Hidden away in its waterproof case, the Perpetual movement remains invisible to the wearer of the watch.

Only Rolex-certified watchmakers are able to access it with their special tools.  Yet, when it has the honour of being seen, this exquisite mechanism known the world over for its chronometric performance can truly be admired for what it is: a work of art, a magnificent miniature universe, a myriad of shapes, forms, volumes, colours and surfaces, some polished, some satin-finished, others circular-grained, always with loving care, and in keeping with watchmaking tradition.

Watchmaking perpetual movements
Precision, robustness, reliability

A COMMON ARCHITECTURE

The Perpetual movements that equip the Oyster models play a key role in the reputation for excellence of Rolex watches. These self-winding mechanical movements, all rigorously certified as chronometers by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), are entirely designed and manufactured by Rolex based on common characteristics. These ensure high performance and adherence to  uncompromising requirements in terms of precision, reliability, shock-resistance, efficient self-winding and ease of maintenance.

  • At the heart
    of the
    movement

    Chronometric precision

  • BALANCE WHEEL WITH VARIABLE INERTIA
    Equipped with gold Microstella nuts, the large balance wheel allows high‑precision regulating and offers great stability.

  • HAIRSPRING WITH ROLEX OVERCOIL
    The outermost coil of the hairspring is curled towards the centre to counter the effects of gravity. This allows perfectly balanced and concentric (isochronous) oscillations of the balance wheel-hairspring assembly and contributes to greater chronometric precision whatever the position of the watch.

  • OPTIMAL FREQUENCY
    A frequency of 28,800 beats per hour (8 per second) allows optimal conciliation of the oscillator’s precision and peerless reliability.

  • TRAVERSING BALANCE BRIDGE 
    The traversing balance bridge allows stable and precise positioning of the oscillator in order to improve chronometric performance. The bridge’s rigidity greatly improves shock resistance.

  • HIGH-PERFORMANCE LUBRICANTS 
    The quality of the lubricants is of prime importance for the proper functioning of a mechanical movement. Rolex has developed exclusive new lubricants, synthesised in‑house, whose useful life and stability over time have been considerably improved.

  • REFINED FINISHING 
    Although the Perpetual movements are accessible only to Rolex-certified watchmakers using specific tools, they are decorated in the finest watchmaking tradition. The plates and gear trains are circular-grained, the bridges satin‑finished, circular-grained or snailed, the screw heads are mirror-polished and all edges are bevelled.

HIDDEN AWAY IN ITS WATERPROOF CASE, THE PERPETUAL MOVEMENT REMAINS INVISIBLE TO THE WEARER OF THE WATCH.

A history of precision

SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER

The green seal accompanying every Rolex watch is a symbol of its status as a Superlative Chronometer. This exclusive designation attests that it has successfully undergone a series of specific final controls by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria, in addition to the official COSC certification of its movement. This unique testing of the chronometric precision of the cased-up movement, as well as of the watch’s waterproofness, self-winding and power reserve, pushes back the boundaries of performance and makes Rolex the benchmark for excellence in mechanical watches. The green seal is coupled with a five-year guarantee which applies to all Rolex models.

Watchmaking Superlative chronometer
  • Superlative
    Precision

    Rolex movements

  • OSCILLATOR
    In a mechanical watch, the oscillator is the guardian of time. Comprising a hairspring and a balance wheel, this regulating organ determines the precision of the watch by the regularity of its oscillations.

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  • PARAFLEX
    An exclusive and highly efficient shock absorber developed and patented by Rolex in 2005.Improves the shock resistance of Rolex watches by up to 50 per cent.

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  • ESCAPEMENT 
    Have you ever wondered why a mechanical watch goes “tick-tock”? The ticking is produced by the escapement, a strategic part that plays a key role in the movement’s measurement of time.

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Did you know?

THE ORIGIN OF THE PHRASE

"Superlative chronometer officially certified"
Historically, a watch could be designated as a chronometer by its own manufacturer to attest of its high precision, a process which obviously carried a risk of fraudulent abuse. To guarantee the quality of its chronometers, Rolex made the choice to have them officially certified, in spite of the costs and extra time required. To mark this difference, in the late 1930s, the brand changed the inscription on its dials from “Chronometer” to “Officially Certified Chronometer”. In 1951, official certification became obligatory. Rolex decided to differentiate itself by obtaining certificates avec mention (certificates of superior performance). According to the old rules, movements whose precision proved superior in the tests received a certificate with the citation “particularly good results”. By the late 1950's, Rolex launched a new generation of movements which were up to three times more precise than the criteria for obtaining a mention.

Watchmaking Superlative chronometer Movements