The watchmaking sphere trembles in this first week of November. For good reason: Rolex has just added a new reference to its catalog of professional watches, and it doesn’t happen every day. here is Deepsea Challengethe whole the brand’s first watch in titaniumwhich pushes the technical limits.
The Deepsea story
The origins of the Deepsea go back to the whole early 1960s, seven years after the launch of the Submariner. It was then a prototype, which has since become legendary, which was attached to the Trieste bathyscaphe before reaching the deepest point of the ocean: the Mariana Trench and its 10.916 meters. A successful mission that will play a decisive role in the arrival of the Sea-Dweller in 1967. It will then be necessary to wait until 2008 for the Deepsea to complete the catalog of professional Rolex divers. But we cannot talk about this “little” news without mentioning the second prototype made in 2012 for James Cameron. The brand with the crown had then produced in just 8 weeks a watch capable of accompanying the famous director in his solo dive to the confines of the Mariana Trench. There Deepsea Challenge is therefore the direct heiress of this prototype; a catalog version that the brand can produce in series.
The first titanium Rolex
This is one of the most important points of this release: we are dealing here with the very first Rolex watch made from titanium. It is more precisely a grade 5 titanium alloy also composed of aluminum and vanadium. Rolex here manages to reduce weight by 40% of this instrument compared to a 904L steel construction, which allows this Deepsea Challenge to increase its proportions and its waterproofness while displaying only 251 grams on the scale.
If you’re not seated, now might be the time to do so. Hold on tight, this reference 126067 display a 50mm diameterassociated with a 23mm thickness and at a lug-to-lug length of 61mm. Difficult to be thinner when you know that the sapphire crystal alone displays a thickness of 9.5mm. Proportions justified by its technical prowess and smoothed out by meticulous titanium workmanship. We find a brushed finish on the entire case and the bracelet, with the exception of the crown guard and the chamfer along the lugs.
A compendium of know-how
Until now, the Deepsea had a water resistance of 3,900 meters (390 ATM). For this Challenge version, Rolex pushes the limits to reach a key figure: 11,000 meters. A direct reference to the Mariana Trench and therefore to the origins of the model. A feat made possible thanks to the ingenious ring lock system, a unique housing architecture featuring a nitrogen-enriched compression ring. It retains its helium valve, already present on professional divers in collections, patented by Rolex in 1967 when the very first Sea-Dweller was released. We also keep thegraduated black ceramic insert while the date disappears from the dial. But there is a very logical explanation for this. This is an instrument designed for extreme short-term dives, so the date window is of no use. For example, James Cameron’s mission lasted a total of 6 hours and 46 minutes. Everything is driven by the caliber 3230an automatic movement unveiled in 2020 and offering 70 hours of battery lifefor a fixed price of 25,750€. Rolex is finally starting to think outside the box, and that’s encouraging for the future.
For more information, visit the official website rolex.
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea Challenger reference 126067 / Features
- Case: Titanium RLX / Polished & brushed finish
- Width : 50mm
- Thickness : 23mm
- Length : 61mm
- Entrecorne : 20mm
- Photoluminescence: Chromalight
- Type of glass: Domed sapphire crystal
- Case bottom: Full & screwed
- Movement : Automatique
- Caliber: Rolex 3230
- Bracelet : RLX Titanium Oyster
- Loop : Deployant with Fliplock and Glidelock
- Water Resistance: 1,110 ATM / 11,000 meters
- Limited edition : No
- Guarantee : 5 years