This year at Baselworld 2017, Rolex released their first watch with a moonphase complication in over half a century: the Rolex Cellini Moonphase in 18-karat Everose gold. While it is somewhat of a surprise to see it come from the Cellini collection, the reappearance of a moonphase complication inside a Rolex timepiece has been met with a fair level of excitement across the luxury watch world.
For many vintage Rolex collectors, the reference 6062 and the reference 8171 represent some of the most rare and highly coveted watches ever produced. Both reference were manufactured for only a handful of years during the early 1950s, and both feature triple calendars with moonphase complications.
What a fantastic revamp of the Cellini. (credit: ablogtowatch)
New Cellini Moonphase by Rolex
Today, both the reference 6062 and the reference 8171 rank among the most highly regarded references that Rolex has ever produced, and both generate insane levels of excitement and bidding frenzies on the rare occasions that they surface at auction. The new Rolex Cellini collection will be a hit for its aesthetic and unreal accuracy.
One of the most noteworthy characteristics of both the reference 6062 and the reference 8171 is that the date is indicated by a fourth hand that points to a numerical scale printed on the external track of the dial. This design element was carried over onto the new Rolex Cellini Moonphase, which indicates that Rolex likely drew on their vintage moonphase triple date watches to get inspiration for the new Cellini.
The Cellini keeps track of a few important things: Time, Date, and Moonphase. (credit: ablogtowatch)
Under the Moonphase
The caliber 3195 movement that beats inside the new Cellini Moonphase is chronometer-certified and comes with a five-year guarantee; however it lacks the month and day displays that can be found on Rolex’s vintage moonphase watches. Additionally, as the new Cellini is significantly more dress/formal oriented than Rolex’s sport watch lines, its 39 mm rose gold case has a water resistance of just 50 meters. Although it lacks Rolex’s famous Oyster case, the 50-meter depth rating of the new Cellini should be more than adequate to protect against the occasional incidental contact.
Rolex’s new Cellini Moonphase comes fitted with a white lacquer dial with rose gold hour markers. At the 6 o’clock location sits a rotating disc finished in blue enamel that serves as the Moonphase complication and tracks the lunar cycle. The blue enamel disc is finished with an empty silver ring to represent the new moon, a small slice of actual meteorite to represent the full moon, and a star-filled sky design that is instantly reminiscent of vintage moonphase watches. Maybe a Rolex watch will be the next timepiece on the moon.
The moon is made of an actual meteorite to represent the full moon. (credit: ablogtowatch)
122 Years and 1 Day
Rolex’s new moonphase complication does not just look fantastic; it is also astronomically accurate for 122 years. Even after all that time, it is said that it will only need one day’s worth of correcting to be properly set back to the correct lunar cycle. Should adjustments need to be made to either the moonphase or date, both complications can be adjusted by depressing a small, flush pusher located at the 8 o’clock position.
Since its revival in 2014, Rolex’s Cellini lie has been relatively quiet; however the reintroduction of a moonphase complication exclusively under the Cellini collection may be a sign that Rolex has more ideas for dress-oriented watches. Regardless of their plans for the Cellini line, Rolex’s decision to reimagine one of their most highly-regarded watch designs of all time has been big news for members of the Rolex collecting community. The new Cellini was a big hit, the next step is to learn how to use the moonphase. See how the Moonphase works from Rolex.