The first waterproof watch introduced to the world was a Rolex – the Rolex Oyster. So named due to its resemblance to the clamping of an oyster shell, the Rolex Oyster gained a reputation as an elegant and robust timepiece throughout the 1900s. The Rolex Oyster was traditionally worn on the wrists of many great men. English swimmer Mercedes Gleitze famously crossed the channel sporting a Rolex Oyster and Sir Malcom Campbell set the land speed record in the 1930s, also donning a Rolex Oyster Perpetual. The Rolex Oyster is truly engrained in our shared global culture.
With the original Rolex Oyster having become an internationally renowned brand, Rolex subscribed to the “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” philosophy and continued to produce watches under the Oyster moniker. Producing some 20 watches bearing the Oyster name, each model is gifted in its own sphere of superiority.
One of the finer models in the Oyster collection is the original Oyster Perpetual. The Perpetual would go on to influence every watch in the Oyster range. This beautiful 904L stainless steel model is Rolex at its finest. Due to its robust qualities, the 904L can usually be found in the aerospace and chemical industries where resilience to corrosion is imperative. The Perpetual self-winding movement contains a half-moon-shaped oscillating weight which pivots freely on its central axle, in only one direction, while the other utilizes energy from the natural movement on the wrist. This harnessing of natural energy means the watch does not require any winding or a battery.
Collectors or first time buyers looking for a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch are sure to find the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona to their liking. This stylish model is also self-winding and was originally made for racing car drivers in 1963. The watch evokes a passion for speed that still attracts racing drivers today.
In so far as Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches go - or just watches in general – it’s hard to envision a more highly esteemed timepiece than the Rolex Daytona Chronograph. A rare 1969 model went for a staggering 1.1 million at an auction in Geneva in 2003 – setting a world record. Simple, elegant and timeless, this watch is one of the most desired pieces in the Rolex range.
With 20 timepieces in the Rolex Oyster Perpetual collection, there is a watch for every occasion and lifestyle. One of the beautiful things about this series of Rolex watches is that their elegance transcends their functionality.