Rolex has just unveiled 16 new watches for 2021 at the Watches & Wonders show, officially revealing several new watches that are also extremely popular, such as the Explorer, Explorer II, Cosmograph Daytona and Datejust 36.
Rolex fans have always loved predicting new Rolex models, and this year other series of watches were basically predicted wrong, but the Explorer upgrade was guessed, because this year would have been the 50th anniversary of the Explorer II, and the official Rolex website released a short film in advance, in which the signature Mercedes needle and calendar magnifying glass are faintly visible, as well as the exploration of the high mountain valley footage, so obviously the new models must be related to the Explorer.
Rolex watches have always been inextricably linked to top-level expeditions, with the Explorer series often accompanying explorers to the mountains, the seas and the poles, and arguably the biggest news this year is the revamp of the Explorer series as a whole – the Explorer 1 and Explorer 2 are getting a facelift at the same time.
The main changes to the new Explorer are the upgrade to a 32-series movement – the 3230 calibre released last year – and the return to the classic 36mm size from the previous 39mm, the classic size of the watch when it was introduced in 1953. The 3, 6 and 9 numerals used on the black dial, as well as the hour markers and hands, have been optimised by Chromalight for enhanced visibility. Designed for exploration and adventure, this watch is water-resistant to 100 metres and features a double-lock winding crown to double its water resistance.
In addition to its smaller size, it is even more surprising that Tangyi, which has been producing steel models for decades, is now offering an inter-gold Explorer model!
Considering that gold steel/half gold is also a classic Rolex combination, Rolex trademarked the gold Rolesor (a combination of Oyster steel and 18ct yellow gold) back in 1933 and now the 124273 could mark the return of inter-gold.
Although it’s the 50th anniversary, Rolex hasn’t gone big this time. The new Explorer II 226570 looks virtually unchanged at a glance, before many predicted a switch to a ceramic bezel, who knew that Rolex was still sticking with the same brushed stainless steel bezel and 24-hour scale,replica rolex watches the same 42mm size and the same classic orange hue. 24-hour hand and Explorer II inscription. The minor changes to the exterior are simply a slightly wider bracelet, a slightly slimmer case and slimmer lugs; also, the black hour markers and hands have been chosen with a matte black finish, as the previous generation seemed to be all glossy lacquered; relatively new is the upgraded 3285 calibre that debuted in 2018 and, like the aforementioned Explorer, uses Chromolight luminescence.
Well, the predictions for the Daytona were also wrong on all counts, and looking back no one predicted that the new Rolex was just a change for a meteorite face. This isn’t the first time a Daytona dial has used meteorite. the ones in the Rolex catalogue from 2003 to 2016 featured a white gold model with a leather strap and a meteorite dial combination.
It’s not just steel Daytona’s flying into the sky on the secondary market, even the precious metal Daytona models that used to be sold at a discount have quite a few soared into the clouds, so is it an omen that the latest trio of Daytona’s have chosen meteorites that have fallen to earth from space?
This is of course a joke, the Daytona is surely Rolex’s strongest bastion, the Green Sailor has fallen into the flesh, I guess the Steel Dee is still floating. The three new versions: 18k white gold, 18k yellow gold and 18k Everose gold all come with a meteorite dial. The meteorite face is now different from the previous Rolex meteorite face. This time, Rolex has added an extra layer of coating to the meteorite face – the brand does not describe it, but it feels like rhodium plating – so that the overall colour is silvery-grey, instead of the dark black texture of the meteorite face.
The white gold model (Ref. 116519 LN) has a one-piece Cerachrom bezel in black ceramic, while the yellow gold (Ref. 116508) and Everose gold (Ref. 116505) versions have a metal bezel. All three models feature the Daytona signature tachymetric scale, but Ref. 116519 LN is moulded on the bezel and the other two are engraved on the precious metal. The bracelet also comes with an Easylink regulator.
‘Palm Leaf’ 36 Datejust
It’s probably been so long since Rolex has played with dial technology that new Rolex fans have probably forgotten that Rolex has always been a master at engraving on its dials. So this year, the main line of the 36mm Datejust has a new palm leaf patterned and pitted dial that has left many watch fans in awe and vowing to get their hands on it. The eye-catching Datejust 36 is available in Oyster steel with a silver-coloured palm leaf motif face; in yellow gold steel with a gold-coloured palm leaf motif face and Oyster strap; in eternal rose gold steel with a silver-coloured palm leaf motif face and commemorative Jubilee strap; and in yellow gold steel with a gold-coloured pit motif face, all equipped with the technologically advanced calibre 3235.
At the same time, the gold-pitted dial echoes the fluted bezel that has become a feature of the Datejust. These new dial patterns are said to have been created by the innovative femtosecond laser technology, something that is as high-sounding as it is actually an ultra-short laser pulse burst to stamp the design.
Rolex has no shortage of blink blink new creations every year and this year the ladies should be delighted that the dial, case, lugs and crown of the three new Day-Date 36 models are all set with diamonds, all in precious metals – 18k yellow gold, 18k white gold and 18k eternal rose gold – with coral coloured enamel, turquoise blue enamel and burgundy clock markers in enamel. The strap is the same colour as the enamelled Roman hour-markers,swiss replica watches making it a beautiful and eye-catching model with a 3255 movement.
All this expensive jewellery was not shown to the press and, well, we saw it for nothing, none of us could afford to order it, adding to the attrition.
Well, after a lot of praise, and a mountain of compliments from our peers, it’s time for the usual nitpicking: since the epidemic, I personally believe that Rolex’s quality control has declined, as can be seen in this year’s new models.
The lack of precise alignment of the internal engravings
Rolex since the rise of the inner wall engraving, 12 o’clock small crown is always aligned with the centre of 12 o’clock, and then ROLEX word by 5 minutes subdivision to its minute scale. But this year’s new models are generally not perfect here, the Explorer or DJ or some left and right offset, the Diagonal is relatively good, only one of the three offset a little; of course this does not affect the use, but the reason why Rolex has a sacred status among watch fans is because R is always on these details attentive.
Flawed brushed palm leaf dial texture
For some reason, the brushed palm leaf dial on the inter-gold DJ is slightly rough, compared to the other two, and there is also a more obvious and less normal brushing – clearly visible between 10 and 11 o’clock on the dial.