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Watches and Wonders Predictions

Paul Altieri

Watches and Wonders Geneva is one of the most highly anticipated events in watchmaking, and it’s just days away.  The annual event, which kicks things off on April 9th, will serve as a platform for many of the top brands in the industry to unveil their latest offerings, including brands such as Rolex, Omega watches, Patek Philippe, and much more.

Most of the excitement leading up to the show is speculating what our favorite brands have up their sleeves.  Will Rolex celebrate the 70th anniversary of the GMT Master by finally releasing the first ceramic Coke bezel?  Or, perhaps 2024 will be the year the Submariner follows in the Yacht-Master’s footsteps and releases a smaller model for the ladies. We’ll find out soon enough.  But in the meantime, the staff here at Bob’s Watches are sharing their top predictions for Watches and Wonders 2024.

UPDATE: Read our article on Watches and Wonders 2024 new and discontinued releases to see if our guesses were spot on.

What is Watches and Wonders?

watches and wonders

For those unfamiliar with the event, Watches and Wonders is an annual tradeshow that brings together jewelry and watch brands from all over the world.  It will take place this year from Tuesday, April 9th to Monday, April 15th, with the first four days reserved for retailers and watch journalists and the remaining three days open to the public.  The show, which was formerly known as the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie or SIHH, was rebranded “Watches and Wonders” just a few years ago and has taken the place of the now-defunct BaselWorld as the industry’s premier watch show. Watches and Wonders continues to be a smashing success leading into 2024, with 54 brands (more than ever) confirmed to participate.

Paul Altieri – Founder & CEO of Bob’s Watches

Rolex Milgauss

I’ve shared my predictions about the Rolex Milgauss watch collection with a few other publications leading up to this year’s Watches and Wonders tradeshow.  By discontinuing the model last year, Rolex has paved the way for a significant refresh of the Milgauss or a brand-new collection altogether with increased anti-magnetism to compete with what other brands are currently putting out.  I know many of our customers would delight at the return of the Milgauss with a rotatable bezel, in particular.

I would also like to see Rolex continue to make bold moves regarding dial colors, whether adding new colors to the Rolex Oyster Perpetual range or experimenting with other collections. To add to that sentiment, I could also see Rolex shelving the palm and fluted motif dials to make way for fresh, new patterns.

Carol Altieri – Chief Operations Officer

Rolex Pepsi

Rumors are circulating on the web about the Pepsi bezel’s demise. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rolex pulled the red and blue colorway and replaced it with all-black. It’s been absent from the catalog for too long and would likely be well-received by the watch-collecting community. It would be a shame either way to see one of the GMT Master’s most distinguishing features disappear from the catalog.

Joe Alessandrini – Chief Financial Officer

It would be interesting to see the brand reintroduce the Serti dial Rolex Submariner.  The collection has been relatively bare lately, with just a handful of Chromalight models available in steel, Yellow Rolesor, or full-gold. So, there is space in the current lineup for some swankier options.  And what better way would there be to reintroduce gem-set dials than with the Serti Sub? Speaking of the Rolex Submariner collection, I’m also holding out hope for a platinum Submariner 41, which might not be as likely but would be a fascinating addition to the collection all the same.

Douglas Kaplan – Chief Commercial Officer

I believe we will see a stronger push into unisex-sized watches with more development around 36mm size Rolex watches in the President Day-Date and Datejust collections.  Men are choosing smaller cases while women continue to accessorize with more prominent timepieces.  For sports watches, I would like to see more expansion of the RLX titanium bracelets into collections like Submariner and Sea-Dweller.  Lastly, it would be a stretch, but interesting for Rolex to issue some special dials linked to their dominance across sports such as the Grand Slams in tennis, PGA in golf, and Formula 1.

Ripley Sellers – Horology Journalist & Senior Editor

Rolex GMT-Master Pepsi

By this point, we have probably all heard the rumors that the ceramic Pepsi GMT-Master II is getting discontinued, and we have also likely all seen the alleged Rolex leak that depicts a stainless steel GMT-Master II with a red and black Coke bezel, along with a right-handed version of the latest green and black model. In those same “leaked” images, we also see a new Submariner with a purple bezel. While I would normally just write this off as someone just trying to garner social media attention, there are a few factors that make this supposed leak plausible.

First and foremost, we already know that Rolex has been struggling to consistently produce ceramic Rolex Pepsi bezels, so phasing out this problematic colorway and replacing it with others that are easier to manufacture simply makes sense. Rolex clearly has no issues creating a split-color insert with black, and collectors have been requesting a ceramic Coke for years, so even these colorways seem possible.

Now, I would normally consider a purple bezel Submariner to be pure fantasy, but given the number of red and blue ceramic bezels that Rolex has botched during production of the Pepsi GMT-Master II, why not mix all those defective inserts together and create a new purple bezel? If Rolex does drop a new purple Submariner, something will have to leave the catalog, and if we do see a purple bezel added to the lineup this year, then I’m guessing that the green bezel version of the Rolex 126610LV will be the model that gets discontinued.

Justin Morton – Photographer

Rolex Coke

I expect Rolex to introduce mostly smaller, more conservative updates to a few models and one or two more notable additions to the catalog every year. One bigger move that I think is well past due is the addition of a ceramic Coke bezel GMT Master II. 2024 marks the 70th anniversary of the GMT Master, which makes it an opportune time to bring back this sorely missed classic.

I could also see them discontinuing the celebration dial Oyster Perpetual. A one-year lifespan would be extremely short for a Rolex watch, but it wouldn’t be all that unheard of for a special watch like that one, and I think it would be an interesting move that would only add to the watch’s desirability on the pre-owned market.

Emily Fergason – Senior Content Manager

Tudor Submariner

I approach predictions in two ways… one being realism and the other being boldness rooted in desirability. I hope to see a plethora of new dial configurations for the Perpetual 1908 and even the option for Everose to round out the precious metal duo that launched the line last year. Additionally, take that stunning new iteration of their stylish dress watch collection and give us some glamour! Add some diamonds and a range of new sizes (36mm and 28mm), and we have an updated take on this new model for wrists of all sizes.

A feminine approach to a catalog classic like the Submariner is long overdue. Think Tudor Lady Sub… but for Rolex. The result would be a watch with updated features, like the latest movements and luminescent material, but for smaller wrists. No bold colors are needed here. Keep it classic with black and possibly an option of steel and gold, and I would jump for joy.

We have high hopes for Watches and Wonders 2024.  Check back during the show for updates on new releases and discontinued watches.

Paul Altieri
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