There are six iconic sport models that come out of the Crown in Geneva- the Daytona, the Submariner, the Explorer I & II, the GMT Master, the Milgauss and what you see here today, the Sea Dweller. While the Subs and GMTs are perennial favourites amongst anyone who ever gets into watches at some point, the Sea Dweller has always been leaning more on the professional side. With its unnecessarily deep depth rating and chunkier case, it was a true tool watch when it was released and remains so today.
This is the Ref 126600 and it was released in 2017 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sea Dweller. Succeeding the Sea Dweller 4000, it received a couple of upgrades, most notably an upsize from 40 to 43mm. It remained 15mm thick with its helium valve on the left side of the case and overall, this is one hefty watch with huge presence.
Another change included the word ‘Sea Dweller’ on the dial written in red. While this may seem superficial to some, it actually has some historical importance as the first ever Sea Dwellers were known as ‘Single Reds’ as they similarly had the model name in that colour. While Rolex isn’t usually the ones to do homages, this nod to the past is a nice touch and shows that once in awhile the Crown does get sentimental!
Most strikingly though, for the first time ever, the Sea Dweller included a cyclops on its crystal. This was hugely controversial when it was released in 2017 as the Sea Dweller never had a cyclops. While the purists continue to moan about this, I do welcome the change as it is in line with Rolex’s philosophy. It has always been about functionality and usability as Rolex at the end of the day, produce high-quality tool watches. With the inclusion of the cyclops, divers will be able to see the date more clearly and if choosing between historical provenance and functionality, I commend Rolex for not being too romantic and choosing the latter.
One of the highlights of the Sea Dweller or any modern Rolex for that matter would have to be the bracelet. Rolex has always made the best bracelets and with this one, it is no different. As this is a dive watch, it features two expanding functions, one called the Glidelock, which allows you to extend the bracelet without any tools, and specific to diving, the Fliplock, which allows you to extend the bracelet even more for when wearing over wetsuits.
Beating inside the Sea Dweller is a new and improved Cal. 3235, which features Rolex’s brand new Chronergy escapement, ensuring a much smoother flow of energy to power the watch. Furthermore, the power reserve has been upgraded from 48 to 70 hours. The 43mm case is made of the highest quality 904L steel has a ceramic bezel that is PVD coated in platinum for durability, is water resistant to 1220 meters and features Rolex’s own Chromalight lume, which glows blue and is the best in the industry.
This Rolex Sea Dweller 43 is a true professional tool watch and is built like an absolute tank. The quality of any watch that comes out of Rolex is always unbelievable and it is all the little advancements that make Rolex who they are today. From constantly improving the bracelet to the Chronergy escapement, the pursuit of excellence in the Rolex HQ cannot be questioned.