While it happened a few months later than usual due to the global pandemic, Rolex has finally unveiled its new models for the year. And despite the current situation and people having to see the new watches from afar via their screens, Rolex did what it does best and was the center of attention on reveal day, which was September 1, 2020. Here’s a brief recap of the new watches Rolex released in 2020.
New Rolex Submariner Watches
With its rotating bezel graduated to 60 minutes, impeccable water resistance, multi-shaped luminous hour markers, and three-link Oyster bracelet, the Rolex Submariner is the world’s most famous diving watch. It is also one that has remained remarkably consistent in design and size since the late-1950s.
However, for 2020, Rolex has made a notable change to the entire Submariner collection by introducing a slew of new models with 41mm cases to replace the traditional 40mm case. The new cases also have slimmer bezels and wider Oyster bracelets constructed with broader center links. In addition to the new sizing, the 2020 Submariner watches are also fitted with the latest in-house automatic movements—Caliber 3230 for the no-date Submariner and Caliber 3235 Submariner Date.
The new models include one no-date Submariner ref. 124060 in stainless steel with a black ceramic bezel and black dial, along with seven Submariner Date references (ref. 12661x) in a variety of metals and bezel and dial colors. One of the most anticipated releases is the new green Submariner Date ref. 126610LV, which retains the green ceramic bezel of its predecessor, the Submariner “Hulk,” but paired with a black dial rather than a green one. Likewise, the new generation white gold Submariner ref. 126619 pairs its customary blue “Smurf” ceramic bezel with a black dial instead of a matching blue one. How these new iterations fare “in the metal” with Rolex enthusiasts compared to their forerunners remains to be seen.
New Rolex Sky-Dweller Watches
Since its introduction in 2012, the Sky-Dweller has been one of Rolex’s most complicated, most expensive, and most flamboyant dress watch in the catalog. The Sky-Dweller is positioned as Rolex’s ultimate travel watch, boasting a dual time zone display. Furthermore, as an annual calendar watch, the Sky-Dweller only requires the wearer to manually adjust the date and month indicators on March 1st and will continue to correctly display the calendars throughout the rest of the year.
The gold Sky-Dweller versions have historically been offered with either a leather strap or a matching gold Oyster bracelet. For 2020, Rolex has now phased out the leather strap options in favor of the rubber Oysterflex bracelet. The new Sky-Dweller watches with Oysterflex bracelets come in two flavors of gold—the yellow gold Sky-Dweller (ref. 326238) and the Everose gold Sky-Dweller (ref. 326235).
The Oysterflex bracelet is Rolex’s newest watch band style, introduced in 2015. Unlike traditional rubber straps, Rolex’s Oysterflex bracelet includes a metal blade core inside the rubber exterior for added durability.
New Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watches
At the other end of the spectrum from the pricey Sky-Dweller lineup is the Oyster Perpetual collection, which is home to Rolex’s entry-level watches. With time-only dials and stainless steel construction, the Oyster Perpetual may be a straightforward watch but it doesn’t lose sight of two of Rolex’s signature design traits—a water-resistant Oyster case and a Perpetual automatic movement.
The Oyster Perpetual comes in various sizes and this year, Rolex has added a brand new size to the collection with the release of a 41mm Oyster Perpetual. The new Oyster Perpetual 41 ref. 124300 has replaced the Oyster Perpetual 39 as the largest option within the lineup. The new model also comes fitted with the latest Caliber 3230, in addition to some super vibrant dial color options including yellow, green, orange, turquoise, and more.
Rolex also replaced the previous 36mm Oyster Perpetual model with the new Oyster Perpetual 36 ref. 126000, complete with the same new caliber and dial colors as the OP 41.
New Rolex Datejust Watches
Similar to the Oyster Perpetual, the Datejust, which is arguably Rolex’s flagship watch model, also comes in a variety of sizes. One of these sizes is 31mm, which is often referred to as the midsize Datejust as its larger Lady-Datejust, and smaller than the Datejust 36 and Datejust 41.
Rolex has now expanded the Datejust 31 range with new versions of the stainless steel and white gold models, a material option known as White Rolesor. These include the Datejust 31 ref. 278384RBR with a full diamond-set white gold bezel, the Datejust 31 ref. 278344RBR with a smattering of diamonds set into the smooth white gold bezel, and the Datejust 31 ref. 278274 with a white gold fluted bezel. Naturally, these new-generation Datejust 31 watches are fitted with the latest automatic movements, which in this instance is Caliber 2236.
The Rolex Way
Even with new sizes, new movements, new dial colorways, and new bracelet options, it’s clear that Rolex is sticking to its long-time strategy of incremental enhancements rather than drastic changes. And with so many winning watch designs to their name, who can blame them.
What do you think of the new Rolex 2020 releases? Are there any you’d like to add to your collection? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.