Which Wristwatch Models Will Rolex Update in 2017?

November 22, 2016

UPDATE: Check out the watches Rolex introduced at Baselworld 2017 here

2016 Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 (photo: Rolex)
With 2016 coming to an end and Baselworld 2017 approaching, many wonder how watchmakers like Rolex plan to change their collections to mark the passage of another year. Forum members and bloggers have already begun speculating which models will receive new configurations and which may be discontinued. I have put together a few of my ideas on the subject based on past years below while we wait for the official announcement leading up to Baselworld next March.

One thing that I have noticed about Rolex is that they like to mark the anniversaries of their models' introductions with special edition watches. The biggest anniversary being celebrated in 2017 is that of the Sea-Dweller, originally introduced fifty years ago. It is more than likely that this milestone will be marked with a new configuration, maybe featuring a blue bezel or dial, an Oysterflex strap or a size increase. Other models with anniversaries in 2017 are the Yacht-Master with its 25th anniversary, the YM2 introduced ten years ago and the original GMT-Master II which was introduced thirty-five years ago. Will Baselworld 2017 bring a GMT-Master II 'Coke' as many predict? Or will Rolex present a Sea-Dweller on Oysterflex Bracelet instead? We will have to wait and see.

One of the biggest model configurations introduced in recent years, the ceramic Daytona (Reference # 116500LN) proved that the demand for models with their Cerachrom bezel insert is high. Their Oysterflex strap is another interesting feature that I feel may appear on more models in the coming year. The watchmaker introduced many Everose gold configurations in 2016 on their sports and dress watches, making it another popular material to look out for. As I mentioned in a previous post, I also hold out hope for a bronze configuration, though many enthusiasts find it improbable. The idea of an Explorer II with a bronze case and leather strap still excites me, though.

One of the ways in which Rolex introduces new model configurations is by changing their case sizes. The Datejust and Explorer models have seen increased case sizes in recent years and the big watch trend does not seem to be going anywhere, so I think it is likely that they will come out with new case sizes for one or more of their models. With the current selection of Sea-Dweller and Submariner models sized at 44 millimeters and 40 millimeters, I think that there is a possibility for a 42 millimeter Sea-Dweller 4000 configuration. I also see the possibility for a Yacht-Master configuration in a new size.

One of the 2017 Rolex model predictions that has already gained traction on forums is the discontinuation of the 44 millimeter Deepsea. While I am not entirely convinced, I do think that the watchmaker would benefit from positioning a new Sea-Dweller configuration closer to the Deepsea in size while slowly phasing out the Deepsea over time. I think it is also more likely to see more Everose gold configurations than the introduction of a bronze model, though I think bronze would be a bold move. The Cerachrom bezel insert and Oysterflex strap may make appearances again, perhaps this time on more colorful configurations.

For more information on the 2016 Rolex model lineup, check out my Rolex Shopping Guide or visit rolex.com.

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  1. Rob, I am hoping that the date just 36 comes out with a new model. Why am I only only one who cares about this model?


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