Sky-Dweller, the Rolex for “world travellers,” has been updated in 2023 with several aesthetic and technical enhancements. The collection gets three new variants featuring the Oyster case construction, in three case material and dial combinations – white gold with black dial, white Rolesor with green dial, and Everose gold with a brilliant blue-green dial. The trio also debut an updated movement.
Relatively speaking, the Sky-Dweller is one of Rolex’s younger collections, havering been introduced in 2012. However, Sky-Dwellers have rapidly climbed up the popularity charts among collectors, to become some of the most sought-after watches to bear the Rolex crown. Developed with globetrotters in mind, the Sky-Dweller’s dual time zone and Saros annual calendar both stand out because of their unique and intuitive displays.
The first of the three new Sky-Dweller variants features an 18ct white gold case, which is making a return to the collection. It has a black dial and is fastened with a matching black Oysterflex bracelet. This is the first Sky-Dweller to combine the Oysterflex bracelet with a white gold case.
The Oysterflex, developed and patented by Rolex, is an innovative bracelet made up of two flexible, curved metal blades – one for each sections. These are over-moulded with the high-performance black elastomer synthetic material. It features the Glidelock extension system, which has a rack located under the clasp cover. This system enables fine adjustment of the bracelet length, without the need for tools. The Rolex Glidelock on the Oysterflex bracelet has six notches of approximately 2.5 mm, allowing the length of the bracelet to be adjusted easily up to some 15 mm.
The second Sky-Dweller variant, in white Rolesor, features a mint green dial, a colour reserved until now for the Datejust. The case is constructed using a combination of Oystersteel and white Rolesor – Rolex’s signature alloy that combines gold and Oystersteel. The fluted bidirectional bezel is in white gold. The winding crown, middle case, case back and the Oyster bracelet are in Oystersteel.
The 18ct Everose gold variant has a blue-green dial. A subtle fusion of two tones, this blue-green colour is available only on this reference. Rolex first introduced its patented Everose gold in 2005. This 18ct pink gold alloy, one of its signature materials, is used on all Rolex Oyster models in pink gold. This watch’s Oyster bracelet, middle case, bezel, crown and caseback are all in case-marching Everose gold.
The new Sky-Dweller white Rolesor and Everose gold variants are both fastened with an Oyster bracelet. This three-piece link bracelet, known for its robustness, remains the most universal in the Oyster Perpetual collection. The Oyster bracelet of the Sky-Dweller features the Easylink comfort extension link, which allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm. On the Everose variant, the bracelet also includes patented ceramic inserts inside the links to enhance its flexibility on the wrist, as well as improve its longevity.
The distinct dial of the Sky-Dweller displays the time in two time zones simultaneously and has an annual calendar. While the local time is read using the conventional centre hands, the reference time is displayed in 24-hour format via an off-centre disc. A fixed inverted red triangle below the brand name points to the chosen reference time on the off-centre 24-hour disc.
The Saros annual calendar, which automatically differentiates between 30- and 31-day months, is operated by a patented mechanism. Only one date adjustment per year is needed, on 1 March, because February has only 28 or 29 days. The months of the year are shown in 12 apertures around the circumference of the dial, beyond the index hour marker. The current month is indicated by a red square.
The date change is linked to the local time. The Sky-Dweller also includes the Ring Command system – an interface between the rotatable bezel, winding crown and movement that allows the wearer to select and set the timepiece’s functions one by one, easily and quickly.
All three of the new Sky-Dweller variants have a 42 mm Oyster case, which means waterproofing to a depth of 100 metres. The middle case of all three versions is crafted from a solid block of metal – Oystersteel, white or Everose gold. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement.
The Twinlock winding crown, fitted with a double waterproofing system, screws down securely against the case. The crystal, which features a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date, is sapphire with anti-reflective coating.
All three new variants of the Sky-Dweller are powered by Rolex’s calibre 9002. Unveiled earlier this year, this self-winding mechanical movement is a derivation of calibre 9001 – one of the most complex movements designed by Rolex. The 9001 has driven every Sky-Dweller model since its launch in 2012, delivering outstanding performance in terms of precision, power reserve, convenience and reliability.
Its successor, Calibre 9002, incorporates the patented Chronergy escapement, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, this escapement is resistant to strong magnetic fields. The movement is fitted with a blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in a paramagnetic alloy.
This hairspring offers extra stability in the face of temperature variations as well as high resistance to shocks. It is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, which improves the calibre’s regularity in any position. The oscillator is mounted on Rolex’s patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, which increases the movement’s shock resistance. The oscillating weight is fitted with an optimized ball bearing.
Calibre 9002 is equipped with a self-winding system via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to its barrel architecture and the escapement’s high efficiency, the power reserve of this calibre extends to approximately 72 hours.
Like all Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller is covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification, along with an international five-year guarantee. Symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex, the Superlative Chronometer certification testifies that every watch leaving the brand’s workshops has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. This is done after the official COSC certification.
The in-house Superlative Chronometer certification test is applied to fully assembled watches, after casing the movement. This test measures a watch’s performance on the wrist in terms of precision, power reserve, waterproofness and self-winding.