Updated for its 50th anniversary in 2017 – with the name “Sea-Dweller” in red on the dial in reference to the first model – the Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600.
The watch that conquered the deep
A technical divers’ watch, the Sea-Dweller was designed in 1967 for the pioneers of professional deep-sea diving. Originally waterproof to a depth 610 metres (2,000 feet), the watch was then guaranteed to a depth of 1,220 metres (4,000 feet) in 1978.
Updated for its 50th anniversary in 2017 – with the name “Sea-Dweller” in red on the dial in reference to the first model – the Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600 features a 43 mm case and calibre 3235, a new-generation movement at the forefront of watchmaking technology. It is, of course, equipped with one of the inventions that contributed to its stature: the helium escape valve, patented by Rolex in 1967. This safety valve allows excess pressure built up in the watch case to escape during a diver’s decompression phase in a hyperbaric chamber.
Under water, timing is every bit as vital to divers as oxygen.
Bezel with Cerachrom insert
The unidirectional rotatable bezel of the Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600 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. The insert, patented by Rolex, is 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.
Legible and functional
Great attention was paid to the legibility of this professional divers’ watch. The Chromalight hour markers and hands are filled with a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting blue glow – lasting up to two times longer than traditional materials. On the bezel, the zero marker of the graduation, in the form of a triangle, is visible in the dark thanks to an embedded capsule containing the same luminescent material.
Still at the cutting edge of technology in 2017, just as it was in 1967, the Sea-Dweller remains one of the symbols of the privileged relationship that has always bound Rolex and the world of marine exploration.
The Oyster case – symbol of waterproofness
The Sea-Dweller’s Oyster case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 1,220 metres (4,000 feet), is a paragon of robustness and reliability. The characteristically shaped middle case is crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant Oystersteel. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The winding crown, fitted with the Triplock triple waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case, providing watertight security. The crown guard is an integral part of the middle case. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire, and features a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock to enhance the reading of the date. The waterproof case provides the Sea-Dweller’s high-precision movement with optimal protection.
Calibre 3235 is a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex for a superlative level of performance. A consummate demonstration of Rolex technology, it offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and –patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing shock resistance by 50 per cent. Calibre 3235 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. Thanks to the barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3235 now extends to approximately 70 hours.
Bracelet and clasp – security, comfort and egonomics
The Sea-Dweller’s Oyster bracelet is equipped with a Rolex-designed and -patented Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening, and with a double extension system that allows the watch to be worn comfortably over a diving suit up to 7 mm thick, without using any tools. The Rolex Glidelock fine-adjustment system, developed and patented by Rolex, allows the bracelet length to be increased by some 20 mm in increments of approximately 2 mm. The Fliplock extension link is a fold-out link that allows the bracelet on the Sea-Dweller to be extended by 26 mm.
The Sea-Dweller – Superlative Chronometer
Like all Rolex watches, each Sea-Dweller is certified as a Superlative Chronometer. This exclusive designation attests that it has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories and according to its own criteria, which exceed watchmaking norms and standards. These tests are carried out on the fully assembled watch, in order to guarantee its superlative performance on the wrist.
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.
Rolex Sea-Dweller is much more than divers’ watch
Although designed for the utmost depths and the research of the sea world, Rolex Sea-Dweller is much more than that. As estemeed portal Hodinkee reported, in the summer of 2017, the host of the famous show “Grand Tour”, Richard Hammond, suffered a fiery crash in Switzerland in which his car Rimac Concept One burnt, but not his Rolex. Despite a serious accident and fire, his Rolex Sea-Dweller got only external damage, while the mechanism remained undamaged and continued to work properly. This amazing story is just one in a series of confirmations that Rolex watches are truly synonymous for excellence and reliability.
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