Editor’s note: This is a Quick Hands-on Review of the Rolex Cellini Moonphase. For our usual detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
What Is It
The 2017’s Rolex Cellini Moonphase ref. 50535 in polished 18 ct Everose gold retailing for 37’750 AUD. The blue enamel sky is a sight to behold, and the actual meteorite moon is enchanting.
It pays homage to the Rolex’s own 1950s dress watches, acts as a continuation of the 2014’s reintroduced Cellini range, and introduces in the mostly sports watch lineup of the brand a welcome classical note inspired by the world of art and sculpture courtesy Benvenuto Cellini.
Who Is The Rolex Cellini Moonphase For
Rolex watches are universally known — and at this point if alien life beyond our universe was fully confirmed then one can assume with full conviction that Rolex watches would have inter-stellar fame — for being one of the most reliable and sought-after timepieces. People throng to boutiques and ADs to catch a glimpse of these mythical horological beasts, with only a few lucky ones touching one of the steel sports watches.
So while most watch enthusiasts and collectors might be content with this, the Rolex Cellini Moonphase in my honest opinion is for those connoisseurs who appreciate that the brand is much more than a watch called Submariner. It’s like saying Patek Philippe only makes Nautilus. Or Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (though sadly the latter is perhaps true if you ask any of the latest Instagram famous flashy folks).
It is also for those of us who would like to own a piece radiating with the glow of watches from the likes of Breguet and the ‘Holy Trinity’ — though I seriously wish that the Rolex Cellini Moonphase had a display case-back — but also has the time-assured guarantee of being a sturdy Rolex timepiece.
It’s almost haute horlogerie but with the unassuming stereotypical practicality of a watch brand that’s revered by many.
And I don’t know about you but funds permitting I would personally indulge in a Rolex Cellini Moonphase (or time-only) rather than be on life-sucking waiting lists for sports models. Herd mentality is not always cool, though ironically, a Submariner definitely is.
Basic Specs Of The Rolex Cellini Moonphase
The Rolex Cellini Moonphase features Rolex’s in-house calibre 3195 with an accuracy -2/+2 sec/day (after casing).
It is an automatic winding 28.5mm diameter movement comprising 31 jewels, beating at the frequency of 4Hz, providing ~48-power reserve, adjusted in six positions, and featuring a paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring, a Rolex overcoil and high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers.
The Rolex Cellini Moonphase is also a Superlative Chronometer which means that it is both COSC-certified and comes with a Rolex certification after casing. The watch come with an international five-year guarantee.
The calibre 3195 is entirely manufactured by Rolex, and the patented moonphase module is astronomically accurate for 122 years.
The watch face shows the functions of central hours, minutes, and small seconds, moonphase at 6’o clock and a peripheral date display on a gorgeous white lacquer base with a blue enamelled moonphase disc.
The full moon is impressively in rhodium plated meteorite, and the new moon and stars are pad printed silver. Both the hour markers and hands are in 18 ct pink gold.
The dial and movement of the Rolex Cellini Moonphase are encased inside a very wearable 39mm diameter case, with a 13.4mm thickness and a 46.3mm lug-to-lug spacing. The standard 20mm interhorn lug spacing is welcome, as aftermarket strap options become a viable possibility.
Wearing The Rolex Cellini Moonphase
Tudor BB58s are well regarded for their proportions and for fitting slimmer wrists (such as mine at ~16cm).
The popular new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight in gold measures the same 39mm in diameter, a very similar 14mm in thickness (on the NATO) but a larger lug-to-lug spacing of 48.2mm.
The 39 x 13.4 x 46.3mm measurements of the Rolex Cellini Moonphase not only follow this principle of fitting slim wrists well, but being a dress watch, they don’t end up as an overpowering timepiece but rather as a well-sized piece with excellent wrist presence.
On the wrist, the slim lug profile and the dual bezel treatment also helps in making the watch sit very nicely.
Looking at the dial, I love how the appliqué indices are broken by an inner minute track with these stick markers and track also acting as perfect distance to the length of the hour, minutes and seconds hands. An excellent attention to detail.
Of course the star of the show — pun intended — is the blue enamelled moonphase sub-dial at 6’o clock. Here, the complication is not read in a very detailed manner as can be found on other timepieces tracking the various days, but is rather a poetic expression of reading this romantic complication.
The moonphase is read — and adjusted via a pusher adjuster at 8’o clock — via the fixed appliqué triangular indicator set at top of this sub-dial, with the meteorite full moon disc and hollowed silver new moon disc rotating through the lunar cycle.
Given the Rolex Cellini Moonphase is essentially about the celestial body, I also appreciate the subtlety of Rolex’s attention to detail with the inclusion of the date indicator as a blued central hand with a moon crescent at the end.
The presence of coined edged (and domed) bezel is reminiscent of the iconic Rolex fluted bezel, and again to maintain a coherent design language, Rolex has opted to go for a crown with matching knurling and a closed case-back with complementing domed and knurled design.
Even though the Rolex Cellini Moonphase is only 50m water-resistant, it is still higher than most generic 30m water-resistant dress watches. In true Rolex style, where practicality is always at the forefront, the Rolex Cellini Moonphase also features a screw-down crown so that the watch can actually be used rather than waisting away its youth (and yours) sitting inside a safe slowly turning yellow from pink gold.
Though the last problem is something the wearers of the Rolex Cellini Moonphase should not have to worry about; Rolex’s own Everose gold is designed to fight just this.
That’s All Folks!
There is a quote by the Italian goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini — after whom the collection is named — that reads: “Laws cannot be imposed on him who is the master of the law”.
Rolex refers to the Cellini collection of watches as featuring design elements that are “sober and refined, the materials noble, the finishings luxurious”.
The Rolex Cellini is perhaps the epitome of classical chrome and beauty. Like the Benvenuto Cellini quote above, it’s futile to compare the Rolex Cellini with other dress watches; hold it on your hands, and you realise what a perfectly symmetrical beauty it is; other watches’ charms cannot be imposed on him (Rolex) who is the master of (classical) charm.
The applique crown logo sits justly at 12; the moon enchants beautifully at 6; symmetry and poetry go hand-in-hand on a pristine canvas that sets the stage; it’s time to surrender to the wiles of one of the finest, and sadly underrated, dress-watches out there: the Rolex Cellini Moonphase
To find out more about the Rolex Cellini Moonphase and other Rolex timepieces, please head to there website here. All images unless otherwise stated are ©WatchYaGonnaDoAboutIt.