Rolex has always worn its crown with the gravity it deserves. Considering where it is at within the global watch industry, the Swiss watchmaker is justified in being conservative with its models and their incremental updates. But just when the watch world assumes it knows what is to be expected from Rolex next, the Swiss giant has a way of taking everyone by surprise, as it did with the Stella Day-Dates back in the 1970s or the candy-coloured Oyster Perpetuals in 2020. At Watches and Wonders 2023 too, Rolex showed us its playful side and surprised everyone with a couple of uncharacteristically quirky releases.
The first one is an Oyster Perpetual that features a ‘Celebration’ dial with a turquoise base and 51 randomly distributed and colourful bubbles. The bubbles are filled with all five hues seen in the 2020 OP range – pastel pink, hunter green, coral red, marigold yellow, and turquoise blue. So essentially, this new watch condenses the spirit of all those 5 watches into a single dial, making it an attractive proposition for anyone who wanted one of those, but missed the boat. The Celebration dial OP is available in 31mm, 36mm and 41mm case sizes. The Oyster Perpetual 31 is powered by the calibre 2232, while the Oyster Perpetual 36 and Oyster Perpetual 41 are both equipped with the calibre 3230 movement.
The second release is an even quirkier Day-Date 36 with a multi-coloured jigsaw puzzle dial. Instead of the date, the window at 3 o’clock displays one of 31 emojis each day, while the signature arc-shaped day window at 12 o’clock displays an inspirational keyword in English – ‘Happy’, ‘Eternity’, ‘Gratitude’, ‘Peace’, ‘Faith’, ‘Love’ and ‘Hope’, each day. This special Day-Date is available in three variants – 18 carat yellow, white or Everose gold. The striking dial is finished using champlevé enamelling with jigsaw pieces in with turquoise blue, red, fuchsia, orange, green and yellow put together on a single-colour background, which is turquoise blue on the yellow gold and white gold versions, and orange on the Everose gold watch. Marking the hours on these watches are baguette-cut sapphires in six different hues depending on the dial’s main colour. All three versions are powered by the calibre 3255 movement.