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Rolex' Ultimate Diving Watch

The Rolex Sea-Dweller

One of the most robust watches in the Rolex collection is the Sea-Dweller. This watch is made as a professional diving watch and can withstand depths over 1.200 meters. It features a helium escape valve to equalize pressure. The Sea-Dweller is one of the successors for the Rolex Submariner, while this watch is still in production today. Back in 1967, Rolex debuted with the Sea-Dweller as an ultimate diving watch.

The history of the Rolex Sea-Dweller

The first Rolex Sea-Dweller was introduced back in 1967, as an evolution for the well-known Rolex Submariner (No Date). The Sea-Dweller can dive down up to 1.200 meters and it the perfect diver’s watch thanks to its helium escape valve. You can even opt for the Sea-Dweller Deepsea, which is even more impressive. With the Deepsea Sea-Dweller you can dive up to 3.900 meters and wears as one of the biggest wristwatches from Rolex, measuring 44mm.

While the Rolex Sea-Dweller was only available in stainless-steel, Rolex introduced the two-tone (Rolesor) Sea-Dweller back in 2019, with a Cyclops lens for the date display. There are some different types of Rolex Sea-Dwellers. 

Like a James Cameron: after his diving expedition, the Rolex Sea-Dweller James Cameron is highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts. With the regular Sea-Dweller being water-resistant up to 122 bar, the Deepsea Sea-Dweller is unique with 390 bar water resistance.

Currently, Rolex offers the Sea-Dweller in two different models. The first is the standard Rolex Sea-Dweller reference 126600 with a 43mm stainless-steel case, black dial and black Cerachrom diving bezel. You can also opt for the two-tone, yellow gold and steel 126603. On this particular model, Rolex made the crown, bezel and middle links bracelet are made of yellow gold.

Unique Diving Watches

Special Sea-Dweller

With the reference 126600, it’s the direct descendant of the Sea-Dweller 4000 (reference 116600. Rolex only produced this model back from 2014 to 2018 and doesn’t have the well-known Cyclops-lens and is only 40mm in diameter. All of the other features are the same as the regular Sea-Dweller. Since Rolex retired the Sea-Dweller 4000, prices have gone up to €15.000 on Wristler, while the list price in 2014 was only €8.500.

There are some models in particular that stand out from the crowd, if you ask the collectors and enthusiasts. One of them is the Rolex Sea-Dweller ‘Triple Six’. 

This is the reference 16660 and houses the 3035 caliber with a tritium-based luminous material. Mint condition time pieces like the Triple-Six can be found on Wristler for roughly €17.000. The other special Sea-Dweller is the reference 16600, which debuted back in 1989 and it was in the catalog until Rolex replaced it with the Deepsea back in 2008. The Sea-Dweller 16600 measures 40mm and is water-resistant up to 122 bar, with a helium escape valve but doesn’t have the Cyclops-lens which can now be found on a Submariner Date, the new Sea-Dweller or a Datejust. The main difference between the Sea-Dweller 4000 and the 16600 is the inlay: it is made of aluminum while the 4000 is made of Cerachrome ceramic.

Get the pressure off

The Helium Escape Valve

The Sea-Dweller has a feature that isn’t available on other Rolex watches: the helium escape valve. This is necessary for longer periods of time underwater. Saturation divers breathe a special air mixture that includes helium. 

Since they are so small, the helium molecules can slip past the watch’s seals and fill the space inside the case. This can easily cause the crystal to pop out on your wristwatch and that’s why Rolex came up with the helium escape valve on the Rolex Sea-Dweller and Sea-Dweller Deepsea.

Prices of the Rolex Sea-Dweller

When you’re in the market for the ultimate diver’s watch, you need to take a look at the Rolex Sea-Dweller or the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea. These watches can be found on Wristler from around €13.000 for a 44mm, reference 116660 which is water-resistant to 3.900 meters (Deepsea). If you’re in the market for a special watch, like the Sea-Dweller ‘Triple-Six’, you need to bring €18.000 to the table. 

You can easily spend some more cash on the Sea-Dweller, with the ‘Double-Red’ reference 1665 which measures 40mm, is water-resistant to 610 meters and will cost you around €25.000 nowadays. Thankfully, on Wristler there are a lot of pre-owned or vintage Rolex Sea-Dwellers to be found for around €14.000 to €17.000 for a well-maintained timepiece to add to your collection. 

  • 100% Authentic watches
  • Safe delivery or pick-up
  • Warranty & easy returns