“You will have to wait for at least 12 months to get one for yourself. But if you wait for any watch for this long, let it be for a watch like this.”
A Quick Take For The Busy Enthusiast
When Rolex unveiled the new Oyster Perpetuals back in 2020, the watch community went crazy and erupted in fierce discussions. And there were mainly two reasons for that. But more on that later, first let’s take a look at what exactly Rolex presented to us.
Rolex introduced the new generation of its Oyster Perpetual watches and brings a new model to the range, the Oyster Perpetual 41, as well as versions of the Oyster Perpetual 36 displaying dials in vivid colors. They also decided to ditch the 39mm case sizes, which I’m kind of sad about since I think that 39mm is the perfect size for any watch. But I mean it is what it is, and the 36mm still looks very good, so no worries on that front. Anyway, let’s continue with the two reasons that made this watch blow up in the community.
First, nobody really expected Rolex to launch a revamped Oyster Perpetual. Everyone was expecting the new Submariners, but the Oyster Perpetual? No, not really. After all, the “OP” always had to take a back seat in its simplicity to the sparkling, chic Rolex Datejust. But that is now finally over. And that brings me to my second point. The colors. I think those were the main reasons that the watch world sort of went crazy. Five of the new OP’s come with colorful lacquer dials, like candy pink, yellow, green, coral red, and turquoise, with the latter, also being known as the ‘Tiffany Blue’ dial. And since I think that the one with the Tiffany Blue dial is the most attractive one, I decided to review it today.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 with the turquoise dial features an Oystersteel case, which measures 36mm in diameter and 12mm in height. The 43mm lug to lug distance, make this watch wear larger than the given size of 36mm. The watch really wears more as a 38mm watch or even 39mm, depending on what size you are used to. So, no worries, the OP 36 will still look good on your wrist, even when you don’t have the skinniest of all wrists.
In a true Rolex manner, the Oyster case is beautifully finished and feels very high quality. But I think that shouldn’t come as a surprise when you look at the quality of Rolex overall. But as nice as the case is, the real star of the watch is, without any doubt, the striking turquoise colored dial. The dial itself is, true to the typical OP design, kept very simple and only features the applied hour indexes, the hands, and the iconic Rolex crown on the 12 o’clock position. But with the pop of the turquoise, it quickly becomes an eye-catcher.
But for me, the watch manages to get even better. As some of you know, I love the Oyster bracelet from Rolex. I love it on the Submariner, and I love it on the Oyster Perpetual. It just looks and feels so good on the wrist and even has some cool history. First introduced in the late 1930s, the bracelet made from Oystersteel features flat three-piece links and the Oysterclasp, which makes it perfect for the Rolex sport models.
The Oyster Perpetual 36 is equipped with the caliber 3230, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. The movement was launched in 2020, together with the announcement of the new OP’s and Submariners. Being the successor of the tried and tested caliber 3130, the caliber 3230 got some exciting upgrades like new the Chronergy escapement, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability, allowing for an increased power reserve of 70 hours. Like all Rolex movements, the self-winding caliber 3230 is COSC certified, has an accuracy of -2/+2 seconds per day, and beats with a frequency of 28800 BPH.
Let’s sum it up quickly. For a price of $5,600, I personally think that the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 with the Tiffany Blue dial and the upgraded movement, is a fantastic watch and has some serious potential to be a future icon of Rolex. In fact, I love it so much, I recently decided to add myself to an AD’s waiting list, to get one for myself. Fingers crossed that the AD will call rather soon than later…
A Short History Lesson About The Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Let’s turn back the time all the way to 1926. At that time, Rolex announced the first-ever waterproof and dustproof wristwatch, which marked a major step forward for the whole watch industry. The watch was given the name “Oyster” and featured a hermetically sealed case that provided optimal protection for the movement, making it water- and dustproof. A year later, in 1927, Rolex had to prove what they promised a year prior with the announcement of the Oyster. So, in order to prove its water resistance, Rolex equipped a young English swimmer, named Mercedes Gleitze, with one of their Oyster models. The swim lasted over 10 hours and the watch remained in perfect working order at the end of it.
Some of you are maybe asking yourself, hang on, does the iconic “Mercedes” hour hand, which Rolex frequently uses in watches like the Explorer, Submariner, GMT Master, and Explorer, has anything to do with the name of the swimmer? Unfortunately, this isn’t confirmed as of today, but there are people that strongly believe, that the iconic Mercedes hour hand is an allegorical reference to the British swimmer. And honestly, this would be pretty cool, not gonna lie.
Anyway, where were we? Right, in 1927, right after Mercedes Gleitze crossed the English Channel with a Rolex Oyster, and proofed that the watch was indeed waterproof. And to celebrate the success of the swimmer and of course their Rolex Oyster, Rolex published a full-page ad on the front page of the Daily Mail, proclaiming the success of the waterproof watch.
Then, in 1931, Rolex invented and patented the world’s first self-winding watch mechanism with a Perpetual rotor. This system marked the second biggest breakthrough in the history of wristwatches and basically was the predecessor of every modern automatic watch. Rolex went on to showcase the technical performance of the Rolex Oyster in different areas, like equipping the pilots of the first flight over Mount Everest, with the Oyster, or strategically placing it in the worlds of sport, aviation, motor racing, and other expeditions.
All of which, with only one goal in mind. To show the world what the Rolex Oyster was capable of doing. With the help of good publicity and high-quality standards, they succeeded with their plan and managed to build up the reputation of the watch and the Rolex brand. This ultimately resulted in the modern Rolex Oyster Perpetual models, which are considered to be direct descendants of the original Oyster.
As mentioned above, the 2020 Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 is powered by the caliber 3230, a movement that was launched back in 2020, at the same time, as Rolex introduced the new Oyster Perpetuals and Submariners. And like all Rolex movements today, the caliber 3230 is entirely developed and manufactured in-house by Rolex. Rolex calls this caliber a Perpetual movement, which is just a fancy way of saying that it is a self-winding movement.
Being the successor of the tried and tested caliber 3130, the caliber 3230 got some exciting upgrades, like new the Chronergy escapement, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability, and therefore allows for an increased power reserve of 70 hours. This is a nearly 50% increase from the old movements, which used to deliver 50 hours of power reserve. And like all Rolex movements, the self-winding caliber 3230 is COSC certified, has an accuracy of -2/+2 seconds per day, and beats with a frequency of 28800 BPH. Besides being used in the Oyster Perpetual 36, the new caliber 3230 is also used in the Oyster Perpetual 41 Ref. 124300 and the Submariner Ref. 124060
The Case And The ‘Tiffany Blue’ Dial
Let’s move on to the star of the watch. The stunning turquoise blue dial. But for you to understand where this colorful dial comes from, let’s first look at Rolex’s history, because Rolex actually did a similar thing before. Some of you may know what I’m talking about, but for those of you that don’t, I’m talking about the iconic Stella dials.
Stella dials were these colorful, brightly beautiful dials, that were primarily found in Rolex Day-Date models from the late 1960s to the 1980s. At the time, even thinking about introducing colorful dials, was quite a bold move. But not only did Rolex choose to introduce some splashes color into possibly their most conservative watches, which was already an unusual choice, but they went even further and brought in colors, ranging from bright yellow to a popping orange. For a long time, those dials were kept in the shadows and rarely were considered as something special. In recent years, however, these vintage models have experienced extreme hype and became extremely collectible. Now they are experiencing their rebirth: in the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual.
And this leads me to the modern OP 36 with the ‘Tiffany Blue’ dial. The beautiful turquoise dial is kept in the distinctive style of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, offering an understated dial layout as well as high legibility. The applied hour indexes, the classically shaped hands, and the iconic Rolex crown on the 12 o’clock position complement the dial and the case perfectly.
Speaking of the case, the OP 36 features very modest case proportions, measuring 36mm in diameter, 12mm in height and 43mm from lug to lug. Due to the 43mm lug to lug distance, the watch wears more like a 38mm to 39mm watch, which is ideal for my wrist and taste. Generally, for my 17cm wrist (6.7 inches), I find that watches that measure 38mm to 40mm in diameter, are the sweet spot. And Rolex hit the sweet sport with the OP. Another sweet spot they hit is the case made from Oyster steel. Specially developed by the brand, Oyster steel belongs to the 904L steel family, alloys most commonly used in high-technology and in the aerospace and chemical industries. The Oyster steel is extremely resistant, offers an exceptional finish once polished, and just feels very nice on your wrist. But the Oyster steel is not only used in this case. The famous Oyster bracelet also makes use of this special material, and you can feel that when wearing one of them. I especially love it on the Submariner and I’m super hyped to get one with the new OP 36, which I just ordered.
If you read the article, you will probably know what I think of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 with the Tiffany Blue dial. I f-in love it! Due to the minimalistic case and dial design of the OP collection, I fell in love with the watch, the moment I saw it. Maybe some of you disagree with me, but for me, there is nothing purer than a watch that shows only the time. No date, no day, no chronograph complication, and no other fancy complications. I think you get the point that I’m trying to make here. The design of the Oyster Perpetual is just pure class.
And in my opinion, some of the bright dial colors that Rolex added, made it even better. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the green or red one, but I absolutely love the one in turquoise. The simplicity of the classic OP dial and the pop of color just plays so well together. Besides that, the case proportions are close to perfection, the Oyster bracelet is the best metal bracelet on the market (in my opinion), you get Rolex quality and all of that for $5,600. Do I have to say more? I know, I know, the availability is currently very bad, and you will have to wait for at least 12 months to get one for yourself. But when waiting for any watch for this long, let it be for a watch like this.