I still remember the night of August 31, 2020 because it was the night before Rolex would announce their collection of new releases for 2020. So much excitement was in the air, and lots of little potential spoilers were being passed around on the internet. People spent more time than they’d like to admit analyzing a fuzzy, underwater “unveiling” teaser shot released from Rolex (is it a no-date Sub?), and top-secret, blurry pictures of “alleged” 2020 Rolex catalog pages were being shared on social media.
Remember that? As a blog writer, and watch enthusiast, I was eating it all up and enjoying all the little tidbits everyone kept releasing. I was also already writing the new release blog, leaving areas blank to fill in later because we wanted to be one of the first to release the new information.
Everything was so exciting! Late at night it finally happened--We saw them all: new subs, new Sky-Dwellers, new Datejusts and new Oyster Perpetuals. At first I saw the OP with the champagne dial, then the one with the navy blue dial, and I thought, wow those look great. But then, in all its gloriousness I saw THE ONE. The turquoise dialed Oyster Perpetual 41 in all it’s on-screen glory, and I knew at that moment, I had to have it.
Despite the fact that it was quite late at night, I immediately contacted my AD right then and there asking him to do whatever he can to get me this watch. The next day I found out from him that I was “first on the list” and I couldn’t be more excited!
Assuming I’d have the watch in my possession within a few weeks was a complete misconception, especially in 2020. I waited and waited and waited some more. I started to wonder if it was going to be similar to a Daytona situation, where the waiting would continue for years.
When I asked my AD about it (somewhat obsessively) he often shared that unfortunately Rolex in fact hadn’t sent him anything yet, at all. A global pandemic, the unexpected popularity of the new releases, and the significantly slower postal system all worked against us. Finally, after a few months Rolex sent him one OP: a yellow dial in 36 mm. He asked if I wanted it, but the truth is I only wanted it in turquoise blue and in 41mm, so I politely declined.
After months of waiting, we got the call on Christmas Eve that the watch had arrived and it was soon to be mine. I transferred the money and two days later, it was shipped to me. What a great gift it was indeed! Of course as usual the watch came in the classic Rolex coffin, packed separately from the box. Everyone likes to film themselves opening up the box for the big reveal, but that’s just not how they come.
*Quick Disclaimer: Although there are many phenomenal watch photographers out there, I am not trying to be one of them. All of my pictures are taken somewhat haphazardly on my iPhoneX, but in a way, this shows you what the watch really looks like, so please enjoy the images if only for that reason. None of these images have used any sort of filter and none of them have been edited in any way. They are just raw iPhoneX photos, so you can truly see what the watch looks like.
My Initial Thoughts
It’s a Rolex that breaks all of the traditional Rolex rules, but in a way that just absolutely works. I truly love it and have barely taken the watch off my wrist. The color is mesmerizing and it looks good in every light. When Rolex first released the candy-colored OP line, there were many contrasting opinions about the watch, and in fact many people truly did not like the look of the colorful dials. People claimed that these would be a total flop, and lucky for me, they couldn’t be more wrong. In my opinion, it’s an instant classic and a future collector’s item. It’s extremely comfortable, visually stunning, and instantly recognizable.
The Basics About the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 Turquoise Blue
Ref # 124300
41mm Oystersteel case and oyster bracelet
Water resistant to 100m
Screw down crown
Movement Caliber 3230
The Size, Fit, and Comfort
Although it is a 41mm watch, it definitely wears more like a 39mm. It truly looks and feels like the perfect size on my wrist. It’s very comfortable, smooth, and not too heavy. As with all Rolexes, the comfort and fit is top notch.
The reason why it wears this way is because the case is very thin and lies perfectly flat on the wrist. The crown is rather dainty which tricks your eye into thinking the watch is smaller than it actually is. The very slender lugs cause your eyes to see a smaller watch on your wrist as well. If you are worried that 41mm will be too big, I would encourage you to just go for it. It is, in my opinion, not at all too big.
Some Interesting Features
The dial is truly mesmerizing and when you look into the dial, the baton indices are very raised and highly polished. The applied Rolex logo is perfect (and quite tall) and the engravings on the rehaut are crisp and clean and subtle. While at first the dial looks like it’s more of a matte finish, it actually appears to be lacquered when looking closely. From the white gold batons, to the long shiny hands, to the slight shine on the wet black text that reads Rolex Oyster Perpetual, it’s really unique and very visually stunning. The color combination and the juxtaposition of shine to matte-look just really works.
Rolex’s use of organic smooth, clean shapes is also beautiful. It has a rounded bezel and a rounded case, with perfectly rectangular indices and lume plots. All of these components together make a visually pleasing watch.
A noticing: The bezel ever so slightly goes over the top of the bracelet and the top of the side of the case, almost as if it wasn’t quite meant to go together. I’m not sure if this is intentional, or a slight design oversight. It’s minor and definitely not a deal breaker.
The color is truly unique and beautiful. I have tried to color match it, but nothing yet really compares. Although nicknamed “The Tiffany,” when put next to a Tiffany's box, it’s slightly cooler, less saturated, and more blue than a true “Tiffany.” It’s close, but Tiffany blue definitely has more of a green tint to it. I would love to compare it to a vintage Stella-dialed Rolex and see how they compare, but my prediction is that this dial will be a lighter turquoise than the Stella, even though they both seem to be lacquered dials.
The color does change a bit depending on the lighting and it varies from almost a sky blue to a Tiffany blue to a light turquoise. I tried to take as many pics as possible in various lighting to help see this. Although Rolex named it “turquoise blue,” having the nickname, “The Tiffany” might be a nod to Rolex’s past relationship with the luxury brand and this connection alone sets this particular watch up to be a surefire future classic. Overall I would say the color does have a bit of a feminine vibe, but so does a Porsche, so ultimately it could be rocked equally by men or women.
If I had to complain about something, or at least try to discern where Rolex might have cut some costs it would be on the clasp. It comes with the standard Oyster bracelet with an easylink, and it is both comfortable and easy to put on and take off. Also, it is a Rolex clasp, so for that reason alone it is phenomenal. But, like OPs of the past, the Rolex coronet is stamped into the clasp rather than applied on top. I personally prefer clasps with the Rolex logo applied on top because I feel like it just looks nicer. Having it stamped into the clasp makes it feel slightly less luxurious and also makes me think it’s going to fill up with dirt and grime. I was hoping for an update in the 2020 clasp design, but it certainly wasn’t a deal breaker.
It has the classic blue chromalight Rolex lume on all of the indices and the hands. Because the dial is a very similar color to the lume, it looks slightly more greenish in the dark, but still a lovely blue in low light. The color nearly matches the dial, which is a neat feature.
Luckily for me, I paid retail for the watch, which at the time of purchase was $5,900. Having a good relationship with your AD is truly instrumental in getting watches you want at retail, even the really hard to get ones. My AD knows that I am a watch lover/collector, and someone who would never try to flip a watch for profit or engage in any sort of shady activities as such. We wrote all about how to buy a watch at retail here. It takes effort, and mutual appreciation, but it can be done!
The OP Popularity Now
I don’t think anyone could have predicted how popular these Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches have already become. Several ADs have mentioned that their waiting lists for the Oyster Perpetuals (especially in 41mm) are longer than many of the other lists. However, not all colors of OPs are desired equally. It seems that the green and yellow are coveted, but the most desired and most difficult of all to get is the turquoise blue. I feel so grateful to have been able to acquire this watch!
If you look at watch sites now you can see that people are trying to sell the OP turquoise blue in the gray market for between $13,000-$14,000! This is mind-blowing as it is more than double (almost triple) the retail price, and apparently people are willing to pay that much for this highly coveted watch that is less than 5 months old. The other colors are not selling for quite as high as the turquoise, but they are still selling for well above retail, mostly around $10,000.
It’s a Rolex that breaks every single rule from a design standpoint from Rolex, and the demand right now is out of control. I truly wonder if Rolex will ever be able to fulfill the demand. Some people are even predicting that these 41mm Oyster Perpetuals will be discontinued in 2021, much like the OP39 was discontinued this year in 2020. Rolex is unpredictable at times, so we will have to wait and see.
So there you have it. A beautiful, unique, and comfortable watch that looks good in every light. I also imagine it will look phenomenal in an Everest Watch Roll--that is, if I ever decide to take it off my wrist. What’s your favorite Oyster Perpetual? Would you rock this look? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!