Will Rolex Introduce a Bronze Model Configuration in 2017?

4:06 PM

In a recent New York Times Men's Style article, Alex Williams reports on the current trend of using bronze as a material for luxury wristwatches. The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze, shown in the photo below, was one of the timepieces he mentioned in a list that also included Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Automatic Bronzo and models by IWC and Zenith. I have come across many positive comments about the Black Bay Bronze on blogs and forums and it makes me wonder if Rolex will release a bronze configuration in 2017 - and if so, on which model?
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze (photo: Tudor)
Only time will tell if the watchmaker chooses to expand their bronze product offerings from their sister brand to Rolex, but if I had to guess which model they would choose to go bronze it would be either the Yacht-Master or the Explorer II. Even though the current trend favors dive watches, I think creating a bronze Submariner would dilute the market for the Black Bay. It would probably make more sense if they choose to make the Sea-Dweller 4000 or Yacht-Master in bronze, but I think the Explorer II would make for a killer bronze watch with a chocolate dial. I came up with the concept design below based on the 2016 Explorer II model (Reference # 216570).

Rolex Explorer II Bronze Configuration Concept Design
We will have to wait till Baselworld 2017 to find out what the next year will hold for new Rolex model configurations. Bronze watches may be a passing trend or become a new staple of luxury wristwatch collections in the years to come. The attention Tudor's official website devotes to the Black Bay Bronze on their homepage makes me think that we may be seeing more bronze watches from them in the future. Hopefully their experience with the material will help Rolex decide if it's worth coming up with a bronze watch of their own. For now, my money's on the Explorer II.

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