On the 27th of March 2023, at the Watch and Wonders watch show, Rolex released their catalogue full of new watches. Many watched enthusiasts awoke that morning to find discontinuations of some of their favourite watches, such as the John Mayer Daytona, and subtle price increases. However, the first thing everyone was looking at was the new watches. Rolex follows a similar strategy each year of only updating its collection once a year; however, there can be some anomalies such as the Rolex Daytona Le-Mans.
Changes to the Rolex Daytona
The Rolex Daytona had some significant changes during this new release, the first and most notable feature is the change in size. While the steel model has been made fractionally larger, the gold model has also been made fractionally smaller. This is almost unnoticeable to the naked eye and really brings up the watch's overall aesthetic. The lug size has increased in width and length, making the watch look bigger on the wrist. The case has also been redesigned for models that come with a ceramic bezel; the bezel itself is encased to prevent cracking because of how brittle ceramic can be. Another distinctive feature that has changed on the Rolex Daytona is the fact that the sub dial circumference has a reduced width; this particularly stands out on models such as the Panda 126500 When comparing the older 116500. Additionally, the updated Daytona comes with new markers that are slimmer, giving the watch an elegant improvement. And finally, the new calibre 4131. Rolex boasts a new aesthetic on this calibre, this may be due to the fact that it is featured in the open case back anniversary watch.
60th anniversary Rolex Daytona
The 27th of March 2023, marked the 60th anniversary of the Rolex Daytona. To celebrate this, Rolex released an updated platinum Daytona with open caseback; this is something fans have been wanting to see, and it seems Rolex has finally listened to the community due to the high demand for open caseback watches such as Audemars Piguets and Omegas. Besides the open caseback, the platinum Daytona has no individual changes. It still has an ice blue dial, And it still has its distinctive and complementing brown ceramic bezel.
The brand new model, 1908, is a classical style watch inspired by the Oyster Perpetual design from 1931. As of today, there are only four variations of this watch. You can choose between an 18-carat white or yellow gold 39mm case and clasp and have the choice between a white or black dial. 1908 is unique to any watch in the Rolex catalogue because it boasts an alligator leather strap with a double folding clasp; the alligator strap can come in black or brown. Another unique feature is the elegant divided bezel which is considered to be a combination of the fluted bezel and the domed bezel. This elevates the dial and gives the overall aesthetic a vintage compliment. Rolex fans have been waiting for an open caseback. The 1908 brings it, and every single model has a stunning open caseback, allowing you to see the self-winding calibre 7140. While this watch has a vintage style it does not lack performance. It has approximately 66 hours of power reserve and standard two-second precision.
When yachting, every gram counts. This is why Rolex has produced a fantastic RLX grade 5 titanium Yacht-Master. The Oyster bracelet on this watch features ceramic inserts to prevent corrosion, ageing and stretching of the links, further ensuring longevity. This brand-new ultra-lightweight tool watch features an intense black dial and a functional black ceramic bezel.
There are no notable changes to the Sky-Dwellers design and performance; however, Rolex has released a range of dials and new configurations for the sky-dweller. This includes the stunning bright blue dial paired with an Everose gold case and an oyster bracelet, perfectly contrasting each other. A bright black dial encased in white gold with an Oyster flex bracelet. And finally, mint green in the case with Oyster steel and white gold on a stunning Jubilee or oyster bracelet. Rolex has updated the calibre in the sky dweller from the 9001 to the 9002 with the newly updated calibre; Rolex has not claimed any performance increase. It still has the same 72 hours of power reserve and two-second precision.
The new GMT was a pleasant surprise, you can find this model either fully yellow gold 126718 or bi-metal 126713, and it's exclusively fitted with a jubilee bracelet; we have also never seen a black and grey ceramic bezel on the Rolex GMT. The colour combination of the stunning 18-carat yellow gold and the dark bezel and dial creates an amazing contrast that Rolex describe as the "alternation of day and night". It's always smaller things in life that matter, and that's why when you look closely at the hands, you'll see beautiful chromolite coated in yellow gold. This watch is the only full yellow gold GMT in the catalogue, and it's safe to say that it's a hit with the community.
The Rolex Explorer has jumped from a 36mm to a 40mm. This may be due to the increase in demand for larger watches. The Rolex Explorer 36 had a 20-millimetre bracelet, and the brand-new 40-millimetre has a 21-millimetre bracelet. However, they've bulked out the lugs to compensate; Rolex has perfectly captured the essence of the Explorer model and has kept the beautiful sophistication and simplicity of the Explorer.
Rolex always surprises us, especially with the three new dials for the Day-date 36. The most outstanding dial is the green aventurine set with diamonds; this beautiful green dial is absolutely stunning, looks even better under sunlight, and glistens like no other one. The second dial Rolex has released the turquoise set with diamonds; this one really stands out, especially on the platinum model. Last but not least, we have the bright orange or carnelian set with diamonds; this dial is absolutely stunning and resembles a rich desert due to the horizontal change in the colour gradient of the dial.
This year Rolex released some questionable Oyster Perpetuals. As many people know, Rolex introduced brightly coloured dials to the Oyster Perpetual in 2020, including Tiffany blue, Rolex green, coral red, pink, and yellow. These new Oyster Perpetual dials are only configurable on the 31, 36, or the 41mm models. The dial seems to look like some sort of abstract art, the creation of such a dial requires precision and an extremely stable environment. As standard with any Oyster Perpetual today, you can only find it produced in exclusively Oyster steel with a domed bezel.
It is safe to say Rolex came through this year with some fantastic models, such as the anniversary Daytona, the new gold GMT and the beautiful new Day-Date 36 dials.
Which is your favourite?