Rolex is introducing a scintillant gem-set version of the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona. On this new 18 ct Everose gold version, in lieu of the emblematic tachymetric scale, the bezel is set with a gradation of sapphires in rainbow hues. The case is adorned with 56 brilliant-cut diamonds set into the lugs and crown guard, and the dial features 11 baguette-cut sapphire hour markers, each of which matches the colour of the corresponding point on the bezel. The chronograph counters are in pink Gold Crystals, a material with a particular shimmer effect, created during the crystallization of a pink gold alloy by means of a special process developed by Rolex.
The Cosmograph Daytona’s Oyster case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness and reliability. Its middle case, with an integral crown guard, is crafted from a solid block of 18 ct Everose gold. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The winding crown, fitted with the Triplock triple waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case, along with the chronograph pushers. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimum protection for the Cosmograph Daytona’s high-precision movement.
To adorn its timepieces with the most striking gemstones, the brand has its own in-house gemmologists and gem-setters. Gemmologists are responsible for examining and selecting the gemstones received, retaining only those that meet Rolex’s extremely stringent quality criteria. The stones then pass into the hands of the gem-setters, who are tasked with placing and fixing each stone to best reveal its beauty, colour and sparkle.
Rolex has offered gem-set watches throughout its history. In embellishing its watches with precious stones, the brand endows them with an alternative aesthetic, whilst conserving their identity and all their technical features, such as reliability, robustness, and resistance to magnetic fields and to shocks.
Rolex uses only the highest quality natural stones. Upon their arrival at the ateliers, all gemstones – both diamonds and coloured stones – undergo rigorous verification procedures.
To guarantee the quality of the stones, gemmologists have a range of analysis tools at their disposal, in addition to their own expertise. These tools, some of which are specially developed for Rolex, can provide information on the stones’ chemical composition. Diamonds, for example, are systematically tested via
X-ray imaging to confirm their authenticity.
The way in which the gemstones are cut – the symmetry and shape of the facets – determines the way in which light penetrates the stones and is reflected off the pavilion, or lower part of the diamond. The cut therefore directly influences a stone’s brilliance. In the case of diamonds, a well-cut stone accentuates the intensity and number of reflections, even creating rainbow hues. The facets of each of the stones – the result of the diamond cutter’s painstaking work – are analysed in the gemmology laboratory.
Clarity relates to the absence of inclusions in a stone. Rolex selects only the most translucent natural gemstones. For diamonds, IF (Internally Flawless) stones alone are accepted – those in the highest category of the grading scales generally used in gemmology.
Once approved by the gemmologists, the precious stones are then entrusted to the gem-setters. With the precision of a watchmaker, they set each stone, one by one, onto the watches. A gem-setter’s craft is multi faceted. First, decisions are made with designers in the Creation Division about the colours and arrangement of the stones. This is a subtle exercise in finding a balance between aesthetic and technical requirements.
Then follows a consultation with the case and bracelet engineers. Together they study the future placement of the stones in order to prepare, to the nearest micron, the gold or platinum into which the stones will be set. For each stone, they determine the precise amount of metal required to hold it in place.
The Cosmograph Daytona is equipped with calibre 4130, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. A consummate demonstration of Rolex technology, the movement incorporates a chronograph function with a reduced number of components, thereby enhancing the movement’s reliability.
The robust chronograph is engaged by a mechanism with a column wheel and vertical clutch, providing an instant and extremely precise start. The oscillator, the true heart of the watch, has a blue Parachrom hairspring manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the Parachrom hairspring offers great stability in the face of temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. A Rolex overcoil ensures its regularity in any position. Calibre 4130 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor and offers a power reserve of approximately 72 hours.
Oscillator with Parachrom hairspring
This new version of the Cosmograph Daytona is fitted on a solid-link Oyster bracelet in 18 ct Everose gold with ceramic inserts and an Oysterlock safety clasp to prevent accidental opening. The bracelet includes the Easylink rapid extension system, patented by Rolex in 1996, that allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm for additional comfort.