New Rolex Watches For 2020: What We LearntWritten by Alvin Wong
Highly coveted Submariner models lead the charge.
The wait is finally over. And as Rolex’s not-too-subtle, underwater-themed teaser ads leading to today’s big reveal prove, fanboys now have a new cast of Submariner and Submariner Date models to fawn over (and queue for).
ROLEX NEVER MESSES WITH A GOOD THING
Expect subtle but practical upgrades to the beloved Submariner collection.
Submariner Date 126619 LB
Key updates to the 2020 class of Rolex Submariners include slightly larger cases (41mm compared to 40mm); remodelled bracelets featuring a more tapered profile and the Oysterlock folding safety clasp and Glidelock extension system, which allows adjustments up to 20mm, in increments of 2mm; and new movements - Calibre 3230 with 70-hour power reserve, which is launched this year, for the Submariner; and Calibre 3235 for the Submariner Date, which replaces the long-serving Calibre 3135 that debuted way back in 1988.
Submariner Date 126613 LB
The new references include the classic no-date Submariner in steel with black dial and bezel, as well as a variety of Submariner Date models. The ones that caught our eye are the models in Rolesor with blue dial and bezel; the Batman-esque variant in steel with black dial and blue bezel; and the new ‘Kermit’ in steel with black dial and green bezel. Hotly discussed amongst collectors the moment it dropped, the Kermit is a highly collectible model that draws lineage to the Ref. 16610LV, which Rolex launched in 2003 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Submariner line.
Submariner Date 126610 LV
An introduction to the Submariner HERE.
THE SKY-DWELLER IS BACK
The second Rolex collection that’s given overdue airtime this year is the Sky-Dweller. An intelligent two-time zone annual calendar watch distinguished by its proprietary ‘Ring Command’ bezel to actuate the features, the Sky-Dweller debuted in 2012 and remains the most complicated watch in Rolex’s repertoire.
Having made its previous appearance in 2017 with white and yellow Rolesor models, the Sky-Dweller returns this year in its sportiest and most moneyed guise yet, clad in yellow or Everose gold with black dial, and complemented for the first time by Rolex’s moulded elastomer Oysterflex bracelet.
Learn more about the Sky-Dweller HERE.
SO ARE BOLD COLOURS
On the dressier side of things, we see additions to the Oyster Perpetual and Datejust 31 families. The Oyster Perpetual line introduces two key offerings: the Oyster Perpetual 41 in 41mm steel with black or silver dial that are fail-safe and easy on the eye; and new Oyster Perpetual 36 models in steel with an assortment of coloured dials spanning canary yellow to candy pink. All these Oyster Perpetual watches are equipped with the new Calibre 3230 movement.
Oyster Perpetual 36 126000
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 126000
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 126000
The Datejust 31 models, on the other hand, load up on glamour. Clad in white Rolesor (steel and white gold), there are four dial variants, though with a more restrained colour palette compared to the new Oyster Perpetuals.
Datejust 31 278384 RBR
If you are one for ostentation, check out the version with purple dial and diamonds set on the bezel and the ‘VI’ marker.
THERE IS AN UNSUNG HERO
You’ve probably noticed that we mentioned the Calibre 3230 several times already. Powering this year’s Submariner and Oyster Perpetual models, the time-only Calibre 3230 was launched earlier this year and is a no-frills workhorse engine that promises greater power and energy efficiency.
Rolex Calibre 3230
The automatic movement features Rolex’s proprietary Chronergy escapement made of nickel-phosphorous that is highly magnetic resistant with skeletonised escape wheel and re-engineered pallet fork to yield a 15 per cent increase energy transmission; Parachrom hairspring that’s 10 times more shock resistant than traditional hairsprings, and unique barrel architecture that contributes to almost 70 hours of power reserve.
Last but not least, a nifty guide to buying your first Rolex HERE!
Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.