Watches

Rolex Rolls Out Its New Watches for 2021

WatchesApr 14, 2021

Rolex Rolls Out Its New Watches for 2021

The new Oyster Perpetual models include palm leaf dials on the Datejust 36 and a Daytona that’s out of this world, literally.

Rolex introduced a wave of new dials with its 2021 models, including this palm motif that’s available with a green dial on an Oystersteel bracelet (pictured, $7,050) and with a silver dial on an Oystersteel and Everose gold bracelet ($12,000).
New York—Rolex was among the watch brands that rolled out new models virtually over the past week, introducing a palm leaf motif, two new Explorers, and a Daytona that’s literally out of this world.  
 
The brand no longer exhibits at Baselworld, which is now called HourUniverse and tentatively scheduled for this summer, but opted to take part in the virtual Watches & Wonders Geneva show. 

The online-only show took place April 7-13.
 
Among Rolex’s 2021 introductions is a version of the Cosmograph Daytona, a watch first introduced in 1963 for professional race car drivers, with a solid meteorite dial.
 
Specifically, the meteorite used for the Daytona is a piece of space debris known as an octahedrite. 
 
Octahedrites are comprised of mostly iron and some nickel, with a distinctive pattern not unlike that of a rough diamond. They’re the most common type of meteorite that falls to Earth.

The Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona comes in 18-karat white gold with an Oysterflex bracelet (pictured here, $34,050) as well as in solid yellow and Everose gold.
The Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona comes in 18-karat white gold with an Oysterflex bracelet (pictured here, $34,050) as well as in solid yellow and Everose gold.

Still powered by the caliber 4130 movement, the 40 mm Daytona with meteorite dial is available with an Oysterflex strap ($34,050), with a yellow gold bracelet ($41,000), or in Everose gold ($43,700). 
 
Rolex also introduced four new versions of its Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36, a model that dates to 1945, with two distinct dial motifs—a palm motif and a fluted dial that mimics the fluted bezel that’s a brand signature. 
 
Rolex said the palm bezel “evokes lush, vibrant tropical forests,” and it is also on-trend, as palm leaves as a print (and their cousin, the banana leaf) have been popular in recent years. 
 
The watch is still equipped with the caliber 3235 movement. 
 
Retail prices for the new Datejust 36 models range from $7,050 for a green palm dial with Oystersteel bracelet to $12,000 for a silver palm diamond with an Oystersteel and Everose gold bracelet.  
 

Rolex also introduced two new Explorer models. The watch was introduced in 1953 following the first successful ascent of Mount Everest. 
 
The new Explorer is smaller, 36 mm instead of 39 mm, taking it back to its original size, and has a new movement, the caliber 3230 introduced on the Submariner and Oyster Perpetual last year. The movement has a 70-hour power reserve.
 
It is now available in yellow Rolesor (the name Rolex uses for its steel and gold models) with a black satin dial instead of black lacquer. The Chromalight on the hands, hour markers and numerals now glows brighter and for longer. 
 
The Explorer II, meanwhile, is still the same size, 42 mm, but has a broader bracelet and utilizes the new and improved Chromalight as well.  
 
Like its forerunner, the Explorer II also has a new movement, the caliber 3285, the same movement introduced on the GMT Master II in 2018. 
 
Last, but certainly not least in the eyes of diamond lovers, Rolex introduced gem-laden versions of the new Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 and Lady-Datejust. 
 
The Day-Date 36 comes in three colors with an alligator strap that matches the hour markers. It is still powered by the caliber 3255 movement.

The diamond-set 18-karat yellow gold Day-Date 36 with the coral-colored alligator strap and markers retails for $82,500. The Everose with burgundy and the white gold version with turquoise are both $85,000.
The diamond-set 18-karat yellow gold Day-Date 36 with the coral-colored alligator strap and markers retails for $82,500. The Everose with burgundy and the white gold version with turquoise are both $85,000.

There is an 18-karat yellow gold version with coral-colored markers and strap, an 18-karat white gold version with turquoise, and an 18-karat Everose version with burgundy-color alligator strap and hour markers. 
 
Each version is set with 819 diamonds and retail prices range from $82,500 to $85,800.
 
These three watches are what the brand refers to as “off-catalog” pieces, meaning they will be produced in limited numbers. 
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
The new gem-set version of the 28 mm Lady-Datejust—one of Rolex’s smallest watches—has 1,089 diamonds totaling about 7.5 carats. It too still has the same movement, the caliber 2236.

The 18-karat yellow gold version of the Lady-Datejust set with 1,089 diamonds retails for $131,100.
The 18-karat yellow gold version of the Lady-Datejust set with 1,089 diamonds retails for $131,100.

The hour markers are yellow gold coated in black PVD.
 
The watch is available in yellow gold ($131,100) or white gold ($134,400). 
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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