Rolex announced a new ultra-dive watch that boasts a record-breaking depth rating for a production diver’s watch.

Following the release of Omega’s record-breaking Ultra Deep earlier this year, which we reviewed last month, Rolex has answered with the new Deepsea Challenge. With a depth rating of 11,000 meters, the Rolex Deepsea Challenge is, in fact, capable of going deeper than Omega’s Ultra Deep 6,000-meter dive watch, however, it requires a far larger case and a helium escape valve.

It’s worth noting that while Rolex’s Deepsea Challenge watch was tested to a deeper depth than Ultra Deep, Omega tested its non-production prototype to (10,935 meters) during the Five Deeps expedition in 2019, and was able to go 27 meters deeper than James Cameron’s 2012 Deepsea Challenge (10,908 meters). Clearly, both companies have demonstrated their ability to produce a professional dive watch that can withstand the deepest Ocean point, the Marina Trench.

Rolex’s 2022 commercial production Sea-Dweller “Deepsea Challenge” case is a massive 50 mm x 23 mm (251 grams), compared to Omega’s 2022 production Seamaster Planet Ocean “Ultra Deep,” which is small by comparison at 45.5 mm x 18 mm (123 grams). Omega went for wearability at the expense of water resistance. Rolex went for maximum water resistance at the expense of wearability.

Rolex Deepsea Challenge 126067 compared to past Rolex dive watches
Foreground, left to right: Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea (2012), Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge (2022), Deep Sea Special (1960), Rolex Deepsea Challenge (2012), and Oyster Perpetual Submariner (1986). Background, left to right: models of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible and the bathyscaphe Trieste.

To keep the weight down, Rolex created a new ultra-light alloy called RLX, which consists primarily of grade 5 titanium, and was used to produce the case, caseback, crown, bezel, and bracelet. The black bezel insert is made of Cerachrom, with numerals and graduations coated in platinum.

Inside the Deepsea Challenge is Rolex’s existing caliber 3230 movement which beats at 4Hz, has a power reserve of 70 hours, and is adjusted to a so Superlative Chronometer accuracy rate of -2/+2.

For now, Rolex wins the record for the deepest commercial production dive watch and knowing that both Omega and Rolex have reached the Marina Trench with their prototypes, it’s safe to say this battle is surely not over.

The Sea-Dweller Deepsea Challenge (Ref. 126067) comes on a highly adjustable RLX titanium bracelet for a retail price of $26,000.

 

Photos by Rolex.

Posted by:Jason Pitsch

Jason is the founder of Professional Watches and specializes in writing, editing, product photography, video production, marketing, and website management.