Baselworld watch review: the trio of new Rolex Cellini watches

While the new Rolex Cellini watches look enough like 'regular' Oysters to display their heritage, these elegant new timekeepers are dressed up to the nines.

The trio of Rolex Cellini watches unveiled last week in Baselworld includes Cellini Time, Cellini Date and Cellini Dual Time models offered in white gold or Everose, a proprietary rose gold cast by Rolex in its own foundry

By Ken Kessler in London

Although Rolex has always offered gold, platinum and gem-clad versions of its regular models, the dressy Cellinis always seemed to belong to another maison. They were as unlike their utilitarian siblings as a hot hatch badged as a Range Rover. The trio of Rolex Cellini watches unveiled last week at Baselworld changes all that.

Rolex describes the Cellini range as exhibiting 'elegance and nobility', the name itself paying homage to Benvenuto Cellini, Renaissance goldsmith and sculptor to popes.

Prior to the new collection, Cellini models were decidedly different in Rolex terms: some slim, some square, all dressy. Although certain Cellinis offered clues to the iconic Oyster bloodline, they would be apparent only to watch pedants. The new editions could only be Rolexes… but in tie-and-tails.

Cases are offered solely in white gold or Everose, the proprietary rose gold cast by Rolex in its own foundry. Eschewing the craze for comically outsized watches - or, just as likely, acknowledging the recent trend back to normalcy - the Cellinis measure 39mm across. This is a size that Rolex says is a 'mark of tradition', while those who study such matters know it to be the most universally comfortable diameter for a man's watch.

Although the new Cellinis look enough like 'regular' Oysters to display their heritage in no uncertain terms, and are secure against water ingress to 50m, side-by-side comparisons show detail changes, especially to the lugs, which render the Cellinis lighter and more svelte.

Other details include a 'double bezel' that is part-domed and part-fluted, while the dials are offered either lacquered or with a black or a silver-plated 'Rayon flammé de la gloire' guilloché motif. Gold applique hour markers, traditional 'dauphine' hands, gold buckles and black or brown alligator leather straps complete the look.

Powering all three is a chronometer-certified, 31-jewel, self-winding mechanical movement, manufactured entirely in-house. It provides a 48-hour power reserve when fully wound. 

Cellini Time is the basic model, showing only the hours, minutes and seconds. Cellini Date adds the date function in a small sub-dial at the 3 o'clock position. Lastly, Cellini Dual Time indicates the time in two time zones, while a useful 'sun and moon' day/night indicator will prevent those marriage-wrecking phone calls at 3am.

Aah, Rolex … bless 'em. Even when dressed to the nines, they remain deliriously practical.

 

Editor's Pick

The Jewellery Editor is for sale

Help us make the future bright

Since founding The Jewellery Editor in 2010, we have grown our digital magazine to be the number one global source of information and inspiration for fine jewellery and luxury watches.

3,500 articles, 150 videos and a reach of over 2 million per month on social media later, we have offered unparalleled and highly respected coverage of our sector. However, despite our editorial success, we are financially struggling as an independent publisher.

Entirely funded, owned and run by Christine and Maria in London, we are now looking to sell The Jewellery Editor so that it can continue to grow in the hands of a different owner. As e-commerce becomes a priority in our industry, we believe there is huge potential for engaging editorial content and are seeking a buyer who shares our values and passion so that under their guidance we can give a bright future to the platform.

We can’t commit to financing the website for much longer so if we don’t manage to initiate any meaningful conversations in the next few weeks, the website will be frozen on 1st April 2018. If and when we find a suitable partner we will revive it and take it to the next stage.

If you are interested to discuss the above, please contact [email protected]

Alternatively, if you are willing to help, you can donate so that in the meantime, we can continue to publish more interesting content.

Terms and conditions

Shop this article

READ MORE

RECOMMENDED

MOST POPULAR

We use our own and third party cookies to improve your experience and our services. If you continue, we consider that you accept their use. You can get more information on your website at cookies policy.