Insider: Rolex Sky-Dweller White Rolesor ref. 326934. Hands-on with a Long Awaited Stainless Steel Model.

The new Rolex Sky-Dweller White Rolesor reference 326934 with its combination of stainless steel and 18K white gold bezel is a watch that many were hoping for since the launch of the first Sky-Dwellers in 2012. Released at Baselworld 2017, this new stainless steel Sky-Dweller is the perfect watch for those that were dreaming of owning a Sky-Dweller one day but that couldn't afford it because of its steep price tag —$48,850 USD for the Everose model on bracelet we reviewed here.

While pricing alone might've not been the only barrier of entry into the Sky-Dweller as there are many watch collectors out there that prefer the simplicity, durability and understated look of stainless steel, up until now the Sky-Dweller was very hard to attain and a watch exclusively reserved for those that can have it all. The new stainless steel Sky-Dweller along with the new two-tone reference 326933 models, are the perfect option for those looking to get a Rolex that is unlike all others and that brings a very functional and noble complication to the table.

The Rolex Sky-Dweller brings Rolex's view of horology to a higher level and joins the ranks of other Rolex vintage legendary watches like the Rolex ref. 6062 Triple Calendar with Moonphases, the Rolex ref. 6236 Triple Calendar Chronograph Dato-Compax a.k.a. "Killy", the Rolex ref. 4768 Triple calendar or the Rolex "Padellone" Triple Calendar with Moonphases ref. 8171. Launched in 2012, the Rolex Sky-Dweller is not only a very well designed watch from a looks standpoint but also a very useful complication that combines an annual calendar with a second time zone display.

The Case

The Rolex Sky-Dweller is fitted with a very robust, thick and extremely solid case measuring 42 mm in diameter and is available in 18K gold with either an alligator leather strap or with a matching 18K gold bracelet, in stainless steel with 18K white gold bezel —white Rolesor— with black, blue or white dial and in a two-tone version —yellow Rolesor— in stainless steel and 18K yellow gold with black, champagne or white dial.

As far as the case, this is one of the most solid cases we've ever reviewed when it comes to Rolex and almost as robust as the one on the Deepsea Sea-Dweller. To sum it up, just by holding its case, one can tell this is a 'power watch' and a 'watch boss timepiece'. With a fully polished finish throughout, the case has the same shape as the case on the Datejust or the Day-Date but on steroids.

The Dial

The Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 is fitted with what a gorgeous blue dial that is a true chameleon depending on lighting conditions. The dial is extremely nicely finished and has a beautiful color hue that varies from dark navy blue to a royal blue. Featuring applied batons and rectangular apertures located behind each marker, these apertures are where the corresponding month is displayed by a bright red disc, while the date is shown via the date aperture at 3 o'clock.

This bright red indicator shows the current month in an intuitive way and its mechanism is based off of the SAROS cycle. This ingenious mechanism simplifies life for the wearer of the watch, who no longer needs to think about adjusting the date at the end of a 30-day or 31-day month. The contrast against the blue dial on the new Rolex Sky-Dweller White Rolesor reference 326934 blue dial is simply remarkable and the red indicator gives the watch somewhat of a sportier look.

But what makes the Rolex Sky-Dweller even more special, is the ability to keep track of a second time zone via the off-centered 24-hour lighter blue ring with white transfers and the red arrow pointer located right under the Rolex logo. The hands are partially skeletonized and fitted with chromalight tips for perfect readability at night.

The Ring Command Bezel

The Rolex Sky-Dweller reference 326934 is fitted with an 18K white gold fluted bezel that in reality is more than just a bezel. This bezel or 'Ring Command Bezel' as Rolex refers to it, is a very advanced horological component that serves as the way in which the wearer is able to set multiple functions on this watch. Protected by no less than 14 patents, the Rolex Sky-Dweller is in reality a masterpiece of horology that maintains all the traditional design cues of a Rolex timepiece with its unmistakable appearance and desired flashiness.

The rotating Ring Command Bezel interacts with the movement allowing the wearer to easily set the different functions on the watch. This rotating bezel, can be turned in either direction to one of three positions in order to select the date, the local time or the second time zone. While the local time is indicated by the central hour and minute hands, the second time zone is marked by the inverted read triangle and the off-centered disc.

Since the hour hand can be moved independently in one hour increments, one can maintain the watch synchronized with the off-centered ring to keep track of military time or to simply use that function as a day/night indicator. Otherwise, the wearer can simply keep track of a second time zone as necessary.

Once the bezel is rotated and the winding crown is pulled out to its one and only setting position, the selected function can be rapidly adjusted in either direction using the winding crown. As the bezel is rotated, the crown engages to set a different function. This intuitive interface is based on a complex mechanical module with no fewer than 60 components, the product of state-of-the-art watchmaking and advanced micro mechanics.

The only function that is not set using the Ring Command Bezel along with the crown is the corresponding month. To set the month, the wearer needs to advance the date via the crown, until the correct month is displayed by the red indicator behind the Roman numerals. Since the Rolex Sky-Dweller is an annual calendar, the mechanism in the watch accounts for the number days in each month —30 or 31 days— with the exception of February —as only a perpetual calendar would. Therefore, the wearer needs to make a simple adjustment on February 28 or 29 and advance the date to March 1st as necessary.

The Movement

The Rolex Sky-Dweller White Rolesor ref. 326934 is powered by the same in-house calibre 9001 powering all other Sky-Dwellers to date. This automatic movement with an outstanding power reserve of 72 hours, was entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex and introduced in 2012 for this particular watch. Engineered to ensure simplicity of use, the movement uses a selector wheel on the outside edge of the movement to allow for interaction of the movement and the bezel of the watch to set the Sky-Dweller’s functions.

Like all Rolex Perpetual movements, the 9001 is a certified Swiss Chronometer —COSC. The movement utilizes the SAROS annual calendar system for its mechanism. This system is a revolutionary planetary mechanism inspired by the cyclical alignment of Sun, Earth and Moon. The Greek term 'saros' has been used since antiquity to designate an astronomical cycle which governs the recurrence of eclipses. The Sky-Dweller’s Saros annual calendar owes its high efficiency to a mechanism of revolutionary simplicity. Displaying the correct date through the year, this ingenious system patented by Rolex replicates the irregular occurrence of 30 and 31-day months using only four additional gear wheels.

The Bracelet

The Rolex Rolex Sky-Dweller White Rolesor ref. 326934 is equipped with a very solid Oyster bracelet with flat three-piece links and folding Oysterclasp with Easylink adjustment. The stainless steel bracelet is finished with satin brushed outer links and polished center links.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the new stainless steel Rolex Sky-Dweller White Rolesor ref. 326934 with blue dial wears true to its size and with impeccable wrist presence. Without a doubt we can say that this is one of the best looking Rolex watches out there and one that even though is slightly flashy it flies under the radar most of the time.

A very long awaited addition to the Rolex lineup and an annual calendar like no other with its intuitive dual time zone display that at this price point is a must have. Kudos to Rolex on the release of this stainless steel model that we are confident will fly off the displays as soon as it hits the Rolex authorized dealers.

Sticker Price $14,400 USD. For more info on Rolex click here.