Though the Rolex Submariner may be the most famous dive watch from Rolex, the Rolex Sea-Dweller is also a highly popular dive watch. The Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 5514 was originally built for the pro divers of the COMEX company.
Fourteen years after the Submariner was released, the Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 1660 made its appearance with a better waterproofness, being water resistant to a depth of 610 meters. This model was specifically designed for the general public's use.
Today, we are going to dive into Rolex’s newest Sea-Dweller release. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Rolex Sea-Dweller, Rolex released a new ref. 126600 in 2017. Taking a closer look at the Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm reveals a controversy reaction. Most previous Rolex Sea-Dweller models have remained true to its original 1967 release. And, at a quick glance it would appear the ref. 126600 would follow this route with its black dial and black bezel. But look for just a second longer and you will note, this Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm revealed many significant changes.
The first apparent difference between ref. 126600 and previous Sea-Dweller models is the size. With a 43mm case versus a 40mm case, this was a point of controversy for many Sea-Dweller aficionados when the model was initially released. With its robust nature, it was a shocker, but even more so, was the appearance of a cyclops at 3 o’clock. One thing that made Sea-Dwellers set apart from other sports models was the absence of the Cyclops. This change again caused quite the debate as to whether this change is here to stay or simply singular for the 50th anniversary model.
One aesthetic change that Sea-Dweller fans did appreciate was the inclusion of the red font. This is a clear tribute to its roots with the Double Red Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 as you can see above.
Looking at the technical differences between this new Rolex Sea-Dweller and previous, you will find the new generation movement, Calibre 3235 instead of Calibre 3135. With 14 patents, the movement also sports a 70-hour power reserve versus the previous 48-hour power reserve due to a new Chronergy escapement and oscillator-fitted optimized Parachrom hairspring. There are some technical similarities though.
The new Sea-Dweller 43mm has the same waterproofness as its predecessor at 4000 fe (1,220 meters). Being a pro dive watch, Rolex’s famous helium escape valve (HEV) also sits at the 9 o'clock side as with previous models. The HEV automatically regulates the pressure that builds up in the watchase during a dive’s decompression phase. The Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm also sports a 904L steel Oyster bracelet with the Oysterlock safety clasp and a double extension system to easily fit over a 7mm thick wetsuit.
The Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm is the ideal dive partner, and since the initial shock of outrage that Rolex added a cyclops to a Sea-Dweller, we have found this model is highly popular. As a result of the demand and request of our watch community, we have released an Everest watch band for this model here.