THE WATC H OF THE DEEP
Rolex is unveiling the new Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea. It features a 44 mm case with redesigned lugs and sides and a broader Oyster bracelet, as well as a correspondingly adapted Oysterlock folding safety clasp. This professional divers’ watch is equipped for the first time with calibre 3235, at the forefront of watchmaking technology. The new Rolex Deepsea is made of Oystersteel and sports a D-blue dial with a deep-blue to pitchblack gradient. This dial was launched in 2014 on a commemorative version of the watch in tribute to the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition. On this journey, partnered by Rolex and the National Geographic Society, film-maker and explorer James Cameron descended 10,908 metres (35,787 feet) to the ocean’s deepest point, located in the Mariana Trench. Like all Rolex watches, the new Rolex Deepsea carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures singular performance on the wrist.
OYSTER CASE AND RINGLOCK SYSTEM
A divers’ watch designed for the deep, the Rolex Deepsea is waterproof to 3,900 metres (12,800 feet). Its Oyster case was developed to ensure phenomenal resistance to pressure without compromising the size and thickness of the watch. The resulting Ringlock System, a patented case architecture, allows the Rolex Deepsea to withstand the colossal pressure exerted at extreme depths. The Ringlock System is composed of three elements: a domed 5.5 mm-thick sapphire crystal, a high-performance nitrogen-alloyed stainless steel ring, positioned inside the middle case of the watch, and a case back in Oystersteel and grade 5 titanium. The Triplock winding crown, equipped with three seals, screws down securely against the case, completing the waterproofness system and guaranteeing watertight security akin to a submarine’s hatch.
The case of the Rolex Deepsea is also equipped with a helium escape valve, developed and patented by Rolex in 1967, which works to protect divers’ watches created for the deep. It allows excess pressure built up in the watch case to escape during a diver’s decompression phase in a hyperbaric chamber. In deep-sea diving, absolute reliability and security are of the essence. Each Rolex Deepsea must therefore undergo the necessary waterproofness tests required for divers’ watches. To this end, a special hyperbaric test tank was developed in conjunction with COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises, the world-renowned French company specializing in underwater engineering and hyperbaric technologies). Every single Rolex Deepsea is tested to ensure its waterproofness to a depth of 3,900 metres with an additional safety margin of 25 per cent.
The unidirectional rotatable bezel of the Rolex Deepsea is fitted with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert in black ceramic that allows divers to monitor their underwater and decompression time for their safety. This Rolex-patented insert, made of an extremely hard and corrosion-resistant ceramic, is virtually scratchproof, and its colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The numerals and the graduations are moulded in the ceramic and coloured with platinum using a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process. The bezel’s knurled edge offers excellent grip when manipulating the bezel to set dive time, even when wearing gloves.
SECURE BRACELET WITH EXTENSION SYSTEM
The Rolex Deepsea’s Oyster bracelet is equipped with an Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening and a double extension system that allows the watch to be worn comfortably over a diving suit up to 7 mm thick. Using a toothed panel located under the clasp cover, the patented Rolex Glidelock system allows fine adjustment of the bracelet length in approximately 2 mm increments up to around 20 mm, while the Fliplock extension link extends the Rolex Deepsea bracelet by 26 mm. Both extension systems and the clasp have been adjusted to fit the watch’s broader bracelet.