Rolex Comex Sea Dweller 16600 – 1976
In 1967, Rolex launched the Deepsea watch, the ROLEX DEEPSEA, and 1967 was a pivotal year for Rolex, as it had just decided to partner with Comex, so the Deepsea had a practical nature to it. The first Deepsea watches were actually sent to Comex for data analysis. There is no doubt that the Deepsea is a direct descendant of Comex.
With the partnership between Rolex and Comex, the production of the watches is inevitably influenced by the dive data of the Comex models. Therefore, from the point of view of professional diving only, the Deepsea is a very high performance watch. Since its birth to 2023, the Deepsea has been upgraded to 1220 meters, and the Deepsea Ref. 1166600 has reached 3900 meters.
Comex (or Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises) is a French commercial diving company that issued Rolex dive watches to its fleet of deep-sea divers starting in the 1970s
Before someone discusses dive watches, some people say that the end of playing dive watches is the Fifty Fathoms, and some people raise objections that the Deepsea is the boss (coincidentally, the Rolex Submariner and Blancpain Fifty Fathoms were both launched in the same year 1953, so they are destined to become “rivals”). Although my wrist is too small to handle the Deepsea, the Deepsea is still my favorite watch. Some people think that the Deepsea is a large Submariner, but that’s not the case.
The reason why Rolex launched the Deepsea is because Rolex wants to continue to be the #1.
We all know that the Deepsea, the Rolex DEEPSEA, number 116660, was the top dive watch launched by Rolex in 2008 (because it was already far more capable than the average professional dive watch). There are several details that are very interesting in the context of the time. Before the Deepsea, Rolex’s most powerful professional dive watch was the SEA DWELLER, which was unrivaled in the 1980s when it reached a water resistance of 1,220 meters. But with the passage of time year by year, including Breitling, Girard-Perregaux, some dive watches have exceeded the depth of the sea ambassador, Breitling’s dive watches can already reach 3000 meters waterproof. What’s worse, in 2005 CX Swiss Military (that’s the Swiss military watch) launched a dive watch with a waterproof depth of 3657 meters, taking the top seat. Diving watches are the traditional strength of Rolex, Rolex can not let others to add to the mess. So Rolex directly launched the Deepsea, waterproof to 3900 meters, to return to the boss position. (Although later there are still watches to refresh the record, but it is after the thing).
Some say the Deepsea is a work of art, and I couldn’t agree more.
Many years ago, I saw a post commenting on the Deepsea, saying that the DEEPSEA was a complete work of art. I wondered at the time how the Deepsea became a “work of art”. His explanation was that the Rolex DEEPSEA completely balanced extreme water resistance and wearability, allowing the watch to be worn normally in everyday life. Later I learned more and found that the he was very correct.
When the Swiss Military CX Swiss Military record-breaking dive watch, 53.9 mm in diameter and 23.3 mm thick, this size is not the size of a normal watch, not ordinary people usually wear it. This is with the Formula 1 racing car is indeed very cow, but who can not drive on the road is a reason. The Rolex Deepsea is 44mm in diameter and 17.6mm thick, the size of the Deepsea is exactly the size of a normal watch. The Rolex side also conducted a study before, saying that if the Deepsea is designed with conventional technology and watch structure, then to reach the current depth of 3900 meters of water resistance, then the thickness of the case should reach 20 mm. This thickness and the Swiss army watch 23.3 mm is no different, 20 mm thickness of this table basically can not wear, the table made out of little sense. It is said that Rolex does not do complicated watches, Rolex’s complexity is not reflected in those tourbillon, perpetual calendar, but reflected in other places, such as Deepsea.
Rolex Deepsea improvements
Rolex Deepsea has always been known for its chunkiness, and in 2014 Baselworld Rolex launched the new Ocean Messenger 4000, which returned to the mainstream Rolex 40mm diameter to make many Rolex watch fans shine. A part of Rolex watch fans immediately began to seriously chew the new “Deepsea”, which is not to learn from many people feel that the Deepsea is too heavy after the suggestion of improvement? However, I think that the 44mm diameter and the heavy feel of the Deepsea is exactly what makes it so special. Wouldn’t such a change make the Deepsea lose its original character?
In November 2022, Rolex launched the new Rolex Deepsea Challenge mechanical watch and broke the record with 11,000 meters waterproof depth, becoming the deepest waterproof diving watch in the watch world. With the use of titanium casing, it was named “Titanium Deepsea” among the players, with a public price of 30.000 USD.
The watch is 50 mm in diameter, 23 mm thick, with a 9.5 mm sapphire crystal and a total weight of 251 grams. One of the highlights of this watch is that it is made of titanium, which has the characteristics of lightness, robustness and corrosion resistance. Compared to Rolex’s previous models, which were made of 904L steel, this production watch is 30% lighter and more wearable. The “Titanium Deepsea” is too big. With a size of 50 mm and a thickness of 23 mm, the weight of this watch would be too much for the average person’s wrist to wear if the steel case were used instead of titanium. The “Titanium Deepsea” is the first titanium case watch that Rolex has ever mass-produced and put on sale to the public, with a titanium case and bracelet.
The Titanium Deepsea has a sapphire crystal that is 9.5 mm thick. The sapphire crystal is locked to a “compressed steel ring” and uses a titanium caseback. When the sapphire crystal is subjected to high water pressure, the pressure is transmitted to the “compression ring” and the titanium caseback. The “compression ring” is three times more resistant than Rolex’s 904L steel; the titanium caseback is flexible and can deform under pressure. The two work together to relieve and release the water pressure. The rest of the “Titanium Deepsea” is the same as the regular Rolex Sea Ambassador and DEEPSEA. The case has an automatic helium valve on the side and the crown has a triple locking mechanism.
Although the Titanium Deepsea is officially marked as water resistant to 11,000 meters, according to Rolex and COMEX water pressure tests, the actual water resistance of the Titanium Deepsea can reach 13,750 meters.
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