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Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 (Ref 116000) White Dial Review

  1. aesguerra Sep 25, 2018

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    Up to recently, I have never had a thing for Rolex watches. I didn't HATE em; they just weren't my cup of tea. Between the heavy polishing, the fluted bezels, and the cyclops date, they just struck me as being too fancy for this jeans n t-shirt kind of guy. The sole exception for me would've been the Oyster Perpetuals, but the colorful dial options didn't exactly suit my decidedly conservative tastes.

    Oh, there was also the stainless steel Daytona, and... well, I'm an impatient kind of guy, not suited to years of waiting. Enough said. :p

    Then came 2018, and the OPs were released with dials in the tradition white and black dials! It was the former that got me excited, and as both were selling like hotcakes, I moved on one in the 36mm variety as soon as I can. Ten days later, this guy is happily drinking the Rolex Kool Aid. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    It Is What It Is
    36mm across the case, close to 44mm from lug to lug (45.5mm if including the end links), and 11.6mm thick, the OP36 is categorized as a midsized watch in the Rolex arsenal. Boxy in appearance, the case hearkens back to the to the original days, and you can really see the resemblance to the original Oysters and Oyster Perpetuals cases of yesteryear. It comes with the Oyster Bracelet with the standard Oysterclasp (no EZ Link available), and is powered by the Rolex 3130 in house movement (essentially the dateless version of the venerable 3135), with a power reserve of 48 hours and a Superlative Chronometer Standard accuracy rating of +2/-2 secs. Altogether, it weighs in at approx 124g.

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    The case and bracelet share a common finishing, with the tops and bottoms brushed and the sides polished to a gleaming shine. The polished finish is also applied to the bezel. I don't know if my eyes are playing tricks on me or not, but the claims of 904L steel holding a polished finish better than 316L DOES seem to hold true. Rolex makes a huge deal about being the only company to use this more corrosion resistant metal; well, it appears to pay off. It literally is like looking at a mirror, and not looking at something that has a mirror-like finish.

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    But it is the WHITE DIAL that brought you to this review; A LOT of interest was generated when this dial was released to the world this year, bringing whispers of a new alternate to the much loved (and heavily wished for new release of the) Polar Explorer. More of an eggshell shade of that color, the white dial of the 2018 OP is less harsh a shade of white than the garden variety ones that you'll find on other white dial Rolexes. It's more a soft muted glowing shade of white, somewhat akin to the difference between a 40w light bulb vs a 100w one. Compare this dial on the OP with one on say a DJ and you'll immediately noticed the change. :) :)

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    Rolex appears to have been accomplished by infusing a bit of silver in the dial to tone the whiteness down. What this results in is a white dial that retains the dynamic nature of the standard white dial, but in a softer more muted way. It plays with the ambient light to where standard indoor lighting and direct outdoor lighting brings out the white in the dial, while indirect lighting tends to allow more of the silver to show. It's kind of a two-for-one special, allowing you to enjoy both the white dial and the silver dial simultaneously.

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    White gold hands, indices, and the 12 o'clock Coronet (the only precious metal used on the watch) compliment the dial greatly. Some people take issue withe the use of double indices at the 3-6-9 while the rest of them are single; I'm not one of them. Sure, the use of all-single indices (like on the OP39 and OP34) would've been nice, but the double-indices give the OP36 its own unique charm, with a hint of sportiness of the Explorer, but without crossing into that watch's territory by using a 3-6-9. A 5-10-15-etc on the minute track further give the OP36 more of its own identity. It's like it's KIND OF sporty, but not.

    That leads me into the thing that most people not in the know of Rolex might (and in my case HAVE) observed - it's the LEAST Rolex'y (my coworkers term haha) Rolex they've ever seen. True, it lacks the flash and panache of it's more expensive siblings, almost approaching somewhat austere to some eyes. Yet the OP36 and those like it are unarguably every bit a Rolex as any other in the catalog, not only excellent watches in their own right, but also serving as the backbone that almost every other one of their watches are built upon - there's a reason the words "Oyster Perpetual" precede the model names "Submariner", SkyDweller", "GMT", etc. It's got the quality build, the automatic movement, and the waterproof case, the very characteristics that virtually ever other Hans Wilsdorf timepiece has had since 1931. This watch has three things to say, and only three things – “I’m here to tell the time, I’ll wind myself as long as you wear me, and don’t worry about taking me into the water.“ Nothing more, nothing less.

    Legibility is never in question, which is always a hallmark of a great watch design. The hands and indices may appear to be darker than the dial to which they are affixed or at times brighter, depending on what the lighting conditions are, but the contrast against the dial is ever present, except when lighting is seriously lacking. NOTE - reviews of the 2018 Oyster Perpetual see-saw between the lume that is applied to the indices and hands as being Chromolight OR Superluminova - I can confirm that it is the latter. When the darkness settles in, expect a green glow that is on par with expectations you have of that product.

    How It Wears
    How does the OP36 wear? Putting it succinctly, BEAUTIFULLY! With a 16cm / 6.3in wrist, I find that the weight is well distributed, and with the flat, low profiled caseback, it rarely feels as obtrusive as my other watches. In fact, I have on occasion found myself forgetting it's even there!

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    It lends itself well to casual wear, although I will say that I find it better suited to a polo shirt and jeans rather than t-shirt and jeans (my opinion, YMMV). The Oyster bracelet seems to live up to its hype, and the Oyster Clasp is superb in security and ease of operation. The wear-factor alone has made it the equal of my FOIS for favorite timepiece.

    Shsssh! Don't tell Wally. Haha ::bleh::

    Conclusion
    The Oyster Perpetual 36 w/White Dial is a solid watch in it's own right, especially for the traditionalist with an eye for the more period sized cases or those wanting a more conservative timepiece. It fulfills its mission admirably with its reliable automatic movement providing solid day long accuracy and a comfort factor that to me is second to none, yet does so discreetly, flying under the Rolex radar so well that even a Rolex owner might miss it.
     
    Edited Sep 26, 2018
    BrianPankow, flw, alkearl and 17 others like this.
  2. Caliber561 Sep 25, 2018

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    Excellent Review!
     
    akshayluc420 and aesguerra like this.
  3. Togri v. 2.0 Wow! Custom title... cool Sep 26, 2018

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    Well done!!! Better review than the watch blogs. You got a talent :) I actually hadn’t noticed the differences om the dial from the OP39 and the OP36. Nice touch by Rolex. Looks like they really nailed it.
     
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  4. Tritium Sep 26, 2018

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    I really enjoyed reading your review.
    Excellent choice, wear it in good health :thumbsup:
     
    aesguerra likes this.
  5. lcolors1 Sep 27, 2018

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    Are you sure the hands and crown are WG. My AD and the catalog says only the hour markers are gold. Not implying your wrong. Just wondering how you know?
     
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  6. Dr_P Sep 28, 2018

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    Great review! Thank you! I am actually in the market for an OP but was leaning more to the 39 mm dark rhodium dial. Your review is making me think twice about the color.
    Thanks again.
     
    aesguerra likes this.
  7. WatchVaultNYC Sep 28, 2018

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    I'm actually looking for one of these - with the white arabic 3-6-9

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. llvhhui Sep 28, 2018

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    My goal is to get one of those white OPs.
     
  9. aesguerra Sep 28, 2018

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    thelinendial likes this.
  10. aesguerra Sep 28, 2018

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    Thank ya much. :cool:
     
  11. Dr_P Sep 28, 2018

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    @WatchVaultNYC what are the sizes in your photo? 36mm and 34mm?
    Thank you
     
  12. Jas Aug 19, 2020

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    Excellent review ... this is the exact model I want next, as a sister to my SM300. Thank you so much for a fascinating and unique summary!
     
  13. thelinendial Aug 19, 2020

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    Really good review. Owning the 34mm for close to 2 years now, you've brought up all the important points about what makes this watch what is is.

    Little known, fact, the EasyLink can be retrofitted - making it perfect - and so this remains my favourite go-to watch to this day.

    To your comment about the double baton, I was in the camp of not liking, but now it's grow on me. If I see it for a good price, I'd pick up the 36mm - in white too - just because.
     
  14. Jas Aug 19, 2020

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    Interesting point about the EasyLink. Must admit I loved the Glidelock on my Sub 114060 - and I like the system on my SM300, too. Can’t remember what it’s called.
     
  15. janice&fred Aug 19, 2020

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    I think it's called "way too bulky, heavy and unnecessary"? :D
     
    Jas likes this.
  16. u35rm8 Aug 19, 2020

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    Thanks for the in depth review! Have been on the fence with this one after seeing it at the AD, it’s a great shade of white to it.
     
  17. thelinendial Aug 19, 2020

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    The Rolex EasyLink is really discreet and small - you can’t even see it - but gives specifically 5mm larger or smaller adjustment with a quick click.

    For me that’s just enough give from getting hot to being cool.

    I like it so much, I did custom work to fit it into my Black Bay 58! I tried to impress my wife, that I believe I’m the 2nd person in the Internet to have gotten that working :)! Which, she instead found quite amusing.
     
    Edited Aug 31, 2020
    janice&fred and watch3s like this.
  18. watch3s Aug 19, 2020

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    did you drill extra microadjustments?
     
  19. thelinendial Aug 19, 2020

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    No, there's no need to drill micro adjustments. For the Oyster, you just add add the link. The BlackBay 58 is some concerted effort.

    Here's (very poor lighting and quickly taken) pictures of the Oyster to add to this great review. For the details, and the BB58, I'll start a dedicated thread.

    Rolex Oyster Perpetual 114200 with EasyLink Zoomed.jpeg

    Rolex Oyster Perpetual 114200 with EasyLink.jpeg
     
    Edited Aug 19, 2020
    janice&fred and watch3s like this.
  20. watch3s Aug 19, 2020

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    ah yes, thanks, i was referring to the bb58. i had found their 3 holes microadjustments lacking. it was either a whole extra link or put it on the largest microadjustment