Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller ref. 116660 - 1 month review.

Discussion in 'Watch Reviews' started by Pete17, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Pete17

    Pete17

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    Due to the great welcome and enjoyable time I’ve had here since joining I thought I’d post a little structured review of the Deep Sea-Sea Dweller after a month of constant wear.


    My Reasons For Getting the DeepSea Sea Dweller

    When I first saw the watch with the Basel release pics I was stunned. At Last Rolex had taken heed of their customers feedback. Not only that, but they added a whole lot of great new innovations and technical improvements.
    What caught my eye was:-
    The 5.5mm thick domed crystal.
    The matte maxi dial and bigger hands.
    The blue lume.
    The 43mm diameter case.
    The superb new bracelet and clasp.
    The unbelievable engineering feat of a WR 3900m.
    The noticeable historical salute to the prototype DeepSea from 1962 and the mighty 1665 SD from 1967 to the late 1970’s.

    I went straight to my favourite AD and whacked down a hefty deposit and went home to wait……and wait….and wait. I had to sell all but one of my other watches and most of my custom knife collection to fund this madness but it was worth it.
    Got the call in mid August and broke a few road rules in getting to the AD before closing time. They had the watch out on the desk waiting for me when I walked through the door. The owner had a great smile on her face but it wasn’t as big as mine I can tell you. One thing you can take to the bank when buying any Rolex is that the watch will always look better in person than in any of the advertising photos. The DeepSea was no exception. Love at first sight.



    THE BOX

    The DSSD box is easily the biggest box I’ve seen for a Rolex. You know before you even open it that there is something substantial inside waiting for you.
    Included inside is a nice little booklet on the DeepSea and the technology utilised in it. Other than that the fare is pretty standard – warranty card, bezel protector, padded polishing cloth and the usual tags etc.

    THE CASE

    I have had a few Subs and SD’s over the past few years and I’m used to the size of the Rolex sports models. I knew in advance that the DSSD was going to be big but I was still surprised at the heft of it when I first picked it up. It was Heavy!
    Mind you, it is still not in the same league sizewise as the monster models from Breitling and Omega. The case is big..for a Rolex..but it’s all relative I guess.
    The case has massive lugs which are bigger again than the old classic SD. I measure the thickness of the case with the crystal at 17mm. The casback is titanium which is held in place by a stainless steel ring. The caseback is a flatter than the SD and tends to ride a bit better on the wrist IMO. The titanium has a semi polished matte finish which has developed no scratches whatsoever as yet. The SS ring has some nice engraving on it ala the SD. The sides of the case are polished and everything else has the typical warm Rolex brushed satin finish. I’m sure the Crown is bigger than the old models and it gives the wearer a great sense of security when it’s wound in nice and firm. The helium escape valve is stainless steel rather than titanium as found on the SD.


    THE DIAL AND CRYSTAL.

    As usual with any Rolex the dial is a work of perfection. Absolutely flawless.
    The dial has a very nice smooth matte finish which harks back to the days of the 1680 Sub’s and 1665 SD’s. Most watches that I have seen with a matte dial have a very grainy appearance similar to 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper. The DSSD has a very fine finish which doesn’t reflect light like the glossy enamel versions of the recent SD’s and Sub’s. The dial is the now familiar maxi dial and if I recall correctly it’s the same size as the dial on my old LV Sub. Where it differs from the LV Sub is the use of a fatter hour hand as well as the minute hand. I think they are of the same size as the hands on the new GMTII models. Rolex have upgraded the lume to a new version that glows bright blue. I was initially sceptical of their claims but I should have known better. Rolex IMO do not change things unless it is to improve the watch. The new lume is just as advertised. It glows very bright and easily lasts all night.
    Surrounding the dial is the new engraved ringlock which was lambasted by nearly everyone when the Basel pics were released. To my eyes it makes the watch even more of a “tool” watch. To me it looks “all business”. It sets off the matte dial perfectly and adds a bit of interest to the dial. The engraving is not as eyecatching as most pics would have you believe.
    The domed crystal is massive. That’s the only word to describe it accurately. At 5.5mm thick you know this watch is built to take whatever you can throw at it. It’s also a nice salute to the old 1665 SD’s with their domed plexiglass crystals.

    THE BEZEL
    I’m used to the old aluminium bezel inserts with the spring ratchet system so I was blown away with the new ceramic bezel with the ceramic ball bearing system.
    The bezel has a nice deep gloss to it that is very hard to capture in the photos. As Bo pointed out it also pays tribute to the famed military Sub from the 1970’s with minute markers around the entirety of the bezel. Once again – all business. The feel of the rotating action is something that needs to be witnessed first hand. It is silky smooth but also firm. The ceramic ball bearings should last a lifetime. The level of precision that Rolex pay to every single facet of the watch is to be commended. The little oyster glass capsule at 12 o’clock, which also has the blue lume, is quite deeper than on previous watches. The capsule stands proud of the bezel – another tribute to the old 1680 Sub and 1665 SD. I recently went on a climbing trip up Mt Bogong which is the highest mountain in my home state. The conditions down low were thick bushland and up top there was heaps of snow. A couple of times I thought for sure that I’d scratched the bezel on branches etc but not mark is to be seen. The ceramic bezel is a real plus in my book.

    THE BRACELET

    The bracelet and especially the clasp are a work of art in themselves.
    Gone is the stamped and folded clasp and the hollow center links on the bracelet of the old SD. While I never, ever had a problem with the older bracelets I could see why some would prefer a more refined bracelet and clasp given the price of the watches.
    The links on the new bracelet are solid throughout. They start at 21mm wide at the lugs and taper down to the clasp which is 17mm IIRC. They have the standard Rolex brushed finish which I love and the sides of the bracelet are polished as per the old SD.
    The clasp is just amazing. I have never seen one like it. Every little part has been machined and the tolerances are extreme. There is no play whatsoever in the clasp. Everything fits together perfectly – nice and tight. The extension system is a godsend if you live in an unpredictable climate. No more getting tools out and mucking around re-adjusting the bracelet. All you need now is a quick flip of the clasp cover, slide the extension in or out and close the cover again. You can easily adjust the bracelet in a few short seconds without taking the watch off your wrist. I’d like to see Rolex add this clasp onto every sports model in their lineup. It’s a huge winner.

    TIMEKEEPING

    So far after nearly a month she’s running approx 3 secs slow per week. Not bad at all in my book. I can easily live with that. One thing I have noticed is how quiet this watch is. I guess due to the size of the case and crystal the sound of the movement has been muffled somewhat. Also, no matter how hard I try I can not hear the automatic rotor spinning around.

    SUMMING UP.

    For me this is a once in a lifetime purchase. I can’t afford to own more than one Rolex at a time and if I can only have one than I’m glad it’s the Deep Sea-Sea Dweller.
    IMHO it’s the best dive/sports watch on the planet. Even though it’s way over-engineered and most mortals will never utilise it to its full capabilities it’s a hell of a nice watch to own and use on a daily basis. After wearing it for nearly a month I can honestly say that there is nothing on this watch that I’d change if given the chance.
    Being a big fan of Rolex history I also appreciate the historical influences that have gone into the design of the Deep Sea. From the first huge prototype DeepSea models of the early 1960’s it has taken over 50 years to come up with the desire, technology and materials to effectively re-make the DeepSea into a wearable watch that can be enjoyed by folks like me.

    Thanks Rolex!

    Attached Files:

  2. SPACE-DWELLER

    SPACE-DWELLER

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Absolutely SUPERB review, Pete! :worship: :thumbsup:

    :thankyou: VERY much for sharing! :rocker:
  3. daveathall

    daveathall

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    :goodpost: , Great Post. :thumbsup:

    Fantastic review Pete, thank you very much for sharing it with us, as a custom knife collector myself, I know the pain you will have gone through by part funding your new watch by selling some of your knives, unfortunately it is the same road that I will have to travel, but for me, after reading your stunning review, it is definitely worth it, enjoy your new watch and wear it in the very best of health. :thumbsup:


    :thankyou:
  4. Goldbug

    Goldbug

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Pete,

    A+++ review. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on such a great watch. I can tell you definitely love the watch and that's great to hear.

    Enjoy the SDDS to its fullest!! I'm glad you are part of TKF and continue to look forward to your insight on Rolex watches.

    John
  5. Robb

    Robb

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Wow Pete!!! :goodpost: :goodpost: :thankyou: That was a fantastic review. I hope you enjoy your watch for many years. Congrats again :thumbsup:
  6. leopardprey

    leopardprey

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Oustanding reveiw!!! What a great watch!

    How well does it sit on your wrist though? Do you find you have to keep the watch a little too tight, in order to keep the DSSD from flopping around or riding up to your hand? Comfy to wear then? Thanks for the additional input.

    Cheers.
  7. colemanitis

    colemanitis

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Great review, Pete! I enjoyed reading it IMMENSELY! Now I've got to read it again! :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:
  8. DSimon9

    DSimon9

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    :goodpost: Excellent. A very good review. I can't wait to see it in real life. :thankyou:
  9. SPACE-DWELLER

    SPACE-DWELLER

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    :rofl: same thing here! I just had to read it again! :thumbsup:
  10. RW16610

    RW16610

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Oh my goodness Pete! That is among the best watch reviews I have ever read! Fantastic job, A++++ as stated above. :thumbsup: :rocker: :worship: :worship: :worship:

    I completly agree with all you stated in it as well, fantastic watch and sure was worth your sacrifice! Has me considering even more now :) :cheers:
  11. Hamilton

    Hamilton

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Great review Pete! I loved from beginning to end. Thanks! :thankyou: :thumbsup:
  12. Luminor

    Luminor

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Indeed Pete, fantastic review. You make me want to own it even more now!!
  13. Pete17

    Pete17

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Thanks heaps guys!! I really appreciate it. :cheers:
  14. RW16610

    RW16610

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    No problem, truly well deserved it was :worship:
  15. Letsgodiving

    Letsgodiving

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Great job on that review. The best one I've seen on the DS yet. :thumbsup:
  16. DDastady

    DDastady

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Great review!!!! :thumbsup:
  17. Cmaster03

    Cmaster03

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    Re: DeepSea - 1 month review.

    Superb review! I'm just now seeing this, so Dave's idea to group the reviews together is already proving to be a very good idea.

    I totally missed this one the first time it was posted.
  18. solar

    solar

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    Excellent review, really well done!

    I too have not yet seen this animal in the wild, and am quite anxious to do so.

    Best,

    Chris
  19. DSimon9

    DSimon9

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    Great review. Enjoy your watch!!!
  20. watchboy

    watchboy

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    I know I am late by it is reallya great review, Pete.:thumbsup:

    The clasp is really innovative and impressive like Pete said. One more thing I would like to add, there is actually 2 parts of diver extension on the clasp. One is the quick extension(mentioned by Pete) and the other is quite similar with the Sea Dweller. :thumbsup: