A Look at the 2013 Rolex Models


Rolex has become an entity unto itself. It’s transcended the world of watches to become synonymous with status and suggestive of something more along with Aston Martin and Armani suits, and has achieved this throughout the years by offering in its watches the sort of unparalleled blend of panache, prestige, British polish and fine Swiss workmanship befitting a man of status. Does the 2013 line live up to this lofty pedigree? Let’s take a look.

One of the most captivating aspects of the Rolex brand is the history associated with it. Such is the case with this new callback to the classic 1963 Cosmograph Daytona, the debut year for that particular model. This nostalgic gem features a platinum case, engraved “Chestnut brown” numerals and markers, is waterproof, and features a sapphire-crystal surface that’s both scratch resistant and yet still extraordinarily elegant. The true test of a wristwatch today is to have is form and look stand out as a statement about the wearer as much as possible without impeding the function, and here this reimagined blast from the past excels.

If there’s an Achilles’ heel to the Rolex brand strategy, it may be what is arguably its greatest strength—the fact that it’s become a name and entity unto itself. “Rolex” has come to mean something, and that “something” has, on the one hand, come to stand for the best, but also the most expensive in wristwatches. That latter descriptor doesn’t exactly make Rolex come across as the sort of watch which is viable for the mainstream. The GM Master II is Rolex’s attempt to create a watch which caters more to that mainstream, working class market, and while it’s as finely crafted, reliable and ornate as you would expect a Rolex to be, it’s still more than $1000 in price, which, while less expensive than other Rolexes, doesn’t exactly say “mainstream.” Nevertheless, while by no means cheap—in quality or cost, no Rolex is ever “cheap”—it’s still a great watch, if you can afford it.

As the name might suggest, there’s something of a nautical theme to it. The sea blue around the watch-face and watch-face compliments this well. It’s a subtle touch, but then Rolex is a company which seems eternally able to transform small nuances into colossal success stories. The Yacht-Master II comes with all the accoutrements you might expect. It has the same scratch-resistant sapphire crystal watch-face as the Cosmograph, and the stainless steel finish is certainly more suited to the rugged nature of seafaring than the platinum of that aforementioned model. That being said, while this model’s stainless steel finish is seemingly more geared (and suited for) the “mainstream” market Rolex wants to court than the GMT Master III, and all without giving up its status as the preeminent watch on the market.

Of all the 2013 Rolex models, perhaps it’s the Day-Date that stands out the most. With a watch-face and surface that’s crafted from luscious 18 ct. white or yellow gold and with an elegant, smooth leather strap, this is arguably the most luxurious of this year’s batch. Once again, the future of luxury watches for Rolex take a cue from the past, as in the same way the 2013 Cosmograph takes a cue from its 1963 predecessor, the overall design of the 2013 Day-Date is influenced heavily by the design of the inaugural 1956 model, which was heralded at the time for its innovative style and function. The result? While it won’t turn any heads in terms of innovation, the gold finish is lavish, and the slender hands of the watch-face go a long way to making this watch seem like a gem—albeit a highly expensive one. For those seeking less of a retro feel and more gems, there’s a variation available which adds diamond and mother-of-pearl gems to the watch-face and replaces the fine leather strap with an 18 ct. gold bracelet.

For a company most commonly associated with classy “men’s watches,” the Lady-Date is arguably the most ornate and stunning of the 2013 Rolex model. It certainly wins in the riches department—a watch-face of 18 ct. gold studded with diamonds and a finish around the bracelet that has the air, as the name might suggest, of a fine pearl finish despite the definite metallic make of the model. This, simply put, is the perfect example of a watch placing the emphasis on its look without sacrificing functionality. This looks and feels like a precious jewel, and with good reason—it’s made from several of them. In a male-dominated world, this Rolex watch that exudes both beauty and a sense of power.

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