When Rolex initially debuted the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller watch collection at Baselworld 2012, the watch world acted predictably.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller watches introduced a brand new movement, which happens to be the most complicated movement that Rolex produces. This annual calendar GMT is their “grand complication” and is assembled by a dedicated team among the larger Rolex watchmaker staff. The movement is a beautiful thing in operation and concept, but we will get to that more later Replica Rolex Watch .
What also set the Sky-Dweller apart from most other Rolex watches was the size. Even though the case design continues to be the Rolex Oyster that we know and love, Rolex produced it in a 42mm wide case, making it the largest “dressy” timepiece produced by the brand. Also predictable at the time of release was that that Sky-Dweller would be very expensive. Rolex tends to debut new models and movements in all-gold cases, only to release the watch in a two-tone or all-steel variety later. As such, Rolex didn’t debut a Rolesor (steel and gold) version of the Sky-Dweller until 2017. There are no all-steel models because Rolex’s signature fluted bezel is made in gold. However, the most “accessible” version of the Sky-Dweller comes with an all-steel bracelet and case with just the bezel in 18k white gold.
The purpose of the Sky-Dweller was to introduce a timepiece for the modern jet-setter who uses his watch both for utility and as a status item. Rolex listened to the desires of many people to produce a larger, everyday non-sports watch and also understood that something many of its customers have in common is travel. The in-house made caliber 9001 automatic movement offers the wearer a different GMT time read-out as compared to Rolex’s other GMT-hand equipped watches, and introduced one of the best annual calendar systems on the market. Annual calendars tend to be considered an ideal combination of complexity and practicality in the context of a mechanical calendar – especially when considering how today’s mechanical watch wearers rely on their watches and often wear multiple watches. Perpetual calendars are indeed more complex, but for many people they simply aren’t practical when you consider that today’s luxury watch lovers tend to wear more than one watch in rotation.
What everyone loved about the Sky-Dweller when it first came out is still one of its best and most innovative features – that being the annual calendar display. Rolex’s goal was to keep the dial as clean and legible as possible – so adding yet another dial or window to indicate the month in addition to the date wasn’t ideal. More so, the month indicator isn’t something you tend to look at constantly, so having it in front of your face all the time doesn’t seem necessary. The result was using a place near the hour markers to indicate the current month. This is based on the idea that there are 12 hours as well as 12 months. When the window next to 1 o’clock on the dial goes from white to red, that means the current month is January. When the marker next to 2 o’clock is red, it is February, and so forth. Despite the logic of this simple system, people (not familiar with the watch) still need to be educated on what the dial is showing. I consider the Sky-Dweller to be a “stealth” annual calendar watch – and I’ve been very happy living with it.