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It would be hard to overstate the importance of Rolex in modern horology. Their timeless designs are instantly recognisable, and their technological innovations numerous. Discover more about Rolex than meets the wrist at Time+Tide.

HANDS-ON: Blue heaven – the Rolex Daytona in white gold with blue dial (ref. 116509), plus pics of EVERY new 2016 Daytona

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Two thousand and sixteen will surely go down in the annals of watch-lore as the year of the Daytona. Not only did Rolex finally update their stainless steel icon, but they also unveiled two new precious metal versions. We’ve already looked at the oh-so-shiny green and yellow gold version, and today we hold in our hands the slightly more understated white gold option. The main change here is, of course, the dial. The iridescent blue starburst is called, somewhat unimaginatively, ‘blue’ by Rolex. We were hoping for something more romantic, like ‘ocean depths’ or ‘arctic night’. Regardless of what you call it, the dial is a stunner, and the perfect counterpoint to the high shine of the heavy white gold case, especially with the red highlights on the counters and the ‘Daytona’ text. As far as colour combos go, this one works beautifully – understated and distinctive all at the same time.  Unlike its steel brethren, the bezel on the 116509 hasn’t recieved a ceramic upgrade, and is still polished gold, though the tachy text is in the new radial style. The calibre 4130 ticks away behind the scenes, with superlative accuracy. Of the three different metal versions of the Daytona Rolex… Read More

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INSIGHT: What is the updated Rolex Superlative Chronometer Standard and why does it matter?

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Since 1951, nearly every watch leaving Rolex’s Geneva facility has been a certified Chronometer, and from 1957 onwards, Rolex has been using the term ‘Superlative’ on their dials to describe that their watches don’t just meet Chronometer standards, but exceed them. Design purists might bemoan the resulting text-heavy dials that declare an Oyster to be ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’, but Rolex’s nigh-unimpeachable reputation for quality and accuracy has a lot invested in these words. In fact, in late 2015, the brand quietly updated their Superlative Chronometer Standards to make them even more stringent. Design purists might bemoan the resulting text-heavy dials that declare an Oyster to be ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’, but Rolex’s nigh-unimpeachable reputation for quality and accuracy has a lot invested in these words. If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a steel Daytona or a recent Datejust 41, Rolex guarantee your watch is accurate to -2/+2 seconds per day, after casing. Compare that to the -4/+6 per day for the uncased movement that COSC requires, or the 0/+5 Omega’s Master Certification. Rolex’s continued commitment to testing and accuracy doesn’t just show they recognise the importance of reliability, but that they deem it vital to be more accurate than the competition…. Read More

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HANDS-ON: The Rolex Day-Date 40 with green dial – 6 decades on and still going strong

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It’s no real surprise that Rolex – the world’s most reputable brand – is a class act. For me this was proven when I saw the beautiful new green-dialled Day-Date 40 on the first day of this year’s Baselworld fair. That class factor was cemented when I discovered the watch was available in stores on the very same day of its release. Not many brands could pull off a move that smooth. On the surface, this is a new variant of last year’s Day-Date 40 (a watch we’ve already covered in some depth) with a dial Rolex is calling ‘olive green’. But it’s more than that. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Day-Date’s introduction – six decades over which it’s become synonymous with leadership and success – so this new iteration is something special. It’s available in Everose gold and white gold versions, and we suspect that the wait list will be lengthy. As far as the watch goes, it has all the grace, charm and impeccable pedigree of the regular Day-Date 40. The silky smooth jubilee bracelet, the eternally faceted fluted bezel, 40mm Oyster case and of course the next-generation, Superlative Chronometer certified 3255 movement. And while both metals feel wonderful… Read More

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HANDS-ON: Blue heaven – the Rolex Daytona in white gold with blue dial (ref. 116509), plus pics of EVERY new 2016 Daytona

rolex-daytona-blue-wg-slider

Two thousand and sixteen will surely go down in the annals of watch-lore as the year of the Daytona. Not only did Rolex finally update their stainless steel icon, but they also unveiled two new precious metal versions. We’ve already looked at the oh-so-shiny green and yellow gold version, and today we hold in our hands the slightly more understated white gold option. The main change here is, of course, the dial. The iridescent blue starburst is called, somewhat unimaginatively, ‘blue’ by Rolex. We were hoping for something more romantic, like ‘ocean depths’ or ‘arctic night’. Regardless of what you call it, the dial is a stunner, and the perfect counterpoint to the high shine of the heavy white gold case, especially with the red highlights on the counters and the ‘Daytona’ text. As far as colour combos go, this one works beautifully – understated and distinctive all at the same time.  Unlike its steel brethren, the bezel on the 116509 hasn’t recieved a ceramic upgrade, and is still polished gold, though the tachy text is in the new radial style. The calibre 4130 ticks away behind the scenes, with superlative accuracy. Of the three different metal versions of the Daytona Rolex… Read More

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HANDS-ON: Shades of grey – the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 with dark rhodium dial (ref. 116622)

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This cool, calm and collected new Yacht-Master almost slipped past me. I was too busy falling in love (again) with the gold and chocolate Rolesor Yacht-Master, which was distracting me and dazzling my senses, but then out of the corner of my eye I spotted a flash of almost-iridescent blue, and my curiosity was piqued. I’m so glad it was, because this steel and platinum Yacht-Master with its dark rhodium dial and blue highlights is an absolute stunner, even though it’s a much more restrained affair than its Everose-embellished siblings (in both Rolesor and Oysterflex variants). This is partly down to the dark dial, but it’s also the bi-directional platinum bezel, which might sound weird given the material, but with a predominantly sand-blasted finish, it’s actually far less in-your-face than ceramic. Not that it’s plain, by any stretch. The shimmering dial, polished bezel elements and centre bracelet links mean it pops where it counts, and the overall effect of metallic grey on metallic grey adds up to a truly luxurious watch on the wrist. Then there’s the blue. It’s funny how that single line of text and sweeping second hand – a comparatively small amount of real estate – can have such massive impact… Read More

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HANDS-ON: The most iconic Rolex gets an update – the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41

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There are two main contenders for the title of ‘most recognisable watch in the world’, both of them made by Rolex. Naturally, the Submariner has a good shot at the title, but for me, the clear winner is the Datejust. First introduced in 1945, it includes one of the most useful and ubiquitous complications – a date window. Like many features we take for granted on a watch today, this date represented a Rolex first, in that rather than slowly transitioning over a few hours, the Datejust’s date jumped instantly at the stroke of midnight. Even though the model has been around for over 60 years now, the fundamentals haven’t changed much. Three hands, Oyster case, automatic movement and of course the date (with Cyclops). We saw its first leap to the 40mm+ club in 2009, with the bulked up, 41mm Datejust II. But it wasn’t just the diameter of this watch that had increased, it was broader all over: bezel, indices and lugs all felt super-sized. And while the masculine look had its fans, it lacked the elegant proportions of the classic version. Enter this year’s Datejust 41, released at Baselworld in a swathe of yellow and Everose Rolesor models, with options including fluted and… Read More

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HANDS-ON: Everlasting lustre – the Rolex Daytona in yellow gold with green dial (ref. 116508)

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Though the devastatingly cool new steel Daytona is the Rolex chronograph de jour, this year the brand also released new variations of their classic chrono in white and yellow gold. Today, we’re having a look at the reference 116508, in 18 carat yellow gold with a new green dial – a colour combination that no Aussie can resist. The reference 116508 is the same 40mm Oyster case, powered by the calibre 4130, accurate to within -2/+2 a day. Indeed, the only difference between this reference and earlier models is the dial. But what a dial. Yellow gold versions of the Daytona are most commonly seen with black or champagne dials – the green is stunning in its sheen and richness. Of course, green is a special colour for Rolex, but in this instance it’s a green not like the bright tones of the green Submariner or the mossy green of the new Day-Date 40. It’s a rich colour, somewhere between pine trees and British racing green, finished in a starburst technique that at once complements and contrasts with the case – to stunning effect. Of course, it’s a solid-gold Rolex, so it’s not exactly the most unassuming of timepieces. But then again why… Read More

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