Home Fashion Rolex Perpetual 1908 is Dressed and Impressed

Rolex Perpetual 1908 is Dressed and Impressed

Rolex Perpetual 1908 is Dressed and Impressed


1908 Perpetual

In a stunning transfer, Rolex totally reshuffled their gown watch supply with the Perpetual 1908. As the posh sports activities watch sits entrance and centre, a complete span of watchmaking is being overshadowed, verging on irrelevance. The previous 5 years have been so centered on the likes of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual and Day-Date that a complete era of consumers has all however forgotten gown watches (the recognition of informal model, even in enterprise and night put on, in Singapore implies that the sports activities watch has been dominant for much longer than 5 years – Ed). They don’t appear to be conscious that the brand new Perpetual 1908 is however the newest avatar in an nearly century-long historical past of Rolex basic timepieces.

And but, this new Perpetual assortment is nothing wanting a revolution in the way in which it has been devised, designed and positioned. The 1908 symbolizes this fixed re-examination of what has been achieved whereas setting custom in movement. Behind its understated appears and 39mm gold case, the 1908 is, to place it merely, an amazing watch, which we’ve got ascertained after a week-long check on the wrist.

The Cellini Twin Time, now discontinued


To the untrained eye, the Perpetual 1908 is nothing extraordinary. What may very well be extraordinary in a classic-looking Rolex in any case? The Geneva watchmaker has been making such items for its total historical past. Living proof, the 1908 takes its title after the yr the Rolex model title was registered. It may also be argued that the primary self-winding Oyster, launched in 1931, served as inspiration for this up to date one. A number of design cues do hyperlink these two watches, although they’re 90 years aside. To the skilled eye, although, the inaugural piece within the Perpetual assortment is extraordinarily particular. But this truth could go unnoticed, as a result of 2023 will go on to be an earthquake yr within the model’s timeline.

It’s the yr Rolex launched the primary exhibition caseback Oyster watch (ref.126506 Cosmograph Daytona), a Day-Date that displayed neither day nor date (ref.128238) however Emoticons as a substitute, and its first full titanium, present assortment timepiece (Yacht-Grasp 42 ref.226627). A lot of what have been deemed guidelines, dogmas, unshakable notions of method and design have been upended (this doesn’t think about the most important information in watchmaking in years however that’s about enterprise – Ed). The way in which the Perpetual 1908 has been designed is certainly one of them.


Rolex is just not an specific model; one has to learn between the strains when offered with information. Bearing this in thoughts, we expect it’s greater than mere coincidence that the 1908 seems simply because the Cellini assortment vanishes. Cellini had been the title for Rolex’s total gown watch assortment.

Launched in 1968, it had featured all types of non-Oyster items, all of them in gold or platinum. Some have been pocket watches, which have been out there till round 2016. They have been small, slim and largely hand- wound. One in every of them deserves particular point out because it seems to be a forerunner of types to the 1908.

In 2005, Rolex had launched the Cellini Prince, named and formed after the Prince assortment from the Thirties. It was an oblong watch, with the one see-through caseback within the model’s historical past, up till immediately that’s. It revealed a hand-wound motion with a unprecedented set of finishings. It had a small seconds show, it was thick and it was effusive – a putting departure from the design language on the time. The Cellini Prince’s motion was reference 7040. The 1908’s motion is named calbre 7140, and in Rolex’s guide, it isn’t a coincidence.

The Perpetual 1908 in Profile


The Perpetual 1908’s white and black dials characteristic a particularly finely grained texture, which supplies a matte impact, a far cry from the same old sunray end and what’s anticipated from a basic piece. It’s attention-grabbing to see how far Rolex tailor-made its most profoundly grounded design particulars to suit basic timepiece necessities. The design of a lot of its components is a throwback to a different, older mannequin. That is Rolex’s method of designing: the whole lot has to have roots someplace; a reference level if you’ll. The hour hand, for instance, is distinctive for the circle simply earlier than the tip, whereas the minute hand is formed like a two-edged sword.

Such a hand, the Breguet or apple hour hand, had already been used on the 1926 Octagonal Oyster, amongst different watches, so the Perpetual 1908 is in reality going again to the corporate’s roots right here. The hour markers inform one other story. These are a direct reference to the aforementioned first Oyster Perpetual mannequin, dated 1931. The primary self-winding Rolex had eight straight hour markers, three Arabic numerals at 3, 9 and 12 and a small seconds show at 6 o’clock. The Perpetual 1908 has upgraded them to strong gold appliques, as is the model’s customized, and realigned them. And from the octagonal 1926 Oyster, it has retained the now-ubiquitous fluted bezel, though on this occasion, it is usually domed, and far thinner than that on an Oyster case.


The opposite Cellini the Perpetual 1908 takes after is the collection first launched in 2016. 4 fashions, with reference kind 505xx, have been out there in both white or rose gold, with fluted bezel, centre second hand, have been self-winding and outfitted with numerous uncommon issues. Their run ended to make method for the 1908. The disappearance of a complete assortment is a most uncommon prevalence at Rolex. That is very true when stated assortment is in reality changed by one other, with a brand new title, new ambition and besides, a completely new motion. In a method, lots of the defining traits of the 1908 could be learn as an evolution of the Cellini assortment.

Consolation on the wrist is a technique wherein the 1908 impresses, and this is because of a comparatively slim case profile. That is doable due to the aforementioned new motion, which deserves some area all its personal.


Rolex is nothing if not pragmatic. The agency realized a gown Rolex wants its personal devoted motion, to be kitted out in a purpose-built case. And thus calibre 7140 was born, though the title reminds us of the aforementioned calibre 7040. The 7040 was hand- wound, rectangular, with pattern-engraved bridges of elaborately ornamental shapes, which mirrored and matched the completely different dial finishings. The 7140 is spherical and self-winding, bearing comparable finishings to different Rolex calibres.

What the 2 actions have in widespread is a small seconds hand, no date, a gown watch vacation spot and a chronometer certification. The latter is after all solely part of the bigger Rolex certification course of, for the reason that model’s total line-up receives the in-house and intensely demanding Superlative Chronometer rubberstamp. Consequently, the Perpetual 1908 will supply a – 2/+2 seconds day by day operating error, an amazing feat contemplating the Rolex manufacture’s large manufacturing scale.


As an entire, calibre 7140 is particular within the model’s supply. It’s the slimmest in-house automated motion the model has designed in a long time. It’s only rivalled by historical (comparatively talking) and far smaller references such because the 1600. However the latter was meant to energy petite timepieces, was hand-wound and would most definitely fail Rolex’s present check procedures, thus defeating the aim of any point-by-point comparability. The 7140 has a bona fide openwork oscillating weight, sporting the brand new design seen on the exhibition caseback platinum Cosmograph Daytona additionally launched this yr. And identical to it, it’s manufactured from strong 18 ct yellow gold.

As a way to scale back each doable little bit of thickness, the motion encompasses a Syloxi hairspring. To this point, this silicon regulating spring has been confined to smaller timepieces. Amongst many advantages, it’s flat, versus the usual Parachrom hairspring, which has a Breguet terminal overcoil (its two planes make it greater than twice as excessive). Despite the fact that it sits at solely 4.05mm, calibre 7140 gives an roughly 66-hour energy reserve, managing to return very close to Rolex’s now-standard 70- hour mark.

1908 Perpetual


As soon as a slim sufficient motion was prepared, there remained the matter of designing a slim case. On paper, in addition to on the wrist, the 9.5mm-thick Perpetual 1908 does certainly give off that particular vibe. The watch can be snug, with a 39mm diameter that helps stabilize it on nearly any arm. It’s secured with an alligator strap, which has a very attention-grabbing design. Its lining is totally inexperienced, whereas the outer matte brown alligator leather-based shows tone- on-tone stitching. Its clasp goes on to point out that Rolex determined to make the Perpetual assortment one with its personal design attributes all through. Known as Dualclasp, it’s a double folding clasp that’s extraordinarily snug in opposition to the pores and skin. A welcome evolution on the folding buckle discovered within the defunct leather-based strap of the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date ref.11813x, its components are so discrete it appears like a pin clasp.

Extra notably, the strikes required to open the brand new Dualclasp are completely counterintuitive. Appearances could be deceiving as this, definitely, goes within the plus column. A watch that sits extra securely on the wrist is unquestionably price it. Though not probably the most newsworthy characteristic of the Perpetual 1908, this one sings with the choir: that is actually a well-conceived gown watch, designed with ergonomics, exclusivity and a real sense of id in thoughts. Such thoroughness is supported by a surprisingly aggressive pricing coverage, given the model’s absolute cult standing. This isn’t the least thrilling a part of this delicate and unstated revolution.

1908 Perpetual

The genesis of this story was my admiration for David Chokron’s writing for the now- defunct WatchAround journal, and my very own longstanding love of the Rolex Prince. Properly, it emerged that we each occur to understand the dressier facet of Rolex. Whereas I do personal a Prince, as talked about, I solely purchased it final yr and by no means anticipated to see the Perpetual 1908 at Watches and Wonders Geneva this yr. Thus, I sat down later

with David in Paris and tried to get this story going, since I knew he might get the watch on his wrist. I’ve it on good authority that the Perpetual 1908 might be offered in Singapore, and it would even be in as you learn this. Give it a strive as a result of it’s unlikely that you’ve got ever tried a gown watch from Rolex. It’s my honest hope that even in a sports activities watch- obsessed market comparable to Singapore, the Perpetual 1908 will discover many followers – Ed.

This text first appeared on WOW’s Legacy 2024 subject

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