We currently have available arguably one of the rarest Rolex's ever made. The extremely popular Rolex 116600 Sea-Dweller watch was only in production for 3 years. The ultra-resistant divers’ models engineered by Rolex for the conquest of the deep. Being waterproof to a depth of 4,000 feet (1,220 metres), they are the result of decades of collaboration with diving professionals. We were wondering however, what is the difference between the new Sea Dweller ref. 126600 and the now discontinued version?
In the 1960's, an industrial deep-sea diving company approached Rolex requesting a dive watch that could function deeper under water for a longer period of time. Rolex took the Submariner 5513 model and added a one-way escape valve to relieve pressure. Subsequently in 1967 Rolex released it as the Sea Dweller Ref. 1665. In 1978, ref.16660 was introduced with a new, larger escape valve, with a depth 4,000 feet. The ref. 16600 was introduced in 1992, and then at BaselWorld 2008, the Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea 116660 was born.
Today’s technical divers watch, the Sea Dweller 126600 is waterproof to 1,220 metres / 4,000 feet. It is pretty amazing for avid divers! However it hasn’t just been professional divers who have taken a liking to this watch. Celebrities such as David Beckham, Charlize Theron and Tiger Woods have been spotted with impressive Sea Dweller timepieces.
So what are the main differences that may make or break your decision between the 126600 or a 116600?
The 126600 has:
- a larger 43mm case size
- a Cyclops lens over the date
- red Sea-Dweller text
The dial which bears the name Sea-Dweller in red, is a reference to the first model. Whilst this was predicted, many enthusiasts at Baselworld 2017 were surprised with some of the updated features of the latest Sea Dweller. Mainly the larger 43mm size and the Cyclops over the date. This new size may be popular, but it really depends on how you feel about a bigger watch. However the 43mm diameter meant the caliber 3235 has a larger barrel compared to the previous 3135 version. This alteration enables a 70 hour power reserve. One of the biggest differences between Sea Dweller to the Submariner has been the helium release valve and the Cyclops lens. If you don’t fancy a Cyclops lens on your Sea Dweller, then the new model may not be for you!
Whether you like the updates or not, the newest version is still stunning and as technically incredible as previous models. It really is to personal taste, but of course many collectors do prefer an investment piece or a historical timepiece. If the latest version isn’t for you, then get your hands on a stunning 116600 before they become too hard to find. This one is available now and in impeccable condition.