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A collection like no other

Audrey Simon
Audrey Simon • 7 min read
A collection like no other
Some of the most covetable pieces from Rolex this year
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Some of the most covetable pieces from Rolex this year

When Rolex launched its 2020 collection, fans made their admiration felt through social media. It was clearly one of Rolex’s strongest launches yet. Here, we feature the Oyster Perpetual Submariner, Oyster Perpetual Datejust, Oyster Perpetual and Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller. All timepieces carry the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist

Oyster Perpetual Submariner

Since 1953, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner has been one of the most recognisable and coveted timepieces in the Rolex family of watches. These watches are known to be the quintessential divers’ wristwatch because of its waterproof quality and corrosion-resistant features that enhance their reliability and functionality.

The first visible thing you would notice is that its diameter has gone from 40mm to 41mm which is fitted on the remodelled bracelet that hugs the wrist comfortably. The Oyster bracelet on these new versions is equipped with a Rolex-designed and -patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening.

It also features the Rolex Glidelock extension system, designed and patented by the brand. This particularly inventive mechanism comprises a rack located under the clasp cover and a toothed sliding link that locks into the chosen notch. The Rolex Glidelock on the Oyster bracelet has 10 notches of approximately 2mm, allowing the length of the bracelet to be adjusted easily by up to some 20mm. Rolex developed this extension system specifically for its divers’ wristwatches so that they can be worn comfortably over a diving suit by adjusting the length of the bracelet, without the use of tools.

Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date in yellow Rolesor

The heartbeat of the watch

All movements are developed and manufactured in- house by Rolex and the new-generation Submariner and Submariner Date are equipped respectively with calibre 3230, which was launched this year, and calibre 3235.

Calibres 3230 and 3235 incorporate the Chronergy escapement, which is patented by Rolex, that combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic fields.

The movements are fitted with an optimised blue Parachrom hairspring that comes equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibres’ regularity in any position. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and -patented Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movements’ shock resistance.

Both calibres are self-winding modules via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to their barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the movements’ power reserve extends to approximately 70 hours.

The new Submariner in Oystersteel comes in a handsome black dial with a rotatable bezel and matching Cerachrom insert. Cerachrom is a highly durable and virtually scratch-proof ceramic material that Rolex has been using on its watches. There is also a yellow Rolesor version of the Submariner Date which combines Oystersteel and 18ct yellow gold that matches the royal blue dial with a rotatable bezel and a blue Cerachrom insert.

Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31

Rolex’s Datejust is the archetype classic watch because of its functions and aesthetics that will never go out of style. Launched in 1945, it was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a window at 3 o’clock on the dial, and consolidated all the major innovations that Rolex had contributed to the modern wristwatch until then. The Datejust has spanned eras while retaining the enduring aesthetic characteristics that make it so instantly recognisable.

Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31 with dark grey dial

This year’s iteration is presented in a white Rolesor version, which combines Oystersteel and 18ct white gold, with dials in a variety of colours, with either index hour markers or Roman numerals made of 18ct white gold. On the new white Rolesor versions of the Datejust 31, the bezel is made of 18ct white gold, while the winding crown, middle case, bracelet and clasp are in Oystersteel.

Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31 with aubergine dial

Of the new versions, there are four new white Rolesor variations of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31. The one to admire has the bezel set with 46 brilliant-cut diamonds, an aubergine, sunray-finish dial that is adorned with a diamond-set Roman VI. The other versions are fitted respectively with a mint green, sunray-finish dial, white lacquer dial, or dark grey, sunray-finish dial, and a fluted bezel in 18ct white gold. The hands and index hour markers or Roman numerals on all four watches are in 18ct white gold. The light reflections on the case sides and lugs highlight the elegant profile of the 31mm Oyster case.

These new watches are equipped with calibre 2236, a movement at the forefront of watchmaking technology.

Oyster Perpetual

Watches in the Oyster Perpetual range are direct descendants of the original Oyster, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, on which Rolex has built its reputation since 1926. These watches are equipped with excellent chronometric precision, a waterproof Oyster case, and self-winding movement via a Perpetual rotor. Displaying hours, minutes and seconds, made exclusively of Oystersteel and featuring a sophisticated finish, these are chronometer wristwatches in their purest form.

Oyster Perpetual 41 with silver dial

A new generation of Oyster Perpetual watches make its debut and with it the Oyster Perpetual 41, as well as versions of the Oyster Perpetual 36 with dials in vivid colours. The light reflections on the case sides highlight the elegant profile of the Oyster case, which is made from Oystersteel. Measuring 41mm or 36mm respectively, it is fitted with a domed bezel.

Oyster Perpetual 36 with coral red dial

In a very daring move, the Oyster Perpetual 36 unveils lacquer dials in five new colours: candy pink, turquoise blue, yellow, coral red and green.

One version of the Oyster Perpetual 41 has a novel configuration: its silver, sunray-finish dial is graced with hands and hour markers in 18ct yellow gold. A second version is introduced with a bright black sunray-finish dial, and hands and hour markers in 18ct white gold.

The Oyster Perpetual 41 and the new versions of the Oyster Perpetual 36 are equipped with calibre 3230.

Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller

With family and friends living all over the world, the elegant Sky-Dweller is a must-have watch as it displays the time in two time zones simultaneously and has an annual calendar, so you will never wake up a loved one in the mid- dle of the night.

Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller in 18ct yellow gold

The 24-hour format is shown via an off-centre disc, and the local time is read using conventional centre hands. The annual calendar, named Saros, automatically differentiates between 30- and 31-day months. It is operated by a patented mechanism and stands out for its innovative display: the months of the year are indicated in 12 apertures around the circumference of the dial, with the current month marked in red. The instantaneous date change is linked to the local time.

The Sky-Dweller includes the Ring Command system, an interface between the rotatable bezel, winding crown and movement that allows the wearer to select and set the timepiece’s functions one by one, easily, quickly and securely.

The new collection is presented in 18ct yellow gold version of its Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller, fitted with an Oysterflex bracelet. The watch is the first in the Classic category to include this innovative bracelet made of high-performance elastomer. It also features a bright black, sunray-finish dial with hands and hour markers in 18ct yellow gold. The light reflections on the case sides and lugs highlight the refined profile of the 42mm Oyster case.

Also present is the fluted, rotatable bezel unique to the Sky-Dweller, which is used to set the watch in conjunction with the Ring Command system. It also has a Chromalight display: the hands and hour markers are coated or filled with a luminescent material that emits a long-lasting blue glow in dark conditions.

This new version of the Sky-Dweller is equipped with calibre 9001, a movement entirely developed and manufacured by Rolex. With multiple patents filed, this mechanical, self-winding movement is one of the most complex calibres created by Rolex.

Calibre 9001 has a blue Parachrom hairspring manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The blue Parachrom hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibre’s regularity in any position. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and -patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movement’s shock resistance.

Calibre 9001 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor and offers a power reserve of approximately 72 hours.

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