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What’s a Rolex Made Of? Rolex In-House Materials | SwissWatchExpo [Rolex Watches]


From SwissWatchExpo…
Spotlight on: Rolex’s Proprietary Materials. Materials that Rolex produces in-house. Rolex is known for its uncompromising standards. The brand made its name through many firsts
that it introduced to the watchmaking industry; and has stayed ahead of the curve through
constant innovation. One of Rolex’s secrets to achieving top
notch quality and aesthetics, is to rigorously select, and even manufacture the materials
for its watches. While outsourcing materials is still the norm
for many watch companies, Rolex has a number of proprietary materials that they produce
entirely in-house. Which of the materials in your Rolex watch,
is actually produced by the company? Stay tuned, to find out! In the 1990s, Rolex pursued to control
every part of the manufacturing process, in order to increase the level of their watches’
quality. They began by manufacturing solid-link bracelets,
and eventually developed their own foundry in the early 2000’s, where they now make
the metals used for their watches. Used in Rolex’s contemporary steel watches
is Oystersteel – a unique blend of 904L (nine oh four L) steel that’s proprietary to the
brand. While the industry standard is still 316L
(three one six L) steel, Rolex shifted all their watches to 904L in 2003, due to its
superior corrosion resistance. Due to higher levels of chromium, nickel,
and copper, Oystersteel is tougher, and has anti-corrosion properties comparable to precious
metals. Both highly-resistant and polishable, Oystersteel
keeps its shine even when exposed to elements. Rolex has also been producing their own gold
since the 2000s. They exclusively use 18 karat gold, then add
exactly the right mixture of elements – such as silver and copper – to produce their yellow,
white, and rose gold. Their proprietary rose gold alloy, the Everose,
even has a mix of platinum. The copper in rose gold alloys react to saltwater, UV rays,
and sweat, and the addition of platinum counters this reaction. Introduced to the market in 2005, Rolex’s
Everose watches continue to live up to this expectation. For its platinum watches, Rolex uses 950 (nine
fifty) platinum, an alloy consisting of nine hundred and fifty thousandths of platinum,
combined with ruthenium – a chemical element in the platinum group. This combination makes their platinum alloy
robust enough to be used for watches, while maintaining its brilliance and shine for long. Ceramic has been explored by watchmakers since
the 1980s, as a more scratch-resistant alternative to aluminum and metals. Rolex took its time to perfect their ceramic
bezel, and launched the Cerachrom in 2005. Not only is the Cerachrom virtually scratch-proof,
it is also impervious to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, so its vibrant hue never fades.
It made its first appearance in the Rolex GMT-Master II in yellow gold, and has been
used in succeeding Rolex sport models. Pushing the envelope further, Rolex created
the first bi-colored ceramic bezel in 2013, with the Rolex GMT-Master II Batman. While it was first thought of as impossible,
Rolex was able to achieve the two-color, single ceramic component, through a patented process. Rolex has used several kinds of lume for its
watches, from radium and tri-tium, to SuperLuminova, which are also used by other watchmakers. In 2008, Rolex introduced its own proprietary
luminous material called Chroma-light. Watchmakers have long used luminous materials
for the dial markers, in order to enhance legibility in low-light conditions. What makes the Chromalight superior, is that
it lasts up to eight hours — more than double the lasting power of other luminous materials. And finally, we have the Parachrom. Look closely at this movement, and you’ll
see a blue material used in Rolex’s modern hairsprings. The Parachrom is a proprietary alloy made
from niobium, zirconium, and oxygen; and is given a surface treatment that gives it
its unique blue color. Compared to traditional hairsprings, the Parachrom
remains stable even when exposed to temperature variations and magnetic fields. When subjected to shocks, it is 10 times more
accurate than the average watch movement. Experimentation has always been a part of
the watch industry. Rolex, in its 100 year history, remains the
leader in the development of new materials, and continues to push the boundaries of watchmaking. Want to learn more about Rolex watches? Click on the upper right screen, for our All
About Rolex playlist. Don’t miss out! We launch two videos weekly,
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