Elegant, classic and decidedly contemporary, the Perpetual 1908 immortalises Rolex’s age-long daring spirit. Heir to the brand’s aesthetic heritage as much as to its numerous innovations in watchmaking, the watch marks a new milestone in the brand’s pursuit of excellence. This fine example of Rolex’s watchmaking prowess, with Superlative Chronometer certification, brings classicism to the future.
Since the brand’s creation in 1908, Rolex has pursued the fundamental conviction of its founder, Hans Wilsdorf, for whom the future of the wristwatch was inseparable from superlative performance. The 1908 combines all the essential attributes of a self-winding wristwatch according to him: chronometric precision, waterproofness, autonomy, comfort and durability.
While Hans Wilsdorf’s revolutionary innovations concerned the technical features of the wristwatch, they were also the fruit of an extremely strong aesthetic vision. The silhouette of the case in 18 ct yellow or white gold, as well as the design of the 1908’s dial, reinvent the classic – yet very modern – spirit of the original Oyster Perpetual watches. An aesthetic signature, its finely domed and fluted bezel is testimony to a quest for delicacy in all of its forms.
With its 3, 9 and 12 Arabic numerals and its small seconds counter at 6 o’clock, the 1908 watch revisits the style of an Oyster Perpetual from 1931 and resolutely endows it with modernity. The dial is a model of elegance and sophistication: faceted hour markers and numerals in 18 ct gold against an intense white or intense black dial. Protected by a domed sapphire crystal, it features a delicate ‘railway’ minute track around the circumference. The 1908 is equipped with hands of distinctive styles: the minute hand is shaped like a two-edged sword, while a hand with a pierced circle marks the hours.
By offering a watch that reveals its movement through a transparent case back, Rolex continues to innovate whilst echoing its watchmaking tradition. Calibre 7140 bears a cut-out oscillating weight in 18 ct yellow gold with three arms, engraved with the words ‘Chronometer Perpetual’ and benefiting from an optimised ball bearing. The movement boasts some remarkable finishes including the exclusive Rolex Côtes de Genève – a celebrated traditional watch decoration, reinterpreted with a polished groove between each band. The window, made of virtually scratchproof sapphire, provides proof that, for Rolex, the aesthetics of the movement are as important as its performance.
To power the 1908, Rolex’s watchmaking engineers have developed calibre 7140, a completely new self-winding movement that allows the time to be displayed via two central hands and a small seconds hand at 6 o’clock. Five patents have been filed for this movement, which has been entirely developed and manufactured in-house. Its cutting-edge design incorporates some major innovations from the Manufacture to guarantee exceptional performance, including the Syloxi hairspring in silicon, Chronergy escapement in a nickel-phosphorus alloy – both of which are resistant to strong magnetic fields – and Paraflex shock absorbers, which protect the oscillator and escape wheel from any shocks to the watch.
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