Rolex wows us with new Daytona and 'bubble-dial' Oyster Perpetual

Watches and Wonders kicks off in Geneva with a whole range of new models from Rolex

Rolex Oyster Perpetual
(Image credit: Rolex)

Time to raid the piggy bank and search down the back of the sofa, because Rolex has just announced a whole range of new watches.

Revealed at the Watches and Wonders event in Geneva, the novelties are spread across Rolex’s Daytona, Yacht-Master, Sky-Dweller, GMT-Master, Explorer, Oyster Perpetual and Day-Date collections, with larger cases, sapphire crystal case backs and bold, playful dials filled with bubbles and among the biggest headlines.

The company also bids farewell to a watch this week, as the Rolex Milgauss is discontinued as of today (as predicted by Rolex expert, Danny Shahid). The science-focused timepiece with its iconic green crystal and orange second hand styled like a lightning bolt is no more — which will undoubtedly be good financial news for those who bought one before the death knell sounded.

Arguably the headline act of Rolex’s Watches and Wonders 2023 set is the Cosmograph Daytona, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The watch revealed this week has a slightly redesigned case and bezel, where the outer edge is finished in the same material as the case, such as gold or steel, but the size remains unchanged at 40mm.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

(Image credit: Rolex)

The biggest news is that the Daytona, reference number 126500, has a new movement called the calibre 4131 with 72 hours of power reserve — and if you buy the platinum Daytona, it now has an exhibition caseback. This is a first not just for the Daytona, but for any Rolex sports watch, and means Daytona owners can now peer into the movement through the sapphire crystal back.

Our eyes were also quickly drawn this morning to a playful set of new Oyster Perpetual models, featuring dials packed with colour. Available on the 31mm, 36mm and 41mm cases, the new lacquered dial of the Oyster Perpetual is dotted with coloured bubbles that resemble the five dial hues added to the range in 2020. These are pink, turquoise blue, yellow, red and green, and they are sat upon a turquoise dial.

Rolex Day-Date 36

(Image credit: Rolex)

More fun use of colour is found on the new Day-Date 36, with its dial packed with multi-coloured jigsaw pieces. Although the day and date complications remain in place, the former now cycles through 31 exclusive emojis and the latter displays seven different moods: ‘Happy,’ ‘Eternity,’ Gratitude,’ ‘Peace,’ ‘Faith,’ ‘Love’ and ‘Hope’. So while this particular Day-Date won’t help you with the day or the date, it’ll raise a smile with a message and an emoji instead.

Elsewhere on the Rolex stand, there’s a new dress watch called the Perpetual 1908, with the name being a reference to when the Rolex trademark was first registered in Switzerland. A classy 39mm watch with its case available in 18k yellow or white gold with leather or double-folding bracelet straps, the 1908 uses the calibre 7140 movement with a power reserve of 66 hours, visible through an exhibition case back.

Rolex 1908

(Image credit: Rolex)

Other Rolex news from Watches and Wonders includes a new titanium version of the 42mm Yacht-Master, described as a watch that is “especially suited to the demands and pressures of competitive sailing,”

There are also two new models of GMT-Master II, made of yellow Rolesor (a material made of gold and steel) and 18k yellow gold, with a Cerachrom bezel insert in grey and black ceramic. These pieces signal a return of yellow gold to the GMT-Master II, with both models offered with Rolex’s Jubilee bracelet strap with Easylink comfort extension.

Rolex Sky-Dweller

(Image credit: Rolex)

Rolex has given the Sky-Dweller a series of small updates. These include the calibre 9002 movement that lets the watch display the date and month from an annual calendar, as well as an additional time zone in 24-hour format, along with the hours, minutes and seconds. Cleverly, the movement can even distinguish between months with 30 and 31 days.

There are 12 white markers around the dial, with one turned red to indicate the month of the year; for example, during August the marker at the eight o’clock position will turn red, replaced by the nine o’clock marker on 1 September.

Finally, the Explorer is now available in a larger 40mm version for the first time. This joins the 36mm model that arrived to replace the outgoing 39mm model two years ago.

There's a lot more news to come out of Watches and Wonder today, so head over to the T3 live blog for all of the latest releases from the likes of Tudor, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer and more.

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.