To cyclops or not?

To cyclops or not?

I had a five-digit no-holes Submariner Date and I traded it for my current no-date Submariner. I did not like having the cyclops magnifying lens over the date window. I couldn’t stand that at certain angles and lighting conditions, you couldn’t read the date even though it was magnified. I also had a Tudor Day-Date 76200 with a cyclops  that I enjoyed, but ultimately moved on from it.

Submariner No-Date or Date

Photo by Swiss Watches Magazine

I’ve come to love Rolex models that don’t have the cyclops. Give me an Oyster Perpetual, Air-King, Milgauss, Daytona or a Sea-Dweller without a cyclops.

I understand that this magnifier is one of Rolex’s signature esthetic trademarks, but to this day I prefer the clean look without it. I do enjoy having a date complication on my weekday watch, so I’m always on the lookout for a nice example of a five-digit Sea-Dweller, one of my favorite Rolex watches of all time. To most casual observers it looks like a Submariner, but those in the know recognize that the less common watch is the technically more proficient diver.

Photo by SJX Watches

Where do you stand on the cyclops?

Because I need reading glasses now, I get the practicality of the cyclops. As much as I declared my love of a flat sapphire on a Rolex, I could see myself settling into my golden years with a smooth bezel Datejust with an Oyster bracelet as my exit watch. Rolex did add an anti-reflective coating on the cyclops lens in 2005, so that will help me out with the visibility issue I described earlier.

That said, I might not care what the date is by the time I have settled into a life of leisure. The only current production Rolex with a date complication without a cyclops is the Deepsea Sea-Dweller, a fact that makes that behemoth of a watch a very desirable model for those with larger wrists.

If I do want the Rolex look, a date function without the cyclops, Tudor offers plenty of options from the new Royal line to the steel and gold Black Bay to the Pelagos. If hey come out with a thinner version of the Black Bay GMT, that might rise up to the top of my exit-watch candidate list.

At the end of the day, I will probably stick to my guns and choose a Rolex without a cyclops. It works well when you look at your watch straight on, but at certain angles it detracts from the visibility of the date.

Post your opinions of the cyclops date magnifier in the comments below.

For great curved-end rubber and leather straps for Rolex models with and without cyclops, visit our store.

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