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Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

It is actually a pity that I don’t personally have more occasions to wear a timepiece such as the Rolex Cellini. Very much distinct from the famed Swiss watch maker’s more sporty products, this is the formal-blood of today’s Rolex brand. When Rolex recently debuted a brand new version of the Rolex Cellini dress watch collection in 2014, they didn’t just offer one new watch, but a trio of models that would later be further subdivided into the family of (often only slightly different) collection pieces. The simplest version of the new Rolex Cellini is the “Cellini Time,” and it indicates just the time with central hours, minutes, and seconds hands.

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

This particular reference 50709RBR version is near the top of the Rolex Cellini Time watch pyramid, being one of two models with a diamond-set bezel. Of course, the collection begins with the standard Rolex Cellini Time in 18k white or Everose gold that does not contain diamonds, and builds up to two diamond-set models. One such model has a reduced fluted bezel which is flanked by a thin ring of diamonds around the bezel and additional diamonds on the dial as hour markers; while the current top version of the Cellini Time is the pictured model that entirely does away with the fluted bezel in favor for a larger row of round-cut diamonds decorating the bezel. It is actually a very logical way of positioning a Rolex dress watch, if you think about it.

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I’ve mentioned in the past how I place the Rolex Cellini in the category of tuxedo watches because they are not only designed to be dress watches but further intended to be formal dress watches. What is the difference? Well, a dress watch is suitable for office and other professional to casual business attire. A formal watch is of course dressy but takes things a step further, being more akin to a ballroom dress for women – specifically intended to highlight both exclusivity and celebration.

So why is the Rolex Cellini Time a solid timepiece when you want to both feel exclusive and celebrate – especially when it comes to this model with diamonds? In this context, “exclusivity” more or less means “luxury priced.” It implies that few people can own it, either because of cost or rarity. Rolex timepieces might not be rare in the context of timepieces, but the ability to afford one is rare when taking into consideration the volume of disposable income most people in general have. Even in the context of high-end timepieces, dressy Rolex watches are uncommon because Rolex buyers tend to stick with buying more traditional models such as a Submariner or Datejust before venturing out to purchase more niche models such as the Rolex Cellini.

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Being a Rolex Cellini owner not only implies that it is more than likely not your only watch (as explained above), but that you have ample opportunity to celebrate. Why? Because you must have some reason for wearing formal attire such as a tuxedo often enough to merit the purchase. Then again, it is possible to “dress down” a Rolex Cellini, but the question is “why?” That is especially important to ask when it comes to this Rolex Cellini Time with diamonds that is like a men’s equivalent of ball-gown jewelry. Is there a place for this watch with casual attire, or does that erode the very core personality which we associate with the most formal of dress watches?


Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

It isn’t huge, but at 39mm wide, the Rolex Cellini is unapologetically modern in its stature. The 39mm in width is probably the new default size for men’s formal wear timepieces meant to work with sleeves and seamlessly integrate with any black-tie affair. This, of course, is best suited to the white gold versions of the Rolex Cellini while the 18k Everose takes on the role of something slightly louder given the color of the gold metal which is vastly more conspicuous that the more sober tone of white gold. Then again, add Rolex-standard diamonds to the bezel of this particular 50709 Rolex Cellini, and you increase the “noise” volume a bit more, allowing more people to notice your watch.

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Diamonds on a watch are exclusively about attention. There is no other purpose for diamonds on a timepiece, and in many ways, there doesn’t need to be. Watches have comfortably been indicators of status and prestige since their invention hundreds of year ago. The best watches had decoration to prove as such, and today, that legacy continues with diamond-embellished dress watches like this. The row of stones around the bezel doesn’t add or subtract from the functionality, and all that you sacrifice here is the “mini” version of Rolex’s famed fluted bezel which has been made famous by the Datejust and Day Date collections and shows up in reduced form on the current generation of Rolex Cellini watches. Again, there is a version of the Rolex Cellini Time with both a row of smaller diamonds and an even more minimalized fluted bezel known as the Rolex Cellini 50609RBR (in 18k white gold with black dial), which in its own way attempts to offer the best of both worlds.



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  • Hydra

    there is one good thing about this watch and that is: the is no “automatic” on dial.
    But Cellini is with an awful font and the diamonds don’t belong in a mans watch……stupid way to make a watch pricier…

  • henry

    Not bad. Rolex crown at twelve is the right move. The “Cellini” name and font type is bit hokey still, but overall it’s a well balanced dial. I dig the diamonds. Bit of a Mad Men meets modern man.

  • Even at 39 mm, the case is sized mostly for men I would guess and really I think this design works best on a ladies wrist (in a smaller case that is). I won’t say it’s a bad design but I can’t think of ANY circumstances where I would wear one. I was married (twice) in tails but even then it would have been over the top. I almost “get” the baller iced out Royals Oak Offshores more than this piece. Sure this Rolex is much more of a classy piece than those horrid APs, but I think this watch tries to be elegant and crass as the same time – so I still don’t get it. Without the diamonds, I agree it would be a nice dress watch (and be wearable in many more circumstances).

    • SwissMatic

      It seems to occupy a nether-region between formal attire and blinged out rapper wear.

      • egznyc

        Now that’s a very big segment indeed: rappers attend weddings and formal balls just like the rest of us, right? 😉

    • egznyc

      For me, I’d prefer no diamonds. I was wed in tails, too, and yet I’d have been competing for my bride’s attention had I worn anything with this much bling. That said, at least it doubles as minute/second markers (there appear to be 60 in total). Oh wait – those are in the middle (not the edge) of the dial. The outer perimeter is underutilized space.

  • SuperStrapper

    Th epitome of ‘aimed at the Chinese market’ I suppose.

  • wallydog2

    “And the Lord said, ‘A plague of locust on the house of whosoever puts diamonds on a watch.’ ”
    It’s in The Old Testament. Look it up.

    • IanE

      Yes, but in the New Testament He made an exception for the Harry Winston Opus 9!

      • wallydog2

        I checked with The Almighty about the Harry Winston Opus 9. He was a little iffy, but in the end he said, “Well, it’s a tad over the top, but, knock yourself out; go for it.” muttering about “free will” being one of His TGIF last moment design elements that need a little tweaking.


    huh NO. diamonds are not for a men’s watch in my book. I am not metro-sexual to understand the logic here. This might be for the hipster running a coffee bar that goes to cross fit twice a day and wears a beard with pants that are too short and some Church’s brogue. (PS I like Church).

  • DanW94

    No diamond encrusted bezel for me – ever. Otherwise, it’s a handsome watch. The others in the Cellini collection, the Date and Dual Time are attractive in a Rolex, notice me kind of way, but ultimately I prefer a subtle two handed dress watch like a JLC Master Ultra Thin or a Saxonia.

    • egznyc

      JLC any day over this offering.

  • ZBT71

    While reading this article on Sunday morning over coffee my wife noticed the pictures. She likes this watch, a lot, and has the wrist for 39mm. Now that’s great for Rolex, for me, not so much!

  • Mark Baran

    I like the watch. I hate the diamond bezel. I really love the 50509.

  • Marius

    I don`t understand why some people think that dress and classical watches are meant mainly for business and formal occasions. In my opinion, wearing a dive or pilots watch everyday is also a bit ridiculous. Most modern dress watches, even a Patek Calatrava, a Lange Saxonia, or an AP Jules Audemars can be easily worn as everyday watchey. They are water resistant to 50m, have saphire cristals, and modern movement technology. For instance, for the past two years I wear a JLC Master Control watch every day, and I never had a problem.
    Classical and dress watches are elegant and understated, whereas most sports watches are a bit strange, at least for me, since most people who can afford to spend thousands on a watch probably work in an office anyway and don`t really need a 46mm wide and 20mm thick super rugged dive watch.

    • SuperStrapper

      Need and want are the great divide. I worked in an office most of my life and my collection runs from 37 to 46mm (more, for some G shocks, but not at the office of course) and a lovely spectrum of styles, but are any of them ‘need’? Trousers are need. Watches are personal items of emotion and lifestyle.

      • iamcalledryan

        You don’t even need trousers if you sit at a desk backed against the wall and arrive/leave when no one is in the office.

        • SuperStrapper

          Why didn’t I think of that…

        • Marius

          Haha, and the money saved with the trousers could go towards a watch.

        • egznyc

          This (working without trousers on) probably works best whilst working at home.

  • Shinytoys

    It’s snazzy…

    • iamcalledryan

      It’s Cellicious

  • Nateb123

    1) Scrap the Cellini text, this isn’t the mid-80s.

    2) Offer a flat bezel option for those of us that don’t need our watch to scream “Rolex” from the mountaintops.

    3) Replace the numerals and minute markings with much classier train track-style markings. For a GMT or 2nd time zone complication, replace with a rotating disc.

    Voila, you are now ready to compete with VC, AP and JLC.

  • Josh Graves

    The diamonds are over the top and the inner cut bezel with seconds/minutes indicator is unnecessary. I recall liking the more simple Cellini cases.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    A “formal” dress watch. Well done.

    The Rolex Cellini line covers the range, quite well, of dress watches. Good explanation in the story.

  • JimBob

    Ice, ice, baby.

    • Berndt Norten

      Word to ya…. Brotha

  • Berndt Norten

    Alright stop. Collaborate and listen. The only good thing about this watch is that is conjures up images of Jill St John serving it up to Connery. Wait i mean it would be a perfect watch…if they forever banished diamonds from this and every other men’s watch.

    • egznyc

      But (unfortunately) it seems that Diamonds Are Forever.

      • Berndt Norten

        Can’t touch that.

  • bjs314

    What a beautiful watch. Such a restrained, but significant approach to diamonds on a man’s watch. Not sure if its issues related to masulinity or just a reminder that many of my peers aren’t very stylish, but diamonds when done right are just fine.

  • iamcalledryan

    I was wondering why a man’s watch with diamonds was looking so good to me – it’s because it looks better than the fluted bezel!

    Man, just whack a regular bezel on these and I will be preparing to add it to the list.

  • Timeless Watch

    Diamonds are a Women’s best friend….

  • Nelson

    One of my most favorite dress watches. Just wonderful.

  • Ulysses31

    While i’d prefer no gems at all on any watch i’d wear (except for practical reasons), this is tastefully done.

  • Krystoph Roric

    I sure like the case back, hands, crown, and the buckle’s nice too I suppose. I generally like the back and the sides of the case, maybe the lugs too, but I can’t tell because the front is…… not my thing. Guess the seconds ring is neatish. Looks like a Hamilton with fancy schmancy bezel at first glance. Okay. I hate diamonds on watches. Unless it’s for a bearing or other jewel/mechanical purpose. Sorry lovers!

    • resonator resonator

      They could have gone so many ways better with the bezel to make this more interesting than it already isn’t. I really would love to see Rolex do a simple mechanical alarm dress piece someday soon. Saddened by reality.

  • Beefalope


  • hatster

    …all I can say is that I am sure there must be a market for this somewhere. Rolex has been around long enough to know what sells. As Krystoph Roric suggests, take a Hamilton-esque design and then…. pimp it?

  • Adam

    I love the Cellini, but not with the diamonds. Great watch though.

  • John William Salevurakis

    Want to see it in yellow gold. Nice piece!

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