Journal / Read

SPOTLIGHT: Rolex's New 2022 Novelties from Watches & Wonders

With the cat finally out of the bag, we can confirm the 2022 Rolex releases aren’t exactly what we’d expected, but the verdict is most definitely good. 


Isaac Wingold

March 30, 2022


4 min read

No one knows how to tease us like Rolex, and as per usual, this year’s “Be Prepared to Move Skywards” campaign had us in a frenzy of speculation, guessing what sort of sky-faring novelties to be expected from the crown. With the cat finally out of the bag, we can confirm the releases aren’t exactly what we’d expected, but the verdict is most definitely good. 

The 2022 GMT Master II 126720VTNR

Most notably, there’s an all new for 2022 GMT Master II, the reference 126720VTNR, which features a left-handed “destro” design, as indicated by the crown protruding from the left hand side of the case. Though this might seem completely out of left field, it’s actually a nod to a handful of very early GMT Master references, produced with a left handed orientation at the request of special clients in the brand’s earliest days. Powered by the caliber 3285, which we saw introduced back in 2018, the model touts the latest in Rolex technology, not to mention the all new Cerachrom insert, executed in brilliant green and black.

The 2022 Air King 126900

Continuing the skyward trend is not a Sky-Dweller, but a newly revised Air King, known as the reference 126900. Though this new reference features a dial similar to that of its predecessor, it’s now housed in an updated 904L “Oystersteel” case measuring 40 mm across, which looks to be thinner and more wearable than the reference 116900 it replaces.

The 2022 Platinum Day Date 228236

For the subtle flexers, the brand has also served up a new contender in the heavy hitter category with their latest Day-Date 40 model. Distinguished by its case and bezel crafted from 950 platinum, this marks the first instance in which Rolex has offered a fluted bezel in platinum, with platinum Day-Date models historically having been fitted with smooth bezels. Like other platinum models from the storied watchmaker, it features a stunning Ice Blue dial, that’s tastefully accented by roman numeral markers, and a blued seconds hand.

The 2022 Datejust 31 Floral Motif 278274

While on the topic of blue dials, this roundup of latest Rolex releases wouldn’t be complete without mention of the new Datejust 31 reference 278274. We simply can’t get enough of its floral motif, Azzuro blue dial, set with 24 diamonds in white gold settings. Furthering its status as a Rolesor model, Rolex has also fitted the new reference with a white gold fluted bezel, but we’re partial to the diamond set domed bezel, also in white gold. Note that this new floral motif is also being offered in silver and green. 

The 2022 Yellow Gold Yachtmaster 42 226658

This brings us to the Yachtmaster 42, the last model to receive a significant update at Watches and Wonders 2022. For the first time in the history of the model’s offering, Rolex is now producing the watch with a yellow gold case, for additional opulence on the high seas. Given how the model was first introduced as a more lavish take on the Submariner, its offering in full yellow gold just feels right, and is especially practical when paired with the black sand-blasted bezel, and matching black Oysterflex bracelet. All in all, we pretty fired up over these Rolex novelties for 2022, and can’t wait to get them on our wrists. 


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