Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watches
All About Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watches
History of Rolex Oyster Perpetual
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is always considered as the Rolex entry watch comparing to other signature Rolex models. The Oyster Perpetual is the combination of the two essences of Rolex watches.
Rolex is a symbol of status that can be owned by anyone, and its timepieces are some of the best you can lay on your hands in the world of watches. Speaking of Rolex’s representative Oyster catalog, it is famously known for its simplicity and elegance, as well as the classic charm that will last the test of times. It is also a pure exemplification of what Rolex as a brand is capable of achieving, and a pioneering creation that defines how a Swiss-made wristwatch should be like. The artistic piece excels in both its form and function, qualities that are rooted firmly in the origins of the brand.
One characteristic that may confuse you is the date display which is absent from the Oyster Perpetual model. The one with a date display is called the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date, which is a more famous model than the Oyster Perpetual. Still, the Oyster Perpetual is appreciated for its unique movement developed in-house by Rolex. It is equipped with a self-winding caliber and is a certified chronometer by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) that proves its superb accuracy and precision. Besides, the movement is also tested at Rolex’s own laboratories to ensure its power reserve, self-winding capabilities, water resistance as well as optimal performance. It is a rigorous testing process that involves putting the movement inside Rolex’s patented Oyster case and examining its functions in simulated real-world scenarios. After this scrupulous testing, the movement is finally granted the title of a Superlative Chronometer.
Origins of the Name
Have you ever thought about why the model is named the Oyster Perpetual? What exactly does it mean? In 1926, Rolex’s Bavarian founder and watchmaker Hans Wilsdorf invented and developed the first water-tight watch case. He got the inspiration for the name Oyster while trying to pry open a reluctant oyster shell at a dinner. This may sound like a fictional story but it is true. As for the name of Perpetual, it refers to the perpetual rotor invented in 1931 by Rolex. The self-winding mechanism relies on the motion of the wrist to give it energy, and as such the movement will power the watch on and on and no more manual winding is required. The automatic watch, a truly inventive and ingenious creation at the time, was debuted at the year of 1933 and Rolex named it the Oyster Perpetual.
This is the origin story of the name. But as we know it today, following Rolex’s expansion and introduction of more watch models in the years to come after the inception of the self-winding watch, the Oyster Perpetual is not only a term for a particular collection, but is used as a prefix for many other models as well. Examples of which include the Rolex Explorer, Rolex Milgauss, Rolex Daytona, Rolex Yacht-Master, Rolex Datejust, and Rolex Day Date. These are all very well-known and well-loved models that share the unique characteristics of the original Oyster Perpetual.
The Parachrom Hairspring
It is said that in any mechanical watch, the oscillator is the major component and the guardian of time. The precision of a watch is largely dependent on the consistency and steadiness of the oscillator. This important organ comprises a hairspring and a balance wheel, and watchmakers are devoted to finding new ways to enhance them to further improve the performance of the mechanism. Not surprisingly, Rolex has succeeded in their search and brought the patented Parachrom hairspring to life. This invention is a true achievement as it not only provides greater stability in spite of temperature differences and resistance to magnetic fields, but most importantly it offers 10 times more shock resistance than a traditional hairspring. It is now an indispensable part of the Oyster Perpetual.
The Old and New Oyster Perpetual Watches
The more recent Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches still carry a similar look to the first version produced in 1931 and share some of its distinctive details, such as the curvy lines of the outer case that surround the round bezel, the polished lines, slim lugs, as well as brushed flat surfaces. One notable change is the removal of the sub-dial for small seconds, however, there are now many more dial colors and indices to choose from to make up for that. Another noticeable change is the replacement of the leather strap with a steel bracelet. This change is welcomed by fans for its enhanced simplicity and elegance.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is not exactly a classic dress watch nor a sports watch loaded with multiple functions, and is caught somewhere in the middle. Maybe that is what is great about it. It is a casual watch with a simple three-hand design that can fit every occasion.
Now, with around 30 different variations in the family, the Oyster Perpetual continues to be the most affordable choice of a graceful timepiece you can find from Rolex. It also makes a wonderful entry watch if you are exploring Rolex for the first time.