Divers’ watches don’t get more iconic than a Rolex Submariner. For 2020, Rolex has upsized the case diameter to 41mm though that is hardly noticeable on the wrist because of the slimmer lugs. The bracelet has also been redesigned slightly to be wider to give the new Submariner watches better balance when worn. Eight new models are available including one with no date (Reference 124060) which features the new calibre 3230. The latter is perfect for those who rotate their collection of watches as there is no need to fiddle with one extra setting before putting it on. The Submariner Date with the green bezel and black dial – nicknamed Shrek by the watch community – is likely to be the most sought after going by online buzz. Given the current popularity and pent-up demand for steel Rolex sports watches, don’t expect to just walk into a boutique and buy one.
Why you need it: The existing 40mm models have since been discontinued and, unsurprisingly, prices for those have soared in the grey market. The Rolex Submariner is also highly sought-after, given its timeless look; and vintage ones go for a princely sum – the darker the patina, the higher the value, almost!
When Rolex first introduced the Sky-Dweller in 2012, it was only available in precious metal and the astronomical price tag kept it out of reach for many collectors who nonetheless made it their holy grail timepiece. When the more affordable Rolesor models in half-gold and steel were introduced from 2017, those flew off the shelves because this was the chance to finally own a Sky-Dweller for about a third of what the original full gold ones were retailing at. The current steel models in blue, white and black dials command a premium in the grey market and there is waitlist should you wish to purchase one from an authorised dealer. For 2020, Rolex has introduced three new models all in gold but with an Oysterflex bracelet for the first time.
That same elastomer strap is also used on select gold Rolex Daytona and Yacht-Master models; and it not only gives the Sky-Dweller a dressier look but it also makes the watch lighter compared to when it’s paired with a gold bracelet.
Why you need it: Like the Yacht-Master II, the Sky-Dweller is one of Rolex’s most complicated watches with a dual-time zone and annual calendar functions. And, with the prices of gold skyrocketing now, a gold watch sounds like a great investment. Also, the signature fluted bezel gives the watch a classic look though on the Sky Dweller, it’s not just there for the sake of design – it’s actually the (aptly named) Ring Command system which is used for setting the date and reference time.
Mention Rolex and the likes of the brand’s Professional models like the Submariner, Daytona and GMT-Master II come to mind. Until demand for those shot through the roof, few have paid attention to the entry-level Oyster Perpetual collection. Well, not anymore because it’s hard to miss the new ones for 2020 that come in a variety of eye-popping colours including turquoise blue, candy pink, coral red, green and yellow. (Andy Warhol would be proud!) It’s the first time Rolex has gone with such bold and vivid colours on the dial – a sign it could be attracting the attention of a younger demographic and appealing funkier fashionista types who typically might not rock a watch as an accessory.
Why you need it: The new Oyster Perpetual not only comes in a choice of different shades but also in a wide range of sizes ranging from 28mm to 41mm – the latter replacing the current 39mm version. So regardless whether you like your timepiece small or slightly oversized, there’s one for everybody. If those new coloured lacquer dials are too loud, you’d be glad to know the Oyster Perpetual also comes in the more traditional black and silver sunburst dials. Both the Oyster Perpetual 41 and Oyster Perpetual 36 are also powered by the new calibre 3230 found on this year’s Submariner (Reference 124060).
This article was originally published in The Business Times.