This is the entry-level Rolex, and the remarkable thing is its price: £3,750 for the 39 mm version, and £3,400 for the smaller versions. This year there are new colours and five sizes.
Case and dial
The Oyster Perpetual is a direct descendant of the first Oyster launched in 1926, and so it has the characteristics on which Rolex founded its success: watches suitable for both men and women; standardized movements; chronometer-standard precision; and optimum protection against dust, water and other impurities. The Oyster case is waterproof to 100 metres; the solid caseback is hermetically screwed down; the crown has the Twinlock waterproofing system and screws down against the case. The watch is fitted with the 904L steel Oyster bracelet. The dial is minimalist, with a sunray finish now in a range of colours, simple baton hour markers appliques in white gold with touches of blue where these intersect the minutes scale. The white gold hands are coated with luminescent paint; the same material is used on the hour appliques at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The most prominent feature of this dial is something it doesn’t have: a date window. This is the feature that sets this entry-level three-hander from so many others made using third-party movements: as ETA, Sellita and other movement makers always have the date function in their base movement, all the watch manufacturers who use these movements end up having a date window. Which mars the balance of the dial.
The Oyster Perpetual is powered by an in-house calibre, which depends on the size of the watch: in the 39 mm version, it is the calibre 3132; in the 36 and 34 mm versions, the calibre 3130; and in the 31 and 26 mm versions, the 2231. They are all COSC chronometer-certified. All have the blue Parachrom hairspring, an alloy of niobium and zirconium that is not affected to magnetism. The calibres run at 28,800 vph (4 Hertz) and have a power reserve of about 48 hours.
References and prices:
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual in steel has the following reference numbers:
39 mm: 114300 – 70400 (case – bracelet)
34 mm: 114200 – 70190 (case – bracelet)
31 mm: 177200 – 70160 (case – bracelet)
26 mm: 176200 – 70130 (case – bracelet)
The price ranges from £3,750 for the 39 mm version to £3,400 for the smaller versions. In the photo below, the range of colours, and the range of sizes.