Speculations: Rolex – Baselworld 2018

It’s that time of the year! Baselworld is right around the corner, and the dreams and wishes of enthusiasts are boiling on the discussion boards around the web. One brand seems to be causing more fuzz than the others, namely Rolex!

During the weeks and months (well, actually all year since the last Baselworld closed its doors) leading up to this year’s event, the speculations on what Rolex will be launching are both numerous and creative. The company is notoriously good at keeping their novelties a secret, even though we saw leaks last year about the new Sea-Dweller 50th Anniversary Edition that was spot on. Quite a few of the other novelties came more as a surprise to many, including the Sky-Dweller in steel and the first Rolex with a moon phase in decades, namely the Cellini Moonphase.

From time to time it’s possible to predict what’s to be expected from the undisputed giant of the luxury watch world, based on models launched in previous years and expected expansion of certain collections. Usually models launched in precious (or not) metal being re-introduced in steel, platinum, gold or the gold and steel mix known as two-tone. However, the company is also quite good at launching models “no one” anticipated or expected, with the sports collection being the one causing the biggest fuzz of them all.

One of the hottest tips (read: wish) before last years show, was a re-introduction of the GMT-Master with a black and red bezel, or “Coke”. Nowhere to be seen during last years show, enthusiasts keep crossing their fingers this year. Also, a slimmer case for the Submariner and GMT-Master-series seems to be topping the wishlist this year.

If we take a look at the last years’ introductions, both cosmetic and mechanical changes have been introduced, with the new Datejust 41, Daytona(s) and Sea-Dweller as examples. With improved movements featuring a longer power reserve and even better resistance towards magnetism as the most notable differences from earlier versions. It is not impossible that Rolex will include new models to these mechanical improvements during this years Baselworld.

During the last few years, we’ve seen what seems to be an unprecedented interest and demand for Rolex sports models in steel. Series such as the Submariner, GMT-Master, Daytona, and Explorer are all gone from the retailer the minute they arrive, sold to a customer who probably have been eagerly waiting for quite some time. Speculations arise as to whether Rolex has decreased the production of one or more of these models to replace them with new ones. However, with the interest in the current collection, it seems unnecessary for Rolex to do anything really. The question is if they want to or not.

This article features some of the roumors and wishes for what Rolex will launch in less than a month. None of these images or models are official in any way!


GMT-Master II – “Coke”
Let’s start with a model that has been highly requested for many years already. A re-introduction of the famous GMT-Master “Coke” with its black and red bezel, and preferrably on the steel version of the watch. When Rolex re-introduced the “Pepsi” a few years back, the blue and red bezel was only available on the white gold version of the watch, making it very expensive, and thus unavailable for many collectors.

IF Rolex were to present changes to the “GMT-Master”-family, it is expected by many that they will upgrade the current collection with a slimmer case and new movement. If they do, this watch will probably see even more extensive waiting lists than any other model out there. We are crossing both fingers and body parts, hoping to see this one live in a few weeks time!

Submariner “Slim”
When Rolex introduced the modern versions of the Submariner, the lugs were significantly wider than all previous versions, giving it the nickname “Maxicase”. Slimming the case and giving it a more classical look has been requested by a “landslide” of collectors.

A slimmer case, combined with an upgraded movement would probably see equally insane waiting lists as a new “Coke”, and maybe they do something a bit crazy, adding a red/blue/green text to the dial? We aren’t really expecting it, but it would be a killer for sure!

Rolex will launch a new model of its Submariner, the question is when. We are confident that when they actually do (being this year or another), the changes will be subtle and carefully executed, as this really is a true icon!

Explorer II – Ceramic bezel
Another favorite rumor over the past years is a new version of the Explorer II. The current edition has been around for a few years now, and a new smaller version and/or a version with ceramic bezel seems to be requested by many.

The fact that a ceramic bezel is more exposed to damage if hit directly, could, however, prove a valid point for not giving the ultimate tool-watch of the Rolex collection this “upgrade”. As yet another very iconic watch, changes will probably be careful thought through, but we must admit that we love the visual look of the mock-ups!

Daytona Ceramic – Gold (on Oyster bracelet)
Rolex have introduced a number of new Daytonas with ceramic bezel during the past years, including versions in gold on Oysterflex last year. It seems natural to expand the Daytona-family to include Oyster bracelets for the new versions.

Waiting lists for the steel version, and to some extent also the gold versions, are still a nightmare, so maybe Rolex will want to catch up a bit before introducing new versions? Or do they find the black ceramic bezel to be more fitting on just the Oysterflex-bracelet?

Others
Crawling the web for watch news and rumors, you’ll find several other models than the ones we have listed above. Among the most anticipated is a Cellini chronograph and new updated versions of the Day-Date 36.

Answers coming when Baselworld opens its doors in just a few weeks!

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