Celli…what? Cellini. The name of the dress watches collection by Rolex may be unfamiliar for the newbies and underrated for the real Rolex aficionados. If everyone knows the Oyster collection, with the Submariner, the recently presented new Sea-Dweller or the Daytona, the Rolex Cellini collection has always been in the shadows and relegated at the end of Rolex’ brochures. At Baselworld 2014, Rolex presented a completely new collection of three watches – a three hands, a three hands + date and a dual-time – that could bring the light on the name Cellini again.
For several years, the Rolex Cellini collection was mainly known for the ‘Prince’ models, a rectangular watch that I’ve actually never seen worn on a wrist. The design was totally different from the rest of the Rolex collection, which is mostly based on “shared details”: bezels, crowns, fluted casebacks, bracelets are (more or less) similar among the Oyster models. The Oyster collection also shares that unique sense of Rolex design that allows you to wear these watches, both as a dress watch or as a sports watch. A Rolex is a Rolex because of all those common aspects. Except the Cellini collection…
The Rolex Cellini collection didn’t share those design elements and even featured a see-through caseback! A shame for a watch with a crown. The new Cellini collection is simply the interpretation of a dress watch by Rolex, for Rolex lovers. Meaning that you’ll find most of the design details that makes people love (or hate) Rolex.
The Rolex Cellini models are a modern, yet very classic, interpretation of a dress watch, with the Geneva’s brand DNA. The collection is composed of three timepieces – ‘Time’, ‘Date’ and ‘Dual Time’. Available in white or pink gold (called ‘Everose’ by Rolex), with either a black or white dial. The collection is based on a single case design, measuring 39mm in diameter. The all polished case features a twin bezel – a fluted one outside and a domed one on the top – that makes the link with the other dress watches from the Oyster collection, the Datejust and Day-Date.
The main difference is that this fluted bezel is thinner and nearly vertical. Another feature of the new Cellini case is that it echoes something from the past, namely a domed case back that vintage Rolex collectors call a ‘Bubble Back’, and that also features the fluted rim, just like every Rolex does (except the Prince).
Last but not least, the typically Rolex pattern can be found on the screwed crown, here with a more rounded design. The shape of the case is very similar to the other Rolex models but with a more elegant approach, meaning that the sides are more curved and the lugs slimmer. A smart design that won’t create a revolution in the watch industry – of course, we are talking of Rolex – and that is discrete enough to fit the under your cuff, to be worn as the perfect dress watch.
Three versions in the new Rolex Cellini line:
- The ‘Time’, a simple three hands watch
- The ‘Date’, featuring a subdial at 3 o’clock that indicates the date with a hand
- The ‘Dual-time’, featuring a second time zone in a subdial at 6 o’clock (home time) with an additional a day / night indicator
The main difference can be found in the dials. Similar in the layout – long gold applied indexes, inner minute ring and same facetted ‘alpha’ hands – the ‘Time’ has been presented with a simple lacquered dial while the ‘Date’ and ‘Dual Time’ have a guilloche dial. More vibrant and textured, the ‘rayon flammé de la gloire’ pattern is clearly a reason to choose for the most complicated models.
Rolex has been quite evasive on the base movement for the moment. Regarding at the specification (including the blue Parachrom hairspring), we were told that the movement share the same base as the calibre 31xx series that can be found in – for instance – the Submariner or the Explorer 1. On the ‘Dual Time’, the second time zone can be change by 1-hour increments, via the crown.
With the new Cellini, Rolex presents an interesting alternative to the Datejust and Day-Date, in a more elegant approach, always with the codes of the brand. Interesting in its design, the Cellini is also attractive regarding at its price that starts at € 12.420 Euro (including taxes) – an aggressive price tag considering the brand’s name and fame and the gold case.
- Case: 39mm in 18 carats white gold or Everose Gold, screwed caseback, screw-down crown, double bezel domed and fluted, domed sapphire, water resistant to 50 meters
- Movement (regardless the version): self-winding calibre 31xx variant, certified COSC, 28.800 vph (4Hz), 48h of power-reserve, 31 jewels, Parachrom hairspring
- Strap: black alligator strap (on white gold) or brown (on Everose gold) with gold pin buckle
- Prices: € 12.420 EUR for the Time, € 14.520 EUR for the Date and € 15.840 EUR for the Dual-Time
More details on www.rolex.com