After many months of intense speculation, the Baselworld guessing games can finally come to an end. The Rolex brand has unveiled its latest creations, which are set to be introduced over the course of 2016 and as usual, the luxury watch manufacturer has thrown up some great offerings.
Some of the models showcased at Baselworld 2016 were widely tipped by experts and enthusiasts, while others came as a pleasant surprise. So now that the dust has settled, what does Rolex have to offer us this year? Below, we take a more detailed look at the main models showcased at the event.
1. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Stainless Steel Ceramic Bezel
One of the most highly-anticipated releases of the year, Rolex have virtually completed their Daytona collection with the inclusion of a stainless steel model, with a ceramic bezel. The key benefits of a ceramic bezel, aside from looking fantastic, are that it is scratch-proof, resistant to corrosion and impervious to UV rays, thus preserving the color over decades to come.
As Rolex points out, the watch pays tribute to the chronograph’s heritage, with the black ceramic bezel resembling the black Plexiglas bezel insert seen on the 1965 model. Aside from that, the timepiece is very similar to the 2015 version, with a 40mm case size, calibre 4130 movement and an Oyster case which resists water at depths of 100m.
One slight difference can be observed on the white dial version, which now has a black ring surrounding the sub-dials, whereas the previous version had silver rings. Finally, the watch is covered by the new Superlative Chronometer certification, which means it has passed rigorous testing and has precision of −2/+2 seconds per day.
The new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Stainless Steel w/ Ceramic Bezel has a retail price of $11,800 USD. It will not be available in stores until end of Summer 2016. You can contact JazTime to find out availability and maybe, just maybe be able to place an order for this highly demanded timepiece.
2. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer
Although much of the focus from Baselworld was on the Daytona, another of the new models which generated a lot of excitement was the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer, which has the reference number 214270. This watch aims to correct some of the criticisms some people had of the previous version of this model.
In particular, a focus has been placed on improving the display on the watch. The iconic 3, 6 and 9 hour numerals were previously made from plain polished steel. Now, however, they are fully luminous, giving off a blue glow which makes them far more visible in low-light situations.
Despite speculation to the contrary, Rolex opted to stick with the larger 39mm case size, rather than revert back to the 36mm that people had grown accustomed to. Meanwhile, the minute and hour hands have increased slightly in length and width, in order to make them look more in proportion with the rest of the watch.
According to Rolex, the new Oyster Perpetual Explorer Explorer retails in the region of $6,400 USD.
3. Rolex Air-King 40 Stainless Steel
Since Baselworld, one of the watches that has attracted the most press attention has been the new Rolex Air-King 40 Stainless Steel model. Representing a re-introduction of an old classic, the new timepiece is marketed as an ‘homage to aviation’ and includes a combination of classic and modern elements.
The watch has a 40mm case size, is constructed from Rolex’s corrosive resistant 904L stainless steel and has a black dial, while the dial features prominent minute markers, as well as larger Arabic numerals marking the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. Fans of the 1950s models will immediately notice the ‘Air King’ writing, in the same classic font.
Powered by the Rolex calibre 3131 self-winding mechanical movement, the Air-King has a 48 hour power reserve and has achieved 2015 Superlative Chronometer certification. Moreover, its Oyster case is robust, protects the timepiece’s movement and provides water resistance for up to 100m below the surface.
Most excitingly of all, the new Air King 40 has a retail price of $6,200 USD, making it a perfect entry-level option.
4. Rolex Cellini Time / Cellini Date / Cellini Dual Time
Fans of Rolex’s classical Cellini collection will be pleased to hear that three models are being revamped this year. Indeed, the manufacturer is releasing new versions of the Cellini Time, Cellini Date and Cellini Dual Time. Each of the new models has a 39mm case, made from either white gold or rose gold.
For those unaware, the Cellini Time simply displays the time, using central hours, minutes and second hands, while the Cellini Date also has a date display sub-dial. The Cellini Dual Time, on the other hand, is ideal for travellers or those with friends or relatives in another part of the world, showing two time zones simultaneously.
The main change to the Cellini Time is a re-designed white dial and both rose gold and white gold versions are available, while the Cellini Date model is now available in white gold, with a blue dial and blue strap. Similarly, the Cellini Dual Time is now available in rose gold, with a brown dial and brown strap.
New Rolex Cellini models start from a retail price of around $14,500 USD.
5. Rolex Day-Date 40 – 60th Anniversary Edition
Arguably one of the more exciting models to be unveiled at this year’s Baselworld was the new Rolex Day-Date 40 model and the reason is that it marks the 60th anniversary of the brand’s single most prestigious model. In fact, over the years, the Day-Date ‘President’ has been worn by world leaders, celebrities and even royalty.
Last year, Rolex introduced an updated version, the Day-Date 40, which benefited from a more modern calibre 3255 movement and a 40mm case size. To mark the anniversary, Rolex have released a new version, with a stunning new ‘Rolex green’ dial. This marks the first time a Day-Date model has been available with a green dial since 2013.
Aside from the dial colour, the new anniversary edition follows in the footsteps of the 2015 update. It retains the calibre 3255 and is of course available with the ‘President’ bracelet. The watch itself is made from either rose gold or white gold, and the hour markers are made from matching materials.
The anniversary edition will retail for approximately $35,650 USD.
6. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master (Everose Rolesor)
Despite being somewhat overshadowed by the release of new Daytona, Explorer and Air-King models, Baselworld 2016 also highlighted the addition of a new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master, the brand’s prestigious nautical watch. Now, for the first time, the model is available with the ‘Everose Rolesor’ design.
Simply put, ‘Everose Rolesor’ is a combination of 18 ct rose gold and 904L steel; two Rolex signatures. In the case of the Yacht-Master, the middle case, outer bracelet links and winding crown are made from steel, while the central bracelet links and bezel are made from rose gold.
The new Yacht-Master still has a 40mm case size and utilises the calibre 3135 movement. Furthermore, its Oyster case is water resistant for up to 100m and as with other models unveiled at Baselworld, the timepiece has undergone a string of in-house testing, earning the new Superlative Chronometer status.
Rolex’s new ‘Everose Rolesor’ Yacht-Master has a recommended retail price of around $13,300 USD.
7. Rolex Datejust 41 / Lady-Datejust 28
Finally, 2016 will see the release of two new Datejust timepieces, the Datejust 41 and the Lady-Datejust 28. Both models feature updated designs, with Oyster Perpetual cases and new Superlative Chronometer designation, as well as highly precise in-house movements – the calibre 3235 and calibre 2236, respectively.
As the name suggests, the Datejust 41 has a 41mm case size. It is robust in construction, is water-proof for 100m and can be purchased in yellow gold or ‘Everose Rolesor’. A variety of different dials are available and buyers have the option of either an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet.
At the same time, the new Lady-Datejust has been revamped with a larger 28mm case size and it too is available in either yellow gold or ‘Everose Rolesor’. Like the main model, it is water resistant for 100m, but it has also been set with diamonds, which serves to further highlight its more feminine qualities.
The Datejust 41 has a retail price of $12,000 USD, while the ladies models start from $18,450 USD.
Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show: Opens Its Doors
Baselworld 2016: New Rolex Watches | Rolex.com
Rolex At Baselworld 2016: A Look At the New Releases | LuxeWatches.co.uk
Introducing: The New Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer | Hodinkee.com
Baselworld 2016: Meet the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King | Forbes.com