Rolex invites us on an adventure — from the earth’s deepest caves to the highest mountain peaks, from tropical forests to the cosmos. The new releases unveiled at Watches & Wonders Geneva explore all aspects of watchmaking expertise.
The watch manufacture with the iconic crown spoiled its fans this year. The dominant theme of the 2021 crop of new watches is exploration. Geographical, of course, as well as technical and aesthetic. Among the future best-sellers, the new-generation Explorer and Explorer II are already attracting a lot of attention. The former, created following Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s victorious ascent of Everest in 1953, has returned to its original
36mm diameter and is available for the first time in a yellow Rolesor version — combining Oystersteel and 18ct yellow gold. The Explorer II, the watch of choice for speleologists and vulcanologists, designed for going to the farthest reaches of the earth, has been revisited in Oystersteel — an extremely robust, corrosion-resistant steel. So, it is appropriate for the most extreme conditions. More than ever, the Explorer range combines prowess, technique, and elegance.
Elegance hand in hand with performance
Another highlight this year was the Datejust 36 and the Cosmograph Daytona unveiling new dials with unique designs. At Rolex, dials shine with spirit and vitality, springing to life as light falls across their surface. A palm motif adorns three versions of the Datejust 36, inspired by tropical forests. An olive green dial for the Oystersteel watch, and golden and silver dials for the yellow Rolesor (combining Oystersteel and 18ct yellow gold) and Everose Rolesor (combining Oystersteel and 18ct Everose gold) versions respectively. Like all Rolex watches, the Datejust 36, powered by calibre 3235, carries the Superlative Chronometer certification. The Cosmograph Daytona, in 18ct yellow, white or Everose gold, reveals a dial of extra-terrestrial origin, made of metallic meteorite. This material displays patterns that were formed as the heart of an asteroid cooled slowly on its journey through the cosmos – a process that takes millions of years.
Another exercise in style is gem-setting, which allows an iconic model to be revisited by illuminating it with precious stones. This year, the Day-Date 36 and the Lady-Datejust sparkle with diamonds, carefully chosen by gemmologists and then set by gem-setters to showcase the stones’ radiance. Our favourite is the new Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust in 18ct yellow gold set with 1,089 diamonds spread over the middle case, bezel, dial, and President bracelet. It is an exceptional watch whose brilliance and sparkle is perfectly suited to a slender wrist.
By Milena Radoman