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Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Dial Watch Is Tribute To James Cameron Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie

Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Dial Watch Is Tribute To James Cameron Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie Watch Releases

Rolex doesn’t normally release watches outside of its normal Baselworld schedule, but today they have made their very first exception to that rule by releasing the new Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller with D-Blue Dial 116660 watch. It has a blue and black gradient dial with a vibrant green colored “DEEPSEA” text on the dial. Interestingly enough the reference number for the D-Blue is the same as the standard black-dialed Deepsea.

Another testament to the unique nature of this occasion is how Rolex teased that the announcement would be on August 4th 2014 a few days in advance. Many considered Rolex to be quite late with the announcement as it was August 5th in much of the world by the time it was released. With that said, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue watch is finally here, so let’s see what details we know and how it relates to Rolex’s relationship with movie maker James Cameron.

Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Dial Watch Is Tribute To James Cameron Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie Watch Releases

The new Deepsea D-Blue is dedicated to James Cameron’s successful descent in 2012 to the deepest point on our planet located at an immense depth of 10,900 meters below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. An upcoming film will be released a few days from now, known as Deepsea Challenge 3D. The film will explore Cameron’s descent and some of the scientific successes of the voyage. Cameron himself would have never done the dive if there was not some scientific outcome possible. On the dial of the watch the green color of the “DEEPSEA” label represents the decent of Cameron’s submersible as it is the same color.

Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Dial Watch Is Tribute To James Cameron Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie Watch Releases

Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Dial Watch Is Tribute To James Cameron Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie Watch Releases

We previously discussed the History of dive watches, where Rolex has an incredibly diverse journey of creating waterproof watches. Not only did Rolex create the first seriously water resistant timepiece with the Rolex Oyster in 1926, but about 30 years later they also created the Submariner, one of the most widely recognized diver’s watches of all time.

The limits of what a watch can achieve in terms of water resistance have been pushed to their absolute extreme by the brand in 1960 when, for the first time ever, a wristwatch made it to the deepest point on Earth. Known as the Rolex Deep Sea Special, the watch dove to about 10,900 meters below the surface of the Pacific Ocean with two brave men and their 150 ton submersible called the Trieste.


Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Dial Watch Is Tribute To James Cameron Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie Watch Releases

DEEPSEA Challenge 3D Movie By James Cameron

42 years later in 2012, James Cameron and his Deepsea Challenger submersible (and watch) made it to the deepest spot of the Mariana Trench as a revival of the 1960s mission. Once again, there was a Rolex watch on-board. It was the massive Rolex Deepsea Challenge, a 51.4 millimeter wide and 12,000 meter water resistant watch, strapped to the robotic arm of the Deepsea Challenger withstanding the crushing pressure of 1,100 atmospheres. This new Rolex Deepsea D-Blue dial watch for 2014 is a tribute to the 2012 mission.

Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Dial Watch Is Tribute To James Cameron Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie Watch Releases

The original Deepsea Challenge was a never-commercially-produced watch that was a super-sized version of the current generation Rolex Deepsea with its 3,900 meter water resistance rating. This was the watch James Cameron wore on his own wrist inside of the Deepsea Challenge submersible during his almost 7 hour long dive. As you can see on the chart above, the already substantially sized Deepsea with its 44 millimeter diameter and 17.7 mm thickness looks extremely small when compared to the monstrous Deepsea Challenge and its 51.4 millimeter wide and 28.5 thick case, designed to withstand a crippling 13.6 tons per square inch of pressure.

Thanks to these unheard-of specs, the Deepsea Challenge successfully accompanied Cameron on his adventure, which was recorded by several cameras for a new film that would reveal previously unknown and invaluable information about the magnificently diverse forms of life present at such immense depths, as well as the painstaking process of crafting the submersible used on the mission. On August 8th, 2014, just four days after Rolex has announced the Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue, Cameron’s movie titled Deepsea Challenge 3D will premier in the United States, telling the story of his fantastic experience as the first successful solo dive to the Mariana Trench, as well as the incredible achievement of the Deepsea Challenger submersible and the wristwatch strapped to it.

Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Dial Watch Is Tribute To James Cameron Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie Watch Releases

Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Watch

Rolex offered a teaser before the watch release showing the profile of a Deepsea case, bathed in blue lighting and hinted with two small drops of water. That was everything we had and nothing more. However, we felt that there had to be a reason for the blue lighting as we would not expect Rolex to use it merely for the purpose of distraction: and we were right, as the new watch is indeed the Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue with a deep blue dial that gradually transforms into deep black, imitating one man’s journey to the deepest place on Earth.

Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Dial Watch Is Tribute To James Cameron Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie Watch Releases

The blue and black theme is mixed up with the text “DEEPSEA” printed in vibrant green – added as a tribute to the color of James Cameron’s submersible, the Deepsea Challenger. This color effect is probably rather straight forward and not a color-changing effect like the 2014 Rolex Milgauss Z-Blue dial watch (hands-on here). Of course Rolex is really into blue and black right now. The 2013 Rolex GMT-Master II day/night watch with a half blue and half black ceramic bezel might be a nice complimentary piece to the Deepsea D-Blue dial timepiece.

Otherwise, the Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue is the same 44mm wide steel-cased super dive watch that Rolex has been producing, but with a distinct dial color. It is water resistant to 3,900 meters (12,800 feet), has the Cerachrom black ceramic bezel insert and the “Monobloc” middle case with Helium Escape Valve. More tech specs are below.

Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Dial Watch Is Tribute To James Cameron Deepsea Challenge 3D Movie Watch Releases

The resulting watch is a surprise-release from Rolex with the first dive watch dial with non-straight forward color that will certainly fuel some heated discussions among fans of the brand. Pricing for the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Dial watch is $12,350 — a slight premium over the $12,050 price of the standard Rolex Deepsea watch — and it is expected to be available by the second week of August.

Tech specs from Rolex:

CATEGORY: Professional watch
CASE: Oyster (monobloc middle case, screw-down
case back and winding crown). Ringlock System case architecture with nitrogen-alloyed steel ring Helium escape valve
MATERIALS: 904L steel, case back in grade 5 titanium
WINDING CROWN: Screw-down, Triplock triple water-proofness system
CROWN GUARD: Integral part of the middle case
CRYSTAL: Domed, 5.5 mm-thick, scratch-resistant, synthetic sapphire.
BEZEL: Unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated; Cerachrom insert made of ceramic, numerals and graduations coated in platinum via PVD
WATERPROOFNESS: 3,900 m (12,800 ft)
MOVEMENT: Calibre 3135, Manufacture Rolex Mechanical movement, bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor
PRECISION: Officially certified Swiss chronometer (COSC)
FUNCTIONS: Centre hour, minute and seconds hands Instantaneous date with rapid setting, Stop-seconds for precise time setting
OSCILLATOR: Frequency: 28,800 beats / hour (4 Hz)
Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring with Breguet overcoil
Large balance wheel with variable inertia, high-precision regulating via gold Microstella nuts
POWER RESERVE: Approximately 48 hours
BRACELET: Oyster; folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock system for fine adjustment of bracelet length, and Fliplock extension link

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  • OK, so that is the secret Rolex news that has been brewing for a few days. Let me see if I’ve got this right, the dial has a color gradient and special text. Otherwise, is it just a Sea-Dweller. I’m not complaining, just trying to see how much or how little is special about this watch – other than the time of its announcement which seems to be driven by the movie debut. OK, plus 1 for marketing, but that’s about it unless you are Rolex collector. Maybe I was hoping for something of a technical advance from a company that (decade ago) made great strides in the advancement of horologory.

  • Ulysses31

    The blue dial really makes this an attractive watch.  It’s amazing how something as simple as a colour change can make something so mundane become desirable.

  • MarkCarson Ah, but it’s a Sea Dweller….DEEPSEA! Not quite sure what to think of a tu-tone dial but I’ll save opinions until I see one “live”. That Seattle Seahawk green “DEEPSEA” is a bit wild, too.

    As for blue…seems to be Rolex’s darling color of late…blue dial Milgauss, Yacht-Master & Pt Daytona.

  • DG Cayse

    Because they can.

  • Chaz_Hen They keep saying “Blue is the new Black”. In this case, they went with both to be safe, ha ha. Aloha.

  • Zeitblom

    I know I should give up asking the forbidden question, but I will anyway:
    What does it weigh?

    This is the only Rolex that I would consider, but it’s nowhere near as interesting as an Omega Ploprof.

    • Allan

      The omega ploprof is quite possibly one of the ugliest watches in history.

  • marbstiu


  • marbstiu

    MarkCarson Chaz_Hen Worst case is that this will fall victim to a fashion magazine’s “Blue Watch” roundup.

  • marbstiu MarkCarson Chaz_Hen Sadly it won’t be that simple. A four hour meeting about whether it fits into a black or blue round-up will ensue. With camps divided on both sides as well as the more diplomatic “black and blue” camp which unfortunately cannot tie into a currently authorized black and blue fashion trend. The entire team shelves the idea for “celebrity black eye” month, yes no one knows what to make of the tiny splash of green…

  • Is this a customized Rolex or just a fake one?

  • aBlogtoWatch Is lime green the new red (accent color)?

  • aBlogtoWatch Speaking of celebrity black eyes, maybe ABTW should to a feature on what watches are worn by Hollywood types in public fights. Does a Royal Oak Offshore slow down your swing or does it land a punch with more force (plus the opportunity for more blood letting – bracelets preferred).

  • This just a rough drawing of an average wrist cross section, but check out out huge the Challenge DeepSea really is.

  • MarkCarson aBlogtoWatch Oh…a twist of lime, is it??

  • MarkCarson aBlogtoWatch Yeah what was Orlando Bloom wearing when he swung for air on Justice Beaver?

  • Ulysses31

    MarkCarson It would be easier to wear a cupcake on your wrist.

  • DonQ

    I don’t believe Mr. Cameron actually wore the DeepSea Challenger on his decent as the article states. The watch was fixed to the exterior of the submersible. I think he was wearing the standard DeepSea.

  • DonQ You are correct. Was something else mentioned? The Deepsea Challenge was on the outside of the vessel (known as the Deepsea Challenger) and on his wrist was the Deepsea (gets confusing right?).

  • DonQ

    Might want to check the article. You describe the DeepSea challenge and then go in to state that this was the watch he wore on his own wrist..

  • aBlogtoWatch A watch only suitable for robotic arms. Optimal Slime, where are you and what time is it?

  • MarkCarson aBlogtoWatch I don’t think the phrase “optimal slime” gets used enough around here.

  • aBlogtoWatch MarkCarson After taking my kids to see the original Transformers movie (which I vowed never to do again), I started calling the ‘bot that.

  • Jimxxx

    It requires the right wrist to go with the watch…

  • gojiB

    MarkCarson one could in theory wear that on the shoulder, just above the elbow, it wouldn’t really make reading time that much more difficult – coming to think of it, not sure why dive watches aren’t worn there, i used to dive a bit and it makes sense, you’re mostly horizontal and it’s probably easier to read time off from there… 🙂

  • Jimxxx Butt I wear watches on my left wrist. No wait…

  • gojiB I would think that would be less comfortable as your bicep flexes as you move your arm. The advantage of the wrist is that its mostly bones and not so much muscle. Otherwise, you would get constriction. Maybe on a neoprene elbow sleeve might work though.

  • Chaz_Hen Speaking of which, will the Canadians please that that trouble making punk back? How he avoids deportation from U.S. is a miracle of celebrity I guess. Come on James, Fraser and Kris, see what you guys can do to reclaim one of your own. Thank you very much.

  • MarkCarson aBlogtoWatch Optimal Green Slime.


    Sadly, these extra crispy Rolex models are not for the faint of wrist. Their massive construction is great for use during interplanetary wars, but could end up as uncomfortable as wrist polyps or hemorrhoids. Try to get one on consignment for a brief wear test before final commitment, or you may need to divorce it, which could be as painful as an estranged spouse.

  • marbstiu

    BIGCHRONO agree. But this is still better than IWC’s rubber junk


    marbstiu BIGCHRONO 
    I’ll see your agreement, & raise you another. I used to feel IWC had 
    excellent goods @ reasonable prices. Now, I abhor their greed feed,
    producing overpriced examples that spit on their previous successes.

  • Trapps

    Yes something else was said in the article. Read your own article carefully.

  • MarkCarson Chaz_Hen It’s payback for having to take US draft dodgers during the Vietnam War…

  • Feller87

    Ulysses31 MarkCarson true but that would get smaller throughout the day

  • MilanKalinovic

    BIGCHRONO  As someone that wears a submariner like kids Watch, I welcome the larger cases from Rolex.

  • TomasinaCovell

    BIGCHRONO marbstiu Well ascertained and said, m’liege!

  • TomasinaCovell

    aBlogtoWatch DonQ Ariel, does it’s movement use the new silicon hairspring too?


    TomasinaCovell BIGCHRONO marbstiu 
    Thank you kindly. I doff my “crown”for your kind words &
    for not being entranced by the Rolex Whirling Dervish routine.

  • HarpoMarx2

    Although the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Dial is as massive as a Russian nuclear submarine, I would wear it; even if it stretches my left arm an additional 2 inches longer than my right.  It is an amazingly beautiful watch, and would be a great weapon in the event of a mugging.  

    This watch is an amazing testament to the technological capabilities of Rolex.  I love it.  How can they go wrong with the Submariner model?

  • HarpoMarx2

    Ulysses31 MarkCarson If Rolex made a cupcake, out of 904L steel, I would probably wear it too.  Well I think I would want it to have a chronograph.

  • Luxuryspy

    I am totally agreed with MarkCarson what he said.This customize watch is suitable for robotic arms.

  • Nutty

    That 50+mm monstrosity is beautiful.. I would wear it and show those PAM owners with their 44mm watches who is the real boss..

  • I_G

    So James Cameron wore that 39,370ft experimental watch inside the vessel so he could tell the time in the case of malfunction and water break-in? LOL