Rolex Teases Its Big 2023 Releases: Explorer, Yachtmaster and More

A teaser video hints at a lot to look forward to when Rolex announces its 2023 watches next week.

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Rolex

Rolex will reveal its new products for 2023 on March 27th.

Like every year the watch world is giddy with anticipation. And like each year, the brand has released a teaser video to kick the hype and speculation into overdrive. This time, it reveals quite a bit about what to expect, with hints at multiple new models — yet without giving too much away.

We had our predictions for what Rolex could possibly release this year, and we'll bring you up-to-the-moment news when we have all the details in just a few days. But for now, here's what the Rolex teaser video reveals — and what it doesn't.

A Redesigned Explorer (I)

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It’s no big surprise that Rolex is planning something for the Explorer (I)’s 70th anniversary, but it’s not giving anything away just yet.
Rolex

It's the Explorer's 70th birthday this year, there's plenty of mountainous imagery in the video, and a watch right at the beginning with an Explorer (I) dial. The case, however, appears to have something new: chamfered lugs. This would be a significant departure and could signal what is an entirely new case design for the collection — nay, for the brand. Many watchmakers soften their cases edges with elegant chamfers, but that's simply not a modern Rolex thing, so far.

It was only in 2021 that the line got a major overhaul bringing its sizing back down to 36mm (from 39mm) as well as an unexpected two-tone version, so it would be even more surprising for the line to get another major overhaul so soon.

We guessed at the possibility of a white dial, which would be pretty cool, but the video seems to negate that with white text visible through the crystal's glare. The case material could be white gold or platinum, but it's probably steel — but what if it was titanium? That would be pretty cool, though likely a longshot. Along with a new case design is the possibility of a new size as well, but we'll just have to wait and see.

A New Yachtmaster

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Definitely a Yachtmaster, and definitely in a new configuration.
Rolex

For a fraction of a second at around 0:04 seconds into the video, the distinctive raised markers of the Yachtmaster's bezel are clearly visible. Later, imagery of a catamaran on the water drives home the point. The black Cerachrom (ceramic) bezel insert is seen paired to a metal bracelet, a configuration not currently available in the Rolex catalog. It also appears to have chamfered lugs.

The question is: what is the metal? And is it titanium? That's impossible to tell from the video. Since a prototype Yachtmaster in titanium was spotted on Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie in 2021, fans wondered when something similar would be seen in a production model. Then last year, Rolex introduced its first titanium watch — albeit in a watch that's so serious and large that it's mostly impractical for daily wear.

Could this finally be the titanium Yachtmaster we've been waiting for? That would be cool, but it might also just be a new model with a steel and platinum bracelet, a configuration that already exists in the collection. There are no all-steel Yachtmasters, and we're not expecting that to change.

A Gold GMT Master II

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That’s an Explorer II, but not like any we’ve seen before.
Rolex

It only flashes on screen for a split second around around 0:12 seconds in, so you've got to be quick on the pause button. That's a GMT bezel. That of a GMT Master II? Yeah, we thought it looked like the steel bezel of the Explorer II at first, but the dots give it away (the Explorer II has triangles). Gold hands and indices (and bezel markers) indicate that this'll be a new variant in full gold or Rolesor (the Rolex term for two-tone steel and gold). It's got a black dial and a red or orange GMT hand, but that's about all we can make out for now.

[Editor's Note: We'd initially guessed that it was an Explorer II, but have now amended the prediction on closer inspection.]

What else is Rolex teasing?

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The hands, logo and index visible here could apply to multiple Rolex models. But which is a candidate for a blue sunburst dial?
Rolex

The sport watches above are what people get most excited about, and others in the Professional (sport) range might also be in store. But there are other shots in the video that hint at multiple models — without being specific. That's the point of a teaser, of course.

There's an orange dial which we're guessing will be on something like a Datejust or Day-Date in gold to match the logo. We're not assuming it's not an Oyster Perpetual because the collection is currently exclusively in steel. The blue dial at 0:11 could be an Oyster Perpetual, Datejust or Day-Date.

Around 0:12 clearly shows a Cellini, but doesn't reveal anything new about it — it will be cool, however, if Rolex does something new with the Cellini as the line currently only comprises one model. There's a fraction-of-a-second shot of a racetrack and a seconds track around the edge of an ice-blue dial, which undoubtedly hints at something Daytona, the ice blue color perhaps indicating a platinum model to celebrate the chronograph's 60th anniversary.

In the end, Rolex has given us a good sense of what to look forward to next week, but we'll still have to wait to find out much of what horological goodies it's got up its sleeves this year.

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