All the anticipation of new models, movement, and materials was immediately put to a stop when major retailers started pulling out of Baselworld 2020. With many watch brands postponing or canceling new releases in the wake of COVID-19, it’s been a quieter spring and summer for many collectors. Most ADs and enthusiasts now have a new date marked on their calenders: September 1-4, 2020. It’s widely predicted that Rolex will unveil their new changes on these dates. With that in mind, what are the most likely changes we could see coming down the pike?
A New Shade Of Yacht-Master for 2020
Buyers definitely took notice when Rolex revamped the Yacht-Master, placing an Everose™ case on the very first Oysterflex™ strap. And, Rolex itself took notice when buyers snapped up the new offering in record time and at record numbers. Rolex followed that Oysterflex™ debut by unveiling a white gold Yacht-Master in 2015. In 2019, the Crown expanded the case size to 42mm, giving the watch a more prominent profile on the wrist and blacked out the model with a black dial and matte Cerachrom bezel. Under the hood was a new 3235 movement and a 70 hour power reserve. So, what could be in store for this once-maligned, now beloved timepiece? In 2020 or 2021, we expect to see a stainless steel Yacht-Master. The timing is right for a metal option that makes the watch accessible to a wider demographic range, and it’s likely to be a popular choice for years to come. Plus, it would have the distinct advantage of being the only steel case watch on an Oysterflex™ strap. That alone would give it a distinct appeal to a wide swath of collectors who want a steel case and the option to switch out different colored straps.
Updated Movement for the 2020 Explorer II & the 2020 Submariner Date
With the current iteration of the Submariner houses Calibre 3135 movement, we think it’s time for an upgrade. Replacing the Calibre 3135 with the 3235 movement is a way of bringing innovation to the Submariner without making drastic changes to the design.
We predict the Explorer II to also see a movement update to its 42mm case. Sure, we can dream about an all-white Polar Explorer I, but we’re trying not to get ahead of ourselves, especially in such an unusual year. Before metal and bezel changes, it’s far more likely that Rolex will change the Explorer II’s interior before it makes major exterior design alterations.
With changes to the movement in the Sub and Explorer, we’re also likely to see subtle adjustments to case size. Rolex will probably slim down the lugs just slightly, and make the crown guards a little smaller. These minuscule case changes mimic what we’ve seen Rolex alter on other watchers, and they’re likely to follow their current trend of condensing the lug shape for a more streamlined effect.
Other Possible 2020 Rolex Predictions
We feel fairly confident that these three changes are on the horizon at Rolex, but we’re not above imagining major changes that are less likely to occur. We’d love to see a ceramic Coke GMT-Master, or an updated Milgauss. We know we might need to say goodbye to the Hulk the same way we said farewell to the Kermit when the Hulk debuted. We’re all for new bezel colors and more ceramic bezels. But in a time of high uncertainty, we’re keeping our expectations and our predictions in check… at least until we start dreaming about Baselworld 2021.
Written by Meghan Clark
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