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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date

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A Date with the Oyster Perpetual

The Oyster Perpetual Date enriches Rolex's simple Oyster Perpetual collection with a date display at three o'clock. Versions with gold and diamond features increase the value of these watches, which are available in a unisex size of 34 mm.

Highlights

  • Date display at 3 o'clock
  • Cyclops lens with 2.5x magnification
  • Automatic, in-house, COSC-certified caliber
  • 48-hour power reserve
  • Case sizes for men and women

Unisex Model

The date display is a distinctive feature within the Oyster Perpetual collection, available only in 34 mm. Rolex has used this size most frequently for this model in the past and continues to do so. There were other sizes in use over the years, but these were exceptions, while even 34-mm models from the 1950s (reference number 6534, nicknamed Tru-Date) are easy to find. The size is such that it can be used as a men's or women's watch, and the design is gender-neutral as well.

Buying Advice for the Oyster Perpetual Date

If you're looking for a mid-size, traditional three-hand luxury watch with a date display, then the Oyster Perpetual Date is a good choice. Models with diamond index markers and fluted bezels were designed with women in mind.
The new versions of the Oyster Perpetual Date have stainless steel cases, some with touches of white gold. Older models are also available in yellow gold. The watch is complimented by a flat three-piece link Oyster bracelet. A new Oyster Perpetual costs in the 5,000 - 10,000 euros range, while vintage models in good condition remain under 5,000 euros. A more expensive alternative to this watch is the Calatrava from Patek Philippe.

Buying Tips

  • Stainless steel and Rolesor, vintage models in yellow gold
  • Featuring fluted or smooth, polished bezels
  • White gold hour indices, some with diamonds
  • Early models bear reference number 6534

Carefully Sealed Case

Rolex primarily uses stainless steel in the newer models. They use type 904L stainless steel, which is particularly scratch and corrosion resistant. In some versions, Rolex combines the steel with 18-karat white gold to create the Rolesor combination.
The watch features a screw-down case back; the double-gasket Twinlock crown is also attached to the case. Scratch-resistant sapphire glass protects the dial, and there is an extra piece of sapphire glass glued to the crystal over the date display at three o'clock. This extra piece magnifies the display by 2.5x in order to improve legibility. The watch is waterproof to 100 m (10 bar), making it easy to take with you swimming or snorkeling.

Diamond Hour Indices

The use of white gold or diamonds on certain versions of the Oyster Perpetual Date raises their value. Watches with reference number 115234 feature five gemstones as hour markers on the dial.
The dial is the distinctive element of the Oyster Perpetual Date. It's available in pink, silver, dark blue, and black. The hour indices are either lines, thicker bars, or diamonds and Arabic numerals, depending on the version. Most versions, however, feature the lines or bars. The line indices are made of white gold in order to prevent tarnishing. On the versions featuring diamonds and numerals, the diamond indices represent odd hours and Arabic numerals even hours. A small touch of extravagance is the watch's fluted bezel, which is available as an alternative to a smooth bezel.

COSC-Certified Movements

Due to the date display, the date version of the Oyster Perpetual has a different movement than other Perpetual models. The caliber 3135 powers newer models, in addition to larger diving watches such as the Submariner, Sea-Dweller 4000, and Sea-Dweller Deepsea. Its perpetual rotor automatically winds the movement through natural arm movements and it has a power reserve of 48 hours. It deviates from the reference time by a maximum of two seconds a day, and therefore easily passed the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute's (COSC) tests to receive certification. It vibrates at 28,800 alternations per hour.

Rolex's Fishbowl Tradition

As a member of the Oyster Perpetual family, the model featuring a date display is following a tradition reaching all the way back to the 1920s. Rolex introduced the Oyster case in this decade, which made the first ever waterproof wristwatch possible. As an advertising tactic, Rolex acquired small aquariums for their display windows in which they could display the Oyster alongside goldfish, who watched the timepieces with just as much disbelief as the passers-by. In the fall of 1927, swimmer Merecedes Glietze wore an Oyster Perpetual as she attempted to swim across the English Channel. Unfortunately, she gave up after about eight hours due to the freezing cold water, but the watch passed the test.
The perpetual rotor was introduced in 1931 and is still used today with automatic movements, and not just by Rolex. The flexibly mounted rotor primarily consists of a metal weight. It puts tension on the mainspring via its inertia: As you swing your arm naturally throughout the day, the rotor swings with it to a certain extent, thereby winding the watch up a little bit with every swing. A slipping clutch prevents the mainspring from getting overwound, even if the watch is worn a lot, and helps withstand damages.

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