The Rolex 2022 releases are here, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Whenever there’s a new Rolex release, people all around the world go wild for it. What are the new watches? Are there any new colors? What about upgrades to the specifications? Generally, Rolex prefers to make small, gradual changes to its timepieces to not alienate its long-lasting customers but also appeal to new ones.
From the teaser video that Rolex released, it’s evident that the new collection centers around the theme of “Sky”. Naturally, watch enthusiasts expected the brand to update some of its sky-themed watches like the Sky-Dweller or the Air-King (Spoiler alert: Only one of those got an update).
The brand also brought some small changes to several other watch models unrelated to the sky. So, let’s have a look at what’s new for Rolex in 2022, some of our favorite timepieces of the release, and how to get your hands on them!
Our Favorite New Rolex Releases
These are the real standouts in the new Rolex 2022 release - keep reading to learn why!
The GMT Out Of Left Field
Undoubtedly the most exciting new Rolex watch is the GMT Master II (ref. 126720VTNR). The watch comes in a two-tone black and green Cerachrom bezel, a new - and much anticipated - color combination.
However, the watch’s most distinct characteristic is that the crown and the cyclops date window are at the 9 o’clock position rather than the 3 o’clock. This makes it the ideal watch for left-handed individuals who wear their watch on their right wrist.
Although it seems like this is the first-ever Rolex for lefties, there have been a few rare Rolex models with the crown at 9 o’clock. An example is the two GMT Master ref. 6542 sold at the 2018 Phillips Auction.
Like other GMT Master II timepieces, this watch has gained several nicknames because of its bezel color. Some notable ones include the “Southpaw”, the “Starbucks”, and the “Sprite” to go along with the theme of soda nicknames.
The King Of The Sky
With a theme around Sky for the 2022 releases, fans inevitably predicted a new Rolex Air-King, among others. And they got one! The new Rolex Air-King (ref. 126900) features several changes - albeit small ones - to its design.
The most notable ones are on the case, which now features a heftier design and crown guards. This enhances the overall sportiness of the watch. Another small tweak is on the dial, which now features a “05” index instead of a “5” one. This change benefits the visuals of the watch significantly and makes it much more symmetrical to look at.
The Perfect Yacht Companion
Despite the Sky theme of the new 2022 watches, the brand did not neglect its Sea lineups. Among the new Rolex watches for 2022 is a small but significant update to the Yachtmaster line; the addition of an option for a yellow gold or a white gold case.
Traditionally, the Yachtmaster came in Oystersteel to enhance its durability and functionality as a nautical timepiece. The new case options add a bit more flair to the watch. Other than the case options, there is also a new falcon’s eye dial that comes on the white gold case.
The Ice Cold Day-Date
Rolex has always regarded its Day-Date line of watches as one of the more prestigious ones. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the Day-Date gets some of the same white gold treatment as the Yachtmaster.
The new Rolex Day-Date (ref. 228236) comes in a new platinum case and a platinum fluted bezel option which gives it extra glamor. There is also a new dial option in a stunning ice blue color. This light blue shade is very trendy at the moment thanks to its similarity to the “Tiffany Blue” Patek Philippe Nautilus.
The Bold Datejust
As one of the oldest models in the Rolex catalog, the Datejust has an established presence within the world of watches. People know it as a dressier timepiece that goes well with formal attire. Therefore, it seemed surprising when Rolex came up with a few unorthodox dial patterns for the Datejust last year.
This year, Rolex has added a new floral pattern to the 31 mm Datejust, with flower pistils made of diamonds. This pattern is present in three different dial colors, and it’s very refreshing to see Rolex stray away from its traditional designs for some more bold and fun options.
Does Rolex Release New Models Every Year?
The short answer is yes. Rolex does, in fact, release and discontinue some watches every year. Most of the time, the changes to its lineup are small, and it never outright discontinues a whole line of watches.
Instead, it makes small alterations to the design, build-quality, movement, or dial of a watch to modernize it or give it a new look. Of course, with the hype around the brand, even the most minute details can make collectors and enthusiasts want the newest timepieces at all costs.
How to Buy the Rolex 2022 Models?
Just like all Rolex models, the new Rolex 2022 watches will be available from all the authorized Rolex dealers. However, every new Rolex release comes with increased hype around it. Add to that the lower production numbers and waitlists, and you get some very hard-to-find timepieces.
Of course, there is the option of the second-hand market, which will, unfortunately, come with a price markup, especially for the more coveted models. Another option if you want to get your hands on one of the new Rolex 2022 watches is to simply wait for the hype to die down a bit. This way, you might be able to find one for a reasonable price.
What Watches Will Rolex Discontinue in 2022?
With every new king, the old one must abdicate. Therefore, it’s no surprise that one of the first watches that Rolex will discontinue is the old Air-King (ref. 116900). What is surprising, though, is that Rolex discontinued some of its colorful dial options from the Oyster Perpetual line. Among those is the highly coveted 41 mm OP with the Turquoise dial, which will definitely cause its price to increase tremendously.
Other notable discontinuations include the Deepsea Dweller, the platinum Day-Date with the smooth bezel, and a few watches from the Cellini line.
Thankfully, the very best Rolex watches (at least in our opinion) aren't going anywhere.
Move To The Skies
Overall, the Rolex 2022 release has made some much-needed changes to a few of the older Rolex models. Additionally, it introduced new and fun options for its existing models. The release itself can even be considered significant for Rolex, as the brand generally prefers quality over quantity when it comes to its releases.
Just like Rolex, we at Operandi Firenze care deeply about the quality of our products. Our watch rolls are crafted from premium Italian leather and go through meticulous testing to ensure the safety of your luxury timepieces. Consider picking up one of our premium watch rolls to accompany and protect your premium watch collection.
So, go out there, take a step towards the sky with the new Rolex 2022 release, and don’t forget to keep an eye on the time!