by Jonathan Zach
Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about custom Rolex components crafted by artisan jewelers, and a lot of that buzz is about custom Rolex bezels. Discriminating men and women commission jewelers to create custom bezels to increase the value of their Rolex watches; to display their senses of style and individuality, and to make bold fashion statements.
The most visible feature of a Rolex is the dial. However, the component that inspires the eye to linger on this legendary timepiece is undoubtedly the bezel. A Rolex bezel’s primary function is a practical one: securing the crystal in place and protecting it from damage by accidental contact. The bezel’s second function is ornamental. However, according to passionate Rolex owners, the bezel is essential: it allows them to personalize their Rolexes in ways that are as unique as the owners themselves.
If you’ve been thinking about having your Rolex bezel customized, you’ve likely conducted some research online to see what other Rolex owners have done with the bezels on their watches. It makes sense to do research, as you can get ideas and weigh your options. You can also view the workmanship and attention to detail required to craft a customized bezel for the world’s most respected and admired watch brand.
Let’s begin exploring your bezel options by considering the composition of the bezel. The bezel material will secure any gemstones that you have chosen, enhance their appearance, and add beauty and value to your Rolex.
The most popular choices are 18-karat white and yellow gold. Aesthetically, gold is hard to beat; its natural warmth and luster have been treasured for centuries. Gold grows in value over time and flatters any precious or semi-precious gems that the owner has chosen for jewelry. As a matter of practicality, gold is a logical choice; its malleability allows it to be fashioned into an infinite variety of shapes. Its ability to hold gems in place has also been proven over and over again.
Next in popularity is platinum, which also has quite a few desirable properties for watch bezels. Platinum is very resistant to wear, corrosion, and tarnishing; has a unique luster, and is also very reliable for securing gems in place. Platinum has long been associated with exclusivity and wealth, and people who choose platinum Rolex bezels tend to be fiercely independent individuals who ignore the fashion trends that wax and wane.
A relative newcomer to the custom Rolex bezel scene (but one that is slowly growing in popularity) is ceramic. Ceramic isn’t ideal for those who want to set gems in their Rolex bezel, as it cannot reliably secure them. However, when buffed to a high gloss and engraved, ceramic can be inlaid with gold or another precious metal. This creates a unique and clean look with scratch-proof durability.
Your options for types and combinations of gems are limitless. As in most high-end luxury jewelry, diamonds reign supreme among Rolex owners. Many prefer a bezel adorned with diamonds all the way around. Others choose diamond accents at the three, six, nine, and twelve o’clock positions set alongside colored gemstones for contrast.
Following diamonds in popularity are rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. Each gem type has its own natural beauty and allure. Gem cut options are endless, too; however, most Rolex customers prefer traditional cuts, including brilliant, emerald, baguette, and square cuts.
Reputable Bezel Jewelers
Now that you’ve conducted research on your custom Rolex bezel, you’ll need to find a jeweler who has the skills to craft and install one for you. Customizing Rolex bezels and other components is a hot trade right now, with no end in sight. Many jewelers are catering to exclusive clientele by specializing in this field. However, it will be very important that you exercise the same care when choosing your jeweler that you employed when choosing the material and gems for your bezel.
Look for a jeweler with a long and proven history in crafting custom Rolex bezels and other components, as well as certified memberships in professional jeweler organizations. More importantly, look for a jeweler who listens intently to what you want in a custom bezel, who answers any questions you may have, and who can show you a variety of finished bezels so that you may examine the quality of his or her work.
Take your time, weigh your options, and remember that customizing the bezel on your Rolex is as much fun as wearing the finished product
by Jonathan Zach
In today’s vernacular, the word ‘hype’ implies that something has gained status or attention it has not earned. When buying a product as consistently and exceptionally fine as a Rolex Yachtmaster II watch (or any other Rolex model), the only “hype” is the excitement you feel when owning one. Given the quality of materials and exquisite craftsmanship that go into making each Rolex, it is little wonder that discriminating, sophisticated buyers are choosing the Rolex Yachtmaster II in record numbers.
The Oyster Perpetual Rolex Yachtmaster II regatta chronograph is not just a watch; it’s also an invaluable tool for people who race yachts competitively. Although some owners choose the Yachtmaster II for its handsome features and legendary durability, many buyers select this watch as a matter of practicality. It has been designed and engineered to withstand exposure to corrosive sea spray, variable atmospheric conditions, and inadvertent contact with ropes, sails, cleats, and all of the other rigging above and below the deck of a racing yacht.
Crew members of world-class racing vessels must move precisely and adjust to ever-changing conditions. These quick or trying movements create countless opportunities for shocks that would wreck the delicate inner components of other watches. With the Yachtmaster II, owners’ concerns about damaging their watches while sailing are alleviated by the durability of its interior and exterior features, including:
The Yachtmaster II’s composition-Equipped with the innovative, brand-new Rolex self-winding Caliber 4160, the Yachtmaster II consists of no fewer than 360 components that accurately keep time with 28,800 beats per hour. The PARACHROM hairspring with a Breguet overcoil is not sensitive to magnetic fields and is up to 10 times more resistant to shocks.
Water resistance-The Yachtmaster II is water-resistant to 100 meters. This feature gives wearers all the water protection they need for underwater hull inspections or repairs, as well as the occasional, leisurely post-regatta dip.
Triplock winding crown-The watch component most vulnerable to the intrusion of moisture, sand, and other substances is the crown. Rolex has virtually removed the possibility of harm with the triplock winding crown. This unique assembly includes a rubber o-ring gasket near the base and a finely threaded base that locks the crown in place in-between settings.
The Yachtmaster II has many other desirable attributes, including:
The Ring Command bezel and countdown timer-This bezel represents a leap forward for Rolex engineering and design. It must have been devilishly difficult to accomplish, too; it allows the owner to program the watch for yacht racing. A programmable digital watch would be unremarkable; however, since the Yachtmaster II is made of moving parts, it is a technical triumph. The Ring Command bezel rotates counter-clockwise to 90 degrees, allowing the owner to program a race countdown between one and ten minutes in length. This feature allows a skipper to see how much time he or she has to get the vessel in position for the staggered starts of the regatta race.
An invaluable tool for serious, competitive yacht racers, the programmable countdown feature can be started or stopped by the push button at the 2 o’clock position. The programming can be cleared by pressing the button at the 4 o’clock position. The fact that this programming is made possible by moving parts within the Yachtmaster II and not aided by a memory chip exemplifies Rolex’s dedication to remaining at the forefront of watch making.
Composition materials-Available in 18-carat yellow gold or 18-carat white gold with a striking blue ceramic bezel, the Yachtmaster II is crafted with the same attention to detail that Rolex puts into every model. The Oyster bracelet is also made of solid white or yellow gold and fitted with an Oysterlock clasp featuring the customary polished edges.
The Oyster Perpetual Rolex Yachtmaster II regatta chronograph is a technical marvel built specifically to serve serious sailors all over the world. Whether owners buy it for its looks, functionality, durability, programmability, or a combination of all these virtues, it’s easy to see that with the Yachtmaster II, there’s no hype at all. As the late, great baseball pitcher Dizzy Dean once said, “It ain’t bragging if you can do it.
by Jonathan Zach
Shopping tips for a new Rolex watch include universal rules that apply to any major investment. There are also several Rolex-specific rules that should be observed to ensure that you’re buying a real Rolex. First, the universal rules:
Do your homework-Although this is also part of the fun of shopping for a new Rolex, you’ll want to look at your options ahead of time. Consider different models, dials, bracelets, bezels, and different combinations of Rolex components available. This is a fine way to guarantee that you’ll make the choice that’s best for you.
Take your time-Buying a new Rolex is seldom an impulsive decision. It’s simply a matter of practicality to take your time, weigh your options, and savor the pleasure of the experience.
Comparison shop-Look in local jewelry shops and online to get an idea of the market. Note the prices of the Rolex models that interest you. A little extra legwork or mouse-work might save you several thousand dollars.
The tips above may seem superfluous, but the prospect of buying a new Rolex is very exciting. Even the most careful shoppers can get carried away in the moment and disregard caution. Any steps you take now to ensure that you don’t experience buyer’s remorse later are invariably practical ones.
Now that those are out of the way, let’s get down to the Rolex-specific shopping tips. These are far more interesting, and will help guide your decisions in what is a fairly major investment. These shopping tips for buying a new Rolex include:
Buy only from reputable Rolex dealers-Many people buy Rolex watches and other fine pieces of jewelry on vacations overseas. The combination of favorable exchange rates and the fun of shopping in other countries make this an enticing idea. The Rolexes become powerful reminders of the wonderful times vacationers had in exotic locales. However, jewelers thousands of miles away from home don’t have to worry about their reputation and might try to take advantage of tourists. When buying a new Rolex, it’s best to stick with reputable domestic dealers who have a stake in ensuring that you’re completely satisfied with your purchase.
Make sure it’s genuine-As the number of people who purchase new Rolex watches for their legendary quality and enduring value has risen over the last several years, so has the sophistication of counterfeiters. Given the quality of the best fakes out there, you cannot be too careful. The best fakes come complete with authentic-looking certificates, tags, boxes, and other paraphernalia. Buying your new Rolex from a reputable dealer close to home is a good way to ensure that you’re getting the genuine article.
Buying online?-These days, lots of people are buying new Rolex watches on the Internet, usually from online merchants and auction sites. From a financial standpoint, it makes sense; you can save a great deal of money in a very competitive marketplace. If you opt to buy your new Rolex online, safeguard your personal information. Only do business with merchants whose Web sites are secure and certified by VeriSign or another authentication company. Also look for accreditation by the Better Business Bureau and other professional organizations.
Double-check the documentation-Each new Rolex should be sold in its original box and case. Additional information such as the Rolex warranty information, the serial number, dial information, movement number, and model designation should be included. Of particular importance is the Official Chronograph Certification. This certification is distinguished by its raised, crisp, professionally embossed lettering and a red seal near the bottom with softly frayed strings running through it.
These are but a few shopping tips for buying a new Rolex. Use them to to guide and inform your decisions. While reviewing them, you’ll likely think of several more questions.
By making the decision to buy a new Rolex for yourself or someone close to you, you’re investing in an exquisitely crafted personal accessory. The Rolex name has been proven over many decades to be the best watch in the world. Rolex craftsmanship, precision, and attention to detail are legendary, and the quality is indeed timeless.