This year, Rolex unveiled the new Deepsea ref. 126660 with new movements, slightly wider bracelet and marginally thinner cams.
The Rolex Deepsea replica has always been somewhat unique in the Rolex collection. As a good beast with utilitarian roots it is a bit of a hatred or love, which clearly makes a statement on the pulse. Do not forget that it has not only a case with a diameter of 44 mm, but especially an extremely thick watch (about 18 mm) and a heavy piece around the wrist. Why? Just because it is a watch that can withstand a depth of almost 4 kilometers ...
Not satisfied with simply updating the Deepsea replica to their latest and greatest movement, Rolex has also redesigned the cams and associated bracelet to ensure better integration with both the housing and an updated Oysterlock lock setup. With both Fliplock (Rolex's wetsuit extension) and Glidelock (their sliding in-lock extension system), this updated bracelet has wider middle joints and a wider footprint.
Given that I could not try the bracelet with the size for my wrist, the result of these tweaks for me completely feels like a background. That said, I would be interested to hear feedback from Deepsea owners or to experience both versions side by side on my own wrist. Although the Deepsea does not have the almost universal appeal of the Daytona or even the Submariner, it is difficult to argue that it is a weighty and shining example of Rolex's incredible approach to technical watch design.
Let's start with the button. That James Cameron Diving Blue, appropriately called "D-Blue", is still the striking eye-catching feature, although a completely black "traditional" model has been released that we will share with you later. The indices are a hair smaller, with the stick indices at 6 and 9 o'clock which is a slightly thinner (I know, very professional verbiage). Moreover, the font of the "Original gas escape valve" and "Ring lock system" has been adjusted to match the "Deepsea" text on the button instead of the "Superlative Chronometer" of the 2014 model. The last thing Rolex cited , was the length of the seconds and minute hands. Instead of falling outside the inner and outer edges of the ring indices, they are extended by a millimeter to perfectly align the hands. Unfortunately, and to the complaining of many enthusiasts, no text has been removed from the dial. However, I have the feeling that the newest model looks tighter, although I would have preferred the Ringlock to be slightly smaller, which made the dial appear slightly larger.
The bracelet of this Rolex Sea Dweller replica is now noticeably wider, creating a much symmetrical watch. There is less that feeling of "Gigantic Rapper Watch". With a width of 44 mm it is still very thick - in fact, the biggest watch that Rolex currently makes and still the deepest dive watch that they have available.
Building on the 44 mm stainless steel housing, Rolex "redesigned" the cams - AKA, considering they are an ever so small round taper and small size adjustment. The cams are about a millimeter thinner than the previous version of the watch. To account for this, the bracelet has been broadened by about a millimeter and is also slightly tapered.
Did I mention that the replica watch already has one of the deepest water assessments? Let's be honest. I seriously doubt if there is one person on the planet who takes this watch under water for up to 1,000 feet - let alone up to a maximum of nearly 13,000 feet. The Rolex Deepsea Sea Dweller 126660 has 3,900m water resistance thanks to the construction of the casing that is most common in the real submarine design than the design of the watch. Maybe if you are an underwater welder who just wants to prove a point. I do not know.