For over 40 years, the Sea-Dweller was Rolex’s signature dive watch. Then, in 2008, a new era began, and the Deepsea was born. The collection is the result of the brand’s decades of research in the field of professional diving and extreme frontiers. The Deepsea has been tested under some of the most intense conditions, including a descent to the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench. Buying a Rolex Deepsea watch is a smart option for avid divers as well as those looking for a great watch for everyday wear. Shop our inventory of exceptional used Rolex Deepsea watches for sale.
The Rolex Deepsea is a descendant of the brand’s first signature dive watch, the Sea-Dweller. The earliest Sea-Dweller was released in 1967. Just over four decades later in 2008, the original Sea-Dweller was retired and replaced with the Deepsea.
The Deepsea is a culmination of Rolex’s years of research in the field of professional diving and extreme frontiers. They choose the name Deepsea after an excursion that took place back in 1960 called the Trieste Expedition. That year, Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh boarded a deep-sea submersible vessel called the Trieste. On the outside of the vessel, they attached an experimental Rolex diving watch. Then, they set out to the deepest part of the world’s oceans to a place called the Mariana Trench. Here, the watch demonstrated its impressive resistance in a depth of 10,916 meters. Years later, they decided to retire the Sea-Dweller and introduce a new dive watch to the Rolex family of watches. In 2008, the Deepsea was born.
The Deepsea has a few similarities to the original Sea-Dweller. It’s equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel with 60-minute graduations and Rolex’s patented helium escape valve. Like the original Sea-Dweller, it also lacks a Cyclops lens above the date window.
What truly sets the Deepsea apart from the original Sea-Dweller is the patented Ringlock System. This system consists of a 5mm domed sapphire crystal, a central ring made of nitrogen-alloyed steel, and a grade 5 titanium case back. The combination is extremely flexible and helps the watch to withstand extreme pressure. Ultimately, the system allows the Deepsea to reach greater depths than the original Sea-Dweller. It offers water resistance up to 3,900 meters. The Deepsea also has a Chromalight display. This gives the hour markers and hands a blue glow for up to 8 hours.
Rolex developed the testing for the Deepsea’s remarkable capabilities in collaboration with the engineers from Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises. COMEX is a renowned French company that specializes in underwater engineering and hyperbaric technologies. In addition to developing test tanks with the company, Rolex has supplied some of their elite divers with their watches for their expeditions.
The Deepsea gained widespread recognition in 2012. That year, filmmaker James Cameron became the first-ever solo diver to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench. None other than a Rolex Deepsea accompanied him on this historic excursion. Just two years later, the brand honored Cameron with a new variation of the Deepsea: the Deepsea D-Blue. Rolex released the model in conjunction with Cameron’s film, “Deepsea Challenge 3D.” It’s equipped with many of the same features as the classic Deepsea. However, it features an all-new design, showcasing a gradient two-tone dial.
One of the latest additions to the Deepsea collection came in 2018. That year, Rolex launched the Ref. 126660. The most notable update came in the form of a new movement: the Caliber 3235. The 3235 offers the brand’s Chronenergy escapement, an impressive 70-hour power reserve, and an anti-magnetic nickel-phosphorus construction. In addition, the model received a few minor aesthetic updates for the case and bracelet. These design updates resulted in better integration between the case and bracelet for a more comfortable and secure feel. A year later, golf legend Tiger Woods brought recognition to the model when it served as his good luck charm at the Masters. It marked the player’s first major championship win in over a decade.
Since its inception, the Deepsea has continually been put to the test under some of the most extreme conditions in the world. Each time, it has successfully prevailed under pressure that no average submersible, let alone watch, could ever withstand and that no human could ever survive. It’s safe to say that if the Deepsea can manage a descent into the Mariana Trench, it can handle anything.
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