Rolex Highlights At Watches & Wonders 2022

For 2022, here are the Rolex releases you need to know about.


When Omega lifted the curtains on its novelties for 2022, we were prepared to release a slew of articles for each watch. However, we decided to do it all in one. Surprisingly, you guys really loved seeing everything in one place, so as Watches and Wonders Geneva kicks off today, we’ll get the ball rolling with another extensive article of every Rolex watch (which we feel like writing about, there are a lot after all).

Before we go any further, just remember that significant innovations have never been what Rolex is about, so don’t expect massive changes from 2021’s lineup. I can safely say, though, that there are some twists worth noting.

The headline acts
These are the ones that everyone’s talking about.

Rolex shopped at the Leftorium with the GMT-Master II 126720VTNR

Undoubtedly at the top of the discussion forums is the left-handed GMT Master II. Left-handed watches are a niche, but they’re essential to some who cannot deal with the crown of a watch digging into their wrist. To make this watch happen, it appears that Rolex flipped an existing 40mm case and movement and re-oriented the dial to suit. The date with cyclops moves from 3 O’clock to 9 on this. It also comes with a green and black bezel hence the VTNR code in the reference (the French for green and black, which is vert & noir). We’re not in Geneva this time, so perhaps we missed out on a minor detail, but we’re wondering why this new left-handed model is slightly more expensive than the right-handed model despite being nearly the same. I’m sure there’s a reason, but Rolex hasn’t communicated it. The price begins at $11,050.

Spot the difference: the updated Air-King 126900

For 2022, the Air-King received a brand new case shape and movement for this year. To be honest, I’m not an Air-King expert. I thought it was the same. This year, Rolex has kept the diameter (40mm) the same but re-shaped the case to be more angular and chunky. The roundedness of the old watch is no more, and some shoulders have been added to protect the crown from the beatings everyday life is sure to give. The 3, 6, 9 and 12 markers on the dial sit atop new white gold elements, and a new Chromalight formula provides better nighttime visibility. There’s also the calibre 3230 in the watch now, giving it the updated movement with Chronergy escapement that this watch sorely needed. It’s priced at $7,400.

The classiest of metals for the classiest of watches: Day-Date 40 228236

This isn’t the most significant update ever, but we’re huge fans of the Day-Date range, so we felt this should be included here. The Day-Date was the first watch to use a window to indicate the day’s name when it arrived in 1956, and it’s been classy ever since. The 40mm case is made of solid 950 platinum, as is the fluted bezel which Rolex says is a first for this metal. It’s fitting, really, and the fluted bezel is one of the reasons to love Rolex dress watches in the first place. The watch comes with the President bracelet, which is also solid platinum. It also has an ice blue dial with blue seconds hand. Inside it is the calibre 3255. It also comes in this combination in a 36mm case. Absolutely stealth wealth to the max. Price on request. There are more 2022 release Day-Dates, but we felt these were the most important.

The follow-up performances
There’s still plenty more to come.

The Yacht-Master comes in gold with a dial inspired by the falcon

The Yacht-Master is a peculiar lineup in the collection. It features a case very similar to a Submariner, but it’s less water-resistant, and one of the only Rolex watches to come on a rubber strap. One could ask what the point of this collection is, and I’d agree that there doesn’t seem to be much other than “it looks nice”, which it does. For 2022, the 42mm diameter model comes with a yellow gold case and a revised dial with new yellow gold hands and indices. The real talking point is the white gold model, which shares the same case diameter. The Falcon’s Eye dial has a unique hand-brushed finish to it. I’d hope to see a dark grey meteorite dial in the future, but this will do well for now. It matches the black ceramic bezel insert nicely and looks as handsome as ever. The yellow gold model costs $28,300, while the white gold with the unique dial costs $32,250.

The Datejust 31 gets us into a springtime mood

The 31mm Datejust had an update too. It takes on a floral theme with dials made up of diamond-studded flowers. These flowers are finished in three ways: either sunray polished, grained or matte. Each one also has a diamond at the centre to attract the eye (and represent the most important parts of the flower). There are 24 diamonds in total on the dials. Depending on the metal you have, you can get more diamonds. Opt for the white Rolesor with steel case and Oyster bracelet, and you get a white gold bezel and blue dial. Choose the Everose Rolesor version, and you get a two-tone Everose watch on a Jubilee bracelet with a white dial and diamonds in the bezel. Choose the yellow gold Rolesor model, and you get a President bracelet with gold links, an olive green dial with a diamond bezel. All watches have the calibre 2236 inside. The price starts from $10,050.

The Deepsea Sea-Dweller took a quantum leap forwards

By the way, a quantum leap makes microscopic look enormous; we’re talking sub-atomic here, people. This is the most Rolex update that Rolex has ever Rolexed. It’s so tiny that the website didn’t even tell me it had changed. It keeps the 44mm stainless steel case and the Oyster bracelet. It’s still got the 3235 inside it as well, and the dial is the same. So what’s new? Well, the bezel is slightly narrower, the date is somewhat bigger (8% bigger, to be precise), the titanium caseback is now called the RLX titanium caseback, although nothing changed there. Oh, and the Fliplock diving extension is gone. I have no idea why they removed that, surely a diver’s extension is a must-have for a diving watch, and the Deepsea is the most serious diving watch Rolex makes. Rolex introduced the improved Chromalight lume here too. The price starts from $13,850.

As I said at various points in the article, Rolex introduced multiple dial combinations for some models, and these are available to view in full on the Rolex website.