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The History of Rolex (Part 4)

1st Jun 2020

Check out the previous years of Rolex's history here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Rolex went into the new millenium by making its 4130 chronograph movement which was adorned by the Cosmograph Daytona. It only incorporates 290 components of movements which is far fewer than the standard chronograph which is admired for its symphony of simplicity.

The Protege Arts Initiative was founded in 2002 to encourage talented individuals and give them a unique opportunity to join a program that would mentor them one-on-one with major professionals in their respective fields. For more than a decade, Rolex has diversified more than 80 major artists all emerging from different generations and backgrounds.

The patented Cerachrom bezel was developed specifically for certain Professional models in orders to ensure lasting beauty and functionality in even the most extreme conditions of the wearers' respective fields. It is fashioned from extremely hard ceramic which is virtually impossible to scratch and the color does not fade in the sun or other sources of ultraviolet rays. The diamond polished surface gives it an incredible lustre and the engraved 24 marks are coated with a thin layer of platinum.

The same year, the Parachrom hairspring is crafted from paramagnetic alloy, which is impervious to magnetic fields and 10 times more shock-resistant. The unique blue color of the hairspring has been a sign of only the most accurate timepieces.

The Yachtmaster II regatta chronograph is the first watch in the world which is equipped with a programmable countdown and a mechanical memory. The unique complication consists of innovative interaction between the movement and case via a rotating ring command bezel that has been developed by Rolex. This version of the chronograph allows yachtsmen cross the line fast as possible after the starting gun. 

The Rolex Deep Sea with an official depth rating of 3,900 meters (12,800ft) in its launch year was the most water resistant mechanical watch in serial production. This is an updated version of the original Sea Dweller model and did not disappoint aquanauts and connoisseurs alike.

Sky Dweller was the brand new innovative model of the Oyster Perpetual. Considered a technological masterpiece, it was intended for world travelers with its dual time zone which is intuitive to read and annual calendar, named Saros which was inspired by an astronomical phenomenon. It only requires one time adjustment per year which is impressive compared to any watch.

The same year, James Cameron, the film maker for National Geographic descended into the Mariana Trench, making the first solo dive into the deepest point of earth, after the firs two-man Trieste expedition in 1960. Both expeditions were equipped with Rolex watches, of one which would be inspired and dedicated to become the Deep Sea dedicated to James Cameron.

Rolex didn't stop there and created the Deepsea Challenge, which was certified up to 12,000 meters underwater (39,370 ft). Completely engineered by Rolex, this was a record setter for the deepest diving watch in the world.

Two tone cerachrom bezels were adorned by Oyster Perpetual GMT Master II's which used a black and blue bezel. This dual color insert was one of the first in a single piece component, which led to Rolex releasing a red and black version as well.

The Cellini collection was introduced, consisting of 12 classically inspired models. The collection appreciates the collective know-how of its history upheld with high standards of perfection and respects all the codes of timeless watchmaking.

The same year, Calibre 2236 with a Syloxi hairspring is made for women's models, a silicon developed in-house movement which offers peerless chronometric performance for a smaller sized watch. 5 new patents were made for this ultra innovative piece of art.

New generation Movement Calibre 3255 is introduced for the Day Date 40. It set the new standard for power and precision, reserve and reliability. It is also resistant to shocks and magnetism as well as easy to adjust. The power reserve is 70 hours which is 50% more than previous generations.

Rolex also introduces its first Oysterflex bracelet which is developed and patented. The bracelet gives the reliability of metal bracelets as well as the flex and aesthetic of an elastomer one. At the core of the strap is a metal blade that is molded over with the high performance black elastomer.

All Rolex watches are covered by a Superlative Chronometer certification which was redefined in this year exclusively to testify that the watch has successfully undergone a rigorous series of tests to match its own criteria which exceeds the watchmaking norms and standards. The certification is also covered by a 5 year warranty.

The Cellini Moonphase is released featuring a blue enamel disc at 6 o'clock that shows the full moon and the new moon. The moonphase is read by the indicator set at the 12 o'clock position on the subdial. As the watch rotates through the lunar cycles, it will be astronomically accurate for 122 years.

Rolex launched an initiative dubbed "Perpetual Planet" in which it consolidates the ongoing support of research on environmental issues around the world. It includes a partnership with National Geographic and sutides the impacts of our climate, and support for biologist Sylvia Earle's Mission Blue initiative to help save the oceans.