In 2005, Rolex made news not with a new watch model but with a new watch component they dubbed the Cerachrom bezel. A Rolex patented material, Cerachrom bezels are crafted from ultra-tough ceramic that’s both diamond-polished and coated with a thin layer of platinum. The result is a high-quality ceramic insert used in Rolex sports watches that is not only beautiful to look at but is also highly resistant to scratching and fading. Since the mid-2000s, Rolex has rolled out the Cerachrom bezel on many of their sports watch models, replacing the previous aluminum bezel inserts. Let’s have a closer look at three Rolex watches that have the coveted Cerachrom ceramic bezel.
Rolex GMT-Master II 116718 with Cerachrom Bezel
Rolex launched the new Cerachrom bezel on the GMT-Master II 116718 watch in 2005. It was a fitting debut since this particular GMT-Master II was an anniversary model to mark the 50th birthday of the famous Rolex pilot’s watch.
Crafted in solid 18k yellow gold, the 40mm Oyster case of the GMT-Master II 116718 is a sharp contrast to the black ceramic bezel engraved with the 24-hour numerals. Remember, the bezel is used in conjunction with the 24-hour hand on the dial to indicate a second time zone. Matching the bezel is the black dial while the hefty Oyster bracelet is fashioned from solid 18k yellow gold to match the case. Although the first GMT-Master II model with the Cerachrom bezel was presented in yellow gold, Rolex added steel, white gold, and two tone versions to the lineup over the following years.
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116688
In 2007, Rolex unveiled a completely new watch, which they called the Yacht-Master II. And the first edition was again an 18k yellow gold version—the Rolex Yacht-Master II ref. 116688. One of the more complex Rolex models to date, the Yacht-Master II includes a regatta chronograph for professional sailors to use during yachting competitions. Aside from the functionality of the watch, the Yacht-Master also flaunts a very unique style.
Not only is the Yacht-Master II one of the largest Rolex watches with a 44mm Oyster case, it houses a bright blue Cerachrom bezel, which has become a signature design detail of this particular Rolex watch. Along with the yellow gold version, Rolex also offers steel, two-tone, and white gold editions of the Yacht-Master II.
Rolex Sea-Dweller 116600 with Cerachrom Bezel
After a five-year hiatus, the Sea-Dweller came back to the Rolex catalog in 2014. One of the biggest changes that the Rolex Sea-Dweller 116600 brought to the model was the addition of the Cerachrom bezel in classic black. Like previous Sea-Dweller models, the new ceramic bezel sat on top of a steel 40mm Oyster case and the diving watch boasts a water resistance of 4,000 feet.
It’s worth noting that the Sea-Dweller ref. 116600 is the last to have a crystal that does not have the Cyclops lens above the date window since the newer model now includes one. This makes the older non-Cyclops Sea-Dweller model a popular Rolex to own right now.
The mark of a modern Rolex watch, the Cerachrom ceramic bezel is one of the most important design additions that the brand has offered in recent years.