Five Major Milestones of the Rolex Sky-Dweller’s Evolution

Five Major Milestones of the Rolex Sky-Dweller’s Evolution

One of the most complicated watches in Rolex’s current catalog, the Sky-Dweller has evolved quite a bit during its relatively short history. Join us as we highlight five major milestones that have occurred so far in the evolution of the Rolex Sky-Dweller. 

1. The Introduction of the Sky-Dweller in 2012

Rolex Sky-Dweller first release

Rolex unveiled the Sky-Dweller collection in 2012 as the company’s first brand-new model in 20 years. While the watches looked somewhat familiar thanks to Rolex signature design details such as fluted bezels, Cyclops lenses over the date windows, and Oyster bracelets, mechanically, it was unlike any watch the company had released before. 

Not only does the Sky-Dweller feature two time zones, a date display, and a month indicator, but it is also an annual calendar – meaning it will only need a manual adjustment once a year (on March 1st.). What’s more, the fluted bezel is not just decorative but a Ring Command bezel, allowing the wearer to flip through the watch’s functions when setting them. Powering the Sky-Dweller watches was Caliber 9001. 

The Sky-Dweller's unique dial layout, impressive movement, and large 42mm case size made it markedly different from the other dress watches in Rolex’s catalog. The first Sky-Dweller watches were offered in yellow gold, white gold, and Everose gold where the first two models were fitted with matching Oyster bracelets while the latter had a leather strap. Rolex added yellow and white gold models with leather straps and an Everose gold model with an Oyster bracelet a few years later.   

2. The Introduction of Rolesor Sky-Dweller Models in 2017

White Rolesor Rolex Sky-Dweller

For the first five years of the Sky-Dweller’s existence, Rolex made the watches exclusively in gold. In 2017, that changed with the release of two Sky-Dweller references in Rolesor, which is Rolex’s term for combining gold and steelThe first was the white Rolesor Sky-Dweller, featuring a combination of a stainless steel case and bracelet with a white gold fluted bezel. The other was the yellow Rolesor Sky-Dweller with yellow gold and stainless steel details throughout the case and bracelet. 

Yellow Rolesor Sky-Dweller

Given the use of stainless steel components on these models, Rolex essentially dropped the entry price point of the Sky-Dweller collection and made it much more accessible to a wider audience. 

3. The Introduction of the Oysterflex to the Sky-Dweller Collection in 2020

Rolex Sky-Dweller on Oysterflex

The Sky-Dweller got its sportiest update in 2020 when Rolex added the Oysterflex bracelet as an option. Like the Daytona and Yacht-Master Oysterflex models that came before, Rolex only offered the Oysterflex bracelet on gold Sky-Dweller models. Specifically, it was the yellow gold and Everose gold variants at that time since Rolex had discontinued the white gold Sky-Dweller in 2018. 

4. The Introduction of Jubilee Bracelets to the Sky-Dweller Collection in 2021

Rolex Sky-Dweller Jubilee Bracelet

The following year, yet another bracelet joined the Sky-Dweller lineup. This time it was the option of a Jubilee bracelet, but only available with the Rolesor Sky-Dweller models. The five-link Jubilee bracelet adds a dressy touch to the watches its paired with and it works well with the Sky-Dweller. 

As of 2021, gold Sky-Dweller models were available with either an Oyster bracelet or an Oysterflex bracelet whereas the steel/white gold and two-tone steel/yellow gold Sky-Dweller models were available with either an Oyster bracelet or a Jubilee bracelet. 

5. The Introduction of Caliber 9002 to the Sky-Dweller Collection in 2023

Rolex Caliber 9002

In 2023, over a decade since the debut of the Sky-Dweller, Rolex replaced all the models in the collection with new-generation references (from ref 326xxx to 336xxx) complete with a new caliber. 

Caliber 9002 replaced Caliber 9001; these two movements are very similar yet the newer version includes the patented Chronergy escapement, which according to Rolex improves the escapement’s efficiency by 15%. 

The release of the newest models also signaled the return of the white gold Sky-Dweller, currently only available with an Oysterflex bracelet. Moreover, Rolex added some beautiful new dial colors: a mint green dial for the steel and white gold Sky-Dweller and a blue-green dial for the Everose gold Sky-Dweller.

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