Rolex has released a smorgasbord of new watches at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023, including a titanium Yacht-Master, a new platinum Daytona with a brand-new movement and many more.
Geneva, Switzerland – it took a long time to get into Watches & Wonders this year, with tens of thousands of the world’s watch journalists, retailers and fanatics descending on Geneva to get a peek at 2023’s most anticipated watch releases.
But no brand’s releases are more anticipated than Rolex’s. The world’s biggest and most coveted watch brand is always the talk of the fair – especially this year, after they shared a particularly teasing preview video giving subtle hints about what they had in store for us.
We here at DMARGE are happy to say that our predictions were mostly correct… Not because we’re self-satisfied, but because they’re some seriously cool watches. We didn’t get everything right, however – again, not a problem, because Rolex has gone above and beyond this year.
Let’s go through all the highlights.
A titanium Yacht-Master
Rolex made a huge splash earlier this year when they unveiled the Rolex Deepsea Challenge back in February: their first production model to be made out of titanium, as well as the biggest and most water-resistant model the 118-year-old brand has ever created.
But at a whopping 50mm in diameter and over 18mm thick, it’s hardly wearable – which is why this new titanium Yacht-Master, at a much more manageable 42mm, is a real treat.
We know Rolex had been working on a titanium Yacht-Master for a few years: a prototype titanium Yacht-Master (albeit without a titanium bracelet) was first spotted on the wrist of British superyacht skipper Sir Ben Ainslie while he was competing in the 2021 Prada Cup.
While sister brand Tudor has dabbled in titanium watches, namely with the Pelagos dive watch, it’s a material Rolex has previously been reluctant to use. But it makes a lot of sense for a tool watch – especially one ostensibly meant for intrepid ocean-goers.
A new platinum Daytona (plus big updates to the Daytona)
This is one that’ll excite the hypebeasts. 10 years ago, for the 50th anniversary of the Daytona, Rolex released their first platinum Daytona with an ice blue dial (Rolex reserves ice blue dials for titanium models). 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the Daytona, so they’ve re-released and updated the big baller platinum Daytona.
What’s really big is that it now has a transparent caseback: the first Rolex to ever have such a feature. It’s also got a new movement, the calibre 4131, which incorporates a number of the major innovations that Rolex has brought to its latest movements, including a Chronergy escapement.
It also features a cut-out oscillating weight and completely new finishes – notably on the bridges, which are embellished with Côtes de Genève – which now, thanks to the transparent caseback, you can admire in all its glory.
This platinum Daytona marks the second high-profile platinum releases from the Crown in two years. Last year at Watches & Wonders Geneva, Rolex unveiled a platinum Day-Date, which we reckon might be one of the heaviest (and bougiest) watches Rolex has ever made.
WATCH the reveal of the new 2023 Rolex Daytona below.
Actually, Rolex completely updated their entire Daytona range (meaning that all previous Daytona references have been discontinued). Other than the new movement, the Daytona now features a slightly different case design: the ceramic tachymeter bezel now features a metal ‘lip’.
A new GMT-Master II bezel colour
2023 has also seen a new bezel colour combination for the ever-popular GMT-Master II: grey and black. It’s available on either a two-tone stainless steel and yellow gold model (a material combination Rolex calls ‘Rolesor’) or full yellow gold, both with Jubilee bracelets.
The GMT-Master II is arguably Rolex’s most popular watch and different bezel colours are always big news… And a chance for a new nickname to be born. Last year at Watches & Wonders Geneva, Rolex stole the show when they introduced the left-handed GMT-Master II ‘Sprite’ (ref. 126720VTNR).
It took a few weeks for a nickname to stick, with other candidates like ‘Destro’ initially gaining popularity before Rolex fans chose its current moniker – a thematic nod to the ever-popular ‘Pepsi’ and ‘Coca-Cola’. We just wonder what black and grey might get called. We reckon it should be called the ‘John Player Special‘.
For those of you not in the know, John Player Special was actually a brand of cigarettes that boasted a distinctive black and gold colour scheme. The cigarette brand famously loved to sponsor motorsports, with its black and gold livery gracing cars in Formula 1, Australia’s V8 Supercars and many more. Subtle, sumptuous and full of history, it’s a great design.
It’s also a colour scheme that’s celebrated in the watch world. TAG Heuer actually released a ‘JPS Carrera’ last year (although they’d never officially call it that). But when it comes to Rolex nicknames, that’s all up to the fans – so we can call it whatever we like. We reckon it’s the perfect nickname for this new GMT-Master II bezel.