Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea Challenge

It was only a few months ago and we were heralding the arrival of the world’s deepest rated divers’watch – the Omega Ultra Deep. Certified to a whopping 6000 metres – not necessarily practical for the average dive watch fan but a fun fact nonetheless. Well – scrub that – because now we have the new Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea Challenge. The monster of the deep has been certified waterproof to depth of 11,000 metres (36,090 feet).

all images courtesy of © press suite

A History in Diving to the Deepest Depths

Rolex have a history in ridiculously deep diving. In 2012 James Cameron, the mogul movie director, bravely took a Rolex to world record depths in his one man Deepsea Challenger submarine. Amazingly they descended to a body crushing depth of 6.8 miles (you guessed it – that’s nearly 11,000 metres). After that record breaking expedition Rolex released the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea – a beautiful dive watch with a waterproof rating down to, just, 3,700 metres. No doubt the release of the Omega Planet Ocean Ultra Deep at 6000 metres spurned them on to produce this latest timepiece. A watch that proudly reflects the true depths that Cameron and his Deepsea Challenger experienced > 11,000 metres.

A Quick look at the Rolex Deepsea Challenge

Let’s start with something that really matters if this watch is actually going to be worn at depth – visibility under the water. Rolex know how to do this – no white hands on white dials here. With the Deepsea Challenge it is achieved with an deep black dial and extra large luminescent hour markers. These hands and indexes utilize Rolex’s Chromalight lume providing improved visibility even in the darkest depths of the ocean. The indexes are all simple shapes: rectangular batons at 3,6 and 9, a large triangle at 12 o’clock and circles at the remaining hours. The hands are distinctly different making determination of the hour hand and minute hand quick and obvious.

As profound as the depths of the ocean may be, they open up new horizons for humanity. But reaching these yet undiscovered locations requires withstanding extreme pressure.

Gallery – Sea-Dweller Challenge images

Some of the Key Technical Features

  • Crystal : Domed, 9.5 mm-thick scratch-resistant sapphire
  • Water Resistance : Waterproof to 11,000 metres / 36,090 feet, helium escape valve
  • Movement : Calibre 3230 with a power reserve of 70 hours
  • Crown : Triplock winding crown with two sealed zones inside the crown tube and one more in the crown itself
  • Bracelet : Rolex Glidelock and Fliplock extension systems require no tools for use
  • Bezel : a uni-directional 60-minute graduated Cerachrom bezel insert
  • Lume : Chromalight lume emits a bright, long lasting blue glow
  • Helium Escape Valve : this valve activates automatically if the build up of pressure inside the case gets too high.

Waterproof to 11,000 metres!

The Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea Challenge is indeed waterproof to a stunning 11,000 metres (36,090 feet). This new model has all the attributes of the experimental watch that accompanied James Cameron to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 2012. How many potential owners will actually take their Sea-Dweller beyond the 2 metres of their swimming pool is another matter. Either way it’s a commendable achievement and one that we are certain Rolex will dangle in the face of all luxury watch competitors – in particular Omega who stole their crown earlier this year (see Omega Planet Ocean Ultra Deep)

A case made from RLX Titanium

This watch is as close to bomb-proof as any watch has ever been. It’s case is constructed from RLX titanium. Rolex selected this grade 5 titanium alloy for its weightlessness and resistance to deformation and corrosion. We didn’t know much about titanium or it’s alloys so we had to pop over to > for a definition of Grade 5 Titanium

Ti-6AL-4V is the most commonly used of the titanium alloys. It is therefore commonly referred to as the titanium alloy “workhorse.” It is believed to be used in half of the usage of titanium around the world. These desirable properties make Ti-6AL-4V a popular choice in several industries including medical, marine, aerospace and chemical processing. Ti 6AL-4V is commonly used to make: Aircraft turbines – Engine components – Aircraft structural components – Aerospace fasteners – High-performance automatic parts – Marine applications – Sports equipment …. we get it now .. it’s the perfect material
Further Reading