There’s something truly exciting about a bonafide meeting of minds and a pairing of harmonious visions. When two world-beating brands – joined by a shared commitment to excellence, a reverence for seeking out lasting moments of wonder, and a groundbreaking attitude of innovation – come together, the results are rarely less than spectacular.
That sense of the spectacular – and that quintessence of a game-changing lifestyle tour de force – has typified the anticipation following the announcement of a partnership between Bob’s Watches and wellness behemoth goop.
On the one hand: the world’s preeminent Rolex exchange, where customers and collectors can buy, sell and trade pre-owned and vintage Rolex timepieces, and revel in the headily luxurious world of a horological brand still very much at the peak of its powers. On the other, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle empire; one which has captivated the imaginations of consumers worldwide with a dizzying array of beautifully crafted products (including, yes, that candle), as well as vastly popular Netflix series, and a seemingly effortless ability to lead the discourse on wellness and the importance of putting quality, self-care, and the occasional indulgence in the spotlight.
Quite simply, what’s not to love?
While it would be disingenuous to claim there was such a thing as an ‘ordinary’ Rolex – this is the timepiece brand, after all, that not only dominates when it comes to market-defying appreciations and industry-transforming design chops – it would be equally disingenuous to state that the Bob’s Watches and goop partnership is highlighting anything but timepieces that are among the most extraordinary Rolexes on the scene.
This collaboration, after all, reflects each partners’ dedication to wonder in its own exclusivity, its revelry of rarity and its celebration of craftsmanship. Such shared brand values shine through the selection of items curated by Bob’s Watches co-owner and lead buyer Carol Altieri: a hand-picked and dazzlingly colourful selection of fourteen Rolex Stella and Speciality Dial watches, each embodying some of Rolex’s boldest and most iconic designs.
If you’re not immediately familiar with the Rolex Stella releases, you’re forgiven: they’re among the rarest and (by no means coincidentally) most collectible brand releases, which were primarily aimed at a more ostentatious Middle-Eastern audience back in the 1970s.
The timepieces, which include fascinatingly opulent features such as a green diamond dial on white gold – as well as a veritable rainbow of decadent hues including coral and oxblood – somewhat underperformed upon their initial launch. However, the timepiece industry being what it is, and fashion doing what fashion does, over the years these watches gained a cult following among collectors. Indeed, 2021’s launch of colourfully-dialled Oyster Perpetual Rolexes were arguably directly inspired by this original range of glittering fancies, and those newer releases have already skyrocketed in value on the secondary market – not least among Bob’s Watches global audience of aficionados.
So, what exactly is a Rolex Stella? While we’re all familiar with the Submariners, Daytonas and Oyster Perpetuals (to name but a few of the brand’s most iconic references), Stella is a moniker which flits between the established Rolex styles. Indeed, the title is bestowed upon any Rolex timepiece – although typically a Datejust or Day-Date – featuring a lacquered enamel dial, heightening the visual allure and luxurious impact of the watch. Playful, striking and oh-so eye-catching, the Stella pieces in Carol Altieri’s curated collection for goop represented some of the most visually-delighting Stella timepieces made by the Swiss haute-horlogerie maison. No wonder Gwyneth’s limelight-stealing brand was so keen to dive right in.
Of course, it isn’t just a shared love of life’s finest things that makes Bob’s Watches and goop such a fine fit. Nor did it fully justify Carol’s curation – the largest selection available to the global marketplace and valued at over $500k – making its way onto goop’s website bang on time for the holidays. In order to gain an insight into why these beautiful timepieces struck a chord with goop and its growing worldwide fanbase, it’s important to take a look at the shifting sands of the Rolex-buying landscape as a whole.
It’s been noted for some time that the luxury watch market, and the Rolex market in particular, is boasting a rapidly-growing set of female timepiece collectors. The previously male-dominated realm of the Rolex collector set, typified by power-dressing businessmen, men’s style mavens, political powerhouses and those dreaming of living out their Steve McQueen / Jacques Cousteau / James Bond (etc, etc) fantasies, has encountered a thoroughly 21st century shift.
Indeed, women across the globe are recognising not only the stylistic credentials of Rolex’s long-standing and varied range of ladies’ timepieces and cocktail watches, but also the investment opportunities these watches represent.
In Carol’s words: “We are seeing an increase in our female and younger clientele who seek investments, but also invest in themselves for daily enjoyment. These special watches will surely become family treasures handed down to the next generation.”
Defiantly recession-proof, heirloom-worthy and a statement that embodies glamour, empowerment and flawless good taste, it’s no real surprise that the venn diagram covering both goop and Rolex in 2022/2023 criss-crosses convincingly.
In this sense, we discover a thrilling juxtaposition that sits at the heart of what Rolex does best: matching forward-thinking innovation with a consistent nod to the vintage, the avant-garde, the elegant and the precious. Few collections or gathered examples of Rolex timepieces exemplify this with quite such panache as Carol’s showcase of Stella and Speciality Dial watches. With the monolithic zeitgeist-forging creativity of goop, and Ms. Paltrow’s unstoppable influence at its heart, these stunning watches have taken on a contemporary edge all of their own which merely accentuates their timeless beauty and precision.