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by Theresa DiMartini September 12, 2020 5 min read

Perhaps it was an intentional sleight of hand or maybe we were too blinded by the new shiny objects adorning our screens to notice whatwasn’t there anymore. Sure we marveled at the eight brand new 41mm Submariners and reveled at the gorgeous but oh so unattainable blue bezel 18k white gold sub. We saw the dazzling and surprising new line of Oyster Perpetuals in vibrant candy colors. When we looked closer we noticed 5 new Datejust 31 models, some which looked pretty awesome.

We also noticed the huge change that was made to the Rolex Sky-Dweller, which is that it now comes standard on an Oysterflex strap. Boy does it look incredible on that rubber strap! Seeing this watch on Oysterflex made us wonder if we could still find it on leather, the strap that has hugged the lugs of this watch for as long as we can remember. We searched, we scrounged, and we came up empty-handed.

 

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These leather strap versions of the Rolex Sky-Dweller no longer exist on the Rolex site and have been discontinued.

On the Rolex site there was no longerany version of the Sky-Dweller on leather whatsoever. This made sense with the introduction of Oysterflex, but still it raised a lot of questions.

Despite the fact that the new model release was rather robust, many Rolex lovers have been complaining that there wasn’t a Daytona change--or was there? We thought we’d take a look on the Rolex site at our favorite Daytona. 


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Surely you could still get a Daytona on a factory Rolex leather strap, right?  Again, we searched, we scrounged, we came up empty-handed. The only way you get a Daytona right now from Rolex was on a bracelet or Oysterflex. 

Then We Dug Deeper

We wondered if this could mean that every leather strap Rolex variety was in fact gone even if it hadn’t been part of a new release or been given an Oysterflex bracelet. Had they all been silently discontinued without us even noticing? 


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Our fingers typed frantically in the search bar of the Rolex website as we thought about other Rolex models that are simply known for their Rolex leather straps and that haven’t yet been introduced on Oysterflex. We typed in “datejust” and “President Day-Date.” Again, we came up with an empty search query. We went to the “configure” tool on the Day-Dates and fully swiped left to right. To our surprise, not one of those watches came factory on leather anymore. 


Rolex Day Date on green factory leather strap (discontinued).

From what we can tell, it seems like Rolex quietly discontinued every watch that comes factory on a leather strap except for one, the Cellini. If you search “leather” this is the only Rolex you will find that still comes factory on a leather strap. 


The Rolex Cellini line (center) is the only Rolex still offered on leather in 2020. Rolex Daytona and Rolex Sky-Dweller have been discontinued on leather.

Could this be the end of Rolex on leather all together?

So what does this all mean? It could mean that perhaps Rolex is phasing out leather straps all together. It could mean that any watch you have on a factory leather strap could now be more valuable and coveted. 

Even though Rolex has discontinued leather straps as an option, luckily Everest makes after-market leather straps specifically for your Rolex watch (whether it originally came on one or not). If you want the incredible experience of leather on a Rolex, our straps are a great way to get that look and feel that is no longer offered from Rolex. 

Not only are Everest bands a great way, but now they might be theonlyway. Take a look at some Everest leather strap looks below.

You said two things were missing, right? What’s the second?

Yes, there’s more. Let’s first discuss what we did see on this part of the Rolex website. We were delighted to see the nine (yes nine!) new bright dial colors of the Oyster Perpetual line. We spent forever playing around with Rolex’s customization tool on their site to see how all of the different dial colors looked. 

We also noticed that the new OPs came in a ton of sizes from 28mm all the way 41mm, with each size category offering different color selections. For example, you cannot get all nine colors in the 41mm size (bummer). In the 28mm and 34mm size, the watch only comes in 4 of the 9 colors. There’s only one size that offers all nine dial colors. It’s truly a bit confusing so we made a handy dandy chart here to help sort that all out. 

There is so much going on there, that you may not have noticed what was missing. Only five short years ago, in 2015, Rolex introduced the extremely popular 39mm sized Oyster Perpetual. 39mm seems to be a sweet spot for a wide-variety of watch wearers and both men and women adore and collect watches in or around this size. People consider it the perfect size for everyday wear. In 2018, Rolex introduced two new (and extremely popular) dial colors to the Oyster Perpetual 39mm- a black dial and a white dial.


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After we finished drooling over the new OP line, we realized that not only is the 39mm size completely gone from the site, but a white dial option is also completely gone as well. As of September 2020, Rolex is only offering Oyster Perpetuals in sizes 28mm, 31mm, 34mm, 36mm, and 41mm. It looks like they skipped right over the popular 39mm size all together.

What does this all mean? 

Well, for one, a lot of people will be sorely missing that great 39mm size option. Another observation is that if you are an owner of a black or white dialed 39mm Oyster Perpetual, you are in great luck because your watch will likely increase in value. 

Only being in production for two short years means the production was one of Rolex’s shortest ever and the demand for this iteration of the watch will become extremely coveted, especially if it’s in good condition. 


White dialed Rolex Oyster Perpetual on the sporty 
Everest Curved-End Nylon Strap.

Now is absolutely the time to preserve your OP Rolex bracelet and swap it out for an Everest Band. Keeping your 39mm OP bracelet in good condition will increase the value of your watch tremendously.  We believe that if you have the white dial 39mm OP, it will be coveted even more as that color/size combination no longer exists. Everest has so many color and material choices that will make that white dial pop and keep your bracelet pristine.

So there you have it. It’s always important to notice what is there, but it’s equally important to also notice what is missing. What do you think about these quiet discontinuations? Smart move by Rolex or a big mistake? Sound off below!

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Theresa DiMartini
Theresa DiMartini



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