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Rolex Baselworld 2019 - New Model Predictions

Click here for our article reviewing the confirmed offical Rolex releases.

With every year that passes the rumor mill seems to become more frenzied at the anticipation of Rolex's Baselworld announcements., and 2019 has been no different!  As ever there is a plethora of touted possibilities, but let's jump straight into this years preview by looking at the biggest talking point, the discontinuation of Rolex's Hulk and Batman models.

Rolex Hulk Batman Discontinued

 

Discontinuations

The hype driving the rumours of discontinuation of the Hulk and Batman models are driven by one thing, value! The common theory is that once a Rolex watch becomes discontinued, there will be a sudden increase in its valuation, as there will never be any more injected into the market. When this watch is one of the most popular sportmodels, then price can increase dramatically. Just look at the Rolex Daytona 116520 as an example. Just before discontinuation, these were being sold at around £8,900 unworn on the secondary market. Within a year, the price ad moved to around £10,500. Two years later, the same watch depending on condition can be up to £18,000!

In the last few years Rolex have been rolling out a new generation of movements across the majority their new releases. Following its debut year in 2015 we’ve already seen the calibre 3235 updated into the Datejust, Sea-Dweller, Deepsea and Day-Date collections. The most high profile Rolex release to date, the Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi 126710BLRO was launched by Rolex at Baselworld 2018.

What does all this have to do with the discontinuation of the Hulk and Batman models? Well, although it’s certain the value of both of these models would increase should they cease producing a BLNR and LV in stainless steel, if Rolex instead decide to supersede the 116710BLNR (Batman)  and 116610LV (Hulk) with a new 126710BLNR and 126610LV, powered by the new calibre 32xx series movement, then, like the Deepsea Blue (upgraded last year with the new movement) we wouldn’t expect to see much upside on the current value of existing models. What we would expect is the new models be very difficult to acquire and for them to trade at a significant premium over the current BLNR and LV models.

My opinion is that there will be a discontinuation of all current GMT and Submariner models (with the exception of models release by Rolex at Baselworld 2018)within the next few years and in the main these will be replaced with models featuring the new movement. Looking at the Hulk and Batman in particular, we’ve had a version of the green submariner since the 50th anniversary Submariner was introduced in 2004. This was discontinued in 2010 when the Hulk as we know it today was  introduced, so I don’t see the the Hulk being completely discontinued anytime soon.

Rolex Baselworld 2019 - New Models

So onto to the potential new Rolex Baselworld 2019 releases. As ever, any new release from Rolex is a closely guarded secret. The predictions you will see are pulled together from a combination of rumours, educated guesswork, as well as the pure fantasy of new watches we’d love to see Rolex produce. Let’s start with the most iconic collection in current production.

The Rolex Daytona

The first ceramic bezel was introduced to the Rolex Daytona collection in 2011 on the Everose gold Daytona, 116515LN model. Ever since we’ve seen the new ceramic bezel migrate across the collection, first to the platinum 50th anniversary Daytona, and most recently to the illusive stainless steel 116500. Along this journey a few models have got on board with the ceramic bezel, but there have been some obvious omissions.

The Steel & Gold Daytona has been particularly difficult to acquire this year, and this could be a sign that production has been slowed, or even ceased to flush out the remaining stock within the Rolex Authorised Dealer network. Could this be happening to make way for a new steel & gold ceramic Rolex Daytona? The timing certainly seems to suggest so.

Rolex Daytona Steel & Gold 116503LN

When we start to include a precious metal element to the Rolex Daytona collection there is something of an imbalance in the models. The Platinum Daytona has long featured a stunning chocolate ceramic bezel, and the introduction of the Oysterflex bracelet as a replacement for leather straps was also paired with the introduction of a ceramic bezel as a replacement for any that existed in gold. So what about the full 18ct gold pieces? These exist currently with a gold bezel and are obviously due an upgrade. Will Rolex Baselworld 2019 be the show that completes the ceramic bezel rollout for the Rolex Daytona? We certainly hope so.

Rolex Baselworld 2019 Gold Rolex Daytona Ceramic

Rolex Explorer II

Those of you who read my articles regularly (if not, why not!!) will know that I’m a big fan of the Rolex Explorer II. At 42mm it has a nice differentiation from the core of Rolex professional collections, and although the purpose of the large orange 24hr hand is to serve as an AM/PM indicator (for those exploring in caves, or areas where the sun doesn’t set), it can be used equally effectively to provide reading of a second timezone in the same way as the Rolex GMT-Master II. With this model remaining untouched since 2011, an upgrade some would argue is overdue. Having seen the GMT-Master II, the Submariner, and to some extent the Daytona all migrate to having the more robust ceramic bezel, isn’t it time the Rolex Explorer II followed suit? Or could it be we have to wait until the 50th Anniversary of this collection in 2021 before we’re treated to a facelift for the Rolex Explorer II.

Rolex Explorer II 216570LN Ceramic

Rolex Sky-Dweller

The Rolex Sky-Dweller collection underwent an update as recently as Rolex Baselworld 2018. All dials with Arabic or Roman numeral hour markers were removed from the collection, and a new range of dials were introduced. This saw an end to the hugely popular Chocolate dial Everose Sky-Dweller, but in return we were gifted the stunning Dark Rhodium dial as a replacement. Over recent years we’ve seen the addition of all steel, and steel & yellow gold models, but there is still one obvious omission. Now is the time for the Steel & Everose gold Rolex Sky-Dweller, and the reintroduction of Chocolate & Sundust dials. A design sure to get waiting lists swelling!

Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel & Everose Gold 326931

Rolex GMT-Master II

With a range of new GMT’s introduced to the market at Baselworld 2018, I don’t imagine we’ll be seeing any major design changes this year. The stainless steel Rolex GMT-Master II BLRO ‘Pepsi’ has been most highly anticipated release since the ceramic stainless steel Rolex Daytona. The new Pepsi, along with the Everose, and steel & Everose models give us enough changes to the GMT-Master II collection for now, and with all three models not exactly readily available, there is no need for Rolex to rush further additions. The call seems to be for a BLNR ‘Batman’ on a jubilee bracelet or for a RONR ‘Coke’ bezel to follow the Pepsi but if there are changes to the GMT-Master II, I feel that it will be more likely that we’ll see a continued roll out of the calibre 3285 movement into existing designs, possibly with, or possibly without a series 2 Batman!

Rolex GMT-Master II 126710 Batman & Coke

Rolex submariner

All the hype relating to the Rolex Submariner collection for Baselworld 2019 surrounds the possible discontinuation of the stainless steel LV ‘Hulk’. Market prices have been driven by these rumours for a good couple of years now, and as discussed above, beyond the possibility of an update to a new movement, I don’t see the Hulk disappearing from the Rolex catalogue anytime soon. So what changes might we see coming from Rolex Baselworld 2019 for the Submariner collection? First of all, any new release we expect to be equipped with the new calibre 3235 movement, so that any new watch would benefit from the extended 72 hour power reserve. With this change being the baseline for any new models, the most likely change at Baselworld 2019 would be the long awaited arrival of the Rolex Submariner in Everose gold.

Rolex Submariner Everose Gold 126615LN

Other possibilities could be a Rolex Submariner on rubber, or, the clear favorite from followers on our Instagram account is the potential for an all gold LV. The irresistible Rolex Submariner 126618LV ‘Hulk’

Rolex Submariner Rolex Baselworld 2019

Rolex Milgauss

Finally, something a little leftfield. Anyone who’s spent anytime on the Rolex website, or reviewing their social media posts will no doubt have seen the latest marketing drive relating to the Rolex Milgauss. The Milgauss is often overlooked in the clamor for ‘sportsmodels’ as it is one of only a couple of collections that doesn’t fit into this category, but still sits within the Rolex Professional range. The Milgauss is a professional watch that is described by Rolex as being built to ‘meet the demands of the scientific community’ and being capable of ‘withstanding magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss’ hence the name Milgauss. Today’s Rolex Milgauss looks very different to the original Rolex Milgauss from 1956, and with there being a growing affinity for vintage styles, Rolex Baselworld 2019 could see the release of a vintage style Rolex Milgauss taking influence from the one you see here.

Rolex Milgauss 126400LN

That’s it for another year, it won’t be long before every Authorised Dealers phone in the country is ringing off the hook with requests to be at the forefront of their queue for the new models, but which one of our suggestions would you like to have in your collection? Or what's the one Rolex release that you’d love to see at Baselworld 2019 that would fulfill all your desires for your next Rolex purchase?