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TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 ‘McQueen’ Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition


Since its debut in 1969 with the (then non-TAG) Heuer Monaco 1133B, the Monaco has enjoyed countless iterations from re-editions and tribute pieces, all the way to belt-driven, tourbillon-equipped high-tech versions like the V4 (hands-on here). What we are looking at today is the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 “McQueen” Reference CAW211P, which is interesting for a number of reasons: a) it’s a handsome Monaco in blue, b) it promises to be a worthy re-edition of the original, and c) the price is in line with TAG Heuer’s recent (and indeed very welcome) more competitive pricing strategy.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

Fans of TAG Heuer or the Monaco (or, in fact, both) will surely be familiar with the history of this famed square-shaped chronograph – one among only a handful of square dialed watches that managed to catch on. A little refreshing of our memory certainly won’t hurt, though, so let us begin by doing just that.

It was on the 3rd of March, 1969, that Heuer launched what was the first square, water-resistant automatic chronograph – but there was another “big first” to bear in mind: the original Heuer Monaco 1133B was powered by the Chronomatic Calibre 11, which was the first automatic chronograph movement ever offered for sale in the history of watchmaking. Those account for two major premiers and breakthroughs all in just one watch – no wonder, then, that part of the Monaco’s everlasting charm is in part fueled by these accomplishments.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

In what is a fascinating example of how history repeats itself, what played a major role in making the Monaco the globally recognized watch icon as we know it today was Heuer’s move to appoint a… you guessed it: brand ambassador. In 1970, Jo Siffert became the first racing driver to be sponsored by a watch brand, and it was with Siffert that the Monaco found its way to the race tracks – and hence into the spotlight.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

A year later, Steve McQueen (pictured a bit further above) “insisted on wearing” the Monaco during filming for Le Mans in 1971, which propelled the Monaco from the race track to, well, the race track, but pictured on the big screen. It is no news that brand ambassadors and sponsorships were powerful and effective marketing tools in the ’70s (and before) – it is still fun to see, though, how that applies to watches and watchmaking.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

Over the years, starting in 2003, TAG Heuer created a number of tribute pieces to the original 1133B, but other than a 1,000-piece limited run in 2009 for the 40th anniversary of the Monaco, it always – arguably on purpose – avoided debuting something for the masses that was as close as possible to the real deal, the original… until now.

At Baselworld 2015, TAG Heuer quietly launched what we are looking at today, the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 Reference CAW211P, and other than few truly very minor differences, it allows Heuer Monaco fans to get a taste of owning the original – at around half the price of what that 1,000-piece limited edition cost before selling out like hot cakes in 2009.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

Crown on the left, as on the original: tick. Red-filled hour and minute hands, horizontal indices, and red five-minute markers on the dial: all there. “Calibre 11” in the name: tick. Calibre 11 inside? Nope – that, for obvious reasons, couldn’t happen. What clearly is the biggest difference between the original and the 2015 model is the movement inside: on what is more than likely an ETA-replacement Sellita automatic base, a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module is responsible for the stopwatch function as well as the dual sub-dial layout of the dial on the 2015 TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

Having been (considered by many) the first automatic chronograph movement ever, TAG Heuer’s Calibre 11 movement from 1969 is among the few truly noteworthy and important movements that every watch enthusiast should know at least a little bit about… and that is why it is rather confusing why TAG Heuer decided to name a modern movement Calibre 11 – although it is considerably different to the original in more than a few ways – and also to title a modern timepiece “Calibre 11.” Frankly, while tributes and re-editions do great work at keeping traditions and icons well and alive decades after their inception, there is a fine line between paying tribute and causing confusion.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

The movement is rather exquisitely decorated – as always at this price point and with comparable calibers, the decoration is nice but, of course, you will find no hand-bevelled edges or other haute horlogerie witchcraft. TAG Heuer decided to go with a sapphire crystal case back – a most welcome change from previous editions’ (and the original’s) solid steel case back. The movement is without a shadow of a doubt nice enough to justify such a deflection from the original – I presume even purists will have to agree.

The movement brings the second notable difference: the sub-dial layout of the square dial comprises a 30-minute chronograph counter at 9 and a running seconds sub-dial at 3 – the original in 1969 had 12-hour and 30-minute counters respectively, with no running seconds anywhere on the watch. Once again, a minor difference that only the most hardcore fans would notice – while the added “animation” from the sweeping hand of the running seconds at 3 is, once again, a welcome modification.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

The new TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 dial is more than handsome: in its deep, albeit a bit faded, non-metallic shade of blue, it gets really close to the original – previous versions of the blue-dialed Monaco from 2003 and 2010 featured shiny, metallic blue dials which looked the part, but were a departure from the original. The central hands, as noted above, now feature orange-red lines in their center with polished edges – a really neat combination with the 5-minute markers of the same color around the circular minute track.

The logo on the dial of the new-for-2015 TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 says Monaco and features the vintage Heuer logo – omitting the TAG part of it, being historically accurate with the original from some 46 years ago. TAG came into the picture only much later, in 1985, when the Techniques d’Avant Garde private holding company with stakes in aviation and motorsports industry-related companies, purchased a majority stake in Heuer.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

Even the “Swiss Made” text is where it should be, above the square date aperture at 6 – although the original just said Swiss, TAG today felt inclined to spell it all out for you. Despite such extremely minor differences in the fine print section, the 2015 version does stellar work at replicating the charm and easy elegance of the racing-inspired dial of the original.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

The case of the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 measures 39 by 39 millimeters – that is one millimeter over the original and the 1,000-piece tribute from 2009. Beyond mere dimensions, the case replaces the rounded pushers of the original with square-shaped ones, adds larger lugs, and features a raised sapphire crystal on the front.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

While it may look simple at first, the square-ish cushion shaped case, the sharp, completely vertical case profile, the stubby, defined lugs, and the instantly noticeable crown and pusher placement all make the Monaco stand out from the rest – while the raised sapphire crystal really is just the icing on the cake. The case feels and looks robust and yet also elegant and, if we may say so, relevant today in its unusual way. Attached to the steel case is a perforated calfskin strap with a deployant buckle, sporting the vintage Heuer logo for that added bit of vintage flair.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

It took 46 years for TAG Heuer to get so close to essentially re-releasing the original Monaco – as there is no real visual difference – but in 2015, that is exactly what has happened. If you want the charm of the original Calibre 11, you will have to go vintage – but go with the new, and enjoy the better quality materials, beautiful execution, arguably greater long-term reliability, and the fact that you can put the miles on it yourself.

Article courtesy of

See more timepieces from TAG Heuer at Deutsch & Deutsch Jewelers in Laredo, McAllen, El Paso, and Houston, Texas.

BREAKING NEWS: TAG Heuer gets connected with Android smartwatch


Hot off the digital presses, and a long eight months after it was announced at Baselworld 2015, comes the final reveal of the new ‘TAG Heuer Connected’- the first attempt by a luxury Swiss brand to combine the worlds of traditional watchmaking with Silicon Valley tech. It’s no secret that the smartwatch space is becoming a crowded one, so TAG Heuer has come to market with a Taylor Swift-style #squadgoals win – Intel and Google are the technology key partners for the new Connected. If you’re going to go tech, your team couldn’t get any beefier, or better. Of course, this isn’t the first smartwatch to hit the market, but it’s the first one to be backed by the twin towers of Intel’s processing power and Google’s operating system.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: The overall general view at the TAG Heuer Connected Watch event on November 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Tag Heuer)

Haven’t We Met Before?


The first thing you notice about the Connected is that it looks like a watch. Meaning that you feel like you’re wearing a watch rather than a calculator or a Garmin running computer strapped to your wrist. The case is large (46mm) to allow for a legible screen, but to balance this out it’s made from lightweight Grade 2 titanium. Fit and finish looks to be first rate, and it needs to be, because Apple has set the standard when it comes to quality smartwatch touch and feel.




Smartwatches are all about customisation, and TAG Heuer hasn’t let us down offering three dial colours, seven strap colours and three dial “faces”- and that’s just the beginning. Other dial options will be added down the track- available of course from the Google Play App store. Expect to see TAG Heuer’s crew of global ambassadors designing their own dials for further personalisation. Below you see the Chronograph dial with the three colour “themes”- white, blue and black.

TAG Heuer Connected Chronograph

Tech Corner


OK, you’ve seen the watch, but what can it actually do? Let’s flip the hood. The Connected is an Android-Wear powered watch (working with both iPhone and Android phones) with an Intel Atom SOC (System on a Chip). Those of you who hate tech specs should look away now:

  • 1.5 in. transflective LTPS LCD
  • RAM- 1GB
  • Storage- 4GB
  • Battery- 410mAh

Other key features included are Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, built-in microphone, gyroscope, tilt-detection sensor and haptic engine. Telling you that the battery has “410 mAh” doesn’t help much with the obvious question about battery life- TAG Heuer says that with real-world use, you can expect a day from a single charge.

In terms of functions, you can expect the following:

  • GolfShot Pro (golf) and RaceChrono Pro (motor racing) apps to be provided free
  • Google Fit, Google Translate and “OK Google” voice activation are already onboarded
  • 4000 more native apps available for download

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: The overall general view at the TAG Heuer Connected Watch event on November 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Tag Heuer)

The watch is controlled through the sapphire touch-screen and the digital crown. For example, when you are in chronograph mode, tapping the screen once starts timing, a second tap stops timing and a double-tap will reset the chronograph to zero.


Trading in Your Smartwatch

SAR8A80.FT6045_107U TAG Heuer has taken a novel approach when it comes to the paradox of how a luxury brand can sell an ephemeral, technology-driven smartwatch by offering buyers a trade-in. After two years of ownership you will be able to trade-in your presumably obsolescent Smartwatch for a new Calibre 5 Carrera that has the same design. The price of the Calibre 5 replacement watch is locked in today and is the same as the initial outlay for  the Connected.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: The overall general view at the TAG Heuer Connected Watch event on November 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Tag Heuer)

TAG Heuer Connected- Australian price and availability

Version 2Speaking of price, the TAG Heuer Connected will retail for $2000, and availability has yet to be confirmed. Though we’re expecting to see the watch on-sale in the next few days at TAG Heuer’s Australian boutiques.

Article courtesy of

Rolex Submariner Watchmaking Demonstration


Watchfinder & Co. presents: Inside the Rolex Submariner, a demonstration of the intricacies of the Rolex calibre 3135. Watchfinder Head Watchmaker Tony Williams shows you how this famous movement is taken apart and reassembled.

Rolex watches are available at Deutsch & Deutsch Jewelers in Laredo, El Paso, McAllen, and Houston, Texas.

Hublot Big Bang UNICO Watch With Bracelet Hands-On


For 2015, Hublot has introduced a new bracelet option for the Big Bang UNICO watch collection. Since 2005, the Hublot Big Bang collection has been almost synonymous with being paired with a strap – often a rubber strap. In fact, one could make the argument that Hublot was a major player in the “luxurification” of rubber when it comes to watch strap materials. Whereas rubber was traditionally a more “utilitarian” material associated with sports such as diving, brands like Hublot helped thrust it into the arena of luxury sport watches, a genre than was exploding in the mid 2000s.



One of the more rare types of Hublot Big Bang watches were those that came on bracelets. I would venture to say that many Hublot customers did not even know that the Big Bang watch came on a bracelet. Hublot clearly is a brand that thrives on watches that come on a range of straps, but the bracelet option is always interesting.

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In my writings on the topic in the past, I’ve always made it very clear how much I like watches that come on bracelets. It was perhaps the great Gerald Genta who solidified (for me) the value of having a watch bracelet and case that fit together in visual harmony. Think of the famous Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (designed by Genta) that has a case which gracefully tapers into the bracelets designed specifically for it. I’ve always found this type of design harmony to be much more interesting than a case matched to a strap which just happens to look good despite the fact that it is easily interchangeable.



While watches on bracelets aren’t rare, per se, they are less common than watches on straps. Watch retailers might point to the fact that some consumers prefer a strap over a bracelet (which is certainly true), but another important reason is the simple truth that straps are significantly cheaper than bracelets. Not only in terms of unit production cost, but they are also cheaper in terms of research and development. Bracelets must be engineered and, in many instances, use countless more parts than the relatively simple item which is a watch strap. So within the larger context of discussing watch bracelets, let’s return to the newer bracelet option available for the Hublot Big Bang UNICO – which is an updated Big Bang watch model with an in-house made Hublot movement originally unveiled in 2013.

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One of the interesting features designed into the Hublot ig Bang UNICO collection (originally debuted in the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari) are small pushers on the lugs which are meant to release the straps so that the user can swap them. This same system is, of course, on this Hublot Big Bang UNICO with the bracelet, which means that this is perhaps one of the rare watch bracelets which can also be quickly released and swapped out with a strap – or even another bracelet. That means if you are interested in the Hublot Big Bang UNICO on a bracelet but also want the option of wearing it (say, for more sporty purposes) on a rubber strap, you can do so very easily and without tools by using the quick-release pushers.


At launch, Hublot is offering four versions of the Hublot Big Bang UNICO bracelet (with a matching watch case, of course). There is a titanium bracelet as well as an 18k king gold (basically, red gold), and each comes with either a center link in metal or black ceramic. The ceramic and metal bracelets are meant to go with cases that have a matching black ceramic bezel. With that said, even those watches that do have a black ceramic bezel might look good with an all metal bracelet – that tends to look a bit classier overall. The black ceramic insert gives the design a sportier and more youthful feel – but that isn’t what people are always going for.

Of course, the “baller” version is really the full 18k King Gold case and matching bracelet which, in addition to being quite hefty, offers a mixture between Hublot’s modern sports watch appeal, and the pure luxury of wearing a lot of gold. The bracelet has a butterfly-style deployant clasp, which is nice because it doesn’t add a lot of thickness to the bracelet.


Like the previous generation Big Bang bracelet option, the one for the Hublot Big Bang UNICO isn’t entirely made of metal. While the links are metal on the top, on the bottom, there is rubber which makes the bracelets theoretically more comfortable – but they won’t “last” as long, since the materials other than metal aren’t particularly known for their durability over long periods of time.


It is true that wearing the Hublot Big Bang UNICO on the bracelet makes the watch feel larger. The Hublot Big Bang UNICO case is already 45mm, and it will feel a bit larger (especially visually) with this newer bracelet option. The good news, of course, is that the bracelet also fundamentally changes the look of the Hublot Big Bang UNICO. I hope that Hublot will offer the bracelet as something that can be independently purchased for those people who already have a Hublot Big Bang UNICO to match it with.


I am going to spend very little time discussing the actual Hublot Big Bang UNICO 45 watch itself because I’ve done so previously on a series of occasions. The watch is 45mm wide and, with the bracelet, comes in either titanium, titanium with black ceramic, 18k king gold, or 18k king gold with ceramic. Inside the watches are the Hublot-made caliber HUB1242 UNICO automatic flyback chronograph movements which are always good looking through the skeletonized dial. We continue to feel that among the best Hublot pieces to get these days is the Hublot Big Bang UNICO, and with the bracelet, your Big Bang watch options just got more plentiful.

Prices are $22,900 on the titanium bracelet (411.NX.1170.NX),  $24,600 on the titanium ceramic bracelet (411.NM.1170.NM), $55,100 on the King Gold bracelet (411.OX.1180.OX), and $48,200 on the King Gold Ceramic Bracelet (411.OM.1180.OM).

Article courtesy of

Hublot watches are available at Deutsch & Deutsch in Laredo, McAllen, and El Paso, Texas.

Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 Watches With New 3235 Movement For 2015 Hands-On


For 2015, Rolex added a new member to the Pearlmaster watch family with the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 – debuted here in a range of interesting stone-decorated varieties. This is exactly the type of watch that allows Rolex to both earn its merit among certain audiences and, at the same time, annoy fans of the brand mostly interested in their more classic sport watches.

While the Rolex Pearlmaster is generally considered a lady’s watch (often referred to as the “Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster” in smaller case sizes), this new 39mm-wide model does have a distinct feminine touch, but is also something that I know for a fact will appeal to male customers in various parts of the world. For that reason, I feel more than comfortable putting on what is essentially a woman’s watch that is, for at least some clients, good enough for a man. Of course, this is an interesting phenomenon, as most lady’s watches are actually smaller versions of men’s watches, and the reverse is quite uncommon.

Rolex-Datejust-Pearlmaster-39-Diamond-3235-aBlogtoWatch-16 Rolex-Datejust-Pearlmaster-39-Diamond-3235-aBlogtoWatch-23

As far as I know, every Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster watch has some type of precious stone decoration (at least, that I have seen). The collection seems to have begun as a more “formal” or decorative version of the Rolex Lady-Datejust. The Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster watch collection begins with a petite 29mm-wide version, which goes up to 34mm wide, and now, 39mm wide. Each of them shares a special type of bracelet which is decidedly more “jewelry-like” than most other Rolex bracelets. Rolex simply calls this five-link bracelet the “Pearlmaster,” and it has a very smooth and pleasant feel when moving the links as well as wearing it.

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The 2015 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster 39 watch collection has a lot of similarities to another new-for-2015 Rolex release. Both the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 as well as the new Rolex Day-Date 40 watches (hands-on here) share the fact that they are the first watches to include ceramic inserts in the gold bracelets (more on that in a moment), as well as the 3235 family of movements. The Rolex Day-Date 40 watches contain the Rolex 3255 automatic movement rather than the 3235, but the only major difference, as far as I know, is the addition of the day of the week indicator disc in the 3255, whereas the 3235 has the time and date.


So, let’s discuss the movement for a moment. I actually recommend anyone keenly interested in the movement to read our above discussion on the 2015 Rolex Day-Date 40 watches. I referred to those watches as perhaps the finest timepieces that Rolex has produced to date. What makes the 3235 movement special is how dedicated it is to accuracy. In addition to the standard COSC Chronometer rating given to each individual movement, Rolex now employs their own barrage of tests to ensure accuracy and reliability over time – that they simply call the “Rolex Chronometer Tests.”

Rolex-Datejust-Pearlmaster-39-Diamond-3235-aBlogtoWatch-12 Rolex-Chronergy-Escapement

Inside the 3255 and 3235 automatic movements are the new Rolex Chronergy escapements along with variable inertia balance wheels. There is also a fancy Paraflex shock absorbing system to ensure more accuracy over time. While the 3235 movement isn’t about adding functionality, it is about further refining the longevity and performance of a Rolex movement. The 3235 further has a 4Hz (28,800 bph) operating frequency and a nice power reserve of about 70 hours. Rolex has mentioned that this new family of in-house made movements offers the most consistent high level of accuracy performance out of all the movements they have produced thus far. I fully expect that over time (though it will be slow), some of these new movement technology developments will find their way migrating to the movements used in more Rolex watch collections.

Rolex-Datejust-Pearlmaster-39-Diamond-3235-aBlogtoWatch-26 Rolex-Datejust-Pearlmaster-39-Diamond-3235-aBlogtoWatch-18

Above, I mentioned the ceramic inserts in the Rolex Pearlmaster bracelets. Let me explain that these inserts aren’t something you can see, but are rather hidden within the construction of the bracelet. The purpose of the ceramic inserts is to prevent any gold “stretching” that can sometimes occur over long periods of time where due to the softness of the metal, the links slowly deform. The ceramic inserts also protect the links from wearing over time as they fold over one another.

Rolex-Datejust-Pearlmaster-39-Diamond-3235-aBlogtoWatch-29 Rolex-Datejust-Pearlmaster-39-Diamond-3235-aBlogtoWatch-2

Having visited Rolex and seeing their production as well as product testing, this new feature feels like a very logical outcome of their routine durability tests. Rolex is perhaps the only watch brand I am familiar with who I’ve seen stress test their watches by artificially mimicking years of wear. Robots wear watches and move around to simulate long periods of wear. Rolex then carefully studies the results of these tests to see where weakness exists and to determine how best to improve their products. I suspect that the inclusion of the ceramic inserts into the links is a direct result of such testing and policies at the company.


At 39mm wide, the new larger Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 case loses the “Lady” designation and now feels like something that men would feel comfortable wearing. There are going to be plenty of people on this post complaining that no man should be seen wearing this timepiece, and I won’t argue with them, as that is a matter of taste. These would not be my first choice of stone-decorated Rolex watch, but the bold colors and beautiful detailing simply got me curious about wearing them.


Those models which have stone-decorated bezels with color gradients are uniquely fascinating to behold and require considerable gemological effort in-house at Rolex’s gem-setting department. Finding and arranging the right colors and sizes of stones requires a huge amount of effort. People recall the “rainbow Daytona” with its colorful bezel, but few know that each rainbow-colored, precious-stone bezel requires about two weeks to produce.


Each of these watches, save for the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 with the full pave dial, have bezels with 48 baguette cut sapphire stones of various colors. Each stone is, of course, hand-set. That same rule applies to each of the stones on the dial, including the diamond hour markers as well as the diamond-set Arabic numeral hour markers. I find it interesting that despite the Pearlmaster nature of the collection, the dials merely read “Oyster Perpetual Datejust” on them. The dials feature colors such as “olive green,” “cognac,” and “red grape” which match the stone colors on the bezel. Again, the colors themselves might not appeal to everyone (not that they are trying to), but what everyone should appreciate is the technique and the excellent use of stones and colors by Rolex.

Rolex-Datejust-Pearlmaster-39-Diamond-3235-aBlogtoWatch-4 Rolex-Datejust-Pearlmaster-39-Diamond-3235-aBlogtoWatch-32

Interestingly enough, for 2015, there are a few 18k yellow gold versions of the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 as well as an 18k white gold model, but nothing in 18k Everose gold. I suppose Rolex is waiting to offer an Everose gold version – if it decides to do so at all. It is important to note that gem-set watches such as this represent the more high-end world of Rolex watches, as these timepieces are several times more expensive than most Rolex timepieces that are sold. A lot of the value comes from the complexity of setting the watches with a range of stone colors that nevertheless must live together in harmony.

Rolex-Datejust-Pearlmaster-39-Diamond-3235-aBlogtoWatch-28 Rolex-Datejust-Pearlmaster-39-Diamond-3235-aBlogtoWatch-11

Rolex intentionally played with color, doing things such as having a blue to yellow/green gradient or purple to blue. These are exercises in color and gem-setting that just happen to mark the debut of the new 39mm-wide version of the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster. While in the West, these would no doubt represent timepieces for women, there will be male buyers in the East, for sure.


Rolex has been on an interesting kick lately, debuting new movement technology in very high-end watches – often with precious stones. For example, last year in 2014, Rolex debuted their silicon Syloxi balance wheels in the new women’s Datejust collection (decorated with a lot of precious stones). Here, again, you see the debut of the 3235 automatic movement that will likely inhabit more mainstream Rolex Datejust watches in the future, but presented in the glamorously niche Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster 39 watch collection.


Prices are as follows: reference 86348 SAJOR 42748 (18k yellow gold with olive green dial) and 86348 SABLV 42748 (18k yellow gold with cognac dial) at 71,200 CHF, reference 86349 SAFUBL 42794 (18k white gold with red grade dial) at 83,200 CHF, and the 18k yellow gold with full pave diamomd-set dial reference 86348 SAJOR 44748 at 128,000 CHF.

Article courtesy of

Visit Deutsch & Deutsch in Laredo, McAllen, Houston, and El Paso, Texas to see our selection of luxury swiss watches from Rolex.

IN-DEPTH: The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 ref 228235 with Calibre 3255 movement


The story in a second

The ultimate power watch has had a major upgrade.

The big question

How long will it take for the next-generation movement technology showcased in the Calibre 3255 to trickle into Rolex’s more accessible collections?


There’s a weight to a gold Rolex that’s measured in more than grams. A gold Rolex is a powerful signifier – of success, of prestige, and of quality – far more so than any other comparable gold watch. And the most iconic iteration of the gold Rolex is, without doubt, the Day-Date, commonly referred to as ‘the President’.

The President


There is some confusion about exactly what a Rolex President is. The term is used to variously describe the Day-Date model, the jubilee bracelet, or the combination of the two. What’s less confusing is the inspiration behind the name; Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson wore different versions of a gold Rolex on a jubilee bracelet.

Always very marketing-savvy, Rolex capitalised on the prestigious association – running a campaign from 1956 until the late ’60s with the tagline: “Men who guide the history of the world wear Rolex watches”. In a battery of print ads, the Day-Date was referred to as “the presidents’ watch” and later as “The Rolex President Day-Date”, and even today, the brand has kept the connection going, describing it as a model worn “by more presidents, leaders and visionaries than any other watch.”

Rolex advertisement from 1966 via

The close association of this watch – only ever available in precious metals – with the world’s political elite creates a strong aura of authority around the Day-Date that makes it the go-to choice for anyone wanting to make a power statement with their wrist. It’s also a watch that’s becoming increasingly significant for the ever bullish vintage Rolex market – with the Phillips ‘Glamorous Day-Date’ auction yielding impressive hammer prices. The Day-Date is being noticed by a younger generation of collectors, and is very much on-trend at the moment.

The Day-Date 40


Which brings us back to the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40. There’s a lot that’s new about this watch. New case, new movement, new size, new dial finishes. The Day-Date 40 will replace the 41mm Day-Date II, but still sit alongside the 36mm Day-Date. Individually, the changes in the Day-Date 40 are all small, but taken as a whole they represent a significant upgrade to Rolex’s flagship model. We reviewed an Everose version, but it’s also available in platinum or yellow gold.

The dial


The clearest indication that we’re looking at a brand-new Rolex is the dazzling array of new textured dials on offer. The texture is achieved through a new technique for Rolex, achieved by laser etching over a sunray finish. This example is a Sundust dial with a stripe motif, but there’s also a quadrant finish and an ice blue diagonal motif that’s unique to the platinum model. These new dials aren’t for everyone, but they add interest and texture to the watch as well as referencing the brand’s rich history of exotic dials, which often have wonderful names such as ‘tapestry’, ‘linen’ or ‘honeycomb’. And by the way, these dial finishes are exclusive to the Day-Date 40.


Aside from the dial itself, the Day-Date 40 comes with either stick markers or ‘deconstructed’ roman numerals. And of course the instantaneous change day and date indications. These pictures don’t fully capture just how gold this dial is. You could be mistaken for thinking it’s champagne, but trust us: in reality it’s very gold. I can imagine in certain lights, the gold dial/hands/case combination might make telling the time more than a moment’s glance, but let’s be honest, legibility isn’t the main purpose of the Day-Date 40.

The movement


While the new case and dials are important, the exciting – and really significant – news is the calibre 3255 that powers the Day-Date 40. Calibre 3255 is Rolex’s next-generation movement, and we expect to see it (or versions of it) rolling out through their collections in the years to come. Aside from the instantaneous date change (meaning that the day and date flip within a fraction of a second at the stroke of midnight – already a feature on the Day-Date and the Day-Date II) the Calibre 3255 boasts performance twice as exacting as COSC standards, a new Chronergy escapement (a more energy efficient version of a Swiss lever escapement), Parachrom hairspring, thinner barrels, upgraded gear train and new lubricants.

These innovations have resulted in a power reserve that is now 70 hours, a 50 per cent gain on the previous movement. It also means that Rolex – already renowned for their hardworking, reliable movements, are continuing to research and develop in this area to keep step with impressive competitor advancements like Omega’s Master Co-Axial series. While it might not have been the sexiest new Rolex release at Baselworld, the Calibre 3255 is the most important. And not just for what it is, but what it represents.

On the wrist


The Day-Date 40 was a dream to wear. The bracelet is nothing short of amazing. Buttery soft and yet still supple. Rolex have also gone to some effort to future-proof it by adding ceramic inserts in the links so that the soft metal won’t wear away and loosen over time. Beyond the excellent bracelet, the case is, for me, slightly more reasonably proportioned than the Day-Date II. What a difference one millimetre makes. But beyond all the tangible factors, there’s just something about slipping on a solid gold Rolex. You can’t escape that cultural weight we mentioned earlier. It was also less bling than expected. Don’t get me wrong, thanks to the fluted bezel, gold dial and multifaceted bracelet, the Day-Date 40 sparkles in any light, but the Everose is warmer and less harsh than yellow gold. As always Rolex have offered the complete package with the Day-Date 40 – and further proof (if any were needed) that they’re still at the top of the game.


The knowledge

Talking point

Guess how many US Presidents have worn this watch?

For the watch forums

What’s the next watch that’s going to benefit from the next-generation movement technology?

Who’s it for?

The promise of the Day-Date is unchanged. It’s a watch made for captains of industry and leaders of men.

What would we change?

I’d like to see a little more contrast on the dial – but to be fair that’s less of an issue with some of the other dial variants.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Australian pricing

This version of the Rolex Day-Date 40 has an RRP of $47,550.

Brand: Rolex
Model: Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40
Reference No.: 228235
Case Size: 40mm
Case Material: 18 ct Everose gold
Dial: Sundust, stripe motif
Strap: President bracelet, semi-circular three-piece links, Concealed folding Crownclasp
Movement: Calibre 3255, Manufacture Rolex
Crystal: Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Functions: Centre hour, minute and seconds hands Instantaneous day and date in apertures, unrestricted rapid-setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Bezel: Fluted

Original images by Jason Reekie

Article courtesy of

Rolex watches are available at Deutsch & Deutsch in Laredo, McAllen, Houston, and El Paso, Texas.

About Deutsch & Deutsch Laredo

Deutsch & Deutsch has been a family tradition for over 80 years, a name that speaks elegance, history, and integrity. We offer a wide selection of premium brands from the most respected jewelers and watchmakers worldwide. At Deutsch & Deutsch we recognize that our valued customers deserve exclusivity, so we proudly offer and are official jewelers of Rolex, Cartier, TUDOR, TAG Heuer, and a wide variety of other high-end brands. Stop by and visit us at Deutsch & Deutsch, where we’ll help you find a jewelry item or timepiece to suit even the most particular of clients.

Our Laredo location is proud to be the official jeweler of many premium watch brands, including Rolex, TUDOR, TAG Heuer, Hublot, and TechnoMarine. We are also official jewelers for some of the finest jewelry brands in the world, including Roberto Coin, Marco Bicego, Meria T, Bvlgari, Honora Pearls, and many more.