All you need to know about the Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm Ref. 126600 – Why it is like it is? (REVIEW)

sure, we predicted ‘some thing’ to show up to the sea-Dweller. however what Rolex in reality determined upon, got here as a entire surprise and become appeared with the aid of a few as arguable. It was maybe now not what lengthy-time Rolex collectors have been hopping for, however the new Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm Ref. 126600 has been one of the primary talking pieces of Baselworld 2017. just like the Ceramic / metallic Daytona made the headlines in 2016. the principle novelty of Rolex for 2017 is probably much less smooth to recognize than for example the big name of closing yr’s novelties. That’s why we’re moving into-intensity (Monochrome style) and tell you all possible motives approximately the brand new Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm Ref. 126600, an eye that perhaps wishes extra than only a quick glance to be absolutely apprehended.

while Rolex does some thing, there’s constantly a good motive in the back of it. whether or not you want the emblem or not, you cannot say they do a 1/2 task – even if on very uncommon activities, they ought to accurate one or two details (see the 2016 Explorer I.) yet, if one evolution or one function is delivered to an eye, the incentive is straightforward: make it higher or make it more coherent. With the brand new Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm Ref. 126600, a few humans (sincerely pretty a lot) had been surprised by using numerous features; the larger diameter and the cyclops over the date window being the main items of the talk. Of route we requested the query, and of route Rolex had a clear cause of “the whole thing new” on this Sea-Dweller 126600. here’s what we heard… plus of course our take on matters!

50 Years of Innovation and regular Evolution

the ocean-Dweller’s records is linked to the records of dive watches and of scuba diving on its personal. After WWII, diving has grow to be a famous game, or leisure hobby, and dive watches have been being evolved. Dive watches became available for both military, experts and civilian leisure divers. The Submariner ref. 6200 turned into the world’s first commercially produced dive watch, which was launched in 1954, with a 100m water resistance (later 200m and 300m). in the early Sixties experiments on saturated diving had started and straight away the want for watches with more water resistance emerged. At that point, the Submariner ref. 5513 could face up to 200 meters of intensity, however the purpose of Rolex became to triple the depth rating.

the first version of the ocean-Dweller, 1967

Experiments were carried out by way of Rolex in collaboration with COMEX (a professional diver’s enterprise), for the creation of a feature that might later become the hallmark of the sea-Dweller: the helium break out valve. It become first delivered at the Submariner ref. 5514, and soon after, in 1967, Rolex delivered the sea-Dweller ref. 1665. This become simply the primary Sea-Dweller and have become the recognizable diver watch with helium break out valve. The early models from 1967 (manufacturing anticipated to approx. one hundred portions) had been very just like the Submariner 5514 COMEX that changed into retrofitted with helium escape valve. characteristics are a “double red” dial with “Submariner 2000” and no “patent pending” case again (as Rolex had filed for patent, but had not but obtained the patent at the helium valve). Very uncommon examples may be seen inside the “single red” model. these prototypes (with anticipated production of 4 watches) had been rated for 500m.

an extraordinary “unmarried crimson” version of the sea-Dweller, rated for 500m

numerous evolutions might be visible for the duration of the production of the ocean-Dweller. The “Double crimson” Sea-Dweller (with the “Submariner 2000” point out too) changed into produced from 1971 to 1977, still with a 2000ft / 610m water resistance and “patent pending” caseback. In 1977, the Rolex Sea-Dweller evolves once more, becoming the “brilliant white”. No purple indication anymore, no mention of “Submariner 2000” anymore, and this became done to higher differentiate between the Submariner and the sea-Dweller watches. by 1978, and along the ref. 1665, Rolex added the ref. 16660 Sea-Dweller outfitted with a sapphire crystal, a larger helium release valve and an upgraded depth score to 4,000 feet or 1,220 metres. ultimately, in 1988, Rolex released the Ref. 16600, with the cutting-edge calibre 3135, strong end-hyperlinks at the bracelet and a glossy dial. The ref. 16600 become discontinued twenty years later, in 2008, and replaced through the sea-Dweller Deepsea.

Left- the sea-Dweller 2014, 40mm diameter ref. 116600 – proper- the ocean-Dweller 2017, 43mm diameter ref. 126600 (notice the purple inscription and cyclops)

In 2008, Rolex stopped the production of the ocean-Dweller 4000ft to move to extra water resistance and an eye fixed with a good stronger expert orientation: the sea-Dweller Deepsea with a 12,000 ft or three,900 metres water resistance, a 44mm case and of direction the helium break out valve. whilst technically extra superior and extra green, this watch couldn’t replace the SD within the heart of creditors and this why the Sea-Dweller 4000 got here again in manufacturing in 2014 as ref. 116600. The now discontinued ref. 116600 has the identical 1,220 meters water resistance, the helium valve and functions a slimmer case, a ceramic bezel and a Glidelock bracelet, and of route white text at the black dial, no cyclops and a 40mm case.

The 43mm Diameter of the Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600

the first and in all likelihood most important topic of dialogue approximately this new Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600 is ready its diameter, a massive diameter of 43mm to be specific. It isn’t the first time that Rolex does a big watch (see the 44mm Deepsea), however usually, there’s a technical motive at the back of an increased case. for decades, the same old diameter of sports activities watches at Rolex has been 40mm, a pretty reasonable and wearable length, appropriate for maximum. you can discover this size at the Submariner, at the GMT-grasp II, at the Yacht-master, and… on the previous Sea-Dweller ref. 116600.

the ocean-Dweller has continually been a piece inside the shadow of the Submariner. perhaps that’s due to the fact each models aren’t best visually but also length-sensible extremely near. With the 2014 version, there might have been a “differentiation issue”, due to the fact the SD4K (Sea-Dweller 4,000ft) is a piece thicker than the Submariner, but it has more elegant lugs. The best difference is the absence of cyclops, a slightly greater specific scale at the bezel and the unique (higher) depth-charge with helium escape valve (1,220m vs. 300m). nevertheless, in contemporary days, this water-resistance factor makes less sense than in the Nineteen Sixties, as few people are really the use of a Rolex as a expert piece of device to dive (low-priced and really dependable diving computers are broadly used). you might have guessed the factor of the 43mm diameter: differentiation! it’ll be the answer for certain markets, where people select large watches (US especially), and it provides some emphasize at the strong tool-watch appearance.

in an effort to create a real assessment among the those dive watches which are the Submariner and the sea-Dweller, Rolex chose to make the latter larger – it is a deliberate preference, inspired and properly-thought (Rolex isn’t used to do matters in a hurry). like it or not, however the mild achievement of the preceding 40mm Ref. 116600 required a correction. thus, the brand new Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600 will become large, now not only in diameter however the complete watch has grown: large case of course, large bracelet (22mm as opposed to 20mm), large bezel, large indexes, large fingers, large buckle (correcting considered one of the issues of the 116600, with a too thin buckle). normal, Rolex desired to maintain proportions intact and to paste to the look of the sea-Dweller, despite the fact that larger.

Technically, the Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600 suggests no evolution: same 1,220m / 4,000ft water resistant, nevertheless the iconic helium get away valve at the left aspect of the case (the hallmark of the model), still the 60-minute scale on the ceramic bezel, with one-minute markers from 0 to 60 (now not on the Submariner), equal show, same Triplock crown, identical prominent caseback, same buckle with lengthy diving extension, equal ordinary high-quality and feeling of having a proper “tool” at the wrist.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600 on a small wrist (underneath 17cm / 6.7 inches)

talking about “on the wrist“… how does this watch look in its natural habitat? properly, to be sincere, i’ve small wrists and that i normally love smaller watches. I’m a ordinary wearer of 40mm Rolex watches or 41mm Tudor dive watches, and they’re, to me, showing perfect proportions, well balanced in-between a sporty method and a positive elegance that you want while carrying a luxury watch. but, the sea-Dweller 126600 needs to be seemed in another way, as a right tool. So the larger case does no longer disturb me that plenty. furthermore, I’ve been pleasantly amazed via the seems at the wrist (see the picture above… It’s large but now not overly massive).

The case has been redesigned and the lugs are shorter and extra curved, therefore suitable for smaller wrists too. Of path, humans with 19cm / 7.5 inches or plus wrists may be even greater pleased. Then, there’s the stability at the wrist. a few observed the previous 40mm Sea-Dweller slightly unbalanced on the wrist, as it changed into ‘only’ 40mm and as a substitute thick; too thick for this sort of diameter, which made this watch quite wobbly when worn. the brand new 43mm feels extra stable. surprising, but it without a doubt does. in the end, the 43mm diameter may have supporters and critics, but you can’t denied two factors: a clear differentiation with the Submariner and more consolation on the wrist.

The single red Dial

matters are converting at Rolex. I dare to say it, however this simple pink line of text on the dial is an vital flow for the logo. What could were insignificant for maximum other brands, is for Rolex pretty a revolution (surprisingly speakme of route…) Jokes aside, the emblem has advanced inside the beyond 2 / three years, with the addition of a rubber bracelet, a as a substitute surprising dial on the Air King (and sure, it is a fulfillment in shops) or the unavowed antique-stimulated Daytona steel / Ceramic. And that “single pink” characteristic is in the equal vein, a glance back at origins.

with out announcing that Rolex is set to introduce a historical past series (no spoiler alert…), it appears that evidently the “crown” desires to please a few creditors and to reassure them with small but iconic information, which include panda dials or this red model name. This makes even more experience in this Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600, launched exactly 50 years after the advent of the version in 1967. Rolex, without loosing its “always look ahead” and modern spirit, ought to depend extra regularly on such small information to create a hype on sure fashions. This “single purple” dial ought to be the maximum liked function in this new edition.

The Cyclops on the Date Window

Now comes the opposite characteristic that created discussions approximately the Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600: the cyclops over the date window. This changed into sincerely surprising and this by some means broke the concept at the back of the model, which has constantly been with out the magnifying cyclops. still, its apparition needs to be explained, and is justified by Rolex and its DNA.

if you take a close take a look at the Rolex series, you’ll be aware that every unmarried watch within the series that capabilities a date window comes with a cyclops (Datejust, Day-Date, Sky-Dweller, Submariner Date, Explorer II, GMT-master II, Yacht-master 40). Now there’s simplest one exception: the Sea-Dweller Deepsea. The date magnifier is entirely a part of the logo’s DNA. it’s been absent on the ocean-Dweller for these kind of years, however not for cultured motives, but for technical motives. Wether we have a look at the antique versions with Plexiglas or greater current editions with sapphire, the a hundred and twenty-bar strain that the ocean-Dweller needed to withstand was so excessive that the cyclops was in reality breaking from the crystal.

Now, you need to think with Rolex neurons… because of this that “if technically we’re able to do it, there’s no reason now not to do it“. Plus, as stated, the cyclops is an iconic feature of Rolex watches with date. And now that Rolex done to find a answer (no detailed factors given by the brand, simply this statement) to have a cyclops that can resist the strain persisted by using the Sea-Dweller, there has been no cause anymore for the logo now not to glue it on the SD’s crystal. It is probably pretty disappointing for a few collectors, but when you take a look at things thru the eyes of the “crown”, it sincerely makes feel. (observe: the Deepsea is now the best date-prepared version with out cyclops, for 2 reasons – the substantial pressure it has to cope with makes impossible to have this option, plus the crystal is not flat however domed). Now the query like/dislike is private and very last customers can be the most effective judges of the relevance of the added cyclops.

the new generation of Rolex movement (Calibre 3235)

here’s the component that have to usually create unanimity: the Calibre 3235. The Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600 might be the primary watch of the expert series to benefit from the new generation of moves, the 32xx introduced first at the 2015 Day-Date and later used at the 2016 Datejust. to any extent further, it seems that every new Rolex watch (completely new ones, not simply new dials…) will gain from this upgrade. And really, as top as may be the older 31xx moves, this new-gen is genuinely better in all aspects.

compared to the preceding collection of actions, the Calibre 3235 has 90% new components: new barrel, new gear teach, new escapement, new bridges and plates, new rotor, new automated winding system. no longer best the elements are new however maximum of them include modern-day technologies, with a clear performance aim.

The 3235 has 70h energy reserve, thanks to a greater green escapement (dubbed Chronergy, which will increase the performance of the escapement via 15%, and contributes to nearly half of the advantage in power reserve), an optimized tools teach, with excessive-performance lubricants with a longer beneficial life and greater stability over the years (much less friction, much less wear, much less energy intake), a excessive-ability barrel (with an extended main-spring without converting the scale of the barrel), blue Parachrom hairspring (resistant to magnetic fields), in-residence excessive-overall performance Paraflex surprise absorbers, massive balance wheel with variable inertia and sooner or later new self-winding module, for a more fast winding of the brand new high-ability mainspring.

the overall completing has been stepped forward, with bevelled bridges, round brushing, jewels in gold chatons and other details that make this movement better looking than the preceding 3135. Of path, as all Rolex moves, the Calibre 3235 is a Superlative Chronometer (-2 / +2 seconds consistent with day) and comes with a five-year assurance.

end

This new Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600 creates a few debates, brings a few questions and shows a stronger evolution than what we’ve seen inside the beyond. And in case you need to realize, this is a very good point. I guess that we (reporters, creditors, watch enthusiasts, proprietors) would possibly have had a as an alternative slender, conservative, expectation from the logo. This watch, alongside the provocative Air-King or the lots-hyped Daytona steel / Ceramic, indicates a new approach – nothing brutal, nonetheless relying on the DNA of the brand, however extra in step with expectation of the markets.

In reality, I suppose Rolex will advantage from a bit of controversy, in preference to doing merchandise that maximum will like, but few will love or hate. We should remember the fact that the acquisition of a €10k watch is mainly pushed via emotions and with the Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600, Rolex comes back to greater emotional, but extra segmented products. The SD has constantly been alternatively niche within the collection and for this sort of product, maximum decisions the logo made about this 2017 version appear pretty coherent.

And to answer the unavoidable question: do you want it? properly, i’d say that my first response has been on the terrible side, but now, after some days, I should admit that it’s far growing on me. I bet that Rolex might have made the right decision here, with a extra toolish, more professional style.


specifications of the Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600

  • Case: 43mm diameter – 904L chrome steel, polished and brushed – screwed caseback, helium break out valve – sapphire crystal with cyclops – 1,220m water resistance
  • motion: Calibre 3235, in-residence, superlative chronometer certified – automatic – 4Hz frequency – 70h electricity reserve – hours, minute, seconds, date
  • Bracelet: stainless-steel, Oyster bracelet – Oysterlock buckle, with Glidelock diving extension
  • fee: EUR 10,400 / CHF 10,800 / USD 11,350
  • Availability: April 2017

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