It’s that time of the year again, when the winter starts to fade away – and everyone online and offline starts to get excited for the new Rolex models to be unveiled at Watches and Wonder 2024. While Monochrome-Watches has been the leader in predictions, we also took our turn last year for the first time with our Rolex predictions 2023 article here. Did we get anything right? Absolutely. Our prediction for the Submariner 124060 was 100% accurate, with no changes to be made to this watch despite many Rolex collectors and enthusiast calling for it.
Last year was packed with anticipation, with big updates to the Daytona line, the launch of the newly designed Perpetual 1908, and new Two-Tone colorway for the GMT Master II. The changes for these collections last year were very significant in Rolex terms, as they usually make very incremental changes rather than vast abrupt design shifts. This year, I’m feeling more of a subdued vibe coming from the crown – while it’s still very early, the community predictions are not as exaggerated and there’s been no rumours as of yet.
This prediction list will entail the wisdom of my many years as a Rolex collector and active member of the thriving watch community, with a dash of hope and inspiration from my inner desires. Sit back and enjoy the article as we dream about what the crown is going to bring us this year.
Rolex Explorer II 40mm
Yes this update is still very much on my radar, actually even more so than last year. Rolex did release a smaller 36mm version of the Explorer I as well as a larger size Explorer I at 40mm – the first time they ever have two Explorer I varaiations in production at the same time.
I think, and cross my fingers when I say this, that the Explorer II line is going to follow a similar path to the Explorer I. Rolex is going to either downsize the Explorer II to 40mm, or launch a second iteration in a smaller size keeping the original in production as well.
There’s many Rolex collectors who absolutely love the utilitarian vibe of the Explorer II but just cant stretch their wrist size to make it comfortable or suitable enough for daily wear, or even an addition to the collection at all. Another reason why I think we could see a move from the now 42mm size to 40mm has to do with the now neo-vintage Explorer II that was in production at a 40mm size, this watch has turned into an icon and Rolex knows it.
Well if they downsize then what will the new reference look like? Probably like the neo-vintage Explorer II but with a modern case shape, perhaps a little blockier like the rest of the modern Rolex lineup that’s moved away from slim lugs and rounded cases. We’ll probably see similar quality of finishing to the current reference in 42mm. If we we’re to dream a little, maybe Rolex would release this new iteration in a new metal, perhaps titanium?
Here is our prediction: Sized down Explorer II with a modern blockier case and lugs.
GMT Master II Coke
Next up we have the GMT Master II, a reference that went through a couple changes last year. I think that we’re going to see a continuation of the evolution of this line this year. I don’t think well see any updates to the sizing, specs or features, but I do think we could see the discontinuation of the GMT Master II BLRO “Pepsi”, and the re-introduction of the GMT Master II “Coke”. Essentially getting rid of the blue/red bezel in exchange for the black/red bezel. Whether this would be offered on Oyster or Jubilee bracelet, it would most likely be both as the current Pepsi model is offered on both.
There could be a slight chance that Rolex does buck the trend and change the case shape of the GMT to match something more streamlined and slim like the new Submariner’s. As things stand, the current GMT Master II has a blockier case and lugs than the Submariner which is just a little odd in my opinion. If Rolex did go this route we’d probably only see this implementation on the full gold watches first with a trickle down effect towards the stainless steel collection.
I’d still love to see a full “Root Beer” GMT Master II introduced at some point. It should have a slimmer case, and be available on a Jubilee bracelet. I’ve run out of steam hoping Rolex releases this over the past few years, but I still have my hat in the race.
Here is our prediction: The introduction of a GMT Master II Coke with a slimmed case. Possible appearance of the anticipated Root Beer, also with a slimmed case.
Submariner & Submariner Date Titanium
Last year we predicted zero changes to the Submariner line, and we were correct. This year I think there’s a possibility we see the addition of a new metal to the Submariner’s, perhaps the introduction of titanium. I think they would keep the case shape and everything we already love about the Sub intact and just introduce a raw titanium version.
I keep hearing the idea of a 37mm Submariner being floated around online, but I’m not going to bite on that concept. For one I think the Submariner at 41mm is just fine on nearly any wrist size, but I also think Rolex is not going to want to have two options to their most iconic watch ever created. They went the two size route on the Explorer II as we saw last year, but I don’t think they’d follow this path with the Submariner. Now, if they don’t create two sizes, they certainly aren’t going to make only one size in 37mm – it’s too small for most average size wrists. Another reason why they won’t do this is because their well known sister brand Tudor, already offers essentially a smaller sized Submariner known as the Black Bay 58, or BB58, which is a 39mm dive watch with classic proportions.
Here is our prediction: Submariner released in titanium with no changes to the rest of the watch.
Daytona Dial Refresh
last year was huge for the Daytona line, with the introduction of the two new stunning stainless steel Ref. 126500 variations making headlines. That wasn’t the only big change, Rolex also updated the platinum anniversary edition to include an exhibition caseback – a first in the history of Rolex. The exhibiton caseback on the platinum Daytona is what really stunned me and caught me off-guard, it was very un-Rolex like.
All the big news for the Daytona was last year, so I think this year would could simply see some new dials launched on the precious metal variations, leaving the stainless steel and Rolesor models untouched.
Here is our prediction: No changes to the Daytona except for new dial releases.
Datejust Retro Motif
I think it’s possible we see some movement in the Datejust collection this year for 2024. I think case shape and design will be left unchanged, but we would be do for some updates on the dials. I think some of the classic Datejust dials like the silver, and the blue sunburst could receive a facelift in terms of the dial layout. Perhaps a slimming and re-arranging of the indices to provide a nod back to some vintage iterations.
I think we could see some really cool new motif dials launched as well. I personally would love to see some re-issue dials like the widely loved linen dial perhaps created using the same technology used to create the modern fluted dials.
I think we could see the departure of the palm dials, turning them into collectibles with a short run. With the discontinuation of the palm dials perhaps we would see the introduction of some new wild motif designs. You can take your wildest guess in this area as Rolex seems like to to play around with some peculiar design language on the Datejust.
Here is our prediction: Facelist for the classic Datejust line, and possible new and fun motif dials.
Capping our Rolex predictions off for 2024, there’s some really neat watches to look out for this year at Watches and Wonders in Geneva. Perhaps the Rolex releases wont be as extravagant as last year, but I’m sure there will be something for each one of us Rolex collectors to drool over. I for one will be keeping my ears and eyes open this spring for any potential credible rumours and leaks, and will update this article accordingly.