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A Look Back: Review of Rolex in 2016March 1, 2017 - Watch Articles
Just ahead of Baselworld 2017, where the industry’s top watch brands will launch their new models for the year, we take a look back at a few of Rolex’s 2016 releases. Rolex had a very strong showing at the last edition of Baselworld, unveiling what was arguably the hottest watch of the year: the new Daytona chronograph. Let’s explore that new Daytona, along with some of Rolex’s greatest hits of 2016.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
This was the watch Rolex fans had been waiting for—a stainless steel Rolex Daytona with a black Cerachrom ceramic bezel. Prior to the launch of the Rolex ref. 116520, the highly popular ceramic bezel was found exclusively on more expensive Daytona models in platinum or rose gold. The Rolex ceramic bezel is prized not only for its sleek look, but also for its resistance to scratching and fading. It’s both robust and beautiful. And the black bezel version looks particularly stunning against the new Daytona’s stainless steel 40mm Oyster case and matching stainless steel Oyster bracelet. Both the black dial and white dial versions of the Daytona ref. 116520 are spectacular and as a result, it’s not uncommon for Rolex boutiques around the world to have multiple-year waitlists for these new Rolex chronograph models.
Rolex surprised everyone with the revival of the previously discontinued Air-King. However, it’s back with a completely new look. While the designs of the older versions of the Air-King were quite understated and classic, the new Air-King ref. 116900 is sporty and bold. To better suit today’s demand for bigger watches, the stainless steel case now measures 40mm—significantly larger than previous models. The black dial houses the characteristic oversized 3, 6, and 9 numerals in addition to minute markers for the rest of the indexes. At 12 o’clock sits a luminescent inverted triangle. Additionally, the green seconds hand matches the green “ROLEX” on the dial, which is further topped by the famous gold crown. There’s a lot going on with the new Air-King and whether it’s fresh and dynamic or simply just too cluttered, is still up for debate.
Iconic in design, the Datejust has been Rolex’s flagship model since its debut in 1945. It was the very first waterproof automatic chronometer that included a date window on the dial. And over the course of the next 70 years, Rolex had produced countless versions of the classic luxury dress watch. For 2016, Rolex introduced the newest generation with the Datejust 41 to replace the Datejust II collection. As its name suggests, it sports a 41mm case and the first two models of the new line are a two-tone yellow gold and stainless steel version (ref. 126333) and a two-tone rose gold and stainless steel version (ref. 126331). Since variety is the name of the game with the Datejust, each model is available in a range of dial colors, bezel designs, and bracelet choices. A notable new addition to the Datejust 41 is the Rolex Caliber 3235 powering the watch. This in-house automatic movement provides the wearer with 72 hours of power reserve and is equipped with 14 Rolex patents for optimal reliability and precision.
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