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If you have even the slightest interest in luxury watches, you would have no doubt heard by now that Rolex just dropped a new batch of watches for 2020. While Rolex normally announces new models every spring at Baselworld, given the trade show cancellation and global pandemic, the Crown has had to do things a little differently during this atypical year. Instead, Rolex announced its novelties on September 1 and introduced new Submariner, Sky-Dweller, Oyster Perpetual, and Datejust models. Although new Rolex watches are always big news in the industry just as interesting to examine is what models have now been discontinued. After all, now that these models have been dropped from Rolex’s current catalog, they can only be sourced from the secondary market. And in some cases, that can also mean a boost in value for the freshly phased out references since supply has terminated. So, with that in mind, let’s get a closer look at some notable Rolex watches discontinued in 2020.

Rolex Watches Discontinued in 2020 - Submariner Hulk 116610LV
Which Fan Favorite Watches Did Rolex Discontinue This Year?

But First, What Are the New 2020 Rolex Watches?

Before we outline all the Rolex watches discontinued in 2020, let’s briefly recap the new models.

New 2020 Rolex Submariner

Rolex enthusiasts have been waiting for this release for a long time. New to the Rolex lineup is the new Submariner collection, which includes one no-date Submariner and seven Submariner Date models. At first glance, the new Subs look almost identical to their predecessors with similar material options, Cerachrom ceramic bezels in various colors, Chromalight-lumed dials, Oyster bracelets with Glidelock extension clasps, and water-resistance to 300 meters.

ReferenceCaseBezel/DialCal.Retail
Price
Submariner
124060
41mm
Oystersteel
Black Bezel
Black Dial
3230$8,100
Submariner Date
126610LN
41mm
Oystersteel
Black Bezel
Black Dial
3235$9,150
Submariner Date
126610LV
41mm
Oystersteel
Green Bezel
Black Dial
3235$9,550
Submariner Date
126613LN
41mm
Yellow Gold +
Oystersteel
Black Bezel
Black Dial
3235$14,300
Submariner Date
126613LB
41mm
Yellow Gold +
Oystersteel
Blue Bezel
Blue Dial
3235$14,300
Submariner Date
126618LN
41mm
Yellow Gold
Black Bezel
Black Dial
3235$36,950
Submariner Date
126618LB
41mm
Yellow Gold
Blue Bezel
Blue Dial
3235$36,950
Submariner Date
126619LB
41mm
White Gold
Blue Bezel
Black Dial
3235$36,950

Yet, upon closer inspection we see that the case of Rolex’s iconic diving watch has increased to 41mm, the lugs have slimmed down, and the Oyster bracelets have widened slightly with larger center links. Additionally, the dial colors no longer match the bezel colors on some models with Rolex opting for black dials instead. Furthermore, powering the Submariner watches are the new-gen Caliber 32xx automatic movements, with an increased power reserve of 70 hours and improved overall performance.

New 2020 Rolex Sky-Dweller

Rolex’s newest collection, the Sky-Dweller, also recieved an update in 2020 with two new gold references sporting black Oysterflex bracelets.

ReferenceCaseCaliberRetail Price
Sky-Dweller
326238
42mm
Yellow Gold
9001$40,000
Sky-Dweller
326238
42mm
Everose Gold
9001$41,500

The Sky-Dweller watch, which debuted in 2012, is one of Rolex’s most complciated, featuring two-time zones, a month display, an an annual calendar. It’s also the biggest dress watch of the Rolex collection, featuring a 42mm case with a fluted bezel. However, with addition of the rubber Oysterflex bracelet, the new 2020 Rolex Sky-Dweller watches are decidely sportier than their full metal counterparts.

New 2020 Rolex Oyster Perpetual

The Rolex’s entry-level Oyster Perpetual collection introduced a brand new Oyster Perpetual 41 model, which is the largest option ever made. Like all the other sizes within the collection, the Oyster Perpetual 41 is exclusively fashioned from stainless steel, features a smooth domed bezel, and is fitted with an Oyster bracelet. However, unlike preceding OP references, the Oyster Perpetual 41 benefits from the brand new Caliber 3230 automatic movement. Rolex also updated the Oyster Perpetual 36 range with the same movement.

ReferenceCaseCaliberRetail Price
Oyster Perpetual 41
124300
41mm
Oystersteel
3230$5,900
Oyster Perpetual 36
126000
36mm
Oystersteel
3230$5,600

Although the Oyster Perpetual is positioned as Rolex’s most straightforward watch model given its understated style and time-only functionality, for 2020 the new OPs offer some extra vibrant dial options including turquoise, yellow, green, and orange.

New 2020 Rolex Datejust

Rolex also expanded the Datejust collection with new White Rolesor Datejust 31 references to replace the previous ones. Following in the footsteps of the current gold and two-tone Datejust 31 watches that were released in 2018 and 2019, the newest midsize Datejust references also underwent a slight case redesign and includes the latest Caliber 2236 automatic movement.

ReferenceCaseBezelStarting
Retail Price
Datejust 31
278384RBR
31mm
Oystersteel
White Gold +
Diamond-set
$14,750
Datejust 31
278344RBR
31mm
Oystersteel
Domed White Gold +
Diamonds
$11.150
Datejust 31
278274
31mm
Oystersteel
White Gold Fluted$7,800

Along with a variety of bezel styles, the Datejust 31 also includes plenty of dial options and the choice between an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet.

Discontinued Rolex Submariner Watches in 2020

With the introduction of the brand new Submariner 41 collection, Rolex has naturally discontinued the previous Submariner Date 11661x and Submariner 114060 models. The very first Submariner Date watches with ceramic bezels made their debut in 2008, first in white gold (ref. 116619) or yellow gold (ref. 116618), and soon followed by two-tone versions (ref. 116613) in 2009 and steel editions (ref. 116610) in 2010. The no-date Submariner ref. 114060 joined the line in 2012.

Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV "Hulk"
Rolex discontinues the popular green Submariner 116610LV “Hulk” in 2020

This now-discontinued generation of the Submariner was incredibly successful with most models sold-out at retail and selling at premiums in the secondary market. One of the most popular was the steel Submariner ref. 116610LV with a green ceramic bezel and matching green dial, which aptly picked up the nickname “Hulk.” While Rolex did release the new green ceramic bezel Submariner ref. 126610LV, it has a black dial–which makes it more like the even older Submariner ref. 16610LV “Kermit” (but that had an aluminum bezel) rather than the freshly phased out “Hulk.”

The green anniversary Submariner 16610LV "Kermit"
The anniversary Submariner 16610LV “Kermit” features a black dial and green bezel

Another Submariner colorway we have to say farewell to is the “Smurf,” characterized by a matching blue bezel and dial on a full white gold Sub. The discontinued white gold Submariner ref. 116619 has been replaced with the new white gold Submariner ref. 126619 with a similar blue ceramic bezel. Yet, Rolex has yet again chosen to go with a black dial on the latest iteration rather than keeping the blue dial.

The white gold and blue Submariner 116619 “Smurf” has been phased out

Interestingly, the new solid yellow gold and two-tone Submariner references with blue bezels have kept the matching blue dials, not unlike the now-discontinued yellow gold Submariner ref. 116618LB and two-tone Submariner ref. 116613LB “Bluesy.”

Discontinued Rolex Sky-Dweller Watches in 2020

With the release of the new Sky-Dweller watches with Oysterflex bracelet, Rolex has discontinued all Sky-Dweller watches with leather straps. We saw a similar strategy a few years back when Rolex replaced all leather Daytona models with Oysterflex Daytona models. Furthermore, Rolex is currently only offering the Oysterflex with gold watches, whether gold Sky-Dweller, gold Yacht-Master, or gold Daytona models.

The leather Sky-Dweller has been discontinued in favor of the new Oysterflex Sky-Dweller

Rolex had already ceased production of the white gold Sky-Dweller ref. 326139 with a leather strap back in 2018 and as of 2020, the Everose gold Sky-Dweller ref. 326135 and Yellow gold Sky-Dweller ref. 326138 have also been discontinued.

Discontinued Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watches in 2020

Perhaps the most surprising move on Rolex’s part is the discontinuation of the popular Oyster Perpetual 39 model. For many, 39mm was the sweet spot for a casual Rolex watch to enjoy every day. No doubt some will appreciate the larger 41mm Oyster Perpetual but for those who want a slightly smaller model but don’t want to go as small as 36mm, they’ll have to go for a pre-owned Oyster Perpetual 39–or maybe the current Explorer 39.

The Oyster Perpetual 114300 with a black dial is a solid first Rolex
Rolex has replaced the Oyster Perpetual 39 with the new Oyster Perpetual 41

Also dropped from the catalog is the Oyster Perpetual 36 ref. 116000 generation, replaced by the brand new Oyster Perpetual 36 ref. 12600 series.

Discontinued Rolex Datejust Watches in 2020

Since Rolex rolled out a new steel and white gold Datejust 31 ref. 278274 series, it comes as no surprise that the preceding midsize Datejust 31 ref. 178274 is now discontinued.

The Datejust 31 178274 is no longer in production

Rolex also quietly replaced the full stainless steel Datejust 31 ref. 178240 series with the latest Datejust 31 ref. 278240 family. As such, all Datejust watches, regardless of size or material, have now been updated to the new generation of references with the newest movements.

Will 2020 Discontinued Rolex Watches Go Up in Value?

Predicting what will happen to discontinued Rolex references in the secondary market is never an exact science.

However, it wouldn’t be surprising if the 40mm Submariner Ceramic models do go up in value if buyers are not interested in a larger Submariner model. It’s also worth keeping in mind that sourcing a brand new Submariner 41 ref. 126610 at retail will likely be challenging since new steel Rolex sports models typically sell out before they even get to stores. Perhaps this will encourage buyers to look at the now-discontinued Submariner 116610 instead, thereby driving up prices.

Rolex Submariner Ceramic Steel
Will the Discontinued Submariner 40 Go Up in Value?

Furthermore, the Submariner Hulk was already selling for a premium in the pre-owned luxury watch market and now that Rolex has replaced it with a Kermit version 2, perhaps we will also see a surge in pricing for the Rolex Hulk.

Written by

Celine Simon

Celine is a freelance luxury watch writer who has enjoyed working in the horology industry for over ten years. Like many of the high-end timepieces she writes about, she comes from Switzerland—the heart of fine watchmaking. From Singapore to Montreal to Geneva to Dubai, Celine has lived all over the world but now calls Southern California home.