Thursday, January 11, 2024

Rolex Day-Date 36 Violin Dial

Rolex The Artisan

Rolex Unveils an Exclusive New Dial

Engraved and Colored by Hand


Rolex's first new watch of the year was discreetly unveiled on January 1, 2024, but don't try to find it on The timepiece is highly exclusive, and the release date coincides with the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert.

What is highly unusual with this Day-Date 36 is how the dial was made: the dial motif was directly engraved by hand on the yellow-gold base and then manually colored with different shades of green, a fine work of craftsmanship! 

The Crown once again demonstrates the full extent of its watchmaking expertise.

Rolex told me this new Day-Date will not be part of the catalog. The dial was designed by Vincent de Peyer, the same Rolex designer who created the Palm Motif dial.

The string instrument depicted on the dial is a violin. That's according to the only official piece of public communication from the brand about the watch: a printed ad in The New York Times. The ad is not available online. 

Rolex describes the dial as: 

“A finely crafted dial representing a violin and its volute, a decoration made using the champlevé method of grand feu enameling. Directly etched into the yellow gold base, the violin design is colored by hand in different shades of green — the brand's emblematic colors — which have been selected for their intensity and depth.”

My Thoughts

Is Rolex in tune with the times? Did Rolex strike a chord? My terrible attempt at puns aside, I've always felt precious-metal cases with green dials have been a winning combination for Rolex. Its newest timepiece — “a tribute to generations of musicians” — could be a harbinger of things to come from the Crown: exclusive models celebrating partnerships. 

Rolex has sponsored the 24 hours of Le Mans since 2001 and the Vienna Philharmonic since 2008. In the future, we could see more designs paying tribute to other long-standing partnerships.

Rolex, Violins and AI

I've recently written a story about the future at Rolex and what artificial intelligence could mean for the brand. So, for my entertainment, and yours, I asked AI to draw me a violin-themed dial. Here are two:

These are the figment of an artificial intelligence's imagination.

Danny Crivello