Baselworld 2014 sees the introduction of a new Rolex Sea-Dweller for the first time in over 5 years. Taking its name from a companionship with saturation divers - who are required to venture into the depths of the ocean for extended periods of time - this new model can withstand water pressure at depths of up to 4000ft.
Sharing the calibre 3135 movement and 40mm case diameter of the Submariner, the Sea-Dweller 4000 owes its capability to resist increased water pressure from a thicker case and thicker sapphire crystal. The most notable difference from the Submariner is the absence of the cyclops magnification lens upon the crystal, which is in keeping with previous Sea-Dweller models and is sure to be a winner with those who prefer the smoother contours of the slightly domed glass.
Another signature from previous models is the helium release value on the side of the case in the 9 o’clock position. When diving at depth, it is possible for helium to penetrate into the inner workings of the watch. Upon the journey back to the surface, the change in pressure can cause the helium to expand, which can in turn cause significant damage to the workings or other parts of the watch. The helium release value safely disperses the excess helium into the water without allowing any water to penetrate back into the watch. This is either a great tool for your return from a saturation dive, or more likely an after dinner talking point when pointing out the advanced functions of your new Rolex!
The Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 is presented beautifully on the instantly recognisable Rolex Oyster bracelet, with its wide 3 piece links and is secured as expected with the folding Oysterlock safety clasp. The Sea-Dweller 4000 also benefits from the Glidelock extension system, a fantastic innovation that Submariner owners will already be familiar with, which enables a perfect fit with a sliding bracelet adjustment. The clasp also benefits from the Fliplock extension link, giving a 26mm extension, designed with the purpose of fitting over most protective diving suits.
Although often seen as the big brother to the Submariner, there is another step up from the Sea-Dweller to the daddy of Rolex dive watches - the DeepSea. The Deep Sea (116660), some would say is an over-engineered beast of a dive watch and more of a demonstration of what Rolex engineers can make possible, rather than a watch designed as a daily companion. At 44mm, the Deep Sea is significantly larger than the Sea-Dweller and is capable of withstanding the pressure of water at an incredible depth of 12,800ft. This magnificent feat of engineering is the darling of many a Rolex collector.
With a UK list price of £7,150, this watch sits nicely between the Rolex Submariner at £5,700 and the Rolex Deep Sea at £8,050 giving a good range of options if it’s a dive watch you’re looking for.
Are you the proud owner of a Sea-Dweller new or old model, or maybe you own a Submariner or a Deep Sea? Are you thinking of purchasing a Sea-Dweller 4000? Whatever your point of view on any of the watches mentioned, we’d love to hear it. Leave your comments in the box below and discuss your thoughts on these fantastic new watches from the Rolex collection.