The Rolex 50519 is an often overlooked and misunderstood watch collection even among Rolex enthusiasts. Cellini is not a separate company from Rolex but rather a distinct range of high-end dress watches that sits outside of the better-known Oyster Perpetual lineup. Cellini watches are not Rolex watches that can go scuba diving, climb mountains, or time high-speed car races. Instead, these are classic timepieces in the most traditional sense of the word.
The Cellini collection hit the market in 1968, earning its name after goldsmith and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini. In the beginning, the Rolex Cellini mirrored the ornate designs created by the renaissance artist, featuring intricate bracelets, sparkling gemstones, and unique case shapes. The Cellini has since taken on a more conservative aesthetic. Its release came during a very interesting time for the Rolex brand that saw a shift in their market strategy that included promoting owning multi watches for various occasions or professions. This narrative was incredibly successful for Rolex and the Cellini series.
In 2014, Rolex revamped the entire Cellini collection with a host of new timepieces and continues to add new models. Again, these are not the Cellini watches of past generations, which were often manual-wound or quartz-powered, and overdesigned. The modern Rolex Cellini watches are refined, elegant, and automatic. Furthermore, the Cellini portfolio has evolved from a catch-all for dress watches that don’t seem to fit anywhere else in the Rolex catalog into a very cohesive collection of versatile luxury watches.
The current-production Cellini is impressive, featuring white or Everose gold finishes, a 39mm case, handsome leather bracelets, and a handful of exquisite dial color options. Further iterations include time-only models, those with sub-dials for the date, and even a reference with a pointer date and Moonphase complication – features we don’t often see within the Rolex collection. However, one of our favorites right now is the blue Rolex Cellini Date ref. 50519. It’s a classic wristwatch that probably won’t ever go out of style, and it’s luxurious without appearing too contrived or in-your-face. It’s a fabulous gold Rolex. Let’s find out more.
Modern Cellini watches are exclusively crafted in 18k gold, and the Cellini Date ref. 50519 is a white gold version with a round 39 mm case and slim profile. The watch includes an intriguing double-style bezel, bringing together an interior smooth domed bezel surrounded by a decorative fluted bezel. Plus, to match the fluting on the bezel, the guard-less flared winding crown also features the familiar pleated texture.
Moving onto the dial, we see a continuation of the fluting motif by way of an intricate guilloché surface that almost appears to radiate from the center. Blue is a great dial color choice for the Cellini Date ref. 50519 since it adds some vibrancy to the timepiece yet is still considered neutral enough to wear every day. The Cellini Date features a playful take on the vintage-inspired sector style dial with its applied white gold hour markers divided by an inner minute track ring. Also, rather than a simple date window, the Cellini Date includes a date subdial at 3 o’clock with great effect.
The dial does not use any luminescence at all. It also features the iconic 5-point Rolex coronet at the 12-hour marker and the Cellini logo in an elegant font just above the 6-hour marker. The sword-shaped hands are tapered, mirroring the classy aesthetic of the rest of the dial.
To match the blue shade of the dial, this Rolex Cellini Date ref. 50519 comes fitted with a handsome blue leather strap attached to the elegantly tapered lugs. To secure the watch around your wrist, there’s the white gold tang buckle topped with the Rolex coronet. Oftentimes considered the most underrated watch from Rolex, but the Cellini still holds its ground.
Although the Cellini Date does include a screw-down winding crown and a fluted caseback similar to Oyster Perpetual watches, water resistance rating is half the OP minimum at 50 meters. After all, this is not the timepiece to bring to the pool, shower, or beach. A domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal joins the watch’s list of specs, further protecting it from moderate wear.
The Rolex 50519 Cellini Date is impressive, both in form and function. Beneath that solid caseback sits the in-house Rolex caliber 3165- a self-winding movement exclusive to the Cellini Date collection. This COSC-certified chronometer operates at a frequency of 28,000 beats per hour and offers a 48-hour power reserve. As a modern Rolex wristwatch, the movement is outfitted with one of the brand’s most innovative technologies, the Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring, which boasts significant resistance to temperature changes, shocks, and magnetic fields. Accurate up to -2/+2 seconds per day, the calibre 3165 is undoubtedly an impressive engine.
Reference 50519 is still in production today with either a blue, black, or silver guilloché dial and either a black, blue, or tobacco leather bracelet. The retail price is reasonable for a gold Rolex on leather at $17,900. Depending on the feature set, pre-owned prices range from $14k to $20k. The blue dial ref. 50519 featured in this review is a popular edition of the white gold Cellini and often commands closer to $20k on the secondary market. If you’re shopping for a Rolex that will hold its value well, ref. 50519 is certainly an excellent option to consider.
Buying the Rolex Cellini at retail is an attractive option for many reasons. You get to be the first person to wear the watch, and you can be sure that the watch is genuine without a shadow of a doubt. It might even be the more affordable option depending on the feature set. However, there are countless benefits to shopping the used Rolex market. If you buy from a reputable dealer, you don’t have to worry about the watch’s authenticity because they will go through a vigorous process to certify the watch as real. The watch might be sold out on the retail level in some instances, making the secondary market your only option.
With time-honored horology traditions like guilloché decorative techniques, a restrained case size, and the use of precious metals, the modern Rolex Cellini line is assertively going after the formal dress watch category by competing with the likes of the Patek Calatrava, the Vacheron Patrimony, and the Piaget Altiplano. And if Rolex continues to release models as appealing as the Cellini Date, it won’t be long until the currently overlooked Cellini gets its well-deserved moment in the spotlight.