Monday, April 27, 2009

Rolex with special cloisonne enamel dials

In the 1950s, the design of Rolex watches arrived at its peak, notably with the production of cloisonné enamel dial wristwatches in conjunction with the renowned Charles Poluzzi.

Rolex reserved the enamel dials for only very few models. The best known reference numbers with either monochrome enamel or cloisonné enamel scenes are 6084, 6085, 6284 and 6285. The most popular motifs were the dragon, the viking boat, maps and the peacock.

Carlo or Charles Poluzzi (1899-1978) was one of Geneva's most renowned enamellers. Poluzzi specialized in the production of dials decorated with cloisonné enamel scenes, which he supplied to important watch manufacturers such as Rolex, Omega, Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe.

The production of these dials was extremely costly as they had to be individually made by a skilled craftsman and not on a production line. The artist created the outline of the desired motif by arranging thin gold wires on a dial. These partitions, called "cloisonné" in French, were filled with small quantities of enamel powder in the desired colour. The dial was then fired in an oven at around 1000 degrees Celsius causing the powder to melt. Finally it was hand-polished until obtaining of a perfectly flat surface.

Consequently, Rolex cloisonné enamel dial watches were and still are considered the most unusual and attractive watches the company ever made and are thus highly looked after by very very high costs too
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