Looking back on 2018, one of my rich moments was attending the Rolex Mentorship & Protégé Arts Initiative in Berlin. This trip highlighted the importance of paying it forward. Rolex is fairly unique in the world of luxury in that the company is a registered charity and channels its profit (after expenses) into environmental research, sports, and the promotion of the arts.
Bottom line: beyond desirability or status, every Rolex sold contributes in some way to a good cause. What better spirit with which to kickstart my column for 2019 than the brand that not only makes brilliant timepieces but also has our cultural and environmental wellbeing at the heart of its mission.
As the more conscientious among us become more discrete and considered about our purchases, the watch industry has responded with smaller-sized, vintage-inspired releases, as well as with materials that are not only less showy but also offer better value propositions for new collectors. The latest Sky-Dweller is presented in a more “accessible” Oystersteel case and bracelet with white gold bezel (R186 700). Its GMT functionality means it is also a practical companion for globetrotting cosmopolites who prefer to be more engaged with the world around them than with their mobile devices.
This elegant tool watch was first launched in 2012 in precious metals only, such as Everose (price on request) and yellow gold (R599 200), and is the most mechanically complicated of Rolex watches, combining dual-time-zone and annual-calendar functionality. Its 42mm case is waterproof to 100m and houses the Calibre 9001, self-winding mechanical in-house movement, which carries both a Cosc (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) and Rolex-certified Superlative Chronometer.