Monday, March 28, 2022

Watches and Wonders 2022: Rolex Teaser Dropped

...Watches and Wonders 2022...



Rolex Drops 16-second Video

The question on every Rolex fan's lips is what will the brand reveal when it trumpets its 2022 lineup Wednesday at 8:30 CET in Geneva. But the 16-second clip Rolex released today admonishes us to "Be prepared to move skywards." 

Rolex has three models that reference the skies: the Sky-Dweller whose 10-year anniversary is this year; the Air-King which, along with the Milgauss, is the last three-hand Rolex with the older and venerable workhorse caliber 3131 series movement.

And finally, the GMT-Master which can be seen shortly at second 8. I've included a gif animation showing the timezone number on the bezel. Rolex is being tricky here as it removed all bezel colors from the clip. (Could we hope for a Coke GMT?) 

Besides the GMT bezel there are three kinds of bezel featured in this short video: We see a smooth bezel that could belong to an Air-King or Milgauss. We also briefly see a fluted bezel (Sky-Dweller?). Finally, a Daytona-like case profile with a rotating bezel—which can only mean one thing: a new Yacht-Master in precious metal.

Commentary on a new GMT-Master

Notice the GMT numbers on the bezel above 

Will we get a new bezel color combination in steel or in precious metal? Releasing a Coke GMT straight to steel is a missed opportunity to capitalize on the über-demand for Rolex watches; Coke could start in white gold.

Still, the three dots of equal sizes on the crown signify the watch featured in the teaser is in steel. So, if the Cokeor any new color GMT for that mattergoes straight to steel, it means the BLNR, which is already nine years old, could be discontinued. But I'd bet against that: the Coke and Pepsi are very close in color, especially in low light when the blue darkens to black. A green and black (Sprite) GMT, however, would look very different from a Pepsi.

Offering blue/red and black/red only as color options for a steel GMT might not be the best move. The BLNR is markedly different. And if we learned anything from the OP's success, it's that fashion has switched from big watches to colorful watches. In short, color is the new 42. Having a BLNR, Coke (Sprite?), Pepsi and Rootbeer in the collection is a smart, collect-'em-all move, as people continue to eschew all-black watches that remind them of an Apple Watch for, instead, green Subs, blue Sky-Dwellers, Pepsi GMTs or turquoise OPs.

Commentary on a new Air-King/Milgauss

The Air-King and Milgauss are the last three-hand watches in Rolex's collection with the old movement, and we strongly expect an upgrade. The question mark is whether the outward appearance of those two references will change as well. Today we received a clue: the smooth bezel Rolex shown in the clip, which could point to either a Milgauss or an Air-King, shows a case with crown guards, making the soon-to-be-discontinued no-crown-guard Milgauss/Air-King a potential collector's item. And with a case redesign, I expect a dial change as well.