Unveiled at Baselworld 2018 watch exhibition, this new version of the Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea features a 44 mm case with redesigned lugs and sides and a broader Oyster bracelet, as well as a correspondingly adapted Oysterlock folding safety clasp. This professional divers’ watch is equipped for the first time with calibre 3235.
The new Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea (reference 126660-0002) is made of Oystersteel and sports a D-blue dial with a deep-blue to pitch black gradient. This dial was launched in 2014 on a commemorative Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller Deepsea James Cameron watch (reference 116660B) made in tribute to the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition.
On this journey, partnered by Rolex and the National Geographic Society, film-maker and explorer James Cameron descended 10,908 metres (35,787 feet) to the ocean’s deepest point, located in the Mariana Trench. Like all Rolex watches, the new Rolex Deepsea carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures singular performance on the wrist.
A divers’ watch designed for the deep, the Rolex Deepsea is waterproof to 3,900 metres (12,800 feet). Its Oyster case was developed to ensure phenomenal resistance to pressure without compromising the size and thickness of the watch. The resulting Ringlock System allows the Rolex Deepsea to withstand the colossal pressure exerted at extreme depths.
The Ringlock System is composed of three elements: a domed 5.5 mm-thick sapphire crystal, a high-performance nitrogen-alloyed stainless steel ring, positioned inside the middle case of the watch, and a case back in Oystersteel and grade 5 titanium. The Triplock winding crown, equipped with three seals, screws down securely against the case, completing the waterproofness system and guaranteeing watertight security akin to a submarine’s hatch.
The case of the Rolex Deepsea is also equipped with a helium escape valve, developed and patented by Rolex in 1967, which works to protect divers’ watches created for the deep. It allows excess pressure built up in the watch case to escape during a diver’s decompression phase in a hyperbaric chamber.
To this end, a special hyperbaric test tank was developed in conjunction with COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises, the world-renowned French company specializing in underwater engineering and hyperbaric technologies). Every single Rolex Deepsea is tested to ensure its waterproofness to a depth of 3,900 metres with an additional safety margin of 25 per cent.
The unidirectional rotatable bezel of the Rolex Deepsea is fitted with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert in black ceramic that allows divers to monitor their underwater and decompression time for their safety. This Rolex-patented insert, made of an extremely hard and corrosion-resistant ceramic, is virtually scratchproof, and its colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The numerals and the graduations are moulded in the ceramic and coloured with platinum using a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process. The bezel’s knurled edge offers excellent grip when manipulating the bezel to set dive time, even when wearing gloves.
The new Rolex Deepsea is equipped with caliber 3235, a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. This self-winding mechanical movement incorporates the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability.
Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic interference. The oscillator has a blue Parachrom hairspring. Manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy, the Parachrom hairspring is up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks.
It is also fitted with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring its regularity in any position. Calibre 3235 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to its new barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3235 extends to approximately 70 hours.
The Rolex Deepsea’s Oyster bracelet is equipped with an Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening and a double extension system that allows the watch to be worn comfortably over a diving suit up to 7 mm thick. Using a toothed panel located under the clasp cover, the patented Rolex Glidelock system allows fine adjustment of the bracelet length in approximately 2 mm increments up to around 20 mm, while the Fliplock extension link extends the Rolex Deepsea bracelet by 26 mm. Both extension systems and the clasp have been adjusted to fit the watch’s broader bracelet.
Like all Rolex watches, the Rolex Deepsea is covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015. The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.
In addition to the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea with a D-blue dial (reference 126660-0002), the brand has released a black dial version (reference 126660-0001).
Model: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea
Case reference 126660 | Bracelet reference 98220
Category: Oyster Perpetual Professional
Oyster (monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown)
Crown guard forms integral part of middle case
Helium escape valve
Ringlock System case architecture with nitrogen-alloyed steel ring
Diameter: 44 mm
Middle Case: Oystersteel, satin finish with polished sides
Bezel: Oystersteel, unidirectional rotatable; 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert in black ceramic; moulded numerals and graduations coated with platinum via PVD
Case back: Oystersteel and grade 5 titanium, solid, screw down with fine ﬂuting
Winding crown: Screw-down, Triplock triple water-proofness system
Crystal: Domed 5.5 mm-thick sapphire
Waterproofness: 3,900 metres (12,800 feet)
CALIBRE 3235, Manufacture Rolex
Mechanical movement with bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor
Precision: −2/+2 sec/day, after casing
Jewelling: 31 rubies
Power reserve: Approximately 70 hours
Frequency: 28,800 beats/hour (4 Hz)
Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring
Large balance wheel with variable inertia
High-precision regulating via four gold Microstella nuts
Traversing balance bridge
High-performance Paraﬂex shock absorbers
Chronergy with optimized energy efficiency
Paramagnetic nickel-phosphorus pallet fork and escape wheel
Centre hour, minute and seconds hands
Instantaneous date at 3 o’clock with secure rapid-setting
Stop-seconds for exact time setting
Colour: D-blue (gradient from deep blue to pitch black), lacquer
Hour markers: Highly legible Chromalight appliqués (long-lasting luminescence, blue glow) in 18 ct white gold
Hands: 18 ct white gold, highly legible Chromalight (long-lasting luminescence, blue glow)
Also available with a black dial
Oyster, three-piece solid links
Material: Oystersteel, satin finish with polished edges
Oysterlock folding safety clasp
Rolex Glidelock extension system (approx. 20 mm in increments of approx. 2 mm)
Fliplock extension link (26 mm)
Superlative Chronometer certification
Reference 126660-0001: Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea in Oystersteel with Black dial
Reference 126660-0002: Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea in Oystersteel with D-blue dial