Rolex Sea-Dweller DeepSea
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
The Deep Sea owes its lineage to a specialist tool watch developed by Rolex to solve a specific problem.
During the ‘60s, French commercial diving outfit COMEX and the U.S. Navy's SEALAB program were both fielding Rolex dive watches. A common issue with the Submariner when used in saturation diving, however, was that the crystals of these watches would come flying off during decompression: Gas expands as pressure decreases, and the helium molecules that had passed through the watch’s seals at depth expanded as the diver reacclimated to surface pressure. As the gas molecules grew and grew, the pressure that they exerted inside the case increased so much that it couldn’t contain the gas, and the crystal was the easiest way out.
Rolex thus developed and patented the helium escape valve, a one-way value that gave the helium molecules a safe path out of the watch during decompression. Initially, the brand outfitted one of its standard Submariner Ref. 5513 watches with the valve, dubbing it the Reference 5514. Eventually, however, the Crown created a new, dedicated model to house this new technology, which it called the Sea-Dweller.
Since then, numerous Sea-Dwellers have been developed. The particular reference we have here is a 126660, a Deep Sea model from the late 2010s. Housed in a 44mm stainless steel Oyster case with a helium escape valve, a sapphire crystal, a signed Triplock crown, and a black ceramic, unidirectional timing bezel, it features a luminous black dial with a matching ‘Mercedes’ handset, and date window at 3:00. Powered by the chronometer-certified Rolex Calibre 3235 automatic movement, it comes paired to a stainless steel Oyster bracelet with Rolexes excellent Glidelock clasp with divers extension.
Big, burly, and unabashedly utilitarian, the Deep Sea is nevertheless a deeply handsome watch in the classic Rolex sense. If you’re in the market for a timepiece that can go anywhere and do anything, you’d be hard-pressed to find something more appropriate than this 44mm diver.
We are into it.
From the early waterproof Oyster case of the 1920s through to the ultra-complicated Sky Dweller of today, Rolex models and innovations have captivated a global audience and permeated the zeitgeist unlike those of any other brand. Whether it’s a simple, time-only Air King, a function-first Submariner or a complicated GMT Master II for the jet set, a Rolex commands a certain respect on the wrist and says something about the discerning eye of its owner.
From the swimming of the English channel in 1927 to the scaling of Mt. Everest in 1953, Rolex watches have been associated with adventure for the better part of a century. Despite its association since the 1970s more with luxury and status than with commando operations behind enemy lines or sporting achievements, Rolex still makes one of the most robust timepieces available on the contemporary market. And the company continues to support scientific endeavors around the world.
Interestingly, for most of the firm’s history, Rolex largely did not produce its components in-house, including its movements. (Indeed, hand-wound Daytonas sold today at auction for eye-watering prices feature run-of-the-mill Valjoux movements that feature in watches from hundreds of other brands). It wasn’t until the early 21st century that Rolex became the vertically integrated manufacturing behemoth that it is today, purchasing everything from movement manufacturers to bracelet companies. (Notably, the Crown even forges its own gold.)
Whether one is attracted to the rich history of the brand or simply finds its products notable from an investment perspective, Rolex is a company whose wares are guaranteed to remain a benchmark for horological quality forever.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Rolex Sea-Dweller DeepSea