Rotating Bezels to mark time, ie Submariner
GMT watches with 24 hour timer and two time zones.
Lately, all I see is LARGE LUGS. Wow, how stupid.
Don't tell me there is no room for real significant improvement.
What would I like to see on modern Rolexes?
How about hands that glow in the dark. All the time. Like Luminox that has had them
for over 20 years.
Make a deal with Luminox, (or HP who I think developed it). Design a better
If large lugs is the best you have, give up.
Personally, I like tapered, even overpolished lugs. Sign of real patina.
But I would consider buying a new large lug watch if it had awesome bright hands.
IMHO the shift is from functional design to superfluous design...
September 1 2012, 7:44 PM
Great, classic design that stands the test of time has always originated from necessity and functionality. Great industrial design serves functionality first and the form of the object will follow that. Design that is both totally stripped down to it's bare essential functionality but is also aesthetically pleasing will almost positively become an iconic product. (the 501, the Jeep,the iPod etc..) Vintage Rolex sports/tool watches represent the best of functional and aesthetically pleasing design, which is why they have become so beloved and collected. The evolution of the early subs was completely done for functionality, from the shape of the dome,the shape of the markers and hands, the rotating bezel, the white seconds hand, the addition of crown guards, etc...
In the golden era of Rolex watches (50s-70s) they represent the most precise and functional products made for a specific purpose available. In reality, they became obsolete with the advent of quartz and digital watches in the 80s and 90s. A ten dollar Casio has become more accurate and is more reliable for a fraction of the price in terms of usage as a tool watch, therefore the design focus on functionality has become secondary to creating a luxury product.
I agree that in a perfect world, Rolex would continue to evolve their designs based around superior functionality. I suppose that it could be argued that they are with the new Deep Sea,but there is no functional purpose for the clownishly large case and lugs, but thats just my opinion..
be easy to resolve...but it has been slowly happening model by model. I first noticed it with the difference between the 1803 vs an 18038 with the 3035. That later model was just plain fat...needlessly fat. And Rolex is far from alone...the elephantitus that has infected the watch world has created some truly grotesque and yes...obscene...horology.
Rolex is still the most successful mid-grade watch on the market...but it is also struggling to find (or remember) who it is and where it fits in. No longer a name for innovation or even design beauty or manufacturing quality...no longer an icon for the movers and shakers, now they want to "be big like everyone else" and they have gone to the 41mm case...maybe in an effort to be an ankle bracelet for Lady Gaga. Or worse, they'll do an add featuring Mel Gibson and Randy Travis being arrested for DUI and flashing their bark YachtMaster II while having their mug shots taken.
On the positive side...we don't have to buy these ugly watches. I'm looking at an 18k vintage 34mm OP that I just might add to my small little watch family. There is a lovelyness in the 36mm cases...but I have always found that a 34mm on the wrist begins to work wonderful magic. Suddenly it feels right...it makes sense...it doesn't become a cod piece for your left arm.
When Bernanke starts up the printing presses and the dollars start falling out of helicopters and the double dip becomes the economic Big Dipper...just start buying up all the little modest daily beaters that make you smile. Then we can join Mad Max out in the desert and have a few beers and look at our modest little gems.
The large lugs do look like 80s shoulder inlays but
September 2 2012, 4:55 AM
I get the feeling that most of the changes they have made actually are in line with their history. The biggest weak point on vintage rolex has always been that the lugs get to thin when polished to many times, to the point that out of all the parts on the watch the lugs are the life span determining factor. The new fatter lugs are just in line with fixing that. Everyone wants the maxi index, so they put them in. People have complained on the clasp of the bracelet so they fixed that. The thing that have bleached the most have been the bezel inlay so the made it in ceramic.
So all the big changes to me are just to increase the life span of the watches by upgrading the things that wear the most.
But I agree that the look of the watches to me are not at all well balanced with the over sized lugs. But maybe I will grow to like them?
I assume Rolex does not make its watches out of soft butter.
September 2 2012, 1:39 PM
If steel lugs are so fragile that they cannot be polished, then something is wrong with the steel or the watch maker is using a grinding wheel and not a polishing brush. At the same time...after 40 years I would hope that there was a little softening to the edges...as well as the blush of patina on the dial and a darkening of the lum dots.
All modern mechanical watches are as obsolete as their 40 or 50 year-old counterparts. The "new big cases" offer nothing in functionality...they are just fashion fad statements. No one would seriously use a YachtMaster II in a yacht race, nor do serious diving or mountain climbing using anything but plastic and quartz digital watches...just as rubber and nylon and velcro replaced steel bracelets for functionality.
The most interesting trend in modern mechanical watches is the return to smaller and thinner cases...and modesty in design. That is what made the original cyclops so brilliant...as opposed to the Lang big numbers or the Harry Winston pinball machines.
Whoever designed the case of the new GMT & Sub should never work in any town again.
The bezel,dial,hands bracelet are wonderful. But if they wanted to enlarge the lugs why not just enlarge the bracelet width to 22mm. It works perfectly on the Tudor heritage monte carlo. That has wonderfully tapered lugs,a third of the size of the ceramic sub.
All they had to do was to taper the damn lugs like they did on the new Explorer II & Deepsea.
They look fabulous on them and tapered lugs would have made the new Subs dare i say it,the perfect watch to continue the legend the outgoing model was....simples.
In the eyes of a young vintage lover with late model pieces...
September 2 2012, 11:25 AM
...I've come to love both my vintage and late model Rolex watches. I have a mid 90s DJ that to me combines classic simplicity with slightly modern features. I have a 16610 Sub because it was iconic to me growing up. I have matching cousins -- a Tudor 7909 linen dial with a 3,6,9 explorer dial and a Rolex 6564 linen dial -- both produced in 1954.
My collection is certainly a mix of "new and old," but at the ripe old age of 29, I agree with the majority of our forum -- the newest models seem off balance and bulky with their fat lugs and larger cases. The difference on the wrist is also substantial. I know that Rolex is trying to fix the complaints of stretching bracelets, thin lugs, and (to today's standards) larger cases; however, those "thin" lugs are, in my mind's eye, precisely what makes a Rolex a Rolex. And as far as the bracelets are concerned, the design is good -- but heeeaaavvvvy. I'm 6'1" and 215 lbs, and I think it's borderline too big/heavy. And by it, I mean the DJII, SubC, GMT IIc, etc.
I will never get rid of my 16610, or my DJ, or the twins... And while I know I have certainly not purchased my last Rolex, I can tell you I will not be considering anything from the new lineup. I will continue shopping here in vintage land
I have a vintage Rolex with one more soon to come, and I have many of the modern ones. The new lugs, in person are really not that bad. This is almost like those that complain of the writing on the new DeepSea, that almost goes unnoticed when wearing it. Yes, aesthetically, the older triangluar ones are slimmer and down to the essence of what they are meant to do, but I think this craze against the new look...is well...crazy.
I first hated the new fat models and mostly still do. I strongly dislike the design of the new GMT and Explorer with these colourful hands or writings. The new SubDate could be ok but I find the font of the date wheels ridiculously thin in comparison with the big size of the case. Let's not even talk about the green version of this Submariner. And finally the Datejust II and DayDate II.....ugly as ugly can be. Watches for the wrists of Russian oligarchs without style and just eagerness for showing money.
So I was not very much intrigued when I heard this spring about the new coming SubnoDate. Some folks from our Geman forum bought them and posted pictures. I disliked it first, but after a while I became more and more fascinated with the balanced design of that model. Perfection in many ways. So I had to admit that I was wrong.
Finally, I have sold my 2 vintage beach/swimming watches and got the new Sub. It's a brilliant piece for the rough times of the year and nice to have for a change when I am sometimes a bit fed up with vintage. When she saw the new Sub, my wife was shaking her head in disbelief and said "I was thinking that you finallymade it to buy another watch model, but now it's the same model again like all the others you already have". So you see, people who are not so much into the topic as we are do not even see a big difference between the vintage and the modern Rolex.
I do enjoy teh big Sub a lot! I hope this feeling will stay longer....
The horrid fat lugs finished like a Chinese replica are only outdone
September 4 2012, 3:44 AM
By the even worse crown guards of unusually clownish proportions. Why nobody seems to have a problem with them is weird. I will say overall it is a nice watch, it doesn't strike me
As being a Rolex at all, but a nice modern watch. Exactly the same as a new Panerai or Omega. All the charm, specialness and character have been polished out.
To be honest....during the last years Rolex has been concentrating in a marketing perpetuation fo their old technology and their vision has become, let us say, more passive (in order to be friendly). If they would have been at least as honest, as TUDOR, to promote vintage models by changing them just a bit and remembering all us about the "good old times"...but nothing happened...just a few bigger sizes, but nothing else...boring and many times awful...
Nowadays Rolex is only oriented to produce everything inhouse in a big number. This creates problems and in order to limit your accounting risks you have to exploit as much as possible existing products in order to amortise them...and quality is lost at the same time...
Definitely ROLEX is lving from the reputation they have got 40 years ago.