Whether you’ve been hiding as a cave-dweller, sea-dweller or sky-dweller, everyone in the watch world most certainly has marked April 7, 2021 as the potential day for new Rolex and Tudor releases. There are many other brands in the Richemont group plus others slated for new releases (I’m more interested in VC and Lange, honestly), but I think it’s fair to say that most watch followers will mostly be interested in what the crown will release upon the kingdom.
I will not even attempt to speculate what new releases and in what variations the green and gold will bestow upon their court, but I will predict the obvious and will be wishing upon something that I hope will ring true one day if not this spring.
The Explorer 2, upon its 50th anniversary, will likely be getting a facelift and a new 70 hr movement. Ok that was my big revelation. Hey! It’s better than that IG of that blue and silver Daytona!
But seriously now. I honestly believe Rolex should enter the realm of another metal other than platinum, gold in three colours and stainless steel. What other metal could that be? TITANIUM of course.
They have already ventured that way in their Tudor line with the Pelagos. I have worn the blue Pelagos with its innovative stretchable titanium bracelet and fully titanium case. While the watch fullfills its function as a true dive watch and the titanium served its purpose by making the watch light, I found the watch much too thick and bulky to wear. Had it been a much thinner case and proportioned less I would have seriously considered its purchase.
Titanium watches are rarely produced across all brands. Tudor produces two models in titanium. Laurent Ferrier has a line in titanium and Patek have produced one offs in titanium but hardly available to the public. Audemars Piguet have produced quite a few models in titanium but again in very limited runs. Grand Seiko’s signature and popular piece, the snowflake is made of titanium. Titanium is a durable and light metal. It is also very hard and not malleable enough to manipulate.
But oh, if ever Rolex would produce one of their stainless steel sports lines in titanium, demand would be unimaginably more than currently. But it would also make sense from a design point of view. The current Rolex maxi cases now wear larger and heavier than their advertised 40-41mm diameters. They also tend to be quite top case heavy and unbalanced compared to the bracelet. As a consequence people with smaller wrists will negatively feel the heft and if not buckled tightly the case tends to migrate up or down the wrist too easily.
Therefore, creating a titanium maxi case plus or minus bracelet would render the case much lighter by as much as thirty percent. The case would be more balanced with the bracelet and wouldn’t obey Newton’s law of gravity so linearly (even though the law is not linear).
Imagine a titanium Submariner with just as much water resistance but 30-40g lighter like the Tudor Pelagos. Why not just buy a Tudor Pelagos then, oh wise one? Well for one, the dial doesn’t say Rolex on it nor does it read Submariner. Plus it wears much bulkier like I’ve mentioned before.
Titanium is not such a rare metal and I am confident Rolex would be able to source tons of the Ti, however, production wouldn’t be so easy. Presumably, new tools would have to be designed and Rolex would have to create a whole new department solely for the purpose of manufacturing titanium cases and bracelets. Considering that Rolex mass produces their lines, it would cause a logistic nightmare which I’m not sure they would likely want to invest. But nothing is stopping them from producing a few limited pieces as a trial for us monkeys. Isn’t that what the stainless steel Daytona has become anyways, a limited edition?
Here’s to wishful thinking but if Rolex did ever produce such a titanium sports watch or any watch, I’ll safely predict that not just me, but everyone would devour it and talk about it for decades to come. It would show a deviance from their traditional foundry metals and heck they could even call it 905 Z titanium or some crazy meaningless title that seems to attract the masses like the two oxygen atoms which stick to one titanium atom (chemists will love this joke).
But like we all know, whatever Rolex does on April 7, the masses will want it. I just hope the iT is inverted to Ti, but likely will not happen.
If it in case it does actually happen though, I rightfully proclaim it here first. HA!