What may seem like a few minor design changes here and there actually mean a lot of serious firsts with the new-for-2017 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller 50th Anniversary model reference 126600 Rolex fake watches, making this replacement of the Sea-Dweller 4000 one of the more important releases of Baselworld 2017.
First and foremost, let’s begin with the tech specs, as with this new reference 126660, the Rolex Sea-Dweller has received five major updates: first, it has grown from 40mm to 43 millimeters wide, making for a very considerable difference between the Sea-Dweller 50th Anniversary and the Submariner (which is 40mm). Second, it received a cyclops over the date, a first for a Rolex Sea-Dweller and as controversial an update as the growth in size. Third, it is now powered not by the 3135 but the updated 3235 caliber. Fourth, it has a redesigned bracelet that is now wider and makes for a more secure fit on the wrist. Last, but not least, it pays tribute to the original Sea-Dweller of 1967.
All this, of course, seriously changes the looks of the Rolex Sea-Dweller. The larger case and bracelet make it more proportionate by matching a greater diameter case with the existing thickness – that was arguably a bit disproportionate with the 40mm width of the previous 116600. Bear in mind that the thickness (no official figure on it yet but check the wristshots to get a good idea) is necessitated by the 4,000ft/1,220m water-resistance.
While in this regard the added width makes sense, the new-found cyclops – again, new for the Rolex Sea-Dweller altogether – arguably is an even more controversial decision. The Rolex Sea-Dweller, some argued, from the get-go should have been a larger alternative to the No-Date and Date Submariner models (instead, all three watches thus far had been 40mm wide) – but the cyclops, even Rolex admits, is a less obvious and more controversial addition.
A lesser-known fact is that the original Rolex Sea-Dweller of 1967 did not have a cyclops because when Rolex added it to the plexiglass front, it caused structural weaknesses in it and ultimately caused it to shatter before reaching the desired depth rating – and so the cyclops was omitted. The Rolex Sea-Dweller all until 2017 has maintained its cyclops-free looks, making yet another reason for it to be a Submariner alternative (as, clearly, not everyone is a fan of the cyclops-look). Now, in this regard, the Rolex Sea-Dweller is more in line with all other collections, with only the Deepsea now standing out from the rest, as it still does not have a cyclops over its date aperture.
The new Rolex Sea-Dweller’s 904L Oyster bracelet replica watches are fitted with an Oysterlock safety clasp, Fliplock extension system for an added 26mm of reach along with the Rolex Glidelock system for 2mm-increment fine adjustments over a distance of 20mm. Typical Rolex Sea-Dweller feats such as the black Cerachrom bezel with PVD-applied platinum numerals, flat front sapphire crystal and 1,220m of water resistance enforced by a helium escape valve inside the left side of the case (see its components below) remain present.
There’s something about a dive replica watches that emanates an unassailable image of unabashed cool. Part of this has to do with the total veracity and slavish devotion to function embodied by these timepieces. After all, these were tools that soldiers and civilians alike literally depended on with their very lives. But of all the dive watches ever created, there is one that holds the title of heavyweight champion of cool amid this vast pantheon of ticking demigods. That watch is the Rolex Sea-Dweller copy watches.
By submerging further than any watch that had come before, the Sea-Dweller redefined the performance abilities of the commercial dive watch so radically that to say that it was ahead of its field is to do it a disservice. The Rolex Sea-Dweller was and has always been in a field all of its own.
To Dive Deeper
Rolex’s iconic Submariner ref. 6200, the world’s first commercially produced dive watch, was released in 1954. But by the 1960s, the belief was that Rolex had begun experiments with a deep saturation dive commercial watch with the explicit goal to submerge to the heretofore unrealized depth of up to 2,000 feet or 610 metres.
At the time, the Submariner ref. 5513 was rated to 660 feet or 200 metres. So, the idea of tripling this depth rating was an ambitious one. Early experiments involved watches with a new model designation, ref. 1665, and the word “Sea-Dweller” on the dial. Some of these cheap Rolex replica watches did not feature the helium escape valve (it is believed 30 such watches were created), though many of them failed during saturation dive testing.
Indeed, field tests demonstrated the absolute necessity for the helium escape valve created by Rolex in partnership with the French industrial deep-sea diving company COMEX. The latter had pioneered a method of saturation diving where divers breathed a mixture of hydrogen, helium and oxygen, allowing them to work at great depths for a long period of time. After each session, the divers would return to a pressurized chamber that would be maintained at the same pressure as their work environment. That way, they only had go through the very lengthy decompression process once at the end of their entire dive schedule. While inside the chamber, they would breathe the same helium-oxygen mix.
The Helium Solution
According to Rolex expert James Dowling, small molecules of helium are able to force their way past the watch seals into the watch, so the pressure inside the watch would equalize with that of the chamber. But during decompression, the pressure in the chamber would diminish at a faster rate than the pressure inside the watch, and this imbalance would often cause the watch crystal to be forced out at high speed.
Rolex got around this problem with the world’s first helium release valve, which would allow trapped helium molecules in the watch to escape. The helium release valve was first used on standard ref. 5513 Submariners refitted with the valve and dubbed the ref. 5514. These watches were made exclusively for COMEX and not released to the public, though it is believed several watches were sent to dealers around the world as part of Rolex’s communication campaign.
The Race for Dominance
You may ask yourself why in the first place Rolex felt compelled to offer a watch equipped for the rigors of the decompression chamber to civilians? It would seem that it was to reinforce their pioneering status in the field of deep-sea exploration.
Since time immemorial, the sea has been filled with foreboding and mystery. Amazingly, in 1961, when Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited at an altitude of no less than 350 kilometres above earth, man had yet to explore more than 70 metres beneath the ocean’s surface. During the ’60s, a boom in deep-sea exploration for the offshore oil industry compelled man into the abyss. But while this may explain the motivation behind the creation of the first COMEX ref. 5514 watches equipped with helium escape valves being worn by industrial divers, it doesn’t quite explain why Rolex decided to release a commercial watch with the same crazy deep descending capabilities and a valve that no civilian would ever need to use.
An examination of the current events of the era might provide the best answer. During NASA’s Project Mercury, the Omega Speedmaster had been selected as the official Rolex replica watches to accompany these astronauts into space. From a communication perspective, it made immense sense for Rolex to make a far-reaching declaration of its total mastery of the other great blue yonder.
Mark I (1967)
The impetus to push the Sea-Dweller into the market with some urgency could account for the two different types of cases: an earlier thin case — very similar to the Submariner case retrofitted with the helium escape valve used in the COMEX ref. 5514 — and later, the thicker case made exclusively for the Sea-Dweller range.
The early ref. 1665 Sea-Dwellers were released in 1967 in very limited series. While there are no official figures, it is generally believed that just slightly over 100 of these watches were made. They are also distinct from the later regular-production “Double Red Sea-Dwellers” made from 1971 to 1977, and “non-Double Red Sea-Dwellers” that followed from 1977 until 2009 — in that their casebacks were engraved with the words “patent pending”. Rolex had filed for but had not yet received the patent on the helium release valve. These watches also featured a prominent Rolex crown engraved on the caseback.
These “Mark I” (so named by collectors) patent-pending Sea-Dwellers featured the words “Sea-Dweller” and “Submariner 2000” on two separate lines. Both of these lines were printed in red, hence the nickname “Double Red Sea-Dweller”. Because of the way the red paint reacted with the underlying white paint, the two “red” lines in these watches have all faded to a light pink today.
Incidentally, there was also, from this period, a particularly rare “Single Red” version that featured the words “Sea-Dweller” in red and differs from all other Sea-Dwellers in that its depth rating is 1,650 feet or 500 metres. One theory is that the shallower depth rating infers that these watches may have been experimental models that preceded the first “Mark I Double Red Sea-Dwellers”. This is further bolstered by casebacks that do not feature the Rolex crown, but have the words “patent pending” on the outer flange of the caseback. The belief is that these watches were not sold to the public, but distributed to professional divers to provide feedback to Rolex.
Mark II (1968)
The “Mark II Double Red Sea-Dwellers” went on sale in 1968 with the caseback now marked “Rolex Patent Oyster Gas Escape Valve”, as the helium escape valve had by then been successfully patented. Many of these watches still featured the early thin case. These Mark II Double Red Sea-Dwellers featured two lines of red writing. They are made distinct by a Rolex coronet known as the “smudge crown”, which, as the name implies, looks rather globular and poorly defined. Because the lacquer used on the watch dials often reacted with UV light which made the black dial turn chocolate in colour over time, many of these watches are referred to as “chocolate-dial Mark II Double Red Sea-Dwellers” and it is examples with this distinct chocolate colour that fetch the most at auctions after the “patent-pending” models.
Another tell-tale sign of the Mark II dial is that the “D” and “W” in “Dweller” are touching, and the “L” in “Rolex” is aligned dead centre with the crown.
The “Mark III Double Red Sea-Dweller” is believed to have been made in even smaller quantities than the Mark II and features an extremely thin coronet, two rows of red writing and a “Rolex Patent” caseback. The sharper and more legibly spaced fonts of the Mark III make it a highly appealing copy watches for sale. The most recognizable trait of the Mark III dial is a sleek Rolex coronet at 12 o’clock with first and last spikes that roughly align with the first- and 59th-minute hash marks. By this point, Rolex had moved to a thicker proprietary case design for the Sea-Dweller.
The Mark I through III Double Red Sea-Dwellers collectively comprise the most collectible of the non-Comex Sea-Dwellers, and uncovering a “patent-pending” model in one’s family possessions is the equivalent of finding an unmolested 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster in your uncle’s garage.
Mark IV (1971-1977)
The regular production run of Double Red Sea-Dwellers began in 1971 and lasted through 1977. These watches have what is known as a Mark IV dial, which has red print for the words “Sea-Dweller” and “Submariner 2000” in vibrant but not heavy text that appears pixelated when magnified. The Rolex crown is well defined, slender in font, but with wider-spread spikes, and its first and last spikes are aligned with the second- and 58th-minute hash marks respectively.
Mark V, VI and VII dials exist, but these are normally associated with service replacements and have undesirable Luminova as opposed to Tritium indices.
One thing to stress when buying a vintage Rolex Sea-Dweller, in particular a Mark I–III Double Red is that much of the watch’s value is in the dial, and as such, you should scrutinize it carefully before purchase. You should also be very careful when any servicing is performed. My own thin-case Mark II Double Red had its dial damaged during servicing, irreparably affecting its value. Overcome by grief, I eventually sold it at a significant loss.
Non “Double Red” (1977-2007)
In 1977, Rolex did away with the “Double Red” dials and produced the ref. 1665 with all-white writing. These watches are known in collector lore as the “Great White”. Several dial versions of this exist, including the fashionable “rail dial” version, and values for these watches have in recent years begun to rise significantly, by virtue of the relatively short period of time that they were produced. By this time, the words “Submariner 2000” were dropped to provide greater product differentiation between the Submariner and the Sea-Dweller.
By 1978, Rolex introduced the ref. 16660 Sea-Dweller fitted with a sapphire crystal, a bigger helium release valve and an upgraded depth rating to 4,000 feet or 1,220 metres. While all previous Sea-Dwellers featured Rolex’s calibre 1575, the ref. 16660 introduced the calibre 3035. The most significant change represented by this movement was the increase of vibrational speed from 19,800vph to 28,800vph, endowing the movement with far greater autonomy from shocks. This is the longest-running manifestation of the Sea-Dweller and has remained essentially unchanged for more than three decades.
Sadly, in 2008, Rolex announced the end of an era when it replaced the Sea-Dweller with the Rolex Deepsea, a watch with a frankly stupendous and never-before-realized depth rating to 12,000 feet or 3,900 metres. This is made possible by a three-piece case architecture featuring a middle section fabricated from nitrogen-alloyed stainless steel and rendering the timepiece capable of withstanding “pressure that would crush a sub”.
So, why would Rolex create such a watch when the fact is that the wettest most dive Rolex fake watches us owners will get is when they down their fourth martini? In keeping with the original spirit in which the legendary Sea-Dweller was created, because they can.
We spent some time with the most recent model of the Rolex Replica Oyster Perpetual Explorer — a watch originally made for a Mount Everest expedition and recently revamped with a larger case and modern caliber. Scroll down to read our test of the watch from the magazine, along with original photos by Nik Schölzel.
The 1950s were a decade of adventure. Mankind strived to conquer nature, to descend to the depths of the ocean’s trenches and to climb to the peaks of the world’s tallest mountains. The first mountaineers reached the summit of Annapurna, more than 26,000 feet above sea level, in 1950. Edmund Hillary climbed Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, in 1953. Seven years later, the bathyscaph Trieste descended to the planet’s deepest point: the bottom of the Marianas Trench, more than 35,000 feet below sea level. It should come as no surprise, then, that the decade also saw the debut of two replica Rolex watches tailored to adventurous pursuits: the Replica Rolex Submariner divers’ watch and the Explorer expedition watch, both in 1953.
The first fake Rolex Explorer watches were provided as tools for the successful Everest expedition of May 1953. Rolex released a modified version of the Explorer later that year, with a black dial and painted-on luminous indices and numerals, which made it more legible under all lighting conditions. This model was designed to live up to the promise implicit in its name, by satisfying all the requirements of expeditions and other adventures. The Explorer underwent more improvements over the years and, beginning with the 1989 model, it was also designed to be more luxurious. Its indices and numerals have been made of gold since then, although there is still luminous material inlaid into the indices.
The latest version of the Explorer, launched in 2010, has a bigger case: 39 millimeters, versus the previous model’s 36 millimeters. It also has a new type of shock absorber, along with an in-house, Parachrom hairspring and a new Oysterlock folding clasp.
The fake Rolex watch’s new size is just right: the dial’s proportions look good in the enlarged case. But the narrow and somewhat short hands don’t quite fit into the otherwise pretty picture. The minute hand is especially problematic: the one on the previous Explorer extends all the way to the minute circle, but the tip of this one falls quite a long way from it. However, except for this flaw, the design is excellent and the watch’s classic look is easily recognizable.
With gently curving lugs and a broad bezel, the case looks as though it had been poured into a mold and hardened into a single unit. All surfaces, with the sole exception of the upper side of the bracelet, are polished. As with nearly all Rolex replica watches, the flat, sapphire crystal rises above the plane of the bezel, but its perimeter is beveled to deflect the force of a blow. Rolex’s crown-shaped logo is laser-etched into the crystal at the “6” as proof of the watch’s authenticity. Additional anti-counterfeiting details include the letters of the name “Rolex” engraved into the metal flange around the dial, the Rolex logo at 12 o’clock and a serial number at 6 o’clock.
The crystal has no nonreflective treatment, which would have improved the legibility, but the rhodium-plated and slightly curved gold hands (with a Mercedes-logo-like circle on the hour hand) clearly contrast with the matte black dial. The rectangular indices for the hours are filled with luminous material, and a large luminous triangle at 12 o’clock provides orientation for reading the time in the dark, although the rhodium-plated digits 3, 6 and 9 have no luminous coating. The rhodium-plated numerals on the previous model were filled with white, non-luminescent paint, giving the dial a more harmonious appearance and improving its legibility in low light. The hands and indices of the new model gleam brightly in the dark, thanks in part to the new Chromalight luminous substance, which debuted on the Replica Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea and is now also used on the Explorer. Unlike on that watch, however, it glows in the traditional, pale green hue rather than a blue one. The luminosity lasts a very long time: the dial remains easy to read even after 11 hours in total darkness.
The new Explorer is very user-friendly. The crown is easy to unscrew and has only two positions: one for winding; the other for setting the time. A stop-seconds mechanism stops the balance, immobilizing the hands for easy to-the-second setting. The line under the Rolex “crown” logo on the winding crown marks it as the Twinlock type, which helps make the fake Rolex UK watch water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters.
The Explorer’s Oysterlock safety folding clasp is distinguished by its ease of operation. A gentle tug with a fingernail opens the protective bow; a second tug on the front part of the clasp triggers a lever mechanism to unlock it. The Easylink lengthening system is very practical, too: concealed inside the clasp is one half of a link, which can be pivoted out without changing the appearance of the bracelet. This five-millimeter extension can be a welcome addition when your wrist expands after a workout or in hot weather.
Top-quality craftsmanship is also evident in the bracelet. Like the clasp, it has a completely satin-finished upper surface and polished flanks, which ensure that it perfectly matches the case. However, compared to the big 39-mm-diameter case, the bracelet tapers to a rather narrow width at the point where it joins its clasp.
The improvements aren’t confined to the Rolex replica watch’s exterior. Its movement, Rolex Caliber 3132, is well protected under a fully threaded screw-down back. This movement differs from Caliber 3130, which powered the previous Explorer, because of its Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers. It’s based on the familiar Caliber 3135 with date display, which powers the Submariner and the Datejust. These Rolex manufacture calibers are regarded as the best automatic movements on the market, a distinction they’ve earned thanks to their structure, which is designed for robustness, longevity and very precise fine adjustment. A sturdy balance bridge replaces a conventional cantilevered balance cock.
Two knurled screws are used to adjust the balance’s vertical clearance. The hairspring’s Breguet terminal curve contributes to the replica watch’s precision in all situations, as does Rolex’s decision to eliminate an index in favor of Microstella nuts along the balance’s hoop. Red anodized reverser gears minimize friction in the self-winding device.
The Parachrom hairspring is made of a blue niobium-zircon alloy and is immune to the influence of magnetic fields. It is also claimed to be 10 times less susceptible to vibrations than a conventional hairspring.
The Paraflex shock-absorption system (another Rolex invention) provides improved protection against sharp blows. This is the first time that Rolex has installed the system in a steel watch. The Paraflex mechanism had previously been used only in the Rolex Cellini Replica Prince and the Rolex Replica Day-Date II, both of which are available only in precious-metal cases. In the Paraflex system, the spring that returns the upper bearing jewel to its original position is symmetrical and smooth on both its faces so that it can be inserted on both sides, which makes the assembly process much easier. The spring is also less likely to jump out of its anchorage when a strong blow strikes the watch. Its shape, which extends over the center of the balance staff, makes it less yielding, which improves its ability to resist deformation. Furthermore, the spring bears two markings: one for the maximum oil level and one for the minimum. The Paraflex system is another example of Rolex striving to take what’s already good and make it even better.
The movement’s construction is solid and its decorations are impressive, despite the fact that the case has no viewing window in its back. Rolex’s standard piercings adorn the rotor, and the self-winding bridge sports a sunburst pattern. Other bridges are embellished with circular graining, a pattern that resembles tiny clouds. All bridges and plates are coated with a layer of rhodium and their edges are beveled and polished. The polished heads of the screws look particularly handsome.
Rolex is renowned for its precision, and the Rolex Explorer Replica UK watch we tested did not disappoint in this area. It gained three seconds per day when tested on the wrist. The values measured on the timing machine (a Witschi Chronoscope X1) were similar. Averaging the values in all positions resulted in a daily gain of 3.7 seconds. However, the amplitude declined noticeably in the hanging positions. The greatest deviation among the various positions was seven seconds, which slightly exceeds the maximum allowable for chronometers. In fairness, however, we must disclose that we tested this watch in each position for only a half hour on the timing machine (not for 24 hours, as the COSC chronometer-testing authority does), and used that measured deviation to calculate the assumed variance over 24 hours. In any case, the results indicate that you should not need to bring this timepiece to a watchmaker for fine adjustment.
Considering all the improvements Rolex made to the new Explorer, it’s not surprising to learn that it costs a bit more than its predecessor. Overall, however, the cost seems reasonable for a vastly updated Swiss Rolex replica watch that can ascend to the peak of a mountain and still look good peeking out from a shirt cuff under a business suit.
Click below for a video of the Rolex Explorer Replica…
The new Replica Rolex Sea Dweller adds a sporty touch to the classic elegance typical of Rolex timepieces.
The new chronograph houses a reliable automatic calibre with a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and a 48-hour power reserve.
The black dial is decorated with a “Clou de Paris” motif with the silvered counters surrounded by a circle in rose gold.
The rose gold open-worked hands Replica Rolex Day Date watches in the shape of double-edged swords indicates hours and minutes. Continuous seconds are displayed at 9 o’clock while at 3 o’clock we find the chronograph 30-minute counter.
The central blued steel hand indicating the chronograph seconds is controlled by the two push buttons on the right side of the case.
The dynamic style of the Rolex replica watches shop is remarked by the combination of rose gold with black rubber on the sides of the 42.5 mm case. The imperial columns, a distinctive design element of the Rolex timepieces, are still present but more discreetly.