Editors Pick New Releases Watches

Rolex Launch New Watches for 2022

Rolex Air-King Ref. 126900

Rolex Air-King Ref. 126900

Before you frantically start looking for mention of the Air King, it’s worth pointing out that we’ve covered Rolex’s flagship 2022 launch separately, here. Instead, this article will look at… well, everything else. And there’s a lot to look at.

While there’s nothing that particularly breaks the mould, Rolex have introduced new colours and previous metals to some of their signature collections, as well as a few colourful flourishes that’ll have metiers d’art fans hot under the collar. So, without further ago, let’s get into it.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Platinum

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Platinum

This one is a no-brainer. Rolex’s combination of platinum case and ice blue dial has always been one of the most recognisable Day-Date models and easily the coolest, if slightly less classical than its stablemates. What is has lacked however is the collection’s famous fluted bezel. No more.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Platinum

Price & Specs

Ref: 228236   |   Case/dial: 40mm diameter, platinum case, ice blue dial, fluted platinium bezel   |   Water resistance: 100m   |   Movement: In-house Calibre 3255, automatic, Superlative Chronometer with paramagnetic Parachrom hairspring, COSC chronometer-certified   |   Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)  |   Power reserve: 70h  |   Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day of the week   |   Strap: President semi-circular three-piece platinum bracelet   |   Price: £50,850, available in October, more details here.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42

Continuing the wave of new precious metals, for the first time the Yacht-Master 42 is available in yellow gold. There’s not a huge amount to say here as this is just a palette update, joining the previous white gold version. It’s definitely a lot flashier, sure to be the envy of all the other guys at your yacht club. Otherwise, it’s the same watch. Which isn’t a bad thing.

Oh, and it comes with the 3235-calibre automatic movement, with its 70-hour power reserve and host of Rolex innovations.

Price & Specs

Ref: 226658   |   Case/dial: 42mm diameter, polished 18k yellow gold case, bidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel with matt black Cerachrom insert in ceramic, polished raised numerals and graduations  |   Water resistance: 100m   |   Movement: In-house calibre 3235, automatic, Superlative Chronometer with paramagnetic Parachrom hairspring, COSC chronometer-certified   |   Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)  |   Power reserve: 70h  |   Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date   |   Strap: Oysterflex rubber with flexible metal blades overmoulded with high-performance elastomer with folding 18k yellow gold Oysterlock safety clasp   |   Price: £22,750, more details here.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II

Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II

Onto bezels now and if there’s one watch that can always use a new two-tone colourway it’s the GMT-Master II. The iconic pilot’s watch is so famous for it’s bezel that each variation has its own soft drink-slanted nickname. I guess that makes this Green Cola? It’s a handsome bezel no matter what you want to call it, and will have fans of the Kermit debating their choices.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II
Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II

More importantly though is the crown, which has been moved to the left side of the case. It’s a pretty substantial change that means reorienting the entire movement, and one that mainly freakish lefties (and collectors in search of novelty value) will appreciate. Still, it’s cool to see and opens up a few more left-handed possibilities across the Rolex collection.

The new watch is available on either an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet, for an extra cost on the latter, and comes equipped with the 3285, the GMT version of the 3235 with all the same advancements.

Price & Specs

Ref: 126720VTNR   |   Case/dial: 40mm diameter, Oystersteel case, black dial, bidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated bezel in two-colour green and black, left-sided winding crown   |   Water resistance: 100m   |   Movement: In-house Calibre 3285, automatic, Superlative Chronometer with paramagnetic Parachrom hairspring, COSC chronometer-certified   |   Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)  |   Power reserve: 70h  |   Functions: Central hour, minutes, seconds, GMT hand, date   |   Strap: Oystersteel three-piece link bracelet or Jubilee bracelet   |   Price: £8,800 (Oyster bracelet) or £9,000 (Jubilee bracelet), available in October, more details here.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40

An entirely different type of bezel here, bejewelled versions are nonetheless a Rolex highlight and this year the watchmaker’s opting for a slightly more subdued take on their famous rainbow-set bezel. In this instance, Rolex has used floral tones in blue, white, pink and lilac in diamonds and sapphires.

It’s an unusual palette but an incredibly attractive one. It’s a bit less fun than the rainbow, but a lot more subtle. If trapeze-cut stones paired with a case set with 46 brilliant-cut diamonds can be called subtle.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40

It’s worth noting that the 40mm case itself is in white gold, a first for the smaller Yacht-Master. It’s also equipped with the calibre 3235 automatic movement like its larger and newly yellow gold sibling.

Price & Specs

Ref: 126679 SABR   |   Case/dial: 40mm diameter, 18K white gold case, black dial, 18K white gold bidirectional bezel set with 8 trapeze-cut diamonds, 32 trapeze-cut sapphires and one triangular diamond at 12 o’clock    |   Water resistance: 100m   |   Movement: In-house Calibre 3235, automatic, Superlative Chronometer with Parachrom hairspring, COSC chronometer-certified, 32 rubies   |   Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)  |   Power reserve: 70h  |   Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date   |   Strap: Oysterflex rubber with flexible metal blades overmoulded with high-performance elastomer with folding 18k white gold Oysterlock safety clasp   |   Price: £64,400, more details at Rolex.

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.

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