When is a Rolex not a Rolex? And no the answer isn’t, when it’s a Tudor. We’re actually talking about the Cellini – the most un-Rolex looking watch around.
According to Rolex, this was a collection that was developed as a celebration of Benvenuto Cellini, a goldsmith and musician who was patronised by Rome in the 1500s.
Whatever the inspiration may be, what is certain is that these watches don’t really seem to share much DNA with their other Rolex brethren. There is none of the sporty aesthetic of the Oyster or Submariner, or even the more dressy Datejust or DayDate, this is a really old-school dress watch, pure and simple.
It certainly makes you re-evaluate everything you know about Rolex. In a good way.
Although based on an existing line – this is all new; new case, new sizes and even a new movement. This feels like Rolex’s way of entering the evening watch arena. This three-hand, time-only version with a black dial and white gold case really showcases the elegant lines of the watch. This iteration is slightly larger than its predecessors at 39mm,
It is a grown-up timepiece and perfect for evenings where the dress code reads “black tie”.
The minute track, which is usually on the outside edge of the dial, here bisects the indicies, which some have argued looks a little fussy, though we think it adds an element of design interest to what could be a very pedestrian dial. It also has a water resistance to 50m thanks to the screwdown crown and double bezel – though we’re not sure how comfortable you’d feel splashing about in this number.
We also love the elongated Roman numeral at 12, three, six and nine. It’s a clever Deco-esque touch that lifts the design into the realms of really cool.
Look and feel
On the wrist it looks like the watch you wish you could have found in your grandparent’s dressing table. There is a vintage feel but, by taking everything back to its simplest form, you lose the watch’s ability to date, which means that it also manages to feel fresh and contemporary too.
This is unashamedly a dress watch, so no jeans and trainers please. You really need to rise to the occasion here so classic evening wear, luxurious fabrics and whatever you have in your wardrobe that is impossibly chic would work well here. Think classic Elizabeth Taylor or Audrey Hepburn in a sophisticated little black dress and plenty of diamonds and you’ll be on the right lines.
To get the look, click on the board
Need to know
This watch will definitely make you reassess Rolex. If you’re not drawn to the ubiquitous Submariners or Oysters, but still want to own something from this iconic name, then maybe the Cellini is for you.
Shop: Rolex RRP £10,150