I think we can presume you’ve heard of Rolex. Even outside of the watch industry, they’re one of the best-known brands in the world. Which is why, every year at famed Swiss watch fair Baselworld, Rolex attract queues stretching around their stand — people yearning to see what the watchmaker has produced for the year to come.
But, if you weren’t one of the enthusiasts lucky enough to see the new novelties first hand, we’ve taken a look through Rolex’s latest collections ourselves and picked out the very best. And, from limited editions to future classics, it’s an impressive line up. Take a look below.
Back in black: Rolex Yacht-Master 42
If you’re looking for a watch that belongs on the water, this is the timepiece for you. It caught everyone’s eye at Baselworld this year — mainly for the odd reason that it barely even looks like a new release from Rolex. Rather, because everything is so firmly in-keeping with tradition, it looks like a watch that the brand has kept ticking over for years.
There are differences, however — if you know where to look. Growing to 42mm, the case is a little different and the bezel is crafted from high-tech Cerachrom and finished in matte black.
The numerals are polished to a high shine, legible without bordering on the ostentatious, and the whole watch has the feel of a timepiece built to exist in the extremes of life. It may not be built for deep-sea diving, but it’ll lounge on a teak desk with the best of watches.
Rolex Yacht-Master 42
Deep dive: Rolex Sea Dweller
If you feel an affinity for the world beneath the waves, this watch — equipped with a helium escape valve and 4000ft of water resistance — is more than a match for your next sub-aquatic adventure.
But Rolex’s use of two-tone gold and steel elevates this tool watch away from its practical roots. It may not be a dress watch — due to its size – but the use of precious metal adds a little luxury to the design. But at its horological heart, this is a functional watch — as evidenced by the with heaps of Chromalite, Rolex’s very own luminescent material, with which the hands and indices have been covered.
Rolex Sea Dweller
Trot the globe: Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR
While this might not be the traditional GMT-Master II that many of us have come to love over the years (you know, the one with the red and blue “Pepsi” bezel), this new darker version brings a new subtlety to the storied name.
The blue and black, or “Batman” bezel, has been around now since 2013 when Rolex first figured out how to get two colours from their new Cerachrom inserts. In this watch, we also see this bezel design with the Jubilee bracelet, which made a triumphant return to the GMT-Master II family at last year’s Baselworld. We can’t wait to see what’s added to the line next year.
Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR
Travel in style: Rolex GMT-Master II Meteorite
Seemingly made for people who always turn left when they board a plane — if they’re even flying commercial, that is — this new addition to the GMT-Master II family is simply stunning.
Over the years, Rolex have turned the creation of their super rare and luxurious-looking meteorite dials into something of an artform. The style has popped up on everything from Daytonas to Datejusts, but this is the first time we’ve seen it on a GMT and, frankly, we don’t think the design could fly any higher.
Rolex GMT-Master II Meteorite
Everlasting: Rolex Datejust 36
Possibly the most iconic of any Rolex model, the Datejust has been in the brand’s range since 1945. Unsurprisingly, the latest model is still bang-on trend, with a 36mm case size and black sunray dial that affords the timepiece an ultra-luxury feel.
Make no mistake, this is a future classic. The unisex appeal and traditional look will make it a mainstay of any collection — and it’s also immediately recognisable as a Rolex. Our favourite feature? The fact it’s crafted from ‘Rolesor’, a combination of white gold and Rolex’s own Oystersteel.
Rolex Datejust 36
Not a Rolex fan? Here are our wider favourite watches of 2019 so far…