Watch Gang Membership Service Giving Away a Rolex Every Week

Watch Gang Membership Service (photo: Watch Gang)
Watch Gang is a membership service based in Los Angeles, California, that sends its subscribers a new watch once a month. A relatively new venture, beginning in September of 2016, the company has created a network of watch collectors that includes celebrities like Jamie Foxx and a Facebook group that has reached over 10,000 members.

The service offers three tiers of membership, varying in price and wristwatch value. Starting at $25 per month, you can become a Watch Gang Watch of the Month Member and receive a microbrand wristwatch with a Japanese movement in stainless steel and leather valued between $50 and $150. Starting at $91 per month, you can become a Watch Gang Black member and receive a premium microbrand watch with a mechanical or Swiss quartz movement valued between $150 and $500. The highest tier of membership is the Platinum level, starting at $275 per month for watches from well known brands and microbrands worth between $500 and $1500.

In a weekly giveaway sponsored by Beckertime, the company gives away a Rolex to a randomly selected member every Friday. This is advantageous for those who aren’t at an income level that justifies a Rolex purchase yet, but it also removes one of the most important aspects of collecting watches: the curation of your own collection. There is a network for members to trade watches with, but the idea of creating a watch collection based on random selection goes against the grain of what it means to be a watch geek.

Visit watchgang.com to learn more about their service. The company has just announced that it will partner with a new watch brand every month. While their service may not satisfy a hardcore watch geek, it is a good way to make a minimal investment in watches and have a new wristwatch every month to show for it. If you’re lucky, it could even be a Rolex.

White Gold Rolex Submariner Prototype Becomes World's Most Expensive Sub

White Gold Rolex Submariner Prototype (photo" Christie's)
The Rolex Afternoon portion of Christie’s latest watch auction took place in Geneva, Switzerland just hours ago and produced sales records for their collection of vintage Rolex timepieces. One of their record breaking watches was the White Gold Rolex Submariner Prototype from the 1970s. This unique dive watch stood out for its bezel, material and condition.

The rarity of this prototype certainly played a role in helping it earn the auction house over 631,500 Swiss francs, the second highest Rolex sale this afternoon behind the Green Khanjar Daytona Reference 6263 that brought in 727,500 Swiss francs. The biggest wristwatch sale of the auction was a Patek Philippe Haile Selassie Reference 2497, which went for 2,911,500 Swiss francs, more than triple its estimated value.

Hodinkee covered the auction results in their latest blog post, commenting on the strange circumstance of this and other rare Rolex models bringing in record amounts this weekend. This Prototype model certainly deviates from what watch enthusiasts would consider the most classic staples of the Submariner model. But it seems that collectors are beginning to favor these deviations over adherence to brand standards.

There are many examples of unique vintage Rolex watches that look nothing like contemporary Rolex model configurations. In a previous post, I presented five of the rarest Rolex models in the world, none of which look like their popular counterparts. Many of them, like the White Gold Prototype, never even went into production. However, the results of recent vintage watch auctions like Christie’s A Rolex Afternoon prove that scarcity and singularity are the ultimate luxury.

White Gold Rolex Submariner Prototype Reference 1680

Rolex’s Submariner model has remained relatively unchanged over the years since its introduction, making prototype models like the Reference 1680 stand out amongst other vintage Subs. The White Gold Prototype below is one of three manufactured by the watchmaker in the early 1970s. It is up for auction this Monday, May 15th at Christie’s Rare Watches and a Rolex Afternoon in Geneva, just one day after the Phillip’s auction taking place over the weekend.
White Gold Submariner Prototype From the Early 1970s (photo: Christie's)
This reference was the first Submariner to be produced in a precious metal and the first to feature a date function. However, it was only offered in yellow gold and stainless steel, making this prototype even more rare. This lot features a blue dial that is known as a ‘nipple dial’ because of the shape of the hour markers. Its graduated bezel is unique in that it is only serrated in two places, with the rest of the bezel smooth.
White Gold Rolex Submariner Prototype Reference 1680 (photo: Christie's)
The white gold Oyster case of this Submariner measures 40mm in diameter and houses an automatic 1570 movement with 26 jewels. It is fitted with an 18k white gold President bracelet, adding to the sophistication of this vintage timepiece. An interesting element of this particular watch is that it has no serial number as it was not manufactured for sale. Its uniqueness comes at a price, with the estimate for this lot set between $250,000 to $500,000 US.

Visit christies.com to check out all of the vintage watches that will be available during the Rolex Afternoon portion of their Geneva auction. Check out the Rolex Models section for info on other vintage Rolex watches.

Rolex Reference 6241 John Player Special Paul Newman Daytona

Phillip's Geneva Watch Auction: Five will take place this weekend in Switzerland, allowing vintage watch collectors the chance to bid on rare luxury timepieces, like the Rolex Reference 6241. An ultra-rare Cosmograph Daytona, this 14K yellow gold Paul Newman was retailed by Tiffany & Co. in the US and bares the name of the retailer on the dial, below the word Cosmograph. The legacy of this timepiece also includes that of cigarette manufacturer and Formula One sponsor John Player & Sons.
Rolex Reference 6241 John Player Special Paul Newman Daytona
In 1972, John Player & Sons sponsored the Lotus Formula One team and the company’s colors, black and gold, were featured on the automobile along with the its logo. The race car became iconic and its name has become tied to the Reference 6241, which was produced years earlier in the late 1960s.

Less than 300 of this reference were released, most cased in 18k yellow gold. The 14k gold version is even more rare, adding to the value of the current lot. It is estimated to go for anywhere between $396,000 to $793,000 US at auction due to the remarkable condition it is in. The black dial features design elements that are unique to Paul Newman Daytonas from the era. The subtle yet prominent addition of the Tiffany & Co. to this already storied watch only adds to its prestige.

Rolex Reference 6241 John Player Special Paul Newman Daytona Side View
The case of this John Player Special Paul Newman measures 37.5mm in diameter and houses a manual Calibre 722-1 movement with 17 jewels. It is equipped with a black leather strap that features a 14k yellow gold Rolex buckle. For more information on this and every other Rolex being auctioned by Phillips in Geneva this weekend, visit phillips.com.

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The Ultimate Swiss Made Rubber Strap for Rolex

There are many ways to change up your Rolex watch configuration. Swapping out the Oyster bracelet for a nylon NATO strap or leather watchband has been a common practice since the days that Roger Moore played James Bond. Most recently, though, innovations in luxury watchmaking have brought a new material into the fold. Vulcanized rubber straps offer comfort and versatility that is unmatched compared to watchbands made from other materials. Rolex has gotten in on the action, now offering Yacht-Master and Daytona models on their Oysterflex elastomer bracelet

Rubber B Couture Series Strap for Rolex Daytona (photo: rubberb.com)
Vulcanization is the process of converting pure rubber into a more durable material with the addition of sulfides to form bridges between individual polymer chains. This allows manufacturers to manipulate the material for different uses, in this case to create watchbands. One of the benefits of this durable material is its resistance to tears, fading and deformation. The process is monitored by the FDA so that all products using vulcanized rubber are nontoxic and hypoallergenic.

In 2010, Rubber B became the first company to manufacture vulcanized rubber straps designed for Rolex watch models. The American company is still the leader of this industry and the only one that manufactures 100% of its straps in Switzerland. Dealers across Asia, America, Africa and Europe carry their straps, which are also available for purchase directly through their e-boutique. Another thing that sets them apart from other rubber strap manufacturers is the amount of wristwatch models they offer micro-calibrated straps for, with a variety of styles and closure options available for each individual model.

The process of micro-calibration ensures that each strap fits the watch it is designed for precisely, without any gaps or motion between the strap and the watch case. The strap fills the width between the lugs and also the height of the case, achieving full integration with a rubber strap configuration. In terms of closures, Rubber B offers three options for most Rolex models. The straps from their Classic Series incorporate the Rolex deployant clasp, their tang buckle straps come with a 316l stainless steel buckle and the straps from their latest series feature a Velcro closure.

Rubber B Strap for Rolex Deepsea with Deployant Clasp (photo: rubberb.com)
The Rolex Deepsea above is fitted with their Classic Series strap in black. One of the advantages of this closure option is that you can still use the Glidelock Extension System that comes on the Deepsea's Oysterlock clasp. It comes in various sizes based on the amount of links on your Oyster bracelet. This option is ideal for anyone that uses the extension for diving and is looking for a perfect fit. The incorporation of the deployant clasp also adds an element of comfort and customization to this strap.

Rubber B Tang Buckle Strap for Rolex Deepsea (photo: rubberb.com)
The photo above shows the Deepsea fitted with a VulChromatic strap from the Tang Buckle Series. The VulChromatic collection features a colored stripe down the black strap that is precision-molded onto the host rubber without glues or bonding. The blue design element picks up the color of the gradient dial on the D-Blue Deepsea configuration. They also offer one with a lime green stripe that picks up the green lettering of the model name on the D-Blue. This series of straps comes in a universal fit for wrist sizes ranging from 5.5 - 8.25 inches. They also come in several solid colors, like Arctic White, Pacific Blue, Red Devil and Mandarin Orange.

Rubber B Velcro Strap for Rolex Submariner (photo: rubberb.com)
Their latest innovation is a Velcro closure option, shown above on the Submariner. They are hand-sewn with Gore-Tenara stitching, a material that offers resistance to UV rays and invasive elements of daily wear. A titanium insert lines the attachment loop to secure the closure. This option comes in various sizes, with a sizing guide to find the right size for your wrist on their website. These straps have the same luxury aesthetic as the other straps, but with the comfort and ease of a velcro closure. They are currently available for most of Rolex's professional models.


The video embedded above shows their strap for the Rolex Sky-Dweller. It incorporates the deployant clasp and features a combination of black and red that compliments the model's aesthetic. The design of Rubber B straps is another aspect that makes them industry leaders when it comes to high-end vulcanized rubber straps. Their collections are curated based on the design of each wristwatch model, with an attention to detail that is on par with that of the top luxury watchmakers in Europe.

Rubber B straps are the choice of celebrities like Eric Clapton and athletes that spend time wearing their wristwatches outdoors and underwater. Professional reviews of their straps can be found on prominent horology blogs, including Jake's Rolex World, A Blog to Watch and Minus 4 Plus 6. Customers often post about their experiences with their straps on Rolex Forums and the company's Facebook Page.

In addition to the models shown above, they offer straps for the stainless steel Daytona 116500LN and other popular Rolex watches, including midsize models like the 34mm Datejust. They have a line for Tudor watches that is coming soon, plus straps for Panerai and Patek Philippe that are available now. They also have a line of leather straps that are fused onto a rubber base and designed to fit any watch based on lug spacing. Visit rubberb.com to browse their entire collection.

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