Baselworld 2017: Rolex Cellini Moonphase Watch

By Harlan Chapman-Green

Rolex actually did quite a bit this year didn’t they? Lots of new firsts for the company, such as first time the Sky Dweller was made with steel, first time Rolex increased the case size of the Sea Dweller to meet more modern design criteria. Now, they’ve made their first watch sporting a moonphase since the 50s. It’s not too often Rolex actually surprises us with something they reveal, sadly most changes are minimal such as materials or a case size adjustment, but putting a big sparkly moonphase wasn’t exactly what we were expecting.

The moonphase inside this watch is one of the most accurate ever made. It needs adjustment just once every 122 years, yeah you read that right. Assuming the watch survives, it will only need to be adjusted once a century (and a bit). The moonphase on this one works a little differently to the classic moon phases seen, including those found on the old Rolex watches of yore. Instead of two moons on the disc which are only partially revealed to correspond with the phase of the moon, the Cellini has one moon and one empty spot, signifying the phase known as the ‘new moon’, aka when it’s not visible. The moon itself has another very un-Rolex like addition to it, it is in fact made of a sliver of meteorite instead of gold or platinum.

The case is made of Everose gold only for this watch, as well as the new folding Crownclasp as well, a first for the Cellini line which up until now has only used a pin buckle. There’s advantages and drawbacks of both, the pin buckle is traditionally sleeker and quite dressy. It could also be less expensive to replace. The fold over clasp type buckle is a bit more swish in terms of design, it’s also pretty comfortable and allows for different designs on the outer of the clasp. However they are more complicated and expensive to replace.

Inside the 39mm case is a Superlative Chronometer standard Rolex calibre, but that’s about all we know about it at the moment so there will be more to come when it’s released. We like the larger crown with small fluted bezel, we think they go well and add a little bit of extra class. There’s also the white lacquer dial with periphery date. All in all it’s an impressive piece and something the Cellini line desperately needed. Maybe a dress chronograph next year? For more info, please visit