Let it be said first and foremost that the creation of a new movement by any brand is an achievement that merits attention. It is, after all, an expensive, time-consuming process that can go wrong in ways one cannot even fathom. Whether produced in small batches or on an industrial scale, the journey toward the completion of the movement and the sale of the finished watch in the market, is a harrowing one whose completion is, at the very least, an achievement that demands respect.
This is why most brands will go to some lengths to announce their new movement to the world, focusing on this fact exclusively to get the attention of hardened watch connoisseurs, especially for brands stepping up to manufacture status for the first time.
With this reality as the backdrop to how things mostly work in the world of horology, it seems almost charming that when Rolex debuted the Day-Date 40 at Baselworld last year, the fact that it contained the new cal. 3255, a movement jam-packed with innovations, was only a minor footnote in the presentation.
Why was Rolex not making a bigger deal about this new caliber? Well, things work a little differently in the Rolex universe where constant innovation is at the heart of what the brand already does. Anything new brought forward is always in the service of the core mission: to produce durable and reliable watches first and foremost, in service to the owner. The basic criteria, therefore, of what a watch must do is priority number one, and while the aesthetics serve to induce pleasure in the wearing experience, it is the reliability of the movement inside that keeps customers loyal.
The average Rolex owner expects their watch to work, and work well. A rare freedom then in the world of watches when all that is required for customers to consider at the time of purchase are things related to case materials, dial colors and watch complications. Why bother knowing too much about the movement, when everything just works?
Yet us horological nerds know that when Rolex introduces new innovations, there lies within this achievement a chance to glimpse the future of horology in view of the brand’s leadership position in the watch industry. Like the Syloxi hairspring made of silicon introduced in 2014, what we have in the new cal. 3255 are innovations that take performance to a whole new level. In a nutshell, expect greater efficiency and reliability.