Rolex Deepsea

Waterproof to an extreme depth of 3,900 metres (12,800 feet), the Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea illustrates the supremacy of Rolex in mastering waterproofness.

Created in 2008, the Rolex Deepsea exceeds the most exacting demands of professional divers in terms of robustness, precision and reliability, while featuring the aesthetic codes characteristic of the Oyster.


A new-generation divers’ watch, the Rolex Deepsea benefits from the Rolex-patented Ringlock System case architecture that allows the watch to resist the colossal pressure exerted by water at the depth of 3,900 metres, equivalent to a weight of approximately three tonnes on the crystal.
The Ringlock System is based on a combination of three elements:
• a slightly domed 5.5 mm-thick sapphire crystal;
• a high-performance nitrogen-alloyed steel ring, positioned inside the middle case of the
watch between the crystal and the case back, which withstands the water pressure;
• a case back made from grade 5 titanium held tight against the high-performance ring by a
screw-down Oystersteel ring.

These three components are set in a middle case fashioned from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant Oystersteel. The Triplock winding crown, which is protected by an integral crown guard, is equipped with three seals and screws down securely against the case, completing the waterproofness system and offering watertight security.

The case of the Rolex Deepsea is also equipped with a helium escape valve patented by Rolex in 1967. This safety valve allows excess pressure built up inside the watch case to escape during divers’ decompression stages in a hyperbaric chamber.


In deep-sea diving, absolute reliability and security are of the essence. Each Rolex Deepsea must therefore undergo the necessary waterproofness tests required for divers’ watches. To this end, a special hyperbaric test tank was developed in conjunction with COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises), the world-renowned French company specializing in underwater engineering and hyperbaric technologies. Every single Rolex Deepsea is tested to ensure its waterproofness to a depth of 3,900 metres with an additional safety margin of 25 per cent.


The unidirectional rotatable bezel of the Rolex Deepsea is fitted with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert in black ceramic that allows divers to monitor their underwater and decompression time for their safety. The insert, patented by Rolex, is made of an extremely hard and corrosion- resistant ceramic, is virtually scratchproof and its colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The numerals and the graduations are moulded in the ceramic and coloured with platinum using a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process. The bezel’s knurled edge offers excellent grip when manipulating the bezel to set dive time, even when wearing gloves.


Great attention was paid to the legibility of this professional divers’ watch. The Chromalight hour markers and hands are filled with a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting blue glow – lasting up to two times longer than traditional materials. On the bezel, the zero marker of the graduation, in the form of a triangle, is visible in the dark thanks to an embedded capsule containing the same luminescent material.


Like all Rolex watches, each Rolex Deepsea is certified as a Superlative Chronometer. This exclusive designation attests that it has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories and according to its own criteria, which exceed watchmaking norms and standards. These tests are carried out on the fully assembled watch, in order to guarantee its superlative performance on the wrist. The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.

The precision of every movement – officially certified as a chronometer by COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) – is, therefore, tested a second time by Rolex after being cased, to ensure that it meets criteria for precision that are far more exacting than those for an official chronometer. The tolerance for the average rate of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer is of the order of −2/+2 seconds per day. Its precision is tested by Rolex using an exclusive methodology that simulates the conditions in which a watch is actually worn and is much more representative of real- life experience.

The Superlative Chronometer certification testing is carried out after casing using state-of-the-art equipment specially developed by Rolex. The entirely automated series of tests also checks the waterproofness, the self-winding capacity and the power reserve of 100 per cent of Rolex watches. These tests systematically complement the qualification testing upstream during development and production that ensures the watches’ reliability, robustness, and resistance to magnetic fields and shocks.


The Rolex Deepsea is equipped with calibre 3235, a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Its architecture, manufacturing and innovative features make it exceptionally precise and reliable.

The oscillator has a large balance wheel with variable inertia regulated extremely precisely via gold Microstella nuts. It is held firmly in place by a height-adjustable traversing bridge enabling very stable positioning to increase shock resistance.

Calibre 3235 has an opitimized blue Parachrom hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the Parachrom hairspring offers great stability in the face of temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. It is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring its regularity in any position.

Calibre 3235 is fitted with a self-winding module featuring a Perpetual rotor, which ensures continuous winding of the mainspring by harnessing the movements of the wrist to provide a constant source of energy.

The Rolex Deepsea’s movement will be seen only by certified Rolex watchmakers, yet it is beautifully finished and decorated in keeping with the brand’s uncompromising quality standards.


Calibre 3235 is a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex for a superlative level of performance. A consummate demonstration of Rolex technology, it offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.

The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and –patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing shock resistance by 50 per cent.

Calibre 3235 incorporates the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic interference. Thanks to the barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3235 now extends to approximately 70 hours.


The Rolex Deepsea’s Oyster bracelet is equipped with a Rolex-designed and -patented Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening, and with a double extension system that allows the watch to be worn comfortably over a diving suit up to 7 mm thick, without using any tools. The Rolex Glidelock fine-adjustment system, developed and patented by Rolex, allows the bracelet length to be increased by some 20 mm in increments of approximately 2 mm. The Fliplock extension link is a fold-out link that allows the bracelet on the Rolex Deepsea to be extended by 26 mm.


In 2012, the innovative case architecture of the Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea and its Ringlock System directly inspired the design of the Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea Challenge, an experimental divers’ watch guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 12,000 metres (39,370 feet). Entirely designed and manufactured by Rolex, it can therefore resist the extreme pressure found in the deepest reaches of the oceans. On 26 March 2012, attached to the manipulator arm of the submersible, it accompanied film-maker and explorer James Cameron on his solo 10,908-metre (35,787 feet) dive to Challenger Deep, the ocean’s deepest point, located in the Mariana Trench. “The Rolex Deepsea Challenge was the reliable companion throughout the dive,” said James Cameron after the historic event.


In 2014 Rolex released a commemorative version of the Rolex Deepsea sporting a deep-blue to pitch-black gradient dial. This D-blue dial is reminiscent of the ocean’s twilight zone, where the last trickle of light from the surface disappears into the abyss. It echoes James Cameron’s journey in 2012 with his DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition, partnered by Rolex and National Geographic 
Society. As a tribute to this partnership, the “DEEPSEA” marking on the dial adopts the colour of Cameron’s green submersible as it is perceived underwater.


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