A rare and collectible ‘White Rolesor’ stainless-steel and white gold annual calendar and second time zone wristwatch of the famous Swiss watch brand Rolex, founded in 1905. Estimated production period: 2017–2022. Case in stainless steel, diameter 42mm, 14.1mm thick, 18k white gold fluted bezel, solid steel screwed-down caseback, Cyclops magnifying lens on sapphire crystal over date window at 3 o’clock, screwed-down coronet-signed Twinlock winding crown. ‘Intense White’ dial with applied Chromalight luminous white gold baton hour markers, skeleton luminous white gold baton hands. Caliber 9001, self-winding, power reserve of up to 72 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours, minutes and seconds, off-centre 24-hour second time zone annular indicator, annual calendar with date aperture at 3 o’clock and month indication in one of 12 apertures around the dial (January at 1 o’clock, February at 2 o’clock, etc.). Integral stainless steel three-link Oyster bracelet with Easylink extension link, and Oysterclasp double folding security clasp.
At its launch in 2012, the Sky-Dweller was touted as the most sophisticated Rolex watch in terms of horological complications. A new caliber 9001 was developed for this watch, in which the indication of the annual calendar and second time zone was supplemented by an ingenious method of control from the crown and the rotating bezel, referred to by the brand as the Rolex Ring Command bezel. It was the second iteration of the Rolex smart bezel, following the Yacht-Master II watch. At first, Rolex offered only gold Sky-Dweller models in three shades – together with three new references, added to the collection in 2014. In 2017, Rolex launched two more accessible Rolesor models, in stainless steel with 18k gold, the ‘Yellow Rolesor’ and ‘White Rolesor’. The introduction of the Rolesor version has undoubtedly fuelled demand as it is much more accessible compared to the solid gold references, especially the ‘White Rolesor’ references, featuring almost all of its external components in 904L stainless steel, with only the fluted bezel and applied indexes of the dial and hands in white gold.
Experts believe that this is the most complex mechanical wristwatch in the history of Rolex, which gives it an incredibly valuable status.
The ‘White Rolesor’ was offered in two versions, the present ‘Double White’ with an ‘Intense White’ dial and ‘Blue and White’ with a solarized blue dial, both on an Oyster bracelet. Later, in 2021, the Sky-Dweller Rolesors received the option of a Jubilee bracelet, originally designed specifically for the Datejust watches. The popularity of the Sky-Dweller Rolesors was also boosted by a change in dial design, mostly manifested in the appearance of the wide baton-shaped applied indexes in white gold, filled with Rolex’s Chromalight lumi, replacing the Roman and Arabic numerals of earlier releases. Currently, all Sky-Dweller references are equipped with dials of the modernised design. It is clear and lucid, and completed in the spirit of Rolex instrumental watches. We also noticed that during its production span the lettering on the 24-hour sub-dial has changed typography. This is noticeable in the relative position of the letters, in the “R” letter shape in “Sky-Dweller”. There is especially noticeable the “O” letters shape in “Oyster”, “Chromometer” and “Officially”, which may be depicted as the “0” digit as it was in the early versions from 2012, or as a smooth elliptical shape in later releases, as in the present example. However, we believe it is too early to catalogue these varieties as the Sky-Dweller collection is far from being established. There is also no information on whether the caliber 9001 has been upgraded or not since 2012. In any case, the process of researching the Sky-Dweller, as well as collecting it, is very promising, exciting and attractive.
Since the production of this reference is still ongoing, this watch can be considered a pleasant everyday companion, relevant, extraordinary and impressive.
Reasons to bid
The Sky-Dweller Ref. 326934-001 ‘Double White’ would be a desirable purchase for the collector looking to obtain a rare and collectible annual calendar and second time zone wristwatch from a legendary watch brand. Moreover, experts believe that this is the most complex mechanical wristwatch in the history of Rolex, which gives it an incredibly valuable status. The Sky-Dweller, with an in-house caliber 9001, represents one of the latest chapters of the impressive history of Rolex watches, featuring the first and to date only annual calendar complication developed by the venerable brand. Due to the impressive double-white execution with an ‘Intense White’ dial and ‘White Rolesor’ metal combination, the present lot acquires a neat, clear, lucid and charismatic character, which makes it even more attractive.