A new Rolex Sea-Dweller, debuted at Baselworld 2008 with the added “DEEPSEA” designation. Its name comes from the “Deep Sea Special”, the experimental prototype that in 1960 reached a depth of 10,916 meters in the Mariana Trench. For 2008 the engineers at Rolex SA made the Sea-Dweller bigger, more water-resistant and essentially changed about everything, except the ultra reliable 3135 in-house movement.

List of the changes made to the original Sea-Dweller:
The updated case is slightly larger at 43mm in diameter.

The crystal is now a domed sapphire.

New ceramic bezel was added, the numerals and the graduations are filled with platinum through the use of a PVD technique patented by Rolex.

The zero marker of the graduated bezel, represented by a triangle, is visible longer due to a capsule containing a new luminescent material that emits a blue glow.

To enhance legibility, the indexes and hands are wider and partially coated with the same new luminescent material and also emit a blue color.

The movement features a new Parachrom hairspring with high resistance to shocks and magnetic fields.
The case back is made of a titanium alloy, an extremely resistant stainless material. It is held in place against the high-performance ring by means of a 904L-steel ring.

A nitrogen-alloyed stainless steel ring was added to help withstand the pressure exerted by water on the crystal and the case back.

A new Glidelock clasp allows for fine adjustments to the bracelet length, up to 18 mm by increments of 1.8 mm, without removing the watch. (pictured below).

Retail price is $8,999.

Posted by:Jason Pitsch

Jason Pitsch is the Founder of Professional Watches. He appreciates good craftsmanship in everything from architecture to automobiles to cameras to clothing. Yet his focus for the past decade has remained consistent on covering just one type: watchmaking.