Rolex’s Massive New Watch Is Built to Go to the Bottom of the Ocean

A brand new Rolex of any variety is trigger for celebration. And normally, we get these moments within the spring when the mack daddy of watch manufacturers rolls out its slate of items for the yr. (Bear in mind the brand new black-and-green destro GMT?) At this time, although, Rolex launched the Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Problem—a watch that, even on day one, is already crushing data with its mega-massive proportions. This Rolex is a very massive deal, and I imply that actually and figuratively.

Rolex’s new launch units the depth-rating document for a industrial watch by many multitudes. The deepest diver in Rolex’s catalog earlier than at present was the Deepsea, which might attain a comparatively shallow 3,900 meters (12,800 ft). At this time’s Rolex is rated to go thrice deeper, to 11,000 meters (36,090 ft). (Possibly now collectors can cease worrying if it’s okay to take this watch within the bathe or a dip within the pool.) To place into context how large a leap (or plunge?) Rolex is taking, take into account that the earlier world document for a industrial watch was set simply six months in the past. Earlier this yr, Omega launched the Seamaster Extremely Deep, which might dive 6,000 meters (19685 ft) underwater—the Deepsea practically doubles that determine!

To accommodate its new capabilities, this Rolex is large. The watch is 50 millimeters in diameter and 23 honking millimeters thick. (The Luminor from Panerai, the king of big-boy watches, measures in at 44mm extensive and 4.5mm thick.) All that additional heft and thickness is purposeful, although. Whereas these outdoors the watch world may see the Crown as a maker of delicate luxurious items and gem-set beauties, collectors who observe the model know Rolex’s basis is in software watches: the Oyster Perpetual on the wrist of Mercedes Gleitze whereas she swam throughout the English Channel or the OP Sir Edmund Hillary wore when he grew to become the primary particular person to summit Everest in 1953. The brand new OP Deepsea Problem comes with an much more illustrious historical past.

The event of this watch could be traced all the best way again to 1960. The brand new watch’s caseback is engraved with the phrase “Mariana Trench,” the deepest level on earth, and two dates: “23-01-1960” and “26-03-2012.” Let’s begin with the previous. In 1960, Rolex developed the Deep Sea Particular, a watch with a domed bubble-like crystal constructed to endure the great stress of a deep, deep ocean dive. So when oceanographer Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh boarded the submarine-like Trieste (technically, a bathyscaphe) and plunged 35,814 ft to the underside of the ocean, what was connected to the surface of the ship? Rolex’s Deep Sea Particular, which was in good working order when the Trieste reemerged from the ocean.

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