Baselworld 2019 - Rolex novelties

25 minutes read

It’s that time of the year again. Baselworld, one of the watch world's most anticipated and prestigious fairs, premieres the years newest watches. Undoubtledly, Baselworld is one of the best weeks of the year for watch lovers all around the world, when the industry descends in Basel, a pocket-size cosmopolitan city. Rolex presented several exceptional new timepieces at Baselworld 2019.

This year, a new model joins the renowed Yacht-Master range of sailing watches: the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42. The Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller is introduced in a yellow Rolesor version, while the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II in Oystersteel with a Cerachrom bezel insert in blue and black ceramic is fitted with a Jubilee bracelet. The Day-Date 36 is presented with novel dials, in particular those in decorative stone. The Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 has also attracted great attention, and the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31 in yellow or Everose Rolesor versions are proposed with new, refined dials.

Yacht-Master 42 - The watch of the open seas

One of the most attractive novelties presented by Rolex at Baselworld 2019 is the new Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42. Rolex is extending its legendary Yacht-Master range with a new 42 mm model: the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42.On the Yacht-Master 42, the bidirectional rotatable bezel is fitted with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom bezel insert in matt black ceramic. Its raised graduations and numerals are first moulded into the ceramic and then polished. The first 15 minutes are graduated minute-by-minute to allow time intervals to be read with great precision.

Yacht-Master - Functionality and nautical style

As you may already know, Rolex played a pioneering role in the development of special ceramics for monobloc bezels and monobloc bezel inserts. Not only are these new materials extremely corrosion-resistant and virtually scratchproof, their colours are unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The brand has developed exclusive expertise and innovative high-technology manufacturing methods that allow it to produce these ceramic components completely independently. Like all Rolex Professional watches, the Yacht-Master 42 offers exceptional legibility in all circumstances, and especially in the dark, thanks to its Chromalight display. The broad hands and hour markers are filled with a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting glow.

Yacht-Master 42 - Ref. 226659

The Yacht-Master 42 is fitted with an Oysterflex bracelet, which singularly combines the robustness and reliability of a metal bracelet with the flexibility, comfort and aesthetics of an elastomer strap. The Oysterflex bracelet on this new model is equipped with a Rolex-designed and patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp in 18ct white gold, which prevents accidental opening. It also features the Rolex Glidelock extension system, designed and patented by the brand. This inventive toothed mechanism, integrated beneath the clasp, allows fine adjustment of the bracelet length by some 15 mm in increments of approximately 2.5 mm, without the use of tools.

Oysterflex bracelet

Inside the watch is Rolex calibre 3235, with approximately 70 hours of power reserve. This marks the first time that Rolex is using the 3235 on a Yacht-Master model. This self-winding mechanical movement led to the filing of several patents, and offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.

Sea-Dweller - The watch of the deep

Rolex diver’s watches engineered for deep sea exploration are cult. What looks to be the highlight of Rolex’s Baselworld 2019 novelties, at least for adventurers, is the Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller in a yellow Rolesor version, combining Oystersteel and 18ct yellow gold.

Sea-Dweller in Yellow Rolesor

Most of the watch specifics remain the same, but the use of yellow gold for the first time brings the watch into a new, more luxurious territory. Back in the day, the Sea-Dweller was designed in collaboration with the pioneers of professional deep-sea diving, who spent extended periods underwater. This ultra-resistant tool watch accompanied the first experimental underwater habitat programmes. It played a vital role in conquering the ocean depths thanks to its sturdy Oyster case, initially waterproof to a depth of 610 metres, then, from 1978 to 1,220 metres thanks to an important innovation patented by Rolex: the helium escape valve, fitted into the side of the watch case.

Helium escape valve

It's no secret that Rolex played a pioneering role in the development of special ceramics for creating monobloc bezels and monobloc bezel inserts. On the new version of the Sea-Dweller, the unidirectional rotatable bezel is fitted with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert in black ceramic that allows divers to safely monitor their dive and decompression times. The moulded, recessed graduations and numerals are coated with yellow gold via PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition). The bezel’s knurled edge offers excellent grip, to comfortably set dive time even when wearing gloves. A paragon of robustness and reliability, the Oyster case of the Sea-Dweller is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 1,220 metres. Its middle case is crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant Oystersteel.

Sea-Dweller - Ref. 126603

The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement.The winding crown, fitted with the Triplock triple waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case and is protected by an integral crown guard. In adition, the helium escape valve, patented by Rolex in 1967, acts as a safety valve.

Rolex caliber 3235

The new version of the Sea-Dweller is equipped with calibre 3235, a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. And no less important, Calibre 3235 provides high energy efficiency with great dependability and 70 hours of power reserve. Also, the movement is fitted with an optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks.

GMT-Master II - The cosmopolitan wristwatch

Just like last year, for many passionate collectors the hero of the show is the new model added to the GMT-Master range. At Baselworld 2019, Rolex is presenting a new version of the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II with bidirectional rotatable bezel and two-colour 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert in blue and black ceramic with jubilee bracelet. Designed as a navigation aid for professionals criss-crossing the globe, over time the GMT-Master became the watch of choice for untiring travellers.

GMT-Master II - Ref. 126710BLNR

Through the years, the emblematic single or two-colour bezel has been made available in a variety of colours and combinations. It is what makes the design unique and instantly recognizable With traditional hour, minute and seconds hands, a triangle-tipped 24-hour hand, and a bidirectional rotatable bezel with 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert the GMT-Master II can display the time in two time zones simultaneously: either the local time and the reference time, or the local time and that of an alternative time zone. The date, at 3 o’clock on the dial, is synchronized with the local time.

Display of the time in two time zones simultaneously

On the new version of the GMT-Master II, the bidirectional rotable bezel is fitted with a two-colour, 24-hour graduated Cerachrom insert, again in blue and black ceramic. The moulded, recessed graduations and numerals are coated with platinum via PVD. The bezel can also be turned with ease thanks to its knurled edge, which offers excellent grip.

Jubilee bracelet

This version of the GMT-Master II is fitted with a Jubilee bracelet. Supple and comfortable, the alluring five-piece link Jubilee bracelet was specially created for the launch of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust model in 1945. The new version of the GMT-Master II is equipped with calibre 3285, a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Calibre 3285 provides high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic interference. The blue Parachrom hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring its regularity in any position. Thanks to its complex architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3285 extends to approximately 70 hours.

Day-Date 36 - The watch of prestige

According to tradition, Day-Date 36 is getting a luxurious and sublte update. Rolex is introducing the new generation of its Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 available in 18ct yellow, white or Everose gold with distinctive new dials and gem-set bezels on some versions. At its launch in 1956, the Day-Date was a major innovation: it was the first calendar wristwatch to indicate, in addition to the date, the day of the week spelt out in full in an arc-shaped window at 12 o’clock – a technical feat at the time. The indication of the day of the week is available in a choice of 26 languages.

Day-Date – Presidents’ watch

Watches in the Day-Date range are made only in precious metals – 18 ct yellow, white or Everose gold or 950 platinum. Worn by many of the world’s political figures, directors and visionaries, the Day-Date is instantly recognizable, in particular thanks to its emblematic President bracelet, whose evocative name, together with the eminent figures who have worn it, ensured the Day-Date became known as the “Presidents’ watch”.

Day-Date 36 – Ref. 128238

In terms of design, Rolex is presenting the new combinations: two feature a novel dial design with a concentric gradient: the first, in 18ct yellow gold, is presented with a green ombré dial; the second, in 18ct Everose gold, with a brown ombré dial.

Both are embellished with diamond hour markers in 18ct gold settings; the diamonds at 6 and 9 o’clock are baguette-cut, a configuration specific to the Day-Date range.

Day-Date 36 – Ref. 128235

Two other versions, one in 18ct white gold and the other in 18ct yellow gold, are fitted with a dial in decorative stone – pink opal for one, slightly veined turquoise for the other – enhanced by shimmering hour markers and Roman numerals VI and IX in 18 ct gold set with diamonds. The bezel is adorned with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds.

Day-Date 36 – Ref. 128349RBR

The last watch, in 18ct white gold, is yet more precious. Its dial, featuring hour markers fashioned from ten baguette-cut sapphires in rainbow colours, is entirely paved with diamonds. Its bezel is illuminated by 52 brilliant-cut diamonds and its bracelet is set with 412 brilliant-cut diamonds along the centre links.

Pink opal, turquoise or diamonds – choice is yours

The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire and is fitted with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date.A paragon of robustness and elegance, the Oyster case of the Day-Date 36 is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres. The new versions of the Day-Date 36 are for the first time equipped with calibre 3255, a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. The movement is fitted with an optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. Calibre 3255 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor and power reserve of calibre 3255 extends to approximately 70 hours.

Rolex caliber 3255

Datejust 36 - The watch with everlasting appeal

Evolution of an icon – Rolex is introducing two new variants of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 – both white Rolesor versions combining Oystersteel and subtle 18ct white gold.

Rolex’s famous Datejust is the archetype of the classic watch thanks to functions and aesthetics that never go out of style. Launched in 1945, it was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a window at 3 o’clock on the dial, and consolidated all the major innovations that Rolex had contributed to the modern wristwatch until then. The Datejust has spanned eras while retaining the enduring aesthetic codes that make it so instantly recognizable.

Datejust 36 - Ref. 126234

The first version has a refined, black sunray-finish dial and fluted bezel, while the second combines a mesmerising white mother-of-pearl dial with 10 diamond hour markers in 18ct white gold settings and a bezel set with 52 brilliant-cut diamonds.

Datejust 36 - Ref. 126284RBR

The light reflections on the case sides and lugs highlight the elegant profile of the 36 mm Oyster case. A confirmed paragon of robustness and elegance, the Oyster case of the Datejust 36 is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres. Its middle case is crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant Oystersteel. Likewise, the sturdy case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The winding crown, fitted with the Twinlock double waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case.

The new versions of the Datejust 36 are equipped with calibre 3235, a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movement’s shock resistance.

Datejust 31 - The watch with enduring elegance

Rolex is introducing two new variants of the gentle Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31 – one in yellow Rolesor version harmoniously combining Oystersteel and 18ct yellow gold, and the other in an Everose Rolesor version combining Oystersteel and 18ct Everose gold. Launched in 1945, it was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a window at 3 o’clock on the dial, and consolidated all the major innovations that Rolex had contributed to the modern wristwatch until then. The Datejust has spanned eras while retaining the enduring aesthetic codes that make it so instantly recognizable.

The first watch pairs an olive green, sunray-finish dial with 18ct yellow gold hands and Roman numerals – the VI set with 11 diamonds.

Datejust 31 - Ref. 278273

The second features a rosé-colour, sunray-finish dial with hands and Roman numerals in 18ct pink gold.

Datejust 31 - Ref. 278271

The light reflections on the case sides and lugs highlight the elegant profile of the compact 31 mm Oyster case, which is fitted with a fluted bezel. Epitome of robustness and elegance, the Oyster case of the Datejust 31 is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres. Its middle case is crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant Oystersteel.

The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The new versions of the Datejust 31 are equipped with calibre 2236, a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Calibre 2236 is fitted with a Syloxi hairspring, patented and produced by Rolex. This silicon hairspring remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks, and its patented geometry ensures its regularity in any position. Calibre 2236 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor and offers a power reserve of approximately 55 hours.


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Baselworld 2019 - Rolex novelties



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