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Rolex Metals: Stainless Steel, White Gold, Two-Tone, and More

Paul Altieri

A gold Rolex watch has become an internationally recognized symbol of success and personal achievement; however, Rolex manufactures their watches from a number of different metals, in order to achieve a range of appearances and varying degrees of luxury. While a yellow gold Rolex is a tried and true aesthetic, the following are some of the many alternatives that Rolex offers today.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on Rolex watches.

Stainless Steel (Oystersteel)

Rolex Metals Daytona Stainless Steel Ceramic

Although it is the most common and humble material that Rolex uses to manufacture their watches, stainless steel is also considered the most practical. In addition to being exponentially less expensive than gold, stainless steel is also significantly lighter and stronger, which makes for an overall more robust and durable watch.

From inside their in-house foundry located at their Plan-les-Ouates site, Rolex manufactures their own 904L stainless steel alloy, also known as Oystersteel, which is highly corrosion resistant and able to take on an exceptional sheen when polished. Due to its anti-corrosion capabilities, 904L stainless steel is frequently used in high-technology and the chemical and aerospace industries. While highly practical from a functional standpoint, the unique properties of 904L stainless steel allow Rolex watches to maintain their beauty and finish, even in the harshest environments.

White Gold

Rolex Metals Submariner White Gold Ceramic

Some individuals desire the ultra-premium feel of a solid gold Rolex; however, they do not necessarily want to wear an entirely yellow gold watch as their everyday timepiece. In these instances, 18-karat white gold is an excellent alternative that possesses all the same traits of traditional yellow gold in a more versatile and understated package.

Much like virtually everything else that Rolex produces, the white gold used for Rolex watches is a proprietary 18-karat alloy that is specifically engineered for optimum durability and takes on an extraordinary luster when polished. Additionally, Rolex reserves certain configurations of watches for white gold references only, such as the all-blue “Smurf” Submariner and the Yacht-Master 42.

Everose Gold

Rolex Metals Day-Date 40 President Everose Gold

Everose is a contemporary metal finish, officially released to the market in 2005. It is essentially a rose gold (or pink gold) alloy crafted from a combination of pure gold, copper, and platinum. While rose gold has been an option within the Rolex catalog in the past, Everose is the first time the metal finish has been produced entirely in-house. To reiterate that it is made in the Rolex foundry, the brand crowned it “Everose” rather than just advertise it as rose gold, and it is particularly engineered to not lose its warm hue with exposure to the elements.

Everose gold is on-trend with current watch tastes and is an option for many of the models in the Rolex portfolio. It’s sought-after by both men and women for its timeless, warm tones. Additionally, Everose is a striking alternative to yellow gold, offering the opulence of an all-gold watch with a slightly more modern aesthetic.

Yellow Rolesor

Rolex Metals Explorer Yellow Rolesor Two-Tone

One of the most popular metal configurations for Rolex watches is the combination of stainless steel and gold, known in Rolex nomenclature as Rolesor. Yellow Rolesor watches follow a similar aesthetic as the classic gold Rolex; however, the addition of stainless steel components makes for a slightly more versatile and subdued appearance.

Two-tone watches can be more easily matched to accompanying pieces of jewelry or other items within an individual’s wardrobe. Additionally, two-tone Rolex watches are significantly less expensive than their solid gold counterparts, despite containing identical movements and possessing a very similar visual appearance.

White Rolesor

Rolex Metals Datejust II White Rolesor

A truly exceptional luxury watch is durable and easy to wear, and White Rolesor delivers on both fronts. The versatile white metal finish in stainless steel and white gold is suitable for just about any occasion. It’s durable without compromising on luxury or style, and just like Yellow Rolesor, promises a more affordable price point than an all-gold watch.

It’s easy to tell a White Rolesor watch apart from an all-steel watch because it will often feature a fluted bezel in white gold, while steel watches typically only feature smooth bezels. Additionally, Unlike Yellow Rolesor and Everose Rolesor models, which feature their bezels, winding crowns, and center bracelet links crafted from gold, White Rolesor Rolex watches are largely made from stainless steel, with 18k white gold only used for the bezel, hour markers, and hands.

Everose Rolesor

Rolex Metals GMT-Master II Everose Rolesor Root Beer

As you might have already guessed from the progression of our list, Everose Rolesor is a pairing of stainless steel and 18k Everose gold. The warm pink gold finish takes on a more versatile aesthetic because it’s now paired with stainless steel components, just like Yellow Rolesor models.

Similarly, the use of Everose exudes the contemporary and sleek style that many modern collectors crave, both men and women alike. Additionally, since it’s paired with stainless steel, Everose Rolesor Rolex watches much easier on the wallet than otherwise identical models made solely from 18k Everose gold.


Rolex Metals Yacht-Master Rolesium Steel and Platinum

We round out our list with Rolesium, a combination of stainless steel and Platinum that is exclusively found within the Rolex Yacht-Master collection. The lustrous white metal finish has been a fixture of the Yacht-Master lineup since 1999. It consists of a 950 platinum bezel, in some instances, a matching platinum dial, and a 904L-grade Oystersteel case and bracelet.

Have you always dreamed of owning a platinum Rolex watch? Rolesium is an affordable way to add one to your collection that still retains all of the durability of a stainless steel Rolex.

Paul Altieri
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