The Rolex Sea Dweller is possibly the most iconic professional dive watch of all time. Well known as the big brother to Rolex’s Submariner, it has become a legend in the sea of dive watches that we know today, thanks to its ability to reach entirely new depths and go beyond all others. The first Sea Dweller was introduced in the 1960’s, as one of the very first ‘ultra water resistant’ tool watches, specifically designed to suit the needs of professional divers working at great depths. Even this original model had the ability to dive over 600 meters underneath the surface and since then, Rolex have reinvented the Sea Dweller in order to maintain its status at the top of the dive watch world by using Rolex’s latest technical innovations while preserving the aesthetics of the original Sea Dwellers.
2014 is an exciting year for Rolex and they instantly became the highlight of Baselworld this year with their exciting new addition. Among a series of new models, the Sea Dweller has come back to life once more in the form of the Sea Dweller 4000. Since 2009, we haven’t seen a new Sea Dweller model, with the exception of the Deep Sea edition that reached an absolutely incredible 12,800 feet underwater. 5 years later and it’s great to see a reinvention of the Sea Dweller that provides a serious diver’s watch that remains true to the very first model of 1967.
The new Sea Dweller model still includes the same 40mm, 904L steel Oyster case that is waterproof to an impressive depth of 4000 feet (1,220 meters) thanks to its case and crystal that are both thicker than that of the Submariner. Its uni-direction rotational bezel is made from Rolex’s patented Cerachrom alloy and is engraved with 60 minute markers. This particular material is virtually scratchproof and unaffected by ultraviolet rays in order to preserve its color. Its sleek black satin-finish dial features large “Chromalight” hands and hour markers that are filled with a luminescent material, providing a long-lasting glow to ensure maximum legibility in underwater conditions.
It features Rolex’s self-winding, mechanical calibre 3135 movement that can also be found in the 116610 Submariner Date. The movement has been developed and manufactured in-house before being tested and approved by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). It also features the Parachrom hairspring that Rolex first used in 2005. This enables heightened stability and precision, especially when encountering shocks.
And lastly, we should mention the ground-breaking function of the helium escape valve that the Rolex Sea Dweller is renowned for. This signature feature of the Sea Dweller is found in its usual position on the side of the case at 9 o’clock. This particular feature enables the watch to withstand extreme pressure that can be encountered during saturation dives. If tiny helium molecules were to seep into the case at such depths, it would expand with increasing pressure and would lead to the crystal being blown off and the watch being left incredibly damaged. Instead, the HeV feature allows expanding gas to be vented from the case in order to protect the watch without compromising its water resistance.
Not only is the Sea Dweller 4000 an incredibly impressive instrument for professional diving, but it still maintains Rolex’s classic style, allowing the watch to become an incredibly appealing modern-day timepiece that also possesses a collection of the most impressive features known to dive watches. The slight and subtle improvements from the 2009 model have won over Rolex fans once more and the new Sea Dweller has already become an incredibly popular piece. Officially released earlier this year, The Rolex Sea Dweller 4000 is now available from authorized retailers.
Article by Rebecca Meekings for WatchReport.com