A few weeks ago, Rolex finally released their new models for 2020 and I must say it was quite a big one. There were two lines that stole the show, the brand new 41mm Submariners of course, and what came as a surprise to everyone- the complete overhaul of the classic Oyster Perpetual line.
The Oyster Perpetual has been a mainstay and the entry level Rolex since it was invented in the 1920’s and has seen countless iterations in dial colours and styles. It is in my eyes, the last real ‘tool’ watch made by Rolex as it is something that’s affordable enough to use every day without being too worried. While the Submariners and Datejusts are solid watches that can take on anything, it is more ‘luxury’ in my eyes these days. I really believe this and in fact, I myself own a previous generation 34mm Oyster Perpetual and use it when I go for runs and to the gym. It’s full of scratches but that’s just the way it should be.
This year’s new Oyster Perpetual line was hugely polarising, with some criticising Rolex for losing their touch and conceding to the current trend of loud and funky colours. I for one am on the opposite and was quite happy to see such a surprising release. I guess we also have to accept the fact that branding plays a huge role and I will admit, if other brands did it, I’d be sceptical. There is some intangible factor at play, and I’m not saying the crown is faultless, but this time round, just because it’s Rolex, it somehow works.
Furthermore, this isn’t the first time Rolex has experimented with loud colours. Some of the most collectible vintage Day-Dates feature bright lacquered dials and are known as ‘Stella’ dials so in some ways, this is also somewhat of an ode to the brand’s past.
The new released come in 5 sizes- 28mm, 31mm, 34mm, 36mm and 41mm. The older 39mm size has been discontinued which I found a bit peculiar. It features Rolex’s latest generation Cal. 3230 on the 36 and 41mm and all the quality you’d expect from them.
Of course, all the technical innovations get nobody interested, and everything to do with the colour of the dials that does. While more conservative dial colours remain such as silver and black, the lacquered candy pink, turquoise blue, yellow, coral red and green are the most interesting ones.
Personally, I’d go for either the yellow, green or turquoise. Since it’s already bright, might as well go crazy. The lacquer dials have a nice depth to them and certainly makes a pretty straightforward and serious watch a little more interesting. With anything new and unusual, there are bound to be criticisms, but I am sure that this line will reinvigorate interest in the Oyster Perpetual line, and it will be a classic for sure.
The new 41mm Oyster Perpetual base model, will retail for £4,700. The new 36mm Oyster Perpetual base model and will retail for £4,450. For more information on the new Oyster Perpetual, visit rolex.com.