(May 16): Rainbow hued gemstones, cutting-edge calibres and “Pepsi” ceramic bezels were just some of the eye-popping features of the new Rolex watches to hit Baselworld 2018. Here are some of our favourite highlights that stole the show.

Metal symphony
Rolex introduces its new-generation Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 with redesigned case sides and lugs, an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet, and for the first time, the cutting-edge calibre 3235. Several different versions of the new Datejust 36 are available in either Everose Rolesor or yellow Rolesor—a combination of Oystersteel with either 18-carat Everose gold or yellow, respectively. While one Everose Rolesor version features a white dial with 18-carat pink gold Roman numerals, two yellow Rolesor versions are available in either a white mother-of-pearl dial with a diamond-set bezel (pictured), or a champagne-coloured dial with diamond-set hour markers.


Over the rainbow
The worlds of motor sport and fine jewellery collide in the scintillant 18-carat Everose gold, gem-set version of the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, drenched in a dazzling array of diamonds and precious stones. While the bezel is set with a gradation of sapphires in rainbow hues, the watch case is adorned with 56 brilliant-cut diamonds set into the lugs and crown guard. 11 baguette-cut sapphire hour markers on the dial are hand-picked to match the colour of the corresponding point on the bezel, while the chronograph counters are made with shimmering pink Gold Crystals a special material developed by Rolex through the crystalisation of pink gold alloy.


Equipped with the new self-winding calibre 2236, this year’s release of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31 saw a redesigned case with its middle crafted from a solid block of 18-carat yellow, white, or Everose gold. Among the many combinations available is a version in 18-carat Everose gold with a diamond-paved dial that is inlaid with pink mother-of-pearl butterflies (pictured), while another features a malachite dial with a Roman VI and IX in 18-carat yellow gold set with diamonds. Ceramic inserts in the President bracelet’s links enhances overall flexibility and longevity, while a concealed attachment system ensures seamless visual continuity between bracelet and case.


Twist again
Originally designed to aid airline pilots in their navigation, the emblematic Rolex GMT-Master “Pepsi” watch gets a remake in Oystersteel and, for the very first time, two other versions in Everose gold. Among these is an Everose Rolesor version that combines Oystersteel and 18-carat Everose gold. The GMT-Master II range’s new additions are equipped with the calibre 3285, a bi-directional rotatable bezel and a 24-hour graduated two-colour Cerachrom insert in red and blue ceramic that allows the wearer to read two time zones at once. Lugs and sides of the waterproof Oyster case have been redesigned, and the watch is fitted onto a five-link Jubilee bracelet.


Under pressure
Sporting a D-blue dial with a deep-blue to pitch-black gradient, the new Rolex Deepsea is made of Oystersteel and features a 44mm case with redesigned lugs and sides, fitted with a broader Oyster bracelet and resized Oysterlock folding safety clasp. Designed to resist extreme underwater pressure, the watch is equipped with calibre 3235 for the first time, and its case is waterproof to 12,800 feet thanks to Rolex’s patented Ringlock System. Numerals and graduations are moulded in the ceramic and coloured with platinum using a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process, while the bezel’s knurled edge offers excellent grip while setting the dive time, even with gloves on.