R A I N B OW NATION Rolex’s new Datejust Pearlmaster 39 rocks out in a kaleidoscopic palette, but beneath its resplendent garb is a top-of-the-line engine built with user-friendliness in mind. By Aaron de Silva.
As much as watchmakers tell you how the horology industry isn’t as trend-led as fashion, there’s no denying the fact that a watch is ultimately a reflection of the zeitgeist. It is, after all, produced by a team of creative souls who are exposed to the same global influences and creative stimuli as any fashion crew. Case in point: Rolex’s new Datejust Pearlmaster 39. To say that it isn’t a product of its time would be misleading. With more and more women coveting bigger watches, the new 39mm size is perfectly on point. Then, there’s that face, saturated in colours that seem to echo the seasons, all against a canvas of 18-karat yellow or white gold.
There’s one for every season, Rolex seems to be telling us in fashion-speak. “Spring” flaunts an olive green dial and a bezel studded with a blue-green-yellow gradient of baguette sapphires. It has all the lightness and conviviality of Botticelli’s Primavera, and makes us think of freshly cut grass and picnics in the park. “Summer” parades a crown of baguettes in a palette of reds, oranges, and yellows against a lustrous cognac backdrop; conjuring glorious sunsets on a beach with a drink in hand.
With the luscious grape dial of “autumn” and its array of sapphires daubed in ultramarine, fuchsia, and mauve, we’re instantly transported to the Scandinavian countryside during berry-picking season. “Winter” is not what you’d expect, with a diamondpavéd dial and links (like a light dusting of snow on the ground), but a garland of sapphires in warm summer hues. Fashion is about escapism, and so too, apparently, are watches: These ravishing Rollies inspire flights of fancy every bit as well as a Dolce & Gabbana silk number.
DI D YOU KNOW? Rolex forges its own gold. Few watch manufacturers are able to produce all the essential components of their watches in-house. Fewer still have their own gold foundries. Rolex checks both boxes, while meeting stringent benchmarks.
Yet, for all its fanciful visages, the Datejust Pearlmaster 39 is also an extremely practical timekeeper with a host of state-of-the-art technologies that one has come to expect from Rolex. For starters, it’s equipped with Calibre 3235, a brand new in-house movement specially developed to fit the enlarged case. The self-winding calibre brings to the table improved precision and power reserve.
The key lies in the new Chronergy escapement that is 15 percent more energy efficient. But that’s not all. Parts of the escapement which are traditionally made of steel have been replaced with an antimagnetic alloy of nickel-phosphorus, making the movement immune to the ill effects of magnetism. Considering the number of tech toys that govern our lives, this makes a big difference.
The oscillator is also antimagnetic, thanks to Rolex’s signature Parachrom hairspring. Besides being antimagnetic, a key characteristic is its elasticity, which allows it to be 10 times more precise than traditional hairsprings in the event of shocks (like when you accidentally drop your watch). All these improvements mean an additional 10 hours of power reserve for a total of 70 hours, so you can leave your watch on your dresser over a long weekend and come back to find it still keeping good time. That’s if you can bear to part with it in the first place. Despite the seemingly
infinite variety of dial and case colour combinations in Rolex’s portfolio, ice blue dials are usually matched with platinum cases. In rare
cases, ice blue is also twinned with 18-karat white gold or steel.
Platinum Oyster Perpetual Day- Date 40
These Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster 39s are awash with vibrantly hued baguette- cut sapphires
Everose gold Oyster Perpetual Day- Date 40, Rolex