Don’t let the lack of a visual reference in the official photos fool you. The new Rolex Deepsea Challenge is physically challenged. At 50mm, this horological monster is the largest watch in Rolex’s collection, by far.
If Rolex had made the Deepsea Challenge out of their go-to 904L stainless steel, it would’ve been 45 percent heavier than the 251 gram behemoth above. A steel DC would’ve tipped the scales at just under a pound.
Like nipple barbell makers, Rolex broke its self-imposed titanium blockade to take advantage of Grade 5 titanium’s combination of light weight and its hardness and corrosion resistance.
It was the best (if not only) solution to create a timepiece waterproof to 11,000 meters (36,090 feet). A goal that’s more than a little ridiculous. Lest we forget, the deepest part of the ocean is 10,935 meters (35,876 feet).
In fact, the Deepsea Challenge shares its name with the Rolex attached to the submersible occupied by the last of three explorers – filmmaker James Cameron – who made the voyage to the bottom of the sea (not the TV show).
Need I point out that any watch – such as the “normal” Rolex on Mr. Cameron’s wrist above – could survive the trip inside a pressurized submersible visiting our planet’s bowels? Including the OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra-Deep.
Yes there is that. Rolex’s crosstown rival’s cinematic dive watch may well have been the deep sea challenge inspiring Rolex to break its titanium cherry.
The OMEGA Ultra-Deep is waterproof to a paltry 1,828.8 meters (6000 feet). On the positive side, OMEGA’s titanium timepiece is available in a relatively wristable size (45.5mm x 18.12mm). On the negative side, it’s not a Rolex.
The question remains: can you wear the new titanium Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge? Assuming you have gorilla-sized wrists, strong biceps and shoulders and don’t mind wearing your watch outside your shirt cuff, sure, why not?
Because you’re not closerthanthis with your Rolex dealer (who’s sold out of everything)? Because you have better ways to spend $26k – $80k (resale estimate)? Because you’re waiting for Rolex to make a sensible titanium watch (which you also won’t be able to buy at retail)?
I like the way you think! A lot more than I like the Rolex Deepsea Challenge, in case you didn’t know. Still, I’ve sung the praises of titanium timekeepers before. Titanium Oyster Perpetual in a size that doesn’t remind me of pizza plates? Bring it on!