Rolex Oyster Perpetual is one of the world’s most iconic watches with a history like no other. It started life in 1926 as the Oyster, the world’s first waterproof watch. The hermetically sealed case system — that Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf invented — consisted of the screwed-down bezel, case back, and a winding crown. By the 1930s, the frequent unscrewing of the crown every time it had to be wound was creating problems for the waterproofing of the watch. To get around this, Rolex invented the world’s first self-winding mechanism with a free rotor. The watch was named Oyster Perpetual. In 1945 came a date indication, and the birth of Oyster Perpetual Datejust. A cyclops lens above the date led to Oyster Perpetual Day-Date, in 1956.
It was followed by the Oyster Perpetual Submariner, created for professional divers who wanted a watch that could work at a depth of 200 metres, and Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master for pilots and businessmen who travelled across time zones. 1967 saw the launch of the Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller, with its pioneering helium escape valve that allowed it to be waterproof to 610 metres. Since then, the collection has undergone periodic iterations in keeping with technological advancement and changing tastes. The new Oyster Perpetual collection that was launched worldwide on September 1 sees the redesigned version of many of the models. Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date are presented in slightly larger 41 mm cases, and a bracelet with a broader centre link. It comes in three versions — Oystersteel, Rolesor (a combination of Oystersteel and 18K yellow gold) and 18K white gold. The dials are in black and blue, with cerachrom bezel inserts in green and blue. While the Submariner is equipped with the recently launched calibre 3230, Submariner Date is fitted with calibre 3235. Both have a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
Oyster Perpetual 41 is a new addition to the Oyster Perpetual range. The watch is in Oystersteel, with the sunray-finish dials either in silver or bright black. The hour markers also come in two versions, retro-style 18K yellow gold, and in 18K white gold. For those with a playful side, the watch is also presented in lacquer dials in five original colours — candy pink, turquoise blue, yellow, coral red, and green. All are equipped with the calibre 3230 movement, with a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. They are fitted with Oyster bracelets that feature the Oysterclasp with the Easylink comfort extension system. The new Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller is in 18K yellow gold with a bright black, sunray-finish dial, and a high-performance elastomer bracelet with an Oysterclasp and the Rolex Glidelock extension system. It is powered by calibre 9001, one of the most complex movements to be developed, and manufactured by Rolex, with a power reserve of approximately 72 hours. The 2020 Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31 is in white Rolesor. It comes in four different versions. The first features a diamond-set bezel with an aubergine, sunray-finish dial with 18K white gold Roman numerals, VI being presented in 11 diamonds. The three other versions — all with a fluted bezel — are fitted with mint green, sunray-finish dial, a white lacquer dial, and a dark grey, sunray-finish dial, respectively. The watches are powered by calibre 2236 with a power reserve of approximately 55 hours.