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ROLEX BLOG

Rolex White Dial Watches Guide for Winter

November 30, 2021

BY Paul Altieri

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It is often said that the versatility of a white dial Rolex is second to none. A white dial is sporty and contemporary when paired with a professional series watch. At the same time, a dress watch with a white dial offers a timeless and traditional take on the classic aesthetic. No matter your preference, white dial Rolex watches are perfect for any season and any occasion. With winter officially upon us, we’ve compiled a shortlist of our favorite Rolex models with white dials that will fit right in this season, no matter where you may find yourself.

Rolex Explorer II ref. 216570

Rolex Explorer II 216570 White Dial Polar

Explorer II Reference 216570 Key Features:

  • Year of Introduction: 2011
  • Reference Number: 216570
  • Case Size: 42mm
  • Materials: Stainless Steel
  • Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, GMT Functionality
  • Dial: White w/ Luminous Hour Markers
  • Bezel: Fixed, Stainless Steel w/ 24-Hour Scale
  • Crystal: Sapphire (Flat w/ Cyclops Lens)
  • Movement: Rolex Caliber 3187
  • Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet
  • Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Explorer II.

Rolex Explorer 216570 White Dial

Say, “white dial Rolex” and most people will think of the Explorer II. Introduced in the model’s second iteration via the transitional ref. 16550 from the mid-1980s, the white – aka Polar – dial has been a long-time cult favorite, although it has become immensely popular in recent years. No other watch in the Rolex catalog is like it, featuring luminous hour markers and Mercedes hands with black surrounds to distinguish them from the matching white face. Day or night, the dial is always highly legible.

The Explorer II is only available with two dial options, black or white. The black piece is low-key stealth, with its phantom hands and little pops of color. The Polar white version is bright and invigorating – not too flashy but not boring either. New for 2021, Rolex just released a reimagined version of the Explorer II in the form of the reference 226570, featuring the same case size and dial color options but with a new and improved cal. 3285 movement and slightly updated proportions.

As you might recall, the ref. 216570 is powered by the cal. 3187, which marked the first time the Explorer II was granted a unique movement of its own, having shared all previous ones with the GMT-Master II series. It was also the first Polar Explorer II to feature an increase in case size, up to 42mm from 40mm – a move made to broaden its appeal with a more contemporary audience.

The reference 216570 earns a spot on our list for many reasons other than appearing as bright as freshly fallen snow and its appropriate “Polar” nickname. It’s one of those perpetual underdogs in the Rolex collection that is only just now starting to attract real widespread attention. While its more famous tool watch counterparts get less and less tool-like with each passing year with many now featuring gold or platinum cases, the Explorer II remains the essence of Rolex tool watches. Bombproof stainless steel cases and not even a whiff of Cerachrom to be found (let alone gemstones), it’s what the brand used to be all about and why the model has garnered a steadily growing cult following.

What is certain is that the Polar Explorer II is just about the most iconic white dial Rolex watch that you can buy – and they are still available at a surprisingly attainable price point (at least for now).

Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326934

Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 White Dial Stainless Steel

Sky-Dweller Reference 326934 Key Features:

  • Year of Introduction: 2017
  • Reference Number: 326934
  • Case Size: 42mm
  • Materials: Stainless Steel & 18k White Gold
  • Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, Month Indicator, Annual Calendar, GMT Functionality
  • Dial: White w/ Luminous Hour Markers
  • Bezel: Ring Command, 18k White Gold, Fluted Style
  • Crystal: Sapphire (Flat w/ Cyclops Lens)
  • Movement: Rolex Caliber 9001
  • Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet
  • Strap/Bracelet: Oyster or Jubilee Bracelet

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Sky-Dweller.

Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 White Dial

The Rolex Sky-Dweller was originally released in 2012 as an exclusively precious metal model, sort of like the Day-Date but with an annual calendar and dual time function. At the time, it was perhaps a bit too expensive and a little too avant-garde in design to really garner a significant following. However, that all changed in 2017 when Rolex answered the calls of many fans and launched new editions to the collection integrating stainless steel – a series of white and yellow Rolesor models with a handful of different dial colors and a vastly reduced asking price.

Of those, a favorite among many collectors is the reference 326934, featuring a stainless steel case fitted with a solid 18k white gold bezel and available with either a blue, black, or white dial. Outwardly, a lot is happening on the Sky-Dweller. Alongside the basics, Rolex had to find a way to display a secondary time zone and a month indicator for its SAROS annual calendar. That is a heap of information to cram in, even for a 42mm watch.

Sticking to a monochromatic palette for the stainless steel and white gold model helps to keep things conservative, with the white dial version being arguably the most refined and traditional among the three different dial color options. The off-centered GMT disc is an ever so slightly different shade of white compared to the rest of the dial, and the bright red of the indicator triangle and month marker stands out perfectly.

With its white metal finish and matching bright white dial, this edition of the Sky-Dweller was an easy choice for our list of winter-ready Rolex watches.

Rolex Daytona ref. 116500LN

Rolex Daytona 116500LN White Dial Panda

Daytona Reference 116500LN Key Features:

  • Year of Introduction: 2016
  • Reference Number: 116500LN
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials: Stainless Steel
  • Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, 12-Hour Chronograph
  • Dial: White w/ Luminous Hour Markers
  • Bezel: Fixed, Black Cerachrom w/ Tachymeter Scale
  • Crystal: Sapphire (Flat)
  • Movement: Rolex Caliber 4130
  • Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet
  • Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Daytona.

Rolex Daytona 116500 White Dial

We love the white dial Rolex Daytona 116500LN for many of the same reasons that we adore the Polar Explorer II and the white dial Sky-Dweller. It’s bold and contemporary without appearing too flashy or over-the-top. There’s just something about the way the white face contrasts against the rich black ceramic bezel and black sub-dial rings that really captures our attention and harkens back to the days when vintage Daytona watches were outfitted with black acrylic bezels.

The reference 116500LN was not the first Daytona to sport a ceramic bezel, but it was the first stainless steel model to feature one and it has since become the most sought-after in the brand’s contemporary catalog. It first hit the market in 2016 and has been eluding collectors on the retail level ever since, due to a truly unrivaled global demand. If you don’t have a connection with an authorized dealer, you can expect to wait a minimum of several years to buy one brand-new, despite the fact that the Daytona 116500LN has been around for more than half a decade.

The gotta have it mentality of many collectors has created insane demand for this particular model. This has ultimately resulted in it being nearly impossible to obtain on the retail level, driving up prices for pre-owned pieces to values that are anywhere between double and triple its official $13,150 retail price, with the white dial version selling for a few thousand dollars more than its black counterpart. Despite these steep premiums, anyone who is able to add one of these iconic white dial Rolex chronographs to their collection can consider themselves to be among the lucky few.

Rolex Datejust 41 ref. 126300

Rolex Datejust 41 126300 White Dial Roman Numerals Jubilee Bracelet

Datejust 41 Reference 126300 Key Features:

  • Year of Introduction: 2017
  • Reference Number: 126300
  • Case Size: 41mm
  • Materials: Stainless Steel
  • Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display
  • Dial: White w/ Luminous Hour Markers
  • Bezel: Fixed, Stainless Steel, Smooth Style
  • Crystal: Sapphire (Flat w/ Cyclops Lens)
  • Movement: Rolex Caliber 3235
  • Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet
  • Strap/Bracelet: Oyster or Jubilee Bracelet

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Datejust 41.

Rolex Datejust 126300 White Dial

The current-production Rolex Datejust 41 checks all the boxes when searching for the perfect white dial wristwatch for winter. Crispy white dial? Check. Versatile design set? Check. Affordable price point? Triple check!

The 41mm reference 126300 is an Oystersteel edition of the beloved 41mm Rolex Datejust, the larger and modern version of one of the brand’s most iconic and successful wristwatches of all time. Oystersteel is Rolex’s name for its own 904L stainless steel, and it is produced entirely in-house from within Rolex’s own in-house foundry. It’s highly corrosion-resistant and resilient enough for daily wear, while being wonderfully lustrous at the same time and capable of taking on a unique polish that aesthetically sets it apart from most other stainless steel alloys.

We are particularly fond of this example of the Datejust 41 because it’s a modern take on a classic with a smooth bezel, larger 41mm case, and the option of either an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet. Pair this contemporary set of features with a classically elegant white dial, and you’ve got a truly exceptional luxury watch that you can wear during any season.

Rolex Day-Date 40 ref. 228238

Rolex Day-Date 40 President 228238 White Roman Dial

Day-Date 40 Reference 228238 Key Features:

  • Year of Introduction: 2015
  • Reference Number: 228238
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials: 18k Yellow Gold
  • Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, Day Indicator
  • Dial: White w/ Luminous Hour Markers
  • Bezel: Fixed, 18k Yellow Gold, Fluted Style
  • Crystal: Sapphire (Flat w/ Cyclops Lens)
  • Movement: Rolex Caliber 3285
  • Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet
  • Strap/Bracelet: President Bracelet

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Day-Date.

Rolex Day-Date President 228238

We would be remiss if we didn’t include at least one yellow gold Rolex watch on our list, and the Day-Date President is the most famous gold watch of all time. Rolex President watches are most often fitted with matching champagne dials, but the white dial ref. 228238 earns a place on our list because of the way that the stark white face contrasts against its full 18k yellow gold case and bracelet.

This contrast offers a welcome break from the satin and polished yellow gold surfaces and also adds a bit more versatility to a notoriously luxurious watch, making it perfect for wherever you may find yourself this winter season – whether it be at a swanky holiday party or on vacation somewhere tropical. It’s also arguably easier to wear with casual attire than examples with champagne or even black dials. Gold watches are making a serious comeback, and this solid gold Day-Date President with a timeless white dial is perfectly on-trend.

Keen-eyed collectors will also appreciate the hour markers on the dial, which feature sharply faceted Roman numerals alternating with batons – an option only available on the larger Day-Date President models. By opting not to include a Roman numeral at every hour marker, this white dial takes on an uncluttered and aesthetically balanced design. The reference 228238 is a contemporary take on the Day-Date that also features a larger 40mm case. As some might recall, the Day-Date originally debuted with a 36mm case, and there was a brief stint between 2008 and 2015 when the series also featured a 41mm case in the form of the Day-Date II. However, the Day-Date 40, with its perfectly balanced and refined proportions, is now the largest Rolex President option currently in production.

And there you have it. Our top white dial Rolex watches for winter. Would you wear these watches on your wrist this season? Let us know in the comment section below!

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