In addition to iconic watches, celebrity endorsements, and being the most powerful luxury brand in the world, Rolex culture has something else—its own lexicon. Masters of marketing, Rolex has coined a slew of their own terminology to differentiate themselves from the competition. It’s not rose gold, it’s Everose gold. It’s not ceramic, it’s Cerachrom. Plus, Rolex enthusiasts have carried on the tradition by creating their own nicknames and labels when referring to specific watches and design traits. Read on to brush up on your Rolex speak.
Official Rolex Terms
Unveiled in 2005, Cerachrom is Rolex’s patented approach to a high-tech ceramic bezel. The word “Cerachom” is a compound word mixing the words “ceramic” and “chrom,” the ancient Greek word for color. Prized for its resistance to both fading and scratching, the majority of Rolex sports watches today come equipped with a Cerachrom bezel.
A major component of a mechanical movement is the escapement. It takes the energy from the coiled mainspring and distributes it in small and controlled increments to the rest of the movement, which in turn produces the familiar ticking sound. In 2015, Rolex presented their patented Chronergy escapement in the new Caliber 3255. The increased efficiency of the Chronergy escapement made way for an increase in power reserve.
Chromalight refers to Rolex’s luminescent material used on the dial and sometimes bezel of some of their current watches. It glows blue in the dark rather than the more typical green and lasts for up to eight hours. It made its debut in 2008 on the then-new DeepSea Sea Dweller and has since made its way to other Rolex watches.
Introduced in 1963, the Cosmograph was Rolex’s new generation chronograph watch. While Cosmograph is the official Rolex name for their chronograph watches, today, this family of famous luxury sports watches is simply known as the Daytona.
Cyclops is the Rolex term for the lens charged to magnify the date window at three o’clock. Affixed to the exterior of the crystal, it was launched in 1954 on a Datejust model and has since become a signature trait on almost all Rolex watches with a date window.
The patented Easylink extension system allows the wearer to extend the length of an Oyster bracelet by 5mm without the need for tools.
Everose refers to Rolex’s exclusive 18k rose gold alloy that offers an ideal blend of gold, platinum, and copper for a color that’s not only distinct but one that will never fade.
Found on Rolex’s extreme diver’s watches such as the Sea-Dweller and the Deepsea, the Fliplock Extension allows the Oyster bracelet to be adjusted by an additional 26mm to accommodate thick diving suits.
Similar to the Fliplock, the Glidelock clasp also permits bracelet extension to fit around a diving suit, but this time to a length of 20mm in 2mm increments. In addition to Sea-Dweller and Deepsea, the Glidelock is also fitted on the Oyster bracelets of modern Submariner diving watches.
One of Rolex’s famous bracelets, the Jubilee bracelet includes a five-link configuration and was first introduced on the inaugural Datejust watch in 1945.
One of Rolex’s famous bracelets, the sporty Oyster bracelet has been around since the 1930s and includes a flat three-piece link configuration.
Oyster Perpetual is the label given to those Rolex watches that include a waterproof Oyster case and a self-winding “perpetual” movement. All modern Rolex watches (aside from the Cellini collection) fall into the Oyster Perpetual family. This is not to be confused with the Oyster Perpetual model, which is Rolex’s entry-level time-only watch.
The oscillator regulates the precision within a mechanical movement and it’s composed of a hairspring and a balance wheel. Rolex’s patented blue Parachrom hairspring is resistant to magnetic fields and up to ten times tougher against daily knocks than standard hairsprings.
In 1992, Rolex launched a more precious version of the ladies’ Datejust with the Pearlmaster jewelry watch. Along with its gold construction and gems, the watch’s distinguishing feature is its Pearlmaster bracelet with rounded five-piece links and a Crownclasp.
Rolex invented the world’s first self-winding movement driven by a Perpetual rotor in 1931, dubbed the Perpetual Movement. Not only is this clever mechanism at the core of every Rolex automatic movement, it provided the basic structure for almost every modern automatic watch thereafter.
One of Rolex’s famous bracelets, the President bracelet includes a semi-circular three-link configuration. It is exclusively manufactured in either 18k gold or platinum and is always fitted with a Crownclasp. This bracelet made its debut on the Day-Date watch in 1956 and today, the Day-Date is often referred to as the Rolex President.
Ring Command Bezel
Found on the Yacht-Master II and Sky-Dweller models, the Ring Command bezel controls portions of the mechanical movement and works in conjunction with the winding crown to set and adjust different functions on the watch.
Found on the Deepsea diving watch, the Ringlock System is composed of a nitrogen-alloyed steel central ring, a 5.5mm thick domed sapphire crystal, and a titanium caseback. This system allows the Deepsea to safely plunge down to 3,900m (12,800ft)—well beyond the depth any person could survive.
A part of the Rolex lexicon since 1933, Rolesor refers to the use of both gold and steel on a Rolex watch. Often referred to as two-tone, Rolesor can mean a combination of yellow gold and steel, rose gold and steel, or white gold and steel.
Exclusively found within the Yacht-Master collection, Rolesium refers to the use of both platinum and steel on a Rolex watch.
Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified
Found on the majority of modern Rolex watch dials, the “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” label indicates that the watch is both COSC-certified as a chronometer and it has passed a battery of stringent in-house tests to offer the reliability, precision, and durability we have come to expect from a Rolex watch. In 2015, Rolex redefined the SCOC designation to guarantee an accuracy rating of -2/+2 seconds per day.
Triplock and Twinlock Winding Crown
An integral component to the water resistance of the Oyster case is the construction of the winding crown, which is screwed down to the case to keep the water out. Twinlock winding crowns have two sealed zones while Triplock winding crowns have three sealed zones to keep the watch watertight.
Famous Nicknames and Terms Used by Collectors and Enthusiasts
The nickname for the GMT-Master II ref. 116710BLNR in reference to the watch’s black and blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel.
Refers to the black and red bezel found on specific models of the Rolex GMT-Master II watch.
The nickname for the GMT-Master II ref. 16760 in reference to the watch’s thicker case, larger crown guards, and wider lugs.
The nickname for the Submariner ref. 116610LV in reference to the watch’s rich green color.
The nickname for the vintage Submariner ref. 6538, which was worn by Sean Connery in Dr. No on a striped textile NATO-style strap.
The nickname for the 50th-anniversary Submariner ref. 16610LV in reference to its green aluminum bezel.
Refers to a specific dial design on vintage Rolex GMT-Master and Submariner watches that include faceted gold hour-markers that resemble a nipple.
A term often used in vintage Rolex collecting circles to describe the color change that happens to certain parts of the watch—hands, indexes, dials, bezel markings—over time. It can range from off-white to a rich brown hue.
The label given to particular vintage Daytona models (ref. 6239, ref. 6241, ref. 6262, ref. 6263, ref. 6264, and ref. 6265) that come equipped with Rolex “exotic” Art-Deco style dials after the famous actor wore one himself. Paul Newman’s own Daytona Paul Newman recently became the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction when it sold for $17.8 million in October 2017.
Refers to the blue and red bezel found on specific models of the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II. This was the first type of bezel used on the inaugural GMT-Master and is the most iconic option.
Refers to the white dial versions of the Rolex Explorer II watches.
The nickname given to Rolex Day-Date watches in reference to both its President bracelet and for its status as the go-to watch for world leaders, captains of industry, and celebrities.
Refers to the brown and bronze bezel found on specific models of the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II.
The nickname for the white gold Submariner ref. 116619LB in reference to the watch’s vibrant blue color.
The vintage Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655 picked up the nickname “Steve McQueen” when it was erroneously published that the legendary actor wore one. He never did—his Rolex of choice was a Submariner—but the nickname stuck. The Explorer II ref. 1655 is also called the “Freccione,” derived from the Italian word for arrow in reference to the arrow-tipped 24-hour hand.