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Oyster Cosmograph Daytona

A collector’s eye view of new Rolex watches for 2023

Ken Kessler gives his instant reaction to the 2023 line of novelties from Rolex.

Could Rolex’s legendary reserve be relaxing? Amidst a host of new models are Oyster Perpetuals with wild lacquered dials which are already causing a buzz.

And when ‘buzz’ and ‘Rolex’ appear in the same sentence, it means rapid sales and images of waiting lists.

Indeed, the competition for acquiring the new models will be fierce, and not just the lacquered dial pieces.

Still supreme in sheer desirability is the Cosmograph Daytona (RRP £12,700 – £70,800).

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Oyster Cosmograph Daytona

Marking the 60th anniversary of the most coveted chronograph on the market, Rolex is ‘revisiting the entire range’, which translates into a high-precision reworking of the case and dial, as well as the movement.

The intention is to create a sense of ‘even greater visual harmony and a more modern demeanour.’

In addition the subtle aesthetic refinements, the sides of the case have been redesigned, while versions with Cerachrom bezels have the bezels edged with the same metal as the middle case.

Inside, the new 4131 movement incorporates the Chronergy escapement, Paraflex shock absorbers and a new oscillating weight with optimised ball bearing.

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Oyster Cosmograph Daytona

So delighted is Rolex with this new calibre that for the first time ever for an Oyster Perpetual, they want to share the visual rewards with the owner.

The movement features the Rolex Côtes de Genève decoration and a cut-out oscillating weight, while one the platinum version, the oscillating weight is made from 18kt yellow gold and is visible through a transparent case back.

Rolex 1908 Perpetual

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1908 Perpetual

A completely new Rolex timepiece, the Perpetual 1908 (RRP £18,500 – £19,600) was inspired by one of the first Rolex watches with a Perpetual rotor.

Its name refers to date the ‘Rolex’ trademark was officially registered in Switzerland.

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1908 Perpetual

Its hands, faceted hour markers and domed, fluted bezel recall Rolex’s watchmaking heritage.

The 1908 is available in 18k yellow or white gold, with white or intense black dial, while the transparent caseback the decorated Superlative Chronometer-certified Calibre 7140.

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1908 Perpetual

It could fill a gap left by the retirement of Rolex’s Cellini, which was confirmed along with the nixing of the Milgauss yesterday.

Rolex Yacht Master 42

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Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42

Yacht Master 42 (RRP £11,800) now benefits from a development first seen in the Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge: a titanium case which adds both lightness and improved corrosion to one of Rolex’s most sport-specific models.

Rolex Sky Dweller

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Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller

The Sky Dweller (RRP £13,150 – £42,800), also improved in its aesthetic details, is once more offered in 18k white gold, the version fitted with black dial on an Oysterflex bracelet, with Oysterclasp and the Rolex Glidelock extension system for optimal comfort.

New colours include mint green the white Rolesor version and blue-green on the 18k Everose gold version with Oyster bracelet.

Rolex GMT Master II

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Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II

For the GMT Master II (RRP £13,850 – £32,700), in two new versions in yellow Rolesor and 18k yellow gold have been announced.

They wear Cerachrom bezel inserts in grey and black ceramic, an entirely new colour combination from the brand.

Rolex Explorer 40

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Oyster Perpetual Explorer 40

The evergreen Explorer 40 (RRP £13,850) can now be acquired in a new size, the 40 in its name declaring its size of 40mm.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Rolex m126000 0009 2301jva 002 cmjnAnd the classic Oyster Perpetual?

Available in 31mm, 36mm and 41mm case sizes , the news is the aforementioned lacquer dial option.

Its bubble array recalls the most disruptive launch Rolex has experience in years: the five bold colours released in 2020.

Day-Date 36

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Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36

Alongside the standard Oyster Perpetual, the much-loved Day-Date 36 (POA), too, can be acquired with Green aventurine, carnelian and turquoise dials paired with watches in 18k Everose, yellow and white gold respectively.

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Rolex’s showstopper, however, is the Day-Date 36 with multi-coloured lacquer dial in the form of a jigsaw puzzle, while the arched day window at 12 o’clock shows the emblems for a calendar of 31 inspirational emojis for as ‘Love’, ‘Peace’ and ‘Hope’.

Swiss reserve? Seems like ‘reserve’ now only applies to remaining power.

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