In a recent poll taken on the online Rolex Forum, the most popular Rolex dial colors ranking amongst members’ votes were black (43.3%), blue (39.2%), white (8.8%), green (6.0%), silver (1.4%) – with the remaining 1.3% categorized as “other”. Before the brand’s introduction of its newest color palette, Rolex had some standard go-to colors that proved to be classic fan favorites for years and years. Some of these signature looks date back several decades and have had continued popularity ever since. Gone are the days where the most popular Rolex dial colors were solely black, white, silver, and blue. Other more traditional looks for the brand consist of dials made of exotic materials – such as mother-of-pearl and meteorite, and gemstones – including onyx, lapis, and opal, among others.
The brand has since evolved to lean more towards solid color dials among its newer generation watches. It also stands true that there are different color preferences for different types of watches. For example, amongst Rolex dress watches some of the most popular dial colors are silver, white, black, and champagne. Whereas with Rolex sports watches, which tend to have less dial color options for most models, black is an extremely popular color. Let’s take a look at some iconic Rolex models that help to define these popular dial colors in the watch world.
(Left) The Rolex “Panda” Daytona with a white dial (Right) The Rolex Sky-Dweller with a black dial and fluted bezel
New Rolex Dial Colors
Rolex has since been experimenting with a broader color wheel for several years now, experimenting with some bright and distinct colors on certain watch features – most notably with dial colors. From this vivid new variation, several have quickly become some of Rolex’s most popular Rolex dial colors amongst fans of the brand. True to the Rolex reputation of delivering high-quality in just about everything they do, they have been pulling off these new colored dials exceptionally well – as they’ve show to be a consistent hit with fans of the brand all over.
With a variety of shiny new faces to choose from, the new 2020 Oyster Perpetual models come available with exciting candy-colored dials like candy pink, turquoise, coral red, green, and yellow, as well as revamped sunray-finished versions of the brand’s more usual black, silver, and blue dials. Other collections adding pops of new colors to the mix include the Datejust, Sky-Dweller, and Submariner collection – including new shades of dials, bezels, and bracelets, plus colorful combinations of each. As the dial is the face of the watch and the first thing most people notice, we will be focusing on the most popular Rolex dial colors below.
Rolex’s new 2020 additions: The Oyster Perpetual 41 with coral red and green dials. (Ref. 124300)
Black Rolex Dials
Topping off the list of most popular Rolex dial colors on is black. This comes as no surprise, as many popular Rolex models – including the Submariner, Datejust, GMT Master, and Explorer – all come available with a sleek black dial. Not only is black a sharp, solid, and sexy go-to dial color, it sets the perfect contrast and complement to other features of a watch.
For instance, the watch that Rolex itself calls “the reference among divers’ watches”, the Submariner 114060LN – the OG of the Sub family – has had a signature theme of black face on steel since it was first launched in 1953. Its sleek black dial sets the perfect backdrop for the Submariner’s luminescent hands and dial markers, making it incredibly legible underwater and in darker settings – a key feature for avid divers. This iconic watch has set the standard for subsequent Rolex diving watches that followed, including its own Submariner successors like the 116610LN and the newly upgraded 126610LN.
The discontinued Rolex Submariner Date Ref.116610LN with a black dial.
Blue Rolex Dials
Blue dials are also available in the majority of Rolex collections. Among the usual sea of black, white, and silver dial watches, blue dials add a subtle yet vivid splash of color to the mix. Blue is another fan favorite for dial colors as it is bold and eye-catching without being too loud or flashy.
Yet another popular Rolex sports watches, the Milgauss Z-Blue 116400GV sports a stunning blue dial. Although technically a sports watch, the Milgauss Z-Blue was actually created as a watch geared for scientists – a versatile tool that appeals to both the jock and the nerd in you. Perhaps the most attractive and distinctive feature on this watch is its stunning electric blue dial – perfectly complemented by Rolex’s first-ever green sapphire crystal, which is all hard to miss on a bold 40mm case. Discontinued for 20 years, the Milgauss collection made a comeback in 2007 with none other than the Milgauss Z-Blue.
The discontinued Rolex Milgauss Ref. 116400GV with an electrifying “Z-Blue” dial
White Rolex Dials
White is classic, bright, easy to read, and one of the most coveted dial colors on select Rolex timepieces. As favorable as they are, the truth is there aren’t a ton of white dialed Rolex watches out there – especially when compared to, say, black dialed watches. Because of their clean and classic look, especially when nicely framed with a gleaming steel or gold case, white dials give off such a pristine and sophisticated appeal. Which is why most white dial Rolexes tend to be on the dressier side. Many popular Rolex sports models, for instance, don’t have white dial versions – such as the Submariner, GMT-Master, or Sea-Dweller. Perhaps the rarity of white dialed watches is part of what makes them so desirable to Rolex fans.
One white dialed fan favorite is the Sky-Dweller 326934. First introduced in 2012, the Sky-Dweller has seen a steady increase in popularity amongst watch enthusiasts, becoming one of Rolex’s hottest models in recent years. One of Rolex’s newer additions, the Sky-Dweller is titled as the brand’s “most complicated watch”, as well as one of its most expensive. Also available with a blue or black face, the Sky-Dweller 326934 is seen as more of a luxury watch than a tool watch despite its unparalleled functionality. Especially with an immaculate white dial, this timepiece exudes luxury and sophistication and can easily be worn as a dress watch in addition to a pilot’s watch. With a 42mm case, fluted bezel, and several light-reflecting surfaces, the Sky-Dweller is an absolute statement piece on anyone’s wrist. Read more about this show-stopping watch in our “A Closer Look: The Rolex Sky-Dweller” blog.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326934 with a white dial.
Green Rolex Dials
Green is a special color for the brand as it has been creatively applied to several of the Rolex anniversary edition models in celebration of the occasions. Some examples include the 50th anniversary Milgauss 116400GV made with a green sapphire crystal, and the 50th anniversary GMT-Master II 116718LN made with a deep green dial.
The ever-popular Submariner collection particularly favors the color green, with three of its most popular models adorned in various applications of green. The “Kermit” 16610LV, also a Rolex 50th anniversary edition of the Submariner, was released with a green aluminum bezel. Added to the mix in September of 2020 was the “Starbucks” 126610LV along with all the new bells & whistles of the new 2020 Submariners. In between these two models came the “Hulk” 116610LV with its completely green get-up consisting of both a green dial and a green bezel plus its redesigned Maxi case giving it a thicker and bulkier overall aesthetic (hence its nickname). The Hulk continues to be a fan favorite not only for its characteristic all-green look, but for its significance in Rolex history as the first Submariner made with another dial color besides the traditional black or blue options. Suffice it to say the Hulk’s sunburst green dial is the primary reason for its initial and continued popularity within the watch community.
Silver Rolex Dials
Silver dials are another popular choice, as they offer a smooth and timeless aesthetic that will never go out of style. With so many silver dialed Rolex watches to choose from, they are fitting for any outfit, on any occasion, and in any setting. From the classic silver Datejust embodying style and sophistication, to the complex and sporty steel Cosmograph Daytona exuding precision and high-performance, the color silver makes a statement on any watch type or model.
To wrap up our review of the most popular Rolex dial colors, we’ll now highlight the brand’s “classic watch of reference”, the Datejust. First launched by Rolex in 1945, the Datejust became the first automatic waterproof watch with a date window display. The Datejust II was released later in 2009 and stayed true to many of the signature traits of its predecessor while also upgrading several design and functionality aspects. Available in various colors, the silver dial is undoubtedly one of the most streamline and sophisticated looks on the newer generation Datejust. The Datejust II 116334G, in particular, is a popular choice – with a gorgeous diamond-set silver steel dial, fluted bezel, and gleaming steel Oyster bracelet. Its bold 41mm case, impressive 70-hour power reserve, 100m water resistance, and rugged durability all prove that the 116334G is a choice timepiece for more than just its lavish looks.
A silver dialed Rolex Datejust with diamond set markers and a fluted bezel. (Ref. 116334G)