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Everything You Need To Know About The New Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600

March 22, 2017

BY Paul Altieri

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It’s that time of year again! Just as we were recuperating from last year’s excitement, Rolex presents some new gems at this year’s Baselworld.  While there are plenty to go through, let’s start with the new Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 126600.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600

The brand new Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 126600 released at Baselworld 2017. (credit: @RolexDiver)

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New Size of the Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 126600

There are a lot of new features on the Sea-Dweller ref. 126600. Firstly, it now measures 43mm rather than the 40mm size of the previous Sea-Dweller. As a result, each of Rolex’s diving watches now have a different size. The Submariner at 40mm, the Sea-Dweller at 43mm, and the Deepsea at 44mm.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 received a larger case.

The HEV is still there and continues to allow people to take it to maximum depths. (credit: @R0lexDiver)

Of course, since the Sea-Dweller is Rolex’s professional diver’s watch, it is still equipped with the Helium Escape Valve. A mechanism patented by Rolex in 1967, the HEV automatically releases built up gasses within the watch to prevent internal pressure damage. Similar to preceding models, the Sea-Dweller ref. 126600’s construction makes it water resistant to 4,000 feet (1,220 meters). Furthermore, the new 2017 Sea-Dweller retains the popular black Cerachrom ceramic on the unidirectional rotating diver’s bezel.

Other new Design Features of the Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600

Another new feature of the new Sea-Dweller ref. 126600—one that will no doubt upset some Rolex fans—is the presence of the Cyclops lens on the sapphire crystal. Although the Sea-Dweller always had a date function, it never had the Cyclops lens that is usually found on Rolex date models. And this was a design trait that many appreciated since it was more symmetrical and straightforward in look. But now, with the new Sea-Dweller ref. 126600, the date window is magnified 2.5x like other Rolex date watches.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 at baselworld 2017

Reminiscent of a vintage timepiece, Rolex added a single red line. (credit: @RolexDiver)

On the other hand, a new element that many Rolex enthusiasts will appreciate is the color change of the “SEA-DWELLER” label on the dial. It went from being white on the earlier Sea-Dweller ref. 116600 to now, in red font. Vintage Rolex watch connoisseurs will instantly recognize the red text as an homage to the first Sea-Dweller—the Double Red Sea-Dweller (DRSD). A perfect tribute for the 50th anniversary of the Sea-Dweller.

An additional new design that will also be welcomed is the revamped Oyster bracelet. Built to be wider and more secure, the solid-link Oyster bracelet of new Sea-Dweller includes the Oysterlock safety clasp, the Fliplock extension link, and the Glidelock system. Therefore, whether the Sea-Dweller is worn with a business suit or a diving suit, it’ll always fit just right.

The Rolex Caliber 3235 Within the Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600

Beating at the heart of the new Sea-Dweller is the Rolex Caliber 3235 automatic movement. An in-house manufacture movement, this caliber is built entirely by the brand within its ateliers. But more interesting than that, is that the Caliber 3235 is the manufacture’s newest generation movement that made its debut two years ago. It boasts 14 new patents to improve resistance, precision, accuracy, and power reserve. Due to the new barrel construction and Chronergy escapement, the power reserve is now 70 hours instead of the more standard 48 hours.

The heart of a watch is to keep time, and with higher standards, Rolex is slowly cutting down the +2/-2.

A higher standard means a better watch. (credit: @RolexDiver)

What’s more, the Caliber 3235 adheres to the stricter Superlative Chronometer certification established by Rolex in 2015. This means that all new Rolex watches have a guaranteed accuracy rate of -2/+2 seconds per day—markedly better than the −4/+6 standard set out by COSC.

Since this is only the first day of Baselworld 2017, we’ll surely hear a lot more about the Sea-Dweller and other new Rolex models in the days to come. We look forward to seeing the new Rolex diving watch up close to determine whether or not it’s a worthy successor to the popular ref. 116600.

What are your initial thoughts on the new Sea-Dweller ref. 126600?

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