Rolex is known for making small, incremental changes for their watches – evolution, not revolution so to speak. With its timeless design language, The Crown remains the maker of the most collectible timepieces in the market.
Just like everyone else, however, Rolex likes to celebrate anniversaries, and the usually conservative watchmaker makes surprising design choices for these milestones.
The anniversaries of their most iconic pieces – the Submariner, the GMT-Master, and the Daytona to name a few – have given us the most distinctive models, proving that the brand celebrates birthdays in style. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite Rolex Anniversary watches:
Rolex Submariner ‘Kermit’ Ref. 16610LV and ‘Starbucks’ Ref 126610LV
Along with a new bold hue, the watch was also the first Sub to carry a Maxi Dial, characterized by larger hands and indices. This style gave the Kermit a retro and legible look.
The Kermit was discontinued after 7 years, which leaves a finite number to its production. The bright green colorway came back in 2021 with the release of the 126610LV, but the original Kermit will always have a special place in many collectors’ hearts.
Moreover, the 116718LN was the first Rolex to sport a bezel made of Cerachrom – the brand’s proprietary ceramic material, best-known for its unmatched scratch-resistance.
Just like the previous editions, the watch is offered in black or white dials, but with modern tweaks. These include a larger 42mm steel case, a high-performing Caliber 1187 movement, and a Maxi Dial with Chromalight, which is Rolex’s ultra-bright blue lume.
The Explorer II received an update in 2021 with the ref 226570, which brought about very subtle changes. Rolex shifted the proportions of the case and bracelet to bring better visual balance and equipped the watch with the new in-house Caliber 3285.
Boasting a sleek look, the watch’s bezel comes in a dark chestnut brown color made of a single block of ceramic, with silver markings all over its surface. The striking ice-blue dial serves as a backdrop to the lacquered brown sub-dials, a color which Rolex uses exclusively for its platinum watches. Inside, it runs on the in-house Caliber 4130 movement developed by Rolex.
Available in 18k white gold and Everose gold configurations, this model features an olive green sunburst dial, a contemporary take on Rolex‘s green dials. Faceted and raised Roman numerals and baton indices, plus a sharp fluted bezel in matching gold gives the watch a modern look.
These Anniversary models not only represent the vital milestones in Rolex’s history, but also show the brand’s willingness to experiment. Explore our selection of RolexAnniversary watches at SwissWatchExpo.com.