Rolex, the Swiss watch manufacture headquartered in Geneva, is recognized the world over for its expertise and quality of its products. This year, 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the Montres Rolex S.A. in Geneva. Its Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The word “Perpetual” is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values.
Due to the unfortunate events happening in Switzerland and around the world, Rolex’ prestigious logo has caused an association with a virus which causes misery and death to many people worldwide. This event has led Rolex to change its logo, as a milestone of Montres Rolex S.A.’s 100 year anniversary.
Rolex CEO Jean-Frédéric Dufour: “The recent events have caused our crown logo to be tarnished by the “corona viruses” since our logo in Spanish is the “corona” = crown we decided to replace the crown from today onwards with a new logo for the next 100 years of Rolex excellence. As a truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. This time though we found what we needed outside. I am proud to announce that Rolex has partnered with Seiko in a groundbreaking exchange of art and craftsmanship. In exchange for Seiko allowing Rolex from now on to proudly use the Prospex “X” logo on their watches, bracelets and collateral. Rolex will provide Seiko’s Spring Drive manufacture, the Shizuku-ishi Watch Studio in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, with an unlimited supply of ticks.
Shinji Hattori, CEO and Chairman of Seiko: “ As the only two watch companies in the world offering the vertical integration and dedication to perfection, Rolex and (Grand-) Seiko are meant to work together. Sometimes we need to admit that the perfection we strive towards, has already been achieved. We are honoured that Rolex chose the Prospex X to be from now on exclusively used on Rolex watches. We are also deeply honoured to use Rolex’ “Ticks” in our Spring Drive movements. Making it the worlds first and only movement available to tick without any audible ‘tock’.”
Our customers are our first priority. If any of our customers want to exchange their Rolex watch (made in the year 2000 and later) to be swapped to the new logo – Rolex will offer a free of charge replacement program. Included in the exchange program are the watches: Dial, Bracelet and Crown. Due to the expected rush of existing owners wanting to get the new design and logo applied to their watches, Rolex will launch a website to register your interest and a specific time slot assigned to each individual owner to send in their timepiece for the re-work.
Do it yourself kit:
In case owners do not want to wait for their slot in the exchange program, the Swiss manufacturer will send out “do it yourself” kits. These are consisting of a file that “glides through the 904 steel without locking” and creates a smooth and even surface to apply the new X logo with the small diamond topped scratch tool. The conflict free sourced diamond-studded tool is used to engrave the now “crownless” crown of the watch with the X, a fitting set of templates in various sizes is supplied.
Collectors and grey market dealers have their knickers in a twist. “We simply don’t know what will be more collectable, the rarer but modern new logo dialed watches or the previous but plentiful crown logoed watches. What are watch dealers supposed to price them at, we don’t know. For now, I advise my fellow watch dealer friends, to simply set a price at 3 times retail for every model. Let’s see how that works out. Pavel Torpedo, a freelance pre-owned watch dealer consultant was heard saying….
Asked about this shocking but brilliant move, here is what other captains of industry and Men of Rolex had to say:
@koolpep: As an owner of a Grand Seiko SpringDrive – I can’t wait to hear the new tick-no-tock watches. While I still meditate since last April about what the “sound of one hand clapping” is, this might bring me closer to enlightenment. I will order the do it yourself tool and not send in my Rolex. I have some experience with woodworking and I always wanted to deliberately scratch my Rolex watch. 904 steel – take that file and give it some rubbing, yeeehaaaa.
Ralf aka koolpep lives and works in Dubai, UAE.
If he is not travelling for work or on Safari in Africa, or on a race track, he loves to talk and collect watches and deep dives into the audiophile headphone abyss.