By Rebecca Doulton
What, you might ask, does a 16th century Italian sculptor have to do with a collection of Rolex watches? More frequently associated with sports, Rolex named its more classical and refined Cellini Time men's watch collection after Benvenuto Cellini. The name Cellini was designed to conjure up associations with the Italian Renaissance ideals of harmony, proportion and perspective.
Often overlooked, the Rolex Cellini Time men's collection positions itself as the traditional, "classical" watch by Rolex, ideal for more formal occasions. This year, Rolex presents the Diamond Edition Cellini Time collection, comprised of four timepieces, dressed up with diamonds, that have steered clear of complications, offering the traditional functions of hours, minutes and central seconds. The new gem-set Rolex watches for men are presented in 39mm cases in white gold and Rolex Everose gold.
The two new Rolex Cellini watches with inky black lacquered dials are set alight with 11 diamond indices and 96 diamonds on the bezel. The effect of the gleaming diamonds placed next to the iconic geometric fluting on the Rolex bezel and the highly polished case adds a contemporary edge to these elegant dress watches.
The new pink or rhodium dials with a sunray finish feature elegant, elongated hour markers bisected by the minutes track. Unlike the black dial models, these do not feature the striated bezel and are set with 62 slightly larger diamonds.
All four new Rolex Cellini watches for men display the hour and minutes with hands shaped like double-edged gold swords, which taper beautifully into a sharp point for legibility and precision. To match the classical flavour of the watch, these new Rolex Cellini Time models are presented on black alligator leather straps with a white gold or Everose gold buckle to match the case.
Rolex fans will spot direct allusions to their famous ancestor, the Oyster. The fluted bezel (in the case of the black dial models), the striated winding crown, designed to keep water and harmful external elements out of the movement, and the screw-down caseback, which seals the case hermetically to depths of 50 metres and protects the COSC-certified automatic movement are all directly inspired by the 1926 Oyster watch, which changed watchmaking history forever as the world's first waterproof watch.
Rolex Cellini Time watch in a 39mm white gold case with a rhodium sunray finish dial, 62 diamonds on the bezel, elegant elongated indices, and white gold sword-shaped hands (ref. 50709 RBR).
Rolex watches presents the Diamond Edition Cellini Time collection for 2015, enhanced with diamonds on the bezel. Models with black lacquered dials also feature diamonds on the dial. Pictured here is the Everose gold 39mm model (ref. 50605 RBR) with a double bezel: one set with 96 diamonds and the other fluted in the traditional Oyster style.