904L STAINLESS STEEL
Performance fit for extremes
A Rolex watch must remain functional and maintain its beauty even in the harshest environments. That is why Rolex became, in 1985, the first watchmaking brand to use 904L steel, a highly corrosion-resistant alloy that acquires an exceptional sheen when polished.
904L stainless steel is commonly used in high-technology and in the aerospace and chemical industries. Its excellent anti-corrosion properties are comparable to those of precious metals. Rolex masters in-house the entire manufacturing process for its 904L steel watch components.
The source of the shine
Gold Rolex watches possess a truly captivating radiance, born of years of experience in perfecting the use of this most precious of metals. Only by controlling the whole process can Rolex guarantee a peerless, enchanting lustre on its watchcases and bracelets alike.
Rolex exclusively uses 18 ct gold, a princely alloy composed of 750‰ (thousandths) of pure gold, plus exactly the right mixture of elements including silver and copper necessary to produce the different types of 18 ct gold: yellow, white and Everose, Rolex's exclusive pink gold alloy. Jealously-guarded formulas ensure exceptional durability, polishability – and an extraordinary sheen that lasts for generations.
And then there was light
Rare and precious, considered the noblest of metals, platinum is striking for its silvery whiteness and its vibrant luminosity. Over time it has become the ultimate metal of prestige, with the ability to showcase precious stones like no other material.
Rolex uses 950 platinum, an alloy consisting of 950‰ (thousandths) of platinum generally combined with ruthenium. This allows the metal to be robust enough to be used in watch cases, while maintaining its legendary shine and brilliance.
A meeting of metals
Rolesor is the auspicious meeting of two metals on a single Rolex watch: gold and steel, with their contrasting colours and radiance, in subtly balanced harmony.
The name Rolesor was patented by Rolex in 1933 and has become a true Rolex signature. The concept is simple: the bezel, the winding crown and the centre bracelet links are made of 18 ct yellow or Everose gold (Rolex’s exclusive pink gold alloy); the middle case and the outer links of the bracelet are made of 904L stainless steel. On white Rolesor models, the bezel alone is in 18 ct white gold.
Rolex developed and patented the Cerachrom bezel for specific Professional models to ensure lasting beauty and functionality even after exposure to the most extreme conditions. Fashioned from extremely hard ceramic material, it is virtually impervious to scratches, and its colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays of the sun.
For optimum legibility, the numerals and graduations are engraved in the ceramic and then coated with a very thin layer of gold or platinum using a PVD process. A final diamond-polishing removes the gold or platinum from the rest of the bezel’s surface and gives an exceptional, long‑lasting lustre.