Quality, Style, Respect: Make Your First Luxury Watch a Rolex

Posted on April 15, 2011

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Let me start with a true story: Not too long ago (6 months give or take), a CEO who shall go unnamed was robbed. The muggers stripped him of literally everything, Cartier cufflinks included. They left him his $320,000 watch. The reason? Police surmise they were looking for a Rolex or didn’t recognise the brand of wrist jewellery on this hapless executive. While there aren’t many brands that feature watches close to the half a million mark, Rolex watches are a nom de plume adjective for luxury.

Sure, Wall Street (and its namesake movie) have begun to see more IWCs but Rolex is still pretty much de rigueur for investment bankers and tycoons alike with GOOD REASON.

Name cachet. That said, I could probably name drop you any one of five brands that are still more prestigious than this venerable Swiss brand but problem is, unless you count yourself amongst a select group of watch snobs and aficionados, chances are you would never have heard of them. Therein lies the problem; Rolex personifies what Marketing Professors term “instant name recognition”.

Critics will cry “marketing hype” and for those determined to scratch below the higher than Swiss standard 904L steel, you will find many more reasons why Rolex should be your first luxury watch.

Reasons Your First Luxury Watch Should be a Rolex

A watch is only as precise as its oscillator is regular. Conventional oscillator hairsprings are vulnerable to magnetic fields and shocks. Rolexs Parachrom blue hairspring is crafted from a paramagnetic alloy allowing it to withstand magnetic distortions and 10 times more shocks.

1. Exceptional craftmanship: Pioneering technologies and pursuit of perfection embodied by Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf have propelled this luxury timepiece into one of the most coveted (and traded) luxury items of our time. This continuing innovation has lef to the creation of blue Parachrom hairsprings where in other watches, conventional oscillator hairsprings are made of ferromagnetic alloys. with 904L steel usually reserved for the chemical industry, Rolex ensures maximum corrosion resistance by using this highly durable and polishable  steel for your watch cases.

2. True in-house manufacture: With its own foundry, Rolex is able to create its own unique alloys and enforce its own exacting standards. Cases, bracelets and components are each crafted in house for durability and beauty. While other watch houses claim in-house manufacture, the truth is most of the time, watch cases and “non-vital” components are made elsewhere (usually China), Rolex makes everything by themselves. Perfection demands nothing less.

3. A watch made to last and worn a lifetime: As much dedication goes into the Rolex bracelet as it does into the movement. More than a 100 moving parts are crafted with edges sculpted and smoothed for comfort. Additionally, there are elegant and functional clasps for different models each respecting the aesthetics of the specific watch: Oysterclasp, Oysterlock and Crownclasp.

4. Why Rolex watches last a lifetime: The secret is in the Rolex invented and patented Triplock winding crown ensuring professional models like the Submariner and Deepsea are waterproof to 300 and 3900 metres respectively. Created from 10 separate elements and special polymers for gaskets, the screw down crown ensures that water and moisture don’t stand a chance of seeping in and ruining your investment.

Working in tandem with the Triplock crown, the caseback of the Oyster case is hermetically sealed to a torque of five newton metres ensuring an inner watch environment that protects the movement from shocks, pressure, dust and water. Truly built to last.

5. Excellent customer service: Have you ever felt like a pariah when you’ve returned a product with some defect or issue? Felt you had to jump through hoops just to get some attention on the heartache you’re feeling when a 5 digit luxury watch goes haywire? Well, you’d get none of that nonsense with Rolex globally. Their international service centres recognise your warranty regardless of purchase origin.

Disclaimer: I own a Rolex GMT Master II and I am in no way affiliated with Rolex or any of its marketing partners. This article was inspired after a recent trip to the Rolex Service Centre when the gasket on my watch needed replacement. They not only replaced it but gave me a handy signature green leather watch case complete with polishing cloth. You can read about my Rolex service experience in an upcoming story next week.
Jonathan Ho used to write for August Man and Augustman.com, a Singaporean men’s luxury lifestyle title. He continues to freelance for other publications and can be contacted at jonathan@themonsieur.com.
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Posted in: watches