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Rolex Drops the Entry Price Point for the Sky-Dweller

Paul Altieri

Since its debut in 2012, the Sky-Dweller was one of Rolex’s most expensive collections as it was exclusively available in gold. Three shades of gold to be exact—white, yellow, and Everose—but definitely no stainless steel. At Baselworld 2017 however, Rolex announced a pair of two-tone Sky-Dweller models, subsequently reducing the collection’s entry price point quite significantly. While there’s still no exclusively stainless steel Sky-Dweller model, that idea doesn’t seem too far-fetched now. Perhaps that’s something we’ll see in the near future. However, for now, let’s focus on Rolex models that actually exist, like the new Rolesor two-tone Sky-Dweller watches. Rolesor is, of course, Rolex-speak for the combination of gold and steel on their watches. And contrary to what many believe, the term Rolesor applies to any of their gold colors, not just yellow gold.

Sky-Dweller ref. 326933
The new Sky-Dweller from Baselworld 2017 has a few changes. (credit: Professional Watches)

In addition to the new metals, it’s worth noting that Rolex also made some updates to the dial on the new Sky-Dweller timepieces. The indexes are now luminous rectangular ones rather than the previous non-luminescent Arabic and Roman numerals. Furthermore, the center hands are longer for better legibility.

The Yellow Gold and Stainless Steel Sky-Dweller ref. 326933

The new Sky-Dweller ref. 326933 is the yellow gold and stainless steel Rolesor model. The 42mm stainless steel Oyster case is topped with the Rolex classic—the 18k yellow gold fluted bezel. Naturally, joining that Rolesor case is the two-tone Oyster bracelet where the two rows of outer stainless steel links flank the center 18k gold links. The overall look is very Rolex indeed. In fact, from a distance, this two-tone Sky-Dweller could be mistaken for a two-tone Datejust II. But a closer look at the dial and that error is quickly rectified.

Sky-Dweller ref. 326933
The 42mm stainless steel Sky-Dweller is crowned with a fluted bezel. (Credit: aBlogtoWatch)

The dial of the Sky-Dweller is where the watch flexes its muscles. A complicated watch thanks to Caliber 9001, the Sky-Dweller boasts an annual calendar as well as two time zones. An annual calendar is a watch complication (aka function) that automatically indicates the correct time, date, and month all year long without any hands-on adjusting necessary—except at the end of February. Since February can have either 28 or 29 days depending on if it’s a leap year or not, the wearer has to manually push the date indicator to March 1 each year. But that’s it, one time only because the watch can differentiate between the 30 and 31 days of every other month. Not bad for something that doesn’t look like a phone on the wrist.

The date is displayed via the window at 3 o’clock that’s magnified by the iconic Cyclops lens. On the other hand, the month is indicated by the 12 boxes around the perimeter of the dial. Displaying the 24-hours of the second time zone is an off-center ring. In terms of colors, the two-tone yellow gold Sky-Dweller offers a champagne dial, a black dial, or a while dial option.

The White Gold and Stainless Steel Sky-Dweller ref. 326934

The other Rolesor Sky-Dweller model is the 18k white gold and stainless steel ref. 326934. In contrast to the yellow gold and steel model above, the ref. 326934 has less gold. The white gold is only present on the fluted bezel, while the rest of the watch is stainless steel. It’s important to mention that the fluted bezel is much more than just an aesthetic detail. On all the Sky-Dweller watches, the Ring Command bezel controls parts of the mechanical movement to adjust the calendar functions on the dial.

Sky-Dweller ref. 326934
The Oyster bracelet of the Rolesor Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 is made entirely of steel. (Credit: aBlogtoWatch)

The Oyster bracelet of the Rolesor Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 is made entirely of steel. Like all other Sky-Dweller models, it has a folding Oysterclasp with the Easylink system to allow the wearer to adjust the bracelet by up to 5mm.

The three dial options of the white gold and stainless steel Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 are white, black, and blue. We especially like the blue version and how the color coordinates so well with the metal, white hands, and red details.

Sky-Dweller ref. 326934
The date is displayed at the 3 o’clock. (credit: Professional Watches).

With the two new Sky-Dweller models, the collection’s entry price point has dropped from around $40,000 to about $14,000 at retail. While still an expensive luxury watch, the lower price does mean the Sky-Dweller is now more accessible to a wider audience. And that’s never a bad thing.

What do you think of the new two-tone Rolesor Sky-Dweller watches? Do you prefer the yellow gold and steel model or the white gold and steel version?

Paul Altieri
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