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November 3rd, 2022
Rolex is a choice for almost every genre of people, be it adventurers, pilots, astronauts, scientists, and of course, divers. The luxury Swiss watch brand imagines the most extreme conditions and creates watches with unrivalled specifications. Over 60 years ago, Rolex created history by sending its Deep Sea special timepiece to the deepest ocean point, the Mariana Trench, located approximately 35,814 feet below the sea.
After all these years, it has once again recreated history by crafting a timepiece rated waterproof to 36,090 feet, which is 200+ feet deeper than the previous Deep Sea edition! Not just that, the new Deep Sea Challenge watch is entirely made of titanium, which is also Rolex’s first-ever! With so many significant attributes packed into a watch, it is fair to say that only Rolex can surpass its record.
So, there are two striking stories here. Let’s start with the shocking water-resistance quality.
We’ve always known that Rolex has a thing for creating luxurious and robust dive watches. It all started with the signature Submariner in 1953, followed by the Sea-Dweller in 1967, then the Deepsea in 2008, and finally, the Deep Sea Challenge. In 2012, Rolex, for the first time, created a sample Deepsea watch for James Cameron for his solo dive down to the Mariana Trench, proving it could withstand the pressure at the ocean’s bottom, and the watch survived. However, the watch wasn’t ready for mass production then.
After almost a decade, Rolex has decided to launch the commercial presentation of the ‘Deep Sea’ prototype with the ‘Deep Sea Challenge’. The timepiece pays homage to filmmaker James Cameron, US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh, and oceanographer Jacques Piccard. They visited the same spot in 1960 with a different Rolex prototype.
The new Deep Sea Challenge timepiece hence bears the engraving “Mariana Trench’ along with the dates “26/03/2012” and “23/01/1960”.
The watch is 23mm thick, measures 50mm in diameter, and has a 9.5mm sapphire crystal. Even if the new iteration is quite a beast with such enormous dimensions, it is quite wearable. The previous Rolex Deep Sea offered a water resistance of up to 3900 meters, and the new Deep Sea Challenge Ref. 126067 offers a record-breaking water resistance of 11,000 meters. Like its predecessors, the watch uses a Ringlock system and helium escape valve that allows the helium molecules to escape safely instead of popping out the crystal.
Another interesting difference is the absence of a date on the Deep Sea Challenge. Since the watch boasts the quality for short-time diving, there’s no need for a date specification. Rolex dedicates the design to testing humankind's extremities for a few hours.
It has a matte black dial with a Chromalight display, making it highly legible under the sea. The watch also includes the signature Triplock crown with three sealed zones.
The Deep Sea Challenge runs on Calibre 3230 with Superlative Chronometer certification and offers a power reserve of 70 hours.
Heading to the next big news: Rolex creates the all-new Deep Sea Challenge with titanium, the brand’s first-ever! Rolex uses Grade 5 Titanium, an alloy of vanadium and aluminium, to create this magnificent timepiece. The reason for this was quite practical. A watch as big as this, needs a metal that makes it much more wearable. Hence, the Crown brand has used titanium instead of stainless steel, which is almost 40% lighter than the latter.
Thanks to its low modulus of elasticity, Titanium flexes and deforms easily and is even more difficult to machine than steel. As per reports, Rolex took three years to develop the Deep Sea Challenge as it has been experimenting with titanium for a very long time.
After all considerations, the latest Rolex creation makes total sense per innovation. Visually, the watch might appear really big, but it is not unbearably heavy when you wear it. Smaller wrists might find it overwhelming, but the diameter and thickness sit just fine.
The finishing of the watch is excellent, and the titanium does make the watch stand out. The polished chamfers and other details look perfect, and the matte black dial offers a stunning real tool-watch vibe. Additionally, the Fliplock and Glidelock system allows easy adjustments so the watch can stretch seamlessly on the wrist.
The Deep Sea Challenge is a serious treat for watch enthusiasts, doubling the depth rating. So far, the brand has only produced prototypes to go to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, but now it will mass-produce it! And, to mass produce, such a technically and functionally capable timepiece is no easy feat. Rolex has always pushed boundaries and surpassed people’s expectations to deliver the best. And we love the Deep Sea Challenge!
It’s not very far before you find this exotic new diver’s favourite on the secondary market. Almost every Rolex creation is a blockbuster, and the Deep Sea Challenge is one of its record-breaking timepieces. Therefore, grab one before it storms out of the stores and get ready to sell your Rolex at roughly double or maybe triple the price on the pre-owned market.
*Banner Picture Courtesy: Rolex
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