We will not be the first watch buffs, nor the last, to wonder why Rolex just doesn’t feel compelled to make high-complication timepieces. After all, given its fully verticalised in-house production facilities that can conceive mechanically advanced movement components – ranging from the state-of-the-art Chronergy escapement to the Parachrom hairspring – surely Rolex could have created some insane tourbillons or perpetual calendars that would’ve easily left other brands in the dust?
But no. For reasons best known to Rolex itself, the world’s largest watch brand has almost exclusively only focused on rolling out innovations and wristwatches that improve the basics principles of timekeeping – precision, robustness, and energy efficiency. And in this steadfast journey, Rolex has produced the most beloved and coveted horological icons of our time.
Creations like the distinguished Datejust, the prestigious DayDate and anti-magnetic Milgauss exemplify Rolex’s functionality first ethos at its best. Even the likes of the Cosmograph Daytona, GMT-Master II, Submariner, and Sea-Dweller, all of which boast complications ranging from chronograph to two-time zone to extreme underwater functionalities, are built with tool watch inspired practicality in mind, never wavering from the goal of delivering optimum timekeeping performance in its purest forms.
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June / July 2020