In addition to a revamped Rolex Submariner watch collection, 2020 sees Rolex release a new 41mm wide version of the entry-level Rolex Oyster Perpetual in a larger case and with a new generation movement as the reference 124300 collection. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 watch debut with seven exciting dial colors, including those which have not been featured on Rolex dials for a long time. Rolex has certainly needed the “bright colors are in” trend, and created both conservative and genuinely fun versions of what will for many people the entry-price point for a men’s Rolex watch in steel.
The 124300 Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch builds on the 114300 watches that were originally debuted in 2015. The previous largest case size for the Oyster Perpetual was 39mm wide, and that now goes up to 41mm wide for 2020. Note that introduction of the Oyster Perpetual 41 signals the discontinuation of the Oyster Perpetual 39 (which is now no longer made). The Oystersteel-cased watches features polished, rounded bezels, and a simple “no date” dial display. In fact, the movements Rolex uses in the Oyster Perpetual 41 watches is the newer in-house made caliber 3230 automatic, which is the same movement used in the also new for 2020 Rolex Submariner 124060 “No Date” watch. The 4Hz, 70 hours power reserve automatic movement is both COSC and in-house Rolex “Superlative Chronometer” certified and is accurate to a stunning 2 seconds a day on average.
For all the talk of watch sizes going down, Rolex is bucking that trend by moving up. It is true that, there are also new smaller versions of the Oyster Perpetual watch for 2020, but this years’ new Rolex watches are dominated by the 41mm wide size. In modern Rolex history this size has until now been mostly associated with the Rolex Datejust 41 (aBlogtoWatch review here). Thus, both the new Oyster Perpetual 41 and new 2020 Rolex Submariner watches all feature 41mm wide case sizes.
The all-brushed steel case of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 is paired with a matching steel bracelet which features Rolex’s updated design with even lower tolerance between parts it seems. The bracelet does have an “easy extension” clasp, but not the fancier Glidelock micro-adjust feature in the more expensive Rolex Submariner models. The cases of the Oyster Perpetual 41 watches are water resistant to 100 meters. As of 2020, Rolex now produces the Oyster Perpetual watch in 31, 34, 36, and 41mm wide sizes. Many of the watches share dial colors, and so care should be taken when someone is selecting a watch to buy.
Rolex updated the Oyster Perpetual 41 dial with more than just new colors. For 2020 the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock hour markers have “double bars” giving then a larger size and visually creating a look that feels more familiar with the Submariner – which has different hour marker shapes on the dial. A lot of collectors might note even at first notice the existence of the “double bar” hour markers on the Oyster Perpetual 41. What they no doubt will notice are the new color options. The boldest of which are yellow, turquoise, and “coral red” dial colors. Also available for the 124300 watch are traditional “bright black,” silver with gold markers and hands, deep metallic “bright blue,” and forest green dial color options. During our meeting with Rolex, they did not have all the 41mm wide dial color version, so for demonstration purposes some of the watches shot use the reference 126000 Oyster Perpetual 36 cases.
Between the seven new 124300 Oyster Perpetual 41 watches, and the three new all-steel versions of the Submariner 41, that is a total of at least 10 new all-steel men’s Rolex watches for 2020. Why is this important? Steel Rolex watches have been in high-demand and very challenging to make. Rather than over-produce any given model to meet consumer demand, Rolex is here choosing to simply release more steel watches, none of which will experience “greater than normal” production numbers in order to not dilute market value over time.