Stella Dials, these colourful, brightly beautiful dials, which were primarily found in the Models of the Rolex Day-Date from the late 1960s to the 1980s, have long led to a shadowy existence. In recent years, however, it was those vintage models that experienced extreme hype. Now they are experiencing their rebirth: in the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual.
Historical advertising for the Rolex Oyster
The new Rolex Oyster Perpetual models
That this would happen was the real surprise to me at the launch of the Rolex 2020. New models for the Rolex Submariner collection? But the Oyster Perpetual? No, not really. After all, the “OP” always had to lag a little behind the sparkling, chic Rolex Datejust in its simplicity. But that is now finally over.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41, Ref. 124300-0002
The Oyster Perpetual. It is, if you put it that way, the entry-level model into the dazzling world of watches with the world-famous, five-pointed crown. No date, less glamour, more boring leaves and, above all, a relatively small selection of these. With the Rolex innovations 2020 at the latest, “entry-level model” applies if, but then only for the price.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41, Ref. 124300-0003
The caliber 3230 celebrates its premiere
Technically, the new models are at the very latest level in 41 millimeters and 36 millimeters in diameter. Rolex donated the Next-Generation caliber 3230, also unveiled this year, with a power reserve of around 70 hours, which is now almost 50% increase compared to its predecessors.
Rolex Calibre 3230
The Rolex patented Chronergy inhibition, the blue parachrome spiral in an optimized version and the Paraflex anti-shock system are also features of the automatic calibre, whose rotor is now ball-bearing as with the entire calibre generation.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36, Ref. 126000-0005
Finally: The Rolex Oyster Perpetual comes with EasyLink
Also new for the model: the comfortable Easylink quick extension in the Oysterclasp folding clasp. Until now, Oyster Perpetual carriers had to do without these. The Oysterband itself is, here at least there is still a visually very noticeable difference to the more expensive Datejust, continuously satined. Only the sides are polished. Also polished: the bombed, smooth bezel.
The bottom line is that Rolex refers to the Oyster Perpetual models. Because they stand in their simplicity, their focus on water resistance and accurate time display, in direct tradition with the watch that established the brand’s reputation in 1926: the Rolex Oyster.
Cushion-shaped Rolex Oyster from c. 1926
Mercedes Glide and the Rolex Oyster
Every true Rolex fan knows the history of Mercedes Gleitze and its attempt to swim through the English Channel in October 1927. Also included: a Rolex Oyster, which she wore around her neck, attached to a band. The 2020 generation of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual is now the modern interpretation of the wristband chronometer in its purest form. And it is as exciting as ever.
First testimonial: newspaper advertisement with Mercedes Gleitze
Let’s start with the three classic dials. They are all provided with a sun-cut, Rolex itself calls it radial cut. The colors: silver, blue and black. The silver leaf has a special feature, because the applied indexes, filled with blue chromalight luminous mass as standard, are made of 18-carat yellow gold.
The three radial cut sheets of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41
Related: Yellow-gold hands, which are otherwise only decorated with yellow gold or rolesor yellow versions in Rolex. The result is a slight bicolor look. And the dial also has almost a champagne tone, depending on the light. Exciting indeed, albeit, for me personally, a little “too much”. But as always, this is a matter of taste.
Chromalight light mass
Sanded leaves with double indexes
Much more fitting: the black sheet. And for me it’s perfect: the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 with its blue sanding sheet. That can really inspire me on the whole line.
All dials have their double indexes at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. This is a circumstance that divides opinions, especially in our community. For me, it’s quite simple. Already with the previous models of the Oyster Perpetual, those dials with the double indexes were my favorites and I found it a great pity that over the years they were only offered for the 36mm, but not for the 39mm models.
Adieu Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39
Speaking. The 39 millimeter models are now history. That’s a bit of a surprise. Because they were in the program for just five years. And since despite 31mm and 36mm models they also stuck to the Oyster Perpetual 34 and kept it in the program, i don’t think a 39er below the 41 would have disturbed.