In 2013, Rolex added a new member to the Pearlmaster watch family – the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 – which is unveiled here in a series of interesting stone-decorated varieties. This is exactly the type of watch that allows Rolex to both earn merit with certain audiences and annoy most fans of the brand who are interested in its more classic sports watches.
While the Rolex Pearl is generally considered a lady’s watch (often referred to as the “Lady-Datejust Pearl” in smaller case sizes), this new 39mm wide model does have a distinctly feminine quality to it, but I also know that it will appeal to male customers around the world. For that reason, I think wearing what is essentially a woman’s watch is good enough for men, at least for some customers. Of course, this is an interesting phenomenon, as most women’s watches are actually smaller versions of men’s watches, and the reverse is quite rare.
As far as I know, every Rolex Datejust Pearl Master watch is adorned with some sort of gemstone (at least, that I’ve seen). This series seems to have started as a more “formal” or decorated version of the Rolex Lady-Datejust. The Rolex Lady-Datejust Master Pearl collection started with a petite 29mm wide version, moved to 34mm wide, and now 39mm wide. Each model has a special bracelet that is noticeably more “jewel-like” than most other Rolex bracelets. Rolex simply refers to this five-link bracelet as the “Pearl Master”, and it moves and wears very smoothly and comfortably.
The 2015 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearl Master 39 watch collection bears many similarities to another new Rolex release in 2015. The Rolex Datejust Master Pearl 39 and the new Rolex Day-Date 40 (hands-on here) have one thing in common: they are the first watches to include ceramic inserts in a gold bracelet (more on that later), as well as the 3235 series movement. The Rolex Day-Date 40 includes the Rolex 3255 automatic movement instead of the 3235, but as far as I can tell, the only major difference is that the 3255 adds a day-of-the-week dial, while the 3235 has a time and date.
Inside the 3255 and 3235 automatic calibers is the new Rolex Chronergy escapement and variable inertia balance wheel. There’s also a fancy Paraflex shock absorption system to ensure greater precision over time. However, the 3235 caliber is rolex pearlmaster 39 rose gold watches not meant to add functionality, but to further refine the longevity and performance of the Rolex movement.The 3235 further boasts an operating frequency of 4Hz (28,800 bph) and a nice power reserve of around 70 hours. Rolex has mentioned that of all the movements they have produced to date, this new line of in-house movements offers the most consistent and high-precision performance. I fully expect that, over time (though it will be slow), some of these new movement technological developments will migrate to movements used in more Rolex watch lines.
Above, I mentioned the ceramic inserts in the Rolex Bejeweled bracelet. Let me explain that these inserts are not something you can see, but are hidden in the structure of the bracelet. The ceramic inserts serve to prevent the gold from “stretching”, which can sometimes slowly deform the links due to the softness of the metal. The ceramic inlays also protect the links from folding over time and wearing each other out.
Having visited Rolex and seen their production as well as product testing, this new feature feels like a very logical result of their daily durability testing. Rolex is probably the only watch brand I’m familiar with that stress tests their watches by manually simulating years of wear and tear. A robot moves around wearing the watch to simulate long periods of wear and tear. Rolex then scrutinizes the results of these tests to see where there are weaknesses and to determine how best to improve their product. I suspect that the inclusion of ceramic inserts in the links is a direct result of this testing and policy by the company.
At 39mm wide, the new, larger Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 case has lost its “lady” nickname and now feels like something a man would feel comfortable wearing. There will be many people on this article complaining that men should not be seen wearing this timepiece, and I won’t argue with them because it’s a matter of taste. These wouldn’t be my first choice for a stone Rolex watch, but the bold colors and beautiful details simply make me curious to wear them.