The Rolex Deepsea Reference 116660 with the D-Blue dial, launched in 2014, with its graduated dial with a top half in blue that turns to black in the lower half combined with the black bezel with the Cerachrom insert offers a kind of hypnotic spellbinding effect. Well, at least for us it does.
The dial is symbolic of the deep blue waters that turn pitch black as one goes deeper into oceans and where sunlight ceases to penetrate through. This dial is actually termed “D-blue” and it is, in a sense, a celebration of James Cameron’s successful manned descent down 10,908 metres or 35,787 feet down into the deepest point in the ocean that is located at the Mariana Trench in March 2012.
That was a solo dive in the submersible called the “Deepsea Challenger” and it is also the name of the scientific expedition by Cameron, National Geographic and Rolex conducted for deep sea ocean research and exploration.
If you are wondering why then is the Deepsea only water-resistant to 3,900 metres or 12,800 feet representing only around 36% of the depth Cameron covered, that is because the famed Hollywood filmmaker had three other Rolex experimental watches outside his submersible; one was strapped onto the robotic arm and two others were on the hull.
Inside Cameron’s submersible and on his wrist was the Rolex Deepsea Reference 116660 with the black dial.
Cameron is better known for movies like Aliens (1986), The Terminator (1984), Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009).
The 51.4mm diameter experimental watches (compared to 44mm for the Rolex Deepsea Challenge) are very much larger and are actually water-resistant to 12,000 metres or 39,370 feet. Moreover the experimental Rolex Deepsea has the thickness of 28.5mm versus the 17.7mm of the Deepsea Challenge.
The water-resistance of the 2014 Rolex Deepsea Challenge is actually more than sufficient. The seas surrounding Singapore for example, are only around 200 metres at their deepest.
Even the RMS Titanic’s final resting place is 3,800 metres underwater so you can be rest assured this Rolex Deepsea is well-suited for such a harsh environment, as one still has 100 metres of equivalent pressure to spare.
At 3,900 metres or 12,800 feet, the crushing pressure is around 12 tonnes on the sapphire crystal of a watch. The Rolex Deepsea is one that can operate confidently while under such pressure.
The 3,900 metres water-resistance of the Rolex Deepsea can rightly be classified as a “major overkill” as the majority of us will never ever descend that deep, unless one is really destined for hell, literally.
As Dr Kantaro Fujioka and Dr Dhugal Lindsay point out in the article, Deep Trenches: The Ultimate Abysses and published in Claire Nouvian’s excellent book, The Deep, ocean trenches below 6,000 metres are termed “the hadal zone” and named after Hades, ruler of the underworld in Greek mythology.
However, one obviously cannot bring along any material objects into the spiritual world. Therefore, it is best to appreciate life and enjoy one’s time whether on land, in the air or at sea, perhaps with this Rolex Deepsea, especially if like us, it has caught your fancy.