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Borrowing famous design details from iconic dress watches like the Datejust and the Day-Date but furnished with a high-complication mechanical movement, the Sky-Dweller is one of Rolex’s most impressive timepieces developed in the modern era. And out of all the material options available within the collection, the full yellow gold Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326938 with a matching champagne dial is the most classic choice. 

Yellow Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller 326938
Yellow Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller 326938

Rolex’s First Annual Calendar Watch

Fitted with a Saros annual calendar, the Sky-Dweller collection made its debut in 2012 as Rolex’s first annual calendar watch. An annual calendar watch automatically distinguishes between months with 30 and 31 days. Therefore, as its name implies, an annual calendar watch only requires one date adjustment per year, on March 1st, due to February’s fewer days. As is customary with Rolex watches, the Sky-Dweller indicates the date via a window at 3 o’clock accompanied by a Cyclops magnification lens protruding from the sapphire crystal above it. Furthermore, the dial of the Sky-Dweller also includes 12 apertures adjacent to the hour markers, which turns into another color depending on the month. For instance, the window next to 1 changes color when it’s January, the window next to 2 when it’s February, the window next to 3 when it’s March, and so on.  

Yellow Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller 326938
The black-colored window at 1 o’clock indicates it is January

As if the Saros annual calendar function wasn’t impressive enough, Rolex also equipped the Sky-Dweller with a second time zone display. The second time zone, also known as the reference time, is indicated via a rotating off-center disc on the dial, marked to 24-hours. An inverted triangle positioned just above the disc points to the hour in the second time zone.

What’s more, not only is the Sky-Dweller a dual time watch, but it is also, in fact, a “true GMT” watch, meaning that the local hour hand positioned at the center of the dial can jump back and forth in one-hour increments without disturbing the rest of the timepiece. Therefore, if you’re flying to another time zone, you simply have to adjust the local hour hand to the correct hour, while the minute hand and reference hour stay the same. Setting the reference hour to home time and having the ability to easily change the local hour hand is a feature that is particularly practical for frequent travelers who are constantly flying to different time zones.

Yellow Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller 326938
Turning the fluted bezel of the Sky-Dweller flips through the functions to adjust

The Sky-Dweller runs on Rolex’s in-house Caliber 9001 automatic movement, specifically developed for this watch. Also notable is that the rotatable fluted bezel, dubbed the Ring Command, is not just decorative, but turning it allows you to select which function of the watch to adjust via the winding crown. Highly complicated to make but exquisitely easy to use, the chronometer-certified Caliber 9001 is one of the most complex calibers ever created by Rolex.

Rolex Sky-Dweller 326938

The Rolex Sky-Dweller 326938 is the full yellow gold version of the watch, complete with a yellow gold 42mm Oyster case and a matching yellow gold three-link Oyster bracelet. Similar to all modern Rolex dress watches, the Sky-Dweller’s Oyster case is water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet) thanks in part to the screw-down winding crown and screw-down fluted cashback.

The solid yellow gold Oyster bracelet has an Easylink extension system

Also, the new-generation Oyster bracelet of the Sky-Dweller is fitted with a folding Oysterclasp equipped with the Easylink 5mm comfort extension link to permit micro-adjustments for a more comfortable fit without any tools. 

Completing the precious metal monochromatic style is the champagne dial, accented with yellow gold applied Arabic numerals for the hour markers and a trio of yellow gold hands at the center. The only pops of color on the dial are the red inverted triangle to indicate reference time and the red-filled window to indicate the current month. 

The Sky-Dweller 326938 sports a 42mm Oyster case in yellow gold

The Sky-Dweller has a notable list of superlatives to its name among the lauded lineup of Rolex watches. It is the newest entirely new model created by Rolex, it is one of the most complex developed by the brand, and it is the largest among the companies’ dress watches. Couple that with the watch’s striking yellow gold construction and the model’s practical features, and it’s no wonder that the Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326938 is the ultimate traveler’s luxury watch.  

Written by

Celine Simon

Celine is a freelance luxury watch writer who has enjoyed working in the horology industry for over ten years. Like many of the high-end timepieces she writes about, she comes from Switzerland—the heart of fine watchmaking. From Singapore to Montreal to Geneva to Dubai, Celine has lived all over the world but now calls Southern California home.