In 2012 Rolex presented this startling model, the construction of which bears 14 patents – five of which are new. The functions comprise an annual calendar with date and month display, a second time-zone and a 24-hour display. Along with the Yacht-Master II and the Daytona, the Sky-Dweller is an unusual model by Rolex as, unlike the brand’s usual offerings, it features a complication. The Sky-Dweller is the only Rolex watch with unique, purpose-built complicated movement.

The special feature of this watch is the simplicity and directness of its control logic. The fluted bezel  "Ring Command" allows the new basic functions to be easily adjusted and understood. Depending on whether it is rotated by one, two or three positions counterclockwise, a different function setting  is triggered: date, local or reference time. The selected function can then immediately be adjusted by the crown - which has only one setting position - in one or the other direction. In contrast to the usual regulatory mechanisms this setting has no restrictions.

The Sky-Dweller features the newly developed self-winding movement Rolex 9001 with COSC chronometer certificate. The movement is equipped with the Parachrom blue hairspring developed by Rolex and an escapement wheel of paramagnetic material. The high power reserve is three days (72 h).

The case has a 42 mm diameter . The watch is waterproof to 10 atm.