The Sky-Dweller Blue Dial (Reference 326934) is having a major moment. We’re talking waitlists that span years. There are several reasons we can think of right off the bat– the striking blue color against oyster steel and white gold, accessibility like never before, and the sophisticated functionality it brings to the wrist.
Blue has always done well with the Rolex brand, but it’s become an increasingly popular color over the last few years. Varying blue hues have shown up on Submariners, Datejusts, and Yacht-Masters. There’s just something extra special about this Sky-Dweller blue dial.
Before we get to why this particular watch so in demand, let’s look at the Sky-Dweller’s past.
History of the Sky-Dweller
The Sky-Dweller is the newest series from Rolex, originally released in 2012. It’s basically meant to be a watch for frequent world travelers that need an easy, functional, and stylish way to keep track of times in two different time zones.
But the release came as a surprise to most Rolex speculators. They imagined a more refined GMT-Master, not a prestigious trio of luxury travel watches.
The Sky-Dweller was first released in a series of precious metals– 18k yellow, white, and Everose gold matching dials and cases. It retailed for over $35,000, therefore catering to only elite Rolex collectors.
It was no doubt the most complicated Rolex model of its time. The Caliber 9001 is made up of 380 separate components and is protected by seven patents.
The Sky-Dweller has a 12-month calendar around the hour marks, as well as an off-center circle that displays a second time zone.
Rolex named this complex calendar system SAROS, after the astronomical term used to predict solar and lunar eclipses. It ensures the annual calendar compensates for the differing number of days in various months, meaning wearers only need to manually adjust their watch once every year, at the end of February.
How to read the month: There is a small aperture above each hour index, which corresponds to its same numbered month (the eight o’clock denotes August, nine o’clock is September, etc.) The SAROS simply fills in one of the windows in a different color to indicate the current month.
How to read the times: The dual time zone feature was a completely new way of doing things. Earlier GMT models use a fourth hand to point out the correct time on an engraved bezel, whereas the Sky-Dweller has the disc printed with a 24-hour scale. An inverted triangle at the top indicates the hour back home (or the primary time), while the local time is read normally.
More Sky-Dweller varieties were released in 2014, while still in precious metal form. The white gold watch had a black satin face with contrasting GMT disc, the yellow gold is fitted with a silver dial, and the Everose retains the same deep chocolate as before.
Finally in 2017, Rolex introduced more accessible versions featuring stainless steel. This release showcased the Oystersteel and white gold combo paired with white, black, or blue dials. Yep- the same Sky-Dweller blue dial everyone’s crazy about.
Why the Sky-Dweller Blue Dial is Hot
Back to why the blue dial has been blowing up lately. First of all, the accessibility factor is key. Stainless steel opened up an entirely new Sky-Dweller market. That in itself skyrocketed its popularity.
Secondly, when you stand the three Oystersteel dial combos next to one other, the blue dial gives us all the feels. It’s inviting, soothing to the eye, and provides a pop of interest. Whereas the white dial is a bit too stark, and the black version feels dull and easy to over look (at least compared to its blue counterpart).
Lastly, that specific shade of blue has been popping up on several Rolex models in previous years: the Datejust 126334 and the Yacht-Master 116622 to name a few. It’s a vibrant shade of blue that’s not too bright, nor too dark. It’s just right.
Final Thoughts on the Sky-Dweller Blue Dial
We can’t get enough of this model really. It’s a perfect daily wear watch that can just as easily be worn with dressier attire should the occasion arise. The shade of blue pops on the wrist, and we’re sure to see this color show up on other models.
If you come across one, don’t pass on it!
Oyster, 42 mm, steel and white gold
Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown
White Rolesor – combination of 904L steel and 18 ct white gold
Fluted, bidirectional rotatable Rolex Ring Command
Screw-down, Twinlock double waterproofness system
Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Waterproof to 100 metres / 330 feet
Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding, dual time zones, annual calendar
9001, Manufacture Rolex
Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. 24-hour display on off-centre disc. Second time zone. Instantaneous annual calendar at 3 o’clock and rapid-setting of the date. Month display via 12 apertures around the circumference of the dial. Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers
Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor
Approximately 72 hours
Oyster, flat three-piece links
Folding Oysterclasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link
Highly legible Chromalight display with long-lasting blue luminescence
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