When Will Rolex's 2024 Releases Come Out?

When Will Rolex's 2024 Releases Come Out?

In decades past, this question could be answered with one word: Baselworld. From 1934 to 2019, Rolex participated in the world’s largest horological trade show – Baselworld – hosted in Basel, Switzerland. Historically, Rolex and other participating brands followed a predictable release schedule surrounding this fair. So, what happened? To make a long story short, Baselworld ended in 2020 due to financial disputes and complications introduced by COVID-19. In 2022, a new show – a successor to adjacent trade show SIHH – was founded by Rolex, Richemont, and Patek Philippe. This new show, the biggest in the horological universe, is called Watches and Wonders. So, will Rolex unveil their 2024 novelties at Watches and Wonders? Most of them, yes, but Rolex showed us last year that they don’t need to stick to this trade show structure.

Rolex at Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024

Rolex Display Watches and Wonders

Image Source: craftandtailored.com

Rolex uses Watches and Wonders to unveil major moves: new models like the Perpetual 1908, model refreshes like the Daytona ref. 126XXX, and discontinuations like last year’s quiet termination of the Milgauss. A vast majority of Rolex’s 2024 releases will be unveiled at Watches and Wonders Geneva this April. By the way, I’ll be there starting day one to cover each and every Rolex release, along with other brands like Patek Philippe, Tudor, Panerai, etc. 

Rolex Releases Outside of Watches and Wonders

Rolex Le Mans Daytona

Image Source: hodinkee.com

While most of Rolex’s releases will come out at Watches and Wonders, the Swiss powerhouse proved to us last June with their ‘Le Mans’ Daytona that, if they want to divert from this traditional structure, they will. While this release’s timing was out-of-the-ordinary, it may be something we see going forward: Rolex releasing a one-off or difficult-to-obtain watch months removed from Watches and Wonders. From a sales standpoint (not a standpoint Rolex is too worried about, to be fair), it makes sense to spread releases throughout the calendar year. We even saw Rolex’s sister brand Tudor do this last September with their black Pelagos FXD. If people are talking, posting, and inquiring about your brand outside of the hyper-condensed spring trade show window, that’s a win for your brand. 

Final Thoughts

To be clear, everything you just read is based on what we’ve witnessed in years prior. Rolex’s release strategy is entirely subject to change, as we saw in 2023. Furthermore, Watches and Wonders is less than four years old; while the traditional trade show structure has existed for almost a century, the watch industry is rapidly entering new territory. With purely-online releases being just as, if not more effective than in-person ones, who’s to say any brand will stick with tradition for tradition’s sake?

Header Image Source: watchesbysjx.com

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