News! Rolex Presents Oyster Perpetual 36 126000

Rolex Oyster Perpetual new models

News! Rolex Presents Oyster Perpetual 36 126000

Rolex has officially introduced a new generation of Oyster Perpetual 36 watches, using the reference 126000. This new reference replaces the predecessor 116000 and brings in a number of new changes. Most notably, some very funky and colorful dials.

For the presentation of Rolex’s novelties for 2020, the updates to the Submariner collection were what everyone was focusing on. But  Rolex took everyone by surprise when they presented some very bright and daring dial colors for the Oyster Perpetual line – apart from only upgrading them with the latest generation caliber and a few other tweaks.

So what is the big deal about the new Oyster Perpetual 36 126000? An upgraded movement and an Easylink system, and that’s it?

Well, there’s more to it than that.

If there is one brand that is known for being conservative, it is Rolex. The brand is known for evolution, not revolution, and that generally means small, consistent upgrades and tweaks in regards to quality, design, and performance.

With that in mind, it becomes extra special and significant when Rolex dares to go outside the box and do something completely unexpected. The new Oyster perpetual 126000 is a perfect example of that.

Rolex 126000 Turquoise Blue

New Rolex Oyster Perpetual 126000

For 2020, Rolex has (unsurprisingly) upgraded and revised the Oyster Perpetual 36. The update to the Oyster Perpetual line didn’t come as a surprise in Rolex’s consistent work of upgrading its whole collection with the latest generation caliber.

The new Oyster Perpetual 36 is very familiar to the predecessor, apart from some of the dial colors, but in terms of core design, they stay true to the original. Rolex has reworked and refined the case slightly in traditional Rolex fashion. The untrained eye will likely not notice these changes, but the lugs have been made slightly slimmer and elegant. Its size remains the same, at the classic 36mm, which is suitable both for men and women. Although, the new Oyster Perpetual 41 reference 124300 that was also presented will be seen as a men’s watch, and the 36mm more of a ladies size when they are compared side-by-side.

However, with that said, 36mm has always been the classic size of a Rolex, and today, it is considered a unisex size which is popular both amongst men and women.

Another big improvement is the fact that the bracelet is now equipped with Rolex’s Easylink comfort extension system. This is something that the market had requested for a long time seeing the fact that the predecessor did not have it. Because of this, some owners have actually modified their watches by sourcing the Easylink separately and then modifying their clasp by adding it.

But with the new 126000, that is no longer necessary as the Easylink is already integrated.

The new generation caliber

If you ask Rolex, the most significant upgrade to the 126000 is the fact that it is now equipped with the latest generation caliber. The previous movement used was the caliber 3130, and whilst that is a great movement that has proven to be a reliable workhorse, the new movement features a number of improvements both in terms of performance but also in reliability and durability.

The Caliber 3230 is a movement developed and manufactured in-house entirely by Rolex. It has an accuracy of -2/+2 sec/day and displays seconds, minutes, and hours.

In terms of technology, the movement uses a Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. The power-reserve has increased substantially compared to the predecessor, now boasting an impressive 70 hours.

Rolex and colorful dials

Of course, the daring new dial colors of the Oyster perpetual is what stands out the most. What is interesting however is that the Oyster Perpetual is and always has been an entry-level watch. Yes, it has been popular, but for the most part, it’s a watch that most people haven’t considered.

Rolex was of course fully aware of this, and you could imagine that one day, they sat in a meeting saying “how can we revive the Oyster Perpetual and make it a watch that people will aspire to own?” The answer to this question proved to be by making something dramatic and drastic. By equipping them with dial colors that you simply cannot miss.

The new Oyster Perpetual 36 126000 is available with both classic and traditional dial colors that you associate Rolex with, including black, silver, and “bright blue”. The dials are certainly beautiful in their own right, but they don’t stand out of the ordinary. What does, stand out of the ordinary, however, are the “candy pink”, turquoise blue”, “green”, “yellow”, and “coral red” dials, which the Oyster Perpetual is now available with.

Photo via Everestbands

The colors of these are not toned down and discreet, but rather, they are bright and vibrant, and can be seen from across the room.

Interestingly enough, there is somewhat of a backstory to these dials which helps make them even more interesting.

Believe it or not, but Rolex has actually had a history of making bright and colorful dials. These are today known as “Stella dials”. Whilst the colorful dials of the Oyster Perpetual 36s are not Stella dials, they do remind of a very interesting part of Rolex’s history. It was during the  1970s and 1980s that Rolex presented these dials, which were lacquered with hard enamel. The colors made at the time were oxblood, red, orange, blue, green, turquoise, peach, salmon, pink, purple, and yellow. And what is particularly interesting is that the colors used in the new Oyster Perpetual are very similar to the colors used for the Stella dials, interestingly enough.

The “Stella dials” were only available in full gold.

These Stella dials were only available in a few select markets, notably the Middle East and Asia, but these dials did not prove to be a huge success. In fact, at a time when people wanted more conservative and classic dials in watches like the Day-Date, the Stella dials became mostly unsold.

However, now, only some 40 – 50 years later, a lot has changed to the market, society, and the Rolex clientele, and the new colorful dials of the 126000 have proven to be extremely well-received, although some argue that they are not suitable for a conservative brand like Rolex. Plus, the colorful, Stella-inspired dials are now available in full-steel watches, which is a first.

The good news is that if you do like the new Oyster Perpetual 36 but are more conservative,  there are dial options for you too. With that said, with the discontinuation of the predecessor, a few dials have been discontinued from the model, including “White grape”, “red grape”, and of course the white dial, to mention a few.

Oyster Perpetual 36 126000 specifications

  • Diameter: 36mm
  • Bracelet: Oyster bracelet with folding clasp and now also Easylink extension system
  • Movement: Caliber 3230
  • Power reserve: 70 hours
  • Lug width: 20mm
  • Water-resistance: 100M
  • Jewels: 31
  • Frequency: 28800 bph
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