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ROLEX BLOG

Baselworld 2019: Two-Tone Rolex Sea-Dweller 126603

March 20, 2019

BY Paul Altieri

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The new Rolex watches have been announced for Baselworld 2019, and possibly the most noteworthy new Rolex release of the show has to be the new two-tone Rolex Sea-Dweller (reference 126603) in yellow Rolesor. The Sea-Dweller is Rolex’s ultimate tool-watch line, so the use of precious metals on it is slightly uncharacteristic (given its heritage), and this new release represents the first time that gold has made an appearance on the Rolex Sea-Dweller collection.

Two-Tone Rolex Sea-Dweller

Live from Baselworld 2019 – it’s the new two-tone Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 126603.

Not a Completely New Watch

This is essentially the same re-designed Rolex Sea-Dweller that was first announced at Baselworld two years ago, just with 18k yellow gold accents. The watch still has a case diameter of 43mm, still uses a Cerachrom (ceramic) bezel insert, still has a Cyclops magnification lens on its crystal, and is still powered by Rolex’s Caliber 3235 movement. However, Rolex is fully embracing the revival of the two-tone aesthetic and is now offering it on one of their most rugged collections of sports watches.

Like other yellow Rolesor watches, the new ref. 126603 Sea-Dweller is primarily constructed from stainless steel (Oystersteel), with the bezel ring, winding crown, and center links of the bracelet appearing in 18k yellow gold. To match its new two-tone appearance, the hands and are now craft from yellow gold (rather than white gold), and the “Sea-Dweller” name and the surrounds for the hour markers on the dial now also appear in yellow gold to match.

Two-Tone Rolex Sea-Dweller

The ref. 126603 two-tone Sea-Dweller marks the firs time that precious metals have been used for the construction of a commercially available Rolex Sea-Dweller reference.

Only Technically the First Two-Tone Rolex Sea-Dweller

This is the first two-tone Rolex Sea-Dweller to make it to regular production; however, it is not actually the first time that Rolex has made a two-tone dive watch other than the Submariner. Early in its dive-watch history, Rolex used to manufacture two-tone watches to commemorate its accomplishments. These were not standard-production models; however, they still exist nonetheless.

After a Rolex Deep Sea Special made it to the bottom of the Mariana Trench strapped to the outside of a submarine, the Trieste, Rolex manufactured a commemorative two-tone version of the Deep Sea Special as a sort of trophy to mark the accomplishment. These were never watches that were available to the public through authorized retailers; however it does show that Rolex was flirting with the idea of manufacturing two-tone deep-sea dive watches way back in 1960, so this year’s release of the reference 126603 Sea-Dweller in yellow Rolesor certainly isn’t the most uncharacteristic release we have ever seen from the brand. The watch will be priced at $16,050.

Two-Tone Rolex Sea-Dweller

The Sea-Dweller ref. 126603 ranks among Rolex’s largest two-tone watches.

Specifications:

  • Reference Number: 126603
  • Diameter: 43mm
  • Thickness: 15mm
  • Case Material: Stainless steel with yellow gold bezel and crown
  • Dial Color: Black
  • Indexes: Luminous dots with yellow gold surrounds
  • Lume: Chromalight on hour markers and hands
  • Water Resistance: 1,220 meters
  • Strap/Bracelet: Oyster bracelet in stainless steel and yellow gold, with Oysterlock safety clasp, Glidelock extension system, and Fliplock extension link
  • Movement: Caliber 3235
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 70 hours
  • Winding: Automatic
  • Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
  • Jewels: 31
  • COSC Chronometer Certified
  • Additional Details: Regulated to +2/-2 seconds per day, utilizes Chronergy escapement
Two-Tone Rolex Sea-Dweller

Which 43mm version of the Rolex Sea-Dweller would you choose?

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