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Rolex Unveils New GMT-Master, Air-King & Slew of New Dial Colors

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Paul Altieri

The world waited with bated breath to see what new watches Rolex would unveil today – and then we all took a collective gasp when we saw them. But now that you’ve properly scrolled, pinched and zoomed in on the images, it’s time to take a deeper dive into what’s included in each new update before you excitedly call your AD and ask to get on the Rolex list.

New 2022 Rolex GMT-Master II

Rolex GMT-Master II 126720VTNR Left Hand Green
Image: @zachxryj

What’s new: Green & black Cerachrom bezel, left-handed crown, Cyclops lens & date at 9 o’clock.

  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Case and Bracelet Material: Oystersteel
  • Caliber: 3285
  • Power Reserve: 70 hours
  • Retail Price: $11,050 with Oyster Bracelet, $11,250 with the Jubilee Bracelet (coming this May)

There were rumors the GMT-Master II was going to get an update – mostly around a new Coke-styled (black and red) bezel. What we got was this: a never before seen green and black bi-directional bezel. The signature green – which usually receives a lot of fanfare – is an exciting choice for the brand, but especially collectors who have been craving color the past few years. Of course, Rolex has updated the bezel in Cerachrom, the brand’s proprietary ceramic, which is notoriously tricky to work with using two colors.

But, what we were never really expecting from this update was the new crown configuration which, for the first time, has been shifted over to the left side of the case. With it came the date and Cyclops lens, which now sit at 9-o’clock instead of three. You really have to do a double-take looking at this watch, don’t you? The move was more than just an aesthetic tweak, though, as it required a series of technical tweaks to the chronometer-certified movement.

New 2022 Rolex Air-King

Rolex Air-King 126900 Crown Guards
Image: @zachxryj

What’s new: New dial, case with crown guards, Oysterlock clasp, updated movement.

  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Case and Bracelet Material: Oystersteel
  • Caliber: 3230
  • Power Reserve: 70 hours
  • Retail Price: $7,400

After re-releasing the Rolex Air-King watch collection in 2016, we’ve been wondering what new future Rolex was imagining for this watch. Now, we can see it more clearly. With an all-new dial that combines “large 3, 6 and 9 numerals marking the hours and a prominent minute scale for navigational time readings,” this watch looks as sharp as ever. Look closely and you’ll also notice a new downward triangle hour marker at 12 o’clock. For extra readability at night, Rolex has also updated the Chromalight.

Rolex is also doubling down on the fact that this is an aeronautical tool watch, adding a sturdier Oysterlock safety clasp to the Oyster bracelet.

New Rolex Yacht-Master Watches

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 White Gold Gem-Set Bezel
Image: @bilal.khan.a

What’s new: 18k yellow gold case for the 42mm model; new gem-set 40mm edition in 18k white gold

  • Case Size: 40mm and 42mm
  • Case and Bracelet Material: 18k yellow gold; 18k white gold
  • Caliber: 3235
  • Power Reserve: 70 hours
  • Retail Price: $28,300 – price upon request

The white gold Yacht-Master 42 is already a fan favorite. So, it makes sense that Rolex has added yellow gold to the collection – securing this timepiece’s reputation as a luxury sports watch. Of course, it also boasts the famous Oysterflex bracelet, which has also been updated for 2022 with a slew of details like a “patented longitudinal cushion system that stabilizes the watch on the wrist” and “an 18k yellow gold Oysterlock safety clasp.” Similar to the Air-King, this watch has also been upgraded with the new Chromalight display.

Additionally, Rolex also has unveiled a special gem-set version of the Yacht-Master 40 in 18k white gold to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the collection. While this special model is not part of the regular lineup, it features a truly stunning bezel set with diamonds and pink and blue sapphires that are inspired by the aurora borealis and the glow of dawn.

New Rolex Deepsea

Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Dial James Cameron
Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller (previous generation)

What’s new: Slightly updated proportions, new reference number.

  • Case Size: 44mm
  • Case and Bracelet Material: Oystersteel
  • Caliber: 3235
  • Retail Price: $13,850 – $14,150

Just like before, the new Rolex Deepsea is available with either a black dial or the iconic blue to black D-Blue “James Cameron” dial. Additionally, the new Deepsea 136660 is still powered by the Cal. 3235 movement, and offers an identical depth rating as the previous generation. Other than slightly updated case proportions and a new reference number, the new 2022 Rolex Deepsea is largely identical to the previous version.

Rolex Datejust with Green Dial

Rolex Datejust Green Dial
Image: @mrwatch85

What’s new: Mint green dial, fluted motif mint green dial.

  • Case Size: 36mm & 41mm
  • Case and Bracelet Material: Oystersteel, 18k White Gold
  • Caliber: 3235
  • Retail Price: $7,250 – $17,250

The 31mm version of this watch has been incredibly popular – the ‘mint green’ dial being a neutral pop of color that collectors just love. Plus, being the brand color, green is just naturally sought-after. But with a smaller case size that wasn’t quite unisex, many collectors griped about wanting a larger version so they could get over their watch envy. Well, all those long message board chats and complaints worked!

For 2022, Rolex is releasing a Datejust 36 and Datejust 41 version with this popular mint green dial. They’ve also added a mint green dial with a fluted motif for added dimension and glitz, but that’s only available on the 41mm version, which is strange because the 36mm Datejust has a fluted motif blue option. Maybe better luck in 2023?

Nonetheless, the new 2022 mint green Datejust features either an 18k white gold fluted bezel or a domed stainless steel version, as well as the bracelet options of Oyster and Jubilee.

New 2022 Honorable Mentions

Rolex Day-Date Platinum President
Discontinued Platinum Rolex Day-Date

In reality, Rolex released dozens of new watches today – the above are just the most talked about right now. However, a bunch of other watches caught our eye, including the new Day-Date models. The icy-blue platinum models are really cool, and represent the first time that the brand’s iconic fluted bezel has been crafted from solid platinum. Consequently, this also means that the domed bezel is no longer an option for the Day-Date collection, and all models now feature either fluted or gem-set bezels, regardless of their materials.

However, Rolex has also introduced a slew of fun dial colors to choose from, from pink opal and blue-black ombre to meteorite and green. Did you see the platinum Day-Date with a diamond-pave dial and rainbow hour markers, too? We can’t take our eyes off it! There’s also an 18k yellow gold President with an Onyx dial that just looks incredible.

Circling back to the Datejust – there’s a new floral motif in silver, olive green, and azzurro blue that is of note. The fluted dial is also having a moment, being featured not only in green but blue and grey, too. We really like this new option – it feels classic but elevated in the perfect way.

Paul Altieri