Most expressions in the watch industry are universal, regardless of the brand or watch. But Rolex once again like to play by its own rules, as the Geneva-based brand has come up with its very own names for components and materials.
In our Rolexicon (Part 1), we shed light on the 10 most common expressions that only exist in the Rolex cosmos and which you should definitely know.
The first one is Cerachrom, an approach patented by Rolex for a particularly resistant high-performance ceramic bezel. Cerachrom contains the two words “ceramic” and “chrome” – ancient Greek word for color –, which pretty much says it all: colored ceramic (bezels). Whereas in the past, colored aluminum inlays were used that could fade over time (see Rolex Hulk), Cerachrom bezels are virtually unscratchable. Also, problems like color fading due to factors such as UV radiation are now a thing of the past.
Chronergy is a little more technical, because the term describes an innovative further development of the Swiss lever escapement. A brief technical classification: As the junction between the balance wheel and the gear train, an escapement is one of the most heavily stressed components of a watch movement, since it constantly regulates the controlled transmission of energy. This makes it all the more important to have an escapement that is unaffected by magnetism and temperature fluctuations. Rolex has achieved this with the Chronergy escapement, which was first presented in 2015. Practically impervious to magnetic fields and with 15% higher efficiency, this is the latest generation of Rolex escapements.
In particular sportier watch models, be it pilot or diver’s watches, naturally have plenty of luminous material on indices and hands, as this used to be the only way to ensure good readability even in difficult lighting conditions. While Seiko, for example, has LumiBrite and a major part of the watch industry relies on Super-LumiNova, Rolex decided to opt for Chromalight. This is a phosphorescent powder that is mixed with liquid resin and then applied to dials, hands and markers. Chromalight is not only considered to be particularly luminous, but also very durable.
What other manufacturers call the date magnifier is a cyclops for Rolex. The term refers to the small lens that enlarges the date window at three o’clock – by a factor of 2.5, by the way. Legend has it that a drop of water landed on the watch glass of Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf when he was washing his hands, whereupon he recognized its immense potential. In 1954, the Cyclops magnifier was first presented on a Rolex Datejust.
We have already discussed the fact that Rolex has its own foundry in one of our previous articles (see How much gold is in a solid gold Rolex?). Having your own foundry, in turn, can only mean one thing: your own alloy. Everose is exactly that, an 18-carat rose gold alloy that consists of gold, platinum and copper. Everose is not only a visual treat, but also particularly resistant and color-fast.
The Glidelock function in the buckle of some Rolex models is without question one of the most useful inventions for everyday use that Rolex has in its range. The idea is that a sliding mechanism in the clasp allows the bracelet to be adjusted, i.e. lengthened or shortened, in the twinkling of an eye in 2 mm increments. Especially on hot summer days, when the wrist can easily swell a bit due to rising temperatures, the Glidelock function promises to provide quick relief when the bracelet becomes too tight.
Important: Not to be confused with the Fliplock extension element, which enlarges the stainless steel wrist strap by 26mm at once and which was designed for wetsuit use.
What at first glance looks like a normal rubber bracelet is in fact one of the highest quality and most durable bracelets on the market. What you do not see: The Oysterflex bracelets have a metal core made of a titanium/nickel alloy inside, which gives the bracelet the necessary stability and elasticity. This in turn is shrouded in an elastomer that is super comfortable to wear. The robust Oysterflex straps were first used on the Yacht-Master 40 models in 2015.
The oscillator, so the combination of balance wheel and hairspring, is the rate regulating mechanism of a mechanical watch. The spring in particular plays an extremely important role (more on this here), which is why Rolex has spared no expense or effort in developing a technically innovative solution. The name: Parachrom. Introduced in 2005, the characteristic blue balance spring with Breguet end curve was the result of a five-year research phase that has paid off. It is resistant to magnetic fields and withstands physical shocks much better than conventional coil springs in watches.
While most watch enthusiasts would simply speak of bicolor or two-tone watches, Rolex prefers to refer to Rolesor instead. The term essentially describes nothing else than a Rolex watch in which the materials gold and stainless steel are combined. The gold can either be yellow gold or Everose, while the stainless steel is always 904L Oyster steel. Rolex already had the name “Rolesor” protected back in 1933.
A persistent misconception is that Rolesor is a material or alloy, but this is not the case. While Rolesor describes a combination of gold and stainless steel, Rolesium merely suggests a combination of platinum and stainless steel. Rolesium was first used in 1999 in the Rolex Yacht-Master Ref. 16622.
Stay tuned for our Rolexion – Part 2.