The 2023 Rolex Sky-Dweller: New Colors, New Movement

The 2023 Rolex Sky-Dweller: New Colors, New Movement

The Sky-Dweller is Rolex’s most complex watch. Throughout its development, Rolex filed 14 patents pertaining to the watch’s dual timezone, annual calendar, and Ring Command functionality. This year at Watches and Wonders, the Sky-Dweller received updates in both appearance and mechanics. With three new color/material configurations and an updated movement, the 2023 Rolex Sky-Dweller deserves some time in the spotlight. Let’s take a look at these amendments before discussing the Sky-Dweller’s market position in 2023. Has it changed?

2023 Rolex Sky-Dweller Color and Material Configurations

Rolex Sky-Dweller White Gold on Oysterflex

This year, Rolex introduced three new Sky-Dweller configurations. The mint-green dial comes in white Rolesor: a white gold bezel on an Oystersteel case and bracelet. This mint-green hue has only ever appeared on the Rolex Datejust. The blue-green dial comes in full Everose: Oyster bracelet and all. This blue-green is entirely new to Rolex’s catalog. Finally, the “bright black” dial comes in white gold (bezel and case) with an Oysterflex bracelet

Rolex Sky-Dweller with blue-green dial in Everose

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While the two green hues are gorgeous – particularly contrasted by the small splashes of red – I’m most excited about the black dial in white gold on an Oysterflex. The high-low combination of precious metal and rubber is not only visually striking, it makes for a very satisfying feel on the wrist. You get the heft of a precious metal watch without being weighed down by a precious metal bracelet. Something about this combo just feels secure.

The New Rolex Sky-Dweller Movement: Caliber 9002

Rolex Caliber 9002 for the 2023 Rolex Sky-Dweller

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Rolex’s caliber 9002 – an updated version of the caliber 9001 which debuted the Sky-Dweller in 2012 – features two main changes. First, the caliber 9002 incorporates Rolex’s Chronergy escapement: a lighter, simpler, far more efficient version of the traditional Swiss lever escapement. Second, the caliber 9002 features a redesigned skeletonized oscillating weight: a largely aesthetic change to a movement you’ll probably never see. Other than those two things, the caliber 9002 is essentially identical to the 9001. While the Chronergy escapement is a welcome addition, I wouldn’t say it comes close to antiquating the caliber 9001. 

Market Position and Final Thoughts

Rolex Sky-Dweller with mint-green dial in white Rolesor

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The Rolex Sky-Dweller is among my all-time favorite watches. The Saros annual calendar display, off-center 24-hour wheel, and cyclops date window give this watch a silhouette that's as unique as it is recognizable. This is the most mechanically complex watch from Earth’s favorite watch brand – what’s not to love? Although this year’s updated caliber 9002 is categorically superior to the outgoing movement, it won’t provide noticeably superior performance. For that reason, the color and material configurations are the star of the show in 2023. If you prefer the white dial, blue dial, or yellow gold configurations of old, the new caliber 9002 won’t (or shouldn’t) stop you from buying one. That said, I love Rolex’s tinkering with the Sky-Dweller this year. The green dials and Oysterflex bracelet are excellent additions to the Sky-Dweller family.

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