Should I Wait for Baselworld 2017 to Buy a Rolex?

December 22, 2016

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

For the past few weeks, watch forums have been buzzing with rumors and predictions about the new models Rolex and other watchmakers will introduce at Baselworld 2017. The international trade show features all of the major players in horology from around the world and introduces the their latest configurations. However, while these new models will receive much attention from the press, blogs and social media after making a splash at Baselworld, it will be a while before they will be available for purchase - something to think about if you are trying to decide when to buy a Rolex. 

Rolex Baselworld 2016 Stand (photo: Rolex/Cédric Widmer)
2017 Rolex Model Predictions
When it comes to making predictions about which models will be updated in 2017, it's anyone's guess. Rolex Passion Report published a post predicting that the Day-Date model will be updated with an annual calendar complication. They also predict a precious metal GMT-Master II with a "Coke" bezel, more ceramic Daytona configurations and more Yacht-Master models fitted with the Oysterflex bracelet.

The watchmaker has nothing to lose by adding more YM Oysterflex configurations so I think that's a safe bet. With people still waiting for their 116500LNs from 2016, I'm not sure that it makes too much sense to release even more Ceramic Daytona models just yet. With the SD4000 coming up on its 50th anniversary, we can expect a new configuration on that model as well. In previous posts, I discussed my hopes for a bronze model similar to the Black Bay Bronze from Tudor, their sister company. I wrote about the likelihood of the Oysterflex making a splash at the event and summarized my predictions and reasoning.

2016 Rolex Model Releases
Predictions aside, there are factors to consider when deciding weather to wait to purchase a 2017 Rolex model. Even though you can see the new models at Baselworld, the earliest that these configurations will ship is summer 2017. Last year Ben Clymer and John Mayer were among the first to receive the Ceramic Daytona and that was at the end of May. According to Clymer, he sent an e-mail to reserve his while attending Baselworld 2016 and the watchmaker was likely more than happy to fulfill that order early to get press for the model. So, even if you are the first to request one, you will still be waiting months to get a new model.

Aside from the wait, you should also consider the fact that people are willing to pay a premium for new models that are hard to find. So, even if you can get a dealer to put you at the top of their list, you can expect to pay at least the suggested retail price. If the long wait and premiums don't scare you, I would recommend staying tuned to the Rolex model introductions during the first days of Baselworld 2017 and contacting a dealer immediately if interested. That way, at the very least, you can assure yourself a seat at the table for 2017 models.


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