Every Rolex Bezel Type Explained

Front and center of the watch’s face is the bezel or the ring that surrounds and holds down the watch crystal. Given its prominent position on the watch, it’s an important feature that serves both an aesthetic and functional purpose.

Rolex has many different kinds of bezels, whose functionality and design codes are so strong, you can tell that the watch is a Rolex even from afar.
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Here’s a guide to each of them:
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Apart from securing the crystal onto the watch case, Rolex bezels have also been used for decorative purposes.
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Smooth
SMOOTH
This is Rolex’s most traditional bezel; and is used on stainless steel, gold (yellow, white or Everose) and platinum watches. They are leveled and glossy and can be either flat or domed depending on the model.
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This design is not unique to Rolex; but it is considered their most versatile bezel.
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Fluted
FLUTED
The fluted bezel, with its grooves and ridges, was originally created to help screw down the bezel onto the crystal and provide additional waterproofness.
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Today, the fluted bezel’s purpose is purely aesthetic and it is crafted only in solid gold, which gives a fluted-bezeled watch an added mark of elegance.
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Diamond Bezel
GEM-SET
Gem-set bezels make use of precious gems such as sapphires, and most frequently, diamonds.
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They are used to provide extra luster and distinction to the most exclusive and luxurious Rolex timepieces, whether they’re dress-type watches (like the Datejust or Day-Date) or for sport (like the Daytona).
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For Rolex’s Professional line of watches, the bezel plays an important part in providing specialized and additional information other than the current time.
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Rotating
ROTATABLE TIMER
These bezels have 60-minute graduations and, in conjuction with the minutes scale on the dial, are used to time events that last up to one hour.
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For example, the Submariner’s rotating bezel helps divers monitor diving time and decompression stops; while the Yacht-master’s bezel counts how long it takes to cover a specific distance while sailing.
They can either be unidirectional (like in the Submariner or Sea-Dweller) or bi-directional (like in the Yacht-Master).
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24 Hour
24-HOUR

The 24-hour bezel, as its name suggests, is marked with a 24-hour scale and is used to reference another timezone.
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When used in conjunction with the 24-hour hand, it can be used to tell time in another timezone; while a fixed -type 24-hour bezel can be used as an AM-PM indicator.

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They can either be rotating (like in the GMT-Master models) or fixed and stationary (like in the Explorer and Explorer II models).
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Tachymeter
TACHYMETER
The tachymeter bezel is used for chronograph watches and is used to measure speeds.
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It can either tell speed based on travel time or measure distance based on speed. This bezel is used by the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona.
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Ring Command
RING COMMAND
The Ring Command bezel is Rolex’s latest type of bezel and is used on its most complicated watches — the Yacht-Master II and the Sky-Dweller.
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These watches have additional functions that can be too complicated to use the crown or “pushers” for, as is usually the case, and so the bezel is used to set these complications.
For example, in the Yacht-Master II, the Ring Command bezel is used to set and activate the 10-minute regatta countdown timer.
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There are bezel designs that are no longer used today, but can still be seen in discontinued models which you can get in the pre-owned market.
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Engine Turned
ENGINE-TURNED
The engine turned bezel was once a popular option for those who did not want a fluted bezel but also wanted something more decorated than a smooth bezel.
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It’s characterized by its smaller ridges and thick, smooth lines around the hour markers. This is most commonly found on the Date and Air-King models.
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Bark Finish
BARK FINISH
The bark finish features an even finer, rougher texture than the engine-turned bezel.
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These are often used in ornate, limited editions of the Day-Date and Datejust, and were most often crafted in yellow gold.

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