The Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea is a horological masterpiece that occupies a hallowed place in the pantheon of luxury diving watches. Since its initial introduction in 2008, it has embarked on a remarkable journey of evolution and refinement, continuously pushing the boundaries of what a diving watch can achieve. In this comprehensive comparison, we will embark on an expedition through time, delving into the historical context and distinctive features of three pivotal models: the reference 116660, 126660, and the latest 136660.
When the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea made its debut in 2008, it marked a watershed moment in the world of diving timepieces. Its arrival was akin to the unveiling of a new era, where watchmaking met the depths of the ocean with unparalleled prowess. At its core, the most captivating aspect of this watch was its awe-inspiring water resistance, a feature that surpassed even the most audacious expectations.
With an astonishing depth rating of 3,990 meters (12,800 feet), it effortlessly eclipsed its predecessor, the Sea-Dweller, firmly establishing itself as one of the most formidable and capable diving watches ever crafted.
The journey of the Deepsea was not merely one of incremental improvements; it was a voyage of innovation and relentless pursuit of perfection. Each new reference, from the inaugural 116660 to the 126660 in 2018 and the latest 136660 in 2022, brought with it a wealth of advancements, enhancements, and refinements that redefined the boundaries of what a diving watch could be. Join us as we navigate through these horological milestones, exploring the unique features and innovations that make each reference in the Deepsea family a testament to Rolex’s enduring commitment to excellence and adventure.
Rolex Seadweller Deepsea ref 116660 (2008)
The Rolex Seadweller Deepsea ref 116660, which is characterized by its black bezel and dial, is a significant milestone in the lineage of this iconic diving watch. Released in 2008, it inherited the core attributes that had already made the Deepsea a legend among divers and watch enthusiasts alike.
The Rolex Seadweller Deepsea tripled the water resistance of the Seadweller line to 3,990 meters, thanks to the innovative Ringlock system.
Central to this model’s enhancements was the transition to the Caliber 3135 and a leap from 1,220 meters of water resistance to 3,990 meters. Serious engineering marvels also made this feat possible – these include the larger 44mm case, a Ringlock system that keeps the watch’s profile to just 18mm thick, and a 5mm-thick sapphire crystal to support it from extreme pressures.
These changes marked a leap forward in terms of precision, reliability, and power reserve. Divers now had a movement that not only met but exceeded their demands for accurate timekeeping during their deep-sea explorations and at deeper dives.
The Rolex Seadweller Deepsea 116660, with its blend of technical excellence and timeless design, continued to build upon the legacy of this iconic dive watch, making it a preferred choice for those who sought not only adventure but also enduring style on their wrists.
Rolex Seadweller Deepsea ref 116660 D-Blue (2014)
In the realm of Rolex Deepsea models, the Rolex Seadweller Deepsea 116660 D-Blue Cameron stands as a remarkable tribute to exploration and the spirit of adventure. Launched in 2014, it takes its name from James Cameron, the renowned filmmaker and explorer who famously descended to the Mariana Trench in 2012, wearing a specially designed Rolex Deepsea.
One of the most striking features of the D-Blue Cameron is its unique dial gradient. The dial transitions from deep blue at the top to a pitch-black abyss at the bottom, symbolizing the descent into the ocean’s depths. This visual representation of Cameron’s historic journey makes the watch a distinctive and cherished addition to the Deepsea family.
The Rolex Seadweller Deepsea “D-Blue” introduced the gradient blue dial to the collection.
However, beneath its captivating exterior, the D-Blue Cameron retains the technical excellence that defines Rolex Deepsea watches. It boasts the same 44mm stainless steel case, designed to withstand the most challenging underwater conditions.
The watch’s movement is powered by the Caliber 3135, a robust and precise engine known for its reliability. This movement ensures that the D-Blue Cameron not only captures the essence of exploration but also serves as a dependable tool for those who venture into the depths of the ocean.
In summary, the Rolex Seadweller Deepsea 116660 D-Blue Cameron combines the allure of adventure with the precision of Rolex watchmaking. It celebrates the indomitable human spirit and the relentless pursuit of the unknown while maintaining the exceptional performance and durability that Rolex Deepsea watches are renowned for.
Rolex Seadweller Deepsea ref 126660 (2018)
The Rolex Seadweller Deepsea ref 126660, introduced in 2018, represents another significant chapter in the evolutionary saga of this iconic diving watch. This model masterfully preserves the quintessential elements that have made the Deepsea a legend while infusing it with modern advancements with blue Chromalight lume for vibrant low-light reading.
One of the most noteworthy upgrades was the replacement of the Caliber 3135 with the Caliber 3235 movement. This transition was a pivotal moment in the Deepsea’s history as it brought with it a host of improvements. The Caliber 3235 offered an extended power reserve of 70 hours, enhanced accuracy, and improved shock resistance. This movement was not merely an upgrade; it was a testament to Rolex’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of watchmaking precision.
The Rolex Seadweller Deepsea ref 126660 replaced the Caliber 3135 with Caliber 3235, has a wider bracelet at 21mm vs previous 20mm, an added Rolex coronet at 6 o’clock, and longer minutes and seconds hands.
Additionally, the minute and seconds hands were elongated, improving visibility and legibility. These changes were especially crucial in the challenging underwater environments where the Deepsea was designed to excel. The longer hands made it easier for divers to read the time accurately, even in low-light conditions.
Another noteworthy addition was the appearance of the Rolex coronet on the dial. This small yet significant detail was more than just a logo; it was a symbol of Rolex’s heritage, precision, and craftsmanship. It was a constant reminder of the brand’s dedication to excellence in watchmaking.
Rolex also widened the bracelet to 21mm, a seemingly subtle change but one that had a significant impact. This adjustment not only added to the watch’s sturdiness but also improved its overall aesthetic balance. The result was a timepiece that felt even more substantial and comfortable on the wrist, reaffirming the Deepsea’s position as a statement of robust elegance.
The Rolex Seadweller Deepsea 126660, with its blend of heritage and innovation, exemplifies the brand’s dedication to producing timepieces that not only meet but exceed the expectations of divers and watch connoisseurs.
Rolex Seadweller Deepsea ref 136660 (2022)
The latest addition to the illustrious Deepsea family, the Rolex Seadweller Deepsea 136660, was unveiled in 2022. This model continues the tradition of excellence and innovation associated with the Deepsea collection while introducing notable changes that set it apart from its predecessors.
One of the most immediately noticeable alterations is the more protruded crystal. This subtle design modification enhances the watch’s aesthetics while also improving its durability. The crystal, which protects the dial and movement, now stands out more prominently, adding a distinctive visual element to the watch. Surrounded by the unidirectional Cerachrom bezel for more secure timing of dives, you have a dive watch with professional grade credentials.
The Rolex Seadweller Deepsea 136660 features a more protruded crystal, updated caseback made of RLX titanium, and does away with the Fliplock extension.
The caseback has also been updated, now crafted from RLX titanium. This change reduces the watch’s weight while maintaining its robustness. This transition to titanium is a testament to Rolex’s commitment to using the best materials available to enhance the watch’s overall performance.
One of the more significant changes in this model was the discontinuation of the fliplock extension. This feature, found in earlier Deepsea models, allowed for adjustments to the bracelet length, accommodating a diver’s wetsuit. Its removal reflects Rolex’s commitment to continuous refinement, even if it means letting go of features that were once considered essential. Like most Seadwellers, you’ll note the lack of a Cyclops magnifying window over the date aperture at 3 o’clock.
The Rolex Seadweller Deepsea 136660 is a testament to Rolex’s unwavering pursuit of excellence and innovation. It marries iconic design elements with modern enhancements, resulting in a watch that not only pays homage to its heritage but also embodies the brand’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of what a diving watch can achieve. This model, like its predecessors, stands as a symbol of adventure, precision, and enduring style.
Rolex Seadweller Deepsea Models – Final Thoughts
The Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea stands as a shining testament to Rolex’s unwavering dedication to innovation and excellence in the realm of watchmaking. Each reference within the illustrious Deepsea family, spanning from the inaugural 116660 to the 126660, and culminating in the latest 136660, has left an indelible mark on the watch’s storied legacy of precision, durability, and functionality. These watches are not just timekeeping instruments; they are a harmonious fusion of artistry and engineering, purpose-built to accompany adventurers and explorers into the most unforgiving depths of the ocean. With each iteration, Rolex has meticulously refined and enhanced the Deepsea, ensuring that it not only meets but exceeds the expectations of professionals and enthusiasts alike.
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