In my opinion, the most compelling new Rolex watch presented by the Swiss brand at Baselworld 2017 was the Rolex Cellini Moonphase. More than just a new interpretation of an existing design, this is not only a totally new watch, but it also includes a new movement and set of complications which haven’t been part of the Rolex portfolio for at least several decades. To help frame the ‘purpose and poise’ of the Cellini Moonphase, in Rolex’s words to me this watch is (paraphrasing) “cheap Rolexa rare opportunity for the designers at Rolex to artistically express themselves.”
Rolex redesigned and re-introduced the Cellini collection of dress watches in 2014. Since then, the brand has launched an almost unprecedented collection of four different movements for the formal watch family. That includes a time-only Rolex Cellini Moonphase 50535 Watches , one with a date dial, the Rolex Cellini Dual Time, and for 2017, the Rolex Cellini Moonphase. For the longest time, Rolex was keen to produce high-quality albeit simple watch movements. The reason for this being that they wanted to reduce possible problems in the movements for consumers while also increasing production efficiency. To a degree, as a more mass-market luxury watchmaker, Rolex understood that mechanical movement complications (other than the time or date) are rarely actually relied upon by wearers. This means that they wanted to focus on modern customers’ needs – and left more niche watch makers to focus on producing more complicated watches for enthusiasts that could be produced in smaller volumes.
For that reason, it is exceedingly rare for Rolex to introduce a new complication, and more common for them to simply introduce a new watch personality. The last time they did something like the Rolex Cellini Moonphase was with the Rolex Sky-Dweller that happened to get a new, much more affordably priced version for 2017 as well. The Sky-Dweller combined a GMT (second time zone) complication with an annual calendar (a calendar that takes into considering both the date and month). An annual calendar complication was new for Rolex, but it nevertheless has an arguably practical utility, perfect classic replica rolex as well as a very slick implementation on the dial. Slightly thicker than, say, the time-only Rolex Cellini – the Rolex Cellini Moonphase case is also 39mm wide and available in 18k Everose gold. The thickness of the classic case combined with the modest case diameter give the watch a pleasant, substantial feel for an otherwise dressy timepiece. Attached to the case is a matching brown alligator strap. I think it would also look good with a black strap, assuming you wanted to match the timepiece to a darker wardrobe of clothing.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King is gone – have you noticed? We’re certain that many of you at least made it to BaselWorld last year when you replaced your 2015 Oyster Perpetual at …… But if you missed its brief absence, don’t worry, because the Rolex Oyster Perpetual King of Air will be back at BaselWorld. 2016, and in some interesting ways. While it may not have the same sex appeal or luxury vibe as the new Rolex Daytona or Rolex Datejust 41, it’s actually even more of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King surprise for some of us, as it’s not something we expect to see from a Rolex.
For one thing, Rolex usually only changes and updates when it really needs to – and the Rolex Oyster Perpetual is no exception. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual has probably been the subject of more frequent complaints that the 34mm wide case version it offers is “not modern enough”. Well, instead of just releasing a “mega” model, Rolex ditched the old one, and two years later released the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual, which solved the problem and introduced one of the more entry-level models in the Rolex line, the popular 40mm wide case.
Citing the watch’s return to its aeronautical roots, Rolex is looking to read this larger new dial clearly. The first impression we get from the new 2016 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King is that its design has become so bold that the earlier version looks smaller and very conservative. Between the Rolex Explorer I and the Rolex Milgauss is a better fit for this new model.
The new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King reappears only in a version with a black dial. Although the case is designed to be 40mm wide, it’s actually the same as the Rolex Milgauss, but the dial is essentially the same as the 3-6-9 index that the Rolex Explorer I had before Rolex updated it this year. It’s an interesting mix, to be sure. However, a truly unusual design decision made by Rolex was that it resulted in a mix of hour and minute markers on the same scale. Rolex prides itself on its long and proven history of tool watch design, which makes it the deepest and highest position on our planet. The new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King with this dial design seems out of place in this collection of tool watches. It’s hard to deny that it’s much easier to read only the hours or only the two-digit minute markers (or only the baton index) than it is to see the unit hours in some places and the minute markers in others. While I’m sure it’s a concept that can be quickly adapted to, it looks a little confusing at first, even if the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King’s time-only function and overall good readability leave little room for confusion in other areas. The movement inside the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King is the 3131 internal movement, which operates at 28,800 vph (4Hz) and has a 48-hour power reserve. As with all Rolex watches, the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual King of Air is tested by the COSC and then subjected to an internal certification test by Rolex, the highest level of chronometer certification by Rolex. The latter new test means that the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King will be tested to run between -2 / + 2 seconds per day. Considering its entry-level price (for a Rolex), you can expect to get a properly reliable and accurate mechanical watch. As an entry-level Rolex, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King Ref. for those who can’t use the smaller 34mm case, the 116900 could be a welcome addition to the Marstable. The unique hour and minute markers may take a little getting used to, but that’s not the biggest issue. Similarly, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King comes with a black dial on a classic Oyster bracelet