Rolex Commemorative Bracelet, What Is It Commemorating?

Rolex five-bead chain commonly known by domestic players. The official name of Rolex is a commemorative bracelet. Although I have been in contact with famous watches for many years, the five-bead chain has also been called for many years, but for a long time, I have been wondering why the five-bead chain is called a commemorative bracelet. What is it in memory of? I finally knew it, so today we will focus on the Rolex commemorative bracelet.

Rolex commemorative bracelet, commonly known as five-bead chain. Steel case blue and black circle GMT with commemorative bracelet.
The commemorative bracelet is to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Rolex.
 Rolex was founded in 1905 by Hans Weissdorf. After the end of World War II in 1945, Rolex decided to mark the 40th anniversary of the brand. To commemorate the 40th anniversary, Rolex has introduced a new type of bracelet. This newly designed bracelet is completely different from the previous Rolex bracelet. The new bracelet has five links, two of which are on the edge of the bracelet and three on the middle. The three small links in the middle are polished, and the large links on both sides are brushed. The new bracelet is an all-gold bracelet, and for some time, it has been an all-gold bracelet. This bracelet launched in 1945 is a Rolex commemorative bracelet, which is also known as the ‘five-bead chain’.

Rolex Memorial Bracelet
 It can be seen that the Rolex five-bead chain is to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the founding of Rolex, so it is officially named a commemorative bracelet. But we can also see that there are still some differences between the commemorative bracelet (five-bead chain) in history and the current one. At the beginning, the commemorative bracelet (five-bead chain) is a gold chain, and there is no gold or steel version. But that changed a few years later.

Rolex Head Bracelet
 In 1956 (also known as 1955), Rolex introduced the head of the bracelet, which is now used by Rolex DAY DATE bracelet, the bracelet has three curved links, polished in the middle, brushed on both sides, only the gold version. Before the commemorative bracelet was also the gold chain. After the appearance of the all-gold heads bracelet, the role of the Rolex commemorative bracelet began to decline, starting to appear between gold and steel version of the commemorative bracelet. As a result, the heads-type bracelet became the top Rolex bracelet, and the commemorative bracelet became a widely used regular bracelet.

From top to bottom, Rolex oyster bracelets, commemorative bracelets and heads bracelets.
 From the appearance, the Rolex commemorative bracelet has not changed since its birth. However, in terms of structure and technology, the Rolex commemorative bracelet was upgraded. There are two relatively large upgrades:
 1. Upgrade the hollow bracelet to a solid bracelet (the models currently on sale are all solid). Rolex commemorative bracelets (including oyster bracelets) have been hollow for a long time. Starting with Rolex’s 6-digit model, it was replaced with a solid bracelet. For example, the 6-digit numbers 11XXXX, 21XXXX, and 12XXXX are solid bracelets. The previous 5 digit numbered tables, such as the 1XXXX table, 16610 are hollow.

The buckle of the old commemorative bracelet is a rectangular buckle.
 2. Replace the buckle. Earlier Rolex commemorative bracelets used a rectangular buckle with the Crown logo printed on it. Later, starting with 6-digit models (such as 116233, 116234, etc.), they were replaced with hidden buckles. The buckle only showed a small crown, which looked good. After that, starting from the log of the new generation 3235 movement (such as 126333, 126233), it was replaced with an oyster buckle, which was unified with sports. The hidden buckle is only used on DAY DATE, and the five-bead chain is no longer used.

DJ using a memorial bracelet (top) and DD using a heads bracelet (bottom).
 It should be noted here that the Rolex with a hidden buckle can be a commemorative bracelet or a heads bracelet, because the buckle is a small crown, and you need to pay attention when the small crown is opened. Because someone accidentally snapped that little crown out before. If it is lost, you need to change the entire bracelet where the crown is located, which is still more expensive.

Rolex hides the small crown on the clasp, which needs attention to prevent it from being buckled.
Rolex commemorative bracelet, ‘heat’ rose.
 In the past two years, the commemorative bracelet (five-bead chain) has been a hot topic for Rolex. The reason is that as Rolex launches new GMT, including steel case five-bead chain red and blue rings, steel case five-bead chain blue and black rings, the commemorative bracelet (five-bead chain) returns to Rolex sports models (formerly antique sports labor Used), and became the main bracelet on the new Rolex GMT.

A steel case five-bead chain with a red and blue ring and a steel case five-bead chain with a blue and black ring.
 According to Rolex’s latest plan:
 1. The Rolex GMT will be a two-color bezel. The previous models of single-color bezels will be discontinued.
 2. Rolex GMT will only use steel shell, rose gold and platinum materials. GMT no longer uses gold.
 3. Rolex GMT steel watches will no longer use oyster bracelets, steel case GMT will use five-bead chains. In the future, Oyster chains will only be used on all-gold and inter-gold GMT.

The blue and red rings on the oyster bracelet above are all white gold.
 That is to say, in the future, when you see the GMT of the commemorative bracelet (five-bead chain), you can recognize it as a steel case GMT at a glance. Whenever you see the GMT of an oyster bracelet (here refers to the new two-color circle model, not including the old discontinued model), then it is definitely a model with gold (all gold or gold). It is important to note that if you see a GMT that is metallic silver, but it is an oyster chain, there is no doubt that this GMT is platinum (here refers to the new two-color circle model, not including the old discontinued model).

Memorial bracelet (five-bead chain) with oyster clasp.
 Among the Rolex currently on sale, the commemorative bracelet (five-bead chain) has been used from DJ to the sports GMT, and has become a major identifier of Rolex GMT. Compared with other brands of watches, Rolex has certain rules and attention to watch heritage, identification, and various combinations of elements. The commemorative bracelet has now become an important identification mark and basis of judgment after several floats.