Rolex surprised all by releasing six new upgrades at Baselworld this morning. Rolex holds its new watch announcements to the Baselworld show building up expectations from Rolex watch fans and industry observers. Rolex’s new releases continue the evolution of their existing watch line. Unlike previous Baselworld shows, Rolex did not announce any completely new models. Nevertheless, the upgrades Rolex did announce are ones that the Rolex cognoscente will appreciate.
Rolex first surprise is the update GMT Master II with a new two-tone ceramic bezel. The Rolex GMT II with a ceramic bezel was initially introduced in 2005 in all gold and was Rolex’s first watch utilizing ceramic. Since its introduction, Rolex GMT fans were asking for a two-tone bezel modeled after the original GMT Master introduced in 1954. It is widely reported that manufacturing ceramic is extremely difficult and adding another color while maintaining the integrity/strength increases the level of manufacturing complexity. Rolex found a way by introducing the GMT Master II 116710 BLNR with a two-tone blue-black bezel and blue 24 hour hand. The new GMT Master II utilizes the same movement, case, bracelet and size as the first ceramic all stainless ceramic GMT introduced in 2007.
The other big rollout is the introduction of the Rolex Yachtmaster II in all stainless steel. The original Yachtmaster II was initially announced at Baselworld 2007 and was only available in all yellow or white gold. Since that time, Rolex released a two-tone version of the watch, and last year, updated the original Yachtmaster. Releasing the Yachtmaster II in all stainless steel surprised many. The Yachtmaster II is one of Rolex’s most complicated watches and is in the same category as Rolex’s SkyDweller perpetual calendar wristwatch. The Yachtmaster II utilizes a command ring bezel, has a 10 second countdown timer, and Rolex’s 4161 caliber comprised of over 360 individual components.
Rolex also updated its Day-Date lineup with new case and strap combinations and released an updated Rolex Cosmograph Daytona in all platinum, the noblest of precious metals. The new Daytona utilizes the same Cerachrom bezel found on previous Daytona models, and utilizes a sky blue watch face, similar to the exclusive watch face found in the all platinum Rolex Day-Date. Like the GMT Master II update, the Daytona update stays within Rolex design parameters utilizing the same movement, case and bracelet design as the other modern Rolex Daytona.
Lastly, Rolex also updated the Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster with new diamond and Everose gold combinations. Rolex’s new releases surprised many and needless to say, the Rolex model line-up is now reordered.