Best Swiss watches

Rolex Sky-Dweller: Synthetic Strap, Cal 9001 Movement

The word from Rolex on the new Sky-Dweller. Do you want a synthetic bracelet on your Rolex, or prefer a stainless steel one? Just curious that’s all.

Rolex is presenting a new 18 ct yellow gold version of its Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller, fitted with an Oysterflex bracelet. The watch is the first in the Classic category to include this innovative bracelet made of high-performance elastomer. It also features a bright black, sunray-finish dial with hands and hour markers in 18 ct yellow gold. The light reflections on the case sides and lugs highlight the refined profile of the 42 mm Oyster case.

An elegant watch for frequent travellers, the Sky-Dweller displays the time in two time zones simultaneously and has an annual calendar. The reference time, in 24-hour format, is shown via an off-centre disc, and the local time is read using conventional centre hands. The annual calendar, named Saros, automatically differentiates between 30- and 31-day months. It is operated by a patented mechanism and stands out for its innovative display: the months of the year are indicated in 12 apertures around the circumference of the dial, with the current month marked in red. The instantaneous date change is linked to the local time.

The Sky-Dweller includes the Ring Command system, an interface between the rotatable bezel, winding crown and movement that allows the wearer to select and set the timepiece’s functions one by one, easily, quickly and securely.

YES IT IS WATERPROOF, NATURALLY

A paragon of robustness and reliability, the Oyster case of the Sky-Dweller is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet). The middle case is crafted from a solid piece of 18 ct yellow gold. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down. The Twinlock winding crown, fitted with a double waterproof system, screws down securely against the case. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire ( says Rolex) and is fitted with the famous Cyclops magnifying lens at 3 o’clock for easier reading of the date.

new Rolex Sky-dweller specs

CAL.9001 IS SOMETHING SPECIAL

This new version of the Sky-Dweller is equipped with calibre 9001, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. With multiple patents filed, this mechanical, self-winding movement is one of the most complex calibres created by the brand. Its architecture, manufacturing and innovative features make it exceptionally precise and reliable.

What I like about this movement, which was launched by Rolex in 2012 is that it kinda follows the genius of the Greek Antikythera mechanism, or the Orerry, which is an 18th century gadget that showed the movements of the planets to budding scientists. Both the Greek solar clock and the Orerry used precision cut gears to move the planets and moon in a predictable orbit. Now, the Saros system in the Cal. 9001 does much the same with months and the day/date flickover feature. It’s like there’s a planetary wheel moving next to the bezel, just under the dial plate, if you can visualise that.

So the Sky-Dweller knows when there’s a 30 day month, plus shows the month, and the time zone elsewhere like a GMT watch – but without the 4th hand. Clever eh?

Check this Clickspring reconstruction of the Antikythera clock here. It is mind-blowing.

More info from Rolex in this pdf by the way.

Calibre 9001 has a blue Parachrom hairspring manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The blue Parachrom hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibre’s regularity in any position. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and -patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movement’s shock resistance.

Calibre 9001 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor and offers a power reserve of approximately 72 hours.

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