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July 27th, 2023

Guide To Discontinued Rolex Watches (2020-2023)

In with the ‘new’, out with the ‘old’ – an ardent ritual followed by Rolex every year. Rolex is a watch brand that gets the most attention and we already have had enough discussion on the ‘why’! Over the years, Rolex has introduced an array of remarkable timepieces that have become status and cultural icons, adorning the wrists of leaders, celebrities and watch connoisseurs alike.

While many of the captivating watches have remained steadfast in the catalogue, Rolex has discontinued some of the fascinating pieces, further intriguing the enthusiasts. 

Here, in this blog, we shall delve into Rolex’s trove of horological history and unearth the various discontinued treasures that have gracefully retired from the current lineup.

Discontinued Rolex Watches In 2020

2020 was a big year with Rolex dropping a new batch of watches. But it also meant that it terminated many references from the catalogue. Here’s a list of all of those models that the Crown brand decided to let go of in 2020.

1. Rolex Submariner

  • Rolex Submariner Ref. 114060: ‘No-date’ Submariner with a 40mm stainless steel case, black ceramic bezel, a black dial with large markers and steel Oyster bracelet.
  • Rolex Submariner Ref. 116610: ‘Date’ Submariner with a 40mm stainless steel case, black ceramic bezel, a black dial with Chromalight hands & markers and an Oyster bracelet.
  • Rolex Submariner Ref. 116618: A 40mm 18ct yellow gold Submariner on an 18ct yellow gold Oyster bracelet with a black dial featuring white luminescent markers, magnified date display at 3 o’clock and surrounded by a black ceramic bezel.
  • Rolex Submariner Ref. 116613: A 40mm Steel & 18ct yellow gold Submariner with a blue ceramic bezel, blue dial with dot & baton hour markers and a date display at 3 o’clock and stunning steel & 18ct yellow gold Oyster bracelet.
  • Rolex Submariner ‘Hulk’ Ref. 116610LV: Popular Rolex ‘Hulk’ featuring a 40mm steel case, green ceramic bezel with 60-minute scale, iconic green dial with luminous markers & date display, and steel oyster bracelet. The Hulk is a popular Submariner reference and now with its discontinuation, the second-hand market will only explode with its unmatched demand.
  • Rolex Submariner ‘Smurf’ Ref. 116619: A popular Submariner in 18ct white gold with a blue dial featuring dot & baton hour markers & a date window at 3 o’clock, ceramic bezel and an 18ct white gold Oyster bracelet.

discontinued rolex Submariner and oyster perpetual 2020

2. Rolex Oyster Perpetual

  • Entire Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 collection: A perfect daily wearer was the Oyster Perpetual 39mm steel model with a steel bezel and Oyster bracelet. Dials are available in various colours. 
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual 116000 series: A beautiful unisex Oyster Perpetual series made of 36mm steel case, steel domed bezel and steel Oyster bracelet. Dials are available in various colours.
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual 26mm series: Another epic OP range with a 26mm steel case, smooth steel bezel, dials with different colours & combinations and Oyster bracelet.

3. Rolex Sky-Dweller

Any Sky-Dweller with a leather strap got discontinued.

  • Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326135: An alluring 42mm 18ct Everose gold model with a dark brown sunburst dial featuring Arabic markers, 12 windows behind the hour markers indicating the months & date display at 3 o’clock, 18ct Everose gold fluted Ring Command bezel and brown leather strap with an Everose gold clasp.
  • Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326138: Stunning 42mm 18ct yellow gold case surrounded by a fluted yellow gold Ring Command bezel, silver dial with Roman hour markers, a fixed ‘red triangle’ to be used with 24-hour disc & date display at 3 o’clock and brown leather strap with a yellow gold clasp.

discontinued rolex datejust and skydweller 2020

4. Rolex Datejust

  • Rolex Datejust 31 Ref. 178274: A classic 31mm steel & 18ct white gold model with an 18ct white gold fluted bezel and steel bracelet. Dials are available in various colours like MOP, blue, pink, etc with a date window.
  • Full Rolex Datejust 31 Ref. 178240 series: One of Rolex’s longest-standing collections featuring a 31mm steel case, dial with date display, steel bezel and steel bracelet (jubilee/oyster).

Discontinued Rolex Watches In 2021

Any time Rolex adds models to its catalogue, there are inevitably some that get discontinued. While the Baselworld 2021 got cancelled, plenty of Rolex watches were released and discontinued in Watches and Wonders. Here is what got off the shelves:

discontinued rolex explorer 2021

1. Rolex Explorer

  • Rolex Explorer Ref. 214270: The only Explorer that featured a 39mm case got discontinued. This was an influential sports watch featuring a steel case, fixed steel bezel, black dial with luminous hour markers and steel Oyster bracelet.
  • Rolex Explorer II Ref. 216570: The Explorer’s tougher sibling with a 42mm steel case, black/white Maxi dial with applied luminous hour markers, an Orange arrow-shaped second-time zone hand & date display, steel bezel with 24-hour graduated markings and a steel oyster bracelet.

Discontinued Rolex Watches In 2022

For the year 2022, Rolex released an array of new interesting models with interesting combinations. But amidst the new novelties, there were quite a handful of models that had to go forever. Here’s the list of all the Rolex watches we bid adieu in 2022:

1. Rolex Oyster Perpetual

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 Ref. 124300 (Coral red, Turquoise & Yellow dial): An incredibly popular watch which was at its peak of popularity was discontinued. Not only the coral red & yellow but also the fan-favourite Turquoise Blue ‘Tiffany’ dial was shelved. Now only handfuls are available on the secondary market at a staggering price. The watches had a 41mm steel case with a steel bezel and Oyster steel bracelet.
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 Ref. 126000 (Coral red & yellow dial): Another popular reference with bright dial combinations got discontinued. The watches had a comfortable 36mm steel case with a smooth steel bezel and Oyster steel bracelet.
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual 31 Ref. 277200 (Coral Red & Yellow dial): Another classic OP watch with a 31mm case size made of steel, surrounded by a steel bezel and fitted to an Oyster steel bracelet was removed from the lineup.

2. Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller 

  • Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller Ref. 126660: Rolex shelved this handsome watch with a 44m stainless steel case, black ceramic bezel with platinum-filled 60-minute graduations, and a black gradient dial featuring luminous markers and a small date display at 3 o’clock. It was coupled with a stainless steel Oyster bracelet.

discontinued rolex oyster Perpetual sea-dweller and air-king 2022

3. Rolex Air-King

  • Rolex Air-King Ref. 116900: Honestly, not many were surprised when Rolex announced the replacement of Air-King Ref. 116900 with Ref. 126900. The 2016-release 116900 models had a 40mm steel case, a steel domed bezel and a black dial with white gold hour markers making it difficult for the wearer to read the time in many cases. Moreover, it had an acrylic crystal that was modified for increased durability in the updated reference.

4. Rolex Day-Date

  • Rolex Day-Date 40 Ref. 228206: This was a stunning Day-Date in platinum with a smooth bezel and ice-blue dial. While it was an interesting exchange on Rolex’s behalf to feature a smooth bezel for a Day-Date model with the 228206 references, many found the absence of a fluted bezel bizarre. However, the presidential bracelet remained. Even though many watch connoisseurs considered the platinum Day-Date as a ‘stealth wealth’ watch, Rolex quickly replaced it with the Ref. 228236.

5. Rolex Yacht-Master II 

  • Rolex Yacht-Master II Ref. 116689: The 116689 was perhaps the only reference that was the most popular in the whole Yacht-Master collection. The entire 44mm case and bracelet were crafted from 18ct white gold and featured a bezel made of 950 platinum. Given the watch featured one of Rolex’s most complicated movements, the watch had quite a fan following. However, as the watch is no longer in Rolex’s main lineup it might attract a good value on the secondary market.

discontinued rolex day-date yacht-master-ii and cellini 2022

6. Rolex Cellini

  • Rolex Cellini Date Ref. 50519: An impressive Cellini in 18ct white gold with a 39mm case, an exquisite vintage-inspired sector-style blue dial with white gold hour markers and a simple date window at 3 o’clock with a stylish effect. It fits a handsome blue leather strap.
  • Rolex Cellini Date Ref. 50515: A beautiful 18ct Everose gold Cellini with a 39mm case, black/white guilloche dial sitting seamlessly on a black leather strap and a domed & fluted Everose gold double bezel.
  • Rolex Cellini Time Ref. 50505: A 39mm 18ct Everose gold stunner with the signature domed & fluted bezel and lacquered dial with elongated hour markers and a distinct minute ring. The watch is fitted with a versatile leather strap.
  • Rolex Cellini Time Ref. 50509: Another classic Cellini elegantly displays the hours, minutes and seconds against a black/white dial with elongated Roman markers and white gold batons. The white gold double-bezel is both domed & fluted and the 39mm white gold case is fitted to a black leather strap.

Discontinued Rolex Watches In 2023

All good things come to an end and Rolex is no exception. As we marched into 2023, Rolex enthusiasts were eagerly waiting to find out which models the luxury watch brand would release and also discontinue. Here’s the list of all the axed models:

1. Rolex Daytona with ‘Meteorite’ Dials

  • Rolex Daytona ‘John Mayer’ Ref. 116508: The remarkable John Mayer Daytona edition is no longer on the scene and has officially been discontinued. The iconic timepiece exuded a distinctive charm that captured the hearts of fans and collectors alike. The exquisite combination of solid yellow gold and Rolex-signature green colour made the Ref. 116508 a standout.

As the popular Daytona model steps down from the catalogue, it leaves behind a legacy of style, innovation and creative partnership, making it even more in demand on the secondary market. Apart from this, the one with a meteorite dial is also discontinued.
 

  • Rolex Daytona Ref. 116505: A stunning 40mm Daytona made of 18ct Everose gold with an 18ct Everose gold tachymetric bezel, meteorite dial with black sub-dials and Everose gold bracelet is off the shelves now.
  • Rolex Daytona Ref. 116509: A 40mm Cosmograph Daytona in 18ct white gold with three blue sub-dials. It includes a fixed 18ct white gold tachymetric bezel and an 18ct white gold oyster bracelet. Also, the one with the meteorite dial is longer in production.
  • Rolex Daytona Ref. 116515LN: The combination of the 40mm 18ct rose gold case with the black ceramic bezel and black Oysterflex bracelet was quite a hit among Rolex enthusiasts. The popular model among the expensive Daytona options enjoyed a good stay in the league and now you can only try your luck to get your hands on one.
  • Rolex Daytona Ref. 116518LN: There’s no denying that mostly all Daytona models are coveted and the Ref. 116518LN is no different. Coming in a bold 18ct yellow gold body with a contrasting black ceramic bezel and gold dial with black sub-dials, the watch looks exotic. Additionally, the Oysterflex bracelet makes it all the more durable and comfortable.
  • Rolex Daytona Ref. 116519LN: An exciting 40mm Daytona model in 18ct white gold with a black ceramic bezel, black sub-dials and Oysterflex strap got axed from the current collection.
  • Rolex Daytona Ref. 116506: The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona in platinum with glacier blue has now been shelved. Released to celebrate Daytona’s 50th anniversary, the watch was different to what everyone expected. This is because many considered the Daytona a sporty everyday timepiece and the precious metal made them question its utility. But, now as the watch is taken away, many fans will aspire to own one.
  • Rolex Daytona Ref. 116503: A perfect Daytona suitable for a lady or gentleman, featuring an 18ct yellow gold case, a dial with gold sub-dials and a two-tone oyster bracelet is no longer in production.

discontinued rolex daytona datejust and sky-dweller 2023

2. Rolex Datejust 41 with ‘Meteorite’ Dials

  • Rolex Datejust 41 Ref. 126301: A sleek and elegant Datejust timepiece with a 41mm steel & Everose gold case and smooth bezel. It is available in various dial options. The 126301 with both Oyster and Jubilee bracelets has been discontinued.
  • Rolex Datejust 41 Ref. 126331: A stylish Datejust 41 in steel & Everose gold featuring a fluted bezel. Both the Oyster and Jubilee bracelet options of 126331 are discontinued.
  • Rolex Datejust 41 Ref. 126333: A 41mm Rolex Datejust in steel and yellow gold body with an elegant fluted bezel. The Ref. 126333 with both Oyster and Jubilee bracelets has been discontinued.
  • Rolex Datejust 41 Ref. 126334: A sporty yet elegant Datejust made of steel & 18ct white gold with a fluted gold bezel is no longer a part of the current lineup. The reference with both oyster and jubilee bracelets is discontinued.
  • Rolex Datejust 41 Ref. 126303: An attractive Datejust 41 model in a steel & 18ct yellow gold body with a smooth bezel. Both the Jubilee and Oyster bracelet models are discontinued.

3. Rolex Sky-Dweller

  • Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326933: Made of Oystersteel and yellow gold with a fluted bezel and oyster/jubilee bracelet.
  • Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326934: A stainless steel model with a complex dial design, fluted bezel and oyster steel bracelet.
  • Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326938: 18ct yellow gold body with a fluted bezel and gold bracelet.
  • Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326238: Yellow gold Sky-Dweller featuring a fluted bezel and an Oysterflex bracelet.
  • Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326235: An 18ct Everose gold watch with a fluted bezel and sturdy Oysterflex bracelet.
  • Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326935: In Everose gold with a striking fluted bezel, sun dust dial and Everose gold Oyster bracelet discontinued.
  • Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326939: Made of full 18ct White gold featuring an ivory dial with different complications and Oystersteel bracelet discontinued.
  • Rolex Sky-Dweller ‘Special Edition’ Ref. 326959TBR: An exquisite Sky-Dweller made of 18ct white gold with a white gold bracelet and meteorite dial featuring baguette-cut hour markers.
  • Rolex Sky-Dweller ‘Special Edition’ Ref. 326259TBR: Another stunning Sky-Dweller with a 42mm white gold case, white gold bezel, meteorite dial with baguette-set diamond markers and Oysterflex bracelet.

4. Rolex Milgauss

  • Rolex Milgauss Ref. 116400GV: Quite contrary to what everyone was expecting for Milgauss in 2023, Rolex decided to drop the entire collection from the catalogue. Not only was the collection a standout due to its distinct lightning bolt seconds hand and green-tinted sapphire crystal but was also one of the longest-running references since 2007. Both the variants with a Z-Blue dial and a Black dial are discontinued.

discontinued rolex milgauss and cellini 2023

5. Rolex Cellini

  • Rolex Cellini Moonphase Ref. 50535: Rolex has bid adieu to the last remarkable piece of the famous dress watch collection, the Cellini Moonphase 50535. It had a distinct moon phase complication nestled in a charming 18ct Everose gold body. The alligator leather strap further added to its sophistication. The fact that this watch wasn’t discontinued last year when 95% of the other Cellini models were shelved strikes odd.  

OUR THOUGHTS..

Well, what we do understand after years of speculation and witnessing the sudden Rolex discontinuation trend is maybe it is a good way to keep things fresh and interesting. The anticipation of which models the brand will release or discontinue with each passing year somehow works in favour of Rolex as thousands of watch buyers and sellers look up to it.

While the discontinuation of a Rolex model evokes mixed feelings among collectors, it also presents a remarkable opportunity for those looking to sell Rolex. Wondering how? As the watches are no longer in production, the demand has skyrocketed on the secondary market and people are willing to invest any figure to acquire these priced possessions.

If you’re interested in any of the discontinued Rolex models listed above but are unable to find one, we’d be happy to source the watch for you. Our reputed watch-sourcing service allows us to source Rolex watches of all types in the shortest period, so you don’t have to deal with the hassle. 

And if you’re on the other side, trying to sell your Rolex, we can help there, too! Our watch consignment service markets your Rolex to a vast network of potential clients, ensuring you can sell your watch quickly while earning maximum profit. 

Whatever your need or decision, The Luxury Hut is here to help you with the best!

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