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What is Rolex Magnifier – The Stunning Black Hole Effect Explained

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On a Rolex, the reflection has a telltale break on the crystal, the Rolex loupe. But what is a Rolex loupe? The magnifier is an extra piece of sapphire crystal that is placed above the date window on the crystal. This extra piece of glass magnifies the date for easier reading.

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    Beyond the Datejust

    As the story goes Hans Wilsdorf’s wife had trouble seeing the original date window on her watch. Therefore, Hans Wilsdorf added the magnifying glass to the Rolex DateJust. The Rolex magnifying glass window has, however, also been a part of dress and business watches since its 1954 debut. All three Rolex watches—the Rolex DateJust, Rolex Day Date, and Rolex Sky-Dwellers—have the Cyclops. The magnifier is also a feature of high-quality Rolex watches like the GMT, Explorer II, Submariner, and Yacht Masters.

    The only watches that do not have the magnifier are watches without the date, such as the Explorer I and Air King, as well as the discontinued Sea-Dweller and the current DeepSea Sea-Dweller. Both Sea-Dweller models have thicker crystals. A magnifying lens on a thicker crystal would magnify too much, since the top of the lens is farther from the date wheel than on conventional Rolex sapphire crystals.

    Black Hole Effect

    Anti-Reflective Coating Under The Cyclops

    On older Rolex watches with acrylic crystals, the magnifying lens is cast in one piece and integrated with the crystal. On newer sapphire crystals, the magnifying lens is actually a separate piece of sapphire bonded to the crystal. What’s amazing is that a Rolex loupe on a Rolex sapphire crystal looks like it’s one piece, but it’s actually two. Starting with the 50th Anniversary GMT edition, Rolex began adding an anti-reflective coating to the underside of the crystal below the cyclops to make reading easier. The sapphire crystal is an upgrade and improvement over the older Rolex models with sapphire crystals.
    Other watch companies have also included a magnifier in their sports models, namely Cartier, Seiko, and others. But there is only one true magnifier, and you will only find it on Rolex watches.

    The Replica Magnifier

    And right here lies the crux, that the replicas don’t come close to an original Rolex crystal, let alone the loupe.

    Here, the entire glasses are normally anti-reflective, not just the magnifier. But this coating is wrong. Only the magnifier is double anti-reflective on the bottom side. The rest of the glass is not anti-reflective. This is the only reason for the black hole effect.

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