Aside from the brand-new 41mm Submariner watches, the biggest Rolex news of 2020 was the update to the Oyster Perpetual line. As Rolex's entry-level watch collection, this line has always been one of the last to get updates. Many collectors were surprised when a number of important updates happened, such as adding Rolex's brand-new Caliber 3230 movement to the collection.
The biggest change to the collection is the addition of a brand-new 41mm model, which replaces the 39mm version, which was previously the largest size. Many collectors are excited about the new 41mm size, but just as many are sad to see the 39mm model go because it was a good size for the brand.
Also, the smallest size for the collection has gone from 26mm to 28mm, making it more like the sizes for the Datejust. As of 2022, the line comes in the sizes and reference numbers listed below.
Ref. 276200: 28mm case diameter
Ref. 277200: 31mm case diameter
Ref. 124200: 34mm case diameter
Ref. 126000: 36mm case diameter
Ref. 124300: 41mm case diameter
New movements and case sizes are definitely big news for the collection, but the new dial colors for the 2020 watches are just as exciting for collectors. Since a few years ago, this collection has had dials that are usually more colorful and fun than those on other Rolex watches. But the new dials for 2020 go one step further by using bright, bold colors that look a lot like the old Stella dials from the 1970s.
Compared to the other watches the brand makes, this one has never been very hard to get. Even though watches in this collection have always held their value very well, they don't usually have the huge price increases that sports models do, and used ones rarely sell for more than what they cost when they were new.
But the bright new dial colors are especially appealing to collectors, and some people think it's likely that some dial colors, especially in the 36mm and 39mm sizes, will be hard to find in stores. If this happens and waitlists start to grow, it's almost certain that prices for used items will start to go up. If that's the case, it's likely that for the first time in modern history, used prices for the collection will be higher than their brand-new prices.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watches in General
The Oyster Perpetual is the brand's most basic collection of watches. Throughout its history, these timepieces have been made in a number of different case sizes and from a number of different materials. They are a simple time-only model that represents the core design elements of all modern Rolex watches.
This collection is the foundation of the brand's wide range of high-end wristwatches. In 1926, when the brand made its first waterproof case, it was a major event in the history of watchmaking. During this time, the company set new standards by improving their skills in two areas: making a sealed case that was better at keeping water out and, later, an automatic winding rotor.
Rolex worked hard to make a wristwatch that was both sporty and stylish. Because of how it looked, it could be worn to work, on vacation, or just for fun. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual model is a standard-looking watch with a three-handed dial and a seconds hand in the middle. Its classic way of making watches shows that the brand can strip a watch down to its most basic parts while still giving it a strong presence on the wrist and a stylish look that make it perfect for any occasion.
In the Oyster Perpetual line, there are watches for both men and women, as well as some watches that can be worn by both men and women. The 28mm and 31mm models are just the right size for a woman's wrist, while the 34mm, 36mm, and 41mm models look great on a man's arm. Collectors like the way the design has been slimmed down and made easier to use. The company paid some attention to how the watch looked, but paid more attention to how well it worked on the inside than to anything else.
History of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual: The company's founder, Hans Wilsdorf, always thought that a wristwatch could be as important and reliable as a pocket watch. One of the most important ways to win over the public was to improve the water resistance of wristwatches, which was something that manufacturers had always been able to do. His revolutionary invention, the Oyster Case, was made in 1926. It had a screwed-down caseback, winding crown, and bezel to make a hermetically sealed environment for a reliable, high-performance movement.
The Rolex Oyster Case
The watch was named after the mollusk, which, like the watch, has a shell that keeps water out of the inside. This makes the inside a dry place to live. The model of this newly made watch was put on the wrist of Mercedes Gleitze, the first English woman to swim the English Channel. This showed how well the watch worked and what it could do. She wore the watch in cold water for about 15 hours while she tried to break a record. After the swim, the watch worked perfectly, which solidified Rolex's reputation for making waterproof wristwatches with the best materials and a reliable in-house movement.
In 1926, Rolex was the first watch company to make a waterproof wristwatch. The famous Oyster case has a patented system that screws the bezel, the winding crown, and the caseback onto a solid steel, gold, or platinum middle case. It is still one of the most well-known and popular wristwatches in the history of high-end watchmaking, and its basic design has been used as the basis for a huge number of modern watches from a wide range of brands.
Except for a few older models, most of the watches in the collection have the Twinlock Crown system. This system has two separate sealed gasket zones that keep water out of the case. This system helps give these watches a water resistance rating of 100 meters, even though they weren't made to be used underwater.
The Rolex Perpetual Movement Winds Itself
Five years after making the first waterproof case, the brand created a rotor-based self-winding mechanism for the model, which was the first of its kind. The technological improvement was an oscillating weight (called a "rotor") that turned when the wearer's arm moved, which wound the mainspring.
Wildorf had a problem that the automatic-winding rotor helped him solve. He thought that just making a watch waterproof wasn't enough if the crown had to be constantly unscrewed to wind the watch's mechanism. Automatic winding movements were a big step forward in the development of waterproof watches. This was because the wearer no longer had to unscrew the crown and manually wind the watch every day, which wore out the gaskets that keep water out.
At the heart of every watch is a simple but strong movement that was made in-house. Even though the watch has a simple design, it has stood the test of time, and Rolex's newer generation of movements, which have the "paramagnetic" blue Parachrom hairspring and the company's own Paraflex shock absorbers, are just as good and reliable as the company's more complicated movements.
The name Rolex Oyster Perpetual
The name "Oyster Perpetual" is used for a number of other models, such as the Daytona, GMT-Master, and Submariner. However, the "Rolex Oyster Perpetual" refers to the company's most basic design, which has been the basis for almost every watch it has ever made.
All of Rolex's famous purpose-built sport and tool watches are based on the original Oyster Perpetual model. Before the Explorer, the first Rolex sports watch, was made, Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches were being used in some of the toughest conditions on the planet. Sir Malcolm Campbell wore a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch when he broke land speed records in the famous Bluebell in 1935. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay also wore this model when they reached the top of Mount Everest for the first time in 1953.
How much does an Oyster Perpetual Rolex cost?
All modern Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches are made of 904L stainless steel, which is called Oystersteel. The price of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch depends on its size.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Prices
Model Retail Price
Price, Size, and Materials Ref. 276200 5,300 USD, $5,000 (est.)
In recent years, this watch has been a collection of only stainless steel models. All of them have smooth bezels and steel Oyster bracelets that match. But Rolex used to offer these models with both two-tone and solid gold options, as well as fluted bezels and Jubilee bracelets. Most of the time, the most expensive versions are the most recent ones. However, solid gold models and rare or collectible older versions can sometimes cost a lot more than many brand-new versions.
For models that are still being made, the price is usually related to the size of the watch's case. In general, the models with 28mm cases will be the least expensive, while the models with 41mm cases will be the most expensive. This price trend is also true for used Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches on the secondary market. However, when shopping for a used Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch, you can often find a small discount compared to the retail price.
How much does an Oyster Perpetual Rolex cost?
Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches start at $5,300 for the smallest 28mm stainless steel model and go up from there depending on the size of the case. The least expensive Rolex collection is the Oyster Perpetual line, which has watches that only show the time and not the date. These watches come in a variety of sizes. In general, the price of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch goes up with the size of its case. Solid gold vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches, on the other hand, are the most expensive because they are made of the best materials.
How to Buy a Rolex Oyster Perpetual
If you want to buy a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch, you should first decide if you want to spend your money on a new model or try to get a better one by buying a used one. In its simplest form, the Oyster Perpetual is a good everyday watch with a simple three-hand design. However, models like the modern Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller let you travel with a sophisticated timepiece that combines the iconic Oyster case with technical features that help you keep track of a busy business trip schedule.
Whether you are buying a new or used Rolex watch, you should always make sure you are buying from a reputable dealer. We have the best selection of used Rolex watches in the industry. All of our Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches are evaluated, serviced, and verified by our team of in-house experts.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Functions and Movements
Modern clocks run on different movements because their cases are all different sizes. But, even though they all use different calibers, they all keep time pretty much the same way. Even though they are all different sizes and made in different ways, they are all guaranteed to meet the same "Superlative Chronometer" accuracy standards of +/-2 seconds per day.
The brand's new Caliber 3230 movement powers both the 36mm and 41mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual models. But the Caliber 2232 is what powers the 28mm, 31mm, and 34mm versions. Both movements are new for 2020. The Cal. 3230 has a Blue Parachrom hairspring and a 70-hour power reserve, while the Cal. 2232 has a Syloxi hairspring and an approx. 55-hour power reserve. Also, in the past, the Oyster Perpetual line used three different calibers. With this update, all Rolex Oyster Perpetual models are now powered by either one of two calibers, depending on the size of their case.
Even though they are all different sizes and shapes, all modern movements promise the same accuracy in telling time, and they are all as reliable as Rolex calibers.
Oyster watches that work forever
Technically, all modern Rolex watches that aren't from the Cellini collection are Oyster Perpetual models, even though most of them aren't from the "Oyster Perpetual" collection. So, Rolex makes a number of models that look like the famous Oyster Perpetual watch but also show the date.
Rolex Oystrer Perpetual Datejust
In 1945, Rolex made the first wristwatch that wound itself and showed the date. The Datejust had a date window under a cyclops lens and a special Jubilee bracelet to show off how unique it was. The exclusive bracelet had five links made of stainless steel, white gold, yellow gold, or Everose. The gold designs were and still are made at Rolex's foundry, where they make all of their own gold.
If you want a Rolex watch that you can wear every day, the Datejust is a great choice. It has a sturdy case, a useful and well-sized dial, and a date feature, so it can go well with both business attire and casual clothes. The case sizes range from 28mm for women to 41mm for men. White gold, yellow gold, and Everose watches are more expensive, and their dials have unique features like Roman numeral hour markers and fluted bezels.
Today, the Datejust comes on an Oyster bracelet with three links, and some versions for women have dials made of mother-of-pearl and bezels with diamonds. Rolesor models made of stainless steel and gold are a classic choice for many, while the dials of the models in this famous collection can be chocolate, black, white, silver, rhodium, blue, pink, or champagne.
Rolex Day-Date Oyster Perpetual
When it came out in 1956, the Day-Date watch was the first waterproof wristwatch with the day and date written out in full on the dial. It was worn by several US presidents. The watch is called the Rolex President, and many actors and other famous people wear it.
The Day-Date watch is only available in 18k gold or platinum, and it comes with the President Bracelet, which has an elegant three-piece link design made just for the Day-Date line. The Day-Date has dials in green, blue, silver, ice blue, orange, black, and brown, as well as dials made of mother-of-pearl with diamond accents. You can also choose between a fluted bezel and a newer glossy domed bezel. There are also many other rare dial variations, such as the lacquered "Stella dials" that come in bright colors.
The Oyster Perpetual has been made for a very long time. The ref. 116000 is one of the most-wanted editions on the used market right now. This 36mm reference is a modern version of the series. It has a Twinlock waterproof screw-down crown, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over the dial, and an automatic movement that has been certified by the COSC. With modern dial options like red grape and striking silver, it's not hard to see why the ref. 116000 is popular right now.
On the second-hand market, old Rolex watches are always in high demand. Whether you're new to Rolex or have been collecting them for years, the vintage models are likely to be too tempting to pass up. On the pre-owned level, the stainless steel ref. 1002, the two-tone ref. 1005, and the solid gold ref. 6636 are popular choices.
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