Rolex have, and always be a pioneer in the development of the wristwatch. Did you know that Rolex have actually registered over 500 patents in the course of its history. Rolex is one of the only watch brands that designs, develops and produces all the essential components of its watches in-house. Rolex watches have proved themselves in the most extreme conditions imaginable. From the depths of the deepest oceans to the summits of the highest mountains, in the air and on the race track, there isn't a Rolex watch that hasn't been there and done it.
We have put together this quick, but handy and informative guide to help you when buying your next modern Rolex watch. As you can image there are many aspects of the watches that aren't mentioned on here but we are in the process of writing more detailed guides on specific modern Rolex watches including the ceramic Daytona and new 41mm Submariner. We hope you find this guide helpful.
Oyster: This is the name given to the earliest waterproof watches from the 1920s by Rolex’s founder, Hans Wilsdorf. The term Oyster remains the essential metaphor for Rolex, and it still used on current Rolex models.
Helium Escape Valve (HEV): The Helium Escape Valve this is a small, spring-loaded one-way valve that is integrated into a watch case and allows helium and others gasses to escape the watch whist the diver ascends following a dive to great depths. Originally developed for commercial saturation divers who found that the crystals on their watches were popping off in decompression chambers as the pressure within the watch equalized to that of the outer environment.
Cyclops: The magnification cyclops on was patented by Rolex in the early 1950s. The purpose of the cyclops is to make the date appear larger. Originally part of the crystal on early plexiglass models, the Cyclops later became an added piece of glass on sapphire crystal-equipped models that was glued to the main crystal.
Oystersteel: As part of the 904L family of steel, Oystersteel can achieve the corrosion resistance and high polish of precious metals.
Everose Gold 18k: By adding copper and silver to its formula, Rolex achieves its uniquely warm rose gold.
Yellow Gold 18k: This alloy is proprietary, trusted, and has an iconic hue.
White Gold 18k: Rolex’s white gold seems to radiate light.
Platinum: Rolex uses 950 platinum exclusively (and sparingly). 950 is a high-concentration alloy that includes ruthenium for strength and shine.
Rolesor: Not really its own metal, this is a name Rolex gives to its patented method of combining Oystersteel and gold in its many two-tone models.
Cerachrom: Rolex’s proprietary ceramic is scratch-proof, impervious to UV rays, and is the current standard for the bezel inserts on Rolex’s sport watches.
Precious Stones: Name it, and Rolex has likely mounted it to a watch, but diamonds are most common.
Chromalight: Rolex’s lume. Blue by night, bright white by day.
Crownclasp/Crownlock: The dressy and sophisticated bracelet-locking mechanism that virtually disappears once secured.
Oysterclasp/Oysterlock: This is what Rolex calls its most popular and most secure deployant clasp. In includes a secondary locking mechanism that folds over the main clasp.
Easylink: This simple mechanism allow you to expand a bracelet by 5mm, handy when swelling occurs on an airplane or, perhaps, after a big meal.
Glidelock: Rolex’s patented bracelet extension mechanism that allows for up to 20mm of adjustment in 2mm increments for use over wet suits.
Jubilee Bracelet: The refined five-piece links make for a dressy look, but the Jubilee remains a staple of Rolex sport watches, too. Offered in the various metals plus the three Rolesor combinations, the Jubilee can be fitted with either an Oysterlock or a Crownlock clasp.
Oyster Bracelet: The larger three-piece links make for a simpler, sportier look. Oyster bracelets only ship with Oysterlock clasps.
President Bracelet: Less common, the President uses elegantly rounded three-piece links and only comes with a Crownlock clasp.
Pearlmaster Bracelet: The refined five-piece links make the Pearlmaster Rolex’s most elegant bracelet. Crownlock clasp only.
The Rolex Leather Bracelet: Offered in a variety of colors and hides, Rolex’s in-house leather straps are fitted with Oysterlock clasps or a simple pin buckle.
Oysterflex Rubber Bracelet: Few rubber straps will blow your mind, but the Oysterflex just might. The attention to detail and innovative design add up to suppleness, comfort, and style. Oysterflex bracelets are fitted with Oysterlock clasps.
Plain Bezels: As basic as you’ll find on a Rolex, plain bezels can be had on a number of models in steel and in precious metals.
Fluted Precious Metal Bezels: Iconic and hard to miss, today’s fluted bezels are offered in precious metals only.
Engraved Fixed Bezels: Found only on the Explorer II and the Daytona Cosmograph, demarcations are engraved into either Oystersteel, a precious metal, or Ceracrom.
Rotating Bezels with Inserts: The classic for the Professional watches, scratch-proof Ceracrom inserts are the norm.
Rotating Precious Metal Bezels: Exclusive to the Yachtmasters, these deeply engraved bezels achieve a compelling balance of sportiness and elegance.
Bejeweled Bezels: Rolex has encrusted just about every bezel with precious stones at some point.
ROLEX SUBMARINER: The new-generation Submariner and Submariner Date models are equipped respectively with calibre 3230 – unveiled in 2020 – and calibre 3235, self-winding mechanical movements entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Their architecture, manufacturing and innovative features make them singularly precise and reliable. They are fitted with the exclusive blue Parachrom hairspring that is up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. Both movements’ power reserve extends to approximately 70 hours.
ROLEX DAYTONA: The Cosmograph Daytona is equipped with calibre 4130, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement developed and manufactured by Rolex. Its architecture incorporates fewer components than a standard chronograph, thereby enhancing the movement’s reliability. It also saves space, making it possible to house a large mainspring and delivers a power reserve of 72 hours.
ROLEX SKY-DWELLER: This new version of the Sky Dweller is equipped with calibre 9001, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Calibre 9001 has a blue Parachrom hairspring manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. It is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor and offers a power reserve of approximately 72 hours.
ROLEX GMT MASTER II: Calibre 3285 is a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. A consummate demonstration of technology, this self-winding mechanical movement offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, convenience and reliability, as well as resistance to shocks and magnetic fields. Calibre 3285’s power reserve is approximately 70 hours.
Rolex Professional watch collection combine materials, bezels, dials and bracelets. Rolex offers a wide range of Professional watch models designed for specific activities, from diving to flying, yachting or motor sport, and combining functionality with style.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona: Introduced in 1963, the Cosmograph Daytona was designed to meet the demands of professional racing drivers. It is an icon forever joined in name and function to the high-performance world of motor sport. More than 50 years after its creation, the Cosmograph Daytona remains in a class of its own among sport chronographs and continues to transcend time.
Rolex Deepsea: Waterproof to a depth of 12,800 feet (3,900 metres) the Rolex Deepsea was unveiled in 2008. In 2014 Rolex released a special version of the model, the Rolex Deepsea with a D-blue dial, to commemorate James Cameron’s historic solo dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, some 11,000 metres deep. From twilight blue to bottomless black, its two-colour gradient dial celebrates one man’s journey to the deepest place on Earth.
Rolex Sea-Dweller: Waterproof to a depth of 4,000 feet (1,220 metres), launched in 1967, the Sea-Dweller is the ultimate manifestation of Rolex’s leadership in divers’ watches and the result of decades of collaboration with diving professionals.
Rolex Submariner: In 2020 Rolex presented the new generation of its Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date, watches that exemplify the historic links between Rolex and the world of diving. Both timepieces feature a redesigned, slightly larger 41 mm case – whose profile is highlighted by the light reflections from the case sides and lugs – and are fitted on a remodelled bracelet.
Rolex GMT-Master II: The GMT-Master II houses calibre 3285, a movement that allows travellers to easily adjust their local time via the winding crown, without stopping the watch or affecting the 24-hour hand. As a result, people can simultaneously read their local time as well as the time “back home”. The date change is linked to the traditional hour hand (local time).
Rolex Yacht-Master: The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master is the only Professional model offered in three sizes: 42, 40 and 37 mm. The Yacht-Master’s Oysterflex bracelet, developed and patented by Rolex, offers a sporty alternative to the metal bracelets without compromising robustness, water resistance or reliability.
Rolex Yacht-Master II: As in any contest of speed, precision is of the essence. The Yacht-Master II features an unprecedented mechanical function: a countdown that can be programmed from 1 to 10 minutes and allows skippers to precisely time and follow each race’s official starting procedure.
Rolex Explorer: The Explorer, launched in 1953, set itself apart with a simple design and a highly legible black dial with large hour markers and characteristic 3,6,9 numerals. It is a tool watch, created to tell time accurately, whatever the circumstances.
Rolex Explorer II: The Explorer II features a date display, an additional orange 24-hour hand and a fixed bezel with 24-hour graduations, enabling day to be distinguished from night. It became the watch of choice for speleologists, volcanologists and polar explorers.
Rolex Milgauss: Created in 1956, it can withstand magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss. Hence its name, “mille”, which is French for one thousand. The first watch of its kind, the Milgauss combines unique aesthetics and scientific heritage.
Rolex Air-King: With its 40mm case in Oystersteel, solid-link Oyster bracelet with Oysterclasp, and distinctive black dial, the Air-King perpetuates the aeronautical heritage of the original Rolex Oyster.
The Rolex Classic collection consists of models that combines Rolex’s know-how and high standards of perfection in an approach that heightens watchmaking heritage in its most timeless form.
Rolex Day-Date: The iconic President bracelet, with its semi-circular three-piece links, was created in 1956 for the launch of the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date. It represents the ultimate in refinement and comfort andis always made of carefully selected precious metals. The Day-Date is available with a bespoke day display in a wide choice of languages.
Rolex Sky-Dweller: An elegant watch for frequent travellers, the Sky-Dweller displays the time in two time zones simultaneously and has an annual calendar. The reference time, in 24-hour format, is shown via an off-centre disc, and the local time is read using conventional centre hands. The annual calendar, named Saros, automatically differentiates between 30- and 31-day months. It is operated by a patented mechanism and stands out for its innovative display: the months of the year are indicated in 12 apertures around the circumference of the dial, with the current month marked in red. The instantaneous date change is linked to the local time.
Rolex Datejust: Rolex’s Datejust is the archetype of the classic watch thanks to functions and aesthetics that never go out of fashion. Launched in 1945, it was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a window at 3 o’clock on the dial, and consolidated all the major innovations that Rolex had contributed to the modern wristwatch until then.
Rolex Lady-Datejust: The Lady-Datejust offers so many choices that wearers can easily find one to reflect their personality. It is available in Oystersteel, in 18 ct yellow or Everose gold, or in Rolesor versions thatcombine both Oystersteel and 18 ct gold. The Lady-Datejust is also presented in the noblest metal of all – 950 platinum.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual: In 2020 Rolex presented the new generation of its Oyster Perpetual watches and brings a new model to the range, the Oyster Perpetual 41, as well as versions of the Oyster Perpetual 36 displaying dials in vivid colours. The light reflections on the case sides highlight the elegant profile of the Oyster case, which is made from Oystersteel. Measuring 41 mm or 36 mm respectively, it is fitted with a domed bezel.
Rolex Pearlmaster: The Oyster Perpetual Pearlmaster has stood out since its launch in 1992, exemplifying a delicate balance of elegance and style, thanks to its elegant lines and precious materials. Set with diamonds, rubies, sapphires or emeralds, it is a new, feminine reinterpretation of Rolex’s emblematic Datejust.
Rolex Cellini: This collection combines the best of Rolex know-how and its high standards of perfection with an approach that heightens watchmaking heritage in its most timeless form. The lines of the Cellini models are sober and refined, the materials noble, the finishings luxurious: every detail respects the codes of the art of watchmaking.
Our collection of pre-owned, used & second hand Rolex watches include the Rolex Submariner, Rolex Daytona, Rolex GMT Master and GMT Master II, Rolex Explorer & Rolex Sea Dweller. At Swiss Watch Trader we specialise in selling only the very best mens Rolex watches and unless there is a valid reason, ALL our Rolex watches will include their original boxes and papers. When buying any modern or vintage Rolex watch you need to ensure you are getting the very best example with as much of the original paraphernalia as possible. You should always look for a Rolex watch that is complete with its original inner and outer boxes, warranty certificate or card, manuals, hang tags and if possible original sales receipt. For more information on how to buy a Rolex watch from Swiss Watch Trader and the the services we offer including buying a Rolex watch on finance, head over to the information section.
For more information on other Rolex watch models including the Sea Dweller, Daytona and Explorer, head over to the News & Reviews section. Please get in touch if you have any questions about any of our new, used, pre-owned and second hand mens Rolex watches.
Contact Us today if you have a question about any of our Rolex watches for sale - we will be happy to help!
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