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Watch Word This Week: Cerachrom (Or, why Rolex fans are going crazy over the new Daytona watches)

Rolex unveils new Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytonas that pay tribute to an early version of this horological icon.

Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona
(“Watch Word of the Week” is a new regular section where we highlight a term currently clocking up interest in the horological realm. In this first instalment: Cerachrom, the ceramic used in special bezels by Rolex.)
 
Frankly, we’re hard-pressed to think of any other watch brand aside from Rolex that can send its fans into paroxysms of delight simply by outfitting one of its existing models with a new bezel. At Baselworld 2016 last month, the brand lifted the lid on its two new Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona models, one with a white dial and black accents, and one with a black dial with silver details.

 
Both models are outfitted with Cerachrom bezels, which were first developed and patented by Rolex in 2005. The numbers and markers (in this case, of the tachymetric scale) are engraved on Rolex’s own ceramic material, and the bezels are heated to temperatures of up to 1,500 degrees Celsius, so as to harden and purify the material.

The bezels are bombarded with platinum (or gold, depending on which model the bezel is being used for), which coats the numerals and graduations. The excess platinum is removed by diamond-polishing. The result: A virtually scratch-proof and UV-resistant watch-face frame that is handsomely legible.

Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona
The black Cerachrom bezels on this year’s steel Daytonas pay tribute to the 1965 versions, which were the first Daytonas to be fitted with a black Plexiglas bezel. The difference is that the colour of these ceramic versions, unlike that of the original plastic ones, will not fade. Kind of like many watch fans’ obsession with the Daytona.
 
Measuring 40mm in diameter, the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona is powered by the COSC-certified calibre 4130, and has an official retail price of CHF 11,800 (S$16,630).
Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona