New Rolex for 2022 — Left-Hand GMT-Master II and Gem-Set Yacht-Master 40

New Rolex for 2022 — Left-Hand GMT-Master II and Gem-Set Yacht-Master 40

Turn left. In the world of Rolex, the slightest tweaks can make a massive difference, not only to the aesthetics of a watch, but also to collectability. This year, the headline Rolex news is all about the sports watches with a new bezel color for the GMT-Master II and a gem-set white gold Yacht-Master 40…

The steel GMT-Master II has been a huge hit, ever since the introduction of the blue and black bezel version, and then the hysteria was turned up to 11 with the launch of the red and blue, or “Pepsi” as it known to collectors. Rolex have now made another steel model with a black and green Cerachrom bezel. The green has been seen before on the Submariner, but the green and black is something entirely new and is sure to create another stampede at authorized dealerships.

The 2022 40mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II in Oystersteel
The 2022 40mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II in Oystersteel
The bidirectional rotatable bezel with 2The bidirectional rotatable bezel with 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert, seen here distinctly transiting from black to green; also in close up here is the screw-down with Triplock triple waterproofness system4-hour graduated Cerachrom insert, seen here distinctly transiting from black to green
The bidirectional rotatable bezel with 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert, seen here distinctly transiting from black to green; also in close up here is the screw-down with Triplock triple waterproofness system
The fame GMT hand of the GMT-Master II is in green to match the all new livery for 2022
The fame GMT hand of the GMT-Master II is in green to match the all new livery for 2022

The twist in this aeronautical story is the fact that the crown is on the left-side of the case. Destro or left-hooker, however you refer to it, it’s a cool look and a broadening of the Rolex tool-watch offer. What seems like a straightforward change has actually made it a necessity to redevelop the COSC-testing equipment to allow for the change in movement orientation. The new GMT-Master II reference 126720VTNR is available with the Oyster bracelet and retains the 40mm Oystersteel case.

The 2022 40mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II is the first GMT-Master II to be produced in a left-handed orientation
The 2022 40mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II is the first GMT-Master II to be produced in a left-handed orientation

Bling Your Yacht

There is a story that I remember hearing or reading over a decade ago regarding the original intention for the Yacht-Master. I can’t verify this, but it seems legitimate. The maybe-tall tale involves a proposed redesign of the mighty Submariner at the end of the 1980s, to give the Sub a refresh. And so a new case design that flowed a little more fluidly was designed with a new bezel and other updates to the then almost four-decade old dive watch. However, the new watch was seen as something beautiful, and so it was decided that it would be a new line: the Yacht-Master, which first appeared in 1992 in yellow gold as reference 16628. In 1994, the two-tone reference 16623 was launched and then the steel watch with platinum bezel and dial was unveiled in 1997.

Following a couple of dial refreshes and the introduction of the Yacht-Master II in 2007, it was 2015 before the Yacht-Master was revisited, and it was an Everose watch that also debuted the Oysterflex bracelet. The watch was fitted with a matte black Cerachrom insert, but still in the old-school style bezel ring. In 2017, a white gold Yacht-Master was introduced with a beefed-up 42mm case that was also on an Oysterflex bracelet. This year, Rolex added a 42mm Yacht-Master in yellow gold.

The most eye-catching Yacht-Master this year is a new gem-set white gold model, with diamond-set case and diamond and sapphire bezel. Following on from the so-called Tutti-Fruity colored sapphire bezel Everose Yacht-Master, there is a new kid in town in the form of the reference 126679 SABR, a new Yacht-Master 40. The bezel is set with set with eight trapeze-cut diamonds (approx. 0.92 carats), 32 trapeze-cut sapphires — eight pink, eight light blue, eight purple and eight dark blue — (approx. 4.27 carats) and one triangular diamond (approx. 0.15 carats) at 12 o’clock. The watch is also available with a full pavé dial… is there a better watch for summer?

The 2022 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 in 18 ct white gold
The 2022 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 in 18 ct white gold
The 2022 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 has a 18 ct white gold, bidirectional rotatable bezel set with 8 trapeze-cut diamonds (approx. 0.92 ct), 32 trapeze-cut sapphires (8 pink, 8 light blue, 8 purple and 8 dark blue) (approx. 4.27 ct) and one triangular diamond (approx. 0.15 ct) at 12 o’clock
The 2022 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 has a 18 ct white gold, bidirectional rotatable bezel set with 8 trapeze-cut diamonds (approx. 0.92 ct), 32 trapeze-cut sapphires (8 pink, 8 light blue, 8 purple and 8 dark blue) (approx. 4.27 ct) and one triangular diamond (approx. 0.15 ct) at 12 o’clock
The 18 ct white gold, lugs and crown guard of the 2022 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 are set with 46 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.89 ct) along with polished sides
The 18 ct white gold, lugs and crown guard of the 2022 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 are set with 46 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.89 ct) along with polished sides

Tech Specs

GMT-Master II Ref: Reference 126720 VTNR

The first and only left-handed Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II
The first and only left-handed Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II

Movement: Self-winding caliber 3285; 70 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds (hacking), date and 24-hour
Case: 40mm; Oystersteel with left-hand crown; water resistant to 100m
Dial: Black
Bracelet: Oyster bracelet in Oystersteel


Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Ref: Reference 126679 SABR

The new Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II has its bezel, set with diamonds and sapphires in tones of blue, silver and pink, inspired by the aurora borealis and the glow of dawn
The new Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II has its bezel, set with diamonds and sapphires in tones of blue, silver and pink, inspired by the aurora borealis and the glow of dawn

Movement: Self-winding caliber 3235; 70 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds (hacking)
Case: 40mm; 18K white gold; water resistant to 100m
Dial: Black
Bracelet: Oysterflex

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Ross Povey

Ross Povey, the founder of TudorCollector.com is regarded as the world’s leading expert on vintage Tudor watches. Although an expert on Rolex and Tudor watches primarily, Ross’s work covers the entire field of horology and he is currently Editor-in-Chief of Revolution magazine in the UK. He writes for and has contributed to some of the most influential horological publications, including; The Telegraph, The Rake, Bulang & Sons, Watchonista, Hodinkee, QP and is the co-author of the book Daytona Perpetual, a celebration of the automatic Rolex Daytona released through Pucci Papaleo Editore. Ross is also an international speaker and regularly hosts watch events in the UK and Europe.

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