After the 1964 launch of the Rolex Daytona, we had to wait an unbelievable 28 years before another one came along, in the shape of the Yacht-Master. An all-new model slips out of the gates of the replica Rolex compound about as frequently as astrologers discover a new planet.
Almost 20 years later, when the Sky-Dweller line debuted at Baselworld 2012. By comparison, the next unique offering from the brand came along at a breakneck pace when,
The fake Rolex rarely produces complicated watches but, what they introduced was one of the most extremely complex and yet functionally simple watches in their long and illustrious history.
The look of the Sky-Dweller is revolutionary for a company that usually updates its well-tested and timeless designs at an almost glacial pace. Those three original models released in 2012, in yellow, Everose and white gold, are unlike any other timepiece in the Rolex lineup.
To realize it, the replica Rolex built on the architecture and underlying technology first seen in the Yacht-Master II that appeared a few years prior. The Sky-Dweller is fitted with the second generation of the YMs innovative Ring Command Bezel, a multi-functional component integrated with the winding crown to control the watch’s various operations.
But where the Yacht-Master II had to depend on the addition of pushers to activate a number of its features, such as the on-the-fly synchronization, the Sky-Dweller’s pioneering three-position bezel does away with the need for any extra buttons, leaving the watch with more elegant, minimalistic lines.
However, the inside is a brand new caliber, the 9001. With 380 separate parts, it’s the most intricate and complex movement the fake Rolex has ever engineered and also the second most highly jeweled. Along with the staggering part count, sixty of which are utilized by the bezel alone, the Cal. 9001 is fitted with everything we’ve come to expect from a modern Rolex.
While most useful and extremely impressive, the thing about watches with complications is, they tend to be, well, complicated. It’s one of the reasons Rolex’s catalog is conspicuously low on models with additional functionality. As a brand, they have always stuck to doing the simple things better than anyone else, and leaving the complex gimmicks to others.
While, when they do determine to jump in, it’s with typical Rolex panache. The Sky-Dweller is an imposingly sophisticated timepiece, but its operation and its legibility are stunning in their simplicity.
Of course, the Ring Command is the key. Each quarter turn of the fluted bezel unlocks a different action. From the start location, the first counter-clockwise position allows you to adjust the date in the three o’clock window, forwards or backwards.