It’s not every day you’ll find yourself at 3,900m below the ocean’s surface, but when you do, it’s mildly comforting to know your watch will still function flawlessly, even though you’d already be crushed by the sheer pressure.
That timepiece is the brand new Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea, which casually smashes last year’s already impressive Sea-Dweller’s records by a mile. Actually, make that 1,665 miles (2,680m), to be precise.
Since its inception in 2008, the Rolex Deepsea has made waves for its irreverent pursuit in conquering the ocean depths. Heftily proportioned at 44mm in diameter (the largest of the brand’s dive watches), its bold utilitarianism has always been unique to the brand’s DNA of refined, luxury watches.
Suitably, Rolex wouldn’t dream about reintroducing it to its avid diving community without some key refinements to keep it firmly on the throne as the king of depths.
The first is a new movement: The new self-winding calibre 3235. Harnessing the brand’s proprietary Chronergy escapement for enhanced efficiency and dependability, the movement offers 70 hours of power reserve, and is impervious to magnetic distractions with its nickel-phosphorous construction. The Rolex-manufactured Parachrom hairspring is not only shock resistant, but also provides up to 10 times more precision than traditional ones.
Like all Rolex watches, the new Rolex Deepsea is Superlative Chronometer-certified, going beyond the regular COSC Chronometer certification to guarantee an accuracy of −2/+2 seconds per day, more than twice that required of an official chronometer.
The Rolex Deepsea’s lugs, sides, and corresponding bracelet are also updated to integrate more seamlessly into the Oyster case, which is equipped with the Ringlock System. The patented case architecture — with a domed 5.5m-thick sapphire crystal, high-performance nitrogen-alloyed stainless steel ring, and a case back in Oystersteel and grade 5 titanium — enables the dive watch to withstand the colossal pressure of being almost 4km below sea level, without compromising on aesthetics. A helium escape valve — developed and patented by Rolex in 1967 — allows for excess pressure to be released during a diver’s decompression phase.
Even the bracelet isn’t spared. An Oysterlock safety clasp keeps your precious companion firmly on your wrist throughout the expedition, with a Fliplock extension system that caters to wetsuits. For easy but precise adjustments, the patented Rolex Glidelock system extends the bracelet in precise 2mm increments up to 20mm.
Not content with just an impenetrable build, Rolex has blessed its fascia with the legendary D-blue dial.The deep-blue to pitch-black gradient was first immortalised on a commemorative Deepsea timepiece in 2014, released in tandem with prolific film-maker and explorer James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge. The partnership by Rolex and National Geographic Society took him, his own Rolex Deepsea watch, and a not-for-sale super-sized prototype down to 10,908m to the ocean’s deepest point: The Mariana Trench.