Now the SIHH in Geneva ended with their yearly watch news, I ask myself what the Rolex news will be at the upcoming Basel World Show 2018. Again, we see that many brands find inspiration from their heritage during their SIHH presentations. New editions of successful oldtimers have become a must. Will Rolex come up with vintage inspired newcomers is the question? My personal opinion is that Rolex will never go back to copy their past and reproduce an old design because they’ve always wanted to improve their watch designs. Minimal change  & improvements is their long term vision and if then it has to fit into their current line up. In general Rolex will, as they do every year, come up with a small updates like adding a new material, a different color dial or yet another ceramic bezel to an existing reference, not very exciting but necessary to keep the icon alive…

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Last year the Rolex reintroduced a vintage detail by adding a red line on their stunning single red Seadweller, something I predicted way before the Basel Show opened. Rolex is adapting important heritage details from their past in their current line up. Below the first Sea Dweller “Single Red” Ref 1665 and next to it the modern version, here without loupe…

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The final result of the new Ref 126600 isn’t that different then my 2008 Piccard Deepsea… 😉

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10 years later after my “Single Red DeepSea” design, Rolex brought back the iconic red writing for their super tool watches….

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The new red Sea Dweller was their biggest news of 2017 and it shows Rolex cares about their heritage now. It also shows that modern buyers want details from the past. Maybe this year Rolex added the black & red coca cola steel GMT Master to their collection….

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Another home run was Rolex ceramic steel Daytona, which perfectly fits in their evolution…

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Predicted like 2 months prior Basel World 2016….  RPR_Daytona_Predictions

Logically on 20128 the bicolor Rolex Daytona will be “ceramic bezelished”

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Apropo bezel, I really think it has become time that the Rolex Milgauss get it deserved turning bezel instead of the plain one and could look like this. Although the accents would be better of in red then orange, I still believe this could become a instant hit!

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Actually it doesn’t need that much orange…

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It looks even better when I take off all orange minute and make the look more clean, more Rolex..

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Without any orange and accents now in red. This would perfectly fit next to the 2017 Red SeaDweller…

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I still believe theirs plenty of room to add the all blue GMT master as well. I read that many would like to buy it if Rolex takes it into production, I also think that it would indeed become an instant hit. The color blue referring to the blue sky, where the GMT master was made for, it’s black dial and steel case you can wear at any occasion.

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So many collectors and Rolex aficionado’s would love to buy a Black & Red steel GMT Master ( coca cola ). As Rolex always had this in their collection, I would be very surprised if they don’t introduce it in Basel, on a jubilee bracelet 😉

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I could also imagine that Rolex will update the Explorer II with a different kind of bezel, maybe even grey ceramic like I showed you in my “What Rolex could adjust to their new 2017 Basel World collection“… rpr_rolex_new_2017_black_explorerii

“Heritaged” bezel like I did with my 2012 Hillary & Tenzing Edition….

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An hommage to Hillary & Tenzing….

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The Explorer I could also use some red on the dial….Look how nice, it really makes the dial stand out!

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I also believe that Rolex Oyster cases should get their “bevels” back. Not only is it making the case much more elegant, the glossy polished champfer will also become future condition indicators, which makes each Rolex more collectable.

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Hommage to the legendary Rolex “James Bond” Big Crown… The Singer Porsche under the special Rolex 😉

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Over the years I’ve experienced that Rolex is rather a slow company. Not slow in terms of producing their watches but slow in terms of changing their strategy. Even when has been proven ( like terminated Prince collection) that a different direction, design etc would be more effective ( read profitable ), the mothership waits long before it reacts.

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This year I feel like Rolex could come with something new and exciting that they have been prepared in the background. When I look at their current collection line up all corners are covered and every reference has been updated in size, color and material. The only line that needs improvement imho is their below Rolex Cellini collection. Since the Rolex Daytona has reached in 2017 the ultimate cult status after the $ 17.75 million record sale of Mr Newman’s Paul Newman, we see collectors picking up other Rolex chronograph references, in particular Pre- Daytona and earlier Oyster & Non Oyster chrono’s. With other words, historical there’s plenty of room for adding a new Rolex chronograph next to the Daytona!

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Therefor I think that Rolex could surprise us with a new chronographs caliber, added to the Cellini line. A new elegant stopwatch next to the iconic Daytona in precious metal. The immense possibilities of different dial designs would give Rolex plenty of possibilities to come yearly up with new looks. This new chrono will of course not become a limited edition but I could imagine Rolex would rather announce that it will be made for a limited time, like 3-5 years and then stop the production, creating a future classic collectable. Find below a quick photoshop I made to show you the possibilities. Once this chrono has been adopted, many different dial, bezel and pusher designs are possible to honor the world renowned early Oyster Chronograph’s in an elegant way.

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It’s always useful to check out the patent register to get an idea what is Rolex protecting for the future. December 2014, more then 3 years ago, Rolex patented a “Dual Time Chronograph” that could be ready for production after intensive testing by now.

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The earlier predicted annual calendar added to the Day Date would also be a logic move…

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Clean and simple and yet very useful with the month indicator at 8 ‘o clock. If you wanna rock sales, make it in stainless steel…

 

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In the upcoming months to Basel I will update this article with more possible Rolex Basel News for you so stay tuned!

Cheers,
Philipp

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