Rolex Sea-Dweller Ultimate Buying Guide

Evolved in particular for saturation divers, the Rolex Sea-Dweller no longer only gives a deeper water resistance score than the Submariner but in addition comes equipped with a helium escape valve. The Sea-Dweller has been a part of the Rolex catalog for over 5 a long time and it has gone through a number of essential updates over the process its historical past.

Should you’re out there for this official dive watch or just wish to brush up for your wisdom, delve into our Rolex Sea-Dweller final purchasing information to be informed the entirety you wish to have to find out about this purpose-built watch designed in particular for the world of business saturation diving.

Rolex Sea-Dweller

Sea-Dweller Key Options:

– Unencumber Yr: 1967

– Case Diameter: 40mm or 43mm

– Cloth: Stainless Metal or Two-Color (Stainless Metal & Yellow Gold)

– Purposes: Time w/ Working Seconds, Date Show, Helium Get away Valve

– Dial: Black w/ Luminous Hour Markers

– Bezel: Unidirectional or Bidirectional, Black Aluminum or Ceramic Insert w/ 60-Very small Scale

– Luminosity: Tritium, Luminova, Tremendous-LumiNova, or Chromalight

– Glass: Acrylic (Domed) or Glass (Flat)

– Movement: Rolex Caliber 1575, 3035, 3135, or 3235

– Water Resistance: 2,000 toes (610 meters) or 4,000 toes (1,220 meters)

– Bracelet/Band: Oyster Band

Click here to learn the difference between the Rolex Submariner and the Rolex Sea-Dweller.

A Temporary Historical past of the Rolex Sea-Dweller

To know the Sea-Dweller, we first must perceive the historical past of Rolex’s pursuit of water resistant watches. In 1926, Rolex offered the Oyster watch, which used to be hermetically sealed because of a construction consisting of a screw-down winding crown, caseback, and glass. Since then, the Oyster has change into the spine of Rolex’s catalog and serves as a foundation for all waterproof Rolex watches.

Rolex introduced the Submariner diving watch in 1953, the place the watches Oyster case got here fitted with a turning bezel graduated to 60 minutes to permit divers to track their immersion instances. Moreover, the Rolex Submariner used to be to start with waterproof to 100 meters (330 toes) and its dial and hands have been luminous for optimum legibility underwater.

In 1960, Lieutenant Don Walsh and engineer Jacques Piccard made historical past once they submerged the experimental bathyscaphe, the Trieste, 10,916 meters (37,800 toes) deep into the Mariana Trench. Connected to the outside of the Trieste used to be a Rolex Deep Sea Particular experimental watch that emerged from the deep in pristine functioning order.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller and COMEX

Seven years later, Rolex presented the Sea-Dweller in particular for saturation divers equivalent to those who labored for the economic diving corporate, Compagnie Maritime D’Expertises (COMEX.) Whilst the Sea-Dweller seemed very similar to the Submariner of the technology, it presented greater than triple the water resistance and likewise featured a helium escape valve (HEV) in an effort to free up trapped helium molecules that had made their method into the watch. Previous to the discovery of the helium escape valve, saturation divers famous that the crystals would pop off their Submariner watches throughout decompression classes. The Rolex Sea-Dweller’s HEV totally solved that factor.

As described standard for the brand, Rolex endured to adapt and toughen the Sea-Dweller watch, specializing in better water intensity rankings and progressed fabrics. Even though Rolex stopped making the Sea-Dweller for a short lived time within the 2010s, the cult-favorite saturation diver’s watch returned to the lineup after a five-year absence.

For many of its historical past, the Rolex Sea-Dweller used to be constructed from stainless steel and integrated a 40mm case. Alternatively, to rejoice the fiftieth anniversary of the watch in 2017, Rolex redesigned the Sea-Dweller to sport a bigger 43mm case. Moreover, a few years later in 2019, a extra sumptuous Yellow Rolesor (two-tone steel/yellow gold) Sea-Dweller joined the gathering.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Historical past Milestones

– 1967: Rolex introduces the primary Sea-Dweller waterproof to two,000 toes.

– 1978: Rolex doubles the Sea-Dweller’s water-resistance score to 4,000, suits it with glass glass, and designs the bezel to be unidirectional.

– 2009: Rolex discontinues the Sea-Dweller.

– 2014: Rolex revives the Sea-Dweller with a brand new Cerachrom ceramic bezel.

– 2017: Rolex redesigns the Sea-Dweller to incorporate a bigger 43mm case, a Cyclops lens at the glass, and new-generation movement.

– 2019: Rolex releases the primary two-tone Sea-Dweller, combining steel and yellow gold.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Fashions and Options

Without reference to the manufacturing technology or particular model reference, all Rolex Sea-Dweller watches are dive watches with black turning bezels marked to 60 minutes, luminous indexes and Mercedes-style hands, a date window at 3 o’clock, a helium escape valve at 9 o’clock, and an Oyster band. Alternatively, there were some important upgrades alongside the best way, and figuring out how Sea-Dweller fashions range will mean you can to come to a decision which reference to shop for.

Now not together with the Deepsea fashions, Rolex has made seven Sea-Dweller references over the past 5 a long time, every providing quite a lot of updates in both pattern, movements, or each. Whilst the primary two percentage a model reference, they’re other sufficient to be thought to be distinct fashions through creditors. You’ll additionally word some overlapping manufacturing classes and a couple of years the place Rolex didn’t make any Sea-Dweller fashions in any respect.

– Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 “Double Red” (1967-1977)

– Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 “Great White” (1977-1983)

– Sea-Dweller ref. 16660 “Triple Six” (1978-1989)

– Sea-Dweller ref. 16600 (1989-2009)

– Sea-Dweller ref. 116600 (2014-2017)

– Sea-Dweller ref. 126600 (2017-Provide)

– Sea-Dweller ref. 126603 (2019-Provide)

Rolex Sea-Dweller Dimension and Cloth Choices

Till very not too long ago, the vintage Sea-Dweller used to be solely made in stainless steel and featured a 40mm case dimension. Alternatively, this replaced in 2017 with the discharge of the brand new Sea-Dweller ref. 126600 with a 43mm case and alternatively in 2019 with the discharge of the brand new steel and yellow gold (referred to as Yellow Rolesor) Sea-Dweller ref. 126603.

40mm Sea-Dweller

– Sea-Dweller 1665

– Sea-Dweller 16660

– Sea-Dweller 16600

– Sea-Dweller 116600

43mm Sea-Dweller

– Sea-Dweller ref. 126600

– Sea-Dweller ref. 126603

It’s additionally value noting that the kind of steel Rolex has used to make the Sea-Dweller has additionally developed. The Sea-Dweller used to be a few of the first Rolex watches to make use of 904L stainless steel and the transfer from industry-standard 316L steel to extra corrosion-resistant 904L steel befell throughout the mid-Nineteen eighties. Then in 2018, Rolex started the use of the time period “Oystersteel” to explain the precise 904L stainless steel alloy it makes use of to craft its watches.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Dials

When the Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 made its legit debut in 1967, its black dial featured two strains of crimson textual content (“Sea-Dweller” and “Submariner 2000”) that cleared the path for its widespread nickname amongst creditors: the Double Crimson Sea-Dweller or DRSD for brief. There are slight dial diversifications of the DRSD, most often categorised through creditors from Scrape 0 to Scrape 7.

A decade later, Rolex changed the crimson textual content variant with an all-white dial model of the ref. 1665, aptly nicknamed the “Great White.” In conjunction with dial diversifications which can be categorised from Scrape 1 to Scrape 4, there also are the “COMEX” dial variants, that have been destined for the Compagnie Maritime D’Expertises group.

Without reference to the textual content tone, each variations of the Sea-Dweller 1665 housed semigloss black dials punctuated with painted luminous plots on the hour markers and a date window at 3 o’clock. Early variations of the next Sea-Dweller ref. 16660 endured a equivalent dial pattern till Rolex switched to shiny black dials with implemented hour markers with white gold surrounds part of the best way during the reference 16660’s manufacturing length.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Luminosity

As with every its watches, Rolex additionally up to date the luminous fabric at the dials of the Sea-Dweller starting with tritium adopted through Luminova within the mid-Nineteen nineties then Tremendous-LumiNova, after which after all, Rolex’s in-house Chromalight. Chromalight is Rolex’s proprietary lume that glows blue at nighttime as an alternative of the standard inexperienced hue of Luminova and Tremendous-LumiNova. Relying on its manufacturing yr, the Sea-Dweller 16600 is the only reference that may have both tritium, Luminova, or Tremendous-LumiNova. A handy guide a rough option to inform the adaptation is to take a look at the marking beneath the 6 o’clock place:

– T Swiss T<25 = Tritium

– Swiss = Luminova

– Swiss Made = Tremendous-LumiNova

In honor of the inaugural type, the fiftieth Anniversary Sea-Dweller ref. 126600 additionally comes with the “SEA-DWELLER” call in crimson textual content. At the different hand, the yellow Rolesor Sea-Dweller ref. 126603 comes with the “SEA-DWELLER” call in gold letters at the dial to compare the opposite gold main points of the watch.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Crystals and Bezels

Some other variation you’ll see throughout other Sea-Dweller references is the kind of glass used to offer protection to the dial. The Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 – each the Double Crimson and the Nice White – come fitted with a thick domed acrylic glass. Alternatively, when Rolex presented the Sea-Dweller ref. 16660, acrylic used to be changed with a scratch-resistant glass glass – the similar fabric used on latest manufacturing fashions.

One essential element to show is that for many of its historical past, the Rolex Sea-Dweller didn’t have the bubble Cyclops magnification lens affixed to the glass – even if it had a date window. This used to be merely since the Cyclops don’t have held up in opposition to the crushing pressures present in ultra-deep waters. Alternatively, with the discharge of the most recent Sea-Dweller 12660x references, Rolex’s official saturation diver’s watch now features a Cyclops over the date window, and it’s now simply the Deepsea Sea-Dweller that lacks this signature Rolex function.

Whilst all Sea-Dweller watches come with a black 60-minute bezel, the kind of fabric used, the rotation course, and the marking genre have replaced through the years. The Rolex Sea-Dweller to start with had a bidirectional bezel with an aluminum bezel insert. The size featured 1-minute markings till 15 minutes, adopted through alternating numerals and batons positioned at each 5 minutes. The primary unidirectional bezel seemed at the Sea-Dweller ref. 16660 “Triple Six” type, which is a more secure mechanism that forestalls underestimating immersion instances.

When Rolex revived the Sea-Dweller in 2014 within the type of the ref. 116600, the watch no longer only got here equipped with a Cerachrom (Rolex’s proprietary ceramic fabric) bezel nevertheless it additionally integrated markings at every of the 60 minutes – very similar to antique Milsub watches.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Straps and Clasps

Even though Rolex has all the time paired the Sea-Dweller with a powerful three-link Oyster band, identical to virtually each different part of the watch, the band and buckle have additionally gone through a number of adjustments and updates. To forestall unintentional opening of the buckle, Rolex designed a distinct buckle for the Submariner and Sea-Dweller in 1969 that includes an extra safety clasp over the folding closure. This actual Sea-Dweller Oyster band additionally benefited from a diver’s extension at the buckle to permit the wearer to elongate the band to suit over a thick diving go well with.

Rolex presented sturdier solid finish links (SELs) at the Sea-Dweller’s Oyster band within the mid-Nineteen seventies prior to ultimately rolling out that pattern element to different fashions with Oyster bands. With that during thoughts, even the SEL bands nonetheless had hole middle links, and it might no longer be till the next technology that the Sea-Dweller gained a band with totally solid links.

One of the most largest updates to the Rolex Sea-Dweller’s Oyster band befell at the ref. 116600, which featured solid links all the way through all of the band along with the Glidelock extension buckle to elongate the band in 2mm increments, as much as a complete 20mm. Moreover, there’s additionally the Fliplock extension machine, which immediately extends the band through every other 26mm to permit the Sea-Dweller to even have compatibility over thick drysuits.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Movements

All Rolex Sea-Dweller watches run on automatic movements that energy the time and date functions. Over the process the Sea-Dweller’s historical past, Rolex has incessantly up to date its ultra-professional diver to function the most recent in-house movement generation.

Alternatively, without reference to the precise reference or the movement that powers it, all Rolex Sea-Dweller watches are time-and-date fashions. With that during thoughts, the caliber within the watch relies on the specific reference, and every caliber introduced alongside mechanical enhancements.

– Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 – Caliber 1575

– Sea-Dweller ref. 16660 – Caliber 3035, presented quickset date, 42-hour energy reserve

– Sea-Dweller ref. 16600 and 116600 – Caliber 3135, 48-hour energy reserve

– Sea-Dweller ref. 126600 and 126603 – Caliber 3235, 70-hour energy reserve

Rolex Sea-Dweller Comparability Chart

Now that we’ve explored every Rolex Sea-Dweller pattern function intimately, right here’s a handy guide a rough chart outlining the key variations throughout the entire other Sea-Dweller references.

Manufacturing Years
Case Dimension & Fabrics
Dial & Luminosity
Water Resistance

1665 “Double Red”
40mm, 316L Metal
Bidirectional, Aluminum Insert
Semigloss Black, Tritium, Crimson textual content
610m / 2,000ft
Cal. 1575

1665 “Great White”
40mm, 316L Metal
Bidirectional, Aluminum Insert
Semigloss Black, Tritium, White textual content
610m / 2,000ft
Cal. 1575

40mm, 316L Metal
Unidirectional, Aluminum Insert
Semigloss Black / Shiny Black, Tritium
1,220m / 4,000ft
Cal. 3035

40mm, 904L Metal
Unidirectional, Aluminum Insert
Shiny Black, Tritium/Luminova/Tremendous-LumiNova
1,220m / 4,000ft
Cal. 3135

40mm, 904L Metal
Unidirectional, Cerachrom Insert (1-minute scratches)
Shiny Black, Chromalight
1,220m / 4,000ft
Cal. 3135

43mm, Oystersteel
Unidirectional, Cerachrom Insert (1-minute scratches)
Shiny Black, Chromalight, Crimson textual content
Glass w/ Cyclops
1,220m / 4,000ft
Cal. 3235

43mm, Metal/Gold
Unidirectional; Cerachrom Insert (1-minute scratches)
Shiny Black, Chromalight
Glass w/ Cyclops
1,220m / 4,000ft
Cal. 3235

Rolex Sea-Dweller Worth

So, how a lot does a Rolex Sea-Dweller price? As anticipated, costs range considerably relying at the reference and different sought-after options through creditors.

Retail Worth vs. Pre-owned Worth for Present-Manufacturing Sea-Dweller Fashions

The 2021 production steered retail costs of the Rolex Sea-Dweller are as follows:

– Oystersteel Sea-Dweller 126600: $11,700

– Yellow Rolesor Sea-Dweller 126603: $16,600

Alternatively, very similar to virtually each different modern Rolex sports watch, the Sea-Dweller is in extremely top call for and bought out at outlets. Due to this fact, the watches command upper than retail costs at the secondary marketplace. Be expecting to pay no less than $14,500 for a secondhand stainless steel Sea-Dweller 126600 and no less than $18,500 for a secondhand Sea-Dweller 126603 in two-tone steel and gold.

Costs for Discontinued and Antique Sea-Dweller Fashions

Amongst the entire discontinued Rolex Sea-Dweller references, the DRSD variation of the ref. 1665 is essentially the most collectible. Alternatively, it’s essential to notice that DRSD costs range relying on the kind of dial (Scrape 0 – 7). Costs get started at $50,000 however can temporarily escalate into the six-figure vary for ultra-valuable examples. In most cases talking, previous dial variants are costlier than later ones, and examples in well-preserved condition are all the time value a top rate.

Even though the ref. 1665 “Great White” fashions most often price lower than their red-texted opposite numbers (beginning round $20,000,) they’re nonetheless extremely collectible antique Rolex watches. The most costly variations are the COMEX signed ones since it’s estimated that only 300 examples of the Sea-Dwellers ref. 1665 have been made for COMEX between 1977 and 1981.

The least dear Sea-Dweller is the ref. 16600, which will frequently be bought for slightly below $10,000 at the secondhand marketplace. Lovers of vintage Rolex sports watches admire that the Sea-Dweller 16600 is the ultimate type to incorporate an aluminum bezel insert and the vintage case proportions prior to the next reference presented the up to date case pattern with noticeable thicker lugs and crown guards.

The discontinued Sea-Dweller 116600 is the only reference that mixes a modern Cerachrom bezel with the once-traditional 40mm case dimension and no Cyclops at the glass. This actual aggregate is a profitable one for plenty of Rolex fanatics. On account of its fascinating mixture of options and quick manufacturing length, the cost of a secondhand Sea-Dweller ref. 116600 begins at round $16,000 at the open marketplace, which is reasonably upper than the more recent 43mm Sea-Dweller with a Cyclops lens.

Which Rolex Sea-Dweller To Select?

Extra tough than its well-known cousin the Submariner but no longer as extreme or enforcing because the Deepsea, the Rolex Sea-Dweller sits very easily in between and gives customers the entire official dive watch options vital to accompany you to the ground of the ocean. All Rolex Sea-Dweller watches make incredible on a regular basis watches and selecting the correct Sea-Dweller reference is an issue of deciding which pattern main points are essential to you.

The primary attention will be the dimension. Should you want the extra restrained 40mm dimensions, then it might must be an older Sea-Dweller type. Alternatively, should you want the generously proportioned 43mm case of the next editions, then a current-production reference is for you.

After sizing issues, you’ll want to drill down at the finer main points, equivalent to bezel kind, dial genre, and glass fabric. Alternatively, because the Sea-Dweller is among the extra concise watch collections in Rolex’s catalog, discovering the very best Sea-Dweller to your wrist is a much more simple procedure than lots of Rolex’s different strains of watches. And identical to all watches made through Rolex, when opting for which Sea-Dweller reference is best for you, there really aren’t any fallacious alternatives.

The post Rolex Sea-Dweller Ultimate Buying Guide seemed first on Bob’s Watches.

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