All of Rolex’s New Watches From Watches & Wonders 2024
Rolex just announced their novelties at the world's largest watch show in Geneva.
BY Robb Report Editors  |  April 29, 2024
8 Minute Read

By Allen Farmelo and Nick Scott

Rolex just announced its novelties for 2024, and these releases are confirming our take on Watches & Wonders as a moment of iterative updates of classic watches. The 2024 collection is decidedly nothing like the wild puzzle pieces and emoticons we saw from The Crown last year. The exception here may be the Daytona, which is studded with diamonds and sports what one could call a “Pearl Panda” dial (and, of course, its reverse). 

The much anticipated GMT-Master II Coke (known for its red and black bezel) didn’t happen this year, but instead we get a lovely grey and black bezel (as seen on last year’s two-tone GMT-Master II) with a pop of Rolex’s signature green for the GMT hand and the option of an Oyster or a Jubilee bracelet—very classy.

If anyone was complaining last year that Rolex had strayed too far into the circus of colour–that the Crown was just having too much fun flitting about—then this year proves that Rolex was always going to return to its quiet place at the centre of the horological galaxy. Will this return to normalcy make any of these watches easier to get at retail? We will assume a resounding “hell no” to be the obvious answer. For many, including some of our own staff, these more conservative models will be the ones to own over the long haul, because they’ll remain timeless, versatile, and rugged companions—which, looking back over the past 100 years, is exactly what a Rolex was always meant to be.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends and family, please welcome the Rolex 2024 lineup to the stage.

Rolex GMT-Master II

GMT-Master II in Steel on Grey and Black Ceramic Bezel

Two new Oystersteel versions of the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II—one with an Oyster bracelet, the other with a Jubilee bracelet, both with a 24-hour graduated Cerachrom bezel insert in grey and black ceramic—will delight travellers with a sentimental streak for the understated steel GMTs of last century. As well as an alternative time zone, the green 24-hour hand points to a location that carries emotional significance for the wearer, which we simply call home. (Whether, for diehard fans, that’ll be the manufacture’s HQ in the Acacias district of the city in which the piece has been unveiled remains to be seen!)

The same green hue is used for the GMT-Master II inscription upon the black lacquer dial, offering a second subtle flash of colour on arguably the most elegantly muted iterations yet of a navigation tool watch first unveiled in 1982. But that’s not just any green; it’s Rolex green, so you’re assured a splash of quiet luxury every time you check the time—at home or wherever you may roam.

Rolex Deepsea Solid Gold 2024

Rolex Deepsea in Yellow Gold and Cerachrom Bezel

It’s the first ever Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea to be presented in 18-carat yellow gold. It’s also the first time the Deepsea has worn a Cerachrom bezel, and this is the first time that Rolex has separated the Deepsea from the Sea-Dweller lineup. That’s a lot of firsts.

That gold’s striking juxtaposition to the rich blue of the lacquer dial and ceramic bezel is not being lost on the crowds mingling in the Geneva Palexpo convention centre at the time of writing. But serious dive watch geeks right now are busy marvelling at a new technical masterstroke: the compression ring within the Ringlock system in this new piece—the part of the watch’s architecture that equips it to withstand depths of up to 3,900 metres—is now crafted from ceramic.

Technical diving innovation is an ongoing mission for Rolex, and the Deepsea has always been renown for its compression resistance. The Crown isn’t quoting any new depth figures, however—which is fine, because the 3,900 metres on offer since the Deepsea’s launch in 2008 imposes roughly 65 times the pressure the human body can endure. Ceramic also offers anti-deformation properties, though, and there’s no doubt that this piece’s waterproofness will be more robust than previous models, to be tested only should you drop it overboard in the middle of the ocean.

Tool watches being fit for purpose whatever they’ll end up (not) being used for is one of the industry’s core underlying tenets: and, as well as offering a strikingly aquatic vibe, the deep blue dial admirably complements legibility features such as the Chromalight display, the contrasting shapes of the hour markers, and differentiated hands which, like the triangular “zero” marker on the bezel, are also filled with Chromalite, Rolex’s proprietary luminescent material.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

Cosmograph Daytona With Diamond Bezel and Mother-of-Pearl Dials

Can a reinterpretation of a classic be simultaneously faithful and bold? Yes. Beyoncé’s take on The Beatles’ Blackbird proved it when new album Cowboy Carter hit streaming platforms two weeks ago, and Rolex are proving it today with these two new iterations of the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona.

Both are in 18-carat white gold; both have mother-of-pearl dials whose boundaries are graced with eight diamonds and three Chromalight hour markers; both are graced with a bezel set with 36 brilliant-cut diamonds. The differences? The one whose dial is white with dark chronograph counters comes with an Oysterflex bracelet; the inverted version of that colour scheme comes with Oyster bracelet. Notably, this is the first time we’ve seen a mixing of mother-of-pearl colours from Rolex, and we’re already calling these the the “Pearl Pandas.”

This is not the first iteration of a piece originally created for hardcore racing drivers, back in 1963, to forego the useful tachymetric scale for jewels, but we’ve never heard anyone complain about that. It’s arguably the most eye-catching bejewelled Daytona to date, however.

Rolex Day-Date 40 & 36

Day-Date 40 & 36 in Precious Metals

Nearly seven decades after the Day-Date became the first wristwatch to display the day of the week spelt out in full, Rolex has used new iterations of the model to demonstrate its dedication to incrementally nudging small details toward perfection.

One new Day-Date 40 in 18-carat Everose gold introduces, for the first time, a slate ombré dial around whose deep black edge are found faceted, deconstructed Roman numerals and faceted index hour markers in 18-carat pink gold. (Some fans may remember this one from the ad during the Oscars.) Another, in 18-carat white gold, features a dial whose white mother-of-pearl surface calls to mind overlapping clouds: an effect which interacts seductively with the 10 baguette-cut diamonds set onto the dial as hour markers.

In a new variant of the Day-Date 36, in 18-carat yellow gold, we see the deconstructed Roman numerals and faceted index hour markers previously reserved for the piece’s larger sibling set around a white lacquer dial; in another, in 18-carat Everose gold, the blue-green dial hue introduced on the Sky-Dweller last year has been adorned with 10 baguette-cut diamonds as hour markers.

President bracelets—a moniker coined when Lyndon B Johnson wore a yellow-gold Day-Date in 1965—are a given for all of these sophisticated iterations.

Rolex Sky-Dweller 2024

Sky-Dweller in Rose and Yellow Gold

Arriving two whole decades after the last entirely new model Rolex added to its repertoire (the Yacht-Master), the Sky-Dweller, when it was unveiled to the world in 2012, was interpreted as being the Crown’s contribution to the gargantuan watch trend then riding the crest of the zeitgeist.

Subtle mutations since then have demonstrated far longer-term aims for the line: the latest example being these two new 18-carat gold versions—in 18-carat Everose gold with a slate dial, and 18-carat yellow gold with white dial—each, for the first time, sporting a Jubilee bracelet.

Displaying the time in two time zones simultaneously (local time with conventional centre hands, reference time in 24-hour format on an off-centre disc) as well as offering an annual calendar (“Saros”) which automatically differentiates between 30- and 31-day months, Rolex’s most complicated wristwatch also features a Ring Command system using the bezel that allows the wearer to select functions with ease.

Rolex 1908 2024

1908 in Platinum with Ice Blue Dial

Rolex are calling this update on a piece launched only last year a “visual masterpiece”—and calling them out for hyperbole here would be churlish. Crafted in 950 platinum (which essentially refers to 95 per cent purity), the new version’s ice blue dial, with its rice-grain guilloché texture, combines to stunning effect with the otherwise smooth minute track’s crimped pattern filet sauté—not to mention the piece’s brown alligator leather strap.

Named as a doff of the cap to the year Hans Wilsdorf registered what remains the only genuine household name in fine watchmaking, the piece packs other details that fall into the “ultra-subtle, but impossible to ignore once you know they’re there” category: not least the chamfering on the top edges of the middle case lugs and a bezel whose smooth, domed effect gives way to fluting lower down.

It’s great to see the Crown leaning into the 1908 series, as the previous Cellini models that this replaces somehow lacked that je ne sais quoi that this watch appears to have heaps of. Also, this is Rolex’s slimmest watch, just as a dress watch should be.

All images courtesy of Rolex.