As part of its high-profile 2020 rollout last week, Rolex has extended its basic three-hand Oyster Perpetual series, introducing a new model in a larger case diameter, as well as refreshing its 36-mm models with new dials in vivid colorways, all housed in cases made from Oystersteel.
The new references are direct descendants of the first watch called “Oyster” in 1926, renowned as Rolex’s first waterproof wristwatch. They feature the fundamental characteristics of the modern-day Oyster Perpetual collection, including the waterproof case from which it derives the “Oyster” name and a self-winding movement, activated via the “Perpetual” rotor.
The Oyster Perpetual 41-mm-diameter model comes in two dial options. One has a silver-colored, sunray-finish dial with hands and hour markers in 18k yellow gold; the other features a black sunray-finish dial with hands and hour markers in 18k white gold. In its 36-mm iteration, the Oyster Perpetual offers lacquer dials in five new colorways: candy pink, turquoise blue, yellow, coral red, and green. Both the 41-mm and 36-mm watches have hands and hour markers treated with Rolex’s proprietary Chromalight, a luminescent material that projects a long-lasting, blue-tinted glow for easy reading in the dark. The Oystersteel used for the case, hands, bracelet, and other elements, is an alloy which belongs to the 904L steel family, commonly used in the aerospace industry for its anti-corrosion properties.
Both the 41-mm and 36-mm model come in cases waterproof to a depth of 100 meters (330 feet). The Oystersteel case is securely sealed with a screw-down caseback with subtle fluting along its edges. It is locked into place using a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The Twinlock winding crown is fitted with a double-waterproof system and screwed down securely against the case. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protect the case and the dial.
Inside both the 41-mm and 36-mm cases is the new, in-house manufacture Caliber 3230. The movement, which Rolex unveiled this year, includes the patented Chronenergy escapement made of nickel-phosphorus. The self-winding movement is fitted with a hairspring made of blue Parachrom, which, according to Rolex, is a paramagnetic alloy that is 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring; this spring’s overcoil regulates the movement in any position. The Paraflex shock absorbers built into the oscillator make the movement more resistant to shocks. The “Perpetual” rotor helps the watch amass an impressive power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
The Oyster Perpetual models come fitted on a three-link Oystersteel bracelet, whose top links are satin-finished and its side links polished. It uses Rolex’s folding Oysterclasp and Easylink comfort extension link, allowing the wearer to adjust the bracelet by approximately 5 mm.
The refreshed Oyster Perpetual models meet Rolex’s Superlative Chronometer Certification — redefined by Rolex in 2015 — which requires each fully assembled timepiece to undergo a series of tests that include testing its performance and precision on the wrist, its power reserve, its water resistance, and its movement’s self-winding capabilities. Each watch must meet the criteria of accuracy to -2/+2 seconds per day or more to be titled an official “Superlative Chronometer.”
|Reference Number:||124300, 126000|
|Movement:||Rolex Caliber 3230, automatic, with paramagnetic blue parachrom hairspring, bidirectional self-winding, perpetual rotor, approx. power reserve of 70 hours|
|Functions:||Hour, minute, seconds (with stop-seconds function)|
|Case:||Oystersteel case, screw-down crown, Twinlock water-proof system, water-resistan to 100 meters (300 feet)|
|Bracelet & Clasp:||Oystersteel bracelet, three-piece link, Oysterclasp, Easylink|
|Dimensions:||Diameter = 41 mm|
Diameter = 36 mm
|Price:||$5,900 – $5,600|