Credit: Rolex

Rolex have just dropped a tonne of new releases at Watches and Wonders Geneva 2021. Where to even begin?

The Rolex Explorer's

To start, there are two new Explorer models to look forward to. The Explorer was born at the highest peaks of the world when Rolex developed it in collaboration with mountaineers, hence the name. If exploration is its inspiration, then the new Explorer’s work more towards a blending of functionality and style.

The first thing of note is the return to the 36mm size of the original model launched in 1953. The Ref. 124270 keeps the brushed steel that the Explorer’s are known for and keeps in line with the understated and consistent look of the Explorer. It remains one of the most functional of Rolex’s selection, a niche it has retained since its inception. But the best thing to be announced for this however is the price drop, the new model Explorer is now priced at AUD $9,000.

Ref. 124270 | Credit: Rolex

Its sibling, the Ref. 124273, is the one that’s turning heads. This model features a yellow Rolesor case and bracelet combining Oystersteel and 18k yellow gold. The luxurious lustre of gold combined with the strength of steel. Together they harmonise to bring out the best of both properties. No longer is the Explorer simply just the most ‘functional’ selection in Rolex’s collection but can now sit at the table with the more luxurious family members. The Rolesor Explorer is priced substantially higher than its sibling at AUD $15,250.

Ref. 124273 | Credit: Rolex

The Explorer II

Quickly, let’s touch on the new Explorer II ref. 216570. For its 50th anniversary, Rolex have gone with tradition and minor tweaks to celebrate. It has hardly changed aesthetically, as the only real changes have been an overall slimming of the 42mm case. What has been improved is the optimised chromalight display. Now in dark conditions the intensity of the blue glow has been increased with greater longevity. Not only does the new luminescent material work better in the dark but it also creates a much whiter hue in the daylight. These are small improvements but when the Explorer II is already so good you can only expect so much. It comes with either a black or a white dial and is priced at AUD $12,000.

The unimpressive 'redesign' of the Explorer II | Ref. 226570 | Credit: Rolex

The Roselor Sea-Dweller

Much like the Explorer ref. 124173, the new Sea-Dweller features a new two-tone look that many weren’t expecting. It’s slick, it’s cool, it allows users to conquer the depths with 18k gold on their wrist. The distinctive black dial and large luminescent hour markers allow for functional use in the water but additionally they work as an added element of style that the usual all steel version never lacked but is now something a little more. Its specifications are the same as previous models, so the change is purely aesthetic, but it makes for a worthy addition to the collection. The 43mm watch is priced at AUD $23,400.

Ref. 124173 | Credit: Rolex

The Meteoric Daytona's

Keeping in line with the Rolex releases this year, the Daytona’s keep the same technical specifications that they have for years: 40mm gold case, calibre 4130 movement, black ceramic or gold bezel etc. but now there is a new meteorite dial that gives the Daytona a new personality. A piece of space that has fallen to Earth producing an unusual metallic pattern that is now worn on your wrist. It’s truly poetic and the result is breathtaking. It comes in three models made from either white gold, yellow gold, or Everose gold and each look brilliant with the new dial. But it is the white gold model with the black bezel that really takes the cake here. The contrasting black works incredibly well with silvery meteor dial. The white gold model is priced at AUD $48,050; yellow gold at $57,850; Everose at $61,750.

From left to right: Ref. 116505, ref. 116519LN, ref. 116508 | Credit: HODINKEE

The Datejust 36's Fresh New Dials

The always experimental and colourful Datejust has just been given two new dials featuring either a ‘palm’ motif or a ‘fluted’ motif. The green palm motif dial is yet another watch released this year that is prominently featuring a green dial alongside Breitling and Patek Philippe. The green palms on the Oystersteel model are perfect together, creating a very refined look with personality. This model, the ref. 126200, is the only one that doesn’t feature the new Rolesor design. The ‘fluted’ motif is displayed in yellow gold and looks absolutely luxurious and stands above the palm motif model in yellow gold as a statement in luxurious style. The Everose gold model is slick and looks absolutely divine with the silver dial. Prices start at AUD $9,900 and go up to $16,900.

Ref. 126200 | Credit: Rolex
Ref. 126233 | Credit: Rolex

New Bracelets For Old Watches

With some smaller news, the Rolex GMT Master II “Batman” and “Pepsi” are now available with an Oyster bracelet and the Sky-Dweller is now available with a Jubilee bracelet! More options aren’t a bad thing especially now that you can style your favourite watches with some signature Rolex bracelets. The Jubilee bracelet tends to look brilliant with a fluted dial in comparison the Oyster bracelet, so it is nice to see the Sky-Dweller get this option. Personally, the GMT-Master II looks fantastic on either the Oyster bracelet or the Jubilee and really comes down to personal preference on that one. None of this was announced but has since been discovered on the Rolex website when people have configured their chosen watches.

Phew! That was a lot to get through. Rolex really didn’t pull any punches this year with aesthetic redesign’s aplenty. Check out their new collection here!