Ben: Rolex Datejust ref. 126200 “Palm”

So far, Jorg and I have covered two new Rolex novelties for 2023 – the Air-King and Explorer II. But both these models are refreshes on familiar designs. Not that this Datejust is a barnstorming model to shake the industry, but at least it offers a unique style in a standard package. Out of all the recent releases these past few years, this Oystersteel Datejust is possibly my favorite. But it took a while to grow (settle in for plant-based puns) on me. The palm leaf is an unusual motif and is certainly not for everyone. However, with such a renowned and recognizable design, the Datejust is ripe (I warned you) for a bit of embellishment. For many, it’s an insult to mess with a classic. Luckily, the GMT-Master II “Destro” this year bore the brunt of negative feedback at replica luxury watches And Wonders.

As the Datejust sits outside the Professional collection, there is room to bloom. And bloom it does, as this Datejust incorporates three shades of green in an intertwining palm pattern. The palm leaf is a hit of nostalgia for some, reflecting a relaxing life in the tropics. I can almost feel the warm sand and sea air with a rum punch in hand as I view the dial. When it comes to nature inspiration, Grand Seiko indeed comes to mind. But with reference 126200, Rolex demonstrates its capabilities in reflecting the natural world. The execution is also exquisite with leafy textures offsetting the sunray brushing of the main dial. There’s even a deep frosting around the date window magnified by the Cyclops lens. It’s impressive how playful Rolex can be with the Date-Date and Datejust without the shackles of its iconic sports watches.

An endless classic
Surrounding the sumptuous palm dial is the tried-and-true Datejust platform – a 36mm Oyster case with a screw-down crown and 100m water resistance. Powering the piece is the manufacture caliber 3235 with a 70-hour power reserve. This movement serves as the beating heart of many models in the Rolex catalog. But it feels especially at home in the Datejust, which was the brand’s first watch with a date window in 1945. The lineage is strong with the Datejust, but despite the funky dial, the core elements remain. I chose the smooth-bezel configuration with the Oyster bracelet for this showdown. The perfect replica watches is also available with a fluted bezel and a Jubilee bracelet. You can mix and match these configurations, but the 36mm case persists. The 36mm model is the only way to get this dial – for now, at least.

It’s yet to be seen how popular this model will be, but I can see Rolex expanding to other case diameters. Yet, just as RJ found with the Day-Date, the 36mm size seems the sweet spot for these classic models. Thanks to the smaller dial size, the palm-leaf motif doesn’t outstay its welcome. But with the more restrained Oyster bracelet and steel domed bezel, the dial still takes center stage with fewer distractions. This Rolex is €6,900 from authorized dealers, but it currently trades with a €10,000 premium on the pre-owned market. Whether that’s due to recent inflation or dealers testing the waters, I can see the price dropping to sustainable levels soon. Now it’s time for Jorg to yearn for the Grand Seiko SBGA413 “Shunbun”. This titanium Spring Drive GS with cherry blossom dial plucks his heartstrings, but does it sing for you? Be sure to vote later on.

This week, we’re taking a leaf (literally) out of Grand Seiko’s book and featuring watches inspired by nature. We, of course, feature the name-dropped Grand Seiko, but Rolex also joins the floral flourish fray with its new stainless steel Datejust reference 126200. In the east corner, Jorg is backing the Grand Seiko SBGA413 “Shunbun”, which pays tribute to the vernal equinox. Essentially, the dial of this timepiece reflects petals of cherry blossoms falling onto freshwater, forming pink hanaikada (flower rafts). In the west corner, Ben is repping the Rolex Datejust reference 126200 with an olive-green palm-motif dial resembling a Tommy Bahama shirt. What drives the natural inspiration, and which swiss replica watches delivers more effectively on its concept? Time for our writers to duke it out. But first, let’s touch on last week’s result.

Vintage or modern Omega Speedmaster
The debate between modern and vintage is one for ages. This is, of course, in part because the goalpost of what’s considered “vintage” or “modern” keeps moving with time. In this era, you can view a ’60s Speedmaster as a relic of yesteryear. Yet, as the Speedy is an innovative piece of watchmaking history that has stood the test of time, the design and principle continue in the modern world. The relevance and necessity of a mechanical, hand-winding watch are weakening, but the enthusiasm only grows stronger. In last week’s Sunday Morning Showdown, Thomas vied for the vintage Speedmaster and its never-ending lifespan. The Speedmaster was a critical piece of NASA equipment during the Space Race, and as such, it served a great purpose. Nowadays, a Speedmaster is a testament to its accomplishments and a great-looking wrist adornment for the modern buyer.

Robert-Jan argued that the Speedmaster’s improvements over 65 years of development are best showcased in the latest offering. For RJ, a modern Speedmaster is for everyday activities, whereas a vintage example “belongs in a museum” or at least somewhere safe for preservation. It seems our Fratelli side with RJ to the tune of 70% of the voting share. That’s not to say the majority dislike a vintage Speedy. But for availability, price, and mod cons, our readers prefer a modern Speedmaster. For today’s battle, both choices reside in the contemporary era. Therefore, features such as style, provenance, quality, and functionality are the main factors for discussion. Now, let’s get to it.

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