My story with Rolex begins roughly five years back, in a rather unimpressed state. Just like other collectors, old and young, I had been growing up with the coronet constantly being shoved in my face just anywhere I looked, both in the media and day-to-day life. This of course lead to me developing what I like to call the “everyone has one” attitude towards the brand, and its products. I then started to collect watches from a number of obscure smaller brands, with little to no following, since I thought that would set me apart from the rest, and result in an intriguing and unique collection. All of this would soon change.
A few years passed, and my sights had now been set a tad higher. Somewhat obsessive reading into the rich history and important figures associated with Rolex had now become part of my nightly routine, and after about six months of intense research, it finally clicked. Why did seemingly everyone have one? Easy – because they were simply just about as good as a basic watch could get, from an aesthetic, structural, and mechanical standpoint. It then quickly became apparent that the masses wearing their Submariners weren’t crazy after all, and that I myself needed one on my wrist.
The truth of the matter is, I admire Rolex most for the fact that they’re oh so very on point with their cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. Many will profess that the brand’s price points are largely influenced by the Rolex name, and while this may be true to some extent, you’re also getting an insanely well made watch for your money. What is arguably the greatest indication of this fact, is how references from over 50 years ago are still more than likely to run quite accurately, without any regular servicing.
Today, it’s safe to say that Rolex watches make up a significant portion of my current collection, and have played a notable role in shaping my “collector’s ethos”, so to speak. To date, I’ve owned 3 different pieces from the brand, of which two I still own. It started off with what I consider to be the white t-shirt of watches, the no date Submariner Ref. 14060M, and then my interest started shifting towards to the earlier, vintage offerings from Rolex. A 1964 Datejust Ref. 1601 then joined the collection, complete with a rare single Swiss doorstop dial, and non-luminous sword hands. Most recently, I acquired a GMT Master Ref. 1675 in the matte dial “Root Beer” configuration, which I affectionately refer to as the Curious George GMT.
While on the lifelong path of a collector, you manage to take a few notes along the way, and I think I’ve definitely learned a thing or two. For one, I believe I’ve grown to pay more attention to the minuscule details that can truly make or break a watch – be it explicitly aesthetic, technical, or historical. Secondly, I’ve learned to not underestimate the value of knowledge, because ultimately the more you know about a watch, the more likely you are to develop a deep appreciation for it, and the ownership experience will be significantly more rewarding – as with many interests. The thought of what’s in the cards for the road ahead never fails to excite me, but one thing I know is that it’ll be paved with several great pieces from what is now my favourite watch manufacturer, Rolex.