A Complete Guide to the Rolex Oyster Perpetual

With watches becoming bulkier and more feature-rich with every update, there is something about a classic analog watch that turns heads. The Oyster Perpetual Rolex brings back the simplicity and elegance of a classic wristwatch. It has none of the fuss commonly seen in modern timepieces – no date window, rotating bezel, or chronograph. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual brings back the glory of the original Rolex watches. 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual and the Rolex Submariner also use the brand name of ‘Oyster Perpetual‘ but these two watches are not simplistic and classic like the Rolex Oyster Perpetual. With Oyster Perpetual, Rolex has carved a niche for classic analog watches.  

An affordable Rolex

The Rolex Perpetual is not only a great watch, but it is also at the lower price point within the premium watch market. The Oyster Perpetual Date is another great option that is also at a lower price point compared to other Rolex watches. For watch lovers and collectors looking to make an entry into the world of premium watches, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a great choice. 

Oyster Perpetual

History of Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Two in-house Rolex inventions lie at the heart of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual. The first is its distinct design and aesthetics. Another key invention was the self-winding perpetual movement. The Oyster Perpetual originates from the 1926 Rolex Oyster collection. It was the first watch collection in the world with water resistance. The name of the line comes from its case design, which is like the shell of an oyster. Special tools are needed to open the case of the Oyster Perpetual

Developments in 1931 gave the Oyster Perpetual its present shape and form. Rolex came up with the self-winding movement this year. This movement got its power from the continuous (perpetual) movement of the wearers’ wrist. 

The Oyster Perpetual collection was a mega success from the very beginning. Its success led to many other lines being named with the prefix of ‘Perpetual’. The term itself is now reminiscent of Rolex‘s path-breaking technological innovation. 

For a long time, the Oyster Perpetual was predominantly positioned as a women’s watch. The main reason behind this was the relatively smaller case diameter of Rolex Oyster Perpetuals. Case diameter within the series used to be 26 mm, 31 mm, 34 mm, and 36 mm. Traditionally smaller case diameters are associated with women’s watches. Among these models, the Oyster Perpetual 36 was a top pick for many buyers and watch lovers. 

Oyster Perpetual 39 114300-0005

Rolex Oyster Perpetual in the 2000s

In the middle of 2000 came the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual models with six-digit reference numbers. The watches from the 2000 production line are still in the market. These watches came with a case diameter of 34 mm. The line began to be known as Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 34. It was different from the previous lines of Oyster perpetual. Though it came with a case diameter of 34 mm, the case was designed to appear larger. There was also slight modification in the straps, making them more functional. 

Oyster Perpetual 34 114200 Green

2015 and the launch of Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 mm

In 2015 came the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39. With a case diameter of 39 mm, the line appealed to both men and women. Men, particularly, found the increased case diameter to be more masculine. In no time, the watch became a favorite among men. With another round of design upgrades, the watch was made available in 5 color options. Despite more color options, purists and traditionalists loved the classic black and white dials the most. The 39 mm diameter was a game-changer in every way for Rolex. It was big enough for big wrists but not so big that those with smaller wrists would avoid it. The watch has a simple, elegant style, much like the other Oyster Perpetual models.  

Oyster Perpetual 39 114300/Purple

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41

From 26 mm to 41 mm, Rolex had a significant shift in case diameter. However, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 mm further expanded the market of Oyster Perpetual. With 7 dial color options, this Rolex Oyster Perpetual 2020 watch brought more options while painting the hallmark simplicity in design. While some saw the jump in case diameter as drastic, it did catch the attention of watch lovers. Most were happy to find their favorite watch in bigger case size. The color options also played a key role in the watch’s success. Its bright and lively colors were called ‘Stella-inspired’. While purists held to the classic dials, the newer ones were a work of art in their own rights.

Bright colors like green, blue, yellow, and red gave the watch a revamped appearance while preserving its signature simplicity. Apart from color variations, Rolex did not do anything to the watch in terms of upgrades and modifications. Rolex‘s caliber 3230 powers the Oyster Perpetual 41. It is the same movement that powers the legendary Rolex Submariner. The key highlight of this movement is enhanced precision and more powerful battery performance. It is also called a Superlative Chronometer movement, meaning that the watch is ideal for everyday wear. 

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Rolex Oyster Perpetual in 2020

2020 had been a good year for Rolex and the brand’s connoisseurs. Apart from the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41, the company also launched a renewed Rolex Submariner line. While there is a lot of talk about smaller case diameters making a comeback, Rolex is set to perpetuate the dominance of big cases. Apart from the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41, the only time Rolex had a 41 mm case diameter was in the Rolex Datejust 41. In 2020, Rolex has 3 different lines with 41 mm case diameter watches. It also gives a glimpse as to what the future of the premium watch segment holds. Chances are, bigger case diameters will continue to dominate the premium and dress watch segment. 

Oyster Perpetual 41mm 124300-0002

Rolex Oyster Perpetual for Ladies

Oyster Perpetual

As mentioned earlier, the Oyster Perpetual was predominantly seen as a ladies’ watch. However, there were indeed models specifically designed for women. The key feature of their ladies’ watch was a small case diameter of 26 mm. Like their counterparts, these watches are also available in different color options and strap options. The inclusion of all types of watches makes the Rolex Oyster Perpetual a complete premium watch collection.

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