If, at first, I was slightly caught in the visible clichés of a certain layer of society and I had my own opinions (i.e., prejudices), after a few years of talks with Rolex officials at Basel, after a visit to their manufacture in Geneva, and after several experiences with different Rolex models, plus intensive and extensive reading, I have come to the conclusion that this laconic, somewhat arrogant brand, seemingly unchanged for more than 100 years, is perhaps the most impressive legend in the history of the Swiss watch industry – and deservedly so!
I have come to adore their subtlety, the stubbornness with which they keep their secrets and their incredible power to remain faithful to an aesthetics and quality launched in 1905 by a man whose visionary qualities are so obvious that his principles are still followed and applied today by one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world.
It takes a lot of certainty and just as much force to be able to stay on track, not to give in to market pressures, and remain as elusive and quiet for over a century. And, behold, it works. Rolex watches hit record prices in auctions. Rolex watches are out of stock within two minutes of launch, after which waiting lists are open, as long as the Mississippi river.
I must admit, though, I do not like all of them. I would gladly get rid of some models that I consider too flashy, but, to their praise, only very few of the Rolex models are like that. And only because a certain kind of clientele cannot be completely ignored.
But unlike many, very many luxury brands, which, attracted by the mirage of record profits, wanted to be everything for everyone, Rolex remains Rolex.
Therefore, after a lengthy preamble, I finally introduce you to the subject matter of this article – a watch that I absolutely adore: elegant, simple, subtle and – to my joy – featuring the Moon phases.
Cellini Moonphase is a new model that Rolex has added to this collection. In a 39mm rose gold case, there is a gorgeous milk-white lacquered dial, which has a blue enameled disc at 6 o’clock featuring the full Moon (crafted from meteorite) and the New Moon (a silver ring). The Moon phases can be read via the indicator featured on the same sub-dial, at 12 o’clock, while the New Moon and the Full Moon rotate through the lunar cycle.
The date is displayed around the dial, and it is indicated by a center hand, which, in turn, has a crescent moon at its tip.
The watch is fitted with a self-winding mechanical movement, entirely manufactured by Rolex. Its Moonphase module is astronomically accurate for 122 years. The model provides approximately 48 hours of power reserve.
Cellini Moonphase has a brown alligator strap, with the folding Crownclasp in 18k Everose gold, a first for a Cellini model.