An Overview of New Rolex Watches from Baselworld 2019 Part I
When it comes to new watch releases, most luxury brands, including Rolex, typically unveil a whole range of novelties once a year. Although the Baselworld fair is shrinking in size (notably after the departure of over a dozen Swatch Group brands), this is still the show that Rolex chooses to announce its new models. Here is the first part of our overview of the new Rolex watches from Baselworld 2019, focusing on the Oyster Professional models.
Rolex Yacht-Master 42 Ref. 226659
While the rest of the watch industry seems to be shrinking their case sizes, Rolex is continuing to do its own thing by offering bigger versions of existing models (remember the Sea-Dweller 43 from 2017?). And now for 2019, a larger Yacht-Master joins the collection.
The Rolex Yacht-Master ref. 226659 sports a 42 mm case in 18k white gold. It is worth noting that not only is this the first 42 mm Yacht-Master ever, this is also the first time that Rolex makes a white gold Yacht-Master. On its case sits a matte black Cerachrom ceramic bidirectional rotatable bezel. As is customary for all Yacht-Master models, the bezel includes raised 60-minute graduations. Matching the black bezel is a black lacquer dial punctuated with the familiar lume-filled indexes and Mercedes hands, along with the obligatory date window and Cyclops lens duo at 3 o’clock.
Similar to the Everose gold Yacht-Master 40, the new white gold Yacht-Master 42 comes fitted with an Oysterflex bracelet (comprised of a metal blade covered in black rubber), complete with a white gold Oysterlock folding safety clasp.
Also fresh to the Yacht-Master collection is the new-generation Caliber 3235 (the successor to the long-time Rolex workhorse, the Caliber 3135), which provides an amped up 70-hour power reserve and is currently used in other models like the Datejust 41, Sea-Dweller 43, and Pearlmaster 39.
Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126603
Rolex keeps on surprising us with its recent approach to the Sea-Dweller model. A couple of years back, Rolex unexpectedly enlarged the SD’s case to a brand new 43 mm size (compared to the 40 mm case size it had always had) and added (for the first time in the Sea-Dweller’s history) a Cyclops to the crystal. Two years after the debut of the new steel Sea-Dweller 43, Rolex now introduces a two-tone edition of the robust dive watch—yet another first for the Sea-Dweller.
Specs-wise, the new Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126603 is the same as its steel counterpart with a 43 mm case waterproof to 1,220 meters, a helium escape valve, a black Cerachrom ceramic bezel insert, a black dial, an Oyster bracelet with the Glidelock extension system, and the new-gen Caliber 3235.
But this Sea-Dweller is all dressed up with an 18k yellow gold unidirectional bezel, an 18k yellow gold Triplock winding crown, 18k yellow gold index surrounds and hands, and 18k yellow gold solid center links on the bracelet. Further enhancing the golden details of the Rolesor SD is the yellow SEA-DWELLER text on the dial.
Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710 BLNR
Following in the footsteps of last year’s stainless steel GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLRO release, the fan favorite Rolex “Batman” returns this year with an updated look and a new engine.
The brand new Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR retains the same 40 mm Oyster case, black and blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel, and blue 24-hour hand on the black dial of the preceding ref. 116710 BLNR. However, just like its stainless steel “Pepsi” brother, the “Batman” now comes fitted with a steel Jubilee bracelet. And because this is a new GMT-Master II release, it runs on the latest Caliber 3285 we first saw last year, boasting an increased power reserve of 70 hours.
With the release of the new GMT-Master II ref. 126710 BLNR also comes the announcement that Rolex has retired the steel GMT-Master II ref. 116710 LN with the black Cerachrom bezel. So as of now, there is no steel and black ceramic version of the GMT-Master II in Rolex’s current lineup—maybe Rolex will add a new version of black bezel GMT-Master II at next year’s Baselworld?
Stay tuned for Part II of our overview of the new Rolex watches from Baselworld 2019, where we will highlight Rolex’s new dress watches.
— Featured Photo and Body Photo Credits: Rolex & Baselworld.