Rolex Day-Date 'Puzzle' 128235

Rolex Day-Date "Emoji" Puzzle Dial 128235

It must be said that when Rolex ever goes into party mode, which it does on rare occasion, the result is as satisfying as first hearing your gran say a rude word. 

You don’t think it’ll ever happen, but when it does, its a delightful shock. 

I think this sums up this particular Day-Date which is the stalwart line of the brand and (usually) associated with refined moderation and gravitas.

Rolex have thrown all of that famous conservatism out of the window in favour of producing a multi coloured fully enamelled party piece which instead of displaying the day, or indeed the date, is a riot of uplifting slogans and emojis such love, faith, and gratitude replacing the day while hearts, rainbows, ladybirds, and kisses replace the date. 

There’s even a panda in there for good measure. 

It’s clearly a piece that is designed with whimsy in mind and while it may offend some Rolex fans to their very core, it has proven to be an absolute smash hit to the point that it may as well have been made from unobtanium rather than rose gold. 

There are two variants of the Puzzle or Emoji as they are known, one in white gold with a turquoise base dial, and this, the Everose gold and orange variant. 

Its a 36mm piece so the size is traditional, as is the case and bracelet which have stats of 12mm in height, 43mm lug to lug, 20mm lug width, and 100m water resistance.

I cant really claim it looks like any other Day-Date from a distance, because the enamelling on this piece can be spotted from orbit. 

Rolex have used ancient and now rather uncommon Champléve enamelling technique for the dial which is split into vibrant coloured puzzle pieces covering around 3 quarters of the surface.

With champléve (French for raised field), troughs and cavities are carefully carved into the metal base and then filled with enamel until flush with the raised parts of the metal. 

This is the opposite of the regularly seen cloisonné technique which works by soldering wires on top of the base and then filling the space between the wires. 

In short, with champléve you dig down and fill, with cloisonné you build up and fill. 

Dial enamelling is a difficult method to master as the enamel cools at a faster rate than metal so can be prone to cracking, which is why enamel dials are both low production and favoured by collectors.

The indices add a final sparkling touch made from baguette cut multi coloured sapphires. 

The watch is powered by Rolexes in house calibre 3255 which offers a 72 hour power reserve. 

The Rolex Puzzle is a statement watch, and while it has its detractors who complain of it catering to social media, being terribly over the top, and generally being appalled at its very existence, it is, nonetheless, an exhibition of Rolex dial prowess combined with a grin from the crown, and as a watch aficionado, I absolutely love when Rolex puts its might into something so preposterous yet utterly endearing.