Rolex Introduces Updates to 9 of Their Wristwatch Models at Baselworld 2016

March 16, 2016

Every year at Baselworld, watchmakers introduce their latest innovations and product updates to the world. This year, Rolex will be presenting upgrades to 9 of their wristwatch models. Some have received a complete makeover, while others more subtle adjustments. 

For those who are unable to make it to Basel, Switzerland this weekend, I have compiled my favorite configurations of the new 2016 model lineup that is now available to browse on Rolex's official site. Check out my picks below. 

Rolex Cellini Date

2016 Rolex Cellini Date
The Cellini is perhaps the most distinctive amongst Rolex Models, with a more elegant aesthetic that harkens back to the early 20th century. This year, Rolex has released a version of the Cellini Date with a blue guilloche dial, blue leather strap and 18 karat white gold case. The color combination brings the model into the 21st century, while retaining the sophistication of the Cellini.

Rolex Air-King
2016 Rolex Air-King
I have come across many vintage Air-King models while browsing online shops and have come to appreciate their simple yet sporty look. I really like that the minute scale is displayed between the large 3,6 and 9 numerals on the dial. In their homage to aviation, Rolex kept the same 'Air-King' lettering used in vintage models. The stainless steel and black dial make it look similar to the Explorer, but this model features a colored Rolex logo and a green second hand.

Rolex Explorer
2016 Rolex Explorer
This update would fall under the 'more subtle' category I mentioned earlier. I spent a few minutes going back and forth on the Rolex website trying to figure out the difference between this one and the previous model. To my understanding, this model has improved luminescence, making it easier to read in the dark. While largely unchanged, I love the Explorer model because it is so simple and clean. The combination of black and stainless steel is chic, but still substantial. It is also probably the least ostentatious of all the models, which is something I appreciate.

Rolex Pearlmaster 39

2016 Rolex Pearlmaster 39

In contrast, the Pearlmaster 39 is one of the flashiest of the new models. It boasts a dial paved with diamonds, a diamond bezel and diamonds going down the bracelet. This is the Rolex for anyone who loves ice. The dial on this version is quite stunning. It looks like a diamond mosaic and the combination of the brilliant diamonds with the Everose gold on the case and strap is very pleasing to the eye.

Rolex Ladyjust 28
2016 Rolex Ladyjust 28

The Ladyjust 28 also combines brilliant diamonds with Everose gold. This model comes with a two-tone jubilee bracelet, combining Everose gold with 904L stainless steel. Rolex refers to this mix of metals as 'Rolesor.' Another aspect of this model I found interesting was the dial. The hour markers are diamonds and the dial has what appears to be clouds in the background.

Rolex Datejust 41

2016 Rolex Datejust 41

With a 41mm case, this larger version of the classic Datejust is perfect for anyone who feels that size matters. This model also features a 'Rolesor' combination of gold and stainless steel, pictured here in yellow gold. Equipped with a 3235 movement manufactured completely by the watchmaker, this model is available with either a fluted or smooth bezel. It also comes in Everose combinations.

Rolex Day-Date 40
2016 Rolex Day-Date 40

2016 marks the 60th anniversary of the Day-Date model and Rolex made a few adjustments to last year's Day-Date 40 to mark the occasion. This version features an olive green dial (Rolex's hallmark color), fluted bezel and president bracelet. It is available in white gold as pictured above and also in yellow gold with a diamond and ruby dial. It also comes in a smaller (36mm) size with a jade green/jade lavender carousel dial with diamonds. 

Rolex Yacht-Master

2016 Rolex Yacht-Master
I really like the 2016 color combinations for the Yacht-Master. Last year it was available in Everose gold with a black rubber strap and this year they ushered in several new color combinations with metal bracelets. The version in the photo is a mix of platinum and steel with a blue dial - a very nautical take on the timepiece. It is also available in 37mm with a dark rhodium dial. 

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 

Perhaps the most stylish of the 2016 model lineup is the Cosmograph Daytona with a white dial and black ceramic bezel. Paying tribute to the 1965 version of the Daytona, this wristwatch honors the legacy of Rolex while standing on its own as a fashionable timepiece for today's horology enthusiast. The color combination is both classic and contemporary, proving that great design transcends time.


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