When we're talking about the best watches, one name will undoubtedly cross your mind – Rolex. The brand is synonymous with luxury, going way beyond traditional watch enthusiast circles.
But while you might find one on the wrist of your favourite rapper, or in your Grandads attic, getting hold of one first hand is more challenging. No longer is it a case of simply affording a watch – popular models come with extraordinary wait times, with some consumers going to extreme lengths in a bid to bump their way up the list.
Each year, the brand brings a few changes to the line-up. These changes range from new dial colours and minor spec changes, through to entirely new products altogether – just look at the Rolex Deepsea Challenge from last year.
And while nothing has been officially confirmed, there have been a handful of rumours and leaks online (opens in new tab). Let's take a look at five of the best, so far.
5. Rolex Daytona (Yellow Gold; Meteorite dial)
In its steel form, the Daytona remains one of the toughest Rolex models to pick up at retail. It's not hard to see why, either. The timeless chronograph looks as good today as it did back in 1963, spawning countless homages and lookalikes – just look at the Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Chrono which was released recently.
This leaked update sees the yellow gold Daytona with a Meteorite dial swap out its yellow gold bezel for a black ceramic alternative. It's a lovely looking watch. In my opinion, the ceramic bezel gives much better contrast, where the current gold bezel can often look a bit samey.
4. Rolex Submariner 70th Anniversary model (Platinum; blue dial)
With this year marking the 70th anniversary of the iconic Rolex Submariner, many are expecting a commemorative model to celebrate. This post (opens in new tab) shared images of a platinum variant, with a grey-blue dial and bezel.
It's certainly a statement piece, with echoes of the 50th Anniversary Daytona. It's not something that appeals to me personally, but I can definitely see a market for this kind of thing. Whether it's this or something else, though, some kind of anniversary special is almost certain to crop up.
3. Rolex Milgauss (New case)
The Milgauss is arguably one of the most underrated models in the Rolex catalogue. Named after its magnetic resistance rating of 1,000 gauss (mille is French for 1,000), the watch is one of the last true workhorse watches in the line-up, complete with a bright orange lightning bolt seconds hand.
In this update, the Milgauss is re-cased. It looks very similar to the case used on the Air King, with crown guards added for protection against knocks. I think it's a great upgrade for the model. The silhouette with the guards in place looks much more in-keeping with what I'd expect from a Rolex, and would be useful for anyone using the Milgauss in professional environments.
2. Rolex GMT-Master II "Sprite" (Regular orientation)
When Rolex unveiled the GMT-Master II in a "destro" orientation last year, it turned heads. Flipping the crown over to the left-hand side of the dial was an unusual take, but one which drummed up a lot of coverage – from those who applauded the brand for trying something new, to those who had pitchforks at the ready.
It has remained a popular model despite the unconventional orientation, with high-profile celebrities like Ed Sheeran spotted sporting the model affectionately known as the "Sprite".
This update shows the Sprite reconfigured in a more conventional way, with the crown adorning the right-hand side of the case. It's a fantastic looking watch, and one that will surely be an instant hit, slotting in alongside the other split-colour bezels in the range.
1. Rolex Submariner (Yellow Gold; Green Dial)
Ah, the gold and green Submariner. Long the home-rendered plaything of online Rolex communities, this would be an absolute smash-hit. Following the design cues of the similarly configured Daytona known as the "John Mayer", the watch sports an all-gold casing and bracelet, with a green dial and green-on-gold bezel.
Frankly, it's a masterstroke. It really doesn't get any more Rolex than this – gold, green and a Submariner.
Generally speaking, precious metal variants of Rolex models are easier to come by than their steel equivalents, owing to their higher prices and, thus, smaller potential market. This configuration might just buck that trend though. Top marks.