Baselworld 2012 - Rolex SkyDweller

With 14 patents – five of which are new – the SKY-DWELLER provides, in an unprecedented and highly original way, the information global travellers need to easily keep track of time: a dual time zone, with local time read via centre hands and a reference time display in 24-hour format read via a rotating off-centre disc visible on the dial; a particularly innovative annual calendar named SAROS – in tribute to the astronomical phenomenon which inspired it – that requires only one date adjustment a year, when the month changes from February to March; and a month display by means of 12 discreet apertures around the circumference of the dial.

majestic expression of the art of watchmaking and the product of Rolex’s exceptional technical expertise, the SKY-DWELLER is as intuitive to read as it is simple to use. Local time, reference time and the date are rapidly set using a highly innovative interface between the case and movement. The rotatable RING COMMAND bezel is the focal point of the interface, allowing the wearer to select the individual functions to be set simply by turning the bezel. Each function can then be adjusted swiftly and easily in both directions by means of the winding crown, which has only one setting position.

The SKY-DWELLER is equipped with a new calibre, the 9001, an officially certified Swiss chronometer entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. The SKY-DWELLER epitomizes the values of
precision, robustness and reliability for which Rolex watches are renowned. It bears witness to the creative force of a brand dedicated to its passion for innovation at the service of the wearer. The SKY-DWELLER is designed for those who place the emphasis on useful functions, effortless manipulation, prestige and elegance above all. Available in 18 ct white, yellow or EVEROSE gold cast by Rolex in its own foundry, this advanced wristwatch features the fluted bezel that symbolizes the codes of the brand. With its stately 42 mm OYSTER case, it is the embodiment of perfect symbiosis between form and function, aesthetics and technology.

With the SKY-DWELLER, Rolex once again demonstrates its wealth of ingenuity by designing and manufacturing a watch that perpetuates the OYSTER’s legendary excellence.

The Oyster Perpetual SKY-DWELLER features a dual time zone that is as intuitive to read as it is simple to use. The display’s highly original design endows the watch with an aesthetic identity all of its own.

Reference time via an off-centre disc

Global travellers can read the reference time – the time at home or at their usual place of work – via a rotating off-centre disc visible on
the dial. A fixed inverted red triangle points to the wearer’s chosen reference time. The disc’s  24-hour display allows travellers to clearly distinguish daytime hours from night-time hours in the reference time zone (for example, 10 p.m. versus 10 a.m.). At any moment and in any location, they know if it is an appropriate time to contact someone on the other side of the world.

Centre hands for local time

Local time at the destination is indicated by the conventional centre hour, minute and seconds hands. It can be set very quickly and easily thanks to a mechanism that allows the hour hand to be adjusted independently in one-hour increments both forwards and backwards, so that changing the local hour does not affect the minute or seconds hands or the reference time.

Date change linked to local time

The date change is linked to local time and occurs within a few milliseconds at midnight. Thus, the date displayed in the aperture is always the current date in the wearer’s local time zone.

Thanks to its innovative display and simple operation, the SKY-DWELLER allows the traveller to adjust the watch to different time zones during a journey, while benefitting from a constant, clear display of reference time

The Oyster Perpetual SKY-DWELLER is equipped with a revolutionary annual calendar offering unparalleled robustness and reliability for such a
complex watchmaking function. This annual calendar’s qualities are attributable to an ingenious mechanism named SAROS, patented by Rolex. Its original design was directly inspired by the astronomical phenomenon of the same name.

Only one adjustment per year

This annual calendar automatically differentiates between 30-day and 31-day months. It displays the correct date throughout the year
and requires only one adjustment a year – on 1st March, February having only 28 or 29 days.

A system with intelligence

The ingenuity of the SAROS system developed by Rolex lies in its simple and systematic handling of the irregular occurrence of 30 and 31-day months. This intelligent mechanism is based on only two gear ratios and four gear wheels added to the traditional Rolex instantaneous date calendar. Such simplicity ensures peerless robustness and reliability for the annual calendar function.

Planetary and satellite wheels

The Greek term Saros has been used since antiquity to designate an approximately 18-year cycle of alignment patterns between the Sun, the Earth and the Moon that is behind lunar and solar eclipses. This astronomical phenomenon inspired the design of the SKY-DWELLER’s annual calendar mechanism. The SAROS system is designed around a fixed planetary gear wheel (equivalent to the Sun) at the centre of the movement. A satellite wheel (whose centre represents the Earth) engages with the planetary wheel and rotates, orbiting the planetary wheel in one month, driven by the date disc. The satellite wheel is fitted with four fingers (the Moon) for the four 30-day months (April, June, September and November).

Double instantaneous date change

The gear ratio between the satellite wheel and the planetary wheel is calculated in such a way that at the end of each 30-day month – and only in these months – one of the satellite’s fingers receives an additional impulse from the date change mechanism. This makes the calendar disc jump two days (from the 30th to the 1st) within a few milliseconds to display the correct date.

Discreet month apertures

The months of the year are indicated in 12 discreet apertures around the circumference of the dial, outside the hour markers: January at 1 o’clock, February at 2 o’clock, and so on.
The current month is identified in a contrasting colour.

The Oyster Perpetual SKY-DWELLER is equipped with a rotatable RING COMMAND bezel that allows the wearer to easily select the watch’s different functions via an innovative, patented interface between the movement and case. Unrestricted setting

Unrestricted setting

The RING COMMAND bezel can be turned to any one of three positions to select the function to be set: date, local time or reference time. The selected function can then be rapidly adjusted in either direction, forwards or backwards, using the winding crown, which has only one setting position. Unlike traditional mechanisms, this interface developed by Rolex allows unrestricted setting.

A simple and intuitive interface

This simple and intuitive interface is based on a complex mechanical module which consists of no fewer than 60 components and demands state-of-the-art watchmaking and micromechanical expertise. The heart of the mechanism is a double cam and levers that engage various gear trains inside the movement according to the function selected. One of these cams is activated by pulling out the winding crown, the other is driven by rotating the bezel to activate setting wheels located in the middle case of the watch.

The Oyster Perpetual SKY-DWELLER’s calibre 9001 is a completely new self-winding mechanical movement, a pure distillation of Rolex technology. Entirely developed and manufactured in-house, with a total of 380 components and backed by seven patents – four of which are new – it is one of the most complex calibres ever developed by the brand.

A selector wheel on the outside edge of the movement ensures the interaction of the movement and the bezel of the watch to set the functions.

Chronometric precision

Calibre 9001 is a certified Swiss chronometer, a designation reserved for high-precision watches that have successfully passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) tests. The oscillator has a blue PARACHROM hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy.

Singular reliability

The architecture behind the 9001, like that of all PERPETUAL movements at Rolex, makes it singularly reliable. The oscillator is fitted between high-performance PARAFLEX shock absorbers, developed and patented by Rolex, that offer50 per cent greater resistance to shocks. It is held firmly in place by a height-adjustable traversingbridge. The SAROS annual  calendar and  the RING COMMAND setting system are also designed to be exceptionally robust.

Self-winding by Perp etual rotor

Calibre 9001 is fitted with a self-winding mechanism featuring Rolex’s PERPETUAL rotor which ensures continuous winding of the mainspring by harnessing movements of the wrist to
provide a constant source of energy.


9001, Manufacture Rolex
Mechanical movement with bidirectional
self-winding via PERPETUAL rotor on ball
Officially certified Swiss chronometer (COSC)


Centre hour, minute and seconds hands
24-hour display on off-centre disc
Second time zone via independent
rapid-setting of the hour hand
Instantaneous annual calendar at 3 o’clock
with SAROS system and unrestricted
bidirectional rapid-setting of the date
Month display via 12 apertures around the
circumference of the dial
Stop-seconds for precise time setting

Oscillat or

Frequency: 28,800 beats/hour (4 Hz)
Paramagnetic blue PARACHROM hairspring
Breguet overcoil
Large balance wheel with variable inertia
High-precision regulating via four gold
Traversing balance bridge
High-performance PARAFLEX shock absorbers


40 rubies

Power reserve

Approximately 72 hours

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