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.

WHY I BOUGHT: The 2017 Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 126600

Andy Zhang is among Australia’s most high-profile collectors — and highly active on social media. His pieces tend to inhabit the top end of town, and statements such as “I thought I’d wear Richard Mille for life” should not surprise. There are some horological heavyweights appearing on his Instagram account, daily. Which was where we noticed the 2017 Sea-Dweller. Andy explains how and why he’s fallen under the spell of a watch he initially thought was “average”. When did you first see the 2017 Sea-Dweller in the metal? I first saw it in Sydney on the wrist of a friend. It looked average. I though it was just a bigger Submariner. But when we went out of the restaurant and the sun hit it, I noticed the dial. What about the dial surprised you? Not just the red line of text, which is most obvious, but it was the matt, almost tropical dial. It’s apparently technically a gloss dial, but if you look at it in contrast to my Patek Pilot’s dial, it’s the same finish. It’s not glossy at all. When the sun hits it, it looks grey, not 100% black. Eventually it will look tropical, it’s amazing. The ceramic bezel, it… Read More

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LIST: Fight night – 5 key differences between the new (ref. 122600) and old (ref. 116600) Rolex Sea-Dweller

In case you missed it, here are the five major changes we saw on the Rolex Sea-Dweller reference 122600, when compared to its predecessor — the reference 116600. 1. The ‘Sea-Dweller’ font As Rolex released the new Sea-Dweller to mark the model’s 50th anniversary, they also made a small change to the dial text. A nod to the model’s heritage, we now see the ‘Sea-Dweller’ on the dial in red, whereas it was previously white – just like the other four lines of text. 2. The cyclops The most obvious change to the watch — aesthetically speaking — is the inclusion of a cyclops magnification lens over the date window on the new Sea-Dweller. This is the first time in the history of the Rolex Sea-Dweller that the model has featured a cyclops. It’s a pretty major design change, influencing the overall balance of the watch. The good news is that reading the date just got a whole lot easier. 3. The dial That one line of red text isn’t the only change made to the dial of the new Sea-Dweller, and Rolex actually changed the finishing of the dial paint. Previously a satin finish, the new Sea-Dweller features a shiny gloss finish. It doesn’t… Read More

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HANDS-ON: The Rolex Sea-Dweller (ref. 126600)

In the weeks leading up to Baselworld 2017, the speculation as to what Rolex would be releasing was rife. With astute watch collectors quickly pointing out that 2017 marked 50 years of the Rolex Sea-Dweller, the community braced for an anniversary edition. We all know — and love — that Rolex celebrates iconic anniversaries, and more often than not it’s a sophisticated touch here and there. Think back to the Rolex Submariner (ref 16610LV), where we saw a green bezel, or the more recent Rolex Day-Date 40 (60th anniversary Edition), with a stunning green dial. For all that, they’re instantly recognisable: Rolex are subtle — one of their core strengths is to design and manufacture timeless wristwatches. A Submariner from 1970 looks just as good as a current production Submariner, and that’s because Rolex doesn’t do rapid change. They move to the beat of their own drum. So, when the doors to the fair opened, attendees (myself included) swarmed to the Rolex booth, fighting to get the first glimpse of exactly what this would be. Glistening in the window sat the brand new 50th Anniversary Sea-Dweller. Since that initial exciting glimpse, I’ve managed to spend a bit more time with the new Sea-Dweller reference… Read More

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WHY I BOUGHT: The 2017 Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 126600

Andy Zhang is among Australia’s most high-profile collectors — and highly active on social media. His pieces tend to inhabit the top end of town, and statements such as “I thought I’d wear Richard Mille for life” should not surprise. There are some horological heavyweights appearing on his Instagram account, daily. Which was where we noticed the 2017 Sea-Dweller. Andy explains how and why he’s fallen under the spell of a watch he initially thought was “average”. When did you first see the 2017 Sea-Dweller in the metal? I first saw it in Sydney on the wrist of a friend. It looked average. I though it was just a bigger Submariner. But when we went out of the restaurant and the sun hit it, I noticed the dial. What about the dial surprised you? Not just the red line of text, which is most obvious, but it was the matt, almost tropical dial. It’s apparently technically a gloss dial, but if you look at it in contrast to my Patek Pilot’s dial, it’s the same finish. It’s not glossy at all. When the sun hits it, it looks grey, not 100% black. Eventually it will look tropical, it’s amazing. The ceramic bezel, it… Read More

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INSIGHT: 3 questions about Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona, answered

When I had the opportunity, in Geneva this past summer, to get my hands on the 20th century’s most famous wristwatch and talk about it with the man who will be holding the hammer when the watch is auctioned by Phillips in New York in a few days, my immediate thought was I-love-my-job-I’m-so-lucky. Followed by a few key questions: Would the watch feel more special on the wrist than your typical Cosmo Daytona? Does Aurel Bacs, auctioneer supreme, regard this as anything more than another (likely) record-breaking piece? And, on that note, just why was the pre-sale estimate — “In excess of $1 million” — so low? The importance of provenance When I found out that this watch was entering the market I was intellectually excited but emotionally detached. It’s a watch, right? With a very good story. A watch that loads of collectors would willingly sell their furniture (if not their mother-in-laws) for. But it’s a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona with an exotic dial, Ref 6239, circa 1969. It’s only a watch. That’s how it looked and felt for about the first three seconds after Alex Ghotbi from Phillips handed it to me. Then something took over – the knowledge… Read More

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MY WEEK WITH: The Rolex Cellini Time

When the Rolex Cellini range was relaunched by Rolex in 2014 – including the Cellini Time – the General Manager of Rolex Australia, Patrick Boutellier, chose a line of poetry to announce the news: “The sleeping Prince has been awoken,” he said, or words to that effect, as Felix and I pored over the new range, not quite sure what to think. We were certainly intrigued by these classic, luxurious faces amongst other more colourful offerings, such as the white gold ‘Pepsi’ GMT-Master II and the new Milgauss. The light embroidery of poetry and classicism in Patrick’s description somehow attached itself to the watch in that moment, and the more I’ve learned about it, the more this type of fairytale mystery fits. But how would it wear? What would I wear it with? What else would I learn about this seemingly simple design on the wrist? I found out by wearing it for a week. My first impression was… This is a classic watch, tuned to utter perfection. The Cellini Time represents a design from another time, and as we mentioned in the first video review of the Cellini Date, is often pitched against the three-handed heavyweights, being the Vacheron… Read More

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VIDEO: Step aside Patrimony and Calatrava, the Rolex Cellini Date is here to take you to your next function

The Rolex Cellini range could be described as ‘the Rolex you wear when you don’t want to (be seen to) wear a Rolex’. It is bereft of practically all of the Rolex design codes that make their watches among the easiest in the game to spot at 20 paces. There is no iconic Oyster or Jubilee bracelet to give it away – the Cellini has so far only been released on leather bands – and nor is there a brazenly fluted bezel in glittering precious metal to seal the deal. While the latter forms a part of the watch, it is toned down and offset by a domed bezel. Thanks to its tapered lugs, this Date version, like the Cellini Time, offers one of the thinnest Rolex profiles in the whole catalogue, though its diminutive wrist weight and heft is well and truly compensated for by the machine-engraved guilloché dial which is quite the showstopper in the metal. This model is also one of very few Rolex models in their history to feature an off-centre date dial. The overall effect is of a restrained elegance that simply doesn’t demand that you know its name, or who it’s related to. That’s not to say the Cellini can’t be… Read More

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