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Review: The Refurbished Rolex Sea-Dweller

February 17th, 2020

In 1953, Rolex introduced the first divers’ watch, the Submariner, followed by the Sea-Dweller in 1967.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller flaunted a virtually identical design. Regardless, the watch featured a more pressure-resistant case and a patented helium-escape valve.

Rolex Sea Dweller Review

In 2017, the brand launched a new model, replacing its previous reference that debuted in 2014.

However, the new reference was introduced to commemorate 50th anniversary of the Sea-Dweller.

Interestingly, Rolex made extensive and numerous alterations to the Sea-Dweller. Let’s today explore them out.

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The New Rolex Sea-Dweller: Design

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The upgraded Sea-Dweller appears quite similar to a more substantial version of the Submariner 40mm.

  • The watch flaunts the diver’s bezel, minute strokes and a dial with its name engraved in red letters.
  • Moreover, the case looks less angular and more elegant with narrower lugs.

The bracelet appears slightly narrow on the Rolex Deepsea, but it is comparatively wider.

  • Thus, it offers a more proportional appearance on the new Rolex Sea-Dweller.

When it comes to the height (15mm), it is ideally a perfect match for the watch’s diameter.

Overall, the new Sea-Dweller flaunts a more impressive and successful design.

The New Helium Valve to Ensure Water-tightness

The new Rolex Sea-Dweller is water-resistant up to 1,220m. While Rolex designed the watch exclusively for professional divers, it fitted the case with a helium valve.

Indeed, the feature is of utmost importance for professional divers who de-stress inside a pressurized chamber during saturation diving. The fact is:

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  • In such instances, the gaseous breathing mixture containing helium surrounds a diver’s timepiece.
  • The helium atoms diffuse under pressure via the watch’s insulators.
  • And the particles can’t escape once they enter the watch case.

Initially, U.S. Sealab divers faced this problem that affected their watches.

Eventually, one of the divers suggested Rolex to include a valve for releasing excess pressure. This would enable the helium atoms to escape without damaging the watch.

Thus, Rolex designed the helium valve and fitted it to its new Sea-Dweller model.

The Display

The Rolex Sea-Dweller featured a 40mm case diameter in 1976. Later in 2008, Rolex released the new version with a 44mm diameter.

The watch was pressure-resistance up to 3,900m.

However, the manufacturer upgraded both the proportions as well as small details of the Sea-Dweller.

  • For example, Rolex included the luminescent dot on the bezel into the surface.
  • Eventually, the dot is pretty challenging to knock off even if it comes into forceful contact with any object.

While the readability was good, Rolex made no such improvements.

The luminescent “Chromalight” material glows brightly also in twilight conditions.

  • Moreover, the zero indexes on the watch’s bezel also shine brightly.
  • On the other hand, the luminescent dot on the seconds-hand affirms in low-light conditions that the timepiece is running.

Moreover, Rolex fitted a magnifying (Cyclops) lens above the Sea-Dweller’s date display.

The Supple Bracelet

The Sea-Dweller sits comfortably on the wrist primarily because of the flexible steel bracelet.

  • The bracelet features curved individual links that conform to the wrist’s contours.
  • If you bent the bracelet sharply, the spaces in the middle of individual links would retain the same width.
  • This means that the links will not tug or pinch the hairs on the wrist’s back.

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However, the Glidelock clasp is solidly made that helps the wearer in adjusting the length of the bracelet.

Additionally, the watch also sports the Fliplock extension system. It offers an extra 26mm to the bracelet’s length.

Moreover, while the extension projects from the clasp, it is visible on the watch.

The Rolex Movement

Rolex indeed made some modifications to the movements used inside the case.

The brand fitted the new Calibre 3235 movement for the first time to the Sea-Dweller model, replacing the Calibre 3135.

  • The Calibre 3135 movement was already famous for its robustness, durability, and higher precision.
  • However, the new movement is merely a refined version of its predecessor.
  • The Calibre 3235 featured 14 patents. It increased its durability and shock-resistance ability.

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Moreover, Rolex equipped the movement with the avant-garde “Chronergy” escapement. It increased efficiency by 15%.

Thus, the power reserve increased to 70hours from the usual 49hours with accuracy up to -2/+2 seconds.

All in all, the new Rolex Sea-Dweller is ideally the most technologically upgraded and beautiful diver’s watch. The watch functions for three consecutive days rather than two, thanks to its new Calibre 3235 movement.

The new model may not have remained true to its classic collection as it features the Cyclops lens. But the truth is yet that new Sea-Dweller is one of the best diver’s watches in the Rolex catalogue.

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