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Rolex rumored to be waltzing Cellini out of the door and replacing it with a brand new dress watch named Vienna

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Rolex’s Cellini collection takes its name from Italian goldsmith and sculptor, Benvenuto Cellini, and was chosen for a family of classic or dress watches designed to demonstrate a jeweler’s art and craftsmanship.

According to a well-placed source, who asked not to be named, this year the Cellini name will be retired; with Rolex’s more artisan watches given a new name: Vienna.

Watches bearing the Cellini name have always felt like a strange fit within Rolex’s portfolio, not least because the brand’s reputation is built and meticulously maintained on its output of indestructible tool watches.

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Cellini watches date back to the 1960s, with examples over the decades coming in a dizzying range of styles, but almost always in precious metals, often decorated with diamonds or other gems, and occasionally with complications rarely found on a Rolex dial.

The current Rolex Cellini collection was introduced at Baselworld 2017, when Rolex unveiled the reference 50535 – a 39mm model in Everose pink gold, which features both a pointer date and a moonphase complication. It was the first time a moonphase had been found on a Rolex dial since the 1950s.

This moonphase model is among the few Rolex references that drops in value once it leaves a showroom. A retail price of $27,500 for the rose gold version can be bought on the secondary market today for closer to $20,000.

Rolex Vienna

Very little is known about Rolex’s plans for Vienna watches.

WatchPro’s source merely said it is expected to be a dress watch, possibly a chronograph, made from gold and worn on a strap.

That would make the Vienna a natural replacement for Cellini, although it remains questionable whether Rolex is ever going to make a collection to rival Patek Philippe’s equivalent Calatrava family.

In a year when it is near certain Rolex will concentrate on an anniversary update to its Explorer II, a significant change to its classic watch portfolio will be an interesting sidebar story.

Click here to read a history of Cellini by pre-owned Rolex specialist Bob’s Watches.

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