Rolex's Latest Updates At Watches And Wonders 2024
Rolex's Latest Updates At Watches And Wonders 2024

Swiss watchmaking's biggest name takes a new spin with exciting new twists that refine some of its most iconic models, without breaking the mould

At Watches and Wonders 2023, Rolex introduced several new models, including the Yacht-Master 42 in RLX Titanium, known for its lightweight, robust design, and equipped with a self-winding Caliber 3235. Additionally, the GMT-Master II saw the return of yellow gold variants, featuring grey and black Cerachrom bezels, exclusive Jubilee bracelets, and powered by the Caliber 3285. The collection also welcomed a new 40mm stainless steel Explorer model, which maintains its iconic design, powered by the Caliber 3230 with Superlative Chronometer certification, marking a significant expansion of the Explorer line. 


Its much of the same this year round, with a particular emphasis on mixing and matching colours, textures, and materials that play on the brand's timeless design principles. Here's a closer look at the new Rolex lineup:


Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II




Recognisable, cosmopolitan and certainly well-traveled — the GMT-Master II has served as the choice daily driver for top-end professionals with a jetsetting lifestyle for nearly seventy years. Following a host of updates through the mid-late 20th century, the Master II was crafted in '82; a design that Rolex have stuck with for decades. Notable for being a common wristwatch for touring sportsmen such as Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, the Master II's legacy now leads to this week's release of two new models in Oystersteel. Both feature a 24-hour graduated two-colour Cerachrom bezel insert in grey and black ceramic – introduced last year – whose graduation is clearly visible thanks to its platinum coating, applied via PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition). 




The first watch is fitted with an Oyster bracelet, while the second sports a Jubilee bracelet.The black lacquer dial bears the inscription ‘GMT-Master II’ in green, echoing the colour of the triangle-tipped 24-hour hand – an element that features strongly in the model’s design and adds a touch of contrast to the otherwise starkly monochrome finish. The GMT-Master II is driven by calibre 3285, a movement at the forefront of watchmaking technology, enabling it to display the date and an additional time zone in 24-hour format, as well as the hours, minutes and seconds. 


Like all Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist. On the new versions of the GMT-Master II, the bidirectional rotatable bezel is fitted with a two-colour, 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert in grey and black ceramic; an absolutely inert material that is completely corrosion-proof. The moulded, recessed graduations and numerals are coated with platinum via PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition). The bezel can also be turned with ease thanks to its knurled edge, which offers excellent grip. Equipped with the Calibre 3285, the GMT Master II is capable of 70 operational hours and 100 metres of water resistance.


Oyster Perpetual Day-Date




Refreshing the colour palette for both the 36mm and 40mm Day-Date variants, Rolex has further dialed up the refinment quotient here with some excellent new dials. Ombré dials make their debut on the Day-Date 40 this week; the version presented, in 18 ct Everose gold, introduces slate ombré – a completely new hue for such a dial, whose surface, coloured at the centre, progresses to a deep black around the edge. Also appearing for the first time on the ombré dial of this watch are faceted, deconstructed Roman numerals and faceted index hour markers in 18 ct pink gold. Until now, Rolex ombré dials were set with diamond hour markers and were reserved for the Day-Date 36. This new dial represents the continuity of a design that the brand introduced in the 1980s and relaunched in 2019. The manufacture of these dials with a concentric gradient involves the application of black lacquer, a delicate operation overseen by a specialist, whose task it is to ensure the harmonious transition from colour to darkness.




Fashioned from 18 ct white gold, a second new version of the Day-Date 40 features a dial made of pearlized white mother-of-pearl. This natural material is used on the model for the very first time. Extracted from the oldest and noblest part of the oyster shell, pearlized mother-of-pearl has a subtle, rich structure whose irregular texture evokes tiny overlapping clouds and gives a sense of volume. Every disc of material used to create a mother-ofpearl dial is meticulously selected for the harmony of its patterns and finesse of its iridescent effects, and is positioned in a way that optimizes the dial’s shine. On the version presented, the shimmer of the mother-of-pearl is further enhanced by the ten baguette-cut diamonds set onto the dial as hour markers.




Ths cross-pollination of watchmaking precepts between both sizes of the Day-Date has allowed the model to stretch its proverbial legs; the Day-Date 36 proposes a dial with faceted, deconstructed Roman numerals and faceted index hour markers, which were until now exclusive to the Day-Date 40. A new variant of the Day-Date 36 in 18 ct yellow gold reveals a white lacquer dial complemented by these now-emblematic hour markers with their perfect geometrical forms and uniformly smooth and shiny surface. Each element is crafted individually in a special workshop, undergoing no fewer than seven operations in the hands of an expert before being applied to the dial. Equipped with Rolex's Calibre 3255, the Day-Date is capable of 70 hours of power reserve and offers 100 metres of water resistance.


Perpetual 1908




Launched in 2023, this collection is a reinterpretation of traditional horological style imbued with the quintessential expertise and aesthetic heritage of Rolex. This elegant and understated watch was named ‘1908’ in homage to the year Hans Wilsdorf devised the name ‘Rolex’ to sign his creations and registered the brand in Switzerland. This year, Rolex debuts a dial created via guillochage, or engine turning – a technique that uses a turning tool to sculpt a pattern into a surface. In this case, the 2024 model presents a breathtaking ice-blue dial featuring a rice-grain motif that catches light and shadows in a rather dramatic fashion. The minute track is surrounded by a filet sauté with a crimped pattern; all surrounded by a case fashioned from 850 platinum.




This exclusive dial bears the same Arabic numerals 3, 9 and 12, the same faceted hour markers and the same hands as that of the 18 ct gold versions; a set of delicately fashioned moon/pomme styles in platinum. The watch presented is mounted on a brown alligator leather strap fitted with a Dualclasp, a double folding clasp. The 1908 is driven by calibre 7140, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex that was released in 2023 for the launch of this model, which it exclusively equips. Calibre 7140 incorporates the patented Chronergy escapement, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Paired with a perpetual rotor, the movement is good for 66 hours of power reserve, with a role-appropriate 50 metres of water resistance.






Leading the charge of ultra-capable divers' watches releasing this week, Rolex has chosen to sidestep the Submariner in favour of the Deepsea. At its launch in 2008, this 44mm deep-sea divers’ watch, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 3,900 metres (12,800 feet), inaugurated the Ringlock system – a unique case architecture that allows it to withstand the pressure exerted at this extreme depth. Presenting in 18ct gold for the first time, the new Deepsea features a blue lacquer dial bearing the name ‘DEEPSEA’ in powdered yellow. It isn't all aesthetics, though. While the new version looks absolutely regal, it also incorporates a technical innovation: the high-performance compression ring within the Ringlock system is crafted from ceramic. 


A marvel of precision engineering, this Cerachrom ring is the result of a pioneering manufacturing process. Coloured blue and embellished with a circular satin finish and inscriptions that are engraved then gilded, this component also marks a new way of integrating ceramic into a watch case: the compression resistance and anti-deformation properties of this high-tech material contribute to the waterproofness of the watch. Its titanium case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The Triplock winding crown, fitted with a triple waterproofness system and protected by an integral crown guard, screws down securely against the case. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimal protection for the movement it houses.




The Oyster case of the Rolex Deepsea is also equipped with the helium escape valve, patented in 1967. This safety valve works to protect Rolex divers’ watches created for great depths by allowing excess pressure built up inside the watch case to escape during a diver’s decompression phase in a hyperbaric chamber – a process inherent to saturation diving – without compromising the waterproofness of the watch. Like its in-house cousins, the calibre 3235 also offers 70 hours of power reserve, paired with the toughness afforded by a Chronergy escapement, Parachrom hairspring, overcoil and shock absorbers.


Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona




Rolex is unveiling two new precious and exclusive versions of the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona distinctive for their contrasting dial made from natural mother-of-pearl and graced with eight diamonds and three Chromalight hour markers. Both watches are crafted in 18 ct white gold and crowned with a bezel set with 36 brilliant-cut diamonds. 


The first version, fitted on an Oysterflex bracelet, features a dial in white mother-of-pearl with chronograph counters in black mother-of-pearl. The colour combination is reversed on the second watch, which has an Oyster bracelet and a black mother-of-pearl dial with white mother-of-pearl counters. The discs of material used for the dial and the counters are positioned to optimise the colour intensity of each variety of mother-of-pearl and further enhance the contrast between them. 




This design called for the creation of a specific and technically demanding manufacturing process; one that Rolex seems to have mastered when it comes to bedazzling variants of sports chronographs. Curiously, Rolex have chosen to retire the 'Le Mans' variant of the Daytona as they introduce these new models; making last year's iconic 'Panda' variant even more desirable. The Cosmograph Daytona is equipped with calibre 4131, a movement at the forefront of watchmaking technology that features bridges decorated with Rolex Côtes de Genève and a cut-out oscillating weight. Calibre 4131 enables the Cosmograph Daytona to measure intervals of time via the chronograph function, in addition to displaying the hours, minutes and seconds for a total of 72 operative hours.


Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller




Rolex presents two new 18 ct gold versions of the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller, each sporting a Jubilee bracelet. An elegant watch for frequent travellers, the Sky-Dweller displays the time in two time zones simultaneously and has an annual calendar. A reference time is displayed in 24-hour format via an off-centre disc, and local time is read using the conventional centre hands. The annual calendar, named Saros, automatically differentiates between 30- and 31-day months. It is operated by a patented mechanism and stands out for its innovative display: the months of the year are shown in 12 apertures around the circumference of the dial, beyond the index hour marker – the current month being shown in red. The instantaneous date change is linked to the local time.




It is the first time that this watch for world travellers has been fitted with a Jubilee bracelet in precious metal. The first version is crafted in 18 ct Everose gold and features a slate dial, while the second, fashioned from 18 ct yellow gold, displays an intense white dial. The two Jubilee bracelets are equipped with an Oysterclasp, the clasp traditionally used on the Sky-Dweller. And, like the majority of Rolex bracelets made from precious materials, they include ceramic inserts inside their links


 Like most Oyster-cased Rolexes, the Perpetual Sky Dweller offers 100m of COSC-certified water resistance. The Sky-Dweller is equipped with calibre 9002, a movement at the forefront of watchmaking technology that enables it to display the date and the month, as well as an additional time zone in 24-hour format, and the hours, minutes and seconds; the 9002 is good for 72 hours of power reserve.

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