Rolex is introducing an Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller Ref. 126603 in a yellow Rolesor version, combining Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold. This new watch brings 18 ct yellow gold to the Sea-Dweller range for the first time.
New Rolex Sea-Dweller
On its black dial, the name “Sea-Dweller” is inscribed in a yellow hue, echoing the colour of the 18 ct yellow gold. When the Sea-Dweller was updated in 2017, this lettering was in red, in reference to the original model. The light reflections on the case sides and lugs highlight the profile of the Sea-Dweller’s 43-mm Oyster case, which features a unidirectional rotatable bezel with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert in black ceramic.
Underwater exploration tool
The Sea-Dweller was designed in collaboration with the pioneers of professional deep-sea diving, who spent extended periods underwater. This ultra-resistant tool watch accompanied the first experimental underwater habitat programmes. It played a vital role in conquering the ocean depths thanks to its Oyster case, initially waterproof to a depth of 610 metres (2,000 feet), then, from 1978, to 1,220 metres (4,000 feet), and thanks to an important innovation patented by Rolex: the helium escape valve, fitted into the side of the watch case.
Oyster case and helium escape valve
A paragon of robustness and reliability, the Oyster case of the Sea-Dweller is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 1,220 metres (4,000 feet). Its 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 and is protected by an integral crown guard. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire and is fitted with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimum protection for the Sea-Dweller’s high-precision movement.
The helium escape valve, patented by Rolex in 1967, acts as a safety valve. It allows excess pressure built up in the watch case during a dive to escape during a diver’s decompression phase in a hyperbaric chamber, while preserving the waterproofness of the watch.
Rolesor – a marriage of gold and Oystersteel
Rolesor, the combination of gold and steel on a Rolex watch, has been a signature feature of the brand since 1933 when the name was registered. It is a meeting of two metals: one, noble and precious, attractive for its lustre and stability; the other, highly resistant, known for its strength and reliability. All of these qualities perfectly mirror the elegance and performance that come together in a Rolex watch. On the new yellow Rolesor version of the Sea-Dweller, the bezel, winding crown and centre links of the bracelet are in 18 ct yellow gold, while the case and outer links of the bracelet are in Oystersteel.
Rolex played a pioneering role in the development of special ceramics for creating monobloc bezels and monobloc bezel inserts. Not only are these new materials extremely corrosion-resistant and virtually scratchproof, their colours are also of a rare intensity and unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The brand has developed exclusive expertise and innovative high-technology manufacturing methods that allow it to produce these ceramic components completely independently.
On the new version of the Sea-Dweller Ref. 126603, the unidirectional rotatable bezel is fitted with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert in black ceramic that allows divers to safely monitor their dive and decompression times. The moulded, recessed graduations and numerals are coated with yellow gold via PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition). The bezel’s knurled edge offers excellent grip, to comfortably set dive time even when wearing gloves.
Perpetual calibre 3235
The new version of the Sea-Dweller Ref. 126603 is equipped with calibre 3235, a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. A consummate demonstration of technology, at the forefront of the art of watchmaking, this self-winding mechanical movement led to the ling of several patents and offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.
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. The movement is fitted with an optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and -patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movement’s shock resistance.
Calibre 3235 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to its barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3235 extends to approximately 70 hours.
Oyster bracelet and Oysterlock safety clasp
This version of the Sea-Dweller Ref.126603 is fitted with an Oyster bracelet. Introduced in the late 1930s, the Oyster bracelet is a particularly robust metal bracelet with three-piece links.
The Oyster bracelet on this new version is equipped with a Rolex-designed and -patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening. It also features the Rolex Glidelock extension system, designed and patented by the brand. This inventive toothed mechanism, integrated beneath the clasp, allows fine adjustment of the bracelet length by some 20 mm in increments of approximately 2 mm, without the use of tools. The watch can therefore be worn over a diving suit up to 3 mm thick.
A concealed attachment system ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case.
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.
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