The Language of Rolex; A Brand Specific Glossary of Terms
The famous Shakespeare quote from Romeo and Juliet says, “What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any name would smell as sweet.” While this may be true with star crossed lovers, it doesn’t apply to watches. There are hundreds of homage watches striving to look like a Rolex. They look great in the advertisements, but in hand they simply don’t “smell as sweet.” When you buy Rolex you aren’t just getting a wrist watch, you’re getting a piece of horological art, an heirloom that can be passed down for generations. From the smallest spring in the movement to the bold ceramic bezel, with Rolex you’re getting the finest the industry has to offer. There is a reason so many brands want to be like Rolex. They are simply the best. Their quality is unmatched, and their innovation constantly sets the standard. Over their history Rolex has been awarded over 500 patents. They not only build each watch in house, but manufacture the parts using only the finest in the industry materials. Couple this micro managed excellence with their unending dedication to cutting edge technology across limited productions in the utmost quality controlled environment and it is easy to see why they reign supreme. To say their quality is indescribable may be a bit much. But, to do so you’ll need to learn the language of Rolex. Following is a short glossary of terms used by Rolex and Rolex enthusiasts to describe the unique qualities and styles built into their luxury watches.
Batman – Hailing from the DC Comic book character, the term refers to Submariners and GMT-Masters with black and blue bezels surrounding black dials and fitted with a silicon rubber or the classic stainless steel Oyster band.
Batgirl – Similar to the Batman dive watch look with blue and black bezel around a black dial. The difference between the two is the Batgirl is fitted with the Jubilee Band.
Bark – Vintage brushed texture look on white and yellow gold bands, bezels and cases. The “barked” components were often paired with polished ones to create a two tone look from solid gold parts.
Calibre – The term paired with a numeric code for identifying a specific Rolex movement. Calibre is a fancy spelling for the word caliber which is a standard of measure often associated with a man’s character and is used by the watch community for complete movements.
Cerachrom – Cerachrom is the name given to the bezel ceramic bezels that replaced the older aluminum and Plexiglas versions. Manufactured by Rolex, the hard custom ceramic bezel insert is virtually scratchproof offering vivid colors across a bold corrosion resistant surface.
Chromalight – Chromalight is the name given by Rolex for the brand unique glow in the dark material. Their excessively vivid luminescent coating provides long lasting illumination on the hands and dials of their watches.
Chronenergy – Magnetism can cause a watch movement to speed up. The escapement on a watch is the mechanism that literally counts the beats and keeps the time. Chronenergy is the specialized Rolex escapement offering anti magnetism properties.
COMEX - The term COMEX is an anachronism for Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises, a commercial French dive company that commissioned Rolex to produce watches for their deep sea operations. Rolex produced a number of versions with the COMEX dial. Their work eventually led to the creation of the Sea-Dweller line. Rolex provided the company with a number of watches including Submariners and Sea-Dwellers. The watches were not intended for public sale, but rather for use by COMEX employees. Rolex produced a very limited number of COMEX Sea-Dwellers, which are identifiable by slight variations of the dial printing. Original COMEX watches are extremely scarce and highly collectible.
Coke – The fan name given to the GMT-Master or GMT-Master II dive watches in stainless or white gold cases, with Stainless Oyster bands and black dials surrounded with black and red bezel insert.
Cosmograph – The original name Rolex gave to their uber popular Daytona model. It eludes to the chronograph dials and tachometer bezel.
Everose – Rolex created a proprietary blend to create their unique long lasting Rose Gold. The metal is smelted at their facility at their private foundry. The custom mix of copper and yellow gold is a closely guarded secret and guarantees longevity of color.
Hulk – The classic diver watch fitted with a green bezel insert surround a green dial. The name is inherited from the classic oversized DC comic book character known for his green skin and hair.
James Cameron – Another nick name given by enthusiasts to a style, the James Cameron is a Sea Dweller Deep Sea with a Rolex specific D-Blue sunburst dial with DEEP SEA in green and black bezel. The watch was introduced by Rolex in 2014 to commemorate Cameron’s solo dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
Oyster Perpetual - These words grace almost all the Rolex dials and refer to the Oyster case and perpetual automatic movement with sweeping second hand. The phrase is used to describe the entry level models including the no-date, Datejust and Day-Date watches.
Oystersteel – Their brand specific stainless steel rated at 916L. The metal is more corrosion resistant than the 316L stainless used in most other watches. It shines to an ultra high reflectivity giving Rolex stainless and two tone examples exceptional visual appeal.
Oysterquartz – The series of watches produced from 1976 – 2001 that used a special quartz movement. Despite 25 years of production only 25,000 watches were produced and today they are considered extremely collectible. They only came with date, or day-date models and only in 36mm cases.
Parachrom – The name Rolex gives to their hairspring. When magnetized, an automatic wristwatch can speed up making the movement gain time over the course of the day. The Rolex hairspring is made of a niobium-zirconium alloy that is impervious to magnetic fields and dramatic temperature change.
Paraflex – Is the system of shock absorbers Rolex employs inside the case to protect their movements from drops and abrupt movement that may inhibit the mechanism. The Paraflex system ensures the wearer accurate time during extreme conditions.
Pepsi – The fan name given to the GMT-Master dive watches in white metal cases with black sunburst dials or white meteorite dial and a blue and red bi-color bezel. These are fitted with the Oyster stainless bracelet.
Rolesor – Rolesor combines durability with luxury. It is the name given to the two tone versions where Rolex juxtaposes their high quality 18 carat gold with their unique Oystersteel 916L stainless steel. It is offered in their exquisite brand specific bracelets across most watches in their line.
Rolesium – Used only with the Yacht-Master, this is where Rolex pairs a Oystersteel case and bracelet with a 950 platinum bezel. The combination provides a high corrosive resistance and durability with a splash of luxury.
Root Beer – The “Root Beer” models are the classic dive models with a sunburst brown dials paired with the brown or brown/black bezels. They come in yellow gold, Everose, Rolesor or the Oystersteel stainless bodies and bracelets.
Saros – The system used on the Sky Dweller and Yacht Master offering simplicity of complication management though a bezel and crown combination. Rolex added only two gear ratios and four gear wheels to its traditional date calendar to ensure peerlessly robust and reliable annual calendar functionality. With Saros, adjustments of date and time zone tracking happen with flawless ease.
Smurf – The Smurf is the playful name given by collectors to the Sub or GMT models in stainless or white gold with blue ceramic bezel and blue sunburst dial.
Triplock – The screw down crown introduced for the Sea-Dweller in 1970. It has a triple waterproof system featuring two O-rings and threaded mount to protect Rolex movements from liquids and minute particles. The system delivers exceptional protection for the professional deep sea diver and casual wearer alike.
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