Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36, 36 mm, 18 ct yellow gold 04

The Overlooked Gem-Set Rolex Releases Of Watches & Wonders 2021

Though much of the buzz was about its tool watch releases, Rolex quietly introduced two stunning gem-set pieces.

By Josh Shanks

At this year's Watches & Wonders, first-time exhibitors Rolex introduced updates to the Explorer I and Explorer II collections as well as striking solid meteorite dials to the Daytona. For the casual observer, Rolex seemed focused on upgrading its iconic tool watches. However, after discovering the brand’s entire 2021 updates, Watchonista found two hidden gems.

Rolex has long been renowned for its mastery of setting gems into its timepieces. And the brand's latest introductions are no exception, with each featuring hundreds of hand-set brilliant-cut diamonds on their cases, bracelets, and clasps. These are two timepieces worthy of a closer look.

Introducing The Gem-Set Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36

Rolex has introduced three new gem-set versions of its Day-Date 36. Available in three color and metal combinations, these timepieces feature 817 diamonds each. The 36mm oyster case of each model – whether made of 18K yellow gold, 18K white gold, or 18K Everose gold – is set with 254 brilliant-cut diamonds along the sides and lugs, 52 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel, and 450 pavé diamonds on the dial. The result is positively stunning.

Discerning collectors have their choice of three colorways for these new Day-Date 36 models: a coral-colored 18K yellow gold, a turquoise 18K white gold, and a burgundy version in 18K Everose gold. Each piece features matching colored enamel-filled indices.

The watches are outfitted with the Rolex manufacture calibre 3255 movement, which has powered Day-Date models since 2019. The automatic winding calibre 3255 features both a Chronergy escapement and blue Parachrom hairspring and boasts a 70-hour power reserve.

The new gem-set Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 models are priced at $82,500 for the yellow gold version and $85,800 for the white and Everose gold models. Each piece comes fitted to an enamel-matched alligator leather strap with a case-matched gold folding Crownclasp set with 61 brilliant-cut diamonds.

Gem-Set Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust

The new 28mm Rolex Lady-Datejust rounds out this year’s gem-set introductions and is available in either 18K yellow or 18K white gold. And the models practically drip with the 1,089 diamonds set onto each of them from their cases to their bracelets. The President bracelet alone is set with 596 brilliant-cut diamonds.

The new Lady-Datejust models feature fully paved diamond dials hand-set with 291 diamonds and black PVD coating on the gold Roman numerals. The watches are powered by the Rolex calibre 2236 that was released in 2014 and has a Syloxi silicon hairspring. This diminutive movement also boasts a 55-hour power reserve.

Priced at $131,100 in yellow gold and $134,400 in white gold, the new gem-set Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust is a surefire stunner worthy of a closer look.

For more information on Rolex’s 2021 novelties, visit the brand’s website.

(Images © Rolex)

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