No matter what the occasion is, Rolex, celebrating its 60th anniversary, is bound to hold court. At this year’s Watches and Wonders, the celebrated watch brand has unveiled a wide range of watches — some unique, some memorable and some vintage. The Crown’s new releases are, in any case, the most anticipated.
Here are the new Rolex watches in the limelight.
The OG Daytona was launched in 1963 — with the ref. 6239, which was the very first ‘official’ Daytona model. Rolex has now unveiled six new variants of the iconic chronograph. Calibre 4131 is equipped with a self-winding system via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to its barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 4131 extends to approximately 72 hours. The new 40 mm watches have been launched in Oystersteel, Oystersteel and yellow gold and Everose gold. The Oyster case has been redesigned and its profile is highlighted by the reflections of light on the lugs and the case sides. On versions with Cerachrom bezels, the bezels are edged with thin bands of the same metal as the middle cases.
Rolex launched its Perpetual collection with Perpetual 1908, remembering the year in which German entrepreneur Hans Wilsdorf coined the name, ‘Rolex’, to sign his creations and registered the brand in Switzerland. This elegant and understated watch features a slim case, 9.5 mm thick, crowned with a bezel that is part domed and part finely fluted.
In 18 ct yellow or white gold, the case is fitted with a transparent caseback, which allows the technical sophistication and the decoration on the movement to be seen and admired. The 1908 model is equipped with calibre 7140, unveiled this year, and has a power reserve of approximately 66 hours. The movement features the patented Chronergy escapement.
Rolex is presenting a new version of the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 in RLX titanium — a particularly strong but lightweight alloy. It is fitted on an Oyster bracelet. The new version stands out for its technical satin finish — a satin finish with a visible grain is a key feature of Rolex watches in RLX titanium – that extends to the middle case sides, the edges of the bracelet links and the sides of the clasp cover. The timepiece has the signature Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date.
The new version of the Yacht-Master 42 is equipped with calibre 3235, enabling it to display the date as well as the hours, minutes and seconds. With a self-winding system via a Perpetual rotor, the power reserve of calibre 3235 extends to approximately 70 hours.
The new 42 mm collection has been launched in white gold, Everose gold and Oystersteel and white gold. This watch meant for world travellers is offered, in particular, in an 18 ct white gold version on an Oysterflex bracelet. This is the first time that a version of the Sky-Dweller combines this precious metal, which is returning to the range, with the black elastomer bracelet. The other two variants unveiled introduce two new dial colours for the model.
The white Rolesor version (combining Oystersteel with white gold), fitted on an Oyster bracelet, features a mint green dial, a colour reserved till now for Datejust. And the variant fashioned in 18 ct Everose gold boasts an eye-catching blue-green dial. A subtle alliance of two tones, the latter is available only on the reference presented, complemented by an Oyster bracelet.
The Sky-Dweller is now equipped with calibre 9002. An evolution of calibre 9001, this new movement includes some of the major innovations that Rolex has brought to its movements, including the Chronergy escapement. The power reserve of calibre 9002 extends to approximately 72 hours.
The Oyster Perpetual GMT‑Master II is released in two new versions of 40 mm each — Oystersteel and yellow gold and yellow Rolesor versions. Both share common features. Firstly, there is a two-colour, 24-hour, graduated, monobloc, Cerachrom bezel insert in grey — a new shade — and black ceramic. On the dial, the name, GMT-Master II, is in a powdered yellow colour.
These new versions are fitted on Jubilee bracelets, equipped with Oysterlock clasps and Easylink comfort extension links. Like all Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist.
What’s more, GMT-Master II can display time in two time zones simultaneously: either local time and reference time or local time and time in an alternative time zone. The date is synchronised with local time.
The new versions of the GMT-Master II are equipped with calibre 3285 that has a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
The Explorer range is expanded with the arrival of a new 40 mm model. Just like the Explorer 36, which was launched in 1953, the newly launched version bears the numerals 3, 6 and 9 with Professional hands which has the famous ‘Mercedes’ logo on the hour hand. Rolex in-house Chromalight facilitates reading time even in low-light conditions. The watch sits on an Oystersteel bracelet as the case is also made of the same material.
The Explorer 40 is equipped with calibre 3230 and has a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
Known for its pure lines and universal elegance, Rolex has put forth a new dial decoration for its Oyster Perpetual range.
Nicknamed ‘Celebration’, the new motif now looks resplendent on Perpetual 31, Oyster Perpetual 36 and Oyster Perpetual 41. Offering a water resistance of 100 metres, the new Oyster cases of Oyster Perpetual 31, Oyster Perpetual 36 and Oyster Perpetual 41 are now available in 31 mm, 36 mm and 41 mm respectively.
Oyster Perpetual 31 is equipped with calibre 2232 while Oyster Perpetual 36 and the Oyster Perpetual 41 are run by calibre 3230. Calibre 2232 has a power reserve of 55 hours; Calibre 3230 has a higher power reserve extending to 70 hours. Both movements are self-winding with an oscillating weight.
The new Day-Date 36 timepieces get decorative stones for the dials in green aventurine, carnelian and turquoise; these are paired with 18 ct Everose, yellow and white gold cases respectively. The three new variants of the Oyster Perpetual Date-Date 36 feature diamond-studded hour markers and Roman 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock.
The first model is made of 18 ct Everose gold and has a green aventurine stone dial. The 18 ct yellow gold variant is made of carnelian, an orange-coloured stone sporting various patterns. The third timepiece is an 18 ct white gold variant that gets a turquoise dial.
Common to all three watches are the bezel set with 52 diamonds and the President bracelet with a Crownclasp. The new versions of Day-Date 36 are equipped with calibre 3255, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex and released in 2015. It has approximately 70 hours of power reserve.
The new entrants to the Day-Date 36 family are the 18 ct yellow, white or Everose gold models with ‘emotion’ displays at 12 o’clock — ‘Happy’, ‘Eternity’, 'Gratitude’, ‘Peace’, ‘Faith’, ‘Love’ and ‘Hope’. Replacing the date window at 3 o’clock is a daily set of emojis.
The new versions of Day-Date 36 are run by calibre 3255, enabling them to display a special keyword each day of the week and an individual emoji each day of the month as well as the hours, minutes and seconds. This movement offers approximately 70 hours of power reserve.