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BOB’S WATCHES

ROLEX BLOG

The Rolex Doctor’s Watch

March 30, 2018

BY Paul Altieri

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Rolex’s Cellini collection often gets overshadowed by their multiple, high profile sports watch lines; however it is under the Cellini name that some of Rolex’s most traditional and elegant timepieces are released. One particular Cellini, frequently known by its other name, the Rolex Prince, is among the lesser known watches from Rolex’s history. However, the Prince dates all the way back to 1928, which makes it older than any of Rolex’s other, more famous lines of watches.

Doctor's Watch

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Celebrate With the Doctor’s Watch

Although the Prince is no longer a current member of the Rolex catalog, the Prince was, and always has been, a rectangular, manually wound wristwatch. The original Rolex Prince watches pre-dated the widespread implementation of in-house calibers, and instead used movements manufactured by Aegler, who was a well-known movement supplier for a number of timepiece manufacturers of the time.

The original Rolex Prince also pre-dated the standardization of centrally-mounted seconds hands, and instead had its seconds hand located on a large sub-dial below the primary time display. The large size of the seconds hand on these early Rolex Prince watches gave them a relatively high degree of legibility; and soon these watches had earned the nickname, “doctor’s watches” due to how their large seconds hands facilitated the timing of short events, such as timing respirations or taking a patient’s pulse.

Doctor's Watch

With a clear caseback, the Doctor’s Watch, is one of very few authentic watches with that feature.

Resurrected Prince

After the revival of the Cellini name in 2014, Rolex chose to bring back the Prince in a contemporary form that stays true to the core design of the original Prince watches. While the Rolex name is now synonymous with automatic-winding movements, screw-down crowns, and solid case-backs; the most recent incarnation of the Rolex Prince has not a single one of these features.

Instead, the Cellini Rolex Prince has a normal push-pull crown, and its highly decorated, manually-wound movement is visible through a sapphire exhibition case-back. Most Rolex movements are rather utilitarian in appearance; however the 21-jewel, caliber 7040 inside the Cellini Rolex Prince is a full-bridge movement adorned with engravings that match the particular design motif of the watch.

Doctor's Watch

What are your thoughts on the Doctor’s Watch?

A very nice and subtly luxurious detail on the Cellini Rolex Prince is that each different metal variation has a slightly different case shape, and a corresponding dial that is adorned with a pattern that is unique to that metal variant of the watch. The motif on the dial of the watch is mirrored in the engravings on the large, finely finished bridges of the movement, which are showcased through the Cellini Prince’s exhibition case-back.

The Cellini Rolex Prince does not possess the same go-anywhere, do-anything qualities or aesthetics of Rolex’s other timepiece offerings; however it does not need them. The current Cellini collection consists of elegant dress watches that are designed for boardrooms and evening galas, rather than mountaineering trips and SCUBA diving explorations. In this capacity, the Cellini Rolex Prince excels at its intended purpose, and faithfully re-imagines the iconic Rolex Prince watch from 1928, with an entirely new level of luxury and detail.

 

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