The Baselworld Fair is an international watch trade show, held each spring in Basel, Switzerland. Many of the industry’s leading names utilize the event to introduce new models into their collections and, as a result, it is always a hot topic for watch enthusiasts, who are excited to see what each manufacturer brings to the table.
Rolex is the world’s leading luxury watch manufacturer and the Swiss brand’s new additions are usually the most eagerly anticipated of all the models showcased at the event. In this article, we take a look at the stunning new timepieces that were unveiled by the company at Baselworld 2018.
1. Rolex GMT-Master II 126710 & 126715 “Pepsi” & “Rootbeer”
Perhaps the most widely heralded new addition from Rolex this year is the new Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II and the manufacturer is releasing three new versions of the watch in total. The first, which is in Oystersteel (formerly known as 904L stainless steel), features a two-tone red and blue ceramic ‘Pepsi’ bezel and a Jubilee bracelet.
The second new model is a two-tone Oystersteel and Everose gold combination, which has a two-tone black and brown bezel, while the third is a pure Everose gold model, with the same black and brown bezel.
All three models have a 40mm case diameter and make use of the self-winding Caliber 3285 movement, which offers excellent precision, shock resistance and anti-magnetic properties. As with all models in the collection, the 24-hour graduated rotatable bezel and four central hands allow for two time zones to be displayed at once.
2. Rolex Datejust 36 126231 & 126233 Two-Tone Gold/Steel
Another exciting new addition to the Rolex catalogue this year comes in the form of the redesigned Datejust 36; one of the brand’s signature models. In total, there are six new versions and, as the name suggests, each of these versions has a 36mm case diameter, as well as the classic date display window at the 3 o’clock position.
The defining traits of the new models are redesigned lugs and sides, along with the addition of the new Caliber 3235 movement. Included within the new range are Oystersteel and yellow gold, and Oystersteel and Everose gold versions, with a variety of dial colors available, as well as baton, Roman numeral or diamond dial markers.
Arguably the most eye-catching of the new models is the Reference 126231, which is an Oystersteel and Everose gold version, with a Jubilee bracelet and a distinctive ‘Chocolate Jubilee’ dial design. The model has a fluted bezel and the dial markers consist of diamonds, complete with 18k gold dial marker settings.
3. Rolex Datejust 31 278289, 278281, 278288 President Bracelet
The new Datejust 36 is joined by another addition to the classic Datejust collection; the new Datejust 31. All versions have 31mm case sizes and the choice of either a President or Oyster bracelet. However, the model is most notable for the range of new, original dial options on offer, as well as for the inclusion of the Caliber 2236 movement.
Again, the case sides have been redesigned, while the models are fitted with stunning diamonds, giving them an added sense of extravagance, elegance and femininity.
The watch is available in a choice of Everose gold, white gold or yellow gold, with dial options ranging from solid white or champagne, all the way through to paved mother of pearl designs. One of the most exquisite versions, the Reference 278289RBR, features a paved butterfly dial design, constructed from 262 individual diamonds.
4. Newly Updated Rolex Deepsea 1166610 James Cameron
For those hoping to see a notable addition to the company’s top of the range dive watches, the new Rolex Deepsea is just what the doctor ordered. The model, officially known as the Reference 126660, is constructed from Oystersteel and features a newly redesigned 44mm case, with modified lugs and sides.
There were two versions of the model on show at the event, with the first featuring the blue-to-black gradient dial that was introduced in 2014 to celebrate James Cameron’s DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition. The alternative version is rather more understated, with a plain black dial, offering a more classic and conventional appeal.
Aside from the visual changes, the Reference 126660 also marks the first time the Caliber 3235 movement has been used on a Deepsea model. The changes are finished with the addition of a broader Oyster bracelet.
5. Rolex Daytona 116595RBOW “Rainbow” Everose Gold
Finally, when it comes to pure extravagance, few of the watches unveiled at this year’s Baselworld event can hope to compete with the newest Rolex Cosmograph Daytona model, the Reference 116595RBOW. This particular version of the iconic watch is decorated with gemstones and has an Everose gold case, measuring 40mm in diameter.
Most notably, the new model replaces the tachymetric bezel usually seen on Daytona timepieces with a rainbow colored bezel, made from 36 baguette cut sapphires. Meanwhile, 11 additional sapphires serve as dial markers.
The watch comes with an Oyster bracelet and Oyster case, offering excellent water resistance, while it also makes use of the self-winding Caliber 4130 movement. The dial itself is black, while the chronograph counters are made specially from pink Gold Crystals using a new technique developed by Rolex, resulting in a shimmering aesthetic.
Purchasing Time Frame and Pre-orders
Suffice to say, the new additions to the Rolex catalog for 2018 did not disappoint and the models have watch enthusiasts all over the world talking. Although not currently available to purchase, the models are expected to be released to the general public in the late summer and can be pre-ordered from Jaztime.