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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Rolex Adds User Guides to Their Official Website

2017 Rolex Sky-Dweller User Guide (photo: Rolex)
Rolex isn't a brand that is known for overly complicated watches. They have only a few models that require some know-how to set the different functions and for those models they have added a User Guides section to their official website. If you own a Yacht-Master II, Sky-Dweller or the new Cellini Moonphase, you may benefit from checking it out.

The animated guides bring the user manual to life, with step-by-step instructions to walk you through the different settings. The Sky-Dweller presents the most complications, with setting instructions for the Reference Time, Local Time and Month and Date. The guide also lets the Cellini Moonphase owner know the correct position of the moon and how to get their timepiece to display it properly. Setting instructions for the Yacht-Master II's Regatta Timer are also presented for before and after the Regatta begins.

The User Guides section appears after the watchmaker has made several adjustments to their website. The latest updates seem to favor Rolex watch owners and potential customers. They added pricing to many of their more modestly-priced configurations just before Baselworld 2017 and have also been adding content tailored toward women, like the recent Every Rolex Tells a Story entry by Sylvia Earle. Although they do not sell timepieces through e-commerce on the site, it is the watchmaker's direct link to their target market.

Visit rolex.com to check out the latest updates and links to their social media accounts. While you are not able to order a wristwatch directly from them, they do have a store locator function that will guide you to the nearest Authorized Dealer. There is also information on where to service your Rolex and how to maintain it when it's at home.

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Yellow Gold Rolex Reference 6098 Honeycomb Star Dial

Yellow Gold Rolex Reference 6098 Honeycomb Star Dial
Only eight examples of the yellow gold Rolex Reference 6098 shown above with a silvered honeycomb star dial are known to exist. Introduced in the 1950s, this simple dress watch does nothing but display the time on an elegant dial decorated with star and dagger hour markers. This timepiece will be up for auction at Christie's Rare Watches and a Rolex Afternoon auction to be held on May 15th in Geneva, Switzerland.

The rarity of the star indexes is bolstered by a double-signed case back and copper-colored gilt movement that add to the uniqueness of this vintage Rolex. The Calibre A 260 10 1/2 automatic movement features 25 jewels. The Oyster case measures 35mm in diameter and the overall bracelet length is 190mm. It is fitted with an 18k gold Jubilee bracelet and deployant clasp stamped 4/51 or 57. The estimate for this lot is between $80,000 to $120,000 US.

Yellow Gold Rolex Reference 6098 Black Lacquered Star Dial
A Reference 6098 was part of a previous Christie's auction, shown above with a black lacquered dial and leather strap. The estimate for this lot was between $110,000 and $160,000, slightly more than the current lot due to its rarity and condition. The star indexes seen on these models are more commonly associated with the "Stelline" Rolex Reference 6062, which features a full calendar and moon phases. The Honeycomb Silvered Star Dial 6098 is the only vintage Rolex model with star indexes that is part of this upcoming auction.

For more information on this reference and the other timepieces that will be up for auction during the Rolex Afternoon portion of the Christie's auction in Geneva this month, visit christies.com.

Vintage Rolex Reference 8382 With Neptune Cloisonné Dial

Vintage Rolex Reference 8382 Neptune Cloisonné Enamel Dial (photo: Phillips)
Fans of Roman mythology and vintage watches will be happy to see another Rolex featuring a cloisonné of Neptune enameled on the dial. The yellow gold Rolex above (Reference #8382) will be available at Phillips' The Geneva Watch Auction Five taking place on May 13-14, 2017 in Switzerland. If the dial looks familiar to you, it's because this isn't the first time the auction house will offer a gold Rolex with Neptune enameled on the dial.

The current lot features a circular 37mm 18k yellow gold case fitted with a manual calibre E80'568 with 19 jewels. It comes on an alligator leather strap with a yellow gold Rolex pin buckle. On this reference, the cloisonné enamel is set inside a circular ring of gold where the gold indexes are placed.  It also features the company name in black inside the enamel just below the gold crown at 12 o'clock.

Vintage Rolex Reference 4645 Neptune Non-Oyster (photo: Phillips)
Both dials were executed by Mrs. Nelly Richard for Stern Frères. The labor-intensive enameling process includes outlining the figures with gold wire, applying the enamel to different regions and firing in a kiln to intensify the colors and lighting effects. Though they look nearly identical, there are subtle differences between the two Neptune depictions above. You can see the differences on the lower right, with the legs and manes of the the horses varying slightly in position. The position of the waves also vary a bit between the two.

At the Phillips Rolex Milestones auction in Hong Kong last year, the Reference 4645 above sold for over $750,000 US. This piece features a square, non-Oyster dial, making it even more rare than the 8382. The estimate for the current lot is between 300,000 and 600,000 Swiss francs. For more information on the Geneva auction, visit phillips.com.

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2017 Gold Day-Date 40 with White Lacquered Dial

2017 Yellow Gold Day-Date 40 with White Lacquered Dial
While the world is focused on the model configurations that received the most attention at the Rolex stand at Baselworld 2017, there are several other models that received slight alterations that make for exciting updates. The watchmaker has added a Golfing Watches Selection to their official website featuring Day-Date 40 configurations in Everose gold, white gold, yellow gold and platinum. The gold versions now come with the option of a white lacquered dial, seen on the yellow gold Day-Date 40 above (Reference #228238).

This clean and clear dial is the perfect backdrop for yellow gold roman numeral hour markers. With the day and date apertures also in white, the dial has a uniform color that looks wonderfully balanced. The white gold Day-Date below (Reference #228239) creates a cool configuration that is ideal for those who want a classically elegant dress watch but don't like the look of yellow gold. It is the dress watch with the most modern aesthetic offered by the watchmaker this model year, even with the classical design features that are characteristic of this model.
2017 White Gold Rolex Day-Date 40 with White Lacquered Dial
The white lacquered dial is also available on the Everose gold Day-Date 40 (Reference #228235) shown below, rounding out the gold models. It is not available on the platinum configuration, however. That model is available with the Ice Blue dial seen on their platinum models. There is also a platinum Day-Date 40 that features roman numeral hour markers with a silver dial textured with a quadrant motif.

A white dial makes the classic Rolex President's watch look modern without sacrificing its sophistication. The light backdrop makes the display very legible, especially on the rose gold version. The contrast also makes the day more distinguishable at a glance as it doesn't blend it with the dial color. Considering that this timepiece is designed to tell only the date and time, it seems rather important that those functions are displayed as clearly as possible.

2017 Everose Gold Rolex Day-Date 40 with White Lacquered Dial
You don't have to be a golfer to appreciate the selection of watches Rolex chose for this featured selection. Visit rolex.com to see all of the Day-Date 40 configurations selected, including those featuring the white lacquered dial shown above. To check out the rest of the model configurations updated in 2017, take a look at my comprehensive guide here.

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Vintage Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 With Explorer Underline Dial


Vintage Rolex Submariner "Explorer Underline" (Reference #5513)
For those unfamiliar with vintage Rolex watches, the model shown above may look a little confusing. A Submariner with Arabic numerals? Combining characteristics of two popular Rolex professional watches, the vintage Submariner Reference 5513 features a graduated bezel with a dial display reminiscent of the Explorer model. This rare configuration will be auctioned by Christie's in Geneva, Switzerland on May 15th, 2017 as part of their 'Rare Watches and a Rolex Afternoon' auction. 

This rare stainless steel Sub was introduced around 1963 and features a tropical dial with an underline below the model name, just above 6 o'clock. The rationale behind adding a small underline on the dial has never been confirmed by the watchmaker. But regardless of its purpose, the rarity of such a dial configuration, including the Arabic numerals at 3,6, and 9, gives this vintage model an estimated value of $120,000 - $200,000 USD.

Vintage Rolex Submariner "Explorer Underline" (Reference #5513) Close Up
It features a screw-back steel case that measures 35mm in diameter, with pointed crown guards and a riveted Oyster bracelet in stainless steel. Its 60-minute graduated scale is imprinted on the black bezel, as is characteristic of Submariner models. The Mercedes-shaped hour hand and markers have aged to a tan color that compliments the tropical dial coloring. This wristwatch features a depth rating of 200 meters and is powered by a Calibre 1030 with 26 jewels. 

While legacy and rarity certainly play an important role in the value of this vintage Rolex, its unique aesthetic should not be overlooked. The Explorer model is loved by watch enthusiasts with minimalist design preferences and the symmetrical dial of this Submariner configuration speaks to those tastes while offering the functionality of a diver's watch. Check out all of the wristwatch models up for auction in Geneva next month by visiting christies.com

Introducing a Comprehensive Guide to Rolex 2017 Watch Models


After much anticipation and speculation about what Rolex would present at Baselworld 2017, we can now look back at their new model introductions with a critical eye. There have been mixed reviews about their 2017 model configurations, as is usually the case, but most of the updates have been well-received by enthusiasts. The watchmaker didn't actually introduce any new models this year. Instead, they focused their presentation on new material configurations, mostly in combinations of stainless steel and precious metals.

The 2017 Rolex watch models come at a lower price point than configurations introduced in years past. This comes after the watchmaker made pricing available on their website for their most modestly-priced timepieces. It is clear that they are taking a pragmatic approach to making money while the Swiss watch market has seen years of decline in wristwatch sales. Stainless steel configurations offer the best opportunity for Rolex to take care of their bottom line while sales of precious metal timepieces remain stagnant.

I have posted live photos of the Rolex stand at Baselworld and information about their new model introductions previously. Price guides for the 2017 Sky-Dweller and Daytona configurations are available in the Rolex Shopping Guide section. I have consolidated all of the information coming out of the trade show below for a comprehensive look at the 2017 models including new features and pricing.

2017 White Rolesor Rolex Sky-Dweller

2017 White Rolesor Rolex Sky-Dweller (Reference # 326934)
There weren't too many rumors or predictions about the Sky-Dweller model leading up to Baselworld this year. Rolex's decision to change it up came as a welcomed surprised to enthusiasts around the world. Dealers are already creating waiting lists for the white Rolesor version shown in the photo above. Time will tell if the fervor for this configuration will match that of last year's ceramic Daytona, but for now it is safe to say that the 2017 Sky-Dweller is the runaway hit from the international trade show.

New Features & Options
The 2017 Sky-Dweller model configurations feature the same Calibre 9001 self-winding mechanical movement that the precious metal versions do. Their functionality, therefore, remains the same. However, the display and materials have been modified to make way for a set of two-tone Rolesor configurations. In addition to white Rolesor, there are also yellow gold two-tone versions available with either white, black, blue or champagne dials. The hour markers are now rectangular and the dial color is uniform with the off-center 24-hour disc.

Pricing
I have added pricing for every 2017 Sky-Dweller configuration, including precious metals, in a price guide for easy price comparisons. The white Rolesor version shown in the photo above is the most affordable, priced at $13,700 (suggested retail price in USD, may vary from dealer to dealer around the world).

2017 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona on Oysterflex

2017 Rolex Daytona on Oysterflex (Reference #116518LN)
One of the predictions that was prevalent early this year was the addition of the Oysterflex elastomer bracelet to new model configurations in 2017. My guess was that it would be featured on the 50th Anniversary Sea-Dweller, but as it turns out the precious metal Daytona configurations were the ones to see an Oysterflex configuration this year. The Cerachrom ceramic bezel insert that was added to the stainless steel Daytona last year was also added to the new precious metal versions.

New Features & Options
The Rolex Daytona on Oysterflex is available in yellow gold, white gold or Everose gold. All of the Oysterflex configurations come with the black Cerachrom bezel insert that displays the tachymeter. A gold Oysterlock safety clasp is featured on the elastomer bracelet for security. The Everose version is available with either an ivory, black, chocolate brown or pink dial.

Pricing
I created a pricing guide for every 2017 Daytona model, including the yellow gold Oysterflex configuration shown above, priced at $26,200. With the addition of the rubber watchband, there are now precious metal Daytona models at a more affordable price to the consumer.

2017 Rolex Yacht-Master II

2017 Rolex Yacht-Master II (Rerence #116680)
To say that Rolex introduced a new Yacht-Maser II configuration in 2017 would be a bit of an exaggeration. Like they did to the Explorer model last year, the watchmaker improved the display of the YM2. It is a minimal change that yields maximum results, however. As you can see in the lume photos I posted previously, the Chromalight display has benefited greatly from this tweak and the end user will benefit from it in the end.

New Features & Options
The hands of the previous Yacht-Master II model were swapped our for the Mercedes-shaped hands characteristic of most Rolex professional models. The small, square hour markers were enlarged and the marker at 12 o'clock is now triangular with the 6 o'clock marker rectangular. This allows the wearer to better tell the time in the dark with minimal design changes to the original model. All other features and options remain the same.

Pricing
The good news for consumers is that the minimal changes made to this model come at no additional cost. The pricing for all Yacht-Master II models remain the same, with the stainless steel Yacht-Master II shown retailing for approximately $17,800.

2017 Rolex Sea-Dweller 50th Anniversary Edition

2017 50th Anniversary Rolex Sea-Dweller (Reference #126600)
The most talked-about model prior to Baselworld was certainly the Sea-Dweller. With the 50th anniversary of its introduction celebrated in 2017, it was a no-brainer that there would be a new edition this year. However, the modifications to this model were surprising to most. I compared the new version to the previous model in a post that lists the differences between the configurations in detail. Even though most people wouldn't have predicted the updates, they are welcomed by most, with the exception of those who have issues with the Cyclops magnifying lens.

New Features & Options
The addition of the Cyclops magnifying lens was one of the most surprising new features on the 2017 Sea-Dweller. The Deepsea and Sea-Dweller models have never featured date magnification in previous years. The case was upsized to 43mm, just 1mm smaller than the Deepsea in diameter now. The name is colored in red on the dial in homage to the 1967 introductory model configuration.

Pricing 
The suggested retail price for the 2017 50th Anniversary Sea-Dweller is $10,800. This puts it over $2,000 more expensive than the Submariner Date and about $700 less expensive than the Deepsea.

2017 White Rolesor Rolex Datejust 41

2017 White Rolesor Rolex Datejust 41 (Reference #126334)
The classic Rolex Datejust is now available in a combination of white gold and 904l stainless steel with a case diameter of 41mm. The combination of steel and white gold with a blue dial was a common theme at the Rolex stand, with Sky-Dweller and Oyster Perpetual models also featuring the color combination.

New Features & Options
The Datejust was presented as shown above and also with diamond hour markers and Jubilee bracelets. One of the most important new features on this model is not aesthetic, though. A new Calibre 3235 now gives this model a 70 hour power reserve, increased from 48 hours in previous model years.

Pricing 
The Datejust 41 shown above is priced at approximately $8,900. This is the most varied model, however, so pricing on different configurations varies accordingly.

2017 Stainless Steel Rolex Lady-Datejust 28

2017 Rolex Lady-Datejust 28 (Reference #279160)
According to Vogue magazine, pink is the hottest color amongst Millennials. Rolex isn't in the habit of capitalizing off of watch trends, but their latest Lady-Datejust 28 configuration offers a pink dial at a price that is somewhat affordable to younger consumers. Like the Datejust 41, it is available in 904l stainless steel and white gold as shown in the photo above.

New Features & Options
When it comes to the Datejust, there are more options available than with any other Rolex model. It is also the most varied in terms of case sizing, with cases as small as 28mm and as large as 41mm. It is no longer available in 26mm, though. The only model available in that size is now the stainless steel Oyster Perpetual. The Lady-Datejust 28 benefits from a new generation Calibre 2236 featuring a Syloxi hairspring.

Pricing
The Lady-Datejust 28 in white Rolesor retails for about $6,000. Depending on the configuration, however, the prices go up to $54,300.

2017 Gem-Set Rolex Yacht-Master 40

2017 Gem-Set Rolex Yacht-Master 40 (Reference #116695 SATS)
The gem-set Yacht-Master 40 shown above is the most unique model configuration introduced at Baselworld. It has been met with confusion by enthusiasts and dealers. Some even liken the aesthetic of the rainbow-colored gems that cover the bezel to Candy Crush. While brands like Moschino embrace the likeness of the colorful video game, it seems a bit out of place for Rolex, especially on the rose gold Yacht-Master 40. This configuration is likely designed to appeal to shoppers in Dubai and other areas that embrace diamond and gems on their timepieces.

New Features & Options
The only new feature on this configuration is the addition of the 32 sapphires, 8 tsavorites and triangular diamond onto the bezel of the Yacht-Master model that was originally introduced in 2015.

Pricing
There is no price listed for this configuration in the official price guide provided by the watchmaker. It is not listed on their official website, either. The price is likely available upon request.

2017 Rolex Cellini Moonphase

2017 Rolex Cellini Moonphase (Reference #50535)
The Cellini Moonphase shown above is the pièce de résistance of the 2017 Rolex models. It features a beautiful display that harkens back to the mid-twentieth century. The moonphase indicator is colored in deep blue to contrast with the white dial. The case, hands and markers are made from Everose gold and the strap comes in dark brown alligator leather. It is secured by a gold Cronclasp in 18 ct Everose gold.

New Features & Options
While there is only one option for the new Moonphase, it certainly meets the needs of anyone looking for a classic dress watch with a low profile and vibrant display. The moon appliqué is made using a rhodium-plated meteorite. This makes the pattern of each one unique, as the material used is not found on earth. Another excellent addition to this model is the date displayed around the circumference of the dial and indicated by a light blue date hand.

Pricing
The Cellini Moonphase is priced at $25,500. It is the most expensive of the collection, which is priced in the $15,000 to $20,000 range.


Rolex has added most of these models to their official website at rolex.com, with the exception of the gem-set Yacht-Master 40. You can watch short videos of each model on their YouTube channel and other official social media accounts. While the 2017 models are ready for viewing, they will not hit dealers for purchase before the summer. However, if you are interested in any of the more popular configurations, it would be wise to call your trusted Authorized Dealer and place your name on the list for it. After all, there are still people waiting to get their hands on the ceramic Daytona introduced at Baselworld 2016.

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Every Rolex Tells a Story: Sylvia Earle

Every Rolex Tells a Story: Sylvia Earle (photo: Rolex)
Sylvia Earle is a marine biologist on a mission to save the ocean. She has been exploring the ocean and advocating for its protection for decades. Her Rolex-sponsored global initiative, Mission Blue, works to engage the public to support the protection of Hope Spots around the world. Hope Spots are areas of the ocean that are critical to the health of the ocean.

Rolex recently added Earle to their Every Rolex Tells a Story section. She made her first Rolex purchase after seeing one on a fellow diver while in the Florida Keys. The underwater capability combined with the watch's classic elegance made it ideal for an ocean explorer that also attends formal events. Earle is also supportive of Rolex's involvement with exploration and excellence.

In the TED Talk below, the marine biologist expresses her wish that we protect Earth's blue heart, the ocean. In it she expresses the importance of exploring the Mariana Trench, something that fellow Rolex owner James Cameron did a few years later, taking the Rolex Deepsea Challenge along for the ride. Rolex is also a partner of TED, helping them develop features on their "Surprise Me" app.

Visit rolex.com to check out Sylvia Earle's story and Rolex timepiece. To support Mission Blue with a donation or to learn more about how they are working to protect the ocean, visit mission-blue.org.

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The Enigmatic Introduction of the 2017 Gem-Set Rolex Yacht-Master

2017 Gem-Set Rolex Yacht-Master 40 (photo: Rolex)
Of all the new configurations Rolex introduced at Baselworld 2017, the most colorful was the new gem-set Yacht-Master 40. The bezel is set with 32 sapphires and 8 tsavorites in rainbow colors with a triangular diamond marking 12 o'clock. While this is certainly their brightest showing this year, the configuration is not presented on the watchmaker's official website, social media accounts or official price guide.

Images and brochures for this Yacht-Master 40 (Reference # 116695 SATS) do appear in the company's press kit for Baselworld, however. Many websites, including HODINKEE, have covered it, but have not offered information about pricing and availability. According to the brochure, the only new feature for this reference is the gem-set bezel. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of it or if this is simply a concept design that will be available upon request.

The Oysterflex elastomer bracelet that is featured on the Yacht-Master made a splash at the trade show. It is now available on the 2017 Cosmograph Daytona. The Yacht-Master II had a small but significant upgrade as well, with a display featuring improved luminosity. The watchmaker also introduced new versions of the diamond Pearlmaster 39, now available in white gold. For more information on all of their 2017 model updates, check out my Baselworld 2017 post or my post featuring details on every 2017 Rolex model.

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Sea-Dweller 4000 vs 50th Anniversary Sea-Dweller Model Comparison

Sea-Dweller 4000 vs 50th Anniversary Sea-Dweller Model Comparison
Sea-Dweller 4000 (left) vs  50th Anniversary Sea-Dweller (right)
The arrival of the 50th Anniversary Rolex Sea-Dweller model in 2017 signals a departure from previous model configurations. The model used to share similarities to the Submariner, but now is closer to the Deepsea in case size. However, some aspects of the Sub have made their way onto the Sea-Dweller, giving it an interested cross-section of characteristics from both of Rolex's most popular dive watches.

2017 Sea-Dweller Case Size & Aesthetic Updates

The previous Sea-Dweller 4000 model shared the same 40mm case size as the Submariner. In its new configuration, the case size has been increased to 43mm in diameter, a difference of just 1mm from the 44mm case of the Deepsea. The model name is now colored red, a design element pulled from the original SD model introduced in 1967. Perhaps the most controversial aesthetic update to this model is the addition of the Cyclops magnifying lens over the date aperture at 3 o'clock. Some appreciate the magnification while other find the glare distracting and prefer models without the iconic innovation.

Movement, Power Reserve & Pricing

In its 50th Anniversary edition, the Sea-Dweller is powered by a new-generation Calibre 3235, replacing the Calibre 3135 in the previous model. The new self-winding mechanical movement, manufactured by the watchmaker, increases the power reserve from 48 hours to 70 hours. This reserve is greater than both the current Submariner and Deepsea models. These improvements come at a price, though. The previous SD4K had a suggested retail price of 9,900 Swiss francs while this new configuration (Reference # 126600) has a suggested retail price of 10,800 Swiss francs.

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2017 Rolex Lady-Datejust 28 in Stainless Steel

2017 Rolex Lady-Datejust 28 in Stainless Steel (photo: Rolex)
Stainless steel is the dominant material of Rolex's 2017 new model configurations. The Lady-Datejust 28 is now available in several new 904l stainless steel and white Rolesor configurations with varied dial colors. It features a new generation calibre 2236 self-winding mechanical movement manufactures in-house by Rolex.


One of the characteristics of the 2236 movement is the Syloxi hairspring, a patented innovation using silicon to improve the performance of the oscillator. This helps the Lady-Datejust achieve Superlative Chronometer certification. This model is available on an Oyster and Jubilee bracelet with a concealed Crownclasp.

For more information on this 2017 Rolex model, visit rolex.com. To check out the entire collection of 2017 configurations, click here for live pics from the Rolex stand at Baselworld 2017 and here for professional photos and details.

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2017 Rolex Yacht-Master II Features Improved Chromalight Display

2017 Stainless Steel Rolex Yacht-Master II (photo: Rolex)
The updates made to the Yacht-Master II model in 2017 left some enthusiasts scratching their heads after its re-introduction at Baselworld. The modifications are minimal but ultimately benefit the wearer in the end. The 12 o'clock hour marker was swapped from a small square to a larger triangle. The 6 o'clock marker is now rectangular and the hands were changed to the Mercedes-shaped luminescent hands seen on other models form the Professional collection.

Lume Shot Deepsea (left) and Previous YM2 (right)
In the photo above, the previous Yacht-Master II configuration is shown to the right of the Deepsea. In the dark, the small hour markers and minimally luminescent hands are difficult to distinguish from each-other. The 2017 Yacht-Master II is shown in the lume shot below with the improved display. The hour and minute hands are far more visible now and the hour markers are easier to distinguish from each other with 12 and 6 o'clock in different shapes.

2017 Rolex Yacht-Master II Lume
The changes made to this model echo the ones made to the Explorer last year. It seems that the watchmaker is prioritizing the Chromalight luminescence of their timepieces now more than ever. For more information on the stainless steel Yacht-Master II (Reference # 116680) visit rolex.com. To check out all of their 2017 model configurations, check out my post with live pics from Baselworld 2017.

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2017 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Price Guide

With the addition of the Oysterflex configurations introduced at Baselworld 2017, there are currently 11 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona model configurations to choose from. The suggested retail prices shown in the table below are direct from the watchmaker's price book. However, pricing at Authorized Dealers around the world may vary. Prices shown in USD. 





Pricing for Every 2017 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Model Configuration

Reference Number
Description
Price USD
116500LN
Stainless Steel Daytona Oyster Bracelet
$11,800
116503
Yellow Rolesor Daytona Oyster Bracelet
$16,100
116503
Yellow Rolesor Diamond Daytona Oyster Bracelet
$18,000
116518LN
Yellow Gold Daytona Oysterflex Bracelet
$26,200
116508
Yellow Gold Daytona Oyster Bracelet
$33,100
116519LN
White Gold Daytona Oysterflex Bracelet
$27,400
116509
White Gold Daytona Oyster Bracelet
$35,700
116515LN
Everose Gold Daytona Oysterflex Bracelet
$27,400
116505
Everose Gold Daytona Oyster Bracelet
$35,700
116506
Platinum Daytona Oyster Bracelet
$71,500
116506
Platinum Diamond Daytona Oyster Bracelet
$77,500
For details on the new Daytona model on Oysterflex, click here or visit the Rolex Models page.

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2017 Rolex Sea-Dweller 50th Anniversary Configuration

Rolex introduced a 50th Anniversary edition of the Sea-Dweller model (Reference # 126600) at Baselworld 2017. It features many of the technical innovations the watchmaker has perfected on other models over the years. This configuration also has characteristics of the original Sea-Dweller model introduced in 1967. 

2017 Rolex Sea-Dweller 50th Anniversary (photo: Rolex)
One of the most significant changes made to this model is the case size. The Oyster case of the 2017 Sea-Dweller measures 43mm in diameter. Another notable difference between this and past configurations is the addition of the Cyclops magnifying lens over the date aperture at 3 o'clock. In homage to the original, the model name is colored in red against the black dial. A Triplock winding crown sits between crown guards and seals the case for a depth rating of 1,220 meters.

2017 Rolex Sea-Dweller Side View (photo: Rolex)
The helium escape valve patented by Rolex in 1967 helps this robust diver's watch regulate pressure during the decompression phase of deep sea dives. A black Cerachrom bezel displays the 60-minute graduated scale that allows divers to time their dives. The hands and hour markers feature Chromalight luminescence for visibility in the darkness. Professional divers also benefit from the extension systems that form part of the Oysterlock safety clasp. A Fliplock extension link extends the bracelet by 26mm and the Glidelock extension system allows the wearer to increase the bracelet by 20mm in increments of 2mm.

2017 Rolex Sea-Dweller Lume (photo: Rolex)
The power reserve of 70 hours and functionality of the 2017 Sea-Dweller are carried out by a 3235 self-winding mechanical movement manufactured in-house by Rolex. This caliber features tech innovations like the Chronergy escapement and blue Parachrom hairspring. The suggested retail price for the 50th Anniversary Rolex Sea-Dweller model is $10,800 US. For more information visit rolex.com. To check out all of the new model configurations introduced by the watchmaker at Baselworld 2017, click here.

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