History Behind the Cellini
First introduced in 1968, the Rolex Cellini collection debuted as the brand’s line of non-Oyster dress watches—something that was vastly different from the period’s usual lineup of Submariners, GMT-Masters, Day-Dates, and Datejusts.The Cellini collection is inspired by its namesake, Benvenuto Cellini, an Italian Renaissance artist, goldsmith, and sculptor which is likely why this suite is recognized for its use of precious metals and captivating case designs. The first models were slim, gold, time-only watches powered by manual wind movements, but over time, the collection evolved to include unique eight-sided pieces like the Cellini Octagon, the asymmetrical Cellini Midas, and the cushion-shaped Danaos.
Today’s Cellinis: A Contemporary Touch
As with any collection that withstands the test of time, it’s bound to hit the refresh button at some point. In 2014, Rolex redesigned the Cellini suite to foster more harmony and standardization—no more creative case shapes. Today, all new releases feature a round 39mm case, double stepped bezels, flared winding crowns, and either a black, blue, or brown leather strap. In essence, these models add a contemporary twist on tradition while maintaining an eye for elegance and high quality craftsmanship. The Cellini aesthetic can best be described as refined and simplistic, using only precious materials and luxurious finishings like 18k white and Everose gold. Additionally, the dials are either lacquered or embellished with a black or silver-plated classic “Rayon flammé de la gloire” guilloche adorned with gold applique hour markers. If you’re interested in a Rolex Cellini, they are currently available in four functions including moonphase, date, time, and dual time. Want to learn more about Rolex’s standard for quality materials? Read this article for a detailed guide of the brand’s proprietary metals and alloys.
Buying a Pre-Owned Rolex Cellini
As the world’s leading platform for buying, selling, and trading pre-owned luxury watches, we strive to curate a selection of near-mint condition pieces that satisfy every collector’s taste. If you love the Rolex Cellini, but you’re interested in exploring other similar watches, explore our assortment of dress and dual time watches, too. And, be sure to snag this list of 2021’s best men’s dress watches.
The Cellini Moonphase
Marking a milestone in Rolex watchmaking, the 2017 release of the Cellini Moonphase is nothing short of impressive. This prestigious chronometer contains a slice of meteorite from across the Solar System, making it a keepsake worthy of passing down for generations to come. But, the feats don’t stop there. Before the Cellini Moonphase ref. 50535 was released, Rolex’s last timepiece with a lunar cycle was produced in the 1950s. It took decades of research, innovation, testing, modelling to get it right—and it’s safe to say they arrived at something truly remarkable. This Moonphase model displays the date around the circumference of the dial with a centre hand and a crescent moon at its tip. It’s also powered by a self-winding, patented in-house mechanical movement that boasts an accuracy of 122 years. Interested in seeing this watch up close? Watch this in-depth expert review of the ref. 50535, or shop this pre-owned ref. 50535-0002 in Everose gold.
Explore More Cellini Models
When you browse the pre-owned market for near-mint condition Cellini watches, the options are nearly endless. Before 2014, there were a myriad of avant-garde case designs and unique shapes to consider. And today, many of these same rare pieces are available to collect. Learn more about a handful of Cellini timepieces available in our curated collection.
This ref. 5241 is a stunning manual wind watch, featuring a 38mm platinum case, a glacier blue dial, and a sharp black alligator strap. Functions include hours, minutes, and small seconds so it’s a great option for those searching for a timeless dress watch.
Interested in a rare Cellini case? Check out this ref. 5443/9 Prince model that features a square 28mm x 47mm case in 18k white gold. Its subdued black dial and black alligator strap are the perfect complements to offset the striking shape—a statement piece to say the least.
Looking for a more modern Cellini that showcases a simple 39mm round case? Opt for this ref. 50505 in 18k Everose gold. Its functions include hours, minutes, and seconds which is great for those looking to wear it every day.
If you want a handsome dress watch that displays the date, the ref. 50515 is a perfect option. It’s a self-winding automatic watch featuring the signature 39mm round case in 18k Everose gold, and it’s equipped with a beautiful silver dial and brown alligator strap.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Cellini