Rightfully so, Rolex is a brand that simply can’t be ignored. And neither can their watches! In 2018, Forbes ranked Rolex as the world's 71st most valuable brand and some may say, they’re the number one most valuable brand in the watch history.
Originally founded as “Wilsdorf and Davis” by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England in 1905, the company registered “Rolex” as the brand name of its watches in 1908, and became “Rolex Watch Co. Ltd.” in 1915. Rolex has made many innovations in their time, including the first waterproof wristwatch A.K.A. the Submariner.
Rolex is known for many models, but here at Metropolis Collection we have a couple of favourites which we also try to have in-house. Let’s start out with our number #1.
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. What we especially love about the Datejust is its versatility. She’s available on two bracelets, Oyster or Jubilee. Besides that there’s an almost infinite amount of combinations through metals, colours and dials available. The most famous configuration nowadays is the jubilee-bracelet Datejust, with a white/silver dial and a fluted bezel. This model is known as the 1601 on early models and as 16014 on later models.
Besides every great Datejust, stands a Lady Datejust. This model is everything the name suggests; a Datejust fit for a lady! The first women’s version of the Datejust appeared in 1957, carrying the elegance in a small 26 mm size perfectly suited to a woman’s wrist. The Lady-Datejust comes in a wealth of versions to perfectly reflect the different personalities of its wearers. The range of materials of the Lady-Datejust is equalled only by the variety of bracelets and subtle dials that enhance its style. Depending on the version, the Lady-Datejust is available with a domed, fluted or diamond-set bezel.
The Rolex Air-King pays tribute to the pioneers of flight and the Oyster’s roles in the epic story of aviation. Released in the midst of World War II, the Rolex Air-King is the only remaining watch in production from the original “Air Series.” Released in 1945, the Air-King joined the ranks of the AirLion, Air-Giant, and Air-Tiger, all created to honor the RAF pilots of the Battle of Britain. As with many of their other models, the Air-King was designed with a particular type of person in mind. In this instance, it is pilots. This watch is still made and the newest is reference 114200. As a modern incarnation of the original Air-King, the watch features many of the same visual aesthetics of the original Air-King, but with the advancements and features of a modern Rolex.
The Oyster Perpetual is the direct descendant of the original Oyster launched in 1926, the first waterproof wristwatch in the world and the foundation on which Rolex has built its reputation. It comprises the renowned Oyster case and a mechanical self-winding movement via Perpetual rotor. Certified as a Superlative Chronometer, the Oyster Perpetual is endowed with all the fundamental attributes of the Oyster Perpetual collection. The pure and elegant lines of this timepiece set it apart with universal and classic style. This timeless watch has also been perpetually renewed to take on the brand’s latest technical innovations. Varied and eye-catching new dial colours and designs ensure that it always sports a contemporary look.
Oysterdate / Precision
There are a small number of watches that proudly bear the Rolex name which have been specifically created as lower cost alternatives to more recognizable models in the catalog, and the Oysterdate is one of them. The reason the Oysterdate is one of the least expensive genuine Rolex pieces is down to its movement. The range, which started life in the 1950s and was still featured in the brand’s lineup until as recently as 1989, have always been manually-wound models. That makes them a distinct rarity for the company that invented the automatic, self-winding mechanism, known as the Perpetual. In addition, all four of the Oysterdate references were fitted with non-chronometer certified calibers — meaning they had not passed the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute’s (COSC) tests for accuracy and resilience. As such, the Oysterdate wore the ‘Precision’ text on its dial, rather than the ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ we are more used to seeing.