Sea Dweller Deepsea Challenge: What’s the challenge here?
Over the past many years, Rolex has been trying to cater to the needs of all kinds of professionals. Just like the Daytona was made for race car drivers, the Sea Dweller lineup was created to help the divers. Even though the Rolex Sea Dweller and Sea Dweller Deepsea exist, the Swiss watch manufacturer wanted to push the boundaries. So here’s what they did to create the all-new Sea Dweller Deepsea Challenge.
Innovation at its core
The beginning of construction of any new watch starts with the case. With the Oyster case, Rolex had already broken the code of making watches waterproof. Now the challenge was to make them survive deep down underwater. In order to achieve this, Rolex used its patented Ringlock system. It is a reinforced structural element of nitrogen-alloyed steel. This helped the watch keep its form under extreme pressure.
In order to fit in all the required technologies, Rolex had to go for a bigger case. This is why the Deepsea Challenge gets a 50mm case, which is huge. Every step of the way, there was a new problem waiting for Rolex. Now that the case was enormous, the weight of the watch also exceeded due to the heavy stainless steel material.
Use of Titanium
Where there is a problem, there is always a solution. To make the watch lighter, Rolex took a road they had never taken before. They decided to go with Grade 5 Titanium construction for the Sea Dweller Deepsea. Thanks to the advantages of the alloy, the company was able to bring down the weight of the watch to just 251 grams. This was 30 percent lighter than the experimental prototype, which used a stainless steel case.
Fulfilling the needs of James Cameron & other divers
Rolex Deepsea Challenge goes to the limits of depth and atmospheric pressure. It is an example of how far engineering can go as it has been designed to function at depths of down to 11,000 meters (nearly 7 miles). James Cameron, the Canadian filmmaker, and diver had already used the Sea Dweller Deepsea for his journey deep under the water. With the new Deepsea Challenge, he can confidently go deeper while wearing the watch on his wrist.
A brief look into the Sea Dweller history
Unlike the Rolex GMT Master II or the Submariner, the Sea Dweller lineup has never been so popular. This is because the Sea Dweller was created just for saturation divers. The first Sea Dweller was launched in the late 1960s. It could reach a depth of 200 meters which was extremely impressive in that era. From the first-ever Sea Dweller, to the all-new Deepsea Challenge, here’s what the journey looked like.
Making it all possible
While making a water resistance case was a challenge in itself, making a case that could survive under pressure was another challenge. When diving deep into the water, the pressure inside the watch could get out, brutally breaking the plexiglass as the helium gas is forced its way out.
In order to come up with a solution, Rolex developed quite a lot of prototypes. Eventually, they developed a new case with a helium escape valve on the side. This solved the issue and helped the watch survive deep underwater.
This resulted in the launch of the Rolex reference 1665, which was capable of going down to 2000ft deep. In 1978, Rolex came up with an update for the Sea Dweller, which was capable of going down to 4000ft.
For many years, Rolex just kept on updating and refining the Sea Dweller. In 2018, the company came up with the Sea Dweller Deepsea. The timepiece tripled the water resistance of the watch bringing it to an impressive 12,800ft.
Now with the Deepsea Challenge, Rolex has told us that sky’s the limit. The Deepsea Challenge can go as deep as 36,090ft.
Who’s the Deepsea Challenge for?
Just by looking at the Sea Dweller Deepsea, one can tell that it has been designed for a very specific audience. It is the perfect timepiece for all the professional divers out there. Besides that, this is a watch that every Rolex fan would like to have in their collection. It is not because the watch looks out of the world. But it is because of the true craftsmanship and the work that went behind creating such a great tool.
Watch enthusiasts and collectors alike who love to own every watch in their collection would definitely be looking out for this watch. Unless you are one of them, this watch is not particularly the best pick for you. Due to the humongous 50mm dial, it might not suit every wrist.