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WOTW Time Machine: Arnold Palmer’s Rolex GMT-Master II From the 2008 Masters

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Arnold Palmer was one of the most popular golfers to ever play the game. The Masters Tournament was supposed to be played this past weekend and Mr. Palmer, The King, was the winner of that tournament four times in his career. Mr. Palmer sadly passed in 2016 and no one had a dry eye while watching the ceremonious opening tee shots to start the 2017 Masters. While I don’t have any images of Arnold’s watches from his four Masters wins, I found a great photo of him wearing an all yellow gold Rolex GMT-Master II during the 2008 Masters.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Rolex GMT-Master II
Reference: 116718LN-0001
Date: 2004-2019
Case: 18ct Yellow Gold
Bezel: Cerachrom Ceramic 18ct Yellow Gold
Size: 40mm
Movement: Rolex 3186, 31 Jewels
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal (Cyclops lens over date)
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: 18ct Yellow Gold
Price: ~$30,000

Arnold Palmer was a long time Rolex ambassador, and I am willing to bet had a large collection of different models. The picture at the top is from Mr. Palmer at the 2008 Masters and is wearing what looks like a Role GMT-Master II in 18ct Yellow Gold. This precious metal version of the GMT-Master II was made from about 2005 through 2019. The only gold GMT-Master II watches in the current 2020 lineup are white gold, rose gold, or the 2-tone yellow gold and stainless steel models. In the 1950s Rolex created the GMT-Master for pilots who were looking to track multiple time zones. The GMT-Master was durable, precise, and had a versatile appearance that has made it such a popular timepiece.

Rolex is so obsessed with the quality of their timepieces that they created their own alloys in their own foundries to make sure these metals are up to spec. The 18ct gold used in Arnie’s GMT is formulated to make sure it is durable, corrosion-resistant, and keeps its color for years to come. The 40mm Oyster case is of course made from 18-carat yellow gold and is about 12mm thick. The back of the case is closed so there is no view of the Rolex 3186 self-winding automatic movement. That 3186 is, like all Rolex movements, certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) to ensure its accuracy.

To battle the effects of shocks and temperature change, the 3186 contains Rolex’s own patented Parachrom hairspring. The new 2020 GMT has an updated movement, but the 3186 is still more than capable with its 31 jewels and 50-hour power reserve. The dial on Palmer’s GMT is hand finished in black with matching yellow gold hands and hour markers. The hour markers are then filled with Chromalight luminescent material for a long-lasting glow and easy reading in low light. The arrow tipped 24 hour hand and GMT-Master II name are done in green, easily matching Palmer’s Augusta National jacket. That 24 hour hand works with the unidirectional bezel to track an additional time zone for when traveling.

The dial and hands are covered by a sapphire crystal that includes a cyclops lens over the date window at 3 o’clock. That bezel is crafted from matching 18ct yellow gold and features a black Cherachrom ceramic insert that is very scratch resistant. The 24-hour markings on the bezel are recessed and filled with gold paint that actually contains real gold to make sure that it never fades over time and with regular wear. The bracelet on Mr. Palmer’s GMT is the legendary Rolex Oyster made from, you guessed it, 18ct yellow gold. The Oyster bracelet has a two-tone finish. The middle links are brightly polished to a mirror-like finish while the outside links are done in brushed satin. The bracelet comes together with an Oysterlock safety clasp and an Easylink extension for adjusting 5mm.

The Masters doesn’t feel quite the same without Arnold Palmer, and I don’t think it ever will. It is always great to go through photos of the King and this one from 2008 just jumped out at me. I was lucky enough to see just a small sample of his career, and for that I am grateful.

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I have been an employee at GolfWRX since 2016. In that time I have been helping create content on GolfWRX Radio, GolfWRX YouTube, as well as writing for the front page. Self-proclaimed gear junkie who loves all sorts of golf equipment as well as building golf clubs!

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WOTW: Lydia Ko’s Rolex Yacht-Master 40 in Rose Gold

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Lydia Ko won twice this weekend with her victory at the CME Group Tour Championship that also earned her the 2022 Rolex Player of The Year award. The CME win was her 19th LPGA Tour victory and her third this year. While collecting all of her trophies, Ko was wearing a Rolex Yacht-Master 40 in rose gold.

WOTW Specs
Name: Rolex Yacht-Master 40
Reference: 126655-0002
Limited: No
Date: 2019 – Present
Case: Everose Gold
Bezel: Black Cerachrom Ceramic
Dial: Intense Black
Size: 40mm
Movement: Rolex 3235, 31 Jewels
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal Cyclops Lens
Waterproof: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Black Oysterflex Rubber Strap
Price: $28,050 (~$32,000)

The Rolex Yacht-Master was introduced in 1992, and it was the first new model in the Rolex line since the Daytona was launched in 1964. The unconfirmed story of the Yacht-Master was that it was originally intended to be an updated Submariner. Rolex couldn’t make such a large change to the most iconic watch that had ever been produced, so the Yacht-Master was born. Yacht-Masters have always embodied luxury and included a precious metal in the watch. The first Yacht-Masters in 1992 were made from solid yellow gold and a few dial options. The Yacht-Master saw a lot of success, but it really took off in 2012 when the Rolesium, platinum and steel, model with the silver dial was released. Since then the Yacht-Master has been one of the most underrated watches in the Rolex lineup.

Lydia has been wearing this Yacht-Master 40 in Everose gold for a little while now as we saw it on her wrist back in April of 2021. The case is 40mm wide and is made from Rolex’s own 18k Everose gold. Rolex created their own rose gold alloy to ensure that the precious metal could meet their strict quality and durability requirements. Rolex stopped outsourcing and created their own foundry in the early 2000s to make its own gold, rose gold, and platinum for its watches.

The caseback on Ko’s watch is matching Everose gold and screws into the case giving the watch a 100 meter water resistance rating. On the side of the case is a screw down crown that is made from Everose gold and features a Triplock seal waterproof system. On tope of the case is the Yacht-Master’s legendary chunky bidirectional bezel. The bezel itself is made from Everose gold and contains a matte black Cerachrom ceramic insert. The ceramic insert is extremely scratch resistant and won’t fade from long term exposure to saltwater and UV rays.

The raised numerals on the bezel are polished for a contrasting look that is easier to read. A sapphire crystal covers the Intense Black dial and there is a magnifying Cyclops lens covering the date at 3 o’clock. Large Everose gold hour markers surround the dial and are filled with Rolex’s Chromalight luminescent material that glows with more of a blue light. The hour, minute, and second hands are all made from polished Everose gold and filled with the same Chromalight material.

The heart and brain of the Yacht-Master 40 is Rolex’s Calibre 3235 movement that is found in a few other Rolex models. The 3235 is a self-winding movement that uses the blue Parachrom hairspring that keeps accurate time regardless of the temperature and is very shock resistant. Rolex’s designed the Parachrom hairspring in house so they can control the quality and the acceptable tolerance is 0.1 microns, or about 1/1000 of a human hair. The 3235 has up to 70 hours of power reserve and is COSC certified to ensure its accuracy in all conditions.

A black Oysterflex strap holds the watch on the wrist and is far more than just a strip of rubber. Rolex encases flexible titanium and nickel “blades” in a high-performance elastomer. This metal spine adds durability while maintaining the soft comfort you expect from a rubber strap. The underside of the Oysterflex strap has a cushioning system molded into it that can also add stability on the wrist. An Everose gold Oysterlock safety clasp brings the strap together and contains Rolex’s Glidelock extension system to fine tune the fit without the use of any tools.

The Yacht-Master 40 in Everose has become a very popular model and is now hard to find at any Rolex dealer. Many didn’t think that a rose gold watch on a rubber strap would ever be something in high demand but that theory has been proven incorrect. If you can get one of these Yacht-Masters at the $28,050 retail price, then consider yourself lucky. Most will pay around $32,000 on the secondary market to get one on their wrist.

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WOTW: Tommy Fleetwood’s Titanium TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition Smartwatch

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Tommy Fleetwood won his sixth DP World Tour event in South Africa at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. It is the same event that Fleetwood won in 2019 as well. Tommy held the large crystal trophy in the air while wearing his TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition smartwatch.

WOTW Specs

Name: TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition
Reference: SBR8A81.EB0251
Limited: No
Date: 2020 – Present
Case: Titanium
Bezel: Black Ceramic
Dial: AMOLED Display
Size: 45mm
Movement: Calibre E4, Cortex A53 CPU
Power Reserve: ~24 Hours
Glass: Sapphire Crystal
Waterproof: 50 Meters
Bracelet: White Rubber Strap
Price: $2,650 (~$2,000)

TAG Heuer was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer in Switzerland. They are more known for making luxury mechanical watches without batteries. The Connected series is a line of smartwatches that run on Google’s WearOS software. I don’t know the exact release date of the Golf Edition, but it has been around since at least 2020. TAG’s Connected line has gone through a few special editions including a collaboration with Porsche and Nintendo’s Mario.

TAG Heuer’s Connected Golf Edition is probably the most expensive golf watch on the market, but the details make you appreciate that extra cost. The case is on the larger side at 45mm, but I got to review this watch a few years ago and it doesn’t wear near as large as that number. The case is made from Titanium and finished with sandblasted DLC finish. The caseback features sensors for monitoring heart rate and other body vitals. On the right side of the case is a crown and 2 pushers that are used to navigate the menu and apps. The case is sealed and offers 50 meters of water resistance for casual swimming and getting caught in the rain on the course. On top of the case is a fixed bezel that is made from black ceramic for scratch resistance. It has an 18 hole scaled etched in it and is used with the golf app to keep track of what hole you are on. A touch screen AMOLED display is the dial it has a maximum resolution of 454×454 pixels (326ppi).

Inside the the case is the digital Calibre E4 “movement” that controls the Golf Edition watch. The 4 core ARM Cortex A53 CPU runs at 1.7GHz and on 64bit architecture. The Cortex-A53 is built for high efficiency and features four cores, each with an L1 memory system and a single shared L2 cache. Battery life on the Golf Edition is around 24 hours from the 440 mAh internal battery. The watch itself has bothWifi and Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to the internet and your phone. The Golf Edition can look like a more traditional watch with the TAG Heuer inspired watch face designs built in. The golf software has 40,000 courses loaded into the memory and gives distances through GPS. The watch connects to an app on your iOS or Android phone that has a great design and interface that just feels nicer than a lot of other golf apps.

When you open the white box you will find the Golf Edition watch and 2 straps. A white and black rubber strap contains green contrast stitching and a golf ball dimple texture. It comes together with a titanium push-button folding clasp that has a sandblasted DLC finish to match the case. The strap also has a magnetic ball marker that is integrated and can even hold a spare market if you lose one. Replacing those markers isn’t cheap as they are about $90 for 3. The watch comes with a black rubber strap to blend in when wearing it off the course.

The luxury watch demand has been high for years, but it doesn’t seem to translate to smart watches. The retail price on the Connected Golf Edition is $2,650 and you can get it right off TAG Heuer’s website. If you do want to save a little money, it looks like you can get a brand new one off the secondary market for around $2,000.

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WOTW: Bernhard Langer’s Rolex Submariner “Bluesy” in steel and gold

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Bernhard Langer has been one of the most dominant PGA Tour Champions players in history. His 44th, yes 44th, win came this weekend at the Timbertech Championship in Boca Raton, Florida. He posted a monster 17 under for the tournament, giving him a 6 partake win over Paul Goydos and Thongchai Jaidee. The 65 year old Langer was presented the crystal trophy while wearing a classic Rolex Submariner Date “Bluesy” on his wrist.

WOTW Specs

Name: Rolex Submariner Date
Reference: 116613lb-0005
Limited: No
Date: 2013 – 2020
Case: 904L Oystersteel
Bezel: Blue Cerachrom Ceramic
Dial: Royal Blue
Size: 40mm
Movement: Calibre 3135, 31 Jewels
Power Reserve: 48 Hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal, Cyclops Lens
Waterproof: 300 Meters
Bracelet: Oyster, Yellow Rolesor
Price: ~$15,300

The Rolex Submariner is probably the most popular and influential sports watch in the world. The Submariner started life in 1953 when introduced to recreational divers throughout the world. We don’t currently look at the Submariner as a tool watch, but it is an extremely capable and durable piece of equipment for divers.

Langer’s Submariner, released in 2013, features a 40mm case made from a solid block of Rolex’s own Oystersteel. Oystersteel is 904L stainless steel that is formulated to be extremely corrosion resistant for use in salt water. The. case features a screw down crown made from 18kt yellow gold that is made in Rolex’s own foundry to ensure that the alloy will not fade during everyday use. The crown contains Rolex’s Triplock waterproof seals and solid stainless steel caseback give the Submariner a 300m water resistance rating. A unidirectional bezel, with 120 clicks, is crafted from matching 18kt gold and contains an insert made from blue Cerachrom ceramic. Cerachrom ceramic is used because it is extremely scratch resistant and resists fading from long exposure to UV rays.

The Royal Blue dial has gold text, the new Submariner switched to white, and large hour markers on the outside. Hour markers are made from yellow gold and are filled with Rolex’s Chromalight luminescent material for a bright blue glow in low light and underwater. Hour, minute, and second hands are made from matching 18kt gold and filled with the same Chromalight material. The date window sits at 3 o’clock and switches over to the next day instantly at midnight. The change happens so fast that you can’t tell the date wheel even moves. A sapphire crystal covers the dial and has a magnifying cyclops lens over the date window.

Rolex’s Calibre 3135 movement sits inside and is COSC Certified to ensure it is accurate through all conditions. The 3135 is a self-winding movement with a unidirectional rotor and a Parachrom hairspring. KIF shock absorbers help with shocks and bumps, add everyday durability to the movement. Up to forty-eight hours of power reserve is on hand and the 3135 contains 31 jewels.

The bracelet on Langer’s Submariner is the iconic Oyster design, done in Yellow Rolesor. Rolesor is Rolex’s own way of describing watches that combine stainless steel and gold. Rolesor has been used since the 1930’s but is more commonly referred to as 2-tone by the public. The outside links are solid stainless steel and feature a brushed finish while the polished center links are solid yellow gold. Even the Oysterlock clasp is made with both metals. Rolex’s Glidelock system is built into the clasp and allows you to adjust the bracelet for the perfect fit, without tools.

Langer’s Submariner is the previous generation model, but still holds its value on the secondary market. If you wanted to get a nice example, expect to pay around $15,300 from a used watch dealer. Some collectors prefer the 116613lb because of the gold text on the dial, smaller case, and bulletproof Calibre 3135 movement.

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