Category Archives: Rolex Watch Articles

Rolex Datejust II Review

Rolex Datejust II Review

Rolex Datejust II Review

Any legitimate Rolex Datejust II review requires us to look at where the Datejust came from before we can appreciate the Datejust II. Hans Wilsdorf introduced an early form of the Datejust in 1926. However it was not until Rolex celebrated its 40th anniversary that Rolex officially wanted to commemorate the occasion with a timepiece that was different than any other timepiece on the market. So, in 1945 Rolex launched the Datejust with a 36mm size. It was the first self-winding, water resistant wristwatch with a date window on the dial. The original model came with an all new 5-link Jubilee bracelet. Therefore, Rolex named this first version Datejust the Jubilee Datejust reference 4467. It was launched with a fluted bezel in 18 karat yellow gold and had a Caliber 710 movement. This incredible achievement helped catapult the Rolex brand into one of the most recognizable in the world and the Datejust became its flagship timepiece.

Rolex made many changes to the Datejust over the years. It first launched the Stainless Steel version of the Datejust, and the two-tone “Rolesor” version with reference 5030 and 5031, respectively, in the 1950’s. With this new generation of Datejusts, Rolex introduced the caliber 1560 movement.

In 1970, Rolex launched a reworked Datejust with a caliber 3035 movement which featured the quickset date feature allowing users the ability to adjust the date without affecting the time.

Again, in 1988, Rolex enhanced the Datejust with a more precise performing caliber 3135. Rolex also added the scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire crystal to their timepieces.

Rolex Datejust II Review
Rubber B offers Vulchromatic bands for the Datejust II – Black with white or orange stripe

The Rolex Datejust II History

Rolex redesigned the Datejust with a completely new model – the Datejust II in 2009. Although Rolex continued to make and produce the 36mm version Datejust, the Datejust II came with a larger 41mm size and a new caliber 3136 movement. Instead of adding the Jubilee bracelet, the new Datejust II came with the Rolex Oyster bracelet. The 36mm Datejust continued to come with the option of either the Oyster or Jubilee bracelet.

The Datejust II came with three reference models. The reference 116300 was an all stainless steel model. The 116334 combined stainless steel and white gold. The 116333 created the Rolesor look with yellow gold and stainless steel.

The Oyster bracelet on the Datejust II came with the more sporty looking 3-link bracelet with the new Oysterclasp. The Datejust II was noteworthy since it did not come with an all gold or pink gold version. Keeping with the masculine look, Rolex decided to focus on just Steel, white gold and Rolesor versions of the timepiece.

The Datejust II features a new 3136. The newer Datejust II was built for performance – with better shock absorption and support for extreme conditions. This new chronometer was at least 2 times more precise than the earlier version Datejust. Although the Datejust II was launched with great fanfare, Rolex cut the cord on this version in 2016, making it one of the shortest lived Rolex versions released.

Rolex Datejust II Review

The Rolex Datejust II Review

In 2009, Rolex’s launch of the Datejust II at Baselworld was an admission of sorts. Rolex was sending the message that the Datejust needed a more masculine design. So many timepieces for men were being developed at at minimum a 40 mm size starting point. Rolex had released some that were a whopping 44 mm. The 41 mm version was clearly more substantial and fit men with larger wrist sizes, and men who enjoyed a weightier version of the time honored Datejust.

Rolex also eliminated the all gold versions of the Datejust II which were probably considered too effeminate. Although two-tone yellow gold and stainless steel was allowed, pink gold was not allowed in the Datejust II.

Rolex decided to shun the Jubilee bracelet for this more masculine and sporty timepiece. Rolex clearly felt that the 3-piece oyster bracelet had more masculine lines.

Any reasonable Rolex Datejust II review shows evidence that the Datejust II was a big improvement for Rolex’s Datejust timepiece. People had been asking for a larger watch for the boardroom and Rolex did not disappoint with the Datejust II. With the popularity of more “masculine” Rolex timepieces taking front stage (such as the Submariner) Rolex needed a shot of testosterone to awaken the Datejust brand. This 41 mm version joins a family of Datejust timepieces that range in size from 28 mm all the way to 41 mm – giving Rolex shoppers a wide variety of sizes in this iconic model. Although the Datejust II is no longer being sold, the 41 mm version is still available from Rolex.

Rolex Datejust II Review
Rubber B bands support the original Rolex clasp

Rubber B has developed 5 exquisite bands for the Classic Rolex Datejust II – 41 mm. The pre-2016 version Rolex Datejust II case (41mm) and also model ref. 116334, are supported with Rubber B’s patented “Blocked Integration” engineering which incorporates solid inserts for a flawless, motionless flush mount to the watch case. The strap also supports the deployant buckle for the original Oyster bracelet version that came with the timepiece. only). NOTE: The Jubilee clasp is not compatible with this strap. To see the selection of various color options click here.

Just like all Rubber B products, these bands are made with 100% vulcanized rubber, containing no coatings, blends, or bondings. This ensures Rubber B bands will retain its designer look and feel Each band is made in Switzerland – the horological capital of the world.

Best Watchbands for the Rolex GMT Master II

Best Watchbands for the Rolex GMT Master II

Rolex GMT Master II
This GMT Master II has the “Coke” Red and Black bezel and Red Band from Rubber B

Rolex GMT Master II

The Rolex GMT Master II is one of the top Rolex timepieces made today. The most popular GMT is the Red and Blue bezel model. Collectors nicknamed this model the “Pepsi” because of the matching Red and Blue used on Pepsi cans. Above, we see the Black and Red version of the GMT. Similarly, it is nicknamed the “Coke” since it matches the colors of a Coke can.

There are three other coloring options. An all black bezel. A Blue and Black “Batman” bezel. And a Brown and Black “Root beer” bezel. Today the black bezel and “Coke” models are discontinued.

Rolex calls the GMT the Cosmopolitan Watch, particularly because travelers can easily track 2 time zones. Rolex launched the GMT in 1955. They developed it for world travelers. Rolex unveiled the GMT Master II in 1982. The popularity of this model has continued to soar ever since.

The two-color bezel distinguishes between night and daytime hours. The GMT has a rotating bezel with 24 hour increments. This allows travelers to quickly rotate the bezel to the current time zone. Or, perhaps, travelers will want to keep their originating timezone on the bezel. In this case, they would instead, adjust the hour hand on the timepiece.

Best Watchbands for the Rolex GMT Master II
GMT Master with Black Rubber B band with Red stripe.

GMT Master Features

First, the GMT-Master II uses 904L Oystersteel. Therefore, it resists corrosion and offers an exceptional finish. Second, it provides a black dial for extreme legibility day or night. Third, the new GMT features a Jubilee Bracelet. This supple bracelet links 5 curved metal plates for a comfortable and eye catching design.

Next, the 3285 movement displays Rolex’s 10 patent applications. Similarly, the 3285 features a Chronergy escapement and a 70 hour power reserve. This caliber successfully passes the rigorous Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute tests. The 3285 sports a new Parachrom hairspring which offers greater resistance to shocks and temperature variations.

Best Watchbands for the Rolex GMT Master II

Exquisite Watchbands for the GMT-Master II by Rubber B

Rubber B offers 7 uniquely sumptuous designer bands for the GMT-Master II. These straps feature Rubber B’s “blocked engineering” and motionless mount to the GMT case. This flawless, flush mount is surprising since it gives the impression that it is an extension of the watch itself.

All Rubber B bands hail from Switzerland and are part of the Swiss horological tradition. Each band is born of vulcanized rubber and features a tang buckle for easy adjustment. For more information, go to our GMT-Master II page here.

Rolex Pilot Watches of Top Gun Maverick

Rolex Pilot Watches of Top Gun Maverick

Rolex Pilot Watches of Top Gun Maverick
Rolex Sky-Dweller with Black and Red Rubber B Band.

The Rolex Pilot Watches of Top Gun Maverick

In order to look at the possible Rolex Pilot Watches of Top Gun Maverick, it is important to understand the unique Rolex History as the original aviator’s timepiece maker. First, when we think of Rolex, we immediately think of the Rolex Daytona – the iconic racecar driver’s timepiece. Then, we may consider the Submariner – the leading diving timepiece. And then, some people might even think about the Yachtmaster – Regatta Sailor’s timepiece. Or the Explorer – the timepiece for climbers. However, pilot’s timepieces, are an after-thought for Rolex aficionados.

Rolex Pilot Watches of Top Gun Maverick
Rolex Air King with Orange Rubber B band

Three and a Half Rolex Pilot Watches

One of the biggest reasons, Rolex may not be as well known for its pilot watches is the fact that there are 3 distinct watches that fit the billing. Rolex designated the Sky-Dweller as its pilot’s timepiece. Rolex aptly assigned the “Dweller” title to the name. However, the GMT-Master II could easily be considered a pilot’s watch. Then, there is the Air-King.

However, if you go back to 1953, you might even loop in the original Rolex Turn-O-Graph Thunderbird as the first official Rolex aviator’s timepiece. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbird Demonstration Squadron made this their official timepiece. Rolex discontinued the Thunderbird in 2011.

Rolex Pilot Watches of Top Gun Maverick
Rolex Pepsi Rolex GMT Master II with Black Rubber B band.

Which Rolex is Maverick’s Top Gun?

Rolex Pilot Watches of Top Gun Maverick

Almost 30 years ago Top Gun made Tom Cruse a household name. Everyone learned the names of Goose, Iceman, and Maverick. The plot follows a hotshot pilot Maverick and his good-natured navigator Goose into Top Gun training school. The film is set in warm southern California. Fueled by sun, sand and the on-set chemistry of Maverick and Charlie played by Kelly McGillis, Top Gun quickly soared to the top.

Similarly, the new Top Gun Maverick, set to come out in Summer 2020, follows Tom Cruise’s character and his new on-screen romance with Jennifer Connelly.

Rolex Pilot Watches of Top Gun Maverick

Maverick is older. He could be a 2 star general by now. Instead, he is still a captain. He is still a great pilot and he feels most comfortable in the air. He is is the only pilot that has shot down 3 enemies. We know there will be a new conflict? Russia? China? Or something new? While, we know there must be a wrinkle. Perhaps Goose’s son comes to Top Gun. Perhaps Iceman challenges Maverick again?

Most noteworthy, we see Connelly on the back of Maverick’s motorcycle. Therefore, we know there will be a love interest for Maverick. She is a single mother and owner of the local bar. However, it seems like the ghosts of Goose and Maverick’s father may still be with him. Certainly their memories will prevent him from being truly committed to anything but his aircraft. The rush of speed quiets the memories of the past.

Rolex Pilot Watches of Top Gun Maverick
Rolex GMT-Master I with Black Rubber B band

This is Maverick’s Time

Rolex pilot watches of Top Gun Maverick must blaze new trails. They are the first to achieve. In this vein, we feel that Maverick might be most likely to wear a vintage Rolex GMT-Master I. Perhaps he would remember that his dad – a successful pilot. Perhaps it is a gift from Viper – a friend of his dad’s and mentor to Maverick.

First, I think that the above GMT Master is less flashy than the standard Pepsi dial GMT. The black band from Rubber B would compliment the black dial and bezel while providing comfort when playing volleyball on the beach.

Secondly, the second timezone would allow Maverick to keep track of time and two time zones even when on an air craft carrier which was always on the move. The large luminescent hour markers provide tremendous visibility even at 45,000 feet above sea level. I am not sure if Maverick would opt for the older reference 6542, but more likely the reference 1675 which was introduced in 1959 and continued through 1980. Maverick would respect the longevity of a timepiece like this, similar to his own longevity in his role as fighter ace.

The Watches of Ford v Ferrari

The Watches of Ford v Ferrari

The watches of Ford v Ferrari
Image from the book offered on Amazon

The watches of Ford v Ferrari we describe here are representative timepieces we would expect these race car drivers to wear at Le Mans 1966 if they had the choice.

In 1966, automotive visionary Carroll Shelby teamed up with British race car driver Ken Miles. Their mission was to build the Ford GT40. This was to be a race car able to defeat the Ferrari racing team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.

The Watches of Ford v Ferrari
New Hollywood Film with Matt Damon and Christian Bale

The new Hollywood film stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale. It is currently playing in theaters now. The story begins with famous Ford Motor Company VP Lee Iacocca who recommends the purchase of Ferrari. However Enzo Ferrari walks out of the deal with Ford and takes a deal with Fiat instead. As a result, a furious Henry Ford II hires Shelby American owner Carroll Shelby. His goal is to defeat the reigning king of Le Mans, Ferrari in a new Ford GT40.

The Watches of Ford v Ferrari
Rolex Daytona the Race Car Driver’s Dream Timepiece with Rubber B band and Rolex Clasp

The Watches of Ford v Ferrari

Any race car driver would love the Rolex Daytona which is a perfect timepiece for the Ford driver. We would envision that Ford’s Carroll Shelby would be wearing this timepiece. He is a visionary. He is a past champion driver himself. Undoubtedly, he would love wearing a Rolex Daytona. Pictured above is a silver Daytona with a comfortable Rubber B strap.

We believe that Shelby would appreciate the Rolex history of horological discovery. As a designer himself, he would appreciate Rolex’s quest for perfection. He, himself, sidelined by a heart condition, found his calling. He would develop the supercar that would win Ford the title in both Le Mans and Daytona.

Ken Miles Gold Rolex Daytona
Ken Miles Gold Rolex Daytona

Christian Bale plays the British driver Ken Miles. He is flashier. Unpredictable. He is a mechanic and would appreciate the utility of the Rolex Daytona. However, we believe with his European roots, he would appreciate the Gold and Black coloring of the above Rolex Daytona timepiece. This would win him his first title at Daytona, driving Shelby’s Ford GT40. He, too, overcame disaster and possible death after his breaks failed during a test drive.

The Rolex Daytona has set the high water mark for car drivers the world over with a timepiece that can accurately gauge lap times with its two pushers above and below the winding crown. Ken Miles would want the best. We believe he would prefer the gold to go with his flashier tastes and since he essentially “won the gold” at Daytona.

The Watches of Ford v Ferrari
The exquisite Roger Dubuis Excalibur timepiece

The Ferrari Team

The Ferrari team was the team to beat in 1966. They had won Le Mans in 1958, 1960-1964, and had 5 wins at 24 hours of Daytona as well. Winning is part of the Ferrari tradition.

Although the Roger Dubuis was not around in 1966, they have been making striking timepieces since 1995. Their timepieces utilize racing technology and coloring from the famous Pirelli tires and Lamborghini. The ties to Italian supercars would definitely be something that the proud Enzo Ferrari team would support.

The RDDBEX series of timepieces from Roger Dubuis combined with the ultimate rubber straps from Rubber B, provide the ultimate timepiece to support the ultimate racing team.

The Watches of Ford v Ferrari
Roger Dubuis with Blue Rubber B strap and Blue Stitching

Roger Dubuis timepieces generally use the skeleton dial so that you can see the beauty and majesty of the design inside. These timepieces are unique works of art. They are only made in limited runs – meaning that typically only 88 units are ever made of one style. This makes these timepieces ultra rare and a collector’s treasured possession.

The beauty behind these timepieces is the attention to exquisite detail, the touches of coloring that matches actual race cars, and the bands themselves. Rubber B is the official bracelet designer for Roger Dubuis. They have a huge array of colors and styles to match each unique Roger Dubuis timepiece.

Rubber B Watch Straps For The Rolex Sky-Dweller

Watch Straps For The Rolex Sky-Dweller by Rubber B

Watch Straps For The Rolex Sky-Dweller

The Rolex Sky-Dweller with Rubber B Strap

Watch Straps for The Rolex Sky-Dweller need to be exceptionally made in order to compliment Rolex luxury.  Rubber B the very first company to create integrated rubber straps for Rolex Sport watches in 2010. Rubber B introduced Vulcanized Rubber straps that featured blocked case integration.  Then they pioneered Oyster clasp compatibility for many Rolex watch models. They initially built bands for the Rolex Daytona, Submariner, and the GMT Master. Initial reception by the Rolex community was vehemently mixed. However, this was the path to mainstream acceptance.  Rubber B bases its success on its long-term focus on promoting quality craftsmanship. Seven years later, Rubber B now builds 175 different strap options. Rubber B accommodate passionate watch owners of many various luxury watch brands.

Rolex, SA has joined in on the rubber strap phenomenon. They recently introducing their new line of “Oyster–Flex” straps.  Initially these straps support the 2015 Yachtmaster and the brand new 2017 Daytona. Rolex only produced a limited number of gem-set Datejust watches that came with their own rubber strap with inlaid diamonds. This new foray into rubber straps for sport models certainly broadens the field of strap options available to Rolex enthusiasts.  Rolex does not have Watch Straps for the Rolex Sky-Dweller built in Oysterflex at the moment.  They do not offer multiple color options or dual color bands either.

Watch Straps For The Rolex Sky-Dweller

Rubber B is the only integrated watchband company who produces rubber straps in Switzerland. Each strap features the mold-marking “SWISS MADE” in their rubber body.  Swiss officials guard such markings strictly with international trade law. Each integrated Rubber B strap contains a solid insert that has been micro-calibrated for a specific watch model. This maintains a tight, rotation-free mount to the watch case (“Blocked Integration”). The original purpose of Rubber B was to provide discerning Rolex watch owners with a viable alternative to their original Rolex bracelet.  Rubber B chose vulcanized rubber straps because they provide comfort, individuality and customization. The beautiful Sky-Dweller that comes originally from Rolex on a crocodile band. With Rubber B watchbands, Sky-Dweller owners can now have the added benefit of bathing, swimming, and perspiring without worry.  These bands add to the exclusivity of the Rolex timepiece.  

 

Recently released, this uniquely integrated Rubber B watchband for the Rolex Sky-Dweller represents the latest and most high-tech evolution in rubber strap manufacturing. Rubber B straps come from an exclusively industry-leading Swiss factory.  However, the Sky-Dweller strap presented quite a challenge during development. Rubber B pioneered a new design significantly more structured than previous Rubber B models. The incorporation of a patented dual- color technology, termed VulChromatic® combined with this delicate, yet complex undertaking, required more machine re-engineering than usual. The target objective finally became a successful execution represented in the surface color’s extremely finite margins. (See Photo Below.)

Rubber_B_2020

Rolex owners truly understand and appreciate the value of Swiss quality engineering. Every aspect of a Rubber B strap must maintain an integral respect to its intended watch. For example, the bezel-influenced fluted grooves and subtle color patterns of this particular strap compliment the various Sky-Dweller models and dials currently available from Rolex. Beyond such design elements,Rubber B considers every aspect of their potential customer. They build these straps for the wearer’s long-term endearment. This is how a strap-maker organically builds its reputation. Rubber B strives to provide customers with a product that they will truly find impressive and enjoy. The VulChromatic ® Series with dual-color chemistry creates an artistry that discerning customers can appreciate. 

Rubber B Watch Straps For The Rolex Sky-Dweller

This patented process takes place during the injection-mold stage, producing a wonderfully fused, dual-colored strap. The supple rubber provides limitless 􀃛exibility and
conformity of two rubber masses, while they function as one permanent, seamless unit. This allows for full range of motion, twisting, and torsion.  There is no need for super􀃚cial agents such as paints, glues or bonding. For a very long time in the industry, multi-color straps could only be achieved with lesser acclaimed or sub-par materials such as silicone. Vulcanized Rubber carries some limitations with regards to achieving the full color/tone spectrum.  However, with Rubber B ingenuity it is now possible to create many color tones. It is very exciting to now have the capability of producing luxurious, natural vulcanized rubber straps within the multi-color realm.  This opens the door to an array of
possibilities.

Watch Straps For The Rolex Sky-Dweller by Rubber B

The Watch Straps for the Rolex Sky-Dweller value at $280.  They appear in four VulChromatic color options (including double black). The Rubber B for Sky-Dweller featured in this article is
only compatible with models that come on a crocodile band. The strap is designed to mount the customer’s own Rolex Oyster clasp. This is another
Rubber B original concept from its 2010 launch.

Rolex Sky-Dweller

For those of you who may have a Sky-Dweller on a Stainless Steel, Gold, or Two-Tone Oyster bracelet, no need to worry.  There is a new Rubber B strap
for your model currently in production at the Swiss factory.  It will appear for release in Spring 2020. You can sign up here to be noti􀃚ed upon its arrival.

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RubberB.com is the official brand website for e-commerce retail purchasing in the USA and abroad. The Sky-Dweller strap and all other models can be purchased directly online. Various photos of color combinations can be found on independent social media posts under #rubberb and at @RubberB_Official on Instagram. Rubber B wishes to thank their loyal customers for being a big part of a steady journey to bring exciting, innovative Swiss made products to fruition.