We’ve added a gorgeous timepiece to our sweeping collection of watches at Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton, it is an 18K white gold Rolex Sky-Dweller, reference 326939. In honor of this exquisite, dressy yet sporty Rolex, we’ve decided to do a thorough review of it and tell you everything you need to know about the Sky-Dweller collection, Rolex’s most recently developed line of watches.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller collection debuted at Baselworld back in 2012. It was the first new model that Rolex introduced in 20 years. It was also one of Rolex’s most expensive collections to date. The Sky-Dweller marveled the industry and immediately become a “magnum opus” among watch collectors around the world. It’s one of the few watches in history that we can confidently say was an instant classic. Demand rapidly spiked upon its release, leaving the heavily priced Sky-Dweller nearly impossible to acquire.
The production of the original Sky-Dweller began in 2012 and it comprised three different references.
- Reference 326938: Yellow gold case & bracelet, champagne dial & Arabic numerals.
- Ref. 326135: Rose gold (Everose) case & brown leather strap, brown dial & Arabic numerals.
- Ref. 326939: White gold case & bracelet, white dial & Roman numerals – This is the Rolex Sky-Dweller we are featuring in this article.
Out of those three references, two are still in production and one was discontinued in 2018. The White Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller, reference 326939, was the model that was discontinued.
In 2014, Rolex released three new references to the Sky-Dweller line.
- Reference 326138: Yellow gold case & brown leather strap, champagne dial & Roman numerals.
- Ref. 326935: Rose gold case & bracelet, rose dial & Roman numerals.
- Ref. 326139: White gold case & black leather strap, black dial & Arabic numerals.
Essentially, Rolex switched up design details with the previous 2012 references. Allowing for more options to choose from for each of the gold models.
As with the 2012 references, the white gold leather strap version of the Sky-Dweller was discontinued in 2018.
Then, in 2017, Rolex launched two new references, which had some more substantial changes (yet nothing that changed the overall look or functions), as well as a price tag with thousands of dollars knocked off, allowing for a lower entry point into the Sky-Dweller world.
Both of the 2017 models used a two-metals-in-one design. One of the metals being stainless steel, hence the price drop.
- Reference 326933: Two Tone (Stainless Steel + Yellow Gold) case, bezel & bracelet, and champagne dial with hour batons.
- Reference 326934: Rolesor (Stainless Steel + White Gold), and black, white or sunburst blue dial with hour batons.
Sky-Dweller Reference 326934 is harder to visibly discern the use of two metals, as both metals are white. However, it does, in fact, have a white gold bezel, and the rest of the watch is stainless steel. This model is the least expensive (albeit still one of the more expensive watches in the Rolex catalog). This is also the most coveted version of them all and it comes in various dial colors, black, white, and sunburst blue, with the latter having the longest waiting list because it is the most desirable among watch collectors.
So, out of the 8 references in the life of the Sky-Dweller, only the white gold versions cease to be produced.
Sky-Dweller watches are typically categorized by “old Sky-Dweller” (pre-2017) and “new Sky-Dweller” (post-2017), as the 2012 and 2014 models are basically the same just with some mixing up of design details, while the 2017 versions have some more distinct changes.
Old vs New Sky-Dweller
There are a few subtle design details with the new Sky-Dwellers, yet the essence of the watch is pretty much entirely the same.
What’s the same? A whole lot.
All Sky-Dwellers, both old and new, feature a large Oyster case at 42mm (the Sky-Dweller is one Rolex’s larger watches), Twinlock winding crown, 100-meter water resistance, fluted Ring Command bezel, Oyster bracelet, Oysterclasp with an Easylink 5mm extension, and Caliber 9001 movement, which includes 3 complications (the Sky-Dweller is Rolex’s most complicated watch ever).
The only differences between the old and new Sky-Dwellers are the new ones are crafted from stainless steel and the dials use hour batons instead of numerals. The hour batons do make quite a bit of difference to the look of the face for those who pay close attention to nuances. Hour batons allow for more negative space and it makes the dial a little more spacious, which a lot of people like. If you appreciate a traditional look, however, the numerals would be a more appealing option.
Another difference is the small slots above the hour markers, which is a design detail for one of the Sky-Dweller’s complications (we are going to get into this in a moment). The older versions use a larger slot for this space, while the newer versions are tiny squares that align with the width of the hour batons.
Sky-Dweller Complications & Functions
The Sky-Dweller has a wonderful set of complications that lends itself beautifully to travelers, hence the name Sky-Dweller. They have 3 complications plus a Ring Command Bezel, each of which we will run through now.
The date complication is the most obvious and simplest of the complications, but when combined with the others, it adds to the impressiveness of the mechanical engineering feat that is the Sky-Dweller.
As with the vast majority of date complications in the Rolex catalog, it shows itself through a date window at the 3 o’clock. Nothing fancy, but undeniably classic.
Dual Time Zone (GMT) Complication
Sky-Dwellers display two time zones simultaneously, and this complication uses a design that is entirely unique.
The first time zone is standard, it runs along the circumference of the dial as every watch does. It is the local time.
The second time zone, which is the reference time, is displayed using an off-centered disc at the bottom/center of the dial. It features a 24-hour reader, allowing you to distinguish from night and day. The disc rotates so where the red arrow at the top points is the time in the second time zone. The design makes it incredibly easy to catch the reference time. All you need is a swift glance.
What’s more, this GMT complication is that of a true GMT, meaning the hour hand is set from the crown and it rapidly re-sets to a new timezone without disturbing the local time zone – hours, minutes and seconds hand.
Annual Calendar Complication
This is another fantastically unique complication never before seen in this way. The annual calendar lets you know the month of the year. For the Sky-Dweller, the month is displayed around the circumference of the dial, just above the batons or numerals.
Here’s how it works…
As there are 12 months in a year, Rolex decided to use each hour marker as a month of the year…i.e. 1 o’clock is January; 2 o’clock is February, and so on…
The design makes observing the month wonderfully easy and quick. Moreover, it allows the dial to be free of “clutter”. And while it may be simple in design, it is tremendously complicated in its mechanism. That’s the beauty of this watch. It’s Rolex’s most complicated watch yet it is sublimely uncomplicated to use.
Now, let’s discuss the Ring Command Bezel, which is what controls its functions.
Ring Command Bezel & How it Works
The Ring Command bezel has 4 positions: Neutral, First Position, Second Position, and Third Position. Each position controls a different complication.
Neutral Position: When the bezel is in its neutral position, you can pull out the crown and set the local time. This can also change the date.
First Position: If you turn the bezel one click counter-clockwise, the crown will function to control the second time zone (the 24-hour off-centered disc).
Second Position: Turn the bezel another click and you can make quick hour jumps both forward and backward. This function doesn’t stop the minute hand from moving so the accuracy of the time is maintained. Every two full rotations and the date will change as well.
Third Position: The final position and last click of the bezel allows you to adjust the calendar. As you rotate the crown, you will see the red marker move around the numerals.
After you set any function you’d like, you press the crown in then rotate the bezel back to neutral and tighten the crown.
It’s simple, easy, and honestly, a lot of fun to play with. Being able to command functions from the bezel makes you feel like you are in a James Bond movie.
White Gold Rolex Sky Dweller 326939
The Rolex Sky-Dweller 326939 is a magnificently luxurious model.
Like all Sky-Dwellers, it has a 42mm Oystercase with a fluted bezel. The sheer size helps set it apart from the Day-Date, which people often say it resembles. That is, before looking at the dial carefully.
The dial of the white gold Sky-Dweller 326939 is off-white and it features classic Roman numerals with a sheen that matches the bezel. The three hour hands are also made from white gold and they are beautifully polished. The 24 hour disc is pearly white so it contrasts with the off-white dial yet still feels monochromatic. All in all, it’s a stunning dial that pulls you in with a mesmerizing effect.
The watch as a whole has a stunning luster thanks to its contrasting use of gloss and satin finishing. The center links of the solid white gold Oyster bracelet, the Oyster case and the fluted bezel are high polish and the outer links of the bracelet and lugs are brushed.
The white gold Sky-Dweller is opulent and rich in every sense of the word, yet it is much more inconspicuous than its rose and yellow gold counterparts. If you are person who prefers luxury in an understated, elegant way, the white gold Sky-Dweller is the perfect choice. It’s large, proud, brilliant and impressive, yet it is anything but garish.
Sky-Dweller 326939 On the Wrist
When you put the white gold Sky-Dweller on your wrist, you’ll immediately feel a sense of prestige and accomplishment. It is imposing in size and status, yet it flies just under the radar in the most ideal way. Nevertheless, it will grab attention just based on pure beauty. Moreover, true watch fanatics will be impressed as the Sky-Dweller is one of the most talked-about watches these days.
Now, more on its size. While it is a big watch and it is quite substantial in weight, being solid gold and all, it is tremendously comfortable. Moreover, it slides under dress cuffs with ease. You can wear this watch day in and day out and never be bothered.
This brings us to our next point, versatility.
One of the great things about the Sky-Dweller is its versatility. It is a sports watch at heart, however, it doubles as a dress watch thanks to the fluted bezel. This means you can wear this watch both in a casual and formal setting with impeccable form.
Because of the Sky-Dwellers stylish versatility, it caters to a wider audience. Both suited and casual gentlemen are attracted to the Sky-Dwellers appeal.
The Sky-Dweller is as hard to buy new as it ever was, if not even more so. As it currently stands, the second-hand watch market is the best place to look if you want to get your hands on a Sky-Dweller. However, most models sell at a premium because demand exceeds supply.
White Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller 326939 PRICE:
The Sky-Dweller is one of the most expensive Rolex watches, excluding gem-set Rolex’s. The white gold version wears a price tag of approximately $40,000. Of course, this is for a pre-owned white Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller 326939 on the second-hand market, as this reference has been discontinued.
If you want special pricing on this watch, please contact us. We are currently selling this watch at Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton. We do facilitate the purchase online as well for those who don’t want to leave home.