Rolex Deepsea D-Blue: A Look at the Brand’s Top-Notch Dive Watch

Dive watches remain an iconic and timeless luxury item for men. While there are numerous options available in the horological market, we can’t deny that Rolex dive watch collections are the most sought-after pieces. This is particularly true of the famous Rolex Deepsea D-Blue, the acclaimed diving watch which provides a whopping 3,900 meters of water resistance. Although there is a wide variety of dive watches you can find in Rolex’s extensive catalog, such as its pioneer diving piece the Submariner, the Deepsea Blue simply stands out from the rest of its competitors.

Given that Rolex always tries to go above and beyond when it comes to creating an exquisite time-telling accessory using its superb craftsmanship, innovation, and practical skills in horology, it is no surprise that the Rolex Sea-Dweller collection’s Deepsea Blue offers such impressive features. Aside from its top-notch water resistance, it is also equipped with a high-performance in-house Caliber 3235. This is a new generation movement produced by Rolex. It ensures that this diving timepiece offers the highest precision possible even when exposed to the harshest conditions underwater. What’s more, the Deepsea Blue features an elegant and luxurious face, so this wonderful timepiece could easily double as an everyday watch too. If you’re looking for a durable and classy dive watch to be used on your next exploration into the abyssal world, the Rolex Deepsea Blue will more than exceed your expectations. 

A Quick Look at the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Watch

In the horology industry, Rolex will always be the luxury watch manufacturer to beat. This Swiss brand has always been at the forefront of creating top-notch timepieces that showcase distinctive and memorable characteristics. The Rolex Sea-Dweller was introduced back in 1967 and since its first release, it has always been considered a true tool watch and diving accessory.

As an early predecessor of the Submariner collection, the original Sea-Dweller was designed with certain basic functionalities. It aimed to not fail at meeting the needs of any avid diver when they head off to conquer the underwater world. Over the years, the different Sea-Dweller timepieces that have been released have featured varying underwater diving depth potentials, ranging from 610 meters to as deep as 3,900 meters. Earlier versions of the Rolex Sea-Dweller were also not equipped with a helium escape valve. The helium escape valve was only added when the latest Rolex Sea-Dweller model Ref. 126600 was launched back in 2017. Today, the Sea-Dweller collection is easily distinguishable from the rest of the Rolex lineup, as it does not feature a date magnifier, which is visible in most Rolex other models.

One major milestone for the Sea-Dweller collection was when it introduced its first Rolex Deepsea model in 2008, featuring a “Ringlock system.” This system is now commonly used by skilled watchmakers when they sealing sapphire crystals to cases, as it ensures a more tighter fit so the crystal doesn’t simply come loose and leave the dial exposed. Another notable feature the Sea-Dweller added was its “Glidelock clasp” and diver extension link, which allow the watch’s bracelet to be more securely fastened around the diver’s wrist so it won’t fall off, even when the diver is dressed in diving gear. These advancements in the Sea-Dweller’s designs over the years are a testament to how Rolex has consistently sought to upgrade this early dive watch, creating a collection that you can always rely on for excellent and improving quality.

Back in 2012, famous film director James Cameron navigated the abyssal world at a depth of around 11,000 meters using a submersible vessel. This submersible was called the Deepsea Challenger, and it carried Cameron and his crew to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean as part of a project to produce a movie named Deepsea Challenge 3D. As part of this project, Rolex created and designed a particular prototype version of the Rolex Deepsea timepiece. This timepiece eventually came to be known as the Oyster Perpetual Date Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA CHALLENGE. This diver watch features water resistance up to a stunning 12,000 meters, making this the perfect watch to use when exploring what’s beneath the Pacific Ocean.

To celebrate and honor the project’s success and accomplishment, in 2014, Rolex released a new model of the Deepsea, which they called the Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea D-Blue 116660. This model of the Deepsea Blue was quite similar to the original prototype in terms of technical functions, but differed in appearance. The 2014 Deepsea Blue featured a two-hued dial, fading from blue to black, a visual representation of the depths of the vast ocean. This visual tick is also the reason why this timepiece is the first in the Deepsea line to carry the ‘D-Blue’ moniker. In addition, the dial had the word ‘DEEPSEA’ printed in green, derived from the color of James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger vessel. This watch is now famously known among watch collectors and aficionados as the Deepsea James Cameron, and reached popular heights never seen by the original Deepsea Blue in 2008.

Yet another new version of the Sea Dweller Deepsea Blue was announced back in 2017, at Baselword, called the Sea-Dweller Deepsea Blue Ref. 126600. In 2018, this model of the Deepsea Blue was launched. This latest variant was introduced as an enlarged version of the Deepsea Blue 126600, featuring a date magnifier and equipped with a refreshed version of the caliber 3235.

In short, all these different variants of the Rolex Deepsea Blue can be found in the brand’s extensive catalog. The first-ever version was referred to as the Deepsea 116660, featuring a grand yet straightforward black dial with white text on its dial. The second version, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue, was officially introduced to the watch community back in 2014, and marked the growing popularity of the Deepsea lineup. And the newest version is the popular Rolex Deepsea Blue Ref. 126660, launched at Baselworld. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly the latest Deepsea Blue has to offer.

Up Close with Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660

The original version of the Rolex Deepsea D-blue was released in August 2014. It was upgraded to the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660 in 2018, offering newer functions and features so that it could better serve as a diving watch accessory to be utilized for your next underwater adventure. It comes with excellent qualities that you’d be hard-pressed to find in other diving timepieces, which is a huge reason why this watch has really dominated the world of diving watches.

The newest Deepsea D-Blue 126660 does offer many features that the original has, but with some tweaks and upgrades. One central change was made to the lug size, so that it now measures 21mm, smaller than the original 22mm lug size. It also comes with a much bigger clasp on its bracelet, making it a more comfy dive watch to wear than the first Deepsea D-Blue.

As with other Rolex Deepsea models, each Deepsea D-Blue 126660 timepiece is skilfully crafted and powered by a first-class caliber 3235 movement. This model also features a broader strap, and a case that has been slightly redesigned compared to previous versions of this Rolex Sea-Dweller watch.

Other than that, many of the essential parts are still intact and unchanged. It is still the best diving watch in the Rolex Sea Dweller collection that you can find when planning a scuba diving adventure. Its main highlight is that it is a robust, durable, and functional piece crafted to survive virtually any variant temperature underwater. It is the perfect watch for anyone seeking to prove Rolex’s outstanding skills as a legendary watchmaker.

Rolex Deepsea D-Blue 116660 DB from Watchshopping.com

Case: 904L Oyster Steel

Case dimension: 44 mm

Dial: D-Blue

Water-resistant: 3,900 m or 12,800 feet

Power reserve up to 70-hour (Certified as Superlative Chronometer)

Bezel and Case

Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Bracelet l Photo by jilemon from Flickr

One extremely distinguishable feature of the Rolex Deepsea Blue is its case. Crafted from 904L Oystersteel to ensure its durability, the case measures about 44mm in diameter. Oystersteel is known for being one of the best materials to use when making watch cases, since it possesses superb resistance. It also offers an excellent, gleaming finish after polishing and maintains its grandeur even when exposed to the harshest of environments and temperatures underwater. Some users of Deepsea Blue report that the watch can feel slightly bigger when worn on the wrist. Despite measuring 44mm, it looks a little more like a 45mm case. The good thing, however, is that the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue still feels extremely comfortable around your wrist and gives you a nice sense of balance when wearing it.

Its bezel features a black, unidirectional, and rotating ceramic bezel with numerals graduated on a 60-minute scale. The bezel is secured in place using a Ringlock system. If you’re not familiar with the Ringlock system, it is an innovative case architecture made by Rolex itself which allows the Rolex Deepsea Blue to resist any sorts of massive pressures underwater even at depths of 3,900 meters. It is made using three elements: nitrogen-alloyed steel on its central ring that shapes the system’s backbone, a sapphire crystal (5.5 mm thick), and grade 5 titanium for its caseback.

The Rolex Deepsea D-Blue also comes with a helium escape valve. The helium escape valve is a type of safety valve created by Rolex back in 1967 and it functions as a decompression chamber for the timepiece so it can survive the most extreme pressures underwater.

Dial

Even with just a quick glance at the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue, you’d be hard-pressed to forget its stunning and unique dial. This timepiece showcases a perfect two-toned gradient dial, starting from a brilliant blue hue at the top to the engulfing black depths below. Its two-color gradient dial commemorates the accomplishment of man’s journey into the ocean depths, exploring the deepest place on earth — the iconic Mariana Trench.

Furthermore, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue’s dial, with its semi-glossy features and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, can capture and reflect light gorgeously. This is a dial you cannot find in the rest of Rolex’s watch collections. It is the main highlight of this timepiece, a grand and awe-inspiring face that is sure to catch everyone’s attention.

Movement

Another remarkable feature of the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue is that it is equipped with a powerful in-house caliber 3235 that comes with an antimagnetic Parachrom-Blue hairspring. The automatic caliber 3235 is an upgraded version of the caliber 3135 that is used in the older Rolex Deepsea Blue. This caliber is the newest generation movement crafted by Rolex. It comes with a whopping 14 patents, a testament to just how far Rolex pushed the limits of watchmaking technology with the caliber 3235. The caliber 3235 offers a high power reserve of up to 70 hours, impressively high time precision, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, and reliability and functionality that any wearer can depend on when exploring the abyssal world.

Furthermore, the caliber 3235 features Rolex’s newest Chronergy, a perfect combination of the existing Paramagnetic blue parachrom hairspring and high energy efficiency. It is also COSC Chronometer-certified, which guarantees its powerful performance.

Caseback

Equipped with a titanium caseback, the Rolex Deepsea Blue is impressively flexible because of the natural qualities of the alloy, providing it more resilience and durability against massive pressures and impacts. It is a caseback crafted to survive and resist even the extreme pressures underwater. 

Bracelet/Strap

Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Bracelet l Photo by jilemo from Flickr

Like the original version of the Deepsea D-Blue watch, this Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660 also features a famous classic Oysterlock bracelet. One upgrade this model comes with, however, is its larger, less tapering strap, which is paired with slightly bigger lugs. This was a big improvement from the original model, which was crafted with too-narrow lugs, so it sometimes felt unbalanced when sitting on a wearer’s wrist. The redesigned lugs of the Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660, with its larger fit, offers more comfort to the wearer and looks more proportionately shaped on the watch.

This timepiece also features an Oysterlock clasp to avoid the watch suddenly coming loose from your wrist, and a Glidelock system like its previous version. The bracelet also comes with a revamped diver’s extension, allowing the Rolex Deepsea Blue to fit well on your wrist even when wearing gloves or a wetsuit.

Price

It is not news that Rolex watches do not come at a low price. Every Rolex timepiece is the product of expert Swiss craftsmanship and Rolex’s extensive history and experience as a watch manufacturer, and all of this shows in its cost. Owning this latest version of the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue 126660 will cost you about USD 17,399.00 retail. Considering the impressive attributes of this watch, this price is honestly extremely worth it. Not only do you get a durable, functional, and first-class dive watch, but you also get all the comfort and ease of wearing a classic Rolex timepiece.

The Original: Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Reference 116660

Two years before the release of the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 116660, famous film director James Cameron navigated underwater at a depth of around 11,000 meters using a submarine vessel. The vessel was called the Deepsea Challenger, designed to be able to survive the depths of the Pacific Ocean. As part of the this project, Rolex created a particular prototype version of the Rolex Deepsea timepiece, which eventually became popularly known as Oyster Perpetual Date Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA CHALLENGE. This timepiece features water-resistance of up to 12,000 meters, a perfect watch to use when exploring what’s beneath the Pacific Ocean.

In 2014, the Swiss luxury watch brand released its newest version of the Rolex Deepsea, featuring a D-Blue dial with the reference number 116660, to commemorate the success of James Cameron’s abyssal expedition. This refreshed version is similar to the previous model in some technical aspects. The greatest distinction, however, is that the 2014 Rolex Deepsea Blue featured a two-tone dial. In addition, the words DEEPSEA were written on the dial in a green tint, a tribute to the inspiration that James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger vessel was for this watch. Nowadays, this version of the watch is widely known as the Deepsea James Cameron.

The Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 116660 is equipped with a 904L stainless steel case developed by Rolex specifically for this watch. Some of its key features include a Ringlock system, a 5mm thick protective sapphire crystal, and a satin-finished and brushed caseback made of titanium. Its dial, with a radiant blue to black gradient, also adds to the natural beauty of this timepiece. In addition, it features a useful date aperture located at the 3 o’clock position.

Aside from that, this watch is also equipped with an Oysterlock bracelet measuring 26 mm long. This means that it comes with an Oysterlock safety clasp fitted with its flip-lock extension system. It is crafted this way to ensure it can survive any sorts of impacts and pressures underwater without any risk of coming loose and falling off the wearer’s wrist. It is also equipped with a top-notch Rolex in-house caliber 3135 movement to ensure high accuracy and precision even in aquatic environments. 

Today, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 116660 is available for USD 15,500.00. This might be quite an exorbitant price to sum, but if you consider all its top-class features as a diving watch, it is actually quite a fair price. Keep in mind, also, that any watch from Rolex tends to appreciate in value over the years. As such, Rolex watches also make for perfect investment pieces. Opting to buy this Rolex Deepsea Blue watch will not only give you a time-telling accessory to use on your next scuba diving adventure but also offers you the chance to be the owner of a true horological masterpiece.

Final Thoughts

Rolex never fails to craft high-caliber, high-performing timepieces. Although the Sea-Dweller collection is just a predecessor of Rolex’s first-ever collection of diving timepieces under the Submariner collection, it does not stop the former from being a very sought-after dive timepiece. This is especially true with the updated Rolex Deepsea D-Blue watches. These watches display the brand’s excellent craftsmanship and expertise in horology, offering superb features such as water resistance of up to 3,900 meter and a top-notch in-house caliber 3235 movements. With its iconic face and functionality, this Rolex Deepsea D-Blue diving watch really deserves to be on your radar.

Want to know more about other Rolex models, particularly the most expensive watches in their extensive catalog? Check this review we have about 15 Most Expensive Rolex Watches.

Featured image from amh1998 on Pixabay

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