The Rolex Prince is not only not terribly well known –even to Rolex aficionados –it’s almost shockingly unknown; in the days we had ours in for review, quite a lot of pretty hard-core fake Rolex US watches people saw it, and it was mistaken for . . . well, mistaken for just about everything but a Rolex. This is a kind of peculiar circumstance, especially for as immutable-tradition-is-a-virtue bunch as Rolex fans are supposed to be, because the Prince, in fact, goes back one hell of a lot further than any other existing Rolex model –the first Prince watches were made by Rolex all the way back in 1928, which is not that far off from the founding of the company in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf.
The Prince was, and is, a rectangular wristwatch, and the two first models –the famous 971 and 1343 watches –both used a rectangular movement made by Aegler, which supplied both Rolex and Gruen at the time. The movements used for the Prince watches were rectangular and designed to allow the use of a large mainspring barrel that supplied a better-than-two-day power reserve, and a relatively large balance. The original Princes also pre-date the general use of center seconds in wristwatches, but they do have a very large (relatively speaking) seconds sub-dial, which is what’s led to them sometimes being referred to as “doctor’s watches” (thanks to the relative ease the larger dial provides for such chores as timing respirations or pulse beats.)
The original Princes also pre-date the general use of center seconds in wrist Rolex replica watches, but they do have a very large (relatively speaking) seconds sub-dial, which is what’s led to them sometimes being referred to as “doctor’s watches” (thanks to the relative ease the larger dial provides for such chores as timing respirations or pulse beats.)
This basic formula –high-grade movement, rectangular case, and large sub-dial for the running seconds –is alive and well in the modern Prince collection (which sails under the Cellini flag; the full and proper name is Cellini Rolex Prince.) There are currently five models, all with the same basic design premise: rectangular case, prominent seconds sub-dial, and in each case, a distinct and clearly Art Deco influenced design motif. They’re good looking watches, if your tastes run to the patrician; these are not the tough, go-anywhere tool watches people usually associate with Rolex, but rather, drop-dead elegant dress watches that project, simultaneously, unapologetic luxury and a certain aristocratic disdain –if there were such a thing as a gentleman’s Guild of Assassins in the present day, the Guild Master might wear a Prince.
And, just as might be the case for an elegantly attired master of the art of ushering “clients” out of this vale of tears, the real muscle in the Prince watches is hidden from the casual observer. Turn the watch over, though, and you see it: the Rolex caliber 7040. Unlike most Rolex movements, this is a hand-wound caliber, and it is maybe one of the best-kept secrets in horology: it’s quite simply one of the most beautiful classic full-bridge Swiss movements made by anyone, anywhere right now. The hand-wound movement in modern Rolex Replica Cellini watchmaking is a bit of a dark horse –customers tend to prefer self-winding watches, all other things being equal –but if you want something that really captures the charm of the idiom, with an in-house shaped caliber especially, you don’t have all that many choices and one of them is the Prince caliber 7040. This is a 21 jewel, COSC certified chronometer caliber, with Breguet overcoil and with a 72 hour power reserve –very much in the tradition and solidly following in the footsteps of the original, high precision Prince “Doctor’s Watches” of the Deco era. One of the nicest touches and a very luxurious one, is that the finish of each movement matches the overall design motif of the particular Prince in which it is encased –so, for instance, Prince model in 18k white gold with “Godron Circulaire” that we had in for review has a movement –version 7040-3 –with corresponding circular motifs.
All this hifalutin’ talk of aristocratic disdain aside, this is just a plain fun watch to wear; winding it every day is exactly the small but keen personal pleasure it should be, thanks to the large, easily grasped crown and –as is always the case with Rolex –forbiddingly exact nature of its construction in general. It’s a substantial watch at 45mm x 29mm and you feel, for sure, like you are wearing a little ingot of gold on your wrist –because, well, you’re wearing a little ingot of gold on your wrist –but the experience is more one of reassuring solidity and the promise of comfortable, un-ostentatious prosperity than flash. In short, it’s every inch a gentleman’s, or gentlewoman’s, wristwatch, and while it unquestionably occupies a bit of a niche in Rolex’s lineup it is a distinguished one, with as much respectable history behind it as any true-blue Rolex lover could ask.
The Replica Cellini Rolex Prince: five models, two in Everose and two in white gold; additionally, one in white gold with diamond pavé dial. All models with a model-specific design motif and matching decorative motif on the movement. Movement, Rolex caliber 7040, hand-wound, chronometer certified with Paraflex shock system and Breguet overcoil, 72 hour power reserve. Cases in Rolex Everose, yellow gold, or white gold, 45mm x 29mm, water resistant to 50 meters. Pricing, $17,000 in white gold or Everose; $15,500 in yellow gold.