When it comes to buying a new sports watch as a daily wear, there are always many decisions to take. While most people just go for a certain brand and model, after the budget has been set, while for others, who really care for small details, that make a dial as smart as possible, the question often is, should the watch really have a date window or not. Since most men prefer a watch that tells the date as well, the industry nowadays produces most of their automatic movements, with a date facility.
The downside is that since these calibers have that option, we see less and less automatic watches with a simple plain dial. It almost seems that if the caliber has that date facility, it just has to be used. For the purists among us and I know quite a few, a bit of a bummer. Rolex for sure is the brand with prominent date windows and most of them even have a cyclops to enlarge it. Many of their watches were designed that way, are accepted like that and serve 95% of the Rolex clients. But on the other hand, it is also Rolex that thinks out of the box and realises that there still is a group that loves, more discreet designs, more minimalism and simplicity.
Since their introduction we know that the Daytona, the Air King, the Milgauss (1956) and for instance the Rolex Explorer 1 (1953) don’t have a date, even the re-issues and newest models.
The Explorer 1, a small 36mm black dial watch, was in the meantime enlarged to 39mm, but the model is still available without date. Just the numerals have bee changed from Tritium (and later on Luminova) to applied numerals, which gives the watch a more modern look and makes it an ideal time piece to wear to the office.
It matches perfectly with a business suit and shirt, but does as well with a casual outfit. Last year Rolex went a step further and released the Oyster Perpetual 2014. Three colourful very attractive 36mm watches, with a dial as plain as possible and with colours to die for. The names White Grape, Red Grape and Steel grey indicate exactly what they are. Wildest of the three is absolutely the Red Grape.
A stunning bold purple colour that at first sight may not be so easy to combine, but for the more flamboyant, fashion oriented man among us, a daring watch to try.
More easy and an actually very smart looking watch with lots of charm is the White Grape.
– Dial of the 36mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual ‘White Grape’ –
In a flash the watch is almost vintage looking with a dial that goes from yellowish to light beige/brown and sometimes copper coloured in sunlight. Next to a vintage Explorer it becomes clear how much these watches have in common.
The safest choice of the three is without doubt the Steel Grey. A more simple, straight forward and good looking watch cannot be found in the current Rolex line up. This is certainly the one of the three that can be worn in any business environment. It presents taste without giving the wrong signals.
Rolex released a winning trio. Build to last with their strong and smooth, water resistant to 100 meters, Oyster cases in steel. While most brands use 316L steel for their steel watches, Rolex has, since 2003, been working with the very hard 904L steel. Rolex does not make much publicity about the steel they use, but it is good to know that 904L steel is more corrosion resistant, and is also harder than other steels, which makes it more difficult to work with. Another benefit of 904L steel is the fact that it holds the polish very well and leaves a lasting and durable reflection on the case and bracelet of the watch.
Add to that, Rolex’s very reliable and self winding, official certified Swiss chronometer (COSC) 3130 caliber and it becomes clear that these three colour full Oysters are guaranteed to give you many years of trouble free ownership and a simple no date dial that any purist would love.