you want to purchase the watch, you must submit your design and email and Black-Out Concept promises to contact you in order to quote a price and finalize your order. The Simulator does appear to be in “beta” (test) mode, but even so I found it to be quite fun to dream up my own custom Rolex:
What a great service these guys offer, and this Simulator is a really cool idea. Although the Simulator only offers Rolex (and the one AP), BOC has and will customize any watch you want — like the custom black Panerai Submersibles that I featured last year.
You can check it all out at http://www.blackoutconcept.com
by Kyle Stults on September 15, 2012
Breitlingsource.com recently posted a review of the Rolex DeepSea watch which was introduced in 2008. It is a nice top-to-bottom on the watch for the casual Rolex or watch enthusiast. If you are well versed on Rolex it might not be as exciting for you, unless you want to debate with his opinions on the watch. Nelson’s been doing watch reviews for quite a few years now and I always look forward them.
I haven’t written much about the DeepSea here at Perpetuelle, though I did publish a fantastic hands-on report about the bubble-domed Rolex Deep Sea Special from 1960 and I’ve also covered extensively the newest member of the Rolex Deep Sea family, the 2012 Rolex Deepsea Challenge.
The Rolex Deepsea Challenge, water resistance rated to 12,000 meters, is the watch that famous movie producer and now explorer James Cameron took to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the deepest known point on Earth, earlier this year — I posted live pics from this event, too. A specifications comparison of all three watches is at the very bottom.
Rolex DeepSea Sea-Dweller Dive Watch Review (2008)
Rolex Deep Sea Special (1960)
Rolex Deepsea Challenge (2012)
Though I have often stated I am a big Rolex enthusiast, these particular pieces and the extreme depths to which they were taken — as well as the people that went with them and their stories — have always enamored me. I find the “Deep Sea Family” to be the most interesting Rolex timepieces, period.
Today I read with great fascination and admiration this review and discussion of a super rare NATO strap — the original NATO strap issued with the Rolex Milsub watches. Perpetuelle readers know I am not big into the Rolex game, but when it comes to rarity and uniqueness I don’t discriminate — so simple, yet so awesome — this is something to be appreciated. Check it out over at the 100PERCENT-Rolex blog!
pics from 100PERCENT-Rolex
by Kyle Stults on August 20, 2012
Supported by 200,000 Facebook fans and small banner ads on many blogs, Los Angeles-based Melrose.com boasts that it is the “USA’s No. 1 online retailer of luxury wristwatches” — primarily Rolex. Rolex itself is the most valuable and most widely sold watch brand in the world. Rolex also holds another, though far less desirable title: one of the most counterfeited luxury brands in the world. As such Rolex is also known for aggressively protecting its trademark in the court of law, filing more than 280 infringement lawsuits over the last several decades. Unfortunately this effort has proven to be nothing more than a never-ending game of Whac-A-Mole, but that’s no reason to stop defending one of the most valuable marks in the world. And Rolex has again done just that, bringing suit against Melrose.com in what is sure to be a high stakes showdown.
I am far, far from an expert on vintage Rolex, in fact the brand is usually of minimal interest to me. But I do enjoy following guys who get around the vintage Rolex world such as Philipp of Rolex Passion Report (the vintage Rolex Man, and also behind the Rolex Hillary-Tenzing Explorer Series) and more recently Boris of Watchesandart who blogs about general vintage including Rolex. Boris recently shared an excellent look at a Rolex Daytona Reference 6263 from 1970s with rare Sigma dial (white gold indexes) – get more details on the piece at Watchesandart blog. A beautiful watch.
Rolex Daytona Reference 6263 Sigma Dial
Though I am quite certain that this is not the extent of his collection, here is a short video interview of Roger Federer discussing three of his Rolex watches — a Day-Date, a 1981 (Federer’s birth year) vintage Rolex Daytona in stainless steel (do I see some a bit of trop dial?), and a Datejust with fluted bezel. Roger notes that many of his watches are engraved to mark special occasions (such as wins of majors). Interestingly, he also mentions that he sometimes practices while wearing the Day-Date. The interview is conducted by Vijay Amritraj, who along with his brothers Anand and Ashok were among the first Indians to play in top-flight international tour tennis.
Roger Federer’s Rolex Watch Collection (Video)
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