2021 Rolex Releases – A Recap

There are hundreds of new watches released every year, but nothing gets collectors rolling like Rolex. The Crown still leads the pack as the most awaited and talked about brand.

For 2021 Rolex didn’t disappoint with a new wave of dial designs, refreshed classics, and a few surprises. Here are the new drops and design updates from Rolex, to help you stay up-to-date.


Datejust Golden Palm
Rolex Datejust 36 Golden Palm Dial 126233 and Fluted Dial  


2021 ROLEX DATEJUST 36 with new dials

The Rolex Datejust line was given four new models – three with refreshing palm leaf dials and another with an elegant “fluted” pattern.

The palm motif dial is inspired by lush tropical forests and comes in three vibrant metallic colors – olive green for the steel model, champagne for the Yellow Rolesor model, and silver for the Everose Rolesor model.

The fluted motif dial, meanwhile, showcases the signature pattern found on Rolex bezels. It comes in a golden dial paired with the Yellow Rolesor model.



Explorer Two Tone
Rolex Explorer I Two Tone 124273


2021 ROLEX EXPLORER I in 36mm and two tone finish

The biggest surprise came with the Rolex Explorer I. Although the Explorer doesn’t turn 70 until 2023, it received a major overhaul this year, with a 3mm size difference, a new finish and an upgraded movement.

The current Rolex Explorer I shrank from 39mm to 36mm, bringing the iconic watch back to its original size from 1953. With that, it fills a void from the Rolex sport line up where most watches measure 40mm and up. It’s also equipped with the new generation Rolex 3230 automatic movement, which comes with an optimized version of the blue Parachrom hairspring.

In addition to the steel version, the Rolex Explorer I was also introduced in a Rolesor steel and yellow gold finish – a first in its six decade history. This adds a dressier feel to the Explorer’s longstanding rugged character.


Explorer 226570
Rolex Explorer II White and Black Dial 226570



The Rolex Explorer II celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and while many were expecting an overhaul, Rolex instead made subtle but meaningful upgrades.

The new generation Explorer II is packed with the latest Rolex technology and features: the automatic 3285 movement with a 70 hour power reserve, Chromalight lume for better low-light visibility, a slightly thinner case, and the latest Rolex Oyster bracelet endowed with a micro-regulation Easylink.



Daytona Meteorite
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona White Gold 116519 with Meteorite Dial


ROLEX DAYTONA with Meteorite Panda Dials

This year’s new Rolex Daytona models feature “Meteorite Panda” dials. The use of meteorite for Rolex dials is not new, so the novelty here are the contrasting black chronograph registers. These dials appear in two full gold models – 18k yellow and Everose gold – and an 18k white gold version with an Oysterflex bracelet.



Among the new dials and finishes were quietly released updates to classic models, particularly on their bracelets.


Sky Dweller Jubilee
Rolex Sky-Dweller White Dial 326934 with Jubilee Bracelet


ROLEX SKY-DWELLER with Jubilee Bracelet

The Rolex Sky-Dweller was given the option of a Jubilee bracelet for its White Rolesor (steel and white gold) and Yellow Rolesor (steel and yellow gold) variants. This comes after last year’s addition of an Oysterflex strap to the collection. As the most complicated watch from Rolex, and one of its top-of-the-line offerings, the addition of the dressier Jubilee bracelet was very fitting.


Batman 126710
Rolex GMT-Master II Batman and Pepsi 126710 with Oyster Bracelets


ROLEX GMT-MASTER II with Oyster Bracelets

The current “Pepsi” and “Batman” editions of the Rolex GMT-Master II were previously offered only with the Jubilee-style bracelet, since their launch in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Rolex silently brought back the Oyster bracelet for these steel GMT-Masters this year, to the delight of Rolex fans.



With some surprises, and a few under the radar additions, Rolex always keeps fans on their toes. Explore our collection of Rolex watches at SwissWatchExpo.com.





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