ROLEX Deep Sea Sea Dweller Deep Blue
The new Deep Sea D-Blue model is a tribute to James Cameron’s solo dive in the Mariana Trench (deepest point on earth at the depth of 10900m) in 2012.
On the dial of the watch the green color of the “DEEPSEA” marking represents the decent of Cameron’s submersible, Trieste into the deep.
James Cameron wore a Deep Sea Sea Dweller himself during his time in the submersible of course. By the way, on the Trieste’s mechanical arm there was a Rolex too.
Rolex’s Deep Sea Sea Dweller Challenge was engineered to withstand the depth of up to 12,000 meters.
Regarding its size the Deep Sea Challenge overshadowed even the Deep Sea Sea Dweller; but it is a one of a kind piece and is not offered to the general public of course.
The DSSD D-Blue comes in a recently updated Rolex box, with a slightly revised document holder.
Rolex uses the same box for almost every model; it is the box’s size that changes according to the given timepiece. The DSSD’s box is somewhat bigger than the ones that come with the Oyster Sports models.
Inside of the box you will find a manual for the DSSD, a Rolex certificate at the size of a credit card, a COSC certificate, cleaning cloth, bezel protector, leather wallet, calendar, and a translation booklet.
My opinion is that visually and material wise Rolex could somewhat improve on their boxes. Unfortunately my opinion does not change looking at this new box.
Inside of the watch is Rolex’s in house mechanism, the robust and neo – classic 3135.
This caliber is in production for a long time and the brand uses it in a number of different models.
Case, Case back, and Crown
The steel parts are made out of 904L steel, which compared to 316L steel (used for most watches) is 4 times more durable against shocks, corrosion, and grants the watch a truly nice appeal compared to standard steel watches.
The case features extraordinary finishing and perfect details just like all Oyster models.
The thick lugs that represent a strong and muscular look merge with the crown guards in a very imposing way. The watch wears big compared to its 44mm case size due to the thick lugs and the 21mm space between them.
By the way, I would like to point out the 17.7mm height of the case, which is quite remarkable and is certainly not for everyone. You will find a Helium Valve positioned at the 9 o’clock on the outside of the case, which by the way features both steel and titanium. This alloyed cover might remind us about Ulysse Nardin’s Maxi Marine Diver Series.
The titanium middle case is positioned in a steel ring and is fixed by screwing the ring to the case (but there is no engraving on the titanium middle case). On the ring, there is an engraving, which we used to see on old generation SD models.
For the crown, Rolex uses an in – house patented TripLock system, which offers extraordinary water resistance. I should especially point out that for us Rolex’s crowns are prominent design elements of the brand.
The watch’s most important and foremost feature is its water resistance. As indicated on the dial, the DSSD has a water resistance up to 3900 meters. To test this water resistance, Rolex uses a testing equipment developed especially for them by Comex. The Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA is tested to a depth of 4,875 meters to offer a 25% safety reserve that is required by the ISO 6425 divers' watches standard.
Rolex used a material called Corundum (synthetic sapphire) for the glass, which is one of a kind. The domed glass’s thickness is 5.5mm and looks just perfect on the watch. Besides that it is obvious that the domed glass is a tribute to first SD’s domed mica glasses.
As the glass has no strong anti – reflective properties it features a rather shiny surface. Due to the glass as well as the reflection, when you look at the watch from different angles it can be hard to read the time.
The bezel made is out of Cerachrom, an alloy of ceramic and chrome made with a very special heat treatment. It is obvious that this material is very powerful against scratches. It is easy to encounter watches with plenty of scratches on the case but not a single one on the cerachrom bezels. By the way as it applies to all hard materials a risk of fracture is viable.
Dial, Arms and Date Disk
The watch’s dial has the features of a Maxi Dial. Compared to older generations this dial offers thicker hands and bigger dot indexes. These new features have a positive effect on readability. We can also say that it looks more elegant. Distinctly from standard DSSD, the dial turns from a beautiful dark blue into a black color.
The surface of the dial is bright and the colors are in perfect harmony with the watch’s theme.
Trust us this dial plays so beautifully with the light you will find it hard (!) to take your eyes of it.
The Deep Sea theme is complete with the green color of “DEEPSEA” marking.
With one word, the dial looks “magnificent”. When it comes to thematic watches Rolex walks on eggshells and with the DSSD D-Blue they executed their concept in an exceptionally cool way.
For the date disk Rolex used black font over a white background. Personally I would prefer exactly the opposite, or if it was possible leave the date window completely out.
Another interesting feature is the inner ring around the dial. For this model Rolex manufactured an even wider ring that features technical references about the watch.
For the dial’s phosphorus features Rolex used another patented design of theirs, ChromaLight. At first sight this material is very eye catching with its blue color and it has been said that compared to Luminova, ChromaLight offers a longer shine.
Bracelet / Clips
The watch comes on an Oyster bracelet. Compared to older generation bracelet this new one offers a number of updates. Although optically the bracelet seems incompatible with the case it manages to do a successful job.
DSSD bracelets reached the peak of Rolex’s bracelet game. The brand is at the center of critics about their bracelets for years and now, but I can say that their workmanship on this one is just flawless.
The watch’s (case and) bracelet are massive and while this design certainly increases the watches general weight it deserves compliments because of its durability against chronic problems like stretching/ abrasion/ making sound and so on.
The bracelet also features an extension system called GlideLock, which is again a patented Rolex feature. To adjust a few millimeters it only takes a few seconds by opening the bracelet and releasing the extra link. Pretty practical and elegant.
Considering the case thickness and weight of the DSSD it is not a very comfortable watch to wear. The watch is constantly moving around your wrist due to the imbalances between the case’s weight and the relatively thin bracelet. If you are going to wear DSSD you have to adjust the bracelet perfectly. Wearing it too tight or too lose will certainly not work, but if you manage to find a perfect balance you will have a lot of fun with it.
I am (and I have to be) kind of experienced about protecting my watches from bumping it into things, as I like to wear them quite lose all the time. As this model is a serious diver’s watch the bracelet of course features an extra extension system, other than the GlideLock system, which is linked to the links of the bracelet. . However that extension is link is not as curved as a standard link. Additionally it is longer than a standard link. Therefore I took out the extension link just like removing a standard link.Eventually I will not need the diver’s extension system for my everyday use, so I think this solution makes sense.
With cancelling this extension piece mentioned above I can say that it returned to me with a big ease. For those however who are not accustomed to wear big watches or for those who have smaller wrists I think Sea Dweller 4000 will be a better choice.
Let’s see the positive and negative sides of the watch all together;
1) New model that carries all updates of the brand
2) Technologically the world’s best –mass produced – analog and mechanical diver’s watch
3) A thematic version of the brand’s most successful model in water sports.
1) Weight; the watch weighs 220g
2) Thickness; 17.7mm
3) Lack of comfort; due to watch’s proportional case weight and bracelet thickness, the watch gives you a feeling as if a stone was tied to your wrist