You’re nuts! Conservative is good. It’s safe. You can never go wrong.
Yes, yes and yes. While I can wholeheartedly agree with those points, being conservative can also mean boring. Dull. Ever heard of the saying, “Fortune favours the bold?” Yeah, exactly. If we were to go along with that, the new black and white dial versions of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 (reference 114300) would be flat broke.
Wait! Hold up! Did you say “new” versions?!
Oh, my bad. Yes, new versions. See, when all the attention was centered around the new Rolex GMTs and whatnot, Rolex quietly debuted two new dial options for its entry-level Oyster Perpetual 39 lineup. The original 39s were introduced in 2015 with three dial options – Blue, Red Grape and Dark Rhodium.
In my opinion, those were some of the cleanest-looking Rolex Oyster models you could get your hands on. While the overall design was relatively tame to begin with, those original dial options and signature coloured pips at the base of each hour marker ensured that the watches had just the right amount of character.
With these new variants, however, I’m not too sure they would retain that same amount of pizzazz. The contrasting pips are still there but it’s a full monochrome affair with the white dial getting black pips and vice versa.
Not much difference aside from the colour of the dials, then?
Well, the only difference you can pick out within minutes of looking at the new duo against the old trio is that the former pair now have thicker baton-style hour markers with Chromalight lume. The previous three variants had markers with lume treatment on the 3, 6 and 9 positions.
Also, Rolex is now insisting that the Oyster Perpetual 39s are fashioned out of Oystersteel – which is just another fancy marketing term for their 904L steel. Slightly corny name aside, you should really try one on the wrist before knocking Rolex for the silly jargons – they feel absolutely amazing.
Aside from that, nothing much separates the new variants from the old. Technical specifications are the same with the Oyster Perpetual 39 packing the brand’s 3132 calibre. Beating at a rate of 4 Hz, the COSC-certified piece packs a 48-hour power reserve and is accurate to +/- 2 seconds per day.
Other details include a case diameter of 39 mm (obviously), a water resistant rating of 100 m and a sapphire crystal. As is the case with Rolex models, the movement is hidden away behind a solid, screw-down caseback. The Oyster bracelet itself is also made out of Oystersteel – no Easylink comfort extension feature here, unfortunately.
So? Is it boring or is it conservatively good?
C’mon, guys! This is entirely subjective. On one hand, the black and white options will be infinitely more versatile than the already versatile originals. For someone planning on getting just one luxury watch to wear in almost any situation with almost any outfit, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better alternative at this price point.
Which, I have to mention, stands at around the RM20,000-mark. Expensive? Again, that depends entirely on where you are in life.
For the record, I’d still pick the Dark Rhodium variant over these two. To me, that version walks the line between dressy and casual like no other model in the Rolex catalogue can. The grey is sombre enough to blend in with an executive attire while the blue pips are vibrant enough to add a dash of colour to most casual outfits.
Put a gun to my head and ask me to choose between the two new variants and I’d pick the black dial hands down. Hey, if you’re gonna’ go down the safe route, might as well make it as soul-sappingly conservative as possible, right? What about you? If you were in the market for one, would it be one of the new duos or would you go with original trios instead? Sound off in the comments!