While Rolex fans, by and large, declared its 2020 new releases as not much of a surprise. After all, a bigger Submariner with movement upgrade was predicted by many. However a series of five brightly colored dial variations of the Oyster Perpetual 36 model did catch even the most experienced Rolex observers off guard.
Our team didn’t expect these either, but the pink, orange, yellow, green and blue (reminiscent of the Tiffany & Co. brand blue) made us smile for sure. To answer the age-old question, “Would you rock those?”
Photo courtesy of Rolex
A solid handful of readers of popular watch sites tried to poke fun at these new releases, writing comments like: “Definitely a very ‘Apple’ thing to do; have your entry model in a range of funky colours (sic)” or “Well, I guess cl--owns need watches too. Amirite (sic)?”
Of course the Everest Journal team looked back into the Rolex catalog to reexamine the bright enamel dials of the Rolex Stella line, done mostly in the Day-Date model debuting in 1956. These came in precious metals, sometimes diamond encrusted, and are considered collectable nowadays. We covered Stella dial Rolex watches in depth in 2015, and you can read more about them here.
Photo courtesy of Watch Time Middle East
The Stella dials include oxblood, red, orange, blue, green, turquoise, peach, salmon, pink, yellow, and purple. These models were not popular as the more conservative variants of the Day-Date, and it was rumored (according to Watch Time) that Rolex even destroyed batches of Stella dials because they weren’t selling.
So like many collectable objects, what was unpopular during its contemporary existence later on took on a new status as rare and desirable. So owners of the contemporary Air-King take note, your reference 116900 will likely become one of the most sought-after models in the near future in spite of it being not well received in comparison to the more conventional wildly popular steel sport models.
Our advice, if you are drawn to these new 36mm Oyster Perpetuals do what you can to obtain one. The green version may be the most versatile as a darker color, but we’re all in with the pink dial. The Tiffany blue version is also sublime and will probably be the most sought after given its resemblance to one of the most well-known luxury brand signifiers in the world.
As a bonus, these new Oyster Perpetual models come with an upgraded 3132 movement with a Chronergy escapement, 70-hour power reserve, better protection against shock and magnetism. The reference 124300 retails for $5,900, thus placing it firmly in place as one of the top, if not the top, bang-for-your-buck modern Rolex watches.
Header Image from Hodinkee.com