How Can You Improve Perfection? You Can, If You’re Rolex

How Can You Improve Perfection? You Can, If You’re Rolex

All the details you need to know, and some you may have missed, of Rolex’s top three Baselworld 2019 introductions. Read on.

By Hyla Bauer

How can you improve on perfection in a watch that's already top notch, and wildly successful to boot? Rolex manages to do just that, year after year. The brand is painstakingly meticulous with new offerings, and why shouldn't they be? As the saying goes "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it." And Rolex doesn't need to fix a thing. But they do. 

Rolex is the stuff of legends, and the hands-down biggest luxury watch seller worldwide. It would be hard to find a watch collector who doesn't always have their radar firmly tuned to the newest Rolex watches. Year in and year out, Rolex manages to bring out timepieces that are universally adored. This year, three watches are the top news: A new Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II a.k.a. the "Batman," a gold and steel Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller, and an all-black Yacht-Master II.

The New “Batman” Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II BLNR on Jubilee bracelet

We’ll start with the second coming of Batman, the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II. It’s about as close to perfect as a GMT can be in terms of movement, design, and ease of reading two time zones simultaneously. The watch earned the code name Batman from its dual-tone blue and black bezel that echoes the colors in Batman’s cape.

Speaking of the bezel, it’s bi-directional, and its fluted edges make it super-easy to set, even with gloves on, should the need arise. Initially designed for travelers crossing multiple time zones (including pilots) in mind, the watch’s popularity has soared way beyond those needing a dual-time watch in their everyday lives.

What's different about the new Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II? At first glance, the most striking newness is the Jubilee bracelet. We've all become accustomed to the Oyster bracelet, which works very nicely with the watch and has a rugged appeal. The new Jubilee has a great look though, and it also serves as a very obvious point of difference to the brand's diving watches, which are fitted with the Oyster. It looks dressier. And the Jubilee's been around since 1945, when it was fitted on the debut model of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust. The bezel's also an update: it's made with Rolex's state-of-the-art Cerachrom, providing exceptional scratch, temperature, and light resistance. You won’t find this bezel going tropical after a decade or two.  

The Yacht-Master 42 White Gold All-Black

It's bigger, it's bolder, and it's pretty badass. This year, a new 42mm model in all black joins the Yacht-Master ranks. With its bezel, dial, and bracelet in all black, and at a full 2mm wider than its 40mm counterparts, the timepiece looks and feels like the true tool watch that it is. The Yacht-Master watches are designed for yacht racing, as the name suggests, and are made to serve the sailor. They're essential equipment on the open seas. Rolex's tough as nails Cerachrom filled bezel with a rugged matte finish adds to the tough-guy look of the watch. Ruggedness notwithstanding, the case and clasp are made of white gold.

A crucial feature of a sailing race is the jockeying for position at the starting line. Coming as close as possible to the start, without crossing the line, can make the difference between losing and winning a race. Here’s where the watch comes in. The bezel is rotated so the pointer lines up with the minute hand. The 10 single minute markers on the bezel act as a count down to the race time. The new all-black Yacht-Master 42 may have the most easily-read bezel we’ve seen in the line.

The Yacht-Master 42’s visibility doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Robust hands and hour markers filled with ultra-high visibility luminescence ensure a glow in the dark hours of the night. Another selling point is its rubber coated steel Oysterflex bracelet. We've seen this bracelet before, of course. Its steel core provides strength, while the rubber adds comfort and flexibility. Not to mention it just looks cool, even in the office. 

The Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller in yellow gold and steel

It’s a first for the Sea-Dweller this year - a steel and gold version of the ultimate diver’s watch. Submariners in steel and gold have been around for a while and are hugely popular. The Sea-Dweller is decidedly chunkier, though, than a Sub, and for good reason.

It can keep perfect time in depths that exert over 1750 pounds of pressure per square inch. The watch's case is still made of a single block of steel, so it hasn't lost any of its inherent strength. The helium valve, the 3235 movement with 70 hours of power reserve, and the Cerachrom bezel are all still there. The gold bezel and center bracelet links, crown, and hands all add a touch of softness to the look without compromising the watch’s necessary strength. To top it off, Sea-Dweller is stamped in a yellow gold color on the dial. It's the perfect extra touch. 

Taking a gold two-tone diving watch 4000 feet under the sea may not be top-of-mind for deep sea explorers, but it sure looks good. Why not wear something with a little zing while traversing the ocean’s depths?

Much more to come!

Of course, Rolex released more than just these three novelties at Baselworld 2019. Stay tuned to Watchonista as we continue to bring you the very best of the show!

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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