The Deep Sea Dweller
Always the brand to push the boundaries, from the top of the world on the wrist of Sir Edmund Hillary on top of Mount Everest, Rolex has also been to the deepest point on Earth. In 1960 a bulbous experimental watch called the ‘Deepsea Special’ was attached to a submarine called the Bathyscaphe Trieste as it dropped 39,000ft into the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the world’s oceans.
Piloted by Captain Don Walsh Jacques Piccard, they descended an unbelievable 10,926 meters returned in perfect working order in one of the most significant horological triumphs.
In 2012 Hollywood director Explorer James Cameron decided to recreate the dive re-visit the Mariana Trench alone. Obviously, Rolex was not going to sit idly by let this happen without them. In fact, more than just lending its name in sponsorship, it created a brand new experimental Diving watch to accompany him.
The model dubbed the ‘Deepsea Challenge’ was strapped to Cameron’s vessel successfully advanced 10,898 meters into the depths did not miss a beat!
The specially designed Deepsea Challenge (one of three created) is no ordinary Divers watch.
A huge 51 mm in diameter with a case thickness of 28.5mm, the Deep Sea Challenge is a beast. Although attached to a standard Oyster bracelet, the watch is rated to 12,000 meters can withstand a huge 13.6 tons of pressure. The sapphire crystal alone is 14.33mm thick.
Please also read our Deep Dive into The World of Underwater Watches article.
Rolex Sea Dweller vs Submariner
The Rolex Sea-Dweller and Submariner are both iconic dive watches. While the Submariner offers a classic design and a 300m water-resistance, the Sea-Dweller, built for deeper dives, boasts a helium escape valve and is water-resistant up to 4,000m. Both represent Rolex’s commitment to precision and durability, but cater to different diving depths.
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