While the biggest news hitting the press today will undoubtedly be the updates to the much pored-over Submariner collection, we shouldn’t overlook the sleeper release from Rolex this year, the new Oyster Perpetual Collection 2020.
As the first ever dated, automatic wristwatch the Oyster Perpetual has seen numerous iterations and variants since its introduction in 1945 and for 2020 Rolex will be introducing two new upgrades in this collection, a versatile 36mm and slightly bolder 41mm. Both will benefit from a seriously upgraded movement and stylistic changes making them both genuine daily driver contestants.
Oyster Perpetual 41mm
Replacing the OP 39mm which was released in only in 2015, the new 41mm case size will house the new 3230 in-house calibre which is the main focal point of Rolex’s releases this year.
Containing several new patents, the 3230 automatic movement introduces a plethora of new high-tech upgrades. The new Chronergy escapement results in enhanced precision; a new nickel-phosphorus alloy and a Parachrom hairspring enhance antimagnetism; the oscillator is fitted to Paraflex shock absorbers which, of course, bolster shock resistance and a new barrel design means a 70 hour power reserve. All these upgrades, and more, make it a compelling daily wear prospect.
There will be two variations of this chunkier OP, both of which will be available in a steel case. The first variation will come with a silver sunray dial with 18kt yellow gold hour markers and hands, the other, with a more subtle black sunray dial finish with matching white gold markers and hands.
Both will also come on Rolex’s ever popular three link Oyster bracelet which will now include the Easylink adjustment for increased wearability and fine tuning. A satin brushed finish is used on the top of the links while polishing is employed on the sides.
The 41mm will be available from £4,700 and although the watch is very much a progression as opposed to a complete overhaul, the enhanced movement means it’s likely to be taken much more seriously amongst Rolex fans.
Oyster Perpetual 36mm
The trend for smaller watches has continued unabated over the past few years and although the OP 36mm isn’t a new size, thanks to the movement upgrades it now sits in a sweet spot in the current range ( which now includes 41mm 36mm, 34mm, 31mm, and 26mm options).
Utilising the same 3230 calibre, the OP 36mm’s showpiece is its colourful lacquered dials. Available in turquoise, candy pink, yellow, green and coral red, all the latest releases will include the new Chromalight display which essentially means the hour markers and hands are filled with lume which will emit a blue glow in low-light conditions.
Pricewise, the 36mm will start at £4,450 making it a competitively priced, well equipped, thoroughly modern, steel Rolex.
So far, my personal favourite is the turquoise dial from the 36mm collection but that could all change when we visit Rolex later today to get hands-on. Stay tuned.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Rolex Oyster Perpetual (41mm & 36mm)
Ref: 124300-0001 / 126000-0001 (silver dial)
124300-0002 / 126000-0002 (bright black dial)
124300-0003 / 126000-0003 (bright blue dial)
124300-0004 / 126000-0004 (yellow dial)
124300-0005 / 126000-0005 (green dial)
124300-0006 / 126000-0006 (turquoise blue dial)
124300-0007 / 126000-0007 (coral red dial)
126000-0008 (candy pink – 36mm version only)
Case/Dial: 36mm or 41mm diameter, Oystersteel
Water Resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre 3230, in-house, Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing), automatic with bidirectional winding, −2 /+2 sec/day accuracy, 31 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 70h
Functions: Hour, minute, seconds
Strap: Oystersteel bracelet
Price: £4,700 GBP
More details at Rolex.