Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Exploring Rolex World Service: Journey Into a Movement

...Perpetual Excellence...

Exploring Rolex World Service

Journey Into a Rolex Movement

We are just a little bit over two months away from the new 2024 collection release (69 days! But who's counting?). And while we wait for new Rolex models to be announced, and maybe dream about which one to purchase next, let's take a quick look at Rolex after-sale service and what we can do to maintain the watches we have.

One of the things that attracted me to the brand is the idea that my watches can be maintained in "perpetual excellence," a philosophy instilled by founder Hans Wilsdorf. I plan to keep my Rolex as a family heirloom and wanted to make sure my descendants will be able to enjoy the watch, something that is less of a guarantee with newer watch brands whose future is less certain.

Rolex is well known for its network of service centers around the world. But few know that in 2018 the brand also inaugurated the Rolex Training Center in Geneva where watchmakers are trained to Rolex standards and new technologies, a Rolex University of sorts.

The Rolex program – the official Rolex Watchmaking Training – lasts no fewer than 18 months. Once this is complete the watchmaker is able to carry out full servicing on Oyster movements.

During a service each component is carefully examined to determine whether it still meets Rolex requirements – if this is not the case, it is replaced with a new part from the manufacture in Bienne, where Rolex movements are produced. 

Here the watchmaker removes the winding stem to extract the movement from the case.

Rare view inside the new movement 3235.

The watchmaker places the movement's component into a basket for an ultrasonic cleaning.

After movement is reassembled, the time keeping adjustment is made with a micro-stella key.

After remounting the dial, the hands are manually fit in.

A chronometric machine at work. Each watch is tested over a cycle of 24 hours in conditions simulating those of our wrists.

Rolex's Restoration Atelier

The brand said it continues to manufacture parts for at least 35 years following the discontinuation of a reference. At the end of this period, if parts are no longer available, they can be recreated by the Restoration Atelier by master watchmakers in Geneva who are specially trained in collectors’ timepieces. I feel those who work at the Restoration Atelier are kind of the Navy SEALs of Rolex watchmaking.

Restoration requiring high expertise is done at the Atelier. Here a hinge is resoldered on the blade of a clasp.

I asked Rolex for more details about the Restoration Atelier. They kindly responded that a client will be advised at the autorized dealer (or from the Rolex Service Center) if the client's timepiece needs to be referred to a master watchmaker at the Atelier. Usually these are historical and exceptional timepieces whose references have played a part in the brand's history, Rolex told me. Rolex said their master watchmakers can recreate older components using techniques of the period. This is pretty amazing.

Preserving a maximum of the original aesthetics: Here the watchmaker refinishes the chamfering of the train wheel bridge to restore its shine.

Each restoration service is done in keeping with watchmaking traditions and craftsmanship: here the watchmaker checks the chronograph counters of a vintage Daytona.

If you're eager to get a new Rolex but your old one needs a service, give the Rolex Service Center a try. When the watch is returned to you, it will feel like you've received a new watch.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Explorer II on NATO strap: Adrian Barker

...Rolex Snow Shot of the Day...

Rolex Explorer II on NATO 

[Reference 226570]

Wristwatch-YouTuber Adrian Barker has been snowboarding in Zermatt, Switzerland, recently. His latest video shows his Explorer II Polar dial on a NATO strap. The NATO straps are sold by his own company, Bark & Jack

As a Rolex purist, I usually don't much care for Rolex sans Oyster bracelet. But I have to admit, Adrian has done it. This looks real cool! 

Monday, January 29, 2024

Jannik Wins the Australian Open...

Jannik Wins the Australian Open

Rolex has been a proud sponsor of the Australian Open Tennis Tournament since 2008, which ironically is the same year I started Jake's Rolex World. Today, Jannik won the Men's Singles Championship, which represents the first time he won this highly coveted title. 

When Jannik was signed by Rolex, in early 2020, the 18-year-old Italian tennis player had never reached past the second tour of any Grand Slam tournament. But on Sunday, Jannik lifted the trophy with a Rolex Submariner on his wrist -- that's showing Rolex's knack for discovering future talents!

Pro skier Lindsey Vonn and Jannik Sinner

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona

...Rolex Studio Shot of the Day...

The Daytona's Daytona 

2024 [Reference 126503]

Rolex has released an image of this year’s specially engraved Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona watch, which will be presented to the winners of each class at this weekend’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. As it is customary for that race, Rolex presents a two-tone — a so-called Yellow Rolesor — model to the winners. The watch is not only accompanied by a very special box but also engraved on the case back with the Rolex 24 Daytona logo and the word "WINNER"

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Queen Camilla Wears Rolex Turquoise OP

When a Queen

Rocks a Rolex

Queen Camilla Tries on

a Turquoise-blue-dial OP

Rolex is a brand that has long been inspired by and associated with Royalty—even the Rolex Coronet itself is in the form of a Royal Crown. Back in the 1920s, during the art-deco era, Rolex made models like the Rolex King, Queen, Prince and Princess, and later in the early 1960s even came out with the King Midas. The Rolex logo below is from 1934 and showcases the original first generation Rolex Coronet Crown, which was obviously symbolic of Royalty.

Someone's allocated OP was worn by a queen. Britain's Queen Camilla tried on a 31mm Oyster Perpetual with the beautiful turquoise-blue dial on Monday during her visit to a Rolex authorized dealer in Swindon, England ... the latest sign of the power of that dial color in the Rolex collection.

A crown for a queen (Photo credit: Getty)

We're told she went to the 175-year-old family-run jeweler not to shop for a Rolex but to bring in a vintage Breitling for repairs. Still, Queen Camilla seemed interested in all things watches ... checking out vintage pieces and taking a tour of the sixth-generation workshop, where she spoke to a young female watchmaker. 

Also in attendance was Deacon & Son's manager director Richard Deacon and, of course, Richard de Leyser, the CEO of Rolex UK, seen below, who had been briefed of her visit.

(Photo credit: Getty)

(Photo credit: Getty)

Queen Camilla didn’t pull the trigger on the Tiffany-dial OP, we’re told... that could be a future gift idea for King Charles III. After all, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. 

A Rolex Royal Family

Rolex leadership has always been fascinated with royalty, and featured many different Rolex watches with names like The Rolex King Midas, The Rolex Queen, The Rolex Prince, and The Rolex Princess. Former Rolex CEO, André-Jean Heiniger is pictured with the future King of England, who is speaking to Gérard Souham (left), an advertising executive and former CEO of J. Walter Thompson, Paris branch. 

Photo appears courtesy of S3C Collection

In the photo above, the four gentlemen are discussing the Rolex King Midas model, of which King Charles has owned a special version of for many years.

Former Rolex CEO, André Heiniger is pictured again above with his wife Odette Heiniger, Colonel Gerard Leigh and King Charles at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor, U.K.

All four of Queen Elizabeth's children have worn Rolex watches, according to our research, as well as some of her grandchildren. King Charles' son, Prince Harry of Wales, below, is seen rocking a Rolex Explorer II "Orange Hand" while serving as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan.

Prince Harry is pictured below at a Polo match in Sentebale with legendary car racing legend, Sir Jackie Stewart, and Rolex Global Director of Communication and Image Arnaud Boetsch.

Prince Harry, in the photo below, is checking out Arnaud Boetsch's Rolex. Before joining Rolex, Arnaud Boetsch was a top ranked professional tennis player.