Monday, April 15, 2024

New Rolex Yellow Gold Deepsea 136668LB



 Rolex Mixes Precious Metal

With Extreme Engineering

By Danny Crivello

Is it a matter of opinion
Or just a contradiction
But from where I come from
All the blondes have more fun

—Rod Stewart "Blondes (Have More Fun)"

I've written how it seems Rolex is having more fun with its novelties, a trend that has become obvious when it introduced color OPs, Palm motif dials, left-crown GMTs and Emoji Day-Dates recently. 

This year I feel the new full-gold Deepsea is the latest sign Rolex is having fun, creating a great contrast with the monochromatic GMT in its basic metal also released at Watches and Wonders this year.
When I asked Rolex whether we should consider the full-gold Deepsea a fun piece, a rep for the Crown told me: "Outside the Deepsea Challenge, it is our most waterproof piece, our largest piece, our heaviest piece and our most visible piece. So, yes, it is a bit of a pied de nez.

But Rolex also told me this release was about wanting to create something unexpected and unconventional.

"Of course, to offer a piece in full yellow gold, with a blue dial, a blue bezel, a blue Ringlock is more fun and more visible," Rolex said. "But then again, we've always tried out different colors, different materials and we've often used yellow gold. It has always made for very visible pieces. We wanted to enrich the Deepsea line for all tastes, all aspirations."

The Deepsea line is being enriched more than ever, and it's not just because of the material used: For the first time, the Deepsea has been pulled from the Sea-Dweller line and is a standalone collection in the Rolex catalog.

At 320g, or 11.3 oz, the gold Deepsea is Rolex's heaviest watch. And at 44mm and a thickness of 17.7mm, the Deepsea can go to depths fatal to humans: 12,800 feet, or 3,900m. 

The gold Deepsea is the piece of all extremes, and it is a piece with three colors and three materials, a rare design concept for the Maison: yellow gold, blue ceramic, grey titanium (the RLX titanium is used for the caseback and the helium escape valve).

The blue ceramic is not just for the bezel. This new version incorporates a technical innovation never seen before at Rolex: the compression ring within the Ringlock system, which allows the watch to withstand pressure at extreme depth, is made from ceramic.

As a reminder, the Ringlock system is a patented case architecture developed by Rolex which has three elements: a thick sapphire crystal (5.5mm), a high-performance compression ring to withstand the water pressure, and a case back in titanium. 

The compression ring was in steel in previous versions; in this gold version, it is made in blue ceramic, a first for this component. It is the first time Rolex is using ceramic inside the case and not just on the outside.
When I asked Rolex why specifically ceramic, the rep told me using ceramic for the compression ring had little to with durability though durability was part of the equation. Rolex's goal was to have a complete uniform color for the bezel, for the dial and for the ring lock system, a first for the brand.
"We had to find a material that met not only the esthetical requirements  — to have that blue — but also the technical requirements to resist water pressure to 3,900m. With much R&D and testing we found that it was ceramic that met all those requirements best."

This release is exemplifying what the Crown has always been good at: mixing jewelry with patented innovation. Mixing celebration with adventure. Mixing precious metal with extreme engineering. To paraphrase Cyndi Lauper, Rolex just wants to have fun!

—Danny Crivello

Thank you, Clément Entretempsfor the shot