A cushion case is a type of watch case that is normally square or rectangular in design, with softly rounded corners that resemble a cushion. Cushion case designs have been used in watchmaking since the early twentieth century.
Both Rolex and Panerai have made significant contributions to the advancement of cushion case design. In the 1920s, Rolex invented the cushion-shaped Oyster case, which was designed to be water-resistant and protect the movement from moisture and dust. The Oyster casing also had a screw-down crown, which added to the watch’s water resistance.
Panerai, an Italian watchmaker, cooperated with Rolex in the 1930s to design a line of watches for the Italian Navy. These watches had cushion-shaped casings and were made to be water-resistant as well as extremely legible in low-light circumstances. The cushion case design was continued by Panerai in succeeding watches, and it has become a distinctive hallmark of the brand.
The cushion case has experienced various adjustments and adaptations over time. Cushion cases grew larger and more exaggerated throughout the 1960s and 1970s, mirroring era trends. Cushion cases have made a reappearance in recent years, with numerous watch manufacturers, including Rolex and Panerai, releasing new models with modernized interpretations of the traditional design.
Cushion cases are popular among collectors and enthusiasts nowadays because of their unusual and distinctive appearance, as well as their historical relevance. They are frequently linked with vintage watches, but current versions are commonly available as well. The cushion case design exemplifies the timeless attraction of classic watchmaking, and its progression over time exemplifies the inventiveness and innovation of watch designers and producers.
What is a Cushion Case?
A cushion case is a watch case with a square or rectangular shape with softly rounded corners that resembles a pillow. Cushion case designs have been employed in watchmaking since the early twentieth century, and they have a classic and timeless appearance that is still popular today.
Cushion cases are typically constructed of metal, such as stainless steel or gold, and can be found in a wide range of finishes and hues. They may also include various sorts of crystals, such as sapphire or mineral, as well as various straps or bracelets.
The cushion case design has evolved over time, and several watch brands have contributed to its advancement. Rolex and Panerai, for example, have developed their own distinct variations of the cushion case, which have become legendary in the world of watchmaking.
Cushion casings are frequently linked with old watches, yet several watch companies still use them today. They provide a unique and elegant alternative to typical round or square watch cases, and their timeless design continues to entice watch aficionados and collectors alike.
Interestingly, the three Panerai watches shown in the above image, were actually made by Rolex. Each of these Panera watch models comes on a leather watchband. The first watch on the left is a Reference 3646, made in 1940. The center Panerai watch is Reference 6154, made in 1954. The last one at the right is Panerai Reference 6152, which was made in 1946.
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