At BaselWorld 2008 this year, Rolex announced an update to their already amazing, top-of-the-line diver: The Rolex Sea-Dweller. They’re calling the new model the Rolex Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA. The DEEPSEA has several changes from the original Sea-Dweller:
- As with the new Yacht-Master 2, it’s more heavily branded. The previous Sea-Dweller was notable for its restraint; this one adds the “ROLEX” repeated around the chapter ring, additional blurbs on top of the “ringlock”, and “DEEPSEA” above the center. At least there’s still no cyclops (date magnifier), and thankfully, they did not add polished center links like the new GMT Master 2.
- As with the Anniversary Submariner and new GMT Master 2, the Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA gets the new “maxi-dial” which means that the hour markers are larger, and both the the minute hand and the hour hands are slightly wider.
- The depth rating increases from silly to ludicrous: 1,220m (4,000ft) on the original to 3,900m (12,800ft) on the DEEPSEA.
- The crystal goes from flat thick sapphire to domed thick sapphire.
- New super-hard ceramic bezel with platinum-filled numbers. We first saw this design on the new GMT Master 2.
- Much-improved ratcheting clasp that increases in 1.8mm increments.
- The caseback goes from flat stainless steel to a titanium/steel alloy.
- The new “Ringlock System”, which is a stainless steel ring under the crystal that absorbs some of the pressure.
- New blue-colored lume on the dial and bezel dot — very cool!.
- Larger case with slightly updating styling.
As before, it has a helium escape valve, which only matters if you do saturation diving. The movement is the same 3135, but with the addition of the new antimagnetic Parachrom Blue hairspring which we’ve discussed before on the Rolex Milgauss.
Price was not announced, but expect it to be steep. The Sea-Dweller has always been one of their more expensive models, and these updates certainly won’t make it any cheaper. (We’ll update this article when pricing is available.)
I was honestly a bit surprised to see this update. Rolex is usually slow to revise or introduce new models, and they’ve done several in the past year or two: The Anniversary Submariner, The Rolex Milgauss, The new Yacht-Master 2, the new GMT Master 2, the Cellini, and now the Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA. While I don’t always like the results, I’m delighted to see Rolex increasing the pace and updating their classic styles. Bravo!
By Paul Hubbard