March 20, 2015
by James Stacey
If you can imagine Rolex as Ben and Jerry’s, then the Oyster Perpetual is vanilla ice cream. It’s the building block from which models like the Rolex Submariner and Rolex Daytona have evolved. For 2015, Rolex has created a new 39mm version of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, offering a slightly larger iteration of one of their entry-level models.
The new 39mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual joins the 26, 31 and 34mm versions that were announced last year. Being the same size as the Rolex Explorer, the 39mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual uses the same movement, Rolex’s calibre 3132. It’s a simple but robust automatic movement offering three hands, no date, and COSC certification.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a faithful but modern take on the Rolex Oyster model that Rolex launched in 1926. The Rolex Oyster was, quite famously, the first waterproof watch in the world. That lineage can be seen in the Rolex Oyster Perpetual’s straightforward and practical design. Legibility is strong and the dial design offers nothing more than is necessary to display the time.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual (reference 114300) can be had in your choice of three dial colors – dark rhodium, red grape, or blue. If it weren’t for the red grape and blue options, we would forgive you if you were less than enthused by the Rolex Oyster Perpetual. While I’d assume that the grey dial will be popular, it doesn’t have the same character or presence offered by its more lively and colorful siblings. For my tastes, the blue version is the one to have, with a excellent mix of everyday wearability with a certain added charm. It’s still vanilla, but maybe with a few sprinkles on top.
Each dial color has its own accent color that flanks the markers with blue accents on the grey dial, red accents on the red grape dial, and green accents on the blue dial. For a watch with such a reserved and non-embellished overall design, this pop of color is a welcome addition.
All three versions come on a solid 904L steel bracelet with a folding Oysterclasp and are priced from 5,400 CHF. In many ways, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual line is the most Rolex model in the modern Rolex line up. Just as there is something appealing in the pure and simple nature of vanilla ice cream, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual’s design is basic, almost elemental. For someone who wants a remarkably well-made but entirely unassuming Rolex, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual offers something its more complicated and embellished siblings cannot – pure everyday Rolex. rolex.com
Keep up with our pre-, post-, and live Baselworld 2015 coverage here.