Inside the Rolex 2023 Collection: Puzzles, bubbles, colours and the new Perpetual 1908

Watches

Rolex has pulled out all the creative stops in its 2023 collection, which it introduced two weeks ago at the Watches and Wonders trade fair in Geneva. The 1908, its first new collection in decades, is a new dress line, replacing the Cellini, launched in 1986, but discontinued as of now.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Celebration

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Celebration

Rolex

Rolex has pulled out all the creative stops in its 2023 collection, which it introduced two weeks ago at the Watches and Wonders trade fair in Geneva. The 1908, its first new collection in decades, is a new dress line, replacing the Cellini, launched in 1986, but discontinued as of now. Like the Cellini, the Perpetual 1908 is a collection with gold cases and elegant dials – distinctly different from the sports watches that dominate the rest of the Rolex catalog.

Rolex Perpetual 1908 in white gold

Rolex Perpetual 1908 in white gold

Rolex

Named for the year founder Hans Wilsdorf created the Rolex brand, the 1908 measures in at a wearable size, at 39xx wide x 9.5mm thick, and comes in either white or yellow gold, with white or black dials. The bezel is part domed and part finely fluted, with fluting on the back as well. It contains a new movement, the automatic 7140, which can be seen through the transparent caseback – an open caseback is a rare sight in the Rolex collection. The Cellini Prince, introduced in 2005, was previously the only other Rolex to have a sapphire crystal caseback.

Rolex Perpetual 1908 in yellow gold

Rolex Perpetual 1908 in yellow gold

Rolex

In another burst of creativity and a surprising departure from its traditionally sporty oeuvre, Rolex introduced the joyful Oyster Perpetual Celebration. The dials are lacquered with 51 bubbles in bright colors: turquoise blue, candy pink, yellow, coral, red and green. It’s a complicated dial process: each color is applied and fired separately, followed by the application of black lacquer borders on each bubble and then a final clear layer. Sizes begin small, at 31mm, and there are also 36mm and 41mm sizes. All cases are steel, and movements are automatic.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Celebration

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Celebration

Rolex

There’s more color! The new Day-Date Puzzle a puzzling, yet equally joyful introduction, has a champlevé enamel dial designed as a puzzle, representing the theory that life is a puzzle. Instead of showing day-of—the-week in its usual window on the upper dial, it shows one of seven words of inspiration every 24 hours at midnight: hope, eternity, peace, love, happy, faith and gratitude. And instead of the date in the window at 3 o’clock, it shows one of 31 emojis – hearts, smiley faces, etc. – magnified under the model’s signature cyclops lens. Hours are marked by 10 baguette-cut sapphires in six different hues set according to the main colour of the dial, either turquoise blue or orange. Cases are yellow or everose gold (Rolex’s proprietary rose gold alloy). There are no steel cases in the Day-Date range.

Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 with Carnelian dial

Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 with Carnelian dial

Rolex

Also new in the Day-Date collection is a special trio of watches with one of three stone dials: carnelian in a yellow gold case; green aventurine in everose; or turquoise in everose. The colors are meant to evoke the Mediterranean coast, and the dials are slightly glammed up with diamond-set markers and numerals. These pieces are “off-catalog” – not in the regular collection and very limited.

The caseback of the new platinum Rolex Daytona is open, a rarity for Rolex

The caseback of the new platinum Rolex Daytona is open, a rarity for Rolex

Rolex

The rest of the 2023 introductions fall more in line with Rolex’s traditional tweaks to existing models. The Daytona got a dial refresh, with slight design tweaks including- slimmer hour markers and a new counterweight on the seconds hand. A new platinum Daytona has a sapphire caseback, a rarity for Rolex. Through it you can see the new movement, the 4131 (an evolution of caliber 4130).

The all-titanium Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42

The all-titanium Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42

Rolex

In other collections: There is now an all-titanium (case and bracelet) version of the Yacht-Master 42 – the first all-titanium watch in the Rolex line; a movement update and new dial colors for the Sky-Dweller (the blue-green dial is a new color for Rolex); and two new versions of the GMT-Master II– an all yellow gold version and a two-tone yellow gold and Rolesor (steel) version with a Cerachrom bezel insert in grey and black ceramic, an new color combination for Rolex bezels.

The Rolex Sky-Dweller with a blue-green dial

The Rolex Sky-Dweller with a blue-green dial

Rolex

The yellow gold and Rolesor edition of the Rolex GMT-Master.

The yellow gold and Rolesor edition of the Rolex GMT-Master.

Rolex