Revealing Rolex's 2023 Novelties
The long-awaited Watches and Wonders 2023 event has finally kicked off, with numerous watch brands unveiling their latest creations to the public for the first time. Among them, Rolex, everyone’s favorite Swiss watchmaker, has attracted significant attention with its new introductions and discontinued models as is normally the case. So, without further ado let’s explore the new offerings and updates from Rolex for 2023.
The Much-Anticipated Titanium Yacht-Master
In recent years, the watch community has been abuzz with speculation regarding a titanium Yacht-Master, fueled by Ben Ainslie's prototype no-date Yacht-Master, made of titanium. Following the 2022 release of the 50mm titanium Deepsea Challenge, expectations soared for a titanium Yacht-Master, or even just a new, and actually wearable, titanium watch from Rolex. And thankfully, Rolex has now delivered on these expectations, unveiling the titanium Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226627, complete with a titanium bracelet and powered by the automatic cal. 3235.
New Yellow Gold GMT-Master II Models
Contrary to predictions of a GMT-Master II Coke release, Rolex has instead unveiled two new yellow gold GMT-Master II models. They've introduced a two-tone yellow gold and stainless steel version with a black dial and bezel, as well as a full 18kt yellow gold GMT-Master II with the same all-black design, both offered exclusively on jubilee bracelets.
The Explorer Line Grows
As is often the case when Rolex launch new watches, Rolex received criticism for 2021 for discontinuing the 39mm Explorer and replacing it with a 36mm version. In response, they've now introduced a new 40mm Explorer, the ref. 224270, featuring the classic black 3-6-9 dial, flat polished bezel, and iconic Oyster bracelet – the very same design tenets that we all know and love from the Explorer of old.
The Revival of the Tiffany Oyster Perpetual
Rolex stirred controversy when they discontinued the Tiffany blue and Coral red Oyster Perpetual 41mm models in 2022. Now, just one year later they've decided to reintroduce the Tiffany blue dial for the 41mm OP, albeit with a twist—the all-new "Celebration motif," also available on the 36mm and 31mm OP. This new motif showcases bubble-like circles in various sizes and colors, including green, coral red, candy pink, and yellow, set against a Tiffany blue background. A notable departure from Rolex’s typically refined sense of style, this dial is sure to attract attention and this watch will certainly be a challenge to get your hands on.
Introducing the Perpetual 1908 Collection
Rolex's new Perpetual 1908 collection marks a departure from the brand's typical design philosophy. This dress watch line replaces the Cellini collection of old and takes direct inspiration from Rolex's history and past-achievements. Currently available as the ref. 52508 small seconds variant, the collection may be used to showcase future innovations, or at least that’s what it seems like from the press release.
The Perpetual 1908 is only available in 18kt yellow or white gold 39mm cases with black or silver dials for now and it includes a 3-6-9 applied Arabic numeral arrangement and a unique 'divided' bezel whereby it features a coin-edge section and a domed section. Furthermore, its boasts a sapphire crystal caseback that reveals its all-new automatic cal. 7140 movement that comes complete with Côtes de Genève Rolex decoration and an openwork gold oscillating weight with three arms.
Updated Sky-Dweller Models
First launched in 2012, the Sky-Dweller, one of Rolex's most complex timepieces, has been slow to get updated. However, it has finally received its share of updates. Along with new variants that include a stainless steel model with a green dial, an 18kt rose gold version with a blue-green dial, and more, tsignificant update is the new cal. 9002 movement. Featuring Rolex's latest technical innovations, such as the Chronergy escapement, Paraflex shock absorbers, and a redesigned oscillating weight for improved winding efficiency, this marks the first time Rolex have improved their already over-engineered annual calendar-wielding Sky-Dweller.
Stone Dials Return to the Day-Date
In a further bid to celebrate their heritage, Rolex have introduced three new stone dials to the Day-Date collection. Launched as three new 36mm models, these dials include green aventurine, carnelian, and turquoise dials that are available in rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold cases, respectively. These stone dials harken back to the Day-Date's rich heritage and are sure to appeal to collectors.
The Daytona is Finally Updated
To celebrate the Daytona's 60th anniversary, Rolex has unveiled an updated version of the iconic model. The new Daytona features a more refined case, a metal band that matches the watch’s construction material along the edge of the ceramic bezel, an updated dial design with improved graphic balance and color combinations, and the all-new automatic cal. 4131 movement. This new movement incorporates the same technical innovations as the cal. 9002 in the Sky-Dweller, including Rolex's Chronergy escapement, Paraflex shock absorbers, and an enhanced oscillating weight for better winding efficiency. With its 72-hour power reserve and impressive engineering, the new movement solidifies the Daytona's position in contemporary watchmaking.
Rolex has also, surprisingly, revived the platinum Daytona, or 'Platona,' with a new reference, the ref. 126506. This updated model features an exhibition caseback for the first time in the Daytona's history, allowing the new movement to be showcased. This change signals a shift in Rolex's approach, as they move away from strictly utilitarian designs to embrace the modern luxury watch market’s desire to showcase the craftsmanship that goes into creating the movements that drive the watches we love.
The Discontinued Models
Although it's difficult to determine discontinuations based solely on Rolex's website, it appears that the Milgauss collection and the Cellini collection have both been discontinued, with the latter making way for the Perpetual 1908 collection. Indeed, the entire Daytona collection has also been overhauled with several Daytona variants discontinued due to the update like the John Mayer, among others.