The Rolex Deepsea in 18k Yellow Gold Is Confusing and Delightful

The Rolex Deepsea in 18k Yellow Gold Is Confusing and Delightful

Since its 2008 release, Rolex’s Deepsea has existed as an extension of their Sea-Dweller line: a deeper-diving version of their deep diver. Yesterday, Rolex released a Deepsea that did away with the ‘Sea-Dweller’ moniker, establishing an entirely separate line of watches. The inaugural model? Of course, a solid 18k yellow gold, blue-dial, blue-bezel version that is, as Mike Razak puts it, “big and dumb”. While that might be true, it’s undoubtedly one of Rolex’s most significant releases this year, and it introduces many firsts for the brand.

My Initial Thoughts (and Later Ones)

To be perfectly honest, my gut reaction to the gold Deepsea was one of disappointment. The oversized footprint of this model would only be exacerbated by such a heavy metal. Furthermore, the watch's price tag restricts its top-tier utility (yes: gold is a great material for a dive watch) to just a small cohort. Two days later, my grumpy first impressions have subsided and I’ve fully embraced this larger-than-life model.

What’s New With the Gold Rolex Deepsea

Rolex Deepsea Yellow Gold

Image Courtesy of Rolex

The new Deepsea is, of course, the first Deepsea in gold. As previously mentioned, it also establishes the Deepsea as its own line of watches, diverging from the Sea-Dweller family. Another first for the model comes with its redesigned Ringlock system: Rolex’s three-part system that allows Deepsea models to achieve such deep depths. The most obvious and visible part of the ringlock system (aside from the crystal) is the compression ring. The new Deepsea's compression ring – found around the perimeter of the dial – has been shaved down and curved to be less visually obtrusive. Furthermore, the ring is now made of ceramic rather than nitrogen-alloyed steel, allowing Rolex to color match the compression ring to the dial. On this example, it blends in perfectly with the blue dial and bezel hue.

Rolex Gold Deepsea Titanium Caseback

Other than the caliber 3235 inside, a notable piece that has gone unchanged is the caseback. In the ultimate form of horological irony, this 322g gold watch features a caseback made of RLX titanium. Whether Rolex just didn’t want to manufacture a new gold caseback, or they thought it would be funny to pair hyper-light titanium with solid gold, it’s one of my favorite things about this watch.

Final Thoughts

This was a relatively quiet Watches and Wonders for Rolex, which shouldn’t come as a surprise after last year’s pile of releases. As such, the yellow gold Deepsea stands out as one of the more significant novelties, undoubtedly a result of its loud coloration, size, and oxymoronic nature. From my perspective, this new Deepsea exists solely for the sake of existing. It’s the phrase “why not” materialized. The full-gold Deepsea’s existence next to its full-titanium counterpart is as fascinating as it is comical. It might be big and dumb, but I think I love it.

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