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Rebirth at Rolex

Jeff Harris Rebirth at Rolex

Photo: Jeff Harris

The links between Rolex and golf stretch back more than four decades. Today, they include the watchmaker’s sponsorship of the PGA, LPGA and USGA, as well as its Rolex Rankings, the first official world rankings of women professional golfers. But although Rolex timekeeping has become a familiar sight at tournaments—its forty-five-foot clock tower stands at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky, site of the 2008 Ryder Cup—at least one of its models had fallen from view.

Gone from the lineup since the early eighties, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss ($5,900, rolex.com) is back, and like the 1954 original, the updated watch is designed to resist intense magnetic fields that can throw timing out of whack—hence “Milgauss,” which combines the French word for “one thousand” with “gauss,” a unit of magnetic measurement. On this streamlined Rolex, the stylistic flourish is an orange second hand shaped like a lightning bolt. Certainly it’s the only thing lightning-related that will ever be welcome at the golf club.

The updated Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II ($5,950, rolex.com) is designed for world travelers. The GMT tracks time in three zones via its independent twenty-four-hour hand and lustrous rotating ceramic bezel, which is more scratch-resistant than the previous painted aluminum. A “cyclops” lens magnifies the date. Its precision, within one second per day, is aided by Rolex’s patented Parachrom hairspring: More slender than a human hair, the Parachrom is ten times more shock-resistant than typical hairsprings. For smooth regulation of movement and timing, consider it the high-tech equivalent of your graphite-and-titanium driver.


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