COMPARISON: Rolex Sky-Dweller VS Rolex Day-Date

Use this comprehensive comparison to find out which one of these two watches is best for you.

We are constantly asked questions about the differences between different types of watches from the most popular luxury watch brands as well as the differences between certain watches within a specific brand. Our various watch comparisons are made to enable you to make an educated and informed purchase decision about a watch by putting the information objectively in an easy to read format.

Finding a good looking Rolex doesn't involve much research. The key is to find a new model that can complement and possibly enhance your existing way of life. That takes a little research.

The two Rolex wristwatches that we will compare today are the Rolex Sky-Dweller 42mm VS the Rolex Day-Date 40mm. At a glance, these mechanical watches look slightly similar but in fact, they are very different. Below is a summary of the things that these two watches have in common, and the pros and cons describing the features that make each one unique. Otherwise, proceed with the comparison below.

Rolex Day Date Roman 40mm

Common Features

  • Both of these Rolex watches have a fluted bezel.
  • Impressive power reserve, the Day-Date at approx. 70 hours and the Sky-Dweller has a 2-hour advantage at 72 hours.
  • Date function/complication.
  • Available with a case and or bracelet in the following precious metals: 18kt Yellow Gold, 18kt Everose Gold (Rolex's proprietary version of rose gold), and  18kt White Gold. The Day-Date even has a few models with a Platinum case and bracelet.
  • Rolex patented "Triplock" crown which locks the crown down to the Oyster case as tight as a submarine hatch.
  • Cyclops Date magnifier, a distinctly Rolex feature.
  • Water resistance of 100m/330ft
Rolex Sky-Dweller Watch

Rolex Sky-Dweller

The most impressive feature of the Rolex Sky-Dweller is the added complications. The difference in the Rolex Sky-Sweller is that it has 3 complications; a Date function, an Annual Calendar, and a Dual Time Zone / GMT. While the Rolex Day-Date only has a Day-Date function. The Sky-Dweller was made for world travelers who need to easily keep track of two time zones and make changes to the time when entering different zones with the push of a button. It contains between 11 and 14 different patented new technologies depending on the model. These features are favored by professional pilots, frequent travelers, and aeronauts. It comes in stainless steel, rose gold, yellow gold, and two-tone. See the pros & cons.

PROS

Power Reserve 
The Sky-Dweller offers a slightly better power reserve of 72 hours compared to the Day-Date's 70 hours (both are approximately 3 days). 
GMT / Dual Time Zone Complication 
Possibly why it's called sky-dweller. People that fly a lot will often buy watches with this feature. It displays the local time as well as a secondary time zone.  
Annual Calendar Function 
The Saros Annual Calendar displays the month through a small window above the hour numerals. 
Ring Command Bezel 
The Sky-Dweller features a unique bezel. The bezel is instrumental in setting the time, date/month, and dual time zone. Rotating the bezel to a specific position of a watch function allows changes to be made to that function via the crown. 

CONS

Price Tag 
There's a slightly higher price tag for an entry-level Sky-Dweller 
Material Options 
Not available in platinum like the Day-Date 
Size and Style Options 
The Sky-Dweller series has fewer styles & sizes available compared to the Day-Date collection 
Less Bling 
The Day-Date collection has many models that are dripping with sparkling diamonds if you're looking for that over-the-top bling look. The Sky-Dweller doesn't 

Rolex Day-Date Watch

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date

The Day-Date is not as complicated of a mechanical timepiece as the Sky-Dweller. It has many styles and is very popular. However, it doesn't offer a GMT function that allows you to display the time in two different time zones. It is a dressy watch, not a sports watch and it has some higher-end models that feature Rolex's Ice Blue dial which as history has it is only available on Platinum Rolexes with platinum cases and bracelets.

PROS

Price Tag 
Slightly Lower Price Tag for an entry-level Day-Date watch compared to the Sky-Dweller  
Day Function
The Day-Date has a function that shows the day of the week at the 12 o'clock position 
Dial Options 
The Day-Date has many watches with the new innovative dial that has a patterned motif giving the dial a unique textured look.  
Styles 
More Choices of Colors & Materials including many models that incorporate diamonds into the design. 

CONS

Power Reserve 
The Day-Date's power reserve (how long the watch will run on a full wind when not worn) is 2 hours less than the Sky-Dweller. While this is not a huge difference, small details like these still need to be noted. 
Bezel 
The Day-Date has a fixed fluted (wave pattern) bezel which doesn't move whereas the Sky-Dweller has a bi-directional bezel with added functionality. 

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the Rolex Sky-Dweller VS Rolex Day-Date specifications, features, and more.

  Sky Dweller Day-Date
Brand: Rolex Rolex
Series: Sky-Dweller 42mm Day-Date 40mm White Gold
Reference #: 326939 Black Arabic 228239 Blue Roman
Size: Men's Men's
Case Material: 18kt White Gold 18kt White Gold
Dial Color: Black Blue
Bracelet/Strap: 18kt White Gold 18kt White Gold
Clasp Type: Deployant Buckle Rolex Concealed Folding Crownclasp
Movement type: Automatic Automatic
Bezel: Bi-Directional Rotating Fixed
Crystal: Scratch Resistant Sapphire Scratch Resistant Sapphire
Case Back: Solid Solid
Water Resistance: 100m/330ft 100m/330ft
Case Diameter: 42mm 40mm
Complications: Annual Calendar, GMT Time Zone Day/Date
Movement / Caliber: Rolex in-house caliber 9011 Rolex in-house caliber 3255
VPH 28,800 vph 28,800 vph
Number of Jewels: 40 31
Hairspring: Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring
Shock Absorbers: High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers
Power Reserve: Approx. 72 hours Approx. 70 hours
 

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Rolex Day-Date or Sky-Dweller
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