ON THE WRIST: Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 25, 2023
A bit plain?
39 mm Diameter
11 mm Thickness
100m Water Resistance
48 hours Power Reserve
47.5 mm Lug to Lug
What’s not to like about a simple three-hander Rolex? Having gone for a Yacht-Master then a GMT, I find myself constantly coming back to their entry model Oyster Perpetual. The Rolex company is not loved for producing high-complication but for being robust and reliable where both traits can be found in their OP range which is exactly why they are my pick of the bunch. Let’s dig in to find if this one is any different?
The Oyster Perpetual 39 is now discontinued and had a run from 2015 to 2020. This dial was introduced in 2018 so unlike the usual white dials that do not get as much love, this is favoured over the rest due to a shorter production run. The dial on this one does not look as white as pictures may suggest, it is more of a silver-ish to the naked eye. Things are symmetrically spread out which helps to tell time even with just a quick glance. A model with nominal Rolex pompousness and will earn the approval of the minimalism bunch.
Spanning 47.5 mm end link to end link, the 39 fits a broad range of wrists and with its proportions. The case is beautifully sculptured which hugs the wrist well making this watch comfortable for a full day of wearing. The 114300 is brushed for most parts while the sides are polished and so is the bezel.
Weighing in at 125 grams, this is about as much weight as I would like on a watch because any more would certainly cause wearing fatigue. Unlike Rolexes with double locking clasp, I actually prefer the single lock system because putting on and taking off can be done with little to no attention.
The professional line of Rolexes are more exciting to look at but wearing one for an entire day isn’t the most comfortable of things. It wasn’t just once that I had the urge to take the GMT master off before my dinner arrived. After a day with, it was somewhat wearing me out. This might be the case for most people if they are honest enough or I really should start having protein shakes.
On top of that, a Daytona or a GMT Master is more costly to service but a simple Rolex like this one apparently doesn’t need servicing until it stops ticking. This very watch has never been serviced and is running plus 5 seconds every 24 hours which is acceptable for a mechanical watch.
The OP 39 is a reliable, good quality watch. There’s no bezel to turn, no date to set and no pushers to press yet it has its charms. An OP can be said to be a boring watch but that is all that’s really needed in a well-made watch. The way it sits on the wrist to how it sounds off the wrist. Despite that, it runs a close second to being my favourite recent watch purchase, my number one being the Tudor Black Bay 59 Bronze. Well Tudors, they are so much bang for the buck.
As much as I’d like Rolex to make 39 mm OPs again, it is unlikely to happen as they would rather push you towards the Black Bay 39’s direction. Even so, I will not keep the OP39 for the rest of time given how much I enjoy watches. One has to make room for another so I could experience the many watches available out there.