Matthias is a member of the Timezone.com Rolex watch forum and the German R-L-X.de Rolex watch forum. Matthias goes by Prof.Rolex in the forums and he wrote a few brilliant detailed articles on the upcoming Rolex SEA DWELLER DEEP SEA.
I will publish his other article as soon as I get a chance to put it up, but we will start with this article that explores the amazing new Glidelock System on the DEEP SEA.
One of the challenges with classic clasp bracelets is that you typically need to have it adjusted to fit your wrist before you wear the watch comfortably. Another challenge is if you live in a climate where the temperature fluctuates it can cause your wrist to expand and contract so that your watch can get too loose or tight.
Rolex brilliantly overcame this challenge by offering a link extension in the GMT II Ceramic and Daytona that allows for two easy positions, but the new Glidelock System goes far beyond by allowing for multiple positioning so the wearer can easily achieve the perfect fit on the fly.
One of the most amazing features of the new Rolex Glidelock system is that it can actually be adjusted without removing the bracelet from your wrist. As a matter of fact you can even adust the sizing without opening the clasp, and thus the appropriate nomenclature of "Glidelock Clasp."
I have to check my facts, but I believe that when Rolex announced this great new innovative feature, they mentioned it would also be available on the new Supercase Gold Submariner.
As you read Prof. Rolex' story, it is amazing to see the magnificent micro-design acumen that went into creating this engineering masterpiece. Enjoy!!! Jake
This is my second article on the details of the all new Rolex SEA DWELLER DEEP SEA. My first article that Jake will be publishing soon explores the details of the Ringlock-System.
We begin by examining the official Rolex photo below of the new SEA DWELLER DEEP SEA Glidelock clasp with some personal additions, which are needed for further explanation:
(Source original photo: Rolex SA, Sicherungsbügel=Locking Cover, Öffnungshebel=Opening lever, the additions were at first used in my German version of the article)
In a press release Rolex explains, the new clasp allows easy adjustement of the bracelet length by a total 18 mm (without the additional adjustment from the folded Fliplock-element), but does not explain how this is achieved by the “strange” rack.
The patent application for the Glidelock-clasp (No. EP 1908366A1, „Fermoire de bracelet“, published 09.04.08) allows a deeper look into the new clasp and clarifies the functionality.
I will try to share how the new clasp operates using some pictures taken from the patent application. For a better understanding I added some part numbers to the above shown official clasp photo.
A perspektive view of the upper clasp part:
(Source: EP 1908366A1)
The endlink 20’ of the bracelet slides with the sliding shoe 39’ in the track 18 of the flap 13’’c and is freely adjustable wihin the flap.
A sectional drawing of the upper clasp part with the complete clasp closed:
(Source: EP 1908366A1)
With the clasp completely closed, the endlink 20’ is locked by the tooth 20’a resting in the saw toothed rack 14’’.
The following drawing shows a sectional view through the upper clasp part, but now the middle flap is opened, but the clasp itself is still closed:
(Source: EP 1908366A1)
If only the middle flap 13’’a with the saw toothed rack is opened and the clasp is still closed (see also official Rolex-photo), the endlink 20’ is released and able to slide freely within the track 18. This allows an easy adjustement of the bracelet length with the clasp still closed. After adjustement the middle flap 13’’a is closed again and the endlink 20’ is arrested in the new position by the saw toothed rack 14’’.
The middle flap itself is guided by a spring operated toggle lever system (levers 31,32 and spring 35) with a point of equilibrium between closed and opened position of the middle flap. The spring acts underneath the point of equilibrium in closing direction and keeps the flap closed even if the locking cover (which secures the middle flap as well as the complete clasp) and/or the clasp is opened. For opening the middle flap the user has to lift the flap over the point of equilibrium against the spring with some defined forces and after passing the point of equilibrium the middle flap opens easily as the spring now acts in opening direction.
The opening system of the clasp itself with locking cover, opening lever and main hinged joint is nearly the same as already used for the GMT-Master II 11671x. Not shown on the a.m. pictures is the folded Fliplock-element, which was not part of the patent application.
Rolex has described in their patent application three different systems of length adjustement. One without middle flap (a length adjustement of the bracelet with closed clasp is not possible), one with middle flap, but without the spring-operated toggle lever system (the middle flap will open anytime the locking cover and/or the clasp is opened) and finally the real used a.m. system. Rolex has decided to use the best system from the functional point of view, but also the most expensive system.
Best Regards from Germany,
P.S. Stay tuned for the next part in this series named "Inside the DEEP SEA: The Ringlock-System in Detail"