SwissWatchExpo Ultimate Guide to the Rolex Sky-Dweller

The Rolex Sky-Dweller celebrates its first decade of existence in 2022. When it was introduced, it was a trailblazer in every way. Not only was it Rolex’s first entirely new watch in two decades, it was also Rolex’s first ever annual calendar complication. Combining high functionality with sleek good looks, Rolex truly reached for the skies with the Sky-Dweller.

Today, it is still the most complicated watch that Rolex offers. While it remains a top-of-the-line offering, it has become much more approachable over the years, with the addition of Rolesor and Oysterflex bracelet options.

Ever dreamed about owning a Rolex Sky-Dweller? The time is ripe for you to get one. Learn more with SwissWatchExpo‘s Ultimate Guide to the Rolex Sky-Dweller.

Rolex Sky Dweller 18k White Gold Black Dial Mens Watch 326139

About the Rolex Sky-Dweller

Introduced in 2012, the Rolex Sky-Dweller is a very young addition to the brand’s portfolio. Without ties to any historical model, the contemporary timepiece came with a host of innovations: the first annual calendar from Rolex, the entirely new caliber 9001, and a bezel-operated control mechanism called the Ring Command.

The Rolex Sky-Dweller also presented the best of both worlds when it comes to aesthetics, combining the elegant styling of the Rolex Day-Date, and the bearing of a sport watch with its large 42mm case. Even more appealing is the Sky-Dweller’s remarkably clean and legible presentation of the complex dual-time and annual calendar features.

Here are the important milestones in the Rolex Sky-Dweller history.

2012: Rolex introduces the Sky-Dweller. It had been 20 years since Rolex came out with an entirely new model, the last one being the Yacht-Master, launched in 1992. Several key features set it apart from the Rolex portfolio: its 42mm case, which makes its sizing similar to Rolex tool watches, despite its dressy looks; the combined 24-hour GMT function with a 12 month annual calendar; and the Ring Command Bezel which allows the wearer to set the time and date while being an aesthetic addition to the watch.

The initial line-up was composed of models in 18k yellow, white, and Everose gold.

ref 326938: 18K Yellow Gold Case and Bracelet

ref 326939: 18K White Gold Case and Bracelet

ref 326135: 18K Everose Gold Case, Leather Strap

2014: Rolex expands the Sky-Dweller collection with new dial colors (black dial on the white gold version, rhodium dial on the Everose gold version). New bracelets were also introduced: the yellow and white gold versions were given the choice of a leather strap, while the Everose gold version was given a matching Everose gold Oyster bracelet.

ref 326138: 18K Yellow Gold Case, Leather Strap

ref 326139: 18K White Gold Case, Leather Strap

ref 326935: 18K Everose Gold Case and Bracelet

2017: Rolex makes the Sky-Dweller more accessible by finally introducing Rolesor versions – combining stainless steel with 18k yellow and white gold. Rolex also introduced a blue dial on the white Rolesor version, which would become the most in-demand model in the entire line. Finally, Rolex also introduced luminous baton hour markers, which gave the dials a cleaner and more contemporary look.

ref 326933: Stainless Steel and 18K Yellow Gold

ref 326934: Stainless Steel and 18K White Gold

Rolex Sky-Dweller White Gold White Dial Watch 326934  

2020: Rolex adds another bracelet option to the collection – the Oysterflex. Equipped with a pair of flexible, titanium-nickel alloy blades built into it, the Oysterflex provides the resilience of a metal bracelet with the flexibility and comfort of a rubber strap. This option comes exclusively with the 18K yellow and Everose gold versions. This update also came with the discontinuation of leather strap models within the collection.

ref 326238: 18K Yellow gold with Oysterflex bracelet

ref 326235: 18K Everose gold with Oysterflex bracelet

2021: Rolex adds the dressier Jubilee bracelet to the Sky-Dweller collection. If the Oysterflex was added to the solid gold versions, the Jubilee was paired with the Rolesor gold and stainless steel models, giving them added flair.

ref 326934: Stainless Steel and 18K White Gold Case, Stainless Steel Jubilee bracelet

ref 326933: Stainless Steel and Yellow Gold Case, Stainless Steel and Yellow Gold Jubilee bracelet

2022: The Rolex Sky-Dweller celebrates a decade of existence.


Key Features of the Rolex Sky-Dweller

The Rolex Sky-Dweller range has evolved in its decade-long history. While aesthetic improvements and metal and bracelet options have been added to the collection, its key features remain. Here are the distinguishing features of the Rolex Sky-Dweller.

Rolex Sky Dweller Yellow Gold Steel White Dial Mens Watch 326933


MATERIALS: 18k Gold (Yellow, White, or Everose); White Rolesor (Steel & White Gold), Yellow Rolesor (Steel & Yellow Gold)

DIALS: Baton, Arabic or Roman (discontinued)

BRACELETS: Oyster bracelet, Jubilee bracelet, Oysterflex bracelet; Leather bracelet (discontinued)

FUNCTIONS: Hours, minutes, and running seconds; Date Display, Month Indicator, GMT Functionality, Annual Calendar

MOVEMENT: Rolex Caliber 9001

WATER RESISTANCE: 100 Meters / 330 Feet


The Rolex Sky-Dweller comes in a 42mm Oyster case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100m (330 feet). While its shape is reminiscent of the Rolex Day-Date, its large (for Rolex) size and thickness give it a bearing similar to that of a sports watch.


All Rolex Sky-Dweller models come with an 18k yellow, white or Everose gold fluted bezel. While we see this design in Rolex Datejust and Day-Date models, what makes the Sky-Dweller bezel different is its added functionality. It is in fact a Ring Command Bezel, which works in tandem with the winding crown, and can be used to select which function on the watch will be adjusted.

The Sky-Dweller’s Ring Command Bezel has a total of 4 positions – 0 through 3, 0 being all the way to the right, and 3 being turned all the way to the left. By shifting through these positions, one can set the the local time (which jumps in one-hour increments), the reference time (shown on the 24-hour disc), or the date and the month of the annual calendar.


While the local time is shown using the hour markers and read using the conventional center hands, the Rolex Sky-Dweller has a 24-hour display that shows the reference time, or the time at home or at the traveler’s home base. This display is shown via the off-center disc with numbers 2 to 24. The disc works together with the red arrow below 12 o’clock to indicate your reference time.


The Rolex Sky-Dweller’s annual calendar mechanism, named Saros, stands out for its innovative display. The months of the year are indicated by 12 apertures located above the hour markers, with the current month marked in red. The annual calendar also displays the correct date throughout the year, and only needs to be adjusted once – on the 1st of March, with February having only 28 or 29 days. The date is connected to local time and always displays the current date in the wearer’s local time zone.


All Rolex Sky-Dweller are powered by the in-house Caliber 9001 movement. It is one of the most complex calibers created by the brand, but was engineered to guarantee the simplicity of use. A selector wheel on the outside edge of the 9001 allows the Ring Command Bezel to work with the movement in setting the Sky-Dweller’s functions.

The movement is also fitted with the blue Parachrom hairspring for protection against magnetic fields and temperature fluctuations, and Paraflex shock absorbers for increased shock resistance. It also offers ample 72-hour power reserve.



Popular Rolex Sky-Dweller Models

The Rolex Sky-Dweller has a lot going for it: the combination of a large case with dressy looks, the sophisticated GMT and annual calendar features with an intuitive dial, and the ever increasing range of options within the collection. You can’t go wrong with the Rolex Sky-Dweller, but here are some fan favorites:


The blue dial Rolex Sky-Dweller was introduced in 2017, as part of the more accessible stainless steel and gold models. The dial not only fits right in with the monochromatic finish and sporty Oyster bracelet, it’s also in tune with prevailing sport watch trends, as we have seen with the Nautilus, Royal Oak, and the Seamaster. Cleaner baton hour markers also provided a more modern look and ease of reading.


The popularity of rose gold watches has grown among sport watch enthusiasts, as they provide a one-two punch: high functionality paired with luxury appeal. Rolex Sky-Dweller Everose Gold models are made from the brand’s patented rose gold alloy, whose combination of pure gold, copper, and a small amount of platinum give a long lasting color and shine. Dial colors come in chocolate brown, rhodium gray, and intense white which complement the alloy’s warm luster.


Common Questions About the Rolex Sky-Dweller

Built for the sophisticated global traveler, the Rolex Sky-Dweller is a stylish watch equipped to tell time across the world. Here are some of the most common questions asked about the Rolex Sky-Dweller.


The Rolex Sky-Dweller is a watch that displays the time in two time zones simultaneously, and has an annual calendar that shows the date and month with minimal adjustment. It brought together these two complications and combined them with an ingenious control element: the Ring Command Bezel.

All Sky-Dweller models come in a 42mm Oyster case, and are available in a variety of metals and straps.


The Rolex Sky-Dweller is one of the most advanced and innovative Rolex watches, which is protected by 14 patents. It includes a clever annual calendar feature, a dual-time zone capability, both controlled using the Ring Command Bezel.

The technical sophistication, ease of use, and patented features of the Sky-Dweller collection make it unique in the world of watches, and therefore fetches a higher price tag.

Rolex Sky-Dweller Chocolate Brown Everose Gold Mens Watch 326135


Rolex watches are built to meet uncompromising quality standards. If you see any sign of flaw on the watch, such as misaligned or misspelled text, unfinished surfaces, or wrong engravings and markings, it is most likely a counterfeit.

It is also a must to do research on your desired model, and become familiar with its supposed features. This will help you in checking if the details on the watch are correct.

The best way to avoid counterfeit watches is to purchase a watch from a reputable and trusted dealer, such as SwissWatchExpo, who can provide a guarantee of authenticity on the watch.


Rolex Sky-Dweller watches are guaranteed water resistant to a depth of 100 meters (330 feet). It was not made specifically for diving, but they come with screw-down crowns and case backs, which protect the movement from moisture that can be encountered with daily use.


Stylish, highly functional, and intuitively designed, the Rolex Sky-Dweller has been the choice timepiece of world travelers. Explore our collection of Rolex Sky-Dweller watches at


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