Rolex’s long-standing adherence to discretion and conservatism seems to have come to an abrupt end this year with the release of the Day-Date 36 “jigsaw puzzle” dial and the Oyster Perpetual collection’ Celebration’ (which I have started affectionately calling “Puzzles”). & Bubble Clock). Using a watch so associated with luxury and prestige that it was nicknamed the “Rolex President” and repurposing it as the “Rolex Emoji” sends a message. The message is clear and unambiguous from the brand: don’t take them too seriously and don’t try to stifle their creative vision.

We all know watches are as much about our taste and personality as they are about functionality or practicality but there is still a certain acceptance that a brand like Rolex exists on an impossible plane. acknowledge this, let alone embrace it. Throw that preconceived notion out the window because, like any of us, Rolex is a lot of things. Like the puzzle on the dial, the abstraction of color and form can coexist harmoniously. The same brand could release a Yacht-Master in titanium alongside a “Puzzles and Bubbles” watch that would be no less than a Rolex.

There are three versions of the Rolex Day-Date 36 “jigsaw puzzle” dial: Everose gold with orange dial (ref. 128235), yellow gold with turquoise dial (ref. 128238), and the one I seen on hand. it’s white gold with a turquoise dial (ref. 128239). They are both classic Day-Dates with President bracelets and a Superlative Chronometer-certified Perpetual caliber 3255 movement with a 70-hour power reserve. As the name suggests, they all have a 36mm case (with 100m water resistance) characterized by the iconic fluted bezel.

While taste is subjective, certain aspects of watchmaking are not. “Jigsaw puzzle dials” are inherently divisive, if not intentionally so. Replacing the days of the week with seven of Oprah’s favorite inspirational words like “Gratitude” and “Hope” and the days of the month with 31 unique emojis intended to evoke debate, has the “spirit” we have seen in the comments section over the past week or so, so to speak. What is indisputable is the beautiful champlevé enamel on the dial, the rich display of turquoise, red, fuchsia, orange, green and yellow set pieces, and the 10 cut diamonds Six-color baguette surrounds the dial. Love it or hate it, the finishing and technical ability on display here is top-notch.

When it comes to watchmaking and all the elements that make Rolex great, the classic Day-Date President worn by JFK, LBJ or Warren Buffett is no more “serious” a watch than these. This emotional, colorful and emoji-filled Day-Date. . In fact, you could argue that the latter are more impressive considering their sheer finish and boldness. Now and forever, this puzzle-filled Emoji Day-Date and this iconic President are equals in the same collection. You may not like it but the truth remains.

In any case, these Day-Dates will be produced in very limited numbers and become suitable collector’s items. That said, the more mainstream Oyster Perpetual ‘Celebration’ collection adheres to similar, albeit significantly toned down, playful characteristics such as the puzzle dial. Available in 31 mm, 36 mm and 41 mm, this new Oyster Perpetual collection features a turquoise blue lacquered dial dotted with differently sized bubbles enveloping the colored dials introduced for collection from 2020: candy pink, turquoise, yellow, coral red, and green.

The self-referential color choice and variety of sizes of these bubbles — let alone the ‘Celebration’ designation — exists as a tribute to the Oyster Perpetual collection itself and to the fact is the desire to have the ability to collect. What was once an accessible entry-level Rolex has emerged as a most interesting and light-hearted collection whose appeal transcends gender, age or any other designation.
​Love them or hate them, the Day-Date 36 “jigsaw puzzle” dial and the Oyster Perpetual ‘Celebration’ watch represent a brand that is comfortable with playfulness and is not afraid of ruffles. We live in a post-ironic era, when taking one’s image too seriously is so outdated it’s almost calcified. Inhibition disappeared and cheerful showiness appeared. You can do what you will with this fact, but Rolex has certainly decided to embrace a cultural change and I couldn’t be happier to see it.

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