Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rolex, The Most Adorable Watch of HK Snob

Rolex is without doubt the most recognized watch in the world today, what is not so well known is that the modern Rolex is the basis of almost all modern watches. The waterproof case, the self winding movement, the date window in the dial, the GMT two time zone watches and the diving watch are all Rolex inventions.
The Company itself is unique in that it is still privately owned and that the principal shareholder is a private family trust all of whose profits are given to charity. Due to this unique structure it does not have to concern itself with short-term profit goals and can therefore plan for the long term. 

History of Rolex
The Founder of Rolex Hans Wilsdorf, who created this name “Oyster” to the World’s first waterproof wrist watch in 1926. All Rolex Oyster are warranted pressure proof to a depth of minimum 300 feet/100m and for some special model up to 4,000 feet.

How the oyster case is made?
Each of the Oyster case is stamped out from a solid block of stainless steel, 18kt solid good or solid platinum. I remember that the TV ad in 1985 had this description:” Each Rolex Oyster case is made at least 162 separate operations are necessary to transform the metal block into an Oyster case, a further 32 operations are needed to manufacture the Twinlock winding Crown, nearly all finishing is done by hand” until today!

Quite irony, if that is a Hong Kong Company, likely they will call this ‘’ Stupidity” as once product is successful we should go for next step for more profit ; “Cut Cost” to reduce the operation of 162 procedures to say 80 on the case.
They probably reduce 80% of the cost of making the Case... Why Rolex did not take this move? Just because the believe in a stubborn way, that this is always the best cost to have 162 operations to make the case that has to take the tons of pressure without minor crack and that watch case could likely last for a few hundred years!

On 23 Jan 1960, a Rolex was carried with the Trieste on his virgin historic dive to 10,916 Metres at World’s deepest place under Mariana Trench at the west Pacific Ocean, near Guam. The Famous “ Submariner” was introduced in 1961, till today, it is still the most successful Sport watch from Rolex.

Rolex is Accurate
Someone said watch does not need accuracy, but Rolex is stubborn on this , watch has to be accurate.. and their they watch is accuracy as 80% of their watch is certified official as Superlative Chronometers in Switzerland for 5 positions at three temperate for 15 days,+/-4 sends a day, in other words each of their parts must be conforming the tolerance of tolerance of 46.29 ppm. That is not the toughest part, it has to withstand an acceleration force and high temperature in dessert and low temperature in Alaska without any reliability issues. How do they make it? It is Rolex Quality!

Why Rolex is so successful?
Over the years, Rolex has not changed the design at all, just perfect it with some minor modification, as for Watch Collector, the early Model is sough after, and the famous Comex Submariner is in auction for $200,000 now for a watch that was only sold at $350 in 1960.

Why Rolex is so sturdy?
They have used double Shock protection on the precision part like the shaft of the timing wheel, and the Escapement fork spindle. Thus unique feature keep Rolex a name of the most Durable Watch. I have a Rolex running for 20 years that is 4,905,600,000 cycles of the escapement fork, it is still taking good time and need not overhaul yet!
This may be exceptional case, but Rolex does not need to take care too much like others!

The Quality Speaks for itself
It is their stubborn in design, engineering, parts manufacturing and assembly.
Rolex ship put about 800,000 chronometers a year, I have never heard of any return of a Rolex.      
That is Rolex earn a name of quality of most reliable watch in the world.
It is not cheap of course, $5,000 for a stainless steel watch, $25,000 for a gold watch and $50,000 for a platinum watch, the beauty for this marketing strategy is common Movement!

Common movement
They use the almost same movement, only the difference is the material for watch case, model and other associated package... Another successful factor of Rolex is very conservative in changing to new design. I took them almost 10 years to change from a six of 36mm to 42 mm case diameter in order keep up trend for "big size!"

This is my Rolex I take it with me for the past 2 years, I never look at it unless I want to read the time most of the time only Other people look at it! Because It is a White Gold Rolex Day Date!
HK Snob


HK Boy said...

Dear HK Snob, You have a beautiful piece. I have a question. Do you know what material the rolex dial, hands and applied numericals are made of? I am particularly interested in platinum day date II version with dial, hands and numbers all in blue. The authorised dealer was not sure and I was unable to comfirm it. PLease help.


HK Snob said...

Hi HK Boy
Rolex Day Date White Gold dial, hands, crown, are all made of White Gold.
Platinum Blue Day Date is supposed to be made of also Platinum!
as White gold and Platinum has a slight diference in Colour. They must be matched. I am also asking friends to confirm me again.
HK Snob

HK Snob said...

Hi HK Boy

I checked wtih some Rolex guru, they told me that for White gold Watch, the Crown, hands, and the pins are solid white gold, but the dial is not necessary White Gold, may be some kind of precious metal and have soem special treatment, and. As for Platinum., I expect the same! But does the Pin for the strap is white gold or Platinum I really do not know., If someone knows, please tell me also..
HK Snob

HK boy said...

Dear HK Snob,
Thanks for searching for me. I have asked this question in other websites, one website said that the dial is made of brass while one said it was made of rhodium. I am a bit disappointed as I felt a little cheated as customer expects the dial to be equal value to the body of the watch, i.e. WG or platinum. I become more suspicious when rolex's official website deliberately omit what material the dial is made of. I can tell you that the pin and screws are NOT made of WG or Plat. 冇辦法

HK Snob said...

Hi HK Boy
I think you are right, many people tell me different stories. Some said brass as the base material because it is easy to make hole. and afterwards it will be plated with Yellow gold or Rohdium to protect it from Passivation or oxidation. Remember that when we replace a new dial at Rolex Shop. We are charged with only about HKD$2,000 of course they will confisticate your original Dial.
As for some AP Royal Oak model i was told the dial is made of 18KT gold.
I think if there is diamond on it, they have to use 18KT Gold for it hardness is better for inserting diamond on it
Well, let me investigate more and let you know later...
I am very interested in finding more about it also,
I can make an article talking about it soon....!!
Thanks for your comment!!!!

HK Snob