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Make FOPE your New Years resolution. Or rather your commitment to love, friendship & family. Introducing the New Souls Collection from FOPE.


Fope’s Souls Collection is a testament to the brand’s belief in the importance of love and relationships. Each piece in this collection is meticulously crafted in 18ct Gold to capture the essence of these connections, making it a perfect choice for those seeking to express their affection and appreciation.

The Souls Collection encapsulates the various facets of love and connections. Whether it’s the bond between friends, the unbreakable ties of family, or the deep connection between partners, Fope’s jewelry pieces beautifully symbolize these relationships.


Fope has always been renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail, and the Souls Collection is no exception. Using Fope’s patented Flex it technology each ring is meticulously crafted using 18ct Gold springs allowing each link to expand & contract freely. Fope’s commitment to quality ensures that every jewellery piece is not only visually stunning but also durable and long-lasting, making it a cherished heirloom for generations to come.

One of the remarkable aspects of Fope’s Souls Collection is its versatility. You have a choice of 18ct White, Rose or Yellow Gold, & these rings can be adorned with a Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, Black or White diamond. Their versatility allow them to transition from day to night, complementing any outfit or occasion.

At R.L. Austen we have one of the largest FOPE collections available in the South, including the fantastic new FOPE souls collection. You can visit us online here. Alternatively visit us in our Chichester store where one of our FOPE Jewellery advisors will be on hand to offer you expert and thoughtful advise. Alternatively you can call us on 01243 782135.

Interest free finances options are available on all our Jewellery over £1,000.

What to consider when choosing your wedding rings

There are many things to consider when organising your wedding: Often starting with the destination or venue, your life is soon consumed by photographers, caterers, cakes, cars, suits, dresses, seating plans, invitations – the list goes on. With so many things to organise it is so easy to forget some of the smaller, finer details such as wedding rings. Many couples leave organising this task until the last minute in favour of sorting more “pressing” tasks such as venue or entertainment. However, One of the most recognisable symbols of love are a couple’s wedding rings and apart from the conductor of ceremonies and of course the couple, they are the most important moment of tying the knot. 

If your day of walking down the aisle is nearly upon us but you haven’t found the perfect rings yet, Do not panic! it is not a race. After all, your wedding rings are to be worn for a lifetime, so it is really important you spend the time and care the decision deserves.

Below We will outline a few things to consider when looking for your perfect ring…

–Katharine Hepburn

Personalise it

Your wedding rings should reflect the unique love between you & your partner, therefor have you ever considered personalising your wedding rings to fit your taste & Style? At Brown & Newirth; out trusted wedding ring supplier – every ring is handmade to order ensuring the highest quality & care is taken over your rings. You choose the style in the metal you want and Brown & Newirth can add a personal engraving completely free of charge.

If your feeling a bit more adventurous you can opt for completely bespoke service. Rings made for you, designed (in part) by you. Simply contact R.L. Austen if this is something you would like to inquire about.

Is your Engagement ring an awkward shape? Or do you want something shaped to fit the exact contours so your wedding ring & engagement sit perfectly together? Brown & Newirth offer a shaped to fit service where they can create a perfect fitting wedding band.

Should our Wedding Rings Match?

If both the bride and groom are keen to wear wedding rings, you may then wonder about getting a matching set.

Wedding ring traditions suggest that wedding bands should match, as it’s a signal that the two of you have become one unit. It can also show that you have similar tastes, indicating compatibility.

However, it’s possible that you won’t be able to find a ring that suits both of you. If your hands differ greatly in skin tone, size and personal style, it’s likely that you will be drawn to very different styles of rings. In this case, there’s nothing wrong with opting for non-matching wedding rings. Brown & Newirth have a Selection of rings for all tastes.

After all, you will be wearing your wedding bands for the rest of your lives – you want to make sure you both have a ring that you love and find comfortable to wear!

Don’t be afraid to go outside the box

There is no right or wrong answer to the perfect wedding ring. What might be right for you and your partner may be completely different to others.

Wedding rings come in all sorts of interesting designs and you shouldn’t be afraid to go outside the box. Yes, the timeless gold wedding band that we have all grown to love is a great choice but so are the many other designs to consider.

You will see countless articles listing the latest trends and the most fashionable wedding rings for the year but it is important to consider what style of ring you actually like.

Yes, it is nice to have a trendy wedding band now but remember that fashion changes. What is fashionable today might not be tomorrow.

Have a good look around at the different wedding rings that are available and choose a style that best reflects you. Make a decision that future you will love!

Mahatma Gandhi

When should I buy my wedding rings?

As we mentioned earlier, there is no time pressures to buying your wedding rings, unlike some other aspects of your wedding planning. This does not mean you should leave to the wayside until the very last minute. You will still need to allow plenty of time to refine all of the details, from finding a style that suits you to get the size just right.

Even after finding your ideal ring and getting it sized to perfection, you should still allow extra time in case any minor adjustments are necessary. You don’t want to receive your rings the day before the wedding and find that a name has been misspelt on the engraving of a custom wedding ring… and you certainly don’t want to risk arriving at the altar on the day and finding that the ring simply won’t go on! Brown & Newirth offer one free re-sizing & re-finishing.

Brown & Newirth at R L Austen

I hope you are now feeling a bit more clued up & confident about purchasing your wedding rings. Here at R.L. Austen we have a long & distinguished history of helping couples discover there perfect wedding rings. Most recently we have installed a beautiful Brown & Newirth bridal lounge on our first floor, this Space offers couples an unparalleled wedding ring buying experience in comfort & style.

If you are looking for you perfect wedding rings then please do make an appointment to see one of our highly skilled wedding ring specialists who will endeavour to find your perfect match! You can call us on 01243 782135 or make an appointment online here.

TUDOR – A ROYAL WELCOME

Even if your not invested into the world of Horology, your probably already well acquainted with TUDOR’s masterfully created tool watches, which have dominated the brand’s story in recent decades gaining a stunning reputation, equal to there quality & precision. However, as much as we admire the Black Bay & Pelagos range, it’s time to move aside and make way for the TUDOR Royal.

Marrying up with Hans wilsdorf’s vision of creating the best quality watch at the most accessible price, the TUDOR Royal’s appeal lies in it’s variation of configurations, matched with it’s very reasonable price. The TUDOR Royal Range starts at £1,970 but does not compromise on TUDOR’s quality, precision & accuracy.

Royal is a name first used by TUDOR in the 1950s to emphasise the superior quality of its watches. With this heritage in mind, the TUDOR Royal range offers self-winding sport-chic watches with integrated bracelets that are as affordable as they are uncompromising.

TUDOR watches are meticulously assembled and tested to the brand’s exacting standards at their new manufacturing facility in Le Locle, Switzerland. This state-of-the-art facility, completed in 2021 after three years of construction, boasts the latest in product management and automated testing systems and brings together the expertise of skilled watchmakers. With its vibrant TUDOR red decor, the facility spans four levels and covers 5,500 square meters. 

FEATURES

REFINED DIALS

The TUDOR Royal range offers sunray motif dials in six different colours: black, silver, champagne, blue, chocolate brown, and salmon. The sunray motif extends from the dial’s centre, creating attractive lighting effects and reflections that enhance the Royal’s sophisticated personality. 

INTEGRATED “FIVE-LINK” BRACELET

The TUDOR Royal features an integrated metal bracelet ensuring an uninterrupted line with the case, TUDOR Royal embodies fluidity and unmistakable style. Characterised by its three wide satin-brushed links set between two slimmer polished elements, all in 316L steel or 316L steel and 18K yellow gold.

BALANCE, ELEGANCE & VERSATILITY

Available in four sizes, the TUDOR Royal is designed to fit any size of wrist. The 41 mm version is particularly distinctive as its mechanical movement displays the day at the same time as the date.

A DISTINCTIVE NOTCHED BEZEL

The TUDOR Royal is the ultimate in balance, elegance and versatility. The characteristic notched bezel, with its alternating surface polish and cut grooves, is just one of the design details, rooted in the History of the Brand, that gives the Royal its unique personality.

TUDOR AT R.L. AUSTEN

At R.L. Austen in Chichester, we are proud to be your trusted official TUDOR retailor for Sussex and the surrounding area. We offer our clients a diverse range of TUDOR products from our knowledgeable and friendly TUDOR specialists. We currently have a fantastic selection of TUDOR Royal’s available instore & online. You can browse our selection here.

Alternatively view the entire range on the TUDOR website.

TUDOR TAKES THE RACE TO THE SEAS

TUDOR joins Alinghi Red Bull Racing as Main Partner in their quest for the 37th America’s Cup.

Participating in the America’s Cup, the world’s most important sailing event and long-established sporting trophy, requires vision, innovation and audacity. It is this spirit that led to TUDOR joining forces with Alinghi Red Bull Racing; a team that unites the legendary two-time America’s Cup winner, Alinghi, with a driving force in global sport, Red Bull and that will sail under the flag of the Société Nautique de Genève.. TUDOR lives by this daring spirit since its very creation, a century ago, and today celebrates through its signature #BornToDare.

ALINGHI RED BULL RACING

Alinghi Red Bull Racing, Challenger for the 37th America’s Cup, brings together two sporting icons, equally obsessed with reaching peak performance. Alinghi, twice winner of the America’s Cup in 2003 and 2007, returns to the competition by joining forces with a driving force in global sport, Red Bull recently buoyed by being crowned of F1 World Champion. This association is unprecedented and comes with a renewed team and a fresh approach. Beyond the 100% Swiss Made sailing crew, Alinghi Red Bull Racing brings together cutting-edge skills, particularly in the field of design, with an international team comprising fifteen nationalities.

PELAGOS FXD & PELAGOS FXD CHRONO “ALINGHI RED BULL RACING EDITION”

To celebrate its partnership with Alinghi Red Bull Racing, TUDOR presents two brand new Pelagos FXD models: a chronograph and a time-only watch inspired by yacht racing. With cases made from carbon composite, titanium, and stainless steel and fitted with manufacture calibres, these watches embody the daring spirit that is needed to be a contender in the most competitive yacht race in history.

FEATURES

Both models have a matte black carbon case and a bi-directional titanium bezel with a carbon insert, matching the case in colour. The Pelagos FXD has a case diameter of 42 mm and is 6.5 mm high. In contrast, the case of the Pelagos FXD Chrono measures 43 mm in diameter and 7.23 mm in height. Both timepieces are water-resistant up to a depth of 200 m.

The case of the FXD is characterised by its fixed strap bars and was developed with divers from the French Navy. Inspired by the components of the hydrofoil AC75, Tudor uses a material combination of high-tech carbon, titanium, and stainless steel in the Pelagos FXD and FXD Chrono for the first time. 

The screw-down crown and pushers on the FXD chronograph also consist of titanium, with the Tudor logo in relief on the crown. However, the caseback, bearing an engraving of the Alinghi Red Bull Racing logo, and the movement container are made of 316L stainless steel. In addition, a flat sapphire crystal protects the dial.

The daring and innovative spirit of TUDOR is on full display when it comes to the two new Pelagos FXD and Pelagos FXD Chrono models. The watches are imbued with the spirit TUDOR and Alinghi Red Bull Racing; Two separate entities that share the vision of pushing traditional boundaries.

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST WITH R.L. AUSTEN

If you would like to find out more about the new TUDOR Pelagos FXD or TUDOR Pelagos FXD Chronograph please visit our website where you can register your interest in these models. You will also be able to view our entire TUDOR range, purchase online, or book an appointment to come and see us.

Take A Breath – A very personal Journey.

I have had the privilege to work with Rolex watches for over 20 years, and with Tudor watches for the last 6 years. Rolex and Tudor watches run through my DNA.

Away from work, my soul lies in the ocean, I call my self a surfer, sometimes a cold water surfer, I like the solitude that brings. The thing for me about surfing is that it requires no technology, no machines, no engine to assist you. I have the same interest in Free Diving, it’s just you, one breath, no assistance, no motor, no engine, no pollution. You can’t pollute the ocean surfing or free diving.

In 2017 I was attending one of the Tudor training courses in London where Sven announced the latest sales incentive would be called ‘Take A Breath’ a Free Diving course with my diving hero Morgan Bourc’his. Within a second, I had decided that if we were lucky enough to qualify, I would make it my ambition to not only attend, but dive deeper than anybody else. I wanted to win!

I just could not believe my luck when weeks later Austens got a call from The Tudor Watch Company, that a delegate from R L Austen would be invited to attend the Tudor ‘Take A Breath’ incentive. Please let it be me! Please!

Can you just imagine my joy, when I received my invitation to go to Greece to dive in the crystal clear waters with Morgan and 20 or so like minded Tudor delegates. Utter, Utter Joy!

Then I realized that I don’t actually own a Tudor watch. So how can I  go on a Tudor diving incentive without actually wearing a Tudor diving watch? This is where my friend and colleague (now manager) Josh stepped up and told me that I could wear his…Brand New.. I add, Tudor Pelagos. Oh, how perfect that could that be. Josh usually wears his Pelagos on the Titanium bracelet, but as I didn’t know if I would be diving in my own ‘Budgie Smugglers’ or a wet suit, it became very obvious that the Rubber strap was the obvious choice.

Then at last I was there, at Cape Sounio near Athens, full of hope. I don’t mind saying that this was the happiest time I have had in many years, I was truly in my element.

Take A Breath

Free Diving is a very newly recognized global sport. Records are being made all the time. Everybody on this incentive was capable of making a world record. In fact one of the delegates came from a country with no free diving records at all, so he became officially the first person from his country to go into the Free-Diving record books! There are very strict rules to Free Diving, too many to say here, but there are strict protocols to follow. If all the protocols have been followed the Official Judge will give you either a Fail, OK, or ‘White Card’. Only ‘White Card Dives’ are recognized for the records. Play the video below with the sound on, and you will see just how relieved I was when I heard ‘White Card – Bravo!!’

This dive was 16 meters. I only had one attempt at it, and right from the start I was surprised that from the top, although the water was crystal clear, I could’t actually see the sea bed or the 16 metre weight with the depth record card that I needed to retrieve and bring back up to the surface. The pressure on your ears is almost instant. The trick is to de-compress regularly by pinching your nose and blowing. The second trick is to relax, do everything slowly, don’t use excess energy. By the time I reached the 16 meter marker, my body was beginning to scream for air, but I knew I still had the return journey upwards. In the training we were told that even though your body is desperate to breath, you can actually keep going through it. I got the card, turned, and upward, then I knew I had enough breath to get to the top. Remember the protocol at the top! Googles off, OK hand sign, say to the judge ‘I am OK’..Done! White Card.

Somehow I acquired the nickname 16 metre Peter, which has since stuck.

It was a fantastic 3 days I will never forget, I met some fabulous people, and was made to feel very welcome. I would like to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to Tudor watches for giving me the chance to realise one of my true ambitions.

Maybe someday I will go deeper; 20 metre Peter has quite a ring to it.

 

 

 

 

 


Sometimes when a decision is made to bring something back; like a film, a car, or a piece of fashion, it just doesn’t work. With great hype we expect it to be even better than the original, then reality sets in. That new car looks like it belongs permanently locked up in a garage and transported to a remote island where no one will know you ever purchased it.

Tudor’s outstanding 2019 new edition managed to split the watch enthusiasts tastes in half. I thoroughly loved reading short sharp abuse aimed towards a mere watch from people who had probably not actually worn or seen it in person.

My opinion was then, and still is, that TUDOR were never bothered by it, but more embraced it for its arrival making a huge point. That point could be this: if you want to design a watch that looks and performs like all its competitors, then don’t bother. For the design is part and parcel of the words given in the image below. Tudor’s motto…

BORN TO DARE
THE HISTORY OF P01


1967 2019

THE PROTOTYPE

Before we delve into the history of the P01 it is important to remember the time it lived in. Aviation was having a golden period in the 1950’s and 60’s. Chuck Yeager had already broken the sound barrier in the Bell X1 Experimental supersonic jets. These were tested by pilots like Pete Best, in his Bell X 2, Scott Crossfield first man to fly twice the speed of sound in his X15 , Neil Armstrong pre-Apollo 11 in the X15 too. Space programs such as Mercury, Gemini and Apollo were developing new technology continuously over a 10 year period. It will come as no surprise that Tudor were pushing barriers to provide technical watches to the Navy and Air force.

Tudor, who had been supplying the US Navy with divers’ watches since the late 1950s, began development of a new watch in 1957 needed to meet a set of specifications required by the American government and incorporated the results of the latest research carried out by the brand’s engineers. This resulted in the production of prototypes, as well as a patent for a hitherto unseen function. The ambitious project, which carried the code name “Commando”, never came to fruition. In 2019, the TUDOR Black Bay P01 model – which stands for prototype 1 – is inspired by a prototype developed as part of this study and kept in the brand’s archives, only to have its unique aesthetic brought to life 50 years later. The Black Bay P01 reflects the exploratory nature of the project, a cross between a divers’ watch and a sailing watch.

I immediately took to Tudors idea to incorporate a safety locking system on the bezel to be used for diving. Bi-directional bezels were always a worry for drivers, with the possibility of the bezel moving unknowingly giving inaccurate depth time underwater.

TUDOR describe it in much more detail like this ;

The hinged end-link system on the original prototype was the subject of a patent in 1968, which covered a locking and dismantling system for the bezel to aid maintenance of the watch. The Black Bay P01 model borrows from this mechanism, providing a stop system for the bidirectional rotating bezel via a mobile end-link at 12 o’clock.

Very clever, and surprising too that it took 51 years to finally bring to the market a smart original watch. Nevertheless the P01 now is a greatly improved model from the original. It boasts a high grade In House automatic chronometer movement; MT561 with a chronometer rating of +4/-2 seconds per day. I wore my P01 on holiday over a 2 week period and the timekeeping was actually zero tolerance. Superb because we know this can only be guaranteed up to the COSC certification.

The good news for all you more technical minded watch lovers on a quest for precision TUDOR offer as only TUDOR can say: An openwork rotor is satin-brushed with sand-blasted details, and its bridges and plate have alternating polished sand-blasted surfaces and laser decorations. Its build has been designed to ensure robustness, longevity and reliability, as has its variable inertia balance, which is maintained by a sturdy traversing bridge fixed in two-points. Thanks to these qualities, together with its non-magnetic silicon balance spring, and 70-hour power reserve.
Put in my own words, “It’s one that any skilled watchmaker would love to strip down, and caress the movement”

So what about the controversial hybrid strap? My thoughts on that after reading the numerous comments were -People were expecting a bracelet, and TUDOR took their ‘Born to Dare’ vision and said no. Having owned one for several months the P01 is big, and putting a steel heavy bracelet on it would do three things.

  1. Take away the overall design.
  2. It may not of prompted TUDOR to come out with an innovative design, and a first for TUDOR.
  3. Who wants to wear a heavy watch that cuffs your shirts and leaves you with possible feelings of regret in buying it. Now below is further detail as to why it has a unique strap.

With the hybrid high quality comfortable rubber and leather strap it was a pleasure to wear. It will always be about the detail with TUDOR. That is why their famous snowflake logo is etched into the back of the strap which was done to celebrate 50 years of the iconic snowflake hands.

I shouldn’t get too excited about a strap but there are the mobile satin-brushed steel attachments that connect the strap to the watch case with precision. It is this sort of detail that for the amazing price of £2,990 I begin to suspect we get some of the detail for free?

And now we have the TUDOR case material.

The straight angled photo shot gives a precise definition of the beautiful brushed finished case. The clarity and sharpness is quite superb. Every single feature such as the Snow flake hand, the simple black numerals on the bezel, the 4 o’clock position of the crown and that simple line of red writing on the dial does not fail.


Still not satisfied? There’s more; 200 meters waterproofness, domed matt black dial, painted luminescent hour markers and a TUDOR 5 year worldwide warranty.

Finally…If you don’t see many around, then this is a good sign of future investment in my 40 years of horology experience.

By Gary Royston Cole

By Gary Royston Cole

Though TUDOR in very recent years released their new motto BORN TO DARE, their history to push barriers goes back much further than that.
In 1952 a total of twenty six (26) TUDOR Oyster Princes would be included in the British scientific expedition to Greenland, organised by the Royal Navy. The number 26 may well of been a significant number for TUDOR’S founder Hans Wilsdorf. The reason I bring this to the forum is that the TUDOR company was founded in 1926.By coincidence if you add 26 to their foundation year that is 52, and 1952 we now know is the Year the British Scientific expedition to Greenland commenced.

1952 TUDOR Oyster Prince

Time to reveal now the first TUDOR timepiece to have an in house chronometer movement.. The “NORTH FLAG”

Take your time to have a real good look at this well tooled timepiece. The first thing you may pick up on is the subtle use of the colour yellow. Yellow is a colour rarely used on dials, or bezels. TUDOR cleverly minimise this to maximise the effect. It appears on the power reserve aperture,  the second hand, and 10 minute/seconds dial markers.

The North Flag is the first TUDOR watch to incorporate the power reserve feature. Just unscrew the winding crown, wind it up until you see the indicator reaches the top, and you will have a mighty 70 hours of power.

TUDOR also for a similar price offers up a detailed yellow stitched deployment leather strap of fine quality. I actually prefer to wear my North Flag with the strap. In fact I have to date not worn it with the steel bracelet. The decision to spend nearly £300 on the strap was rather exotic. However for a watch I wear regularly I will gladly put up with the deployment clasp designed to be put on your wrist in TUDOR’S own special way.

The North Flag is an interesting proposition for a watch enthusiast looking for a quality watch at under £3,000.
Visually the dial is clear, uncluttered, and justifies a power reserve for the usage it is likely to get. After all it is honed and built for exploratory conditions in extreme places. Power reserves were first designed by one of the greatest watch houses Breguet in 1933. This was devised as most watches have a reserve of power based on the full amount of time it has been wound. Generally this would be 35-48 hours. Power reserve eliminates the guesswork of knowing how long your watch will tick for. Essentially it knows how much tension is left in the watch’s mainspring. This is achieved through a small wheel detailed with a painted hand and a correlating scale given in hours, very effective and minimalistic. TUDOR use yellow graded segments counting downwards towards zero. In emergency situations where you may need to know elapsed time when your watch is off the wrist this could prove to be invaluable.

With all TUDOR’S now you expect to enjoy high quality with an affordable price. Key features for the North Flag are numerous, including the following:

The first TUDOR professional timepiece to have an exhibition back as illustrated below.

Going swiftly back to value for money, TUDOR by having an exhibition case back provide two virtually scratch resistant sapphire crystals. Calibre number, brand name and essential functions of the movement can be seen. This feature is a nice talking point for any watch enthusiast Or forum discussions.

The middle case has a very appropriate steel with matte finish throughout. Complete with a functional size crown with the Tudor logo in relief. Nice touch with the bezel, or should I say double bezel? It is crafted in both steel and matte black ceramic. This design cleverly enhances the look giving it a ‘specialist’ watch look. Which of course is exactly what it is.

The Tudor bracelet options

Both options whether you choose leather with yellow stitched piping with a presence on the inside of the  deployment clasp strap or steel bracelet work impeccably. The images give you a good idea of which one to choose, or like me why not have both.

The movement as one would expect for its price range has a bidirectional rotary system self winding officially certified (COSC) chronometer rating. TUDOR push the barriers even further by providing a worldwide five (5) year warranty, and superb quality presentation box with card.

This completes just a short journey into the TUDOR North Flag. Not a watch that is set in the past, but a credible watch that belongs in the future.


How a single Rolex dial flew back with style.

It is always good to start at the very beginning and origins of a watch and the Rolex Air-King is no exception. It has the honour of being one of oldest Rolex models. In 1958, it flew into the watch collection and touched down with a 34mm case, which was actually a good size gent’s watch for its day.


It competed against other aviation themed watches of the time, but as you would expect from Rolex, the resilience of its name means it still turns heads today, some 62 years later.

This early model is now very desirable. Any vintage watch collector like myself, would be proud to wear a watch with such heritage.

In 1933, Oyster watches accompanied the Houston Expedition as it made the first-ever flight over Mount Everest at an altitude exceeding 10,000 metres (33,000 feet) in extreme weather conditions.

Aviation travel was very early stages then  and Rolex didn’t waste any time marketing their superb Oyster with epic flights like this one. This confirms that Rolex for many decades are first class at positioning their name at key events in history. It is proof of the quality, reputation and service that still cements their success today.

Above are a couple of examples of the Rolex Air-King before the new cockpit-style dial, model 116900 arrived in 2016. The date model is from 1980s and you will note that a polished bezel is used as indeed the latest Air-King offers. The polished smooth Oystersteel bezel looks entirely suited to the overall look of this timepiece.

There were actually two years between the discontinuation of the previous model and the new Air-King, and I must admit, at first I thought “How could Rolex call time on such an iconic model?”. But in typical Rolex discreetness, the famous name flew right back with a whole new look. That new makeover was well worth that wait. With any watch, it is often at first glance all about the dial. The image below confirms they have got it exactly right! Rolex have stayed very true to the name of ‘Air-King’.

The dial has been designed thoughtfully with plenty of detail and cleverly arranged without it looking cluttered.

The black dial reveals large hour indices situated at the 3, 6 and 9 markers. Keeping loyal to the name, they have a concise minute scale for navigational time readings, after all it is an Air-King! Another nice touch is the consideration and homage to the typeface used from the 1950s. Rolex lovers will also enjoy the well-placed use of the Rolex signature colour, green, on the dial. It appears on both the name Rolex, and the sweep second hand. Again, it is understated.

Of course, if you were expecting a date aperture to be introduced, you will notice the absence of one here. The dial is unspoiled and maintains the clean aesthetic look. The dial is simply perfect as it is and gives true homage to Rolex and their aviation history. With a beautiful outer appearance you can guarantee that the inside of the Air-King is very high quality too. Like every Rolex timepiece it certainly is. When one looks at the Air-King movement below, technically it ticks a lot of boxes.

MOVEMENT
Mechanical self-winding with a magnetic shield to protect the movement.

CALIBRE

3131 manufacturer Rolex.

PRECISION
Officially certified Chronometer (COSC)+2/-2 seconds a day after casing.

Next we can read how Rolex explain all about the origin of the phrase:
“Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified”

Historically, a watch could be designated as a chronometer by its own manufacturer to attest of its high precision, a process which obviously carried a risk of fraudulent abuse. To guarantee the quality of its chronometers, Rolex made the choice to have them officially certified. To mark this difference, in the late 1930s, the brand changed the inscription on its dials from “Chronometer” to “Officially Certified Chronometer”. In 1951, official certification became obligatory. Rolex decided to differentiate itself by obtaining certificates avec mention (certificates of superior performance). According to the old rules, movements whose precision proved superior in the tests received a certificate with the citation “particularly good results”. By the late 1950s, Rolex launched a new generation of movements which were up to three times more precise than the criteria for obtaining a mention.

FUNCTIONS
Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. Stop-seconds for precise time setting.
ESCAPEMENT
The escapement as described by Rolex:
“In a mechanical watch, the escapement is the guardian of time. Comprising a hairspring and a balance wheel, this regulating organ determines the precision of the watch by the regularity of its oscillations”.

Rolex patented their own Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. This is why Rolex can provide the highest chronometer rating for each of their models.

WINDING
Bi-directional self-winding via perpetual rotor
POWER RESERVE
Approximately 48 hours.
MODEL CASE
40mm Oystersteel
ARCHITECTURE
Oystersteel middle case.
BEZEL

Smooth/polished

WINDING CROWN
Screw down Twinlock winding crown.

CRYSTAL
Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass
WATER RESISTANCE
Waterproof to 100meters/330 feet. The Oyster case requires a specialised tool to remove the case back. The name ‘Oyster’ is a clever name given by Rolex. It signifies that as a natural closed oyster is water tight (hermetically sealed) so too is every Oyster watch case.
BRACELET
Oyster; flat and three piece links
BRACELET MATERIAL
Oystersteel

CLASP
Folding Oysterclasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link.
DIAL

Black, Highly legible Chromalight display with long-lasting blue luminescence.
The story isn’t over once you’ve purchased a Rolex, it is just beginning!

Each Rolex comes with it a international five-year guarantee and ten year recommended service interval.

To know more about the Rolex Air-King contact us on 01243 782135. Our passionate and knowledgeable staff look forward to helping you choose a Rolex that will last a lifetime.

ROLEX EXPLORER – THE HEART OF ADVENTURE

This iconic picture from 1953 of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reminds us that challenges have always been a part of mankind’s DNA. Mount Everest majestically boasts the highest summit one can climb at 8,848 meters with snow and some of the most challenging elements imaginable.

Since the 1920s, Rolex have been involved in exploratory expeditions testing the quality and robustness of their Oyster watches. These watches were the beginnings of ‘tool’ watches, and birthed the term ‘Professional’ watches that we are familiar with today.

All of these extreme tests provided Rolex with the undisputed confidence to place a Rolex Oyster on the wrist of Edmund Hillary, worn from basecamp to the summit of Mount Everest.

Since its launch in 1953, the Rolex Explorer has remained a true companion to many owners, not just explorers.

Below are a few historical examples of the Rolex Explorer’s design and evolution.

Circa 1950s

Circa 1970s

Circa 1980s

Note the simplicity of all three models with a definite black dial and bold numerals at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock.

These models range from 1950s to the 2000s, and all of these earlier models are still very desirable to vintage watch collectors today.

Each remind us of the historical emphasis Rolex place on their watches.

The current Rolex Explorer which we know today retains that history and as you will read, is still as desirable today as when it was first released in 1953.

At first glance, we can see why the current Rolex Explorer has immediate appeal. Its larger case size of 39mm reaches a wider audience and appeals to those who may have found the previous 36mm too small aesthetically for their wrist.

That being said, it will attract a life-long 36mm case owner, particularly as the watch doesn’t feature a deep case.

The specifications of the Rolex Explorer boasts enviable qualities.

The 39mm case is produced in Rolex Oystersteel. The monobloc middle case with screw down case back can only be operated by the Rolex tool. Not forgetting a Twinlock double waterproofness system incorporated into the screw down twin-lock winding crown.

If you enjoy swimming you can confidently wear your Rolex Explorer as it can take you to a depth of 100 meters (330ft). Rolex test all of their watches under extreme conditions.

The crystal is virtually scratch resistant sapphire too, complete with a polished bezel in keeping with the design of the watch.

The movement of the Rolex Explorer shown below reveals the high quality and attention to detail that Rolex dedicate to every timepiece.

A Calibre 3132 manufacturer movement which is perpetual mechanical self-winding. The precision is chronometer rated at -2/+2 seconds per day after casing. Other features include hour, minute and second hand, stop seconds for precise time setting. Important in particular with a chronometer rated watch.

For accuracy of timekeeping it includes an escapement which features the Rolex patented Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. The winding mechanism is bidirectional via a perpetual rotor, complete with a power reserve of approximately 48 hours.

The bracelet as you would expect from Rolex is their own Oystersteel flat three-piece link, complete with a folding oyster lock safety clasp. Another very useful built in feature is their Easylink 5mm comfort extension link. Easy to operate, and very handy in weather when wrists may swell.

One of the attractions of the Rolex Explorer is the clarity of the black dial. Whilst dark, the dial still retains the distinctive 3, 6 and 9 hour markers for a highly legible dial. The dial is finished with a Chromalight display with a very identifiable long-lasting blue luminescence. With a five-year warranty and 10 year recommended service interval, Rolex confirm their first class service to customers.

To learn more about the Rolex Explorer, please contact us on 01243 782135 or send us a message on our website https://www.austenjewellers.co.uk/rolex/

Our passionate and knowledgeable staff at R L Austen look forward to helping you choose a Rolex that will last a lifetime.

By Gary Royston Cole

by Joshua Getting

My time with the Tudor Pelagos

Over-engineered. A watch that needs to fulfill a plethora of technical and aesthetic feats, all accumulating to one of the most capable and durable watches on the market.

My first interaction with this watch was 2015. The Tudor Pelagos was firmly in the limelight thanks to its incredible achievement of winning “best sports watch” at GPGH. GPGH (Grand Prix Du Horologerie) is in essence the Oscars for watches. Some of the greatest watches of the last two decades have won here through the various categories since the first Grand Prix in 2001. Tudor have picked up multiple awards here over recent years. The Pelagos punched well above its weight but claiming the best sports watch, a category open to watches up to £7,500.00 and won by a watch that at the time cost £3,020.00.

In 2015 the Pelagos was released alongside the north flag, both boasting the Tudor Manufacture movement MT5612. The 70-hour power reserve and -2/+4 second per 24-hour timekeeping was all but unparalleled at this price point and mostly above too. It has a titanium construction, helium escape valve and an entirely patented, ingenious automatic adjusting clasp.

I purchased my Tudor Pelagos as my first luxury watch in 2017, as a wedding present to myself. I felt it offered everything I wanted in a watch, I knew the brand was exciting and moving at a serious pace and it was the choice of watch which was the path less ventured.

Since owning the watch, I can wear it for months on end and still enjoy it thoroughly. The diversity of changing between the bracelet and complimentary rubber strap helps with this and the watch looks so good on both.

I had never worn a watch as big before but being titanium and therefore relatively light-weight you lose any sense of wearing an overly big watch. The dial is highly legible aided by the bright blue luminous which is so bright the watch can be used as a torch! I love that the bezel is also luminous, a feature rarely seen despite the dive watch being such a popular design.

I have taken the watch snorkelling and it goes without saying it was the perfect companion.

In terms of longevity the watch barely shows any marks because the titanium is so tough, the timekeeping is impeccable and is as wearable as the day I got it thanks to the ceramic beads in the clasp keeping the watch firmly on the wrist.

As many will know I would highly recommend Tudor as one of the best manufacturers in the market at any price and the Pelagos would be up there as one of the best models available. The Tudor Pelagos is a watch that has a place in any collection as a wearable, usable and dependable timepiece but the toughest choice is which variation to go for…

By Gary Cole

A detailed history of The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner

Before we talk about the new generation of Rolex Submariners, it is appropriate for those who are unaware of this iconic timepiece to go back to the very beginning of it’s history…

1953 was a year to remember for both Rolex, and watch enthusiasts across the world. This was the birth of a very iconic timepiece, the original model of the Rolex Submariner. It was launched in this very year, and was the first divers watch waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330feet).

The picture above is a stunning example of that first generation Submariner. Note the beautiful simplicity of the overall design, complete with it’s bi-directional rotatable bezel allowing the diver to read their immersion time. I have recently heard the Rolex Submariner described aptly as a “Survival tool”. With a simplistic black dial and pencil style hands completed with a lollipop tipped second hand, the diver needs no more!

But of course there is always more technical feats with Rolex. In 1953 the diver (like today) requires that vital requirement of luminescence. In 1953 and for about  several decades later a now redundant tritium luminescence was used on both the hour dots and hands for divers to identify the time of immersion. Rare examples of these Submariners with the tritium still in good working order are now highly desirable.

The 1953 Submariner was  launched with a three link steel tapered bracelet. Rolex have this to say, which crystallizes the sheer DNA of this intrinsic part of the majority of their past, and present watch collection.


Oyster Bracelet

Introduced in the late 1930s, this robust metal bracelet with its flat three‑piece links remains the mainstay of the Oyster collection. It is fitted on the entire range of professional watches, but also on some classic models such as the Datejust, Day-Date and Sky-Dweller. It can be equipped with a variety of Rolex clasps (Oyster clasp, Oyster lock and Crown clasp) and can include the Easylink comfort extension link system. (c) Rolex.com.

I will expand on this further in this feature when you read through the details of the new 41mm 2020 submariner.

With no Rolex 904L oystersteel available until 1985, the 1953 bracelet was much slimmer with no easy option to increase the size like we are now accustomed too (the Glidelock extension system). Nevertheless for diving there are always alternatives to switch to; a professional NATO or rubber straps secure enough to protect that ground breaking 6204 movement, and waterproof oyster casing.


Submariner… Rolex Submariner…

This fine timepiece built initially for scuba divers was however soon to be famous! Nine years later a Rolex Submariner 6538 “Big Crown” would adorn the wrist of Sean Connery in the 1962 first outing for the worlds most famous secret agent. “His name of course is Bond, James Bond”. Ian Fleming’s book ‘Dr No’ has made it to the big screen. Yes, the Rolex Submariner was well and truly evolving.

Below we see a 1960 Rolex Submariner model 007 would wear in 1962.

A good time to pay homage to Sean Connery who died aged 90 this October 2020. Arguably in every aspect the best portrayal of James Bond 007 ever. With his handsome looks and robust character, (like the Submariner), he was the first James Bond to wear the now coveted Rolex Submariner diving watch in 1962. It started a relationship with Rolex lasting 33 years. Hans Wilsdorf the founder of Rolex never lived to see a great marketing collaboration with Bond and Rolex, (unfortunately passing in 1960). His mastery in marketing his brand right from the very beginning is legendary, when you look through the origins of Rolex and their famous relationships you can understand why the brand is so successful.


THE 2020 ROLEX SUBMARINER 41 (from this point forward)

Every word you have already read in this blog pays relevance to this sensational new diving timepiece crafted by Rolex. To get to the impeccable quality you can now experience with the new Submariner, it came indirectly from it’s 67 year heritage from 1953 to 2020.

The new Rolex Submariner 41 professional diving watch does not disappoint in quality of movement, case and bracelet architecture, and of course diving application. Rolex cleverly give a thorough makeover inside and out. The Submariner hosts an upgraded movement. The 3235 calibre boasts a powerful 70 hour power reserve. Ideal for on land or for sea expeditions.

The perpetual mechanical self winding movement includes the very best in chronometer timekeeping. Guaranteed -2/+2 seconds per day after casing.

The movement’s specifications are given below. Proof that Rolex have always taken the heart of their watches very seriously. Every detail is carefully designed, developed and assembled to give you quality reputation and service at the highest level. Both by the manufacturer, and a Rolex accredited dealership: such as ourselves, “R.L. Austen, Chichester”.

Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. Instantaneous date with rapid setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting.

OSCILATOR: Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers.

POWER RESERVE: 70 hours.

WINDING: Bidirectional self winding via perpetual rotor.

BRACELET: Oyster flat three piece links. 904L Oystersteel.

CLASP : Folding oyster lock safety clasp. With Glidelock extension system. Rolex Glidelock mechanism is a convenient delight for the user. It gives simple technical genius by slide action of 2mm per adjustment. Up to 20mm maximum over wetsuits.

I describe it like this – “Safe technology discreetly hidden”.

LUMINESCENCE: Highly visible Chromalight.

“Once darkness falls the Chromalight display comes to life. Exclusive to Rolex. The luminescent material used to fill the hands and hour markers emit blue light that is exceptionally bright and long-lasting. Allowing a clear reading of the time regardless of the conditions.” 

CRYSTAL: Scratch resistant sapphire. Cyclops lens over the date.

First introduced in 1970 replacing the acrylic glass we  see on that 1953 Submariner. Again going slightly back on the detail 1953 is a significant year once more with the launch of Rolex cyclops lens. Seen first on a Rolex Datejust model. This is yet another significant part of Rolex making their identity clear to the watch .

Now we come on to one of the most important features of any watch- The DIAL. This needs to be clinically correct when it comes to a diving watch. There is no room for error. When you look at the Rolex Submariner it is simplistic, concise, no overcrowding and features Chromalight. It confirms two words: Safe and Superlative.

MODEL RANGE;


A significant part of Rolex diving history, an experiment into technology.

Ambassador Don Walsh made history in 1960 with this unique Rolex diving watch on board all the way down to the Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean…Known affectionately as ‘The Old Lady’ Sixty years later Rolex are still breaking the barriers through exploration of the sea in partnership with their iconic diving watches.

Caring for your Rolex…How can I look after my Rolex?

People also ask: “How can I maintain my Rolex watch?”…”How do I clean my Rolex”…

You can help preserve its lustre by cleaning it occasionally with a microfiber cloth. You can also wash the case and bracelet (except leather straps) from time to time using soapy water and a soft brush. After wearing your watch in the sea, it is important to rinse it with fresh water to remove any salt and sand deposits. Before cleaning your watch, always ensure that the winding crown is screwed down properly against the case to guarantee waterproofness.

Outside of general husbandry servicing is key to keep your Rolex performing in peak condition. Between services we recommended approximately 10 years till it requires its next service, due to the efficiency of the lubricants used.

If you want to know more about the Rolex Submariner range and more. Please contact us on 01243 957282, or pop in store. Our passionate and knowledgeable staff look forward to helping you choose a Rolex that will last a lifetime.

The Rolex Yacht-Master II, the watch that is… The only chronograph in the world with a mechanical memory.

With its bezel acting as a programmable countdown, it is an essential tool for skippers to gauge their best course of action.


UNITED WITH THE OCEAN

Professional yacht racing is a tough sport. It demands concentration, observation and an element of risk in every race.

An example as to why you need precision timekeeping (for example in regatta racing) can be explained below..

“The race begins with a warning shot fired by the race Committee Boat (flying a blue RC flag) ten minutes prior to the official start of the race. Another shot is fired at five minutes prior. The two boats (each flying either a blue or yellow flag) enter the start area from opposite ends of the starting line four minutes prior to the actual start. During the next four minutes, the boats will engage in a furious pre-start battle, in which each will try to gain advantage over the other. The goal is to make the other boat cross the starting line early, which is a penalty, or to start legally ahead of the other boat”

The Rolex Yacht-Master  provides the ability to set a specific countdown. This then is a good place to introduce to you what exactly is the control centre of this particular specialist timepiece; the Ring Command bezel.

This bezel is different because instead of working independently from the movement, it actually works in conjunction with it.

Rolex describe their superlative complication a little later on as you will read. Rolex have taken into consideration the importance of simplicity when the Yacht-Master is live using this watch on the open seas. This in itself is quite a feat. Rolex and that bezel below:
As a mechanical component linked to the movement, the bezel literally acts as the key to the programmable countdown, allowing it to be set and synchronised to the sequence of race start times. Complex in design, but simple in use, it is functionally beautiful.

And indeed it is. Though in my well informed opinion it proves purchasers are taking this masterpiece serious and respect that high quality sometimes has to come at a high price.

FINE ARCHITECTURE

Looking straight on at the Yacht-Master II, I think you will agree that its design is first class, high quality to a level that puts it at the top of the class it sits in.That class is quite small when we look at the competition. Quite simply people who appreciate technical mechanics would probably class it as the best yacht race timepieces in the world..
As well as stunning looks the watch wearer will enjoy a host of fine detail:

• Bidirectional rotatable Ring Command bezel
• Blue Cerachrom insert in ceramic, engraved numerals and inscription in platinum inlay
• Winding crown screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system
• Virtually scratch resistant sapphire crystal
• 44mm case. The largest case within their current entire range.
• Waterproofness to 100m (330ft)

INNER PERFECTION

• Perpetual mechanical self winding regatta chronograph. One of a kind, and not to be overlooked when deciding a purchase.
• Calibre 4161
• Precision -2/+2 secs a day.(COSC) certified)
• What makes it one of the watch brand’s finest complication timepieces is the following detail; Centre hour and minute hands, small seconds hand at 6o’clock. Programmable countdown with mechanical memory and on-the-fly synchronization. Stop-seconds for precise time setting.

What struck me for the first time is rather impressive considering the intricate movements and technical working parts. That is that this masterpiece complication tooled watch still delivers a 72 hour power reserve.

Luminescent is long lasting blue Chromalight. I would imagine this looks very cool matching up with the colour detail that gives it an aesthetic appeal in the blue mania watch world we currently live in.

                                                                                     STEEL’S THE SHOW

• 44mm oyster steel case
• Oyster flat three piece links. Not just any steel for Oyster steel is again unique to Rolex. So what does that mean? Why is it so special compared to stainless steel? At this point it is best to let Rolex in their own precise words explain it:
• OYSTERSTEEL
“A Rolex watch must work perfectly and maintain its beauty even in the harshest environments. That is why Rolex uses Oystersteel, a steel alloy specific to the brand and made from scratch in-house. Oystersteel is particularly resistant to corrosion and acquires an exceptional sheen when polished. Their excellent anti-corrosion properties are comparable to those of precious metals. Rolex masters in-house the entire manufacturing process”.
• And finally Rolex do not reserve this Oystersteel to certain steel watches like the Yacht-Master II at £14,950. No, it’s used throughout their entire range where Oystersteel is required. • Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link. Particularly pertinent in hot weather when wrists can swell.

To conclude then, if you are thinking of  investing in a timepiece that pushes the boundaries of watchmaking and delivers style both on and off the seas,  we recommend the Yacht-Master II.

Contact us on 01243 782135 to speak to one of our Rolex specialists about this watch model.


18ct white gold


18ct yellow gold


Everose Rolesor

The Rolex Day Date, the President’s watch

by Gary Royston Cole

A 1950’s Rolex Day Date

Launched in 1956, the Day-Date made its debut as the first waterproof and self-winding chronometer wristwatch to offer a modern calendar with an instantaneous day display, spelt out in full in a window on the dial, in addition to the date.

Platinum and green roman dial very fitting with the Rolex brand.

Platinum and ice blue dial.
This colour of dial is unique to platinum watches only.


White gold and silver dial.
Classic dial that fits any outfit you may be wearing.


Yellow gold green dial with diamonds. Maybe not for the President of USA. His wife maybe? Ideal in 36mm.


White gold with pink opal dial and diamonds. Perfect for day and for night wear.


Yellow gold champagne dial 40mm Rolex, forever in vogue, never been out of fashion since 1956.

I can confidently say the Rolex Day Date is the most famous watch worn in the history of Rolex. It competes with no other Rolex model since its launch in 1956. It is virtually a one of one evolving wristwatch.
If asked which Rolex model is the true proven flagship of the brand? I would not have to think about it for more than 1 single second; it is the Rolex Day Date.

The Rolex Day Date started its post design journey with a patent in 1955, and arrived as a Mark I: 36mm with 18ct gold oyster bracelet case and bezel in 1956.

With full day and full date apertures it touched the watch world like possibly no other timepiece on its debut. It was aimed at both the wealthy and the powerful satisfying people like, JF Kennedy, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan (all US Presidents from 1961 to 1989).

In the day it was a sign that the wearer who purchased a Day Date was likely to be a millionaire.

Interesting facts tell us that a UK millionaire in the 1970’s qualified themselves by having assets of at least 1 million, and a sizable income of around £58k per annum. That is a lot of Day Dates bearing in mind the price for a Rolex Day Date in 1983 was £4,200. I confess to selling one as a retail watch specialist in 1983.

Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf was still heading up Rolex during the event of the launch, (he died in 1960). In testament to his reputation and meticulous detail the Day Date was and is now everything it set out to be.

Have you ever taken stock and tried to think of any Rolex model which is no longer made? The truth is that there are not many at all. Since 1926 if we take the view that because the oyster case remains much the same, Rolex evolve their original blueprint around that. Clever. Ever economic are the Swiss, this of course is my opinion only.

The first model you may think of is the fabulous Oyster Quartz. That is no doubt because the battery versus mechanical movement does not, and continues to not, fit comfortably with a 300 year old Swiss tradition. I get that!


So why buy a Rolex Day Date timepiece which starts at the price of a decent car at £26,650?

Firstly it is not just another 18ct yellow gold bracelet wristwatch. It is a Rolex timepiece which owns an incredible history. So much so that the most well known US president known to the public John Fitzgerald Kennedy decided to wear one. He was from a famous wealthy dynasty and could have chosen to wear any watch.

Interesting historical story is that it was a gift that was engraved on the back “JACK with love as always from MARILYN May 29th 1962”. Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe was his alleged mistress. Secondly, much more important than an American scandal is that it provides the owner with everything he could practically want from a watch.

Beautifully crafted in precious metal only (gold or platinum) it is not over complicated yet contains a full day aperture, as well as a cyclops date aperture too. This achieves a concise and elegant dial without fears of looking cluttered.

The modern President bracelet is hand crafted to perfection in solid precious metal links. A seamless and continuous bracelet which does not need a conventional clasp. Instead it has a simple crown to lift open the deployment clasp.

The inclusion of the green seal; this small longstanding green tag still represents that every single Rolex produced is an officially certified chronometer. This means that it is a superlative timepiece and is guaranteed to accuracy of +2/-2 seconds per day. This Swiss COSC standard (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) is given to Rolex more than any other watch manufacturer.

The virtually scratch resistant crystal complete with a cyclops date lens This is the only component that Rolex do not manufacture. First introduced early eighties with their Oyster Quartz range.

It is 100 metres (330ft) waterproof. What is really surprising is this… Traditionally you do not expect a watch like this to be waterproof, as it is a fully precious metal watch. The famous oyster case created by Rolex in 1926 makes this possible. And what an ingenious name ‘Oyster Case’ this was cleverly devised because when a sea oyster shuts it shell case it becomes waterproof. So by patenting a system that will screw down the bezel, case back and winding crown against the middle case you succeed in absolute, (not water resistance) but waterproofness.

A delightful black and white photo of British swimmer and first Rolex Brand Ambassador Mercedes Gleitze. Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex, approached Mercedes to ask her if she would wear a Rolex waterproof oyster when she swam the English channel. Her English Channel swim was 21 miles. Crossing the channel, this Rolex Oyster case would have encountered heavy salt water, icy cold water, the lashing of high waves and the constant movement of her arms as she stroked her way to France. This oyster case was the same functional design as the Rolex Day Date we see today. One outstanding feature of the Day Date is that like all Rolex Oyster models it has a Screw-down, Twinlock double waterproofness system.

Trust me, you can swim all day long with your Day Date. The only thing that will let you down is yourself if you run out of energy with the shoreline of France now in your sight.


To conclude then, I could bore you with much more mechanical insight like the:

Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding movement.
Calibre 3255, Manufacture Rolex precision -2/+2 sec/a day
Function Centre hour, minute and seconds hands Instantaneous day and date in apertures
Unrestricted rapid-setting.
Stop-seconds for precise time setting.
Oscillator Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring for High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers.
Bidirectional self-winding
Power reserve which is approximately 70 hours

WHOOPS SORRY JUST COULD NOT RESIST IT.

Next step is to disregard the fact that the investment value will be always lower than an 18ct professional model.
With a Day Date it is not about the investment, It is all about wearing one of the finest precious metal timepieces ever made, a companion for life

By Gary Royston Cole

Chris Evert.

American tennis icon who wowed the crowds from 1972-1989. Wimbledon ladies champion and 18 grand slam titles. I remember her well in 1972 as a child, and how could we forget her now! A Rolex Lady Datejust was worn by Chris herself over a long and successful tennis career. Winning Wimbledon titles in 1974, 1976 and 1981.

I’m not going to talk about comparing a gentleman’s love for watches against a woman’s. It is absolutely irrelevant in any present or past decade.

ROLEX have no need to count which gender purchases the most from them, and quite frankly I am not interested either.

Having sold both new and second hand Rolex watches over a long period I have noticed ladies are not drawn to just a few models of the range; like most men with their current healthy obsession with the ROLEX professional range. In my experience they enjoy taking their time, as thankfully it is all about the style and will it suit them aesthetically, and practically. After all, the starting price for a Rolex timepiece is over £3000. As retailers we should never get complacent on price.

Buying a Rolex is a considerable purchase, and customers deserve your time, your attention, and your knowledge. We live in times where customers are well informed, bombarded by media adverts from their mobiles and have never had so much choice in the world of time watching. We are well rid of the assumption that ladies wear watches just as fashion accessories. This has never been the case in my experience of the horological world. It has never been solely a mans world. Indeed to my utter delight I regularly sell “mens” watches to well informed ladies who know exactly what they want for themselves or as a gift.

Now what I am not saying is most men are blinkered by the current impossible climate of getting these impossible to obtain professional watches. No, no, definitely not.

We have to remember the art of keeping a customer happy is all about how much we listen to them,
With this in mind I am now going to show you 3 different ladies watches by Rolex to demonstrate the terrific diversity of timepieces that I have sold to ladies in recent months. This proves that the ladies could be much more likely not to want to wait patiently on a retail waiting list for an average of 5-7 years for the majority of professional timepieces.

In my opinion it seems that the lady watch enthusiasts are much more open to seeing that all Rolex models are a fine investment, and what looks beautiful on the wrist is what matters more. I know I am controversial, but why write an article that is not from ones heart.

Ladies 28mm Everose Rolesor, polished bezel, Chocolate dial

ROLEX Airking 40mm

ROLEX Oyster 34mm red grape dial

We live in an era where though tradition should be an asset to the retailer, it is not necessarily the only essential ingredient for success. The days of the small cocktail watch 15mm case requiring highly magnified eyes to read the time has well and truly been retired since about 1980.

That is where Rolex stepped in with there tidy 26mm Oyster Datejust, back in 1988 which ran until the 2016 when the 28mm arrived. Note, there still remains only one (oyster steel 26mm watch, and that is the popular non date oyster with a great varied colour range of dials. See below a popular ROLEX green dial example of this watch.

I couldn’t possibly finish this article without the mention of precious stones. Not just diamonds for the lady, but coloured precious stones as well. When Rolex pick their stones the quality has to be high to compliment the highest quality of the overall case, bezel, glass and bracelet. Their grade for diamonds will vary slightly for both the bezel and the dial. A diamond dial would command up to a flawless diamond for the hour markers. The bezel where the diamonds can number 50 plus (depending on model) a little lesser grade. Overall they will be top quartile.

One other precious material that is in high demand is having a mother of pearl dial. Each one is unique with either a slight variation, say with white MOP to more striking reds or pink. For you men reading this my tip would be to allow where possible the lady to choose herself if possible.

Ladies Rolex 31mm mother of pearl dial with diamonds.

Now the above images demonstrate when a Rolex watch becomes an exceptional piece of jewellery as well as a chronometer timepiece. This example above is an 18ct yellow gold Datejust with president bracelet, 28mm with pink sunray dial and diamond bezel, diamond hour markers. 55 hours power reserve, and yes you can safely swim with it on your wrist down to 330 feet. £31,300. l did however once spot a handbag in Harrods for £75k-so this particular Rolex suddenly seems value for money depending how much you like handbags!

Rolex prove their skill as both superlative watchmakers, and crafted jewellers to suit most international tastes. Their place in the ladies watch market remains as secure as ever. Rolex keep on testing the boundaries by releasing a range that is both diverse, affordable compared to its nearest competition, and a sound medium term investment.

I shall now finish where I started with Rolex and its tennis partnership. Their respect for Chris Evert Wimbledon champion will be the same respect for every lady who chooses to wear a Rolex. I hope you have enjoyed my small contribution to the loyal ladies who wear the Rolex crown with pride.

By Joshua Getting

It’s the early 1970’s, you are a saturation diver. it is a very well paid job, mostly because it is incredibly dangerous. your mission is to spend prolonged periods deep down in the ocean, deeper and for longer each time you go. Almost certainly a physically strong person because of the pressures put on your body whilst doing your job. If you need to get to the surface, it is going to take days, no matter what the circumstances or reasoning. This is because of the need for decompression. ascending to fast to the surface will create an onset of the bends, likely fatal. Timing is everything; you spend the day out making repairs or doing research on the ocean floor and when your done, go back into a metal container. The watch on your wrist right now is the Rolex Sea-Dweller,  and you are the, very niche, target market.

People have wanted to go as deep as possible since the 1960’s, Piccard and Walsh dived to 37,800 ft accompanied by a custom-made to order Rolex Deepsea Special which was strapped to the outside of the submersible. it worked well and survived the challenge.

If however, you were a diver before 1967 tasked with diving anything over 200m, you had a problem. At this time, later and now, you would be using a mix of air to breath at such great depths. This mix includes helium. Helium particles are smaller than oxygen, to the point that they are able to penetrate the watch through seals that are water, dust and oxygen proof. this has no detrimental effect on the watch whilst down in the deep however upon resurfacing the helium particles retard, and will find any way to escape the watch. The easiest way out of the watch until much later was the glass, as it was made of plastic or plexi. Essentially, the watch itself was experiencing decompression sickness. Rolex were tasked again to find a solution and of course they succeeded.

1967 saw the release of the Rolex Sea-Dweller, model number 1665. If you were lucky enough to own or wear this watch, you did so for good reason. This watch oozes coolness and nothing says Rock & Roll like having a profession that is among one of the most dangerous on Earth!  This watch was capable of going to depths of 500m, more than double it’s Submariner counterpart at the time. It also featured a brand new part, patented by Rolex specifically for this watch; the Helium escape valve.

This was a very simple chamber style device that allowed the helium to escape safely, without compromising the waterproofness of the watch. This escape was always done in dry compression chambers, contrary to common thought which was that it was done in water, I think mostly due to a marketing image by Rolex showing some bubbles being released from a watch which was indeed under water. There are many helium gas escape valves fitted to watches today, diving to over 500m or greater is very rare, not many people do it however, diving watches on the market for this feat are plentiful from many manufacturers. The difference with this one, is that it is automatic. Others, for example the Omega Seamaster/ Planet Ocean, have a second winding crown to release the helium. this is something else to worry about in what I am sure is quite a stressful and focused time as well as being another part that is subject to wear and tear, knocks and bangs and potentially failing resulting in water ingress way before you are decompressing. Automatic Helium Escape Valves can be found only on 3 watches today; of course the Rolex Sea-Dweller, the Rolex DeepSea and the Tudor Pelagos.

This watch epitomized the tool watch category and had functionality in plenty. Over the years to come, other model references were released. Notably some of the rarest ones are the single and double red Sea-Dwellers, featuring red writing on the dial or even more so, the COMEX submariners which indeed had helium escape valves fitted at the time.

By 1978 the latest Sea-Dweller was unveiled to be capable of diving to 4000ft/1200m, this was a huge feat. The watch at this time was fairly commercial and sold well, although shadowed in numbers by its more popular sibling the Submariner. If you were the person buying the Sea-Dweller and not the Submariner, this certainly said something about you.

in 2014 the Sea-Dweller was released again with the model reference 116600, this was true to the original 40mm case but had all the appropriate updates; solid link bracelet, ceramic bezel and the latest movement of the time. This watch was only around for a couple of years and numbers were small. I do think if you were lucky enough to get one of these, it is one of the future classic and rare references of recent years.

That said, in 2017 Rolex unveiled the latest iteration of Sea-Dweller celebrating the 50th birthday of the model. It shocked and awed due to the brilliant red writing, true to the original and due to the controversial case size of 43mm and the fact it had a cyclops on the date. Famously, the Sea-Dweller had a date function but never had the cyclops magnification. In my opinion, the 43mm case fits much better into the Rolex line up and today’s market than another 40mm where the choice is far and wide. The Sea-Dweller has always been about functionality and previously it was simply not possible for the watch to have a cyclops due to the glass manufacture, It was now possible and it added functionality so it made sense. If you too were lucky enough to pick one of these fantastic watches on the year of release (there cannot be many) you will have what has been since called the MK1 dial. The Sea-Dweller 126600 was one of the very first professional models to receive the new Calibre 3235 movement which boasted a 70h power reserve and increased efficiency. Other models that had this upgrade showcased a new dial design, depicting a crown between SWISS and MADE at the very bottom of the dial at 6 o’clock. The Sea Dweller had the new movement, but no crown – this was the MK1 dial.

Last year, we witnessed an entirely new development of Sea-Dweller, this time in Rolesor; the marriage of Oystersteel and 18ct Gold. The Sea-Dweller had always been made exclusively in steel so this too was controversial however I feel that this was again a good move. The market is incredibly strong for gold and Rolesor models and at this case size, there is no offering from Rolex.

It carries the size very well, and the little details such as the minute graduations the whole way around the bezel and the gold writing on the dial that says ‘SEA-DWELLER’ express this is a watch that puts itself apart from the crowd. Besides, what is more rock & roll than putting on a steel and gold watch, jumping in the open water and going as deep as 4000ft, which is as deep as Jacques Cousteau went in 1965 in the DEEPSTAR 4000!

Beyond this, who is going diving these days? Saturation divers are still working very hard and at very little difference in danger. They do use diving computers but I can tell you first hand that many will still wear a Sea-Dweller on their other wrist too. I have been lucky enough to see them come in for service, which is needed more regularly because of the strain on the watch. Often they have heavy marks, all part of the story they carry and even weld splats sometimes from the structures they have help to make and repair deep down in the ocean.

Today, more people want to explore the planet we live on, particularly the ocean. Diving is a past time that appeals to so many people and jetting off to the Caribbean and taking a scuba excursion to see some exotic sea life and possibly a shipwreck or two sounds amazing. The Rolesor Sea-Dweller 126603 would be the perfect companion for such a trip, also suitable for an evening dinner or function, epitomising that ‘one-stop-watch’ that is the most sought after timepiece of today.

By Gary Royston Cole

This beautifully crafted timepiece was once named the finest mechanical quartz movement watch in the world!
And so it should be; it has never tried to be in competition with any other watch than itself. In the 1970’s the quartz movement threatened both large and long standing respected watch houses by its unconventional battery powered movement. Watch specialists like myself forget that companies like Seiko(the master of quartz innovation) had started their company way back in 1881 under Kintaro Hattori. Meaning they had a good perspective of the market place. Suddenly the conventional manual and automatic watches were partly out of fashion due to the curiosity of this new digital and analogue sensation even to the point of watchmakers themselves questioning the security of their profession, with many less watchmakers training at this period.

However, if there is one thing we can always rely on and that is this-Rolex do everything with an accurate sense of the current market place. That is one of the reasons why many ROLEX collectors I have come across own one ,or more than one of these Oyster Quartz timepieces. Including myself.

RL Austen last year had the privilege of servicing and refurbishing a rare (according to Rolex UK) 18ct white gold diamond dial jubilee pyramid dial early oyster quartz. The lucky owner and I discovered it was very hard to put a value on it because of its scarcity. it was a truly stunning watch. They also being quite the expert on Rolex, informed me that my own Oyster quartz in steel accompanied with a white gold bezel is now hard to find because of the limited availability out there for a white gold 18ct fluted bezel. (see introduction picture of it above).

A rare early 18ct white gold model above with the early 18ct yellow gold one above that. These timepieces are of the collectible nature that demands specialist auction only sales.

The earliest example (image above) was a limited series date 5100, and had a Beta 21 movement. This sculptured heavy case, as you can see by its shape, is extremely high quality. Back in 1972 (I was 11) this was the ideal style! Fashion changes, as peoples demands and designs change. Fashion finds it hard to keep up with itself, which is why Retro watches are so popular decade after decade.

This model is pre-quartz chronometer. I Personally have always found the early Oyster Quartz dial was too bare. It needed those classic written lines which were “superlative chronometer officially certified” engraved on the dial.

The second generation Oyster Quartz models (I call the “loud tick”) because in a silent room at night you can distinctly hear the seconds tick away, at no extra charge from Rolex too!

A nice example below of a Rolex Oyster Quartz Datejust Chronometer Yellow Rolesor. The most popular one sold to the market place.

So then- how rare is a Rolex oyster quartz both now or in the future?

(c) watch plus put it like this.

It has been estimated that fewer than 25,000 Oyster Quartz watches were made, which makes it one of the rarest regular production watches Rolex has ever produced. (To put the number 25,000 in perspective, remember that Rolex made almost one million watches in 2004 (no. not verified) and the Oyster Quartz was in production for nearly 25 years.)

Rolex 1978 model 17000. note on the dial it is an early non chronometer model , flat slab type link bracelet. Not so pretty as the later Jubilee bracelet. But that is the 1970’s for you. BIG BOLD AND BRASH. Think of it like remembering visually a 1970’s Ford Zodiac estate car!! Actually, please do not think about or Google that car!!!

The first 5100 (very rare) was made in 18ct gold only in 1000 numbered pieces. It also boasted Rolex’s first adventure into the sapphire glass. Their rapid development soon produced in 1972 a Rolex in house movement, dismissing the original Beta one. This is typical Rolex, who with their iconic reputation take their timepieces to an even greater level. They still have this insight to move forward as much as possible today. It is as they would say “The Rolex way” It is not arrogance, but more intelligence.

Let us now look at the specifications for a more modern 1990’s model the white gold Rolesor steel model (17000).

BRACELET: Oyster Steel Jubilee flat style 5 link.

CASE WIDTH: 36mm.

BEZEL : 18ct white gold fluted, or more common polished steel.

GLASS: Virtually scratch resistant sapphire.

DIAL : Date aperture at 3 o’clock in various colours including blue; white Roman, champagne and black as well as some diamond options

CLASP: Flip lock standard Datejust issue with no safety clasp.

MOVEMENT: It was claimed at launch that it was the finest quality quartz timepiece in the world, and arguably over engineered. It boasted a combination of mechanical and quartz technology with jewels.

10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BUYING ONE:

by Joshua Getting

THE TIME TRAVELLING, TIME ZONE HOPPING, TIME TELLING WATCH. THE BLACK BAY GMT

The world has just awoken to a new age of travel. It is now possible to travel from London to the United States of America thanks to Pan Am. Economies were experiencing a boost and many young affluent had a strong desire to travel. Economy domestic flights were expensive but much desired.

This was also a mystical time where organisations such as militaries and exploration professionals could request watch companies to create a timepiece for their specific needs. Pan Am needed a watch fit for travelling the world with them and their pilots and Rolex were tasked with the job.

The watch was created. The Rolex GMT Master, model 6542. There is loads to learn about this game-changing timepiece but all-in-all, it was a super cool tool watch. Originally featuring a Bakelite bezel insert painted half red for daytime hours and blue for night-time hours, you could use this watch to tell two time zones at once. The colour scheme has remained much the same, however the materials have changed; the bezel was changed to anodized aluminium in 1959. If you were the person wearing this watch, you were one of the new elite, travelling the world from one adventure to the next or sat in the cockpit of a machine capable of 1,300 MPH; Concorde.

Now, TUDOR had not been making watches for the time-zone traveller at this time, with their tool watch offering focused firmly on formidable diving watches. Today however, one of the very best watches to offer a GMT function is one out of the TUDOR stable. Joining the family in 2018 (in fact mirroring a release from its sibling company) TUDOR released the Black Bay GMT. The black bay range comes in a whole host of flavours, each satisfying the different watch enthusiast’s desires in their own ways. This one was not one called to creation to reminisce on TUDOR model of yesteryear (such as the Black Bay Fifty-Eight also released at the same time) but simply a nod to the enthusiast who like myself romanticised the golden age of flight and travel and beyond all else, the watches that went along with it.

True to the original Rolex 6542, the Black Bay GMT has no crown guards, has bright, strong colours on the bezel and a beautiful domed glass. Coupled with a fantastic movement featuring timekeeping of -2/+4 secs/24H and a 70-hour power reserve this watch absolutely shines through at it’s price point which is only around £3,000.00. Still a substantial amount of money that’s for sure however, for an original 6542, you could spend as much as 300,000 CHF (see Phillips Geneva watch auction 6).

Of course, Rolex still make the Rolex GMT Master, now the GMT Master II thanks to its upgraded independent hour hand function (as shared with the Black Bay GMT) and this is a fantastic watch. It is however a completely different watch, with a much more dressy tool watch feel – incredibly versatile and appeals to lots of people, a model worn by men and women alike; Pussy Galore wore a Rolex 6542 in my all time favourite Bond film Goldfinger.

For me, this watch is more than just another Black Bay, it is an homage to a time gone by and an absolute reinterpretation of the original GMT Master with a representation of that Tudor signature design that I love. As a self-confessed watch geek, this to me feels more like a time machine to go back and purchase one of the original iconic watches for what I feel is incredible value. I also cannot wait to spend many years with this watch, eagerly anticipating how the bezel insert will change with time, as the later original aluminium inserts have done.

In my opinion, this watch has a place in anyone’s collection, unless of course you do have a spare 1/4 Million pounds (see Southebys important watches auction also)…

‘BORN TO DARE’… just three short words that immediately makes an inviting statement that is sure to draw us into the TUDOR world of timepieces. Confidence with this iconic Brand started as long ago as 1946 when its founder Hans Wilsdorf gave these words, for his vision of the journey he had in mind for his new company TUDOR.

“For some years now, I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous. I decided to form a separate company with the object of marketing this new watch. It is called the TUDOR Watch Company.” – H.Wilsdorf

As for myself I don’t go back as far as 1946! I do admit however to discovering the brand in my very early retail days during 1979. This was a time when the Tudor Prince Oyster date self winding watch, and the classic ‘Montecarlo’ chronograph had already been launched for several years. If only I had purchased the beautiful, aesthetically eye catching Montecarlo watch at that time. For what would have been approximately under £200 in the day, I now regularly see these rare timepieces go at auction for around £16,000 upwards. Fortunately for me, Tudor in 2010 relaunched this stunning model again under their Heritage range. Going from the early original model (manual wind) to the very reliable calibre 2892 self winding mechanical movement with chronograph function. As you can see these images reveal 3 vibrant and carefully detailed colour coded styles.

Yes they are quite daring in colour! Going away from the traditional steel and black dial professional watches many other manufactures may offer at that level of quality. But isn’t that just the point? Why not apply such colour and style to make it even more daring. Particularly when you have the following complications and features to offer at a price point that is daringly attractive.

Housed within a 42mm steel case using both a polished and satin finish, a beautiful bi-directional colour coded bezel with 12 hour display for the benefit of a second time zone. So then, just imagine yourself now in the heat of a country wearing this watch with the NATO colour coded strap. The warm water of the sea is beckoning you as you are strolling along the seafront esplanade. You can choose with confidence to go swimming because you have the advantage of waterproofness with this timepiece to a depth of 150 meters. TUDOR choose to test every single one of their watches for waterproofness, not leaving any to random testing. With a screw down winding crown complemented with two screw down chronograph pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock-I am not taking any risk by deciding to enjoy the sea with the waves crashing down on me. Should I suddenly have the need to check GMT time difference back in my homeland, I only need to glance at that graduated steel bezel to inform me it is time I called home, once again thoughtful attention to detail By TUDOR.

Anyone looking at the Tudor heritage Chrono Blue for the first time may accidentally miss the incredible attention to detail it gives throughout the entire watch. I therefore give you even more reason to consider this watch as a credible purchase when it offers with discreet taste the following features:

-Soft shoulders and crown guards that protect the crown that have precision and style.

-Knurled edge to the rotatable bezel that oozes engineering thoughtfulness, including the disc in blue or black anodised aluminium.

– For an even better grip and look the winding crown and pushers are also knurled in a fashion found in racing cars of the period.

These are just a few of the attractive and functional features that justify the quality and appeal of a true iconic timepiece which began its origin in 1970.

Of course as much as I love all the carefully designed engineered achievements of the Heritage Chrono, it was for sure the unique multi coloured dial that first drew me in. As well as the versatility of a high grade matching coloured NATO strap that will also help me to preserve the top quality Tudor steel bracelet.

As far as I am concerned if I am going to spend over £3,000 on a watch (whatever the Brand) the dial has to sing to me like the fine tuned voice of Pavarotti. I don’t want any ‘off notes’ on my dial. My Heritage Chrono Blue has a blend of daring colours (opaline and blue with orange detail used for five minute interval numerals, a 45 minute totalizer and small second  hands).

And it doesn’t end there! That mysterious 45 minute totalizer is pretty unusual, as the normal would be a standard 30 or 60 minutes. The jury is out as to the reason why this complication that still today sits in a pentagon shaped section of the dial which is fondly nicknamed a “Homeplate” is 45 minutes. The Homeplate name is given for a much easier reason; for this is the same shape as a Homeplate many American baseball players run to, and touch to score in a baseball. Now some may say 45 minutes represents half time for a football match, or other sports. I like to think it is more likely to be linked with the motor racing world for the following reasons. The heart of a chronograph (in particular the first early 7031/0 Tudor Chrono with Plexiglass and insert) was complete with a 500-unit graduated tachymetric scale. Simply meaning it had the capacity to calculate the hourly average speed between two points, this is crucial in the world of racing to both driver and team.

After some research I carried out, we could link this to the world of that famous race Le Mans for the following reason. In the history of motorsport warm up sessions were the normal, however they became a thing of the past, with Formula one ceasing them in 2003. The exception to the rule is the famous Le Mans endurance race; Le mans carried on this tradition and still allow 45 minutes on Saturday mornings so that the drivers and their teams can loosen up before the wait finally ends that afternoon. This would typically include testing the engine, brakes and vital components over a 45 minute period.

An early 7031 Tudor Chrono

So then my personal mystery of the 45 minute totalizer is truly out there for for debate. Whatever fans, or non fans of this iconic watch think is up to the individual. My Heritage Chrono Blue will remain special to me for the reasons mentioned in this article.

By Gary Cole