Since we are all cooped up in our homes over the next few weeks, missing your favorite restaurant, maybe your co-workers or even safely traveling on vacation, we thought we would remind you of the Rolex models that are no longer in production. As a matter of fact no Rolex watches are in production right now; see our article HERE. We are going to take a quick walk down memory lane to take a look at a few examples of what we have all been missing. To start off, let’s take a look at the Rolex GMT Master II LN 116710 - the Black Dial GMT Ceramic.
This watch was actually my first Rolex! It is what spawned my love for Rolex even more as I had to wait for it for a few months when it first came out back in 2008. The GMT Master II line was the first Rolex sports model to be released with a ceramic bezel and the new “maxi-case.” It also took some of the DNA from the Rolex Submariner LV 16610 dial as it used larger indices and thicker hour and minute hands from that design. Additionally, it utilized a polished center link bracelet, solid links (hollow links were being used on pretty much every other model) and a new clasp with the easy link adjustment. This was the Rolex that brought us out of design style from before and linked us to the new design language that connects all other Rolex sports models today. At 2019’s Baselworld, we saw that this model was officially discontinued, ending a ten year run as the quintessential modern Rolex sports model. At the time, it was not as popular as the Submariner or its brother the BLNR (the Black and Blue bezel version). We were all so sad to see this model go as it was also a “go with anything” Rolex with its black bezel and black dial. We are hoping that Rolex plans to bring this beauty back into the lineup in the near future.
Next up is the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 REF. Rolex brought out this watch with somewhat mixed reviews. The watch community did not like the price tag at $10,400.00 MSRP, considering it was about $2,000.00 more expensive than the Rolex Submariner, which was the exact same case width size. Many were confused by this, and when choosing between the Submariner and the Sea-Dweller, they chose the Submariner. Quite quickly, the watch was discontinued in 2017. The Sea-Dweller was seen selling for actually less than the Submariner at Rolex Authorized Dealers since it was also significantly different in proportions than the ever comfortable Submariner. Since then, things on the second hand market have changed quite a bit with it being over its original MSRP by at least $2,000.00. Like many designs, they need time to marinate with the right buyers. This watch now has its own chapter in Rolex’s history as being the Coke II of the diving collection for sure.
Lastly, we go in a different direction with a precious metal variationwe miss dearly. The yellow gold GMT Master II with a green dial reference 116718LN. This model was released in 2005 and actually marked the beginning of the new Maxi Case design language. Rolex commonly starts with a precious metal version of a new design before it moves into two-tone and steel versions. This model is the one that sparked all of the changes that are now implemented in all current designs. We explore this model in detail HERE. However, today Rolex is starting to move back to thinner lugs and smaller crown guards as seen on the Sea-Dweller 43, GMT-Master II BLRO and hopefully a new Submariner (see the article about what we think will happen with the Submariner HERE.) This model was a drastic change for Rolex with its bold use of green on the dial and, at the time, unique case and bracelet dimensions. It was a model that was before its time, and in 2019, it was cancelled and was replaced with the “rootbeer” Rose Gold GMT Master.
Each of these models in the second hand market have seen a surge in popularity. Pricing is very strong on the used side, and commonly, these models do not take much time to be sold to new owners. Keep tuned in for more on Rolex, Panerai and Tudor news and information here and please join our mailing list below.