Not a reworked edition of a GMT, not a slightly redesigned Sea-Dweller, neither another Explorer. No, the Sky-Dweller is totally new, but still it is a Swiss Rolex from head to toe. Something else to mention is that the “Sky” was the most complicated Rolex to date, not only because of its display but mainly from a user point of view.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller is also Rolex’ vision of a complicated watch… and it is actually a very complicated watch. The “Sky” is, like most watches from the Oyster collection, a tool made to simplify your life, to help you in certain conditions. A Submariner or a Sea-Dweller help divers to practice their sport, a GMT-Master helps pilots while crossing several time-zones and a Yacht-Master II helps sailors to start their regattas at the right moment. The Sky-Dweller will be the perfect companion for travelers.
The display of the Rolex Sky-Dweller can be divided in 3 areas: local-time, home-time (also called reference-time) and calendar information. The first area is the most common: the local-time, meaning the actual time in the place where you are. It is displayed by the 3 hands on the central axis (hours, minutes and seconds). The second area is the home / reference time. Usually, Rolex displays a second time-zone via a GMT hand and a 24-hour bezel (like in the GMT-Master).
Then comes the third area of this dial: the calendar functions. The Rolex Sky-Dweller features a complicated annual calendar, displayed in a very convenient and practical way. Instead of a ‘packed’ dial with sub-counters (for the date, the day of the week and the month, like we see on most annual calendars), Rolex chose to make things natural and clean. This annual calendar is composed first of a date window, positioned at 3 and of 12 small apertures around the dial, next to the applied hour indices, to display the month. 12 Hours on a dial, 12 months in a year… Why not blending them to make things easier to read. The month is simply indicated in by contrasting colour in the month’s aperture. The black dial edition is adjusted to July (the 7th month of the year) and that the Everose gold edition is adjusted to June (the 6th month of the year). Quite easy and very intuitive.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller is powered by a specific movement, developed especially for this watch: the Calibre 9001. It is one of the most complicated movements that Rolex ever developed (together with the Calibre 4161 of the Yacht-Master II, also mixing this Ring Command Bezel, with a chronograph movement). It is of course chronometer certified by COSC, it boasts 72 hours of power reserve, it features the Paraflex shock absorbers, a large variable inertia balance wheel and the blue Parachrom hairspring (antimagnetic). And even with the Ring Command Bezel and the SAROS (annual calendar) mechanism, it is built to last a lifetime.