Rolex released a new red Sea-Dweller (ref: 126600) at Baselworld 2017. Overall, nothing too exciting here, and mostly expected. Not!

The updated diver comes in a big 43mm 904L steel case. Equipped with a helium release valve on the side of the case, just like its predecessors. This helps it keep the beasty 4,000ft/1,220m water resistance.

The helium escape valve was actually patented by Rolex in 1967 – the same year the original Sea-Dweller was launched, making this a very special 50th Anniversary piece.

During the 1960s, the needs of professional divers working at great depths led to the development of the first ‘ultra water resistant’ tool watches designed for conducting safe diving operations at 300 m+ (1,000 ft+) depths.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller Submariner 2000 (2000 ft = 610 m) that became available in 1967 was developed from the Submariner for the Comex S.A. industrial deep-sea diving company by increasing crystal thickness and was produced in several variations. It had a depth rating of 610 metres (2,000 ft) and its Rolex reference number is 1665. –Wikipedia

Any long-time Sea-Dweller fans are going to instantly notice the addition of a Cyclops magnification lens on the sapphire crystal. Love it or hate it, this permanent water drop is a widely recognizable design element of many Rolex models from Submariner divers to dressy Datejust watches.

Below the scratch-resistant glass of the modern Sea-Dweller is a glistening black dial with 18k white gold hands and markers, all lumed up with blue Chromalight. The newest edition to the model is the red Sea-Dweller font, a throwback to the vintage grail pieces.

It has a chunky ceramic bezel that clicks 60 times around. Constructed out of Rolex’s own Cerachrom material, what they consider to be “virtually scratch-proof,” the numerals are filled in with platinum PVD.

As with the Sea-Dweller 4000 and Deepsea, the caseback on the new Sea-Dweller has engravings around it. So noobs can stop spreading myths that authentic Rolex watches never have engravings on their casebacks.

The redesigned 2017 model is powered by a new caliber 3235 featuring a Chronergy Escapement – yes, we said Chronergy. Also, a Paramagnetic Parachrom hairspring and high-capacity barrel giving it a whopping 70 hours power reserve. Now you have an extra day to wear another watch without having to set the time again.

The 43mm size and Cyclops over the date on the new Sea-Dweller might surprise some of our readers. Many of our clients choose the Sea-Dweller because of the lack of a magnification lens popping out of the crystal. Will this be a good reason for you to pass on the the new SD? Let us know your thoughts below…

In summary, the new features are:

  • Sea-Dweller text in red
  • 43mm case diameter
  • Cyclops lens over the date
  • Caliber 3235 movement

What is the retail price?

$11,350 USD

What are the differences between the new Sea-Dweller and old Sea-Dweller 4000?

Click here for a side-by-side chart

Rolex 126600 Red Sea-Dweller Baselworld 2017

Video:

Find the rest of the Rolex Baselworld 2017 launches here.

Read the full brochure at Rolex.com

No more articles