Travel in style – Introducing the new Rolex Sky-Dweller with a new Oysterflex bracelet
Editor’s note: This is a Mind, Body & Soul review of the new Rolex Sky-Dweller. In addition to our standard long-form reviews, we sometimes preview watches in the form of short descriptions, technical specifications and a creative infographic. These short-form reviews, or Mind, Body & Soul reviews as we like to call them, are meant for those who are in a rush and wish to get their watch fix fast. For our standard reviews, please head to our review section here.
What is it: The new Rolex Sky-Dweller Collection
Why: Because the well travelled need a companion
When released: September 1
Where: Check it out online, ADs soon
Who is it for: Rich globetrotter
How does it do: Refreshes the line while staying true to original form
Missing: A stainless steel version for us average people
The new Rolex Sky-Dweller Collection features the existing automatic winding 9001 manufacture movement with an impressive ~72-hour power reserve. This self-winding mechanical movement has led to the filing of several patents and is one of the most complex calibres created by the brand. Calibre 9001 has a blue Parachrom hairspring manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The blue Parachrom hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibre’s regularity in any position. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex designed and patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movement’s shock resistance.
The movement is encased inside the existing 42mm diameter case, but in the new material of 18ct yellow gold. The watch comes with a water-resistance of 100m (10 ATM).
The watch face shows the functions of hours, minutes and seconds on a bright black, gloss, sun-ray finished dial with hour markers in 18ct yellow gold containing the highly legible Chromalight (long-lasting luminescence, blue glow). Complementing these are the hands in 18ct yellow gold. Besides these basic time telling functions, the watch also features:
- Reference time (home time) via off-centre 24-hour disc
- Second time zone (local time) via conventional hands, independent rapid-setting of the hour hand
- Instantaneous annual calendar with Saros system: date at 3 o’clock with bidirectional secure rapid-setting, month display via 12 apertures around the circumference of the dial
- Stop-seconds for exact time setting
The light reflections on the case sides and lugs highlight the refined profile of the 42 mm Oyster case. This new version is of course equipped with the fluted, rotatable bezel unique to the Sky-Dweller, which is used to set the watch in conjunction with the Ring Command system. It also has a Chromalight display: the hands and hour markers are coated or filled with a luminescent material that emits a long-lasting blue glow in dark conditions.
The key defining feature is the use of the Oysterflex bracelet, where the flexible metal blades are overmoulded with high-performance elastomer. The watch is the first in the Classic category to include this innovative bracelet made of high-performance elastomer. It comes on a folding Oysterclasp in 18ct yellow gold with a Rolex Glidelock extension system (approx. 15 mm in increments of approx. 2.5 mm).
I honestly liked the existing version with the bright blue dial that was elegantly framed by the white gold case. This new version is more bold, more in-your-face, and screams Rolex. I am not saying this is a bad thing, but it’s not what I buy my watches for. I like a bit of understated elegance, and the clean look of the blue, sun-ray finished dial is one of the best GMT watches I have come across.
When it comes to making the Sky-Dweller available on a rubber bracelet option, the Oysterflex bracelet, I think Rolex has a winner on their hands. At least in my opinion, and experience, travelling long distances with a metal bracelet is not ideal. I find them cumbersome. But having a more flexible and user-friendly option is perhaps the best feature of this release. We just also looked at the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual collection, and I wonder if this bracelet option will find home their as well at some point? Personally, if I could customise, I would love to have this more user-friendly Oysterflex bracelet on the new Rolex OPs.
On the whole, I reckon Rolex has done a good thing by releasing these in bright gold and black options – compared to their other 2020 releases like Submariner Kermit, these really stand out.
Go on, when you can, travel in style.
To find out more about the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual and other Rolex watches, please head to their website here..All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy Copyright © Rolex.