Rolex has announced six new “Rolesor” versions of the Sky-Dweller for 2017, which consist of 904L stainless steel cases with 18K yellow or white gold bezels (the bracelet center links on the yellow gold versions are crafted in 18K solid gold).
Previously the Sky-Dweller – which was introduced in 2012 – was only available in precious metal cases.
As with the previous versions, the Sky-Dweller comes in a 42 mm diameter case, is powered by Rolex’s most complicated automatic movement (caliber 9001), is protected by 11 patents, and features a unique combination of dual time zone and an annual calendar that is controlled by the patented rotating Ring Command bezel and crown.
“Setting the Sky-Dweller’s three main functions is quick and easy. It can be done in any order, and both forwards and backwards, without restriction. Each function is accessed using the rotatable Ring Command bezel and adjusted with the winding crown, which has only one setting position. The operation is as simple as 1-2-3.”
The most noteworthy changes to the Sky-Dweller are the redesigned dials that now feature rectangular hour indexes instead of Arabic or Roman numerals, as well as being filled with Chromalight luminescent material.
Each Sky-Dweller is Superlative Chronometer certified and runs at a rate of -2/+2. Water-resistance is 100 meters.
On the white Rolesor version, the bezel is made of 18K white gold, while the crown, middle case, and bracelet are in 904L steel. And on the yellow Rolesor version, the bezel and bracelet center links are made of 18K yellow gold, with a crown, middle case, and bracelet made of 904L steel.
In addition to the new dial, and new case material combinations, the Sky-Dweller Oyster bracelet has a new concealed attachment system beneath the bezel which according to Rolex, “ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case.”
The Rolex Sky-Dweller in 904L steel and white gold is available with a black, white, or blue dial at a retail price of $14,400. In 904L steel and yellow gold with black, champagne, or white dial the retail price is $17,150. (Ref. 326934 – steel/white gold, 326933 steel/yellow gold)
While a stainless steel watch with an 18K white gold bezel, for more than $14K, is hard to justify as a good deal.
Previous Sky-Dwellers were exclusively available in solid gold cases, starting at $37K, which relatively speaking, makes the new stainless steel Sky-Dwellers at least approachable. Furthermore, the new rectangular luminescent hour indexes, that replace the Roman or Arabic numerals, result in an aesthetic that is, arguably, far more attractive than its predecessor.