Blog posts tagged "Rolex"

Watchbase – a quick update - 2016/01/13 by Dale Vito


Oris Divers Sixty-Five Carl Brashear Limited Edition
Oris Divers Sixty-Five Carl Brashear Limited Edition

 

Alwin and Dion have been working on some new and exciting features for WatchBase: there is now a share button on each watch and caliber page, there is a ‘report data error’ button and we now have a separate information page for those interested in our data feed.

Arguably the most important new feature is the ‘report data error’ button. It allows you to send me an email directly when spotting an error in our watch and caliber databases. Please use it – it will help me keep our data as precise, up-to-date and exact as possible.

Besides Alwin and Dion’s work, I’ve of course been keeping busy uploading more watches. We now have a great catalogue of H. Moser & Cie watches, including the Swiss Alp Watch and many more. Our Rolex database now has 642 watches in it, including many rare variations the Daytona. And to kick of the day, I just uploaded the stunning Oris Divers Sixty-Five Carl Brashear Limited Edition.


Rolex – current collection now on WatchBase including prices - 2015/12/29 by Dale Vito


Rolex & WatchBase
Rolex & WatchBase

 

Last week I finished uploading the current Rolex collection on Watchbase – the models that are available through their own website that is. Including the vintage watches, our Rolex database currently stands at 504 tall, which will provide a good starting point for feature expansions.

While the entry-level watch is not always that exciting, with Rolex the Oyster Perpetual is actually worth a closer look – especially the striking new ’39’ in either Blue, Red Grape or Dark Rhodium. I will work on adding the infamous Day-Date II soon, but for now it must be said that the newer Day-Date 40 is such a stunner! I’ve uploaded over 20 different configurations but have yet to decide which one is my favorite… My hope for the future is that the smooth bezel will not be platinum-exclusive: doesn’t it looking stunning in rose and yellow gold too, especially with these Oyster bracelets? And psst.. those fancy stone dials fetching big sums in vintage references are still available today!

Last but not least: most watches in our Rolex database are uploaded with their current prices. Have fun browsing and let us know if you spot an error!


BaselWorld 2015 Day 1: Thoughts - 2015/03/18 by Dale Vito


Omega Dark Side of the Moon Collection 2015
Omega Dark Side of the Moon Collection 2015

 

With day 1 of BaselWorld 2015 coming to an end, I think its time for a first recap. Below I’ll be posting some (perhaps random) thoughts on a few of the watches uploaded to the WatchBase database and I’ll try to do this more often – if I can find the time.

The 2015 Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon collection

Pictured above and consisting of the Black Black, the Pitch Black, the Sedna Black and the Vintage Black, I think it’s a bold and interesting move for Omega to release all four in one single take. Why?

If released four consecutive years, Omega would seem to be taking the easy way with changing minor details on a winning model. People, customers, WE, would probably tire of it rather quickly. With his new play however, Omega changes the game to an exercise in details, offering us an instant look into the mind of the manufacturer and the infinite possibilities that a canvas like the original Dark Side of the Moon can offer. It’s as if bloggers Photoshop dreams were made reality.

The Oris Divers Sixty-Five

Oris Divers Sixty-Five
Oris Divers Sixty-Five

 

This one I love. It’s a true product of passion. I first heard of this project back at BaselWorld 2014 when the Oris brand manager for the Netherlands -an avid collector himself- told me he was trying to convince his superiors to build a watch based on a vintage model in his collection. One year later, the outcome couldn’t have been better. It’s charming, it’s affordable, it’s cool. Plus it’s available on both a NATO strap (with folding buckle nonetheless!) as well as a Tropic, both of which are exceedingly awesome.

The Breitling SuperOcean II

Breitling SuperOcean II 2015
Breitling SuperOcean II 2015

 

With the 2014 return of the Colt with the signature Breitling bezel and the recent release of the Colt Chronograph automatic, one could easily see Breitling returning the SuperOcean back to its roots as well. However, the brand seems to be determined to give this line its own look, sticking to the bezel with rubber inlay as introduced back in 2010. However, for the dial, they now did look back at their heritage. And it looks good! While the B01 is a stunning movement, for the bigger part it’s this kind of reasonable priced watches that made Breitling for the last decade or two. I like ‘m. They’re now available in either 36, 42 or 44mm – and as is customary with Breitling, the options when it comes to case/dial/strap combinations are sheer endless.

The Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time

Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time 5524G
Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time 5524G

 

This one we admittedly scooped earlier just like the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, but who can resist commenting on THE Patek that is bound to stir some controversy in the coming weeks/months/years? I will stay to a macro level with my comments for the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time 5524G. Look at it this way – when a brand puts out to many models based on previous stuff, they’re often branded to conservative, lacking imagination, drawing to heavily on their heritage – this is mostly the case with Patek and Rolex. However, when and if introducing something DIFFERENT, it’s as if the world is set on fire – THIS? They can not possibly be serious! I applaud Patek for branching out and trying something different – although I’m not quite sure why they’d put in the Calatrava name. Yes, it’s something else. No, it’s not Patek Philippe as you know it. But it’s CASUAL CHIC in capitals. Sprezzatura in the Agnelli type of way.

The Patek 5270R

Skip it. This is too good. I’m writing a separate post on this one.

The Rolex Day-Date 40

Rolex Day-Date 40 BaselWorld 2015
Rolex Day-Date 40 BaselWorld 2015

 

This is just stellar. Those of you that know me know that the Day-Date is one of my favorite watches EVER. The Day-Date II in my opinion was perhaps not the best of Rolex’ releases. The proportions just do not seem right. With the new Day-Date 40 however, they seem to have found a way to fit the DD with a larger case without ruining its classics looks. I think its a stunner. Should I end here, or should we talk about the new movement, caliber 3255, that features no less than 14 new and patented technological solutions? As of yet, I’ve uploaded the four standard configurations – one for each metal: platinum, white gold, yellow gold and rose gold.


Rolex Day-Date History - 2015/02/21 by Dale Vito


Two of my favorite watches EVER are the Rolex Datejust and the Rolex Day-Date. I’m dead serious. There is something about these two; the perfect fit on the wrist of their subtle 36mm cases, their cultural significance, their bulletproof quality and iconic designs: these are iconic watches. Plus, these were made in an unimaginable number of configurations, making the search for the one that speaks to you -or has the best investment potential- a fun challenge.

Rolex Day-Date History
Rolex Day-Date History

 

In-depth articles on these I’ll save for a later date. But as our archive is rapidly growing, for now I’ll make do with a moderately revised version of a history of the first four generations of Rolex Day-Date, that was previously hosted on RLXDD.

Make sure to check out the archive we’ve built up on the Rolex Day-Date so far right here.

Most of the info below is rather to the point and might puzzle some of you. Don’t worry though. Main points for budding collectors;

  • First two generations (6511, 6611 and variations): if the price is right, buy if case condition is good / acceptable and if dial, hands and discs are original. Dial exchanged to later gen – no-go.
  • Third generation (1800): for early versions, make sure they sport the right dial (markers!) and matching hands. For later ones, I suggest to focus on unusual colors. Materials other than yellow gold are an instant plus. As production numbers on these were considerably higher, condition becomes increasingly important. While the first two generations are considerably rare, this one in general isn’t.
  • Fourth generation (18000): re-read the above. And focus on rare materials – stone, wood and whatever came out of the Rolex factory, including rare diamond-set variations. Thank me later.

So, for the geek stuff;

6511

To the best of my knowledge, there have been a few distinctive versions of the 6511 since it was first introduced – notwithstanding minor differences. This very first Day-Date model is said to be somewhat flawed movement-wise, notably the day & date change causing lag in the movement making the overall performance less-than noteworthy.

Rumour has it that the very first Day-Dates made their appearance in 1955, the same year the patent was filed. Supposedly these were delivered only to the Italian market – more or less prototypes, with the ever watch-crazy Italians serving as guinea pigs. To be frank, I wouldn’t be surprised if this story turned out to be completely flawed. However, these should have a few distinctive marks;

Rolex Day-Date 6511 first generation

  • Only white/silver dials
  • Day-Date wording in red
  • Brevet case
  • Inner caseback signed 6510, crossed out, signed 6511
  • Italian Day disc
  • Dial markings include 50m – 165ft
  • Dial markings include Superlative Chronometer by Official Test. Please note that the word Superlative can be considered somewhat of an anomaly considering the what I’m about to write further down the road.
  • Dauphine hands / Alpha hands
Rolex Day-Date 6511 gen 1
Rolex Day-Date 6511 gen 1

 

As far as I know, the next generation 6511 is the one which still has the depth-rating on the dial;

Rolex Day-Date 6511 second generation

  • Dial colours available unknown. Likely only silver/white.
  • Day-Date wording in red (6:00)
  • Case details unknown
  • Likely inner caseback signed 6511
  • Day disc in various languages – English and Italian confirmed
  • Dial markings can include 50m- 165ft
  • Dial markings include Officially Certified Chronometer
  • Dauphine hands / Alpha hands
Rolex 6511 gen 2
Rolex 6511 gen 2

 

So the first two iterations are covered. The next one is what I would consider to be the most common, the standard, 6511. Let’s consider this one the 1956 Basel model – the official 6511.

Rolex Day-Date 6511 third generation

  • Dial colours available unknown. Likely only silver/white.
  • Day-Date wording in black (12:00)
  • Case signed 6511
  • Inner caseback signed 6511
  • Day disc in various languages – English and Italian confirmed
  • Dial markings no longer include depth rating
  • Dial markings include Officially Certified Chronometer
  • Dauphine hands / Alpha hands
Rolex Day-Date 6511 gen 3
Rolex Day-Date 6511 gen 3

 

6611

After only a year -or two, depending on which story you’re going with- the 6511 got replaced with the near identical Rolex Day-Date 6611 in 1957. This model was now fitted with the free sprung balance calibre 1055. Being much more accurate than the previous model, it now earned the designation ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified – the first Rolex to be fitted with this text, designating ‘especially good results’ in the chronometer-tests. Besides the chronometer text, the most distinctive change is that from the Dauphine-hands to Alpha-hands. But then again – no hard and fast rules. Many transitionals exist and many parts have been exchanged in service. This is also the very first Day-Date to be available with the President bracelet and different bezels; either fluted, smooth or diamond-set.

Rolex Day-Date 6611

  • Dial colours available unknown. Silver/white, black and gold confirmed.
  • Day-Date wording in black
  • Case signed 6611, 6612, 6613
  • Inner caseback signing unknown – yet to be confirmed
  • Day disc in various languages
  • Dial markings no longer include depth rating – last mention of this fact
  • Dial markings include Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified
  • Alpha hands – so far Dauphine hands seem acceptable too though.
Rolex Day-Date 6611
Rolex Day-Date 6611
6612
Rolex Day-Date 6612
Rolex Day-Date 6613
Rolex Day-Date 6613

 

Note the Dauphine hands on the last example. No hard and fast rules.

The one below deserves a special mention, with the chronometer-script being in German. I will work out the story behind these in time.

Rolex Day-Date 6611 Amtlich Geprüft
Rolex Day-Date 6611 Amtlich Geprüft

 

6611b to be added

1800

1959 marks the release of the 1800-generation, powered by calibre 1555. The official introduction is supposed to have been on September 1st, 1960. This is where the real fun starts; an sturdy and reliable movement and, throughout the years, a crazy number of dials, bezels and bracelets.

Noteworthy updates include the 1963-64 change from radium to tritium and the 1965 switch from calibre 1555 to the higher-beat 1556. Hacking introduced in 1972.

Rolex Day-Date 1800

  • Many dial colours available
  • Day-Date wording matching the other text
  • Case signed 1802, 1803, 1804 et cetera, designating the type of bezel fitted
  • Inner caseback signing 1800 (180x)
  • Day disc in many languages
  • Dial markings include Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified
  • Hands in different styles; early transitional ones fitted with Alpha-hands, others include the most common Baton-type, tapering Cigarette, Wide Boy et cetera.
Rolex Day-Date 1803
Rolex Day-Date 1803

 

18000

1978 marks the release of the 18000-generation, powered by calibre 3055. This is the first Day-Date to feature the quick-set date. This generation was the first to see the Tridor or BIC.

Rolex Day-Date 18000

  • Many dial colours and materials available
  • Day-Date wording matching the other text
  • Case signed 18038, 18039, designating the type of bezel fitted and the materials used
  • Inner caseback signing 18000(180xx)
  • Day disc in many languages
  • Dial markings include Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified
  • No rose/ pink

1831

A special mention is in order for the elusive reference 1831, said to be made in no more than 8 examples as a custom order in platinum only. It uses an OysterQuartz-type of case, while using a integrated bracelet in King Midas style – strangely neither of these models was made in platinum though. Exceedingly deep pockets needed.

Rolex Day-Date 1831
Rolex Day-Date 1831

 

Pic credit;

  • Stefano Mazzariol
  • Yorktime
  • Antiquorum
  • Bonhams
  • John Goldberger
  • Amsterdam Vintage Watches
  • Amsterdam Watch Company

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