Friday, July 26, 2013

Rolex Tru beat

Lesson In Successful Failure

During the 1950’s, two of the most esoteric models rolex ever produced were introduced. The “Tru-beat” (model 6556) and the “Milgauss” (model 6541, 1019). The “True-beat” was a standard chronometer grade non-date Oyster Perpetual, but it had a dead beat sweep seconds hand that would make the second hand stop at each seconds mark before jumping to the next one. According to the “Milgauss”, it was made in response to people working in areas of high electro-magnetic radiation, such as research labs or power stations, in which the effects of radiation would make the watches unreliable because of magnetizing the balance work of a watch.
However, the sales for these watches were bad as nobody wanted these over-engineering watch. For example,  the Milgauss, geared towards those that worked in and around strong electro-magnetic fields.  Thebgreat irony is that these Rolex's failure five decades ago has translated into its success today.  The Milgauss was so unpopular, and so few were sold and these are now considered extremely valuable and collectors are going after these resulting in the escalation of prices.

Another example of Rolex's misguided product development and marketing coming full circle is a watch geared towards doctors and medical professionals, the Rolex Tru-Beat.  The only difference between the Tru-Beat and the standard Rolex Oyster is that the movement has been modified to make the second hand tick once per second instead of sweeping smoothly.  The point of this modification was so that an accurate pulse rate could be kept. 


The Rolex Tru-Beat 6556 represents an exclusive model of the Rolex range, both for its specific characteristics and its function. From the outer Aesthetically view, it looks similar to an Oyster Perpetual, this model is distinguished by its dead seconds complication of the 1040 calibre movement (based on the 1030 calibre): this function makes the seconds hand move forward in small jumps instead of sweeping, allowing a better visualisation of the seconds.



The Tru-Beat reference 6556 was produced in steel and 18kt gold (yellow and rose) with a standard or Metroplitan dial with Dauphine hands. Only some models have a red seconds hand.

The Tru-Beat appeared on the market for the first time in 1954 and went out of production in 1959, without being replaced. The problems with the fragile 1040 calibre were sometimes resolved by removing the dead seconds function and bringing it in line with the classic 1030 calibre.
Since the model was produced in a limited number of pieces and its unique jumping seconds, characteristics it has become a collector item now..


Prices of the Tru beat varied according to whether the Tru beat still jumps. Very often, these mechanism that enable the Trubeat to jump were being removed when being serviced by Rolex. Prices dropped as much as 60A% when the Tru beat no loner jumps.

This is how the mechanism look like:


To prepare for the coming of the Tru Beat, I have sold off my precious 25 gold Classic Cds which I have spent 6 years in collecting. In addition, I have also sold off my new Italian Sonus Faber Cremona speakers. 

1 comment:

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