Baselworld is up on us, and that means excitement and anticipation for watch enthusiast all over the world. Of course, the highlight of every year is the new Rolex releases. Known for their conservatism, bordering on boredom at times, the new models of recent years have left many enthusiasts yearning for something more.
So we at Watch & Bullion put our heads together and started to dream a little. Find below our wish list for what could make for some of the coolest new Rolex models. Attached to each model we have put a rating as to how likely we actually consider the release!
GMT Master fuchsia Bezel with new Jubille Bracelet 4/10
A lot of people have been waiting for the return of the legendary Pepsi Rolex in steel, but it seems Rolex is eager to keep it locked into the solid gold version for now. Having proven to be able to create a variety of colours for the new ceramic bezel we are hoping for the return of the Fuchsia bezel. Sometimes referred to as the pink panther, this vintage inspiration came from a string of 60s GMT models whose red colour turned pinkish over the years. Taking a special place in the heart of many collectors, we are hoping for its return with the introduction with the new jubilee bracelet with Oyster clasp, this time as an intentional act though.
Explorer 2 black rubber bezel 8/10
It is known already for a few years that the Explorer 2 is not selling particularly well. Particularly in contrast to the GMT-master with which it shares much functionality, it cannot quite keep up. As undeserved as I personally find the lacking appreciation for this model, it does offer a lot of creative options. Seeing how popular the Yacht-Master was on the Oysterflex bracelet, it seems only likely that one of the most sporty Rolex models will receive the rubber bracelet too. Again, taking from the book of the Yacht-Master, a matte black bezel inlay out of ceramic could differentiate it from the GMT-Master. To round things off and appeal more to the growing female customer base a slight reduction in diameter to a more wearable 40 mm seems likely.
Day-Date Blue dial Red letter 4/10
When meddling with the Day-Date Rolex has to be very careful. After all, it is THE Rolex which establishes what the brand is about. No other timepiece ever has set such a successful narrative in being associated with successful people, after all, it is called the presidents watch. To keep things interesting over the years the Genevans have added different colours to the dial or added a range of gemstones in all kinds of combinations. How do you introduce a new generation of collectors to this line? By using an old trick: red lettering. It is difficult to comprehend the magic of red lettering on Rolex dials, but it has captivated the dreams of Rolex collectors ever since the first Submariners ref. 1680 where released. Seeing how Rolex used it on the usually more conservative Yacht-Master, combined with a white metal it could make for a real head turner.
Datejust white dial blue hands 6/10
The Rolex Datejust still has the image of being the watch of choice for pensioners playing golf. With a platform as versatile as that of the Datejust however, adding a little spice can be accomplished with just a few ingredients. Inspired by the likes of the reference 6605, we could see a Datejust with a white dial and shiny blue hands become a modern classic in their lineup. After all, a striking blue dial in the Milgauss made for one of the most electrifying releases of the 2014 Baselworld.
Cellini Split Seconds 3/10
It definitely sounds crazy, but when thinking about it there is a lot of sense to be seen in a split second Cellini. Jean-Frederic Dufour has been the CEO at Rolex now for 4 years, and that is around time required to develop the more complicated pieces. We have seen the heavy focus that has been placed on the Cellini line, yet it is still missing a standout piece to help give the line some credit.
A split second chronograph would send a message to the competition that Rolex can’t only do sports watches, but complications just as well. And it is not like Rolex never did a split second before! The 4113 could act as a basis for this model, and a platinum case could underline both the Cellini element as well as the importance of the occasion.
Zerograph Tribute Edition 1/10
All right, so this one is a bit of a stretch, but a man can dream. The Zerograph for many long-time collectors is THE Rolex to own. Arguably the rarest of all of their watches it defies categories and would set the watch world in an uproar.
What makes this model so special? Well, it was the first Rolex with a rotating bezel ever. It also was the first Rolex chronograph ever, although not completely as this early model had a constantly running seconds hand rather than a resting one which could be set back to zero once the button is pressed, hence the name Zerograph. And coolest of all it had an amazing California dial. All that in a steel case of course too!
A modern tribute could bring the bezel, dial, and hands up to a more modern format. A self-winding movement and an oyster bracelet would make this a great daily wearer. Finally, a single pusher could be installed as a modern take on the early complication.