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What You Ought To Know About The Rolex Sky-Dweller

What You Ought To Know About The Rolex Sky-Dweller

Rolex Sky-Dweller Info


The Sky-Dweller is Rolex’s newest model and one of their most complicated watches. And while the Sky-Dweller has a short history, it has quickly landed among the brand’s most sought after watches. Because of this, people have a lot of questions about it. This post is here to give you all the answers. We are going to run through everything you need to know about the Rolex Sky-Dweller. 


The Rolex Sky-Dweller was released at Baselworld in 2012. It was the most highly anticipated watch that year. People got word that Rolex was going to unveil a completely new collection of watches, as they had registered the name “Sky-Dweller” weeks prior. Watch experts and collectors alike buzzed on the internet about what they thought the watch would be and how it would look. Most people thought it was going to be a more advanced version of the GMT-Master pilot watch, similar to how the Sea-Dweller is like the brawnier Submariner. 

While people had a general idea, they were still not exactly sure what the Sky-Dweller would be.

On the first day of Baselworld, Rolex introduced the first new Rolex model in 20 years – the Sky-Dweller.

Now, the watch was indeed a pilot watch. After all, its name is the Sky-Dweller. So, the people were right in that regard. But this innovative watch was something much different than anyone could have envisioned. Not to mention, the complications were incredibly unique. 

People were expecting a sports watch, and while it technically is, it looked a lot more like a Day-Date. This is because it had the dressy fluted bezel. Moreover, it was only available in precious metal!

What did stand out as completely unique was the “strange”, off-centered disc in the dial and the small rectangular apertures above each hour.

When Rolex explained the functions of the dual time zone and annual calendar, people loved it.  

All in all, the reception for the Sky-Dweller was fantastic. Now that we look back, we can see it was an instant classic. The world’s biggest celebrities and watch collectors alike all want the Rolex Sky-Dweller

About the Rolex Sky-Dweller


Since it’s release in 2012, eight Sky-Dweller references have been made, some of which are now discontinued. Let’s run you through all the different Rolex Sky-Dweller models. 


The initial launch saw three Sky-Dweller references. There was the yellow gold Sky-Dweller with a matching yellow gold matching yellow gold Oyster bracelet and a champagne dial, the white gold Sky-Dweller with a matching white gold Oyster bracelet and an off-colored white dial, and the Everose gold (Rolex’s proprietary rose gold alloy) with a brown leather strap and a chocolate dial. These first models used a black colored indicator for the annual calendar. 


In 2014, Rolex put out three more Sky-Dweller references. They introduced a yellow gold Sky-Dweller with a brown leather strap, a white gold Sky-Dweller with a black leather strap, and an Everose gold Sky-Dweller with a matching rose gold Oyster bracelet. These newer models used red as the indicator of the annual calendar.

With these new models, you could now get a Sky-Dweller in any color of gold with either a bracelet or strap and Roman numerals or Arabic numerals. 


Then, a few years later, at Baselworld 2017, Rolex gave the world another surprise in the form of the Sky-Dweller. They put out two new Sky-Dwellers that incorporated steel into the design, bringing the entry price point of the Sky-Dweller down significantly. 

The first of the two new Sky-Dweller was a two-tone yellow gold and stainless steel version, known as the Yellow Rolesor. It has a stainless steel case, yellow gold fluted bezel, yellow gold winding crown, and an Oyster bracelet with yellow gold center links and stainless steel end links. 

The second new Sky-Dweller used even more steel. It’s a white Rolesor, which means it uses both white gold and stainless steel. However, this watch is mainly steel, as the only white gold on it is the fluted bezel. This particular model became the least expensive option. Moreover, it came in a variety of dial colors, such as blue (now the most coveted and nearly impossible to buy new without waiting years), white, and black.

Both of the Rolesor Sky-Dwellers also had a slight change in the dial, as they used hour batons rather than numerals. This also made the apertures of the annual calendar smaller and square rather than rectangular. It still, of course, the “Sky-Dweller” through and through. The design and functions have all the same DNA as the previous models, which we are about to get into. But first, have a look at a clear breakdown of the various Sky-Dweller references, with dates of production included.

Rolex Sky-Dweller References:

Reference-326938: Yellow Gold Case, Yellow Gold Bracelet (2012-present)
Reference-326939: White Gold Case, White Gold Bracelet (2012-2018)
Reference-326135: Rose Gold Case, Leather Strap (2012-present)
Reference-326138: Yellow Gold Case, Leather Strap (2014-present)
Reference-326139: White Gold Case, Leather Strap (2014-2018)
Reference-326935: Rose Gold Case, Rose Gold Bracelet (2014-present)
Reference-326933: Two-Tone Yellow Gold Case & Bracelet (2017-present)
Reference-326934: Stainless Steel with White Gold Bezel, Steel Bracelet (2017-present)

As you can see, the white gold case versions of the Sky-Dweller had a short production run, but all the rest are still being produced, so they can be bought new at a Rolex authorized dealer. That said, the steel Sky-Dweller 326934 is very hard to get new. It typically has a long waiting list, with many dealers stating 2-4 years. This is why most people turn to the secondary market for steel Sky-Dwellers. 

NEW 2020 SKY-DWELLER MODELS: The new 2020 models come in yellow gold and rose gold and they have an Oysterflex bracelet!

What is the Rolex Sky-Dweller


All of the eight Sky-Dweller watches have a 42mm oyster case with a screw-down case back, which provides 100m of water resistance. They also have the scratch-resistant crystal with a cyclops date window, an annual calendar, dual time zone functionality in the off-centered disc on the dial, a Ring Command fluted bezel, Caliber 9001 movement, and the sporty Oyster bracelet furnished with a folding Oysterclasp. The clasp has an Easylink extension system, so it can adjust larger or smaller by 5mm without the need for tools.

Now, let’s talk about the more unique features, the Sky-Dwellers complications and functions. 


The Sky-Dweller is one of the most complicated watches Rolex has ever made. It is the first annual calendar by Rolex and it has a dual time zone and date function. What’s more, the bezel is a Ring Command Bezel, which means it works with the movement to control the functions of the watch. 

Let’s go over each complication individually and then we will talk about the Ring Command Bezel and Calibre 9001 movement. 

Annual Calendar 

The annual calendar complication on the Sky-Dweller is very unique. It is displayed above each of the hour markers. As there are 12 months in a year and 12 hour markers on a watch, Rolex decided to use the hour markers to indicate the month of the year. So, 1 o’clock is January, 2 o’clock is February, and so on and so forth. To read it is very simple, wherever the red (or black on the oldest models) marker is, that’s the month. 

While simple in use, it is quite a complex creation. The creation of the annual calendar is based on a mechanism called SAROS. The name SAROS is a Greek word that represents the 18-year cycle between the sun, earth and moon, which is responsible for the lunar and solar eclipses. 

The Sky-Dwellers annual calendar mechanism uses a fixed planetary gear wheel (consider this the “Sun”) at the center of the movement. A satellite wheel (i.e. the Earth) acts with the planetary wheel month by month, and this is moved by the date disc. Where it gets really complicated is that certain months have less days. For this, the satellite wheel is fitted with a four-finger piece (the moon). On months with 30 days, on the 30th day of the month, the satellite finger receives an added impulse to jump two days. Thus, the aperture will always indicate the correct month. 

Dual Time Zone

The Sky-Dweller has a dual time zone, which is found right at the center of the dial. The disc has a 24 hour scale. As time moves, the disc rotates, and the red arrow indicates the time in the second time zone. 

The local time is represented as usual, with the center hands. And thanks to the bi-directional jump-hour mechanism, changing the time will not effect the seconds or reference time. 


The date is displayed through a window at the 3 o’clock. This is nothing new. It changes within just a few milliseconds at midnight. 

Altogether, Rolex created an ultra easy-to-read, uncluttered watch with two time zones, an annual calendar, and a date display. The Sky-Dweller looks fantastic and it is extremely sophisticated. The fact that it is so simple to use is the point of just how advanced it is. 

Sky Dweller Complications


One of the most fascinating aspects of the Sky-Dweller is one that you will not notice by just looking at it. It is the Ring Command Bezel. The bezel actually allows you to set the date, local time, and reference time. It has three positions that it can rotate into, then you adjust the function via the winding crown, both forward and backward. 

The bezel is patented by Rolex. It consists of 60 individual components. At the heart of this creation is a double cam and levers that engage the numerous gear trains inside the movement. 

Overall, the fluted bezel gives off the impression of a dress watch, there simply for aesthetics, but is in in fact the functionality of it all. This is an exquisitely clever touch by Rolex and arguably the most spectacular feature of the Sky-Dweller.


The Calibre 9001 movement is entirely new to the Sky-Dweller. The movement is so complicated it has seven patents on it! As you’d expect, it is COSC certified. It has a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour, a parachrom hairspring, paraflex shock absorbers, and large variable inertia balance wheel. What’s more, it has a very powerful power reserve, a whopping 72 hours.

All in all, the calibre 9001 movement is one of the most robust and precise movements in all of watchmaking. 


For new Sky-Dwellers, the price ranges from $16,500-$52,000. The new 2020 Sky-Dweller models with the Oysterflex bracelet are $44,000. 

While the entry point is $16,500 for the Steel Rolesor Sky-Dweller, it is nearly impossible to get by just walking into an authorized Rolex dealer. The watch has a waiting list of 2-4 years.

Because of this, the vast majority of people turn to the secondary market, where the watches are around 30-60% more than new. So you can expect to pay a minimum of $20,000 for any of the reference 326934 models.

If you go for the precious metal options, the secondhand market makes the most sense too. As you can save thousands of dollars for a pre-owned gold Sky-Dweller while also retaining all of its value.

Shop Pre-owned Rolex Sky-Dwellers

skydweller references


The world’s most influential people have taken a strong liking towards the Sky-Dweller. The incredibly eye-catching, dressy yet sporty, sizable Sky-Dweller can be found on the wrists of celebrities like Lebron James, Connor McGregor, Jay-Z, Roger Federer, Nicolas Cage, Demarcus Ware, Andre Iguodala, Christiano Ronaldo, and many more. 

It is a very suitable watch for larger framed people too, as it is 42mm, which is why pro-athletes seem to be gravitating to the Sky-Dweller.

If you love the Sky-Dweller, you can make it yours by shopping with Diamonds By Raymond Lee.

Have more questions about the Sky Dweller? Contact us now

See the first fully iced out white gold Sky-Dweller

Rolex Skydweller Prices


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