Rolex, as a brand, has an incredibly strong identity. First-time collectors often come to Rolex because of its reputation, but they become repeat buyers because of the excellence in design, materials, and construction. Recognizing this, Rolex has taken steps over the years to make its products and its process even more exclusive by patenting new materials and trademarking designs. These terms can be a little confusing to first-time buyers, so we’ve laid out a guide to some commonly-used Rolex jargon that you might encounter.
1933: Rolex Trademarks “Rolesor”
Although two-tone watches were de rigueur in the thirties, Rolex wanted to trademark its unique design that used center links of one type of metal (usually yellow gold) flanked by another metal (usually steel.) The name is a combination of “Rolex” and “or” (the French word for gold) to describe watches constructed with both Oystersteel and precious metals. Rolesor has evolved over the years, and the term is now used to describe a variety of mixed-metal watches, including those that use rose gold and white gold for the center links.
Interestingly enough, Rolex also technically categorizes its stainless steel watches as “Rolesor.” Why? Since stainless steel watches have a white gold fluted bezel, they qualify as mixed-metal, and earn the trademarked name.
1999: Rolex Formulates and Trademarks Rolesium for the Yacht-Master
Prior to 1999, Rolex began designing a watch made of separate platinum and stainless steel elements for its new model, the Yacht-Master. In 1999, the Yacht-Master arrived, featuring a bezel in 950 platinum and with 904L stainless steel for the bracelet. Rolex envisioned the new Yacht-Master as an elevated Submariner for a new demographic of Rolex buyers who wanted larger, more luxurious timepieces. With a pure platinum bezel, it captured the sparkle of platinum alongside a strong Oystersteel bracelet. (There’s some debate about if the original Yacht-Master dial was pure platinum or not. The current Rolesium Yacht-Master features a rhodium dial.) The Yacht-Master didn’t sell well initially, but a revisioning of it in Everose gold on an Oysterflex bracelet in 2015 sent huge shock waves through the horology world.
2005: Rolex Patents and Trademarks Everose Gold
Rolex’s proprietary blend of 18-karat gold includes small amounts of copper and platinum to add depth and warmth to their trademarked rose gold alloy. It was originally formulated for the Daytona, but is now used on the Day-Date, the Yacht-Master, and a few other models. It’s paired with a variety of dial colors, but pink, black, and chocolate brown all contrast beautifully with the warm gold. A mixed-metal version of it called Pink Rolesor is used to designate watches that mix rose gold with steel. The 2018 GMT-Master with a Pepsi dial and Pink Rolesor bracelet seen below is a great example of how this combination can feel incredibly modern.
Swapping Out A Rolesor Bracelet For a Rubber Strap
Mixed metal bracelets are beloved classics by some, but feel dated to others. If you have a Rolex with a Rolesor bracelet, such as a vintage Datejust, consider trading it out occasionally for a rubber strap to update the look. And of course, Everose or Rolesium against a matte black strap makes for an unforgettable combination.
Written by Meghan Clark
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