Baselworld 2019: Rolex RoundupBy Stephanie Ip
If you had been at Baselworld earlier today, you would have seen the crowds jostling around the Rolex booth, trying to catch a glimpse of its latest round of novelties, while more tech savvy journalists have since caught the whole line-up on the Internet.
The truth is, no other brand has people predicting its money moves more so than Rolex—a GMT-Master II Batman on a Jubilee bracelet? A new kind of Milgauss? Wait, maybe even a double rainbow Daytona?
Well guess no more because here’s the lowdown on Rolex’s Baselworld novelties. This year, Rolex’s focus is on its Oyster Perpetual Collection (So, sorry Milgauss fans, maybe next year); the GMT-Master II “Batman” does get the Jubilee bracelet fitted (yay!); and there is a rainbow, sort of, on the Day-Date 36 bedazzled version.
The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 makes its debut in the Rolex sailing watch collection. There are a number of firsts. Firstly, 42mm is a new size for the Yacht-Master range, where the previous largest size was at 40mm. This, in turn, means that secondly, the new watch now comes equipped with a new movement, the calibre 3235, a superior movement that incorporates the Chronergy escapement that is developed and patented by Rolex and has a power reserve of 70 hours.
Thirdly, the watch is for the first time made in 18K white gold. The case is fitted with a bidirectional rotatable bezel and a 60 minute graduated Cerachrom bezel insert in matte black ceramic.
Self-winding manufacture calibre 3235; hours, minutes, centre seconds; instantaneous date, power reserve of 70 hours
42mm, 18K white gold; Cerachrom insert in matte black ceramic; water proof to 100 metres
Oysterflex with matching folding safety clasp
The Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller is the ultimate, ultra-resistant tool watch that is a symbol of Rolex’s major role in conquering the deep seas. The last update to the watch as in 2017, and this new release ie very much the same, but now in two-tone. This year, for the first time, the Sea-Dweller makes its appearance in yellow Rolesor gold, which essentially is “two-tone,” combining elements that are made in Oystersteel and 18K yellow gold.
The hour markers and hands are filled with Chromalight, which glows blue in the dark. The Sea-Dweller signature on the dial is also in a matching yellow, where previous versions see the lettering done in red.
The new Sea-Dweller is equipped with the new calibre 3235, and at 43mm, is a hefty timepiece that is sure to look and feel rather substantial on the wrist.
Self-winding manufacture calibre 3235, hours, minutes, central seconds; date, power reserve of 70 hours
43mm; Oystersteel and 18K yellow gold (yellow Rolesor); Cerachrom insert in black ceramic; waterproof to 1,220 metres
Oystersteel and 18K yellow gold bracelet with Oysterlock folding safety clasp
One of the things Rolex is really good at is to make small aesthetic and technical changes to existing classics that make them instant hits with the public. This year, Rolex presented the BLNR GMT-Master II with a blue and black ceramic insert on a Jubilee bracelet and an updated movement, the calibre 3285.
This new release, of course, follows straight from last year’s hit, the BLRO GMT-Master II, which by the way, you still can’t get today the waitlist is that long. This watch is sure to be a highlight since the last update we had for the BLNR GMT-Master II ref. 116710 was in 2013. The old Batman and the GMT-Master II BLRO with the red and blue insert on an Oyster bracelet are now officially discontinued now that both versions are available on a Jubilee bracelet.
Automatic manufacture calibre 3285, hours, minutes, seconds, GMT; date; power reserve of 70 hours
40mm; Oystersteel; water resistant to 100 metres
Oystersteel Jubilee Bracelet with Oysterlock clasp
The last novelty we’ll mention here is the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36, which comes in several iterations in 18K yellow, white or Everose gold with several distinct dial options.
There’s no rainbow Daytona this year, but there is a diamond paved Day-Date embellished with baguette diamond hour markers in the full range of colours of the rainbow. The version that really commands your attention is the one presented in 18K yellow gold with a vibrant green ombré dial, with hour markers in brilliant-cut diamond indexes. Two baguette diamonds set in 18K yellow gold mark the 6 and 9 o’clock spots, as is typical for all Day-Date versions.
Running inside is the self-winding calibre 3255 that gives the watch a power reserve of 70 hours.
Self-winding calibre 3255, hours, minutes, central seconds
36mm; 18K yellow gold; waterproof 100 metres
18K yellow gold with a concealed matching folding Crownclasp