By Yan Jie Lee
Rolex watches for women date back to 1927 when an English female swimmer, Mercedes Gleitze, made history by crossing the English Channel wearing the Rolex Oyster.
Even after a 10-hour long swim, the watch remained in perfect working order. This momentous occasion in Rolex’s history was made possible by a woman – marking the start of Rolex’s close affinity with its female clientele.
The year 1945 saw the birth of the Rolex Datejust, the first self-winding wristwatch to include a date display on the dial. Initially designed for men, Rolex later introduced mid-sized models that were more suitable for women. Finally, the Lady-Datejust was launched in 1957. The Lady-Datejust was the first chronometer collection designed specifically for women.
Produced with the same meticulous craftsmanship that propelled Rolex to fame, the Lady-Datejust is smaller and sleeker to fit comfortably on a slimmer wrist. Years later, in 1992, Rolex introduced a new line of jewellery watches — the Rolex Pearlmaster. A reinvention of the Lady-Datejust, the Pearlmaster collection features precious metals and stones, giving new meaning to the notion of luxury watches.
Over the years, Rolex has perfected the art of achieving the perfect synthesis of functionality and styles in ladies’ watches. Today, Rolex watches for women are synonymous with outstanding quality, workmanship and sophisticated designs.
Here are some of our favourites.
At 31mm, this Rolex Datejust Automatic model is smaller than the traditional Datejust. With a slender-looking case, this timepiece would look elegant on any lady. Its most unique feature is undoubtedly the white mother-of-pearl dial. By its nature, mother-of-pearl differs from one another in colour, intensity and structure. There are therefore no two mother-of-pearl dials are identical. Committed to preserving its natural mystery and beauty, Rolex uses its technical expertise to highlight the natural beauty and original hues of each mother-of-pearl without resorting to artificial enhancements. Each Rolex mother-of-pearl Datejust timepiece is therefore unique and the only one of its kind.
Made with a combination of white gold and oyster-steel, the 31mm case also features a diamond-set bezel. Under the sunlight, the diamond embellishment catches the light to add the perfect finishing touch that complements the iridescent mother-of-pearl dial. Powered by the calibre 2235, a self-winding mechanical movement, the Datejust is as dependable as it is stylish. With its refined elegance, the Datejust is the perfect Rolex for the modern woman.
At 28mm, the Rolex Lady-Datejust is perfectly sized for a lady’s wrist. It features the Everose Rolesor gold — a combination of oyster-steel and Everose gold which is the distinctive trademark of Rolex. Enclosed in a fluted rose gold bezel, the dial comes in an exquisite shade of sundust. With its harmonious union of silver and rose gold, this Lady-Datejust has graceful femininity.
The self-winding calibre 2236 mechanical movement drives the Rolex Lady-Datejust. This new-generation movement redefined precision and durability in luxury watches. Equipped with the Rolex-patented Syloxi hairspring, it offers the highest level of chronometric performance. In case of shocks, the Syloxi hairspring remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring.
While delicate in size, the 28mm Lady-Datejust is definitely not fragile. This timepiece is a testament to how Rolex watches for women can be intricate and feminine, yet strong and built to last.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is characteristic of the quintessential and widely recognised Rolex design. At 34mm, this Oyster Perpetual timepiece is perfect for ladies who desire an accessory that suits every occasion.
Donning a classic silver and black colour scheme, this piece embraces a simple and time-honoured aesthetic. It also comes with the Oyster bracelet, the most universal bracelet in the collection. Robust and comfortable, the three-piece link bracelet features corrosion-resistant oyster-steel. Ticking at the heart of this piece is the calibre 3130, a self-winding mechanical movement manufactured entirely by Rolex and is COSC-certified. The Parachrom hairspring guarantees greater resistance to shocks and temperature variations.
As the saying goes, old is gold. With an ageless design that has endured the test of time, the beauty of this Oyster Perpetual lies in its understated elegance.
With a 39mm case, the Rolex Pearlmaster is bigger than the usual Rolex watches for women. It is also bolder and more stunning than any other timepiece. It is made of 18K gold, which is forged with meticulous care to ensure that only the purest metals are used.
Likewise, its diamond-paved dial evokes the same single-minded dedication to perfection. Each diamond went through meticulous gem cutting and setting to create an intricate finishing. A bejewelled bracelet in solid gold gives a sophisticated finishing touch to this elaborate design. With its iridescent jewels, this enchanting timepiece will certainly capture the attention and hearts of many ladies.
Ladies of Power & Grace
For decades, Rolex has been a big supporter of women. Partnering with several powerful women in different industries — from sports to the environment, the Swiss brand has been a champion of women empowerment. Ski racer Lindsey Vonn, marine biologist Sylvia Earle, and professional golfer Lydia Ko are among the ladies of power and grace that epitomise Rolex’s spirit of sophistication, fearlessness and perseverance.
Looking for Rolex watches that will not make a big dent in your wallet? Check out our feature on the cheapest Rolex watches for women.