If the name Rolex doesn’t immediately bring to mind the sublime and traditional craft of gem – setting, four glittering new timepieces are likely to change all that – there versions of the Day – Date 36 and one Lady Datejust.
Rolex’s expertise, honed over more than a century, at creating some of the world’s most accurate, reliable and robust mechanical watches needs no repetition. What is, perhaps, less well – known are the brand’s abilities in what is arguably a more artistic and craft – oriented aspect of watch – making – that of gem – setting.
And this year, Rolex unveiled a quartet of gem – studded timepieces, each hand – set with a dazzling assemblage of brilliant – cut diamonds on the cases, dials, bracelets and clasps, that bear full testimony to those skills.
Comprising three versions of the Oyster Perpetual Day – Date 36, in a size that’s equally wearable by men or women, and a single 28mm Oyster Perpetual Lady Datejust, these watches are as much as fabulous pieces of jewellery as superbly accurate timepieces.
Yet at the heart of each one lies a self – winding, Superlative Chronometer – rated calibre that’s as reliable and technically advanced as the movement to withstand some of the most extreme conditions on the planet.
The trio of Day – Date 36 variants – one in a case of yellow gold, one in white gold and one in Rolex’s proprietary pink Everose – are each set with 202 brilliant – cut diamonds in the middle case that weight about 2.01 carats, 52 brilliant – cut diamonds weighing 0.51 carats on the lugs, a further 52 brilliant – cut diamonds on the bezel weighing 1.3, a white – gold – dial pave of 450 diamonds, and 61 brilliant – cut diamonds on the gold clasp that weigh 0.41 carats.
The yellow – gold version features a coral alligator – leather strap with matching enamelled indexes and Roman numerals; the model in white gold comes on a turquoise alligator strap with matching indexes and numerals; and , likewise, the Everose version features burgundy – enamel indez and numerals that are perfectly matched with its alligator strap. All straps features a three – dimensional Rolex crown on the clasp.
With central hour, minute and second hands, a day display at 12 o’clock and a Cyclops date window at 3, all are powered by the Calibre 3255, which is equipped with a blue para chrome hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers, offers -2/+2 second accuracy per day and beats at 4Hz for reserve of 70 hours.
Glittering with diamonds on every visible surface, the gem – set Lady Datejust comes in a 28 mm yellow – gold case with a matching three – link President bracelet.
Indeed, this sparkling and supremely feminine timepiece is set with more than 1,000 tiny stones:
158 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing about 1.43 carats in the case dial and lugs, 44 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing 0.86 carats on the bezel, a 291-diamond pavé on the yellow-gold dial and, on the bracelet, which is attached with a concealed folding Crownclasp, 596 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing 5.25 carats.
The yellow-gold Roman-numeral hour markers are coated in black PVD and the Cyclops date window is placed at 3 o’clock.
Superlative Chronometer certification naturally comes as part of the package: the calibre 2236, which is fitted with a patented Syloxi silicon hairspring, provides daily -2/+2 second accuracy and beats at 4Hz for a 55-hour reserve.
Stunning in every respect, these four timepieces not only mark the point at which traditional craftsmanship and ultimate technology intersect. They also underline the breadth and depth of Rolex’s mastery in every aspect of watchmaking.