Baselworld, the world’s biggest annual watch event, this year (from March 23rd to March 30th) marks an impressive milestone as it celebrates 100 years since its inaugural trade show back in 1917. Every spring season, watch fans, dealers, retailers and geeky horologists around the world turn their beady gaze toward the Swiss city of Basel in anticipation over new products from the industry’s biggest brands, particularly from arguably its leading player: Rolex.
Nearly every new release from Rolex sends major waves around the industry, with instant waiting lists and inflated premiums often to follow. Last year’s new Daytona-reimagined, with its ceramic bezel and contrast dials, simply steamrolled all other competition, and the sporty 40mm Air-King – albeit a bit of a hybrid of the Milgauss and Explorer – proved another instant hit. So, can this year be even better? Here are our top three Rolex predictions for 2017.
GMT Master II ‘Coke’
Probably the most exciting rumour, and certainly one that has us salivating, is the return of the ‘Coke’ bezel GMT Master II. First released in the 1950s as a collaboration with Pan-American Airlines, the much-loved GMT-Master with its aluminum black and red bezel ceased production in 2007.
Bi-colour ceramic Daytona
With the demand of last year’s revamped Daytona still going stratospheric, it seems a no-brainer that Rolex will continue to ride the wave by dropping some bi-colour pieces into the range. In two-tone steel and gold with black ceramic dial, we predict four dial options, including white, black and a funky slate grey with gold sub dials.
50th Anniversary Sea-Dweller
Odds on to be the most exclusive release of the bunch would be a 50th anniversary Sea-Dweller. Originally released in 1967, the Sea-Dweller marked Rolex’s first watch to survive extraordinary diving depths. The limited edition release will most likely boast an 18CT white gold case and ceramic bezel along with a new dial colour – our money being on a striking shade of deep-sea green.