The Rolex Milgauss reference 116400 watches are modern classic. Sporty and historic, this popular Rolex timepiece today serves as the slightly avant-garde, casual-to-dress watch evoking good taste, a focus on performance, and of course, a high station in life to the owner who is wearing it. This review, however, is for something a little bit different. This is a Rolex Milgauss which has been fully engraved in America under the MadeWorn label – so, in a sense, this is a review of a customized Rolex Milgauss watch.
The fact that this timepiece is aftermarket-engraved immediately factionalizes watch lovers: on one side are those who see the modification of any Rolex as being sacrilegious, and on the other side are those who see this as a way of taking something extremely popular yet ordinary and making it a lot more exclusive and unique. You know what? They are both right.
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Buying a customized Rolex does not come without risk, but there are also rewards. First, for the most part, you invalidate any remaining Rolex warranty (which isn’t the end of the world – especially on a watch that is already out of warranty), and you also greatly risk inhibiting future resale value. Of course, that latter element really depends on the customization. Most customized Rolex watches today fall into two camps. One is aftermarket diamond or jewelry setting (though, I always recommend factory stones from Rolex since they can’t be beaten), and the second is color or design changes to the Rolex case and dial. This is where something like a Bamford Watch Department or Project X Rolex limited edition watches comes in.
This MadeWorn customized Rolex Milgauss is different, making it among the less-common types of customized Rolex watches. Aftermarket watch case engraving is out there, but it is rare – and one of the major reasons for that is that there simply aren’t too many engravers who can do this type of work satisfactorily. If anyone knows this fact, it is MadeWorn founder Blaine Halvorson, who began the brand after selling his company JunkFood Clothing several years ago. Halvorson now runs MadeWorn out of its private studio and appointment-only retail space in West Hollywood – where, among other things, he continues to personally make shoes and clothing by hand.
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While MadeWorn specializes in making new things look old, that obviously isn’t his tactic with watch customization. Instead, his tactic is to give these Rolex stainless steel case fake watches and other watches some “old character,” allowing them to exist in the world of high-quality tools men used to covet, such as their hunting equipment. There are lots of collectors out there who enjoy timepieces along with knives and guns – so this fits right into that mentality. In some ways, this MadeWorn-engraved Rolex Milgauss 116400 is Blaine’s vision of what the timepiece would look like if it was made 150 years ago.
At Baselworld 2016, Rolex introduced a few new styles of the recently re-launched Rolex Cellini dress watch collection that we debuted back in 2014 upon its release. My favorite new-for-2016 Rolex Cellini cheap replica watches are new dial style for the time-only “Cellini Time” model as seen here in the reference 50505 which is available in an 18k white gold or 18k Everose gold case.
To refresh your recollection, the modern Rolex Cellini collection consists of three basic models. These are the Cellini Time, Cellini Date, and Cellini Dual Time. The Cellini Dual Time is the most complicated of the models and is the only dual-time watch from Rolex that indicates both time zones in 12-hour format (versus their GMT watches that indicate the second time zone in 24-hour format). The Rolex Cellini Date is rather straightforward and, as its name implies, offers a date dial versus a date window, as is the case on other Rolex models.
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Moreover, the Rolex Cellini men’s high quality fake watches stand out as it does not feature an Oyster case, as do most other Rolex watches. The case is similar to an Oyster, but a bit thinner and designed more for elegance versus sheer resistance to the elements. The Cellini case is 39mm wide and water resistant to 50 meters (versus the 100 meters of most Oyster cases – that aren’t diving watches). It’s slim on the wrist, and the light fluting on the dial is reminiscent of both historic Rolex timepieces as well as the ever popular more bold fluted bezels on watches such as the Rolex Datejust.
I covered the original Rolex Cellini Time watch collection in 2014. Offering the time only with a minutes, hours, and seconds hand, the Rolex Cellini Time is, in my opinion, the most elegant of “The Crown’s” dress watch collection. Some people like complexity in their formal timepieces, but not me. I prefer to keep things simple, and extremely elegant. The original Rolex Cellini Time watches had an interesting dial design with a range of elements. A combination of Roman numeral and applied baton-style hour markers were basically bisected with a middle minute marker ring. Curious at first, the design was a very clever way of making a simple dial not appear quite as simple.
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Just a year after the debut of the new Cellini collection, Rolex set about producing new versions. In 2015, they debuted the Rolex Cellini Time watch with a diamond bezel, and all three of the Cellini models received new cosmetic versions in 2016. What was new for this year? Well, the Rolex Cellini Date 50519 received a lovely blue dial on the 18k white gold version, and the Rolex Cellini Dual Time 50525 replica watches had a “brown guilloche” dial option for the 18k Everose gold model. The Rolex Cellini Time 50505 received the most simple dial to date in both a 18k Everose gold as well as 18k white gold case.
Rau-Tech is a German company that exists in the boutique world of high-end watch customization. This microcosm of horology is mostly proliferated by custom Rolex watches, which are becoming quite popular. One of the most common questions I have been getting from people all over the world is, “when will Rolex cheap replica watches start to offer black colored watches?” They seem to feel that with all the custom Rolex watches out there with black cases, there seems to be a less-than-insignificant demand. That may be so, but I don’t think that Rolex is going to start offering black-coated Submariners or other models now or anytime in the near future.
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Why? Well, think about it. Rolex is first and foremost about respecting their past. The first question they will ask themselves is, “have we offered back-colored watches in the past?” If the answer is “no,” then they will move on. Of course, one can retort with the fact that in the past there were no particularly good ways of durably coating metal watches in black or other colors. PVD-coating and other techniques are relatively modern. So given these new technologies, does Rolex have a good incentive to offer black-coated Rolex diving fake watches?
Of course the answer will depend on whether or not Rolex can do it “differently,” in a very high quality and exclusive way. The most important issue to Rolex is that they may appear to simply be following the trend set by companies they do not themselves authorize. Rolex customizers have no official relationship with Rolex. One of the reasons that new custom Rolex watches are so expensive is that the companies that make them first need to purchase the watches themselves, and then modify them, and then sell them and make some profit. Of course, these companies have discreet relationships with Rolex dealers so they aren’t paying full retail, but in any event, the price for a custom Rolex watch is still very high today.
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Companies like Rau-Tech, Project X, Bamford, and Pro Hunter offer new custom Rolex watches, but also engage in bespoke projects where clients send in their new or existing Rolex oyster perpetual series replica watches to be customized. This latter part of their business is certainly more niche, but in the end what you have is a Rolex customization business that has a lot of high costs associated with it. On top of that is the issue of quality. A stock Rolex watch has a very high level of detailing and expert finishing. Custom Rolex watches, to satisfy that core “Rolex experience,” must offer similar levels of quality, and that is hard to deliver.
For 2015, Rolex added a new member to the Pearlmaster watch family with the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 series cheap replica watches – debuted here in a range of interesting stone-decorated varieties. This is exactly the type of watch that allows Rolex to both earn its merit among certain audiences and, at the same time, annoy fans of the brand mostly interested in their more classic sport watches.
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While the Rolex Pearlmaster is generally considered a lady’s watch (often referred to as the “Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster Rolex fake watches” in smaller case sizes), this new 39mm-wide model does have a distinct feminine touch, but is also something that I know for a fact will appeal to male customers in various parts of the world. For that reason, I feel more than comfortable putting on what is essentially a woman’s watch that is, for at least some clients, good enough for a man. Of course, this is an interesting phenomenon, as most lady’s watches are actually smaller versions of men’s watches, and the reverse is quite uncommon.
As far as I know, every Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster watch has some type of precious stone decoration (at least, that I have seen). The collection seems to have begun as a more “formal” or decorative version of the Rolex Lady-Datejust. The Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster watch collection begins with a petite 29mm-wide version, which goes up to 34mm wide, and now, 39mm wide. Each of them shares a special type of bracelet which is decidedly more “jewelry-like” than most other Rolex bracelets. Rolex simply calls this five-link bracelet the “Pearlmaster,” and it has a very smooth and pleasant feel when moving the links as well as wearing it.
The 2015 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster 39 watch collection has a lot of similarities to another new-for-2015 Rolex release. Both the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 as well as the new Rolex Day-Date 40 watches share the fact that they are the first watches to include ceramic inserts in the gold bracelets (more on that in a moment), as well as the 3235 family of movements. The Rolex Day-Date 40 watches contain the Rolex 3255 automatic movement rather than the 3235, but the only major difference, as far as I know, is the addition of the day of the week indicator disc in the 3255, whereas the 3235 has the time and date.
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So, let’s discuss the movement for a moment. I actually recommend anyone keenly interested in the movement to read our above discussion on the 2015 Rolex Day-Date 40 watches. I referred to those diamond dial replica Rolex watches as perhaps the finest timepieces that Rolex has produced to date. What makes the 3235 movement special is how dedicated it is to accuracy. In addition to the standard COSC Chronometer rating given to each individual movement, Rolex now employs their own barrage of tests to ensure accuracy and reliability over time – that they simply call the “Rolex Chronometer Tests.”