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The Rolex Sky-Dweller is an elegant, multi-functional watch for world travelers. Introduced in 2012, it was Rolex’s first entirely new watch in two decades. Without ties to any historical model, the modern timepiece came with a host of innovations: the first annual calendar from Rolex, the entirely new caliber 9001, and a bezel-operated control ring called the Ring Command.
Aesthetically, the Rolex Sky-Dweller also presented the best of both worlds: elegant styling found on Rolex’s dress watches, and the bearing of a sport watch with its 42mm case and solid Oyster bracelet. Most importantly, the Sky-Dweller’s genius lies in its remarkably clean and legible presentation of the dual-time and annual calendar complication.
Stylish, highly-functional, and cleverly designed, the Rolex Sky-Dweller is the ideal companion for travelers of the world. Explore our wide selection of Rolex Sky-Dweller watches at SwissWatchExpo.com.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller made its debut in Baselworld 2012. It was the first completely new Rolex model in two decades, following the Yacht-Master’s launch in 1992.
Made with frequent travelers in mind, the Rolex Sky-Dweller featured an annual calendar complication and a dual-time, which was another first in Rolex history.
The Sky-Dweller cannot be emphatically called a dress watch or a sport watch, rather it is a combination of both. Its Oyster case, fluted bezel, and dial share a similar aesthetic to that of the Rolex Datejust and Rolex Day-Date; but its 42mm size and Oyster bracelet give a bearing similar to the Rolex Yacht-Master II.
The first batch of Rolex Sky-Dweller models came exclusively in solid 18k yellow, white, and Everose gold, the latter being offered with a brown leather strap. These also came with a choice of either Arabic or Roman numeral markers on the dial.
By 2014, the 18k yellow gold and white gold versions were given the option of leather straps as well.
Because the Sky-Dweller was offered in solid 18k gold (coupled with its complications), it was one of Rolex’s most expensive collections. In 2017, Rolex introduced two-tone, steel and gold models which put the Sky-Dweller at a more attainable price point.
Despite their relatively short production run, Rolex discontinued the white gold Sky-Dweller models in 2018. The Arabic and Roman numeral dials were phased out as well, in favor of more modern and legible baton hour markers. Rolex’s patented Chromalight lume, which gives off a long-lasting blue glow, is also used on the markers and hands for optimum legibility.
In 2021, Rolex added new bracelet options for the Sky-Dweller range: the five-piece Jubilee bracelet for the Rolesor white gold and yellow gold models; and the Oysterflex rubber strap for the solid yellow gold and Everose gold models.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller remains the most technically advanced watch in Rolex’s catalog, but its intuitive design and wider range of metal and bracelet options means there’s a Sky-Dweller for every taste.
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.
CASE DIAMETER: 42mm
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: Time w/ 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.
The table below shows the list of Rolex Sky-Dweller references from 2012 until present. Some models have been discontinued in its decade-old history, particularly the full 18k white gold models, and solid gold models with leather straps.
|White Gold, Oyster Bracelet
|2012 - 2018
|White Gold, Leather Bracelet
|2014 - 2018
|Yellow Gold, Leather Bracelet
|2014 - 2020
|Everose Gold, Leather Bracelet
|2012 - 2020
|Oystersteel, White Gold Bezel, Oyster / Jubilee Bracelet
|Oystersteel, Yellow Gold Bezel, Oyster / Jubilee Bracelet
|Solid 18k yellow gold, Oyster bracelet
|Solid 18k Everose gold, Oyster bracelet
|18k Everose gold, Oysterflex bracelet
|18k Yellow gold, Oysterflex bracelet
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 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, 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.