20 February 2016

New and Improved Rolex Caliber

Posted on February 20, 2016 at 4:58 PM by / 0


With fourteen patents backing it, the self-winding in-house Caliber 3255, introduced by Rolex earlier this year, is also a master of reinvention, having more than ninety percent of its parts redesigned or optimized. The end result is, in a nutshell, a new-generation movement that is more precise, offers greater power reserve (70 hours) and has overall higher efficiency than its predecessors.

The escapement of Caliber 3255 is enhanced by a major innovation patented by Rolex under the name “Chronergy.” The Swiss lever escapement, while favored by watchmakers for its reliability, has typically suffered from low efficiency, relaying to the oscillator little more than onethird of the energy it receives from the mainspring via the gear train. Almost half of the increased power reserve of caliber 3255 may be attributed to this new escapement alone. Made of nickel-phosphorus, the Chronergy escapement is the result of extensive research, improving its efficiency by about 15 percent.

And if this isn’t enough, the thickness of the walls of the barrel has been reduced by 50 percent, resulting in an additional gain in power reserve. The synthetic ruby pallet stones on the new Chronergy escapement’s pallet fork measure a mere 125 microns—50 percent less than those of the previous generation—and a threefold enhancement in the poise of the oscillator balance wheel was made possible thanks to Rolex’s precision manufacturing. High-tech processes, such as LIGA (micromanufacturing by electroforming), were used to produce the paramagnetic pallet fork and escape wheel of the new escapement.

Rolex has also developed a new methodology and corresponding equipment to test the precision of its chronometers with tolerances that are twice as rigorous as standard testing and designed to complement the official COSC certification, to which all Rolex movements are submitted. These tests are carried out not only on the movement, but also on the assembled watch after the movement has been cased to ascertain the actual effects of daily wear.

New Day-Date
Equipped with the Caliber 3255, the new Rolex Day-Date 40 has all the qualities of its earliest ancestor created in 1956, but it is enhanced by twenty-first century technology. With Oyster Perpetual status, day and date, and Superlative Chronometer certification, the watch overly satisfies the criteria needed for an officially certified chronometer. With Rolex’s in-house expertise covering all processes involved in movement production—including the aforementioned high-precision machining—this model enjoys such features as central hours, minutes and seconds, along with instant day and date in an aperture at 3 o’clock, and stop-seconds for precise time setting.

The 40mm case is available in platinum with an ice blue dial, 18-karat white gold hands and applied indexes; Everose gold with a sundust dial and 18-karat pink gold hands and applied indexes; white gold with a silvercolor dial and 18-karat white gold hands and Roman numerals; and, yellow gold with a champagne sunray-finish dial with 18-karat yellow gold hands and Roman numerals. Each of the watches comes on a President-style solid-link bracelet in platinum or Everose, white or yellow gold.



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