It’s a tale as old as time. Rolex releases updates to its references and watch enthusiasts are either delirious with excitement or upset about the changes (or perceived lack of changes) made. Sometimes, they even feel both at once. Twice a year, Rolex approaches a difficult task. The design team needs to make enough changes to warrant new release hype. It also has to do that without making major changes to the models that built its reputation. Finding that balance is quite a challenge.
At this year’s 2021 Watches and Wonders, Rolex made bracelet changes to several references, swapped out precious metals, and doubled down on unique dials. The Eisenkeisel, Palm Frond, and Fluted dial designs show an awareness of a 2021 aesthetic. Releasing new dials allows Rolex to dabble in popular trends without drastically altering its core offerings. Here’s a look at a few of the new releases.
2021 Rolex Eisenkiesel Dial
This unique dial color debuted in 2021, and we have to say we love the look of it. In some ways it’s reminiscent of the red-veined marble of the eighties. Rolex established market dominance in the ‘80s, so it may be a nod to that fact. With some ‘80s design trends making a comeback, Rolex may be referencing the decade that made their name synonymous with luxury. Eisenkiesel is a naturally-occurring type of quartz that boasts warm reds, oranges, and yellows due to the inclusion of iron oxides in its formulation. Rolex selected Eisenkeisel for a dial pairing with Everose® gold on the Day-Date 40 with a President bracelet and a diamond-set dial. We love the distinct deep red veins that intersect across the dial, visually crossing through twelve baguette-cut diamonds that serve as indices. Don’t miss this dark horse in the Rolex 2021 lineup.
2021 Rolex Wimbledon Dial
We’ve written about our appreciation for the Wimbledon dial before, a stormy slate gray dial with a sunray finish that gleams as though it’s lit from within. It’s paired with black roman numeral applied indices outlined with a thin forest-green line. On the 2021 Datejust reference, it’s available with a fluted or plain bezel, in stainless steel or in mixed-metal Rolesor with a gold bezel.
2021 Daytona with Meteorite Dial
Rolex has done meteorite dials before, notably on the GMT Master II and the Day-Date 40. There’s something intriguing about having a watch made with materials from space. Watch collectors are already interested in the nebulous concept of time, and a mechanical watch brings it into the quantifiable realm. The concept of space can be just as out there, (no pun intended) so it makes sense that those of us interested in time are also interested in space. Like an emissary from far-off realms, a meteorite dial brings together time and space into a beautifully compact package.
Like other watches before it, the Rolex Meteorite Daytona showcases an unbelievable unique crystal structure in a otherworldly silver tone. It contrasts beautifully with the onyx-colored subdials, creating what we like to call a Space Panda dial. Is our description of the Daytona meteorite dials a little too abstract? Well, maybe we need to lay off the palm fronds. Speaking of that…
2021 Rolex Palm Frond Dial and 2021 Rolex Fluted Dial
We’ve already published our take on the new palm frond dial, but we haven’t yet shared our thoughts on the fluted dial pattern. Quite honestly, we love the idea of taking a specific element in the construction of a Rolex and turning it into a graphic motif. The fluted bezel is one of the most classic design elements of a Rolex. In fact, it’s one of the components of a Rolex that’s most often used to determine the authenticity of a particular watch.
Reincorporating it on the dial of the Datejust is a stroke of genius. It’s available in silver, dark blue, and gold, and each dial catches the light like silk brocade. Wearing the gold fluted dial Datejust is like looking through a funhouse mirror. The facets on the bezel and dial seem infinitely refracted, multilayered and multifaceted. It’s a showstopper of a watch, perfect when you need something eye-catching, gleaming, and totally unforgettable.
Match Your Dial to Your Strap
For years, Everest Bands has built long-lasting, custom designed, curved-end rubber straps to fit Rolex watches. With strong construction and matte finishing, our straps are preferred by Rolex collectors for their fit, style, and durability. Order one today to see why our customers make repeat purchases year after year.
By: Meghan Clark