Collectors’ corner: Rolex at Baselworld 2018

Collectors’ corner: Rolex at Baselworld 2018

Of all the brands that do their utmost to ensure a tense build-up to Baselworld, Rolex is probably the most close-lipped. Indeed, a great time-waster for enthusiasts is trawling the web to see what the various pundits have predicted. 

Given that Rolex is among the more consistent of brands for keeping its models in continuous production, and given that just about all of their ranges have had recent makeovers – even less-common lines like the Milgauss and the Explorer II – there is little in the way of a clue there. The pundits are confounded.

Rendering of the Rolex stand at Baselworld 2018 ©Rolex/Cedric Widmer

Rolex’s evergreen DateJust enjoyed a refresher course last year with the DateJust 41, bringing its size up to current norms, while the company’s magnificent ceramic bezels have gone beyond the diving models to include the Daytona. 

One observer anticipates a revitalising in another direction, based wisely on the improvements Rolex has made to its bracelets: the dressy Jubilee is overdue for a re-think, and it’s a natural to be fitted to the colourful GMT-Master II or the refreshed Explorer II.

Rolex has added blue and green dials and bezels to its much-loved Submariner, and they have been embraced by the cognoscenti with such fervour that prices have skyrocketed along with waiting times. 

It ain’t gonna happen, but I’ll bet there are enthusiasts out there who would like to see the Submariner offered with a burgundy scheme like Rolex’s sibling brand, Tudor. I rather doubt Rolex would even consider bright red.

If wishful thinking is permitted, this enthusiast would love to see some sort of homage paid to the Bubbleback. That series featured ‘California’ dials with their mix of Roman and Arabic numerals, ornate hooded lugs and other design touches redolent of the era. 

As Rolex has blissfully ignored the industry’s battle for ‘Who makes the thinnest?’, this little plumper would prove a tonic to horological anorexics.

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