A Watch Expert Critiques Rolex’s 2022 GMT-Master II, Air King, Yacht-Master, & More

Rolex dropped a slew of new watches, and a watch expert weighs in on the best bets.

Rolex

It seems there’s no shortage of stunning, iconic watches on display every year at luxury watch extravaganza Watches and Wonders, but it’s truly impressive that legendary watchmakers continue to up the ante even further. Take iconic timepiece company Rolex, which just found a new way to embrace its past and chart a course for the future with an all-new, 2022 lineup.

Rolex watches have already proven a more valuable investment than real estate in recent years, and there’s no question that its latest releases — including a left-handed version of the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II and an updated Air-King — will only get better with age, too.

The new Rolex lineup has already sent the watch world into a frenzy, needless to say.

Rolex

The latest drops include a new take on the Rolex Yacht-Master and the stunning Rolex Deepsea, but it’s the GMT-Master II that’s most impressive, said Paul Alteri, a Rolex expert who is founder and CEO of pre-owned timepiece dealer Bob’s Watches.

Alteri calls the new GMT a “show stopper” and added that “no one saw this coming.” It harkens back to the Rolex legacy of producing left-handed watches in very small numbers (and likely by special request) as early as the 1950s, Alteri noted.

The date window is flipped over to the 9’o’clock spot, while the movement and bezel are adjusted 180 degrees. The green and black color combination also appears for the first time on a Rolex GMT.

“This is truly what revolutionary design looks like…it’s a masterclass creation,” Alteri said, adding that the newly-revealed GMT was likely “years in the making.”

Rolex

The revamped Rolex Air-King is another investment-worthy update befitting any great watch collection, boasting what Rolex calls a “harmoniously balanced” dial, plus double-digit numeral markings between the major hour markers at 3, 6 and 9’o’clock.

The model also features new crown guards, and Alteri noted that feature gives it a “much sportier look.” At 40mm, the watch is a rugged yet precise model suited for the active watch enthusiast.

Rolex

The Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 also elevates what the Rolex brand does so well, Alteri said, revamping the style in yellow gold as opposed to just white gold. “It doesn’t come as a huge surprise that Rolex expanded the 42mm Yacht-Master family by adding another metal type,” he said.

The newest offering is available for around $30,000, and Alteri said there’s no doubt competition will be fierce in the race to snag Rolex’s latest legendary timepieces.

Alteri is closely watching the market (pun intended). but noted that it’s tough to forecast pricing and availability in some situations.

“It’s hard this year to predict which new models will be “must haves” because none of these watches will be available in any serious quantities to satisfy demand,” he said.

One major area of impact? Pricing for older Rolex models — Alteri said the market sees a bump between 10 and 20 percent higher for older existing models once new models make their way out into the world.

If looks and new specifications are any indication, Rolex watches are an even better bet right now. Better act quickly if you want a chance to strap a 2022 Rolex on your wrist.

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