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Used Rolex Sea Dweller Watches

Rolex Sea Dweller: A Luxury Watch For Deep-sea Exploration

The Rolex Sea Dweller collection currently has two kinds of sizes and variants available. The first is the Rolex Sea Dweller Ref. 126600-0001 that is 43mm and has an oyster steel case and bracelet material with a black dial and rotating bezel. The other kind is the Rolex Deepsea ‘D-Blue Dial’ that is 44mm and has a two tone gradient dial (blue to black). Both watches have a perpetual, mechanical, and self-winding movement with a rotating bezel. The difference is in the water resistance: the Sea Dweller Ref. 126600 can withstand 1220m or 4000ft, while the Rolex Deepsea ‘D-Blue Dial’ holds up to 3900m or 12800ft of water pressure. 

These are some of the watches in the recent collection of Rolex that feature outstanding mechanisms to withstand deep sea explorations. Ever since its launch in the 1960s, the Sea Dweller collection has made a reputation for itself as the leading brand for divers’ watches. 

Prices at a Glance: Most Popular Rolex Sea Dweller Watches

ModelPrice (approximate)SizeFeatures
Rolex Sea Dweller Ref. 126603$18,374.79 USD43mm 
  • Oyster steel and yellow gold case
  • Black dial
  • Yellow rolesor bracelet material
  • 1220m water resistance
  • Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding
  • Unidirectional 60-minute rotatable bezel
Rolex Sea Dweller Ref. 126600$12,918.16 USD43mm 
  • Oyster steel case and bracelet
  • Black dial
  • 1220m water resistance
  • Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding
  • Bidirectional self-winding
Rolex Deepsea Ref. 126660$13,961.95 USD44 mm
  • Oyster Steel case and bracelet
  • 3900 m water resistance
  • perpetual , mechanical, self-winding
  • Bidirectional self-winding
  • Unidirectional 60-minute rotatable bezel
Rolex Deepsea “D-Blue Dial” Ref. 126660$14,313.3244m
  • Oyster Steel case and bracelet
  • Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding
  • Two-color gradient dial (blue to black)
  • 3900 m water resistance
  • Bidirectional self-winding
  • Unidirectional 60-minute rotatable bezel
Rolex Sea Dweller 4000 Ref. 116600$20,949.00 USD 40mm 
  • Stainless steel oyster bracelet and clasp
  • Black dial with luminescence finish
  • 1220m water resistance  
  • Automatic movement with a chronometer
Rolex Sea Dweller Ref. 1666 “Single Red”$15,000.00 USD43mm 
  • Plexiglass crystal
  • 500m water resistance
  • Earlier prototype
Rolex Sea Dweller Ref. 1665 “Double Red”$25,500.00 USD41mm 
  • Stainless steel with helium escape valve
  • Plexiglass crystal
  • 610m water resistance
Rolex Sea Dweller Ref. 1665  “Great White”$30,000.00 USD40mm 
  • Plexiglass crystal
  • 610m water resistance
  • Highly identical with the “Double Red” except for the color of inscription which is white
Rolex Sea Dweller “Triple Six” Ref. 16660$18,000.00 USD40 mm 
  • Stainless steel case
  • Self-winding movement
  • 1220m water resistance


How Much is a Rolex Sea Dweller watch?

From the Rolex Sea Dweller price list we have mentioned, the value of the watch can vary depending on its model and rarity. The latest watches in the Rolex Sea Dweller and Deepsea collection are still available for purchase at approximately $12,000 USD to $20,000 USD. As we mentioned, you can choose either the 43mm, black dial (Rolex Sea Dweller Ref. 126600) or the 44mm, two tone gradient dial which has a higher water resistance (Rolex Deepsea ‘D-Blue Dial’). Both watches have an oystersteel case and bracelet, and large luminescent hour markers. 

There is also a non-gradient version available which has the same features and mechanisms — the Rolex Deepsea Ref. 126660-0001. It offers a more minimalist design for the watch while maintaining the same features present in the ‘D-Blue Dial’ model. They also have Rolex Sea Dweller Ref. 126603-0001 which has the same mechanisms as the Ref. 126600, but the difference is in the color of the case with its distinctive two-tone yellow gold and silver. This watch retails for around $17,499.00 USD. 

Last in the collection is one of their older models from 2014 to 2017 which is the Rolex Sea Dweller 116600. It retails for about $20,949 USD. This was one of their top-performing watches back then with its 40mm, stainless steel case, and 1200m of water resistance. It has a ceramic bezel with an automatic helium escape valve as well. After its success, this model was replaced with the latest 43mm Sea Dweller Ref. 126600, which is an even more improved version. 

Overall, the latest watches in the collection are still relatively affordable unlike its vintage Rolex Sea Dweller watch counterparts, which are on the pricier and rarer side. For instance, the Rolex Sea Dweller 1665 “Single Red” with only 12 units in existence can cost up to millions when auctioned. In fact, there is so much to know about vintage Rolex Sea Dweller watches that we have dedicated a section for it.

Investing in a Rolex Sea Dweller watch: Is It Worth It? 

Rolex watches, in general, are highly recognized in the world of luxury watches for their sturdiness, robustness, and reliability. We can see this in the Rolex Sea Dweller watch collection which has a lot of unique features specially designed for deep sea explorations or for diving professionals. With its high water resistance and helium escape valve feature, the Rolex Sea Dweller collection continues to prove itself as one of the most reliable watches for both divers and non-divers. All the watches from this collection are worth investing in for their ability to withstand the pressures of water and even time. 

Up Close with the Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea Watch

Released in 2014 as a special version, the Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea ‘D-Blue Dial’ commemorates James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge in 2012. His historic solo dive inspires the two-toned gradient of the watch dial from blue to black as he descends to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench. Hence, this special version was released to immortalize the iconic diving feat of James Cameron. 

As mentioned, there are currently two versions of the Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea, which is the two-toned gradient dial (Rolex Deepsea ‘D-Blue Dial’) and the normal black dial (Rolex Sea Dweller Ref. 126600). What makes these two watches unique is their ability to withstand higher levels of water resistance up to 3,900 meters or 12,800 feet. 

From their Sea Dweller variants, the Deepsea version is to ensure the safety of the divers during decompression time. The watch enables them to safely monitor these moments. Furthermore, in terms of its mechanisms, the Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea has a domed, 5.5mm thick anti-scratch sapphire crystal which is different from the flat crystals of the Sea Dweller variants. 

Rolex Sea Dweller: A Sought-After Rolex Vintage

In general, a Rolex vintage watch is one of the most sought after in auctions and vintage markets, and a vintage Rolex Sea Dweller is no exception. The Sea Dweller collection has a long history of prototypes and designs that are no longer in circulation. 

Since the first model was released in the late 1960s, there have been a lot of models released like the Rolex Sea Dweller 1666 “Single Red” and 1665 “Double Red”, which are referred to as the first proper model for reference. Like the name implies, the “Red” refers to the color of the text written on the dials, and the number (single/double) refers to the number of lines with the red text. It also had the helium escape valve which became the signature of the Sea Dweller lineage collection. Furthermore, these watches had thick domed plexiglass crystals that vintage Rolex Sea Dweller watch collectors are interested in. This watch would cost at around $30,000 USD, depending whether it's pre-owned or auctioned. 

There is also the Rolex Sea Dweller 1665 “Great White” released from 1977 to 1983. Similar to the nickname concept of the single/double red, the “white” refers to the texts that are white in color. It was also said to be the last watch in the Sea Dweller collection to feature a plexiglass crystal. For the price of this watch, it can cost up to approximately $40,000 USD. 

Last in the vintage collection is the Sea Dweller 16660 “Triple Six” (1978-1989), which features the huge departure from the usual Sea Dweller watches in the ‘60s. For the “Triple Six,” it represented what will come to be the reference for the latest models of the 21st century. This watch had a sapphire crystal case with an even higher level of water resistance. It was also released with two kinds: matte dial and glossy dial. We can see how the Sea Dweller collection were both experimenting with aesthetics and even more complex mechanisms. This watch can sell up to $20,000 USD or even higher, depending on its rarity. 

The History Behind the Rolex Sea Dweller

In 1967, the Rolex Sea Dweller was launched as a new and improved diving watch. Its predecessor is the Rolex Submariner, which is also considered as another quality diving watch. However, with the release of the Sea Dweller collection, its reputation skyrocketed since it has better and improved features. 

We mentioned how it's even more resistant to water pressure, and it is even more durable with the helium escape valve as it helps with decompression. There were cases before when the Rolex Submariners’ crystal would often pop out during decompression. Hence, the Sea Dweller collection aimed to improve on this flaw and to extend the longevity of the watch. What came after is the series of Sea Dweller collections from the “Double Red” in the ‘60s to the Sea Dweller Ref. 126600 (2017 to present). 

Famous Patrons of the Rolex Sea Dweller Watch 

Aside from James Cameron himself, there are other famous celebrities who patronize the iconic Rolex Sea Dweller watches. Celebrities who wore the standard black dial from the Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea collection are recognized sports athletes, such as David Beckham, Stephen Curry, and Tiger Woods. All of them were seen wearing the iconic black dial Rolex Deepsea watch. 

Aside from athletes, actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck was also seen wearing the black Deepsea Ref. 116660 in his movie Argo (2012). Despite the film being set during 1979 to 1981, he was sporting the 2018-produced watch which was more than 36 years before its release. 

Rolex Sea Dweller: Every Diver’s Dream Watch

With the release of the Rolex Sea Dweller collection, the watch has become one of the most trusted brands among divers. From the early prototypes in the ‘60s to the improved design and composition of the Sea Dweller and Deepsea, we can see the result of years of research to create a watch that is perfect for deep-sea explorations and, at the same time, suitable for any occasion on land.

Editor's Choice

Editior: Riley Reid
Riley Reid
Senior Editor
Rolex Sea Dweller Watches
If you're always in the water, this is the watch for you. It's waterproof up to 4,000 feet! The Rolex Sea Dweller is the ultimate dive watch. It has a 60-minute graduated, rotatable bezel. The Rolex Deepsea takes diving to another level, the Deepsea is waterproof up to 12,800 feet!
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