Right off the bat, when we say the affordable Rolex Sky-Dweller, there’s some much-needed context here. While most would consider a watch with a five-figure price tag the complete opposite of affordable, compared to its full gold counterparts, the new stainless steel Sky-Dweller is indeed the less expensive alternative. How new is the stainless steel Sky-Dweller you ask? It’s a newbie in Rolex’s collection, having made its debut just last year. Let’s find out more.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller’s Beginnings
Rolex introduced the very first Sky-Dweller models back in 2012, making this the newest collection from the Swiss watchmaking giant. Thanks to their unique design, larger size, and complex movement within, the Sky-Dweller was unlike any other Rolex watch ever made.
The Sky-Dweller flaunts a 42mm Oyster case topped with a fluted bezel. There’s also the intricate dial that tells the user the local time via the center hands, an additional time zone via the 24-hour ring, the month via the 12 boxes placed just outside the indexes, and the date via the aperture at 3 o’clock.
For the first five years of the Sky-Dweller’s existence, the model was exclusively made in gold. Options include the yellow gold Sky-Dweller, the white gold Sky-Dweller, and the rose gold Sky-Dweller. Plus, there’s also a choice of full gold Oyster bracelets or leather straps.
Due to the watch’s size and use of precious metals, the Sky-Dweller was also one of the most expensive modern Rolex watches available with prices starting above $37,000. However, in 2017 that all changed with the introduction of two new Sky-Dweller models.
Rolex Drops the Entry Point Price of the Sky-Dweller
At Baselworld 2017, Rolex unveiled two new models to join the Sky-Dweller lineup–a stainless steel Sky-Dweller and a two-tone steel and yellow gold Sky-Dweller. As expected, the use of stainless steel drastically reduced the entry price point of the Sky-Dweller collection, making the modern Rolex annual calendar more accessible to a wider audience.
Just like its siblings, the stainless steel Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 has a 42mm Oyster case, water resistant to 330 feet (100 meters) thanks in part to the Twinlock screw-down winding crown and screw-down fluted caseback.. Fitted on that case is an 18k white gold fluted bezel while the dial is a rich black color. The new steel Sky-Dweller is available with a white dial or blue dial too. However, the black dial sets the perfect background for the lumed filled white gold baton indexes, white numerals on the 24-hour display, white date window, and luminescent center hands.
Along with the stainless steel case, there’s, of course, the steel Oyster bracelet. The bracelet comes equipped with a folding Oysterclasp with the useful Easylink 5mm extension system for those days when you want a looser fit.
Identical to all Sky-Dweller models, the new Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 runs on the in-house Rolex Cal. 9001 automatic movement with a 72-hour power reserve. Also, because this model was manufactured after 2015, the Sky-Dweller ref. 326943 boasts the new Rolex accuracy rating of -2/+2 seconds per day.
The Affordable Sky-Dweller ref. 326934
As the full gold Sky-Dweller watches hover around the $50,000 price mark, the well under $20,000 stainless steel model is most definitely the more affordable Rolex Sky-Dweller in context.
While there are some Rolex collections, like the Day-Date President and the ladies’ Pearlmaster, that are exclusively available in precious metals, we do welcome the stainless steel (and two-tone) versions of the Sky-Dweller to the collection.
Steel is a good choice for a watch like the Sky-Dweller traveler’s watch and judging by its current popularity in the market, Rolex fans are happy about the new editions too!