Live Pics: Rolex’s Novelties from Watches and Wonders 2024

Live Pics: Rolex’s Novelties from Watches and Wonders 2024

From a stainless steel GMT-Master II to a precious metal Deepsea model, from mesmerizing mother-of-pearl dials to stunning guilloché, Rolex has unveiled a range of new models that will keep the watch community abuzz for the foreseeable future.

By Henri Lee

At last year’s Watches and Wonders, Rolex made waves with its Emoji Day-Date, “Celebration” Oyster Perpetual, titanium Yacht-Master 42, and the first-ever Daytona featuring a transparent caseback.

Thus, as anticipation mounted for this year’s offerings from the Crown, Team Watchonista made sure to go hands-on with them during the opening day of Watches and Wonders 2024, bringing back exclusive snapshots of Rolex’s latest novelties.

Let’s dive into the unveiling now!

GMT-Master II Grey and Black in Steel

The GMT-Master II, Rolex’s iconic travel watch, received a new Calibre 3285 in 2018, boasting 70 hours of power autonomy. Since then, the collection has been graced with many phenomenal models, including a meteorite dial in 2019, a left-sided crown and green/black bezel in 2022, and a full yellow gold model in 2023.

For 2024, two new stainless steel models with grey and black ceramic were unveiled, one with an oyster bracelet and the other with a jubilee bracelet. Before this release, enthusiasts of steel GMT-Master II only had three color choices: blue and black (“Batman” or “Batgirl”), red and blue (“Pepsi”), and green and black (“Sprite”).

For 2024, two new stainless steel models with grey and black ceramic were unveiled, one with an oyster bracelet and the other with a jubilee bracelet. Before this release, enthusiasts of steel GMT-Master II only had three color choices: blue and black (“Batman” or “Batgirl”), red and blue (“Pepsi”), and green and black (“Sprite”).

Now, it is a delight to have a fourth choice with a grey and black bezel combined with a black dial and green 24-hour hand, offering a stealthier and tool-like aesthetic that complements almost all outfits and occasions. How does the “Green Arrow” sound?

Deepsea Yellow Gold in Blue Bezel and Blue Dial

As the name implies, the Deepsea collection is Rolex’s offering for ocean explorers delving into the deepest depths accessible to humans. Its waterproof rating is an astonishing 3,900 meters (12,800 feet), far surpassing the 300 meters (1,000 feet) of the Submariner and the 1,220 meters (4,000 feet) of the Sea-Dweller. However, Deepsea models consisted of only stainless steel cases with either a black or blue dial.

Now, for the first time, a precious metal model has been added to the collection.

Featuring a yellow gold case and bracelet, at first glance, this model looks like a big brother of the Rolex Submariner Date 41mm in yellow gold with a blue bezel and royal blue dial due to this model’s blue ceramic bezel and a blue lacquer dial. However, with a 44mm case size, it is perhaps the biggest and heaviest Rolex model in precious metal, so there really is no mistaking this new Deepsea for another model.

For the brave divers descending to the ocean depths with this Deepsea on their wrists, this model is equipped with a helium escape valve in RLX titanium and Rolex’s ingenious Ringlock system. Plus, to keep divers safe by enabling them to easily read their elapsed dive time, even in total darkness, the Chromalight display has been optimized with a new substance that produces a longer-lasting, more intense blue luminescence.

Powered by the Calibre 3235, boasting a precision of -2/+2 seconds per day and a 70-hour power reserve, the new yellow gold Deepsea Ref. 136668LB is priced at $52,100.

Cosmograph Daytona with Mother-of-Pearl Dials

Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the Cosmograph Daytona, and Rolex commemorated the occasion with a new movement, refined designs, and the highly coveted La Mans Daytona. As a result, groundbreaking news wasn’t expected at this year’s show.

However, Rolex surprised us once again with a pair of Daytona models featuring exquisite mother-of-pearl dials adorned with dazzling diamonds.

Mother-of-pearl, also called nacre (we will use the abbreviation MOP), has an alluring, shimmering iridescence. Found inside mollusk shells like oysters and abalone, its shining surface plays with light, the colors dancing and shifting with the viewer’s angle. Thus, while many Datejust models feature MOP dials, it is extremely rare for Rolex’s professional models to have them. That is why these latest Daytona models are turning heads.

The new Ref. 126589RBR features a white MOP dial and three counters in black MOP. The striking black and white color contrast evokes the iconic “panda” nickname, traditionally reserved for the stainless steel Daytona with a black and white dial.

Additionally, a reverse panda variation, the Ref. 126579RBR, features a black Tahitian MOP dial accompanied by three white MOP counters.

Further elevating the watch’s allure, the bezel is adorned with a dazzling array of 36 brilliant-cut diamonds. These two models are encased in 18-karat white gold and are priced at $61,400 on the black Oysterflex rubber strap and $70,100 on the Oyster white bracelet.

The Platinum Perpetual 1908 with an Icy Blue Guilloché Dial

Last year, Rolex introduced a brand-new collection of classic dress watches, each featuring a small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock and a transparent caseback. The inaugural lineup of this collection comprised four models in either white or yellow gold with either a white or black dial.

At Watches and Wonders 2024, Rolex unveiled a new Perpetual 1908 model featuring a platinum case and an ice-blue dial with the “grain de riz” (rice grain) guilloché pattern. Guilloché is rarely, if ever, used in Rolex’s modern collections (hence why we think Rolex’s pre-show teaser video referred to a watch as “when iconic meets the unexpected”).

The exquisite ice blue, intricately guillochéd dial of this 1908 reflects lights in a mesmerizing way. Meanwhile, the dial is beautifully complemented by the sword-shaped minute and the hour hands with circular tips. Moreover, this ice-blue color is exclusively used with this model’s 39mm platinum case, elevating this model to the highest status within the vast Rolex collections.

The Calibre 7140 is a newly developed movement based on Rolex’s state-of-the-art watchmaking know-how. Moreover, it showcases remarkable finishes and the exclusive Côtes de Genève Rolex decoration, visible for close examination through a sapphire caseback and an open-worked rotor.

Finally, the new Perpetual 1908 Ref. 52506 is paired with a brown or black alligator leather strap with a double-folding clasp crafted in platinum and is priced at $30,900.

More Releases

Additionally, Rolex unveiled new Sky-Dweller models adorned with jubilee bracelets and various Day-Date iterations at Watches and Wonders. For more information on these or the models discussed here, check out Rolex’s website.

(Photography by Pierre Vogel)

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