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Sea‑Dweller

The watch that conquered the deep

Sea-Dweller

The Sea-Dweller and Rolex Deepsea are ultra-resistant divers’ watches engineered by Rolex for deep-sea exploration. Waterproof to a depth of 4,000 feet (1,220 metres) for the Rolex Sea-Dweller, launched in 1967, and 12,800 feet (3,900 metres) for the Rolex Deepsea unveiled in 2008, they are the ultimate manifestation of Rolex’s leadership in divers’ watches and the result of decades of collaboration with diving professionals.

In 2014 Rolex released a special version of the model, the Rolex Deepsea with a D-blue dial, to commemorate James Cameron’s historic solo dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, some 11,000 metres deep. From twilight blue to bottomless black, its two-colour gradient dial celebrates one man’s journey to the deepest place on Earth.

Design

Designed
for extreme
depths

Sea-Dweller

43 mm, Oystersteel

The Sea-Dweller’s 60-minute graduated, unidirectional rotatable bezel enables divers to safely monitor their dive and decompression times. It is equipped with a patented black Cerachrom bezel insert manufactured by Rolex

in a virtually scratchproof and corrosion proof ceramic whose colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The graduation is coated via PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) with a thin layer of platinum.

No other watch is engineered like the Rolex Deepsea. Waterproof to an extreme depth of 3,900 metres (12,800 feet), this new-generation divers’ watch benefits from exclusive innovations developed by Rolex to exceed the most exacting demands of professional divers.

Its 44 mm Oyster case, reinforced with the patented Ringlock System, was designed to provide the highest degree of resistance and reliability in a size that remains wearable and practical.

For excellent legibility in dark conditions, the sleek black dial features large Chromalight hour markers and hands filled with luminescent material that emits a long-lasting blue glow.

Features

Resistance
to pressure

Sea-Dweller

43 mm, Oystersteel

Early saturation divers experienced a troublesome phenomenon that affected their watches during the decompression phase in hyperbaric chambers filled with breathing mixes composed largely of helium.

Helium molecules are so tiny that they can slowly penetrate the watch case through the gaskets, so the pressure inside the watch equalizes with the pressure inside the habitat. However, during a diver’s decompression process to be slowly brought back to normal atmospheric pressure,

the gas is unable to escape from the waterproof case sufficiently quickly. The resulting pressure difference inside and outside the watch often resulted in the crystal of the watch popping off, rather like a champagne cork.

Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Dial

44 mm, Oystersteel

To address this issue, Rolex invented and patented the gas escape valve for watches, a one-way valve which safely allows the helium trapped in the watch to be released at a given pressure during decompression, while preserving the tight waterproofness of the Oyster case.

Sea-Dweller

43 mm, Oystersteel

This innovation brought the final touch to the resistance to pressure – both internal and external – of the Sea-Dweller’s case, resulting in a watch perfectly adapted to the requirements of deep-sea divers. The Rolex Deepsea owes its exceptional strength, waterproofness and pressure resistance to the exclusive Ringlock system.

This innovative case architecture patented by Rolex enables the watch to resist the massive pressure exerted by water at the depth of 3,900 metres (12,800 feet), equivalent to a weight of approximately 3 tonnes on the watch. Its construction is based on three elements: a nitrogen-alloyed steel central ring forms the backbone of the system, accompanied by a 5.5 mm‑thick, domed sapphire crystal and a case back in grade 5 titanium.

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Universe

The
quest
for the
deep

1960

Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard inside the Trieste

In 1960, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard forever raised the bar for marine exploration by piloting the bathyscaphe Trieste to the deepest point in the world’s oceans, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.

When they surfaced from the historic dive to a depth of 10,916 metres (37,800 feet) in the Pacific Ocean, the submersible was carrying an experimental Rolex watch, the Deep Sea Special, attached to the exterior.

It was in perfect working order, the only watch to have successfully been taken so deep in real-life conditions: an achievement that cemented Rolex’s expertise as the pioneer and leader of the waterproof wristwatch.

1960 - The Deep Sea Special

Was created to withstand the most extreme conditions

On 26 March 2012, film-maker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron descended into the Mariana Trench in his submersible, making the deepest-ever solo dive.

2012 - The Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea Challenge

Setting the record for the deepest diving watch in the world

It was the first manned dive to the deepest part of the Trench, known as Challenger Deep, since the pioneering two-man Trieste expedition of 1960. Only one passenger joined both voyages: a Rolex watch.

James Cameron also took the 1960 Deep Sea Special watch produced by Rolex with him in the cockpit, as a tribute to the pioneers of the Trieste and as a symbolic connection between two eras of exploration.

Every Rolex
Tells a Story

David Doubilet

Experience

the Sea-Dweller

in Store

Nothing beats experiencing first-hand the meticulous details, the balanced weight, the comfort and simply the feel of a Rolex watch.

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