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Rolex Is A Master At Designing And Creating Unique Watch Dials

Rolex Is A Master At Designing And Creating Unique Watch Dials

January 15, 2022

These creations prove that beyond being a watchmaker, Rolex is a dial alchemist too

Every timepiece has a dial, also known as its face. It is more than just a support for all the time-related data. In fact, it represents the identity of the timepiece. One can determine whether a watch is elegant or sporty almost immediately by glancing at its face.

This mastery of dial art is something at which Rolex is particularly adroit. Since Rolex timepieces are widely recognised by the iconic Oyster case, it is even more pertinent for the watchmaker to distinguish every creation by rendering it with an individual character and a unique dial.

Refer to the myriad selection of watch dials and one can’t help but agree on the superlative expertise demonstrated by Rolex. It melds cutting-edge surface physics and chemistry with the mastery of a palette of lacquers to achieve dials that shine with spirit and vitality. To further affirm our point, here are some outstanding creations with dials that arrested our attention.

Let’s face it
The art of dial design is one that is hardly discussed among watch enthusiasts but most will agree that it is a specialised art form as well as a certain means to distinguish a creation from the many others in the market. Rolex is known to have one of the widest libraries of dial designs in terms of patterns, colours and materials. This year, it adds two new motifs to its Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 collection.

The 2021 version of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 features palm and fluted dial motifs. Taking inspiration from mother nature, the palm motif evokes imagery of verdant tropical forests brimming with life and vigour. It can be found in three versions of the Datejust 36. The Oystersteel version has an olive green dial with the palm motif—this combination boasts the strongest association to nature; the yellow Rolesor version (a combination of Oystersteel and yellow gold) features the same pattern on a golden dial; while the Everose Rolesor version (combining Oystersteel and Everose gold) sports the palm motif on a silver dial. Both the Oystersteel and yellow Rolesor watches are fitted with an Oyster bracelet, and the Everose Rolesor piece is equipped with a Jubilee bracelet.

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The Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 features an olive green dial inspired by tropical forests–it evokes a sense of verdant greenery, a balmy oasis in the heat of the tropics. PHOTOS: ROLEX
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The iconic fluted bezel provided the creative spark for the design of the dial of this Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36, giving the watch a stately presence.

On the other hand, the fluted motif is inspired by the pattern found on a variety of Rolex bezels. It has become synonymous with the watchmaker as well as one of the brand’s signature aesthetic styles. The fluted motif is found on the golden dial of the final watch – another yellow Rolesor version – this time with a Jubilee bracelet.

Both the palm and fluted motifs are created such that when the dials catch light at different angles, they awaken different emotions and bring out the characters of the dials. And for the uninitiated, these dials are crafted out of age-old materials such as copper, zinc, nickel, chromium, titanium and silicon combined with cutting-edge technology, which allows Rolex to create such deep, vibrant metallic colours.

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Gem-packed with beauty
Rolex is known for the high quality of its coloured dials, which adorn many of its timepieces. But the brand further demonstrates a wide range of skills and know-how, mastered in-house, to endow the dials of some of its watches with diamonds, sapphires, and other precious stones.

A good example that showcases the gem-setting savoir faire by Rolex is the Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust in 18 ct yellow gold. Paved with 291 diamonds in a perfectly uniform manner, the brilliance and sparkle of the dial captures everyone’s attention. What makes the gem-setting process even tougher for this Lady-Datejust is the relatively small dial diameter of only 28 mm. This means the amount of space the gem-setter has to work with is greatly restricted, as compared to the other watches from other collections. Employing the skill, experience, and patience of the gem-setters, through incredibly precise motions repeated over several hundred times, a glittery stunning dial is created. It is completed by elegant 18 ct yellow gold Roman numerals with a black finish.

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The Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust in 18 ct yellow gold is testament to the superlative skills of Rolex gem-setters. The 28mm timepiece has a dial with one of the smallest surface areas in the watchmaker’s stable.

Gift from earth
Eisenkiesel is a type of quartz coloured red, brown or orange with striped hematite inclusions. Varying from translucent to opaque, the natural material, whose name translates to iron pebbles in German, is not typically used in watchmaking.

But having worked with stone dials in the past, Rolex uses its experience to feature this decorative stone–for the first time–for the dials on two new versions of the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 and Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40. In fact, the Swiss watchmaker became the first watch brand to feature the dark quartz.

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The Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 in 18 ct Everose gold with diamond-set bezel sports a dial made of eisenkiesel, a type of dark quartz with unique veining patterns, as well as hour markers and a Roman VI and IX, all in 18 ct gold and set with diamonds.
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Like the Day-Date 36, the Day-Date 40 similarly features a diamond-set bezel but its hour markers are set with 10 baguette-cut diamonds.

Both watches come in 18 ct Everose gold, which immediately presents a different look to the emblematic “presidents’ watch”, making it suitable for both work and play. The dark chocolate hue on the eisenkiesel dial also pairs beautifully with the rich, warm hues of the 18 ct Everose gold. Due to the random nature of the veining pattern found on the quartz mineral, each dial is one of a kind. Rolex is meticulous when selecting the discs of stone, cut by experts from a block of raw material, and only those discs whose colour and structure fully satisfy the brand’s exacting aesthetic requirements are chosen.

Tags: Rolex; Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36; Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust; Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36; Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40

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