As Rolex goes in regards to the unending technique of refining and bettering its merchandise, among the areas wherein now we have seen the best developments are the brand new supplies which are featured within the Rolex watches which have been launched over the course of the final couple a long time.
From scratch-resistant ceramic bezels to antimagnetic motion elements, modern Rolex watches make the most of among the most superior supplies on this planet to assist within the firm’s ongoing pursuit of constructing the most effective mechanical wristwatches potential. Nonetheless, regardless of all the distinctive, proprietary machines and supplies that get used on the Rolex manufacturing facility in Geneva, probably the most attention-grabbing points of the Rolex manufacturing course of is the kind of chrome steel that’s used for the circumstances and bracelets of its watches.
Most timepiece producers use 316L chrome steel, which is greater than sufficient for the overwhelming majority of purposes and environments you might be prone to encounter in on a regular basis life. Nonetheless, Rolex chooses to make use of a singular mix of 904L chrome steel for its watches (often called “Oystersteel”) that’s extremely immune to a variety of completely different types of corrosion. The “Oystersteel” identify first made an look at Baselworld 2018, taking the place of “904L chrome steel” inside Rolex’s literature; nevertheless no distinction was made between the 2 metals, so it’s possible that “Oystersteel” is simply Rolex’s identify for the high-quality, 904L chrome steel that’s produced in-house by its personal foundry.
904L chrome steel is a low-carbon number of chrome steel with components of nickel, chromium, copper, and molybdenum to make it extremely immune to the assorted varieties of corrosion. Mostly used within the aerospace and chemical industries, 904L is troublesome to form and infrequently requires using specialised tools to correctly reduce and machine. Though it’s costlier and troublesome to make use of, 904L can tackle the next polish than conventional chrome steel alloys and it possess a variety of anti-corrosive properties which are considerably just like these of valuable metals.
904L Stainless Metal: Superior Corrosion Resistance
Rolex’s use of 904L chrome steel dates all the way in which again to 1985, when it turned the primary wristwatch producer to make use of the metallic on a big scale in its timepieces. Initially, throughout the 1980s, 904L chrome steel was solely used for the Rolex Sea-Dweller line of deep-sea diving watches and later the Submariner assortment; nevertheless in 2003, Rolex switched all of its numerous strains of watches over to 904L chrome steel, because of the superior corrosion resistance that it supplied.
Extra conventional types of chrome steel, akin to 316L are fairly corrosion resistant and greater than sufficient for the case of a wristwatch. Nonetheless, small quantities of saltwater and different minerals can get trapped within the tiny areas between elements, and over an prolonged time frame, they’ll act as a catalyst for corrosion. Rolex seen that chrome steel watches exhibited extra untimely put on on sure areas of elements than what was noticed on their valuable metallic counterparts, and so the choice was made to modify to 904L chrome steel for all of its watches.
Though “Oystersteel” is probably going simply one other identify for the 904L chrome steel manufactured by Rolex’s in-house foundry, it’s plain that 904L chrome steel presents extra advantages over most historically used chrome steel varieties. Whether or not it’s referred to as “Oystersteel” or 904L chrome steel, this extremely sturdy, corrosion-resistant metallic is a part of what defines a recent Rolex.
Oystersteel Is Produced In-Home
Rolex prefers to maintain as a lot as potential of its manufacturing course of in-house, proper right down to the intricate actions that beat throughout the case and uncooked supplies used of their building. By controlling each facet of manufacturing, Rolex can be certain that every timepiece measures as much as its extremely excessive requirements of high quality. It’s additionally what units the corporate other than many different watch manufacturers available on the market that select to outsource the provision of its supplies. And whereas Rolex didn’t invent 904L-grade metal, the model has since perfected the method for watchmaking functions, leading to a superior metallic end that’s merely unmatched by the industry-standard 316L chrome steel.
Oystersteel Rolex Watches
At the moment, practically each Rolex watch is obtainable in both Oystersteel or a mixture of Oystersteel and a few valuable metallic. Some exceptions embody the Day-Day, Cellini, and Pearlmaster, which Rolex solely produces in both strong gold or platinum. With the design ethos that each Rolex watch was meant to face the take a look at of time and final for generations, it solely is sensible that the model’s chrome steel watches must also final for a lifetime and never corrode or rust after a long time of damage and use.
Rolex produces a powerful lineup of classically-styled watches, together with the Oyster Perpetual, Datejust, and Girl-Datejust, every obtainable in Oystersteel. Rolex can also be recognized for its skilled sequence, which consists of iconic instrument watches such because the Submariner, Daytona, GMT Grasp II, and Explorer. Preserving in thoughts that most of the professions that these watches had been marketed in direction of would see fixed publicity to the weather, the change from 316L metal to 904L metal, first beginning with the Sea-Dweller, doesn’t come as a shock. The identical may be stated for the traditional watches, which additionally require a tricky metallic end to face as much as on a regular basis put on.
How A lot Do Rolex Oystersteel Watches Value?
Oystersteel Rolex watches are positioned as entry-level fashions and retail for simply above the $5k value level. As of spring 2021, among the most reasonably priced choices within the traditional mannequin and sports activities watch classes embody:
– Ref. 277200 Oyster Perpetual 31 $5,200
– Ref. 279160 Girl-Datejust $6,500
– Ref. 126200 Datejust 36 $7,050
– Ref. 116900 Air king $6,450
– Ref. 124270 Explorer $6,450
With that in thoughts, the pre-owned Rolex market is a wholly completely different story. Entry-level chrome steel fashions, such because the classic Oyster Perpetual Date ref. 6694 and Air-King ref. 5500, resell for costs as little as $4k. Whereas newer fashions usually commerce palms for costs over retail, relying on the recognition of the mannequin. One of many greatest exceptions is Rolex’s skilled sequence. Regardless of being the extra reasonably priced possibility, Oystersteel Rolex sports activities fashions at the moment demand 1000’s greater than retail, generally even doubling or tripling their unique buy costs and exceeding the retail value of many standard all-gold Rolex watches.
The sheer demand for these chrome steel watches and relatively low stock has pushed up pre-owned costs dramatically. An intriguing instance of that’s the Daytona ref. 116500LN, which retails for $13,150 and at the moment instructions between$30okay and $40okay pre-owned. Equally, the model new 41mm Rolex Submariner ref. 126610LV, which is comparatively reasonably priced by Rolex’s requirements with a retail value of $9,550, at the moment fetches greater than $20okay when it trades palms on the secondary market.
Rolex Oystersteel Combos
“Rolesor” is the time period coined by Rolex in 1933 for its pairing of each chrome steel and strong gold elements on a single watch. At the moment, Oystersteel is used on the center case and the outer hyperlinks of the bracelet, whereas 18okay gold is used on the winding crown, bezel, and middle hyperlinks of the bracelet (White Rolesor watches solely function an 18okay white gold bezel). By pairing metal with gold, Rolesor watches provide the most effective of each worlds by way of sturdiness and luster.
Equally, “Rolesium” is Rolex’s time period for using Oystersteel and platinum on a single watch. These days, Rolesium is just discovered on choose watches from the Yacht-Grasp assortment, the place the case and bracelet are crafted from Oystersteel, with a bezel constituted of strong 950 platinum. Rolesor and Rolesium make a superb different for individuals who want to put money into a valuable metallic Rolex watch with out paying the premium that accompanies full gold or platinum.
– Yellow Rolesor: Oystersteel & 18okay Yellow Gold
– Oystersteel center case and outer bracelet hyperlinks; 18okay yellow gold crown, bezel, middle bracelet hyperlinks.
– White Rolesor: Oystersteel & 18okay White Gold
– Oystersteel center case, crown, and bracelet hyperlinks; 18okay white gold bezel.
– Everose Rolesor: Oystersteel & 18okay Rose Gold
– Oystersteel center case and outer bracelet hyperlinks; 18okay Everose gold crown, bezel, middle bracelet hyperlinks.
– Rolesium: Oystersteel & 950 Platinum
– Oystersteel center case, crown, and bracelet hyperlinks; 950 platinum bezel.