Monthly Archives: December 2016

ROLEX CELLINI TIME, DATE AND DUAL TIME

The most famous watch brand from Geneva did not only shocked the World with their new range of Rolex Oyster models, but also introduced a range of watches that belong to the Rolex Cellini collection. Admitted, I don’t have a lot going on for the previous Cellini models and that includes the revamped Cellini Prince models. However, I was happily surprised to see that Rolex came up with classic but modern-sized dress watches in Basel.

Rolex introduces three different versions of the Cellini: Cellini Time, Cellini Date and Cellini Dual Time. Each available in two different materials for the case and buckle, namely 18 carat white gold and 18 carat Everose gold. Each version is then also available in two different dial colors.

The Cellini Time comes with either a black or white lacquered dial and the Cellini Date and Cellini Dual Time come with either a black or silver dial featuring this so-called “rayon flammé de la gloire” guilloche motif. So in total, there are 12 variations of the new Rolex Cellini model.

The Rolex Cellini models have a 39mm polished gold case with a double bezel, fluted and domed. The domed screw down case back also has the fluted pattern. I assume that this fluted pattern on the case back is also used to open-up the case with a special Rolex tool that grabs into the pattern, like it is done with the Oyster cases.

As you can see on the photos above and below, the flared winding crown features the Rolex emblem. No dots below the emblem of course, as it is not an Oyster case and therefore ‘only’ waterproof to 50 meters (5 ATM).

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Rolex is a bit cryptic about the movements they used for the new Cellini collection. There is no specific mention of the caliber that is inside, but where you expect a dress watch like this to have a hand-wound caliber it is actually a self-winding movement. All manufactured in-house of course, including the blue Parachrom hairspring. I assume that these movements are very similar to the movements Rolex already used for their Datejust, Submariner, Sea-Dweller [etc] watches.

The Rolex Cellini Date (reference 50515 for the Everose gold versions, reference 50519 for the 18 carat white gold versions) adds a bit more punch on the dial than the Rolex Cellini with lacquered dials (reference 50505 for the Everose versions, reference 50509 for the 18 carat white gold versions) in my opinion. I guess I am not a fan of the printed Roman numerals on the lacquered dials. The guilloché dials also tend to play a bit more with the rays of Sun light.
My favorite Rolex Cellini of the bunch is definitely the reference 50525 in Everose gold with black guilloché dial. A perfect rose gold dress watch with mesmerizing dial and pink gold hands and hour markers. The 39mm case diameter is about perfect for everyone whether you have small wrists or large wrists, for a dress watch it is all fine. The Dual Time also has a day / night indicator in the small sub dial at 6 o’clock.

There is a Moon or a Sun symbol on 9 o’clock of that sub dial, which makes it easy to differentiate between daily hours or nightly hours. A more elegant solution than to use a 24 hour indicator on a non-sports watch, in my opinion.

All the Rolex Cellini models come on a beautiful alligator strap with an 18 carat gold buckle (again, either white gold or Everose gold). As you can see on the photos that we (Bert)  took, the shiny alligator straps has a nice curve that follows the shape of the watch case between the lugs.

OMEGA SEAMASTER 300 MASTER CO-AXIAL

This is the watch we’ve all been waiting for since Omega started to tease us via their Facebook page. We already did a guess some time ago (here), but now we finally get the chance to try the watch and see it in the flesh.

Based on the original Seamaster 300 CK2913 from 1957, Omega introduces the new Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial in a number of different flavours. The name Master Co-Axial – as this confused a number of people – is referring to the anti-magnetic movement. Omega introduces 69 new watches with 8 different calibers that will carry an anti-magnetic movement based on the > 15,000 gauss movement they introduced in the Seamaster Aqua Terra last year.

This Seamaster 300 has a caliber 8400 movement (8401 for the one with the red gold rotor) inside. This is one of the 8 new calibers that Omega is using from now on.

As you already could see on the teasers and in our previous article, the dial of the new Seamaster has a layered-effect that people also refer to as being a sandwich dial but that is not the correct association. The hour markers are lasered and then filled with Super Luminiova. This Super Luminova has a yellow-ish patina like color that really suits the watch and gives it that CK2913 look. The ceramic bezel with LiquidMetal diving scale also corresponds with the original bezel on the 1957 Seamaster 300, appareance-wise that is. The new technology makes the new bezel practically indestructible.  The broad arrow hands are also filled with matching coloured Super Luminova.

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Black ceramic is also the material Omega used for the Seamaster 300 dial. It contains a sand-blasted finish to get the ‘vintage’ appearance.

The Seamaster 300 comes in 6 different versions. Steel, titanium, bi-color in steel/gold and titanium/gold, gold and platinum. The stainless steel version with black dial and bezel  has a 5000 Euro price tag and the titanium version with blue bezel and dial has a 6000 Euro price tag. We feel this is a competitive price, offering a lot of watch for the buck (Euro).

The gold models contain the Omega Ceragold technology for the bezel. This technology allows the growth and bonding of 18 carat gold in ceramic.

All models have a bracelet with polished center link and with a patented rack-and-pusher clasp.  Finally Omega managed to produce an easy-to-use resizable clasp with 6 different positions. You will only need to open the clasp and press the ‘push’ button and slide the inner clasp to the desired fit.

ROLEX SEA-DWELLER 4000 REFERENCE 116600

 When the Rolex Sea-Dweller reference 16600 was taken out of production at the Rolex facilities in Geneva, a lot of admirers probably shed a little tear. Rolex announced the Deepsea Sea-Dweller 116660 as the successor of the Sea-Dweller but many fans of the former model(s) just more appealing than the new bulky 43mm Deepsea. I urged the people who had a weak spot for the former people to get one while they still could in a little article (here). In 2009 I wrote “One of the few things that gives me hope, is that they went from reference number 16600 to 116660 instead of using 116600. Will there be a 116600?”. Now in 2014, there is a Sea-Dweller reference 116600. And yes, it is 40mm.

I will not go into detail about the history of the Sea-Dweller as we have written on this watch many times in the past. Instead, we focus on the new Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 reference 116600. You could say that Rolex came up with the Sea-Dweller in 1971 (but already developed in 1967) as the first diver’s watch for professionals. The Submariner was already there of course, and could also be used by professional divers, but was also more or less a nice sports watch that you could wear when you weren’t getting near any water (except the occasional shower or bath).

The Sea-Dweller was meant for those who also wanted to do deep-sea dives. Rolex came up with the helium escape valve in the 1967 prototype Sea-Dweller models already, which releases the helium from the watch case as the gas expands during decompression after deep-water saturation dives. It prevents the watch from damaging but still preserves the water resistance of the watch. COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises) chose the Sea-Dweller as the instrument for their divers after having worked with several other companies as well to co-develop a professional diver’s watch (an example is the Omega Seamaster PloProf, which was also developed with input from COMEX).

It seems that the new Sea-Dweller meets the same specifications as the former model, reference 16600. A 40mm case, a titanium helium escape valve, water resistance to 1220 meters (4000 feet), caliber 3135 movement and using 904L stainless steel for the case and bracelet. The major differences are the updates that we also saw on the Rolex Submariner 116610 and GMT-Master II 116710 models and variations: ceramic bezels with Cerachrom inserts, use of Chromalight for hands and hour markers and thicker case lugs. Although the lugs seem to differ per Rolex sports model. The bracelet also changed in recent years. The Sea-Dweller 116600 comes on the well-known Oyster bracelet with Glidelock extension system and a fliplock extension link.

Having owned a Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600 for 10 years myself, I was very interested in trying on the new Rolex Sea-Dweller 116600 as the Deepsea Sea-Dweller 116660 did not do it for me. The 43mm case is something I can (easily) handle, but the weight is just not comfortable for me. I felt a big relief when I tried on the new Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000. A perfect fit – like the former model – and all the new technology that Rolex has put into it is a big bonus.

In terms of looks, it seems to me that Rolex has actually listened to their followers. Many people prefered the old Sea-Dweller models with the matte finish dial compared to the later 16600 (and Deepsea), and now Rolex made sure to have such a dial fitted into the new 116600.

Trying to compare the Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600 versus the 116600, I actually felt that I was almost looking at the same watch. There was nothing that should have been differently in my honest opinion. The bezel has become scratch resistant, the bracelet has an easier adjustment system and the watch appears to be a bit bigger due to the lugs (but isn’t). What I didn’t like about the Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600 compared to the Sea-Dweller 116600 was how it appeared on the wrist some times. Even though both watches have a 40mm case diameter, the 16600 just appeared to be a bit too small compared to the other Rolex sports models. The beefy lugs fixed that

Vacheron Constantin’s Latest Super-Complication Is the Ultimate Astronomic Watch

With its latest astronomical super-complication, Vacheron Constantin reaches for the stars and then some.

“As a company we seem to like astronomical complications,” says Christian Selmoni, head of creation at Vacheron Constantin. “They offer some interesting possibilities for us to create things that are new.” In the face of Vacheron Constantin’s latest ultra-complicated timepiece—perhaps best described as the ultimate astronomic wristwatch constructed to date—Selmoni’s remarks can only be construed as understatement.

The one-of-a-kind, double-sided Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astro­nomical Grand Complication 3600(about $1 million, 877.862.7555, vacheron​-constantin.com) is impressive not just for the number of its complications, which the company has tallied somewhat liberally at 23, but also for the way they are themed and organized.

The complications are broken into three groups: civil (conventional) time and calendar functions, solar time, and sidereal time. Because both solar and sidereal time vary slightly from civil time, for greater accuracy each group of complications is driven by its own corrected gear train radiating from the movement’s central wheel. The solar gear train drives functions including a marching equation of time, sunrise and sunset times, length of day, and seasonal indications. These share space on the front dial with civil-time functions such as the perpetual calendar, moon phase, and an interesting tide indicator with a depiction of the sun, Earth, and lunar orbital positions. Dominating the back of the watch are such celestial functions as a star chart composed of two rotating sapphire disks that impose a starry sky over the sandblast-finish movement plates.

Even more noteworthy than the watch’s multiplicity of functions is its remarkable compactness. At 45 mm in diameter and just 13.6 mm thick, the timepiece is the size of most sports watches—a feat made possible by carefully designed components, some of which were created with advanced photolithography fabrication techniques. “I was blown away by the compactness of the design,” says Selmoni, “and you can still read the time very easily and simply.”