ROLEX’S NEW CELLINI COLLECTION OF TIMEPIECES EVOKES A DIFFERENT SPIRIT FROM THE WATCHES FOR WHICH THE MARQUE IS MORE COMMONLY KNOWN, WRITES Elizabeth Doerr
Rolex is world famous for the reliability of its sports and tool watches. Less well known, however, is the brand’s revamped classic watch line, which made its debut at Baselworld last year and is the perfect representative of a classic dress watch. The Cellini collection is named for Florentine sculptor, goldsmith and musician Benvenuto Cellini (1500–1571). He was an important artist of the European Mannerism movement, which formed part of the High Renaissance period. Cellini’s intellectual, harmonious ideals joined with those of artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo. As a goldsmith, Cellini made gold medals that today are exhibited in museums all over Europe. By naming this line after Cellini, Rolex suggests an association with works of golden art, rather than modern art.
Rolex is a big proponent of slow, easy change, which means that size is often an issue in classic Rolex wristwatches. The Geneva-based brand does not easily go with trends or fads, so the large (and at times grotesquely large) watch fashion of recent years is one that thankfully bypassed the traditional marque with the distinguished crown in its logo. The new Cellini models reflect the conservative attitude, yet have surprised even dyed-in-the-wool Rolex observers with the 39mm case, which is