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The More Affordable Rolex Sky-Dweller in Steel
The More Affordable Rolex Sky-Dweller in Steel

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.

The More Affordable Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 in Stainless Steel
The More Affordable Rolex Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 in Stainless Steel

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.

The Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 comes with a steel Oyster bracelet
The Sky-Dweller ref. 326934 comes with a steel Oyster bracelet

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.

The More Affordable Rolex Sky-Dweller in Steel
The More Affordable Rolex Sky-Dweller in Steel

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!

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.