By TLex While Rolex were putting the finishing touches to the presentation of their latest model launch scheduled for August 4th, WIS sleuths were busying themselves, trying to find out what indeed it was. One of them cunningly checked the source code attached to the teaser image that was posted on Rolex's official website and saw a line of code that read, 'deepsea d-blue dial', and so the cat was out of the bag or was it?!
Of course Rolex immediately responded by renaming the teaser image that related to the said code, but was it too late? Nevertheless the speculation continued with a renewed focus on what form this blue faced Deepsea would actually take on? Would Rolex go the route of the Submariner WG, or would they do something a little more unexpected? Perhaps something so radical that it was beyond our imagination!
The mere fact that Rolex have released a new model in the summer is already quite unexpected; however given that the world premier of James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge 3D movie also falls on August 4th, it did make it an appropriate time and occasion to unveil a new DEEPSEA variant.
And so for the greater majority of the world August 4th came and went. But where was this big reveal? I must have refreshed Rolex’s pages a hundred times. Well, I’m not sure what to make of it, but here it finally is; introducing the new Rolex DEEPSEA D-BLUE Dial Edition in celebration of James Cameron’s epic dive to the deepest place on earth - the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
With its two-color gradient dial recalling the ocean’s twilight zone, where deep blue fades into inky black as the last trickle of light from the surface disappears into the black abyss, and its green luminous ‘DEEPSEA’ text (the same green used for James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge submersible), it certainly is unexpected. Apparently it was unveiled at selected Rolex boutiques across Asia and the rest of the world.
For all intents and purposes it is the same as any other DEEPSEA, at least physically and mechanically. It features an Rolex's innovative 'Chromalight' display on its dial with a distinctive blue glow that lasts up to twice as long as that of standard luminescent materials. The lume capsule in the center of the triangular, 12hr bezel marker also contains the same luminescent material.
Owing its name to the legendary DSS (deep sea special) experimental wristwatch that in 1960 successfully made its historical descent to the deepest point in the ocean (at a depth of 10916 meters), the Rolex DEEPSEA has its own claim to fame - namely, being one of the deepest rated production mechanical watches that are available, today with a water-resistance of 3900 meters (12800 feet).
The DEEPSEA was engineered to meet the demands of professional divers; a robust, precise and reliable divers watch capable of handling extreme depths; it was unveiled by Rolex some 6 years ago in 2008 (has it really been that long?!).
The history of Rolex and water-resistance, however is even longer, dating back several decades. It is steeped in the pioneering spirit that led them to the development of the earliest divers watches in the 1950s and the most extreme water-resistant watches spanning more than 50 years. They remain the only watch company to have had not one but two of their wristwatches descend into the ocean’s deepest and darkest trench.
Watches like the Submariner and the Sea-Dweller have seen decades of real-life experience stretching back to the pioneering days of underwater exploration and at the highest level of commercial diving.
Watches like the Deep Sea Special and Deepsea Challenge have made history, capturing the imaginations of those of us that dream of venturing into the dark abyss ourselves.
And so for me, it is the Rolex Deepsea that has found the happy medium between a daily divers watch such as the Sub or S-D and an extremophile such as the DSS or Deepsea CHALLENGE. It seems to offer the best of both worlds; with all the functionality and wear-ability of the former, but with just enough of the excitement and drama of the latter!
Nothing quite says’ Rolex diver’ like a black dial and matching black bezel. No, color is more befitting the abyss (where there is a complete absence of light), and so for me Rolex’s new DEEPSEA D-BLUE Dial Edition, while an intriguing new variant is no substitute for its black faced predecessor.
For some it will be little more than a novelty; perhaps not one for the seasoned dive watch connoisseurs to lust after, either; time will tell. Still, for what it is, it is kind of subtle, the execution is elegant and playful, and there is no denying that it is evocative of the James Cameron’s descent into the Marianas Trench!