It’s not often that an offering from Rolex stirs up a commotion, in that they’ve been known to religiously stay true to their iconic roots, so when they do, headlines are surely made. Just over one year ago, Rolex teased us with very minimal details of a then upcoming release, and then took us by surprise upon its unveiling. The watch we speak of, is of course, the Deepsea D-Blue - a piece surrounded by a great deal of mixed opinions, devoted collector interest, and speculative aspirations. Without further ado, let’s take a look at exactly what makes this watch so special, and why it’s the topic of conversation in countless collecting circles.
When word first got out about an upcoming release from Rolex, many rumours started to circulate, as expected. Due to the long lead up to the unveil, many collectors developed far too many grand ideas, and were ultimately let down, in that the D-Blue is just a Deepsea Sea Dweller, with a different dial. Following the release event, several people wrote this watch off as an insignificant addition to the modern lineup for the aforementioned reasons, but this would all soon change. Many people claim that they’ve experienced a sea change of sorts, in that once handling the watch in the metal, they finally understand it. That D-Blue dial has an almost inexplicable depth and range of colours to it, that really is a work of art.
To fully understand the D-Blue, one must study both the expedition, and the other watch which it commemorates. On March 26th, 2012, a submersible being piloted by James Cameron began it’s journey down to Challenger Deep, which is situated in the deepest point of all the world’s oceans, the Mariana Trench. On this “Deepsea Challenge” mission, Cameron and his crew descended to an incredible depth of just over 10,900 meters, and they were accompanied by three Rolex watches that went by the same name. These experimental timepieces were developed specifically for this event, and were guaranteed to 12,000 meters with the use of a larger, modified case, and a crystal of gargantuan proportions. This continues the story of experimental Sea Dweller's perfectly, in that what is believed to be the Deep Sea Special was first developed in 1960 to be used on the exterior of the Trieste, during it’s dive into the Mariana Trench.
While those that collect modern watches have been greatly excited by the D-Blue, it could be argued that interest coming from vintage circles is equally high - something that’s rarely the case with new watches. This can be attributed to the fact that the watch was created to commemorate an exploratory feat, much like how the Explorer line first began. Additionally, this is one of the few, if not the only standard issue release in the brand’s entire history that was designed to honour an individual, which certainly leaves the collectors that take notice of details like these in awe. As a result of all of this, and the many rumours of limited production, the D-Blue has become quite collectable, and some have even began to speculate and store away examples, with hopes of seeing a significant return down the road. Just how substantial the return will be can only be told by time, but pieces are already being bought and sold at large premiums.
One year later, and the dust still hasn’t settled, with desire and interest still at tremendous levels. Collectors couldn’t be happier, and with good reason, seeing as many of called this the most exciting Rolex release in quite a while. It really is watches like this that remind us why we obsess over the smallest details so very much, and why we continue to collect, hoping to be wowed by future releases.
To learn more about the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue, head on over to www.rolex.com. All images are from www.rolex.com and are intended for the purpose of teaching the general public of the great innovations that Rolex has achieved and accomplished.