Here is one thing I did not count on. In my first assembly at my first Watches & Wonders, it was a completely new dressy Rolex that I could not take off my wrist. Certain, we handed round a bunch of up to date sport fashions – keep tuned for protection of these too – however the brand new Rolex Perpetual 1908 may be Rolex’s greatest dressy watch in years.
the white dial an “intense white.” Whereas no such adjective is given for the black dial, the shock when seeing it in individual is that it is really a matte black. It is much like what we have seen in another Rolex fashions – it appears much like the dial on this yr’s new titanium Yacht-Grasp, for instance – however in a gown watch it is a refined little shock. Actually, a dressy watch is not alleged to seize an excessive amount of consideration – it is alleged to be slim and smooth and chic (and with out complication and in valuable steel when you’re a purist), and the matte black would not scream at you. In a sure mild and at sure angles, it even appears a bit gray.
In the meantime, the white dial has a slight graining impact that appears to provide it only a little bit of texture. After carrying each for about an equal period of time – that is about half-hour every, for everything of our one-hour assembly with Rolex – the black paired with the yellow gold was my favourite of the bunch. This shocked even me, as somebody who thinks valuable white metals are typically probably the most elegant of metals (Rolex, for its half, calls platinum the noblest of metals). Certain, the white gold and black makes me wish to exit and spend a silly amount of cash on a Tom Ford tux simply to put on one thing half as dignified because the 1908. However there’s one thing a couple of yellow-gold Rolex with a black dial that looks like giving order to a chaotic world. It sort of jogs my memory of these classic Day-Dates with jet-black Onyx dials that I like. It is whispering and shouting on the similar time, making an announcement that solely a yellow-gold Rolex can.
Rolex says it primarily based the dial of the 1908 on a classic mannequin it discovered from 1931 – one thing just like the mannequin it options right here, maybe? – and it exhibits, however in a splendidly up to date method. The 12-3-9 is in a sans-serif font that is as Artwork Deco as it’s trendy, completely complemented by a extra ornate font within the subdial at 6 o’clock. The observatory-style hour hand is one other era-appropriate contact. The By the way in which, 1908 is a reference to the yr one Hans Wilsdorf trademarked the time period Rolex, as a result of what’s a model, particularly a model like Rolex, with no trademark? (Simply ask Jean-Claude Biver.)
Iz’s time to speak in regards to the case of the 1908, all 39mm of it. It appears sort of just like the previous Cellini case, however it’s been up to date (most notably there’s the sapphire caseback now, extra on that in a second). The bezel is half domed and half fluted. Haven’t got the arrogance to go full-fluted on the day by day like me? You are in luck. It is dressed up however not audacious. The case is polished, and whereas we weren’t in a position to get some other measurements from Rolex, the watch is skinny (possibly 9mm?) and has a slim profile on wrist. The lug-to-lug is equally manageable: noticeably smaller than the Black Bay 58 I wore into the room (additionally 39mm, with 47mm lug-to-lug).
I am going to drone on in regards to the want for smaller gown watches as a lot as the subsequent man, however I’ve gotta admit: I did not thoughts the case dimension one bit. Would I’ve favored it much more with 1, 2, or 3mm taken off? Possibly, however I get that there are numerous causes, a lot of them business, why Rolex will not try this. And I say this as a man who’s acquired a smallish 6.3-inch wrist, possibly 6.5 within the stuffy and sparsely air-conditioned halls of Geneva’s Palexpo. The Perpetual 1908 has 50m of water resistance, greater than sufficient for a watch that comes on an alligator strap, I might hope.
Even the motion of the 1908 requires a more in-depth look. And now, in a primary for Rolex, the brand new automated caliber 7140 may be seen by a sapphire caseback. It is one thing Rolex can also be doing with the brand new platinum Daytona, making it identified it is blissful to point out off what it calls Côtes de Genève Rolex ending on the motion. The Rolex caliber 7140 makes use of Rolex’s Syloxi silicon hairspring, one thing that, till now, had been reserved for smaller fashions just like the 31mm Datejust. As Danny explored earlier than, it is notable to see Rolex proceed down the trail of utilizing two totally different sorts of hairsprings throughout its fashions, and at present we’re seeing the Syloxi in a bigger look ahead to the primary time. Oh, and it is the primary time Rolex’s pairing a Syloxi hairspring with its Chronergy escapement. Aside from that, the caliber 7140 has every little thing you would possibly count on from Rolex: Superlative chronometer, 66 hours of energy reserve, and a gold automated rotor.
One other element you decide up on as quickly as you attempt on the Perpetual 1908 that, actually, you may not even take into consideration in any other case: The alligator strap comes on Rolex’s “Dualclasp” (like a butterfly clasp) that appears to drape the wrist a bit extra properly than a normal single-blade clasp. However by now, I would simply be consuming that precision-engineered Rolex Kool-Assist a bit an excessive amount of! On the within, the strap is inexperienced, one other easy “Rolex being Rolex” contact. However I might nonetheless throw this factor on a extra informal strap and put on the shit out of it, just about anyplace and with something.
The Perpetual 1908 will price $22,000 in yellow gold and $23,300 in white gold, with availability starting in October. At first brush, that feels about proper for a dressy Rolex. A lot decrease than, say Patek’s new Calatrava 6007G ($37,850) or 6119 ($31,940), however greater than a comparably fancy watch from a model like Jaeger-LeCoultre, as a result of, effectively, Rolex. The value places the 1908 in the identical neighborhood as an A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia – some consumers will desire hand-engraved steadiness bridges and others will look first to the identify on the dial. Neither is true or improper.
Rolex calls this the Perpetual 1908, however actually it takes inspiration from a watch made in 1931. This period of Rolex, from the Nineteen Thirties by the Nineteen Fifties, is when Rolex got here into its personal. First got here the Oyster case, then the primary automated motion. Earlier than lengthy, Rolex watches have been becoming a member of climbers on Everest and divers within the ocean. However these watches have been nonetheless refined and chic in a method many trendy Rolex watches aren’t. With the brand new 1908, Rolex has captured this heritage in a method I have never seen it do in years. And that is what’s acquired me so enthusiastic about it.
For extra on the Perpetual 1908, go to Rolex.