rolex sea dweller deepsea james cameron

James Cameron Edition – Sea Dweller Deep Sea Blue 116660

Rolex has an impressive history of making exclusive valuable watches. Their Oyster Perpetual collection is probably their most famous model. The Sea Dweller is one of those. More specific the Rolex Sea Dweller deep sea James Cameron.

This exclusive highly collectible model is made in commemoration of the record-breaking dive, made to the bottom of Mariana trench, on the 12th of March 2012 by James Cameron. What a stunning watch!

One of the most impressive Sea Dwellers Rolex ever made

Cameron made that dive with a supercharged version of the Sea Dweller Deepsea divers watch. This model had an extended case of 51.4mm, made by the engineers of Rolex. The watch was attached on a hydraulic arm hanging outside of the one man submarine “Deepsea Challenger”.

After descending to the immense depths of the deepest trench on our planet Cameron checked the watch. And amazingly, at the depth of 10.908 meters,  the watch functioned like it would do on the surface. After the legendary record dive of Jacques Piccard, made with the submersible bathyscaphe “Trieste” in January 1960, we can proudly write that Rolex has done it once again. A legend is re-born.

Update November 2018 -> Rolex has discontinued the 116660 and replaced it with the new 126660

The Sea Dweller deepsea D-blue dial – James Cameron by Rolex

sea dweller dial chromatic lightAlthough the Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea James Cameron looks stylish but simple, this masterpiece is far from an ordinary divers. The eye catching dial starts at the top in Blue to transcend at the bottom in deep black. Not surprisingly this resembles the deep oceans that every professional diver wants to explore. Okay, perhaps not to the extreme dark depths that are imprinted on the dial….

The hands on the dial contain the new developed ‘Chromalight’. This new material lasts up to 8 hours in dark waters. Hands, hours and the zero marker are treated to give you all details you need during a ‘dark dive’. What better colour could have been chosen by the design team of Rolex than deep blue.

3900 meters certifiedWith a certified depth 3900 meters (12800ft) this watch goes far beyond any depth a human being can dive. But hey let’s be honest it doesn’t look bad on the dial. For sure some jealous looks will try to get a closer peek on the dial to discover what it actually reads.  Soft sighs and eyes staring at nothing do confirm that person in his mind is; either on his way to the deeper waters as a professional diver exploring the ocean for National Geographic or, most likely,  in shock thinking you have that job for a living!

Now we have to admit that probably the majority of the buyers of any Sea Dweller might never had diving goggles fitted to the face. Let alone have been out there for a bit of snorkeling on the surface or had the pleasure of real diving. But we all know that now-a-days divers-watches are fashionable items that are to be worn any day and anywhere. As long it is outside of the water (not?!)

The different stages of solid built for the Sea Dweller deep sea D-blue

A massive solid piece of stainless steel (904L grade) guarantees the watch will not implode at the certified depth. The sapphire crystal is domed shape to resists the enormous pressure and the bezel, made of black Cerachrom, will keep your dive time monitored for you. Needless to say that the bezel is rotatable with a 60 minute insert but remember, non divers read this post too.

Saturation divers who dive to extreme depths need to be decompressed at a hyperbaric chamber. Hence the Rolex deep sea D-blue comes prepared for that. A gas escape valves is fitted on the left side of the watch. This valve ensures helium can escape, as it can built up in the watch during the dive, as the diver is decompressing from saturation in ‘the tank’. (Explanation can be found here)

Now to make sure the Sea Dweller deep sea stays in the shape Rolex meant under the immense pressure at greater depths an innovative ring lock system was designed. The system that can handle three tons is built out of three components;

  1. The fundament is formed by a nitrogen-alloyed steel central ring
  2. On the top-side protected by the 5mm dome shaped sapphire crystal
  3. A Case back made out of titanium (5 grade)

Assembling the three together makes the Rolex Sea Dweller deep sea D-Blue stronger than many man-made subs and roughly it can go deeper about one-hundred times any human would ever be able to.

The inner ‘time-machine’ in the heart of the Sea Dweller Deepsea James Cameron

rolex calibre 3135The heart of this exceptional watch is driven by the caliber 3135 which is developed and manufactured in-house. The COSC certified Rolex Perpetual movement features a Parachrom hairspring. This material obviously helps this timepiece to be better resistant to the difference between temperature in the depths of the oceans. The hairspring also absorbs shocks better, which comes in very handy for a industrial watch.

Being a mechanical self-winding caliber there is only one thing that this watch likes more then anything else, to be worn and used.

The only thing left to write is a warning; do not loose your watch! Well don’t worry, obvious Rolex has thought of that too. Under extreme circumstances you want to rely on the bracelet and clasp.  Hence the patented Rolex Glidelock gives you the ability to adjust the bracelet to your dive suit (dry or semi-dry). Ten different sizes can be set (within a 20MM range) so there is no doubt it fits you as well.

Technical specifications; Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea James Cameron

Reference number – 116660
Model case – Oyster, 44 mm, steel
Oyster architecture – Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown. Rolex Ring-lock System case architecture with Helium escape valve
Diameter – 44 mm
Material – 904L steel, case back in grade 5 titanium
Bezel – Unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated, scratch-resistant Cerachrom insert in ceramic, numerals and graduations coated in platinum
Winding crown – Screw-down, Trip-lock triple waterproof system
Crystal – Domed, 5 mm-thick scratch-resistant sapphire
Water-resistance – Waterproof to 3,900 meters / 12,800 feet, helium escape valve
Movement – Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding
Calibre – 3135, Manufactured by Rolex
Functions – Center hour, minute and seconds hands. Instantaneous date with rapid setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Precision – Officially certified Swiss chronometer (COSC)
Oscillator – Para-magnetic blue Parachrom hairspring
Winding – Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor
Bracelet – Oyster, flat three-piece links
Bracelet material – 904L steel
Clasp – Folding Oyster lock safety clasp with Rolex Glide-lock extension system. Flip-lock extension link
Dial – D-blue treated with highly legible Chromalight display with long-lasting blue luminescence