I am have a bit of a watch fetish that I picked up from my Dad’s love of all things mechanical and my own time spent scuba-diving when I worked in the oil industry (and had access to a company pick-up) I quickly found that a watch designed to be legible under the sea is also handy in a night-clubs and warehouse parties. You can see some of my collection here.
Pride of place in my collection is the Rolex Sea-Dweller, a beefed-up Rolex Oyster watch with a one-way release valve on the case for saturation divers to let trapped helium out of the watch case plus all the usual items you would expect in a dive watch (one way brezel), highly legible face, chunky knock-about build.
Rolex have taken this horological bad boy and made it even better with the Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA:
- Rolex seems to have shed their conservative design and made the watch much more overt in its branding. These modifications include “ROLEX” repeated around the chapter ring, “Original Gas Escape Valve” and “Ring Lock System” on top of the ring lock (more about this later). The dial gets labeled with the ungrammatical “DEEPSEA” below the Rolex logo
- The dial design with larger hour markers are larger, and slightly wider hour and minute hands, all the markers have a new blue-colored lume on the dial and bezel dot, providing improvements in legibility
- The crystal goes from flat thick sapphire to domed thick sapphire, presumably to deal with the pressure, but this may also make the watch slightly easier to read when the dial is not viewed square on
- The existing anodised brezel was always susceptible to picking up scratches, so the hard ceramic with platinum-filled numbers will be a considerable improvement. Ceramics have been used by Rado for a good while but Rolex is a relatively new convert
- The new “Ringlock System”, which is a stainless steel (alloyed with nitrogen according to Rolex) ring. I was taught back in the day that nitrogen makes steel brittle, which makes it all a bit odd. The ring sits beneath the crystal to help it withstand some of the severe pressure that the watch is likely to suffer if used in really deep dives
- The case-back has changed from being made out of stainless steel to a titanium/steel alloy
- A larger case to accomodate all these changes and a more versatile adjustable strap
- All these changes result in an improved depth rating which has been increased from 1,220m to 3,900m