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Watch Review

Indulging In White Gold Rolex Sports Watches

Paul Altieri

Due to their striking colors, yellow gold and rose gold Rolex watches proudly flaunt their precious metal makeup. On the other hand, white gold is quietly decadent, oftentimes mistaken for more mainstream stainless steel.

This is particularly true of white gold Rolex sports watches since unless you’re well versed in the subtleties of Rolex design, most people would naturally assume that stainless steel would be the go-to metal for a robust tool watch. Nevertheless, Rolex has indeed made some ultra-lavish white gold sports watches and here are some of our favorites.

White Gold Rolex
The Submariner 116619 made in white gold is just as capable as other Subs, but we don’t recommend going diving with it.

White Gold Rolex Submariner

Like all modern Subs, the Rolex Submariner ref. 116619 sports a 40 mm Oyster case, Cerachrom ceramic bezel, and Oyster bracelet. However, unlike any other Submariner dive watch (save for a 1970’s prototype), the ref. 116619 is crafted in 18k white gold.

Aside from its weighty white gold construction, what makes the Submariner ref. 116619 stand out visually is its bright blue dial and bezel combination—which has earned the model the nickname “Smurf.” On that dial, we see the familiar round, baton, and triangular luminescent hour markers, Mercedes-style hands, and date window at 3 o’clock. As is the norm for dive watches, the Cerachrom ceramic bezel of the white gold Submariner is unidirectional to prevent underestimating how much time is spent underwater.

And yes, while there are few people in this world that would actually take a full 18k white gold scuba diving, the Submariner ref. 116619 is indeed a dive watch with a water resistance rating of 300 meters.  

Rolex GMT-Master II 116719
Rolex GMT-Master II 116719 in white gold can possibly be a future collectible.

White Gold Rolex GMT-Master II

Before this year’s introduction of the steel GMT-Master II ‘Pepsi,” the only ceramic red and blue bezel option available in the GMT-Master II lineup was on the white gold edition. The 18k white gold Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 116719 was in fact the world’s first watch to include a blue and red ceramic bezel. Some of us may take it for granted but ceramic is an extremely difficult material to work with, especially when adding color to the mix.

Yet, Rolex did manage to make a gorgeous Pepsi ceramic bezel and debuted it on top of the white gold 40 mm Oyster case of the GMT-Master II ref. 116719BLRO. Remember, the duo of colors is not just for aesthetics but it actually serves to differentiate between night and day hours in the second time zone. That second time zone is indicated via the arrow-tipped 24-hour hand on the black dial pointing to the 24-hour marked bezel, while the center Mercedes-style hands tell local time.

The GMT-Master II ref. 116719BLRO comes with an 18k white gold Oyster bracelet, which thanks to its heft, certainly makes its presence felt on the wrist.

White Gold Rolex
While made for the track, this watch is likely to be seen more often at a party.

White Gold Rolex Daytona

With a retail price tag that’s comparable to the Tesla Model 3, the Rolex Daytona ref. 116509 is one seriously luxurious chronograph. From its 40 mm Oyster case fitted with screw-down chronograph pushers to its tachymeter engraved bezel to its sporty Oyster bracelet, the Rolex Daytona ref. 116509 is constructed almost entirely in 18k white gold.

Unlike the white gold Submariner and the white gold GMT-Master II, the white gold Daytona is available with a few dial style options. However, they all include the trio of registers on the dial in the signature 3/6/9 o’clock layout for the 30-minute counter, running seconds display, and 12-hour counter, respectively.

Since the white gold Daytona ref. 116509 is a post-2000 model, it runs on the excellent in-house Caliber 4130 automatic movement with 72 hours of power reserve.

Given that Rolex is one of the few watchmakers in the industry that has its own in-house foundry where all their gold is made, it’s clear that the company is serious about each and every component that goes into creating their coveted watches. And it’s precisely this extreme dedication to quality that has earned Rolex its status as the world’s most valuable watch brand.

Paul Altieri
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