It’s the nature of the watch game that watchmakers can’t sell every watch they produce indefinitely. And while it can be sad to see your favourite models retired from production and relegated to the grey market (where the limited numbers of Rolexes being delivered at the moment mean prices are skyrocketing), it makes way for new watches and replacements.
Alternatively, watches can become the victims of their own success and generate waiting lists so long that watchmakers would prefer to discontinue them instead of being trapped making them for the next 30 years. And so, here are the watches Rolex are discontinuing in 2022.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Coral Red (31mm, 36mm, 41mm), Yellow (31mm, 36mm, 41mm) and Turquoise Dial (41mm)
One incredibly popular watch, at the height of the current zeitgeist, that’s being put out to pasture is the Tiffany blue Oyster Perpetual 41mm. The iconic shade of light blue has captivated watch collectors even more than usual following the launch of the Tiffany Blue Nautilus 5711/1A-018 late last year. With the numbers of the Nautilus extremely limited, collectors have looked to other brands like Rolex to fill the light blue gap in their collections. But no longer, at least at 41mm sizes as the Ref. 124300 with light blue dial has been discontinued. However, you can still get your tiffany blue fix at the more refined Oyster Perpetual 36mm and 31mm diameters.
Alongside the 41mm light blue, a whole host of other colourful Oyster Perpetuals at various sizes are gone too. The coral red version is completely gone at 41mm, 36mm and 31mm and it’s the same story for the yellow.
Rolex Air King 116900
It’s become incredibly popular to try and predict what watches Rolex is going to launch and discontinue each year and one watch that cropped on several source’s chopping block was the Air King. And they were right, sort of. Instead of discontinuing it outright, Rolex have replaced it with the Ref. 126900, an updated version with a new case, improved dial and upgraded movement. With the new watch filling the same niche as the old one but better, there’s really no reason not to discontinue the 116900.
Rolex Day-Date 40 Platinum 228206 (Smooth Bezel)
One of the most iconic attributes of the Day Date is its fluted bezel, which is why it was bizarre that one of the most popular models – platinum with a light blue dial – was only available with a smooth bezel. Not any longer as the smooth 228206 has been replaced with the much sexier fluted 228236.
While an argument could be made for continuing to produce the smooth bezel version in addition to the new one, that would likely mean that fewer of each version could be made. And considering the supply issues Rolex is already facing, that doesn’t sound like a good idea.
Rolex Deepsea 126660
This is an odd one. The Rolex Deepsea Sea Dweller 126660 has been discontinued and replaced by the 136660. However, there’s no reason to be sad because the 136660 has exactly the same case, movement and styling. The only change is there’s a hint of platinum PVD and a fractionally larger date aperture.
All Rolex Cellini Models (Except One)
Cellini is dead. Or at least it seems that way as Rolex have axed four out of five of the remaining Cellini models. It’s adios to two date models and two time models leaving only the moonphase standing. It’s an understandable decision, the Cellini doesn’t add anything to the range that other Rolexes don’t already do and it feels the most unique stylistically, diluting the Rolex design language.
However, the fact that the moonphase remains means we could see the return of the Cellini as a fully fledged collection at some point, perhaps with a new high complication angle. At the moment it’s in a similar position to where the Air King was last year and we’ve already seen what Rolex did to that.
Discontinued Rolexes in 2022:
- Oyster Perpetual 124300 (41mm, turquoise, coral red or yellow dial), 126000 (36mm, coral red or yellow dial), 277200 (31mm, coral red or yellow dial)
- Deepsea 126660 (replaced by 136660)
- Air King 116900 (replaced by 126900)
- Day-Date 40 platinum 228206 (replaced by 228236)
- Cellini Time 50505 / 50509
- Cellini Date 50519 / 50515