Rolex released some pretty wacky stuff at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023… But whilst we were busy getting hyped about those, they also surreptitiously added a few very exciting models to their collection (and discontinued a few models, too…)
One of the busiest spots at Watches & Wonders every year is the Rolex booth: a three-storey-high monolithic gold box that sees a constant stream of journalists, retailers, dignitaries and celebrities streaming in and out of it all fair long.
It’s not easy to get an appointment with Rolex (and therefore a chance to try their new watches on), so most attendees have to make do by pressing their noses up against the display cabinets dotted around the outside of the Rolex booth, with the year’s new models frustratingly out of reach behind glass.
But it turns out that simply getting an appointment with Rolex wasn’t a guarantee that you’d get the full scoop – we certainly didn’t. We covered the biggest releases, including the new titanium Yacht-Master and gold GMT-Master II, but Rolex also introduced a few truly exotic new watches – so-called ‘off-catalogue’ pieces – that represent some of the most exciting and outrageous new watches from the brand.
Here, we’ll go over the most exciting new Rolex watches that Rolex sneakily introduced this year.
An iced-out left-handed GMT-Master II
First up, there’s a luxurious new take on the left-handed GMT-Master II ‘Sprite’ that we believe is the first-ever factory-paved left-handed model from Rolex.
Crafted from white gold and featuring a green dial, its bezel set with 18 emeralds, 18 black sapphires and 12 diamonds; its case and lugs are set with 220 diamonds, and its Oyster bracelet is set with another 172 diamonds. You can even get some matching diamond-set cufflinks with it, if you like.
Crazy new iced-out Daytonas
There are also four new gem-set Daytonas in the collection. There are two ruby-set bezel models: a white gold/black dial model and a yellow gold model that additionally has a diamond-paved dial.
We’ve actually seen wrist shots of the white gold model emerge already and it looks pretty unreal. Real rapper shit.
There are another two diamond-set bezel models that are presumably made from platinum, seeing as they feature ice-blue dial elements (Rolex typically reserves ice blue for their platinum models).
Both are mounted on gem-less Oyster bracelets. One has a totally ice-blue dial with diamond hour markers, while the other features a paved dial with ice-blue subdials and dark blue hands.
Reportedly there were also two completely iced-out Daytonas introduced this year: one in white gold and one in yellow gold. Images of those have been harder to come by.
The watches Rolex discontinued
The other big piece of unspoken Rolex news is the watches they choose to quietly discontinue as they introduce new pieces. 2023 has seen a particularly big batch of discontinued models – but for good reason, too.
Firstly, every previous Daytona and Sky-Dweller reference has been discontinued, as both models have received significant updates to both their movements, and in the Daytona’s case, its design (it’s got a new bezel and the new platinum Daytona has an exhibition caseback).
WATCH the reveal of the new 2023 Rolex Daytona below.
That means popular models like the yellow gold/green dial and white gold/blue dial Daytona are no more, as are all meteorite dial models. It’s a shame to see meteorite dials disappear from Rolex’s range (not that you could easily get your hands on them anyway…) especially considering how the current meteorite dial Daytonas were only introduced in 2021. Not a very long production run.
The Milgauss has also been discontinued, but unlike the Daytona or Sky-Dweller, there’s no update to take its place – it’s just completely gone. We don’t think that it’ll be gone for good, however: seeing as 2024 will mark the Milgauss’ 70th anniversary, we reckon Rolex is probably going to reintroduce it next year.
The Cellini has also been completely discontinued… In name only, at least. Rolex’s new 1908 dress watch – which not only closely resembles Cellini models of yore but now sits under a new ‘Perpetual’ model family alongside Rolex’s current ‘Classic’ and ‘Professional’ model families – is effectively a ‘like for like’ replacement for the Cellini.