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New Rolex watches for 2022 – Spectacular Sports

Never a brand to throw caution to the wind and do the unthinkable, Rolex is all about evolution and not revolution. That’s why we love them, because whilst always offering pieces that create feverish demand, the brand rarely unveils watches that leave collectors scratching their heads wondering “what all that was about”. Rolex does, however, occasionally veer a little towards the left field, as demonstrated by one of this year’s headline launches, the left-hand GMT-Master 2.

Written by Rolex 7th April 2022

On the new Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II, the crown and crown guard are on the left side of the watch case.

Batman or Pepsi, whichever way you go you know you’ve picked a winner. The steel GMT-Master 2 has been a white-hot watch, ever since the introduction of the blue and black bezel version and then it went hyper-thermal with the launch of the red and blue, or Pepsi, bezel. For 2022 Rolex has added to the steel line with a black and green Cerachrom bezel. The green we have seen before on the Submariner, but the green and black is something entirely new. Heineken, Sprite or my favourite, The Riddler; this is another hit.

The new version of the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II in Oystersteel with a black dial, green and black Cerachrom bezel insert in ceramic and Oyster bracelet.

The left-field bit is that it’s a left-handed watch or destro or left-hooker, however you refer to it. What might appear as a simple ‘upside down’ version of the classic, has actually needed a significant amount of changes in the production of the watch, including the redevelopment of the COSC-testing equipment to allow for the change in movement orientation as well as changes to the movement’s construction. In a generous twist, however, the new GMT-Master 2 126720 VTNR will be available on either a Jubilee or Oyster bracelet.

Long Live The King

One watch that has enjoyed almost 80 years of evolution is the venerable Air King. The Air King name was first used in 1945 and, except for a brief hiatus in 2014, it has been present in the brand’s catalogue since then, truly marking it out as an old timer. The story behind the name is interesting too, as Hans Wilsdorf created the Air King series to celebrate the heroic pilots that took part in the Battle of Britain.

The 3, 6 and 9 numerals of the new-generation Air-King are now visible in the dark thanks to its exclusive Chromalight display.

This year the Air King officially became a fully fledged member of the sports watch family, thanks to with the addition of crown guards and a flat sided case; two hallmarks of a Rolex tool watch. This new version will replace the outgoing classic rounded case sides and no-crown-guards that the Air King shared with the Milgauss and in my mind I have always felt that the Air King deserved better. The 2022 Air King has had its Mercedes-pattern hands enlarged and a new glossy dial replaces the previous matte version with lume-filled quarter markers. With Rolex collecting, it’s all about the small details and so fans will be delighted by the additional ‘0’ at the five minute marker.

The display of the Oyster Perpetual Air-King has been refreshed and is perfectly balanced thanks to the addition of a ‘0’ before the ‘5’ on the minutes scale. Each five-minute interval is, therefore, now marked by two digits. The hands and triangular hour marker at 12 o’clock are filled or coated with a new luminescent material that provides a longer-lasting intense glow.

Set Sail

In 2015 Rolex unveiled one of the most interesting sposrt watches, the Yacht-Master in Everose gold and the watch that debuted the iconic Oysterflex bracelet. The Oysterflex bracelet looks like a simple rubber strap, but as one would expect from Rolex, it is so much more than that. The bracelet is built from a special black elastomer that is moulded around flexible blades of titanium-nickel alloy. For added comfort and air circulation, Rolex has added folded cushions on the underside of the strap making it one of the most comfortable and secure straps ever.  The watch was fitted with a matte black Cerachrom insert in an Everose bezel ring. In 2017, a white gold Yacht-Master was introduced with a larger 42mm case on an Oysterflex bracelet and for 2022 Rolex has added a 42mm Yacht-Master in yellow gold.

The new 2022 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 in 18 ct white gold.

Also for 2022, the new generation of Yacht-Master has been expanded with a new 40mm Yacht-Master, with a colourful twist. A new gem-set white gold model, with diamond set case and diamond and sapphire bezel. Following on from the so-called Tutti-Fruity coloured sapphire bezel Everose Yacht-Master, the new Yacht-Master 40, reference 126679 SABR, is here. The bezel is set with set with 8 trapeze-cut diamonds (approx. 0.92 ct), 32 trapeze-cut sapphires – 8 pink, 8 light blue, 8 purple and 8 dark blue – (approx. 4.27 ct) and one triangular diamond (approx. 0.15 ct) at 12 o’clock. The watch is also available with a full pave dial and I can’t think of  more perfect summer watch!

The 18 ct white gold, lugs and crown guard of the 2022 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 are set with 46 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.89 ct) along with polished sides.

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