NAMM 2024: Martin's 2024 limited-edition collection brings Bitcoin back, drops a $50K anniversary guitar and partners with a prestigious watchmaker – to celebrate a train

Martin 2024 Special Edition models
(Image credit: Martin)

NAMM 2024: As is its annual tradition, Martin has supplemented its various standard-run NAMM releases by bolstering its lineup of limited edition acoustic guitars and celebratory anniversary six-strings.

For the 2024 expansion pack, Martin has ushered in six new creations – well, five new models, and one returning design – which, the brand says, help it in its ultimate goal to “push the boundaries of innovation in the world of acoustic instruments”.

Before going any further, it’s worth noting that owing to the sheer exclusivity of these guitars, they are eye-wateringly expensive – up to $50,000 in one instance. 

Indeed, the disconnect between Martin’s limited edition collection and the average gear fan is perhaps best summed up by the return of the hallowed D-42 Bitcoin – a head-scratching model first debuted last year that seems to iconize the cryptocurrency.

Nevertheless, they’re undeniably gorgeous to gaze at, with some decadent aesthetic flourishes and ultra-premium appointments to boot. So, if you fancy a bit of window shopping, read on to find out more about each model…

Martin D-50 CFM IV 50th Anniversary

(Image credit: Martin)

It will come as no surprise that the D-50 CFM IV 50th Anniversary sits at the top of the price tag pile: just look at the thing. It is, quite frankly, a work of art, and one that has been built to commemorate Chris Martin IV's 50 years of service as the driving force behind the historic acoustic brand.

With Guatemalan rosewood back and sides, and a heavy bearclaw spruce top, the acoustic spares no expense in the inlay department, boasting European flamed maple binding and a stunning abalone and mother of pearl inlay design that spans the entire instrument (pickguard and bridge included).

Only 50 will be made, and each come with a signed label celebrating the occasion. Oh, and it costs $50,000.

Martin OM 20th Century Limited

(Image credit: Martin)

Following closely in the above's footsteps, the OM 20th Century Limited was built in collaboration with Pennsylvania-based watchmaker RGM to celebrate, erm, a train.

Specifically, the guitar pays homage to an Art Deco-inspired passenger train that revolutionized travel in the mid'-'30s – around the same time that Martin had entered its Golden Era.

A tad more subtle than the CFM model but by no means any less ornate, the OM 20th Century Limited boasts Guatemalan rosewood back and sides and a spruce Vintage Tone System top, adjoined via Martin's hide glue construction.

Cosmetic embellishments can be found on the inlaid ebony pickguard and the headstock, as well as the retro-inlaid fingerboard. 

The guitar costs $26,999, but also comes with a handcrafted railroad-inspired watch from RGM. Only 20 will be made.

Martin D-42 Bitcoin

(Image credit: Martin)

And there we were thinking Bitcoin was a 2020 'thing'. Well, if Martin is to be believed, the cryptocurrency remains popular as ever – so popular, in fact, that it had to follow up its 2023 Bitcoin D-42 with a '24 edition.

It looks to be a new instrument, though, rather than a like-for-like remake. That much is clear from the QR code-inlaid pickguard, which unlocks access to a exclusive content and photos of the guitar.

Fan favorite specs including the big Bitcoin logo 12th fret inlay, crypto fingerboard design, and one-ounce solid gold coin embedded in the headstock, make a return.

A price hasn't been revealed, but last year's model went for $18,999. With the updates, this one will probably go for slightly more.

Martin D-Robert Goetzl 7

(Image credit: Martin)

As per last year, Martin has teamed up with renowned artist Robert F. Goetzel for another one-of-a-kind creation that flashes hand-painted gloss artwork. This time, Goetzl has focussed his keen artistic eye on a koi pond, which has been strapped to the spruce top.

Other specs include East Indian rosewood back and sides, a high performance neck taper and elegant soundhole rosette.

“It’s a fun image where I could create something colorful and with movement,” Goetzl said. “Not only is it a valuable piece of art, but it’s a valuable instrument, so don’t just hang it up and look at it – play it!”

Again, a price hasn't been confirmed, but last year's listed for $11,999.

Martin Custom K-1 Major Kealakai

(Image credit: Martin)

The Custom K-1 Major Kealakai is undoubtedly the most muted inclusion of Martin's 2024 drop, but for that exact reason it's also arguably the best – in a pool surrounding by Bitcoin imagery, koi ponds and extravagant inlays, its humble natural design is very welcome indeed.

It's also got a nice story behind it: Hawaiian musician Major Kealakai was the guitarist and conductor of the Royal Hawaiian Band, and in 1916 Martin made him a unique instrument that was wider, deeper and longer than usual 000 models to provide more volume in concert halls.

That turned out to be the precursor to the dreadnought design, and now Martin has honored the model that started it all off with a custom 12-fret recreation. Some modern updates have been added, too, including a refreshed bridge design and Vintage Tone System spruce top.

It's simple and stunning with a story to boot – but still pricey: $7,999, to be precise.

Martin D-CFM IV 50th Anniversary

(Image credit: Martin)

Completing the collection is another CFM IV 50th Anniversary model. This time out, Martin has paid particular attention to honoring its coworkers in Najojoa, Sonora, Mexico, as well as commemorating Chris Martin's 50 years of service.

The guitar itself dials back the extravagant eye candy, opting instead to rely on a statement piece Tree of Life fretboard and headstock inlay – and matching Paua pearl rosette – to do most of the heavy lifting.

Core components include pommele sapele back and sides, and a bearclaw spruce top. This model is the cheapest of the bunch, but will still set you back $5,000.

To find out more about each model, head over to Martin.

As mentioned above, Martin has also expanded its standard-run collection during the NAMM period, debuting a game-changing GPCE Inception model and unveiling two updated SC models.

If you want to keep up to date with all the new gear releases, visit our dedicated guide to NAMM 2024 news.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.