As we reported right after the opening of Baselworld 2019, Rolex has introduced a two-tone, Yellow Rolesor version of the Sea-Dweller 43mm, under the reference 126603. What is it? Well, in short, a controversial version of an already controversial watch. And while the point of the following article isn’t to review the watch, or to explain every single detail (it remains, after all, just a different material combination), I’m going to give you my (very) personal take on this watch.
What is the point of a two-tone, luxurious, rather provocative version of a deep dive watch? Objectively, nothing. Is it relevant as a product? Not at all. Who needs some gold links and a gold bezel on a watch that is meant to be an instrument measuring time at more than one kilometer beneath the waves? No one. But… (there has to be a “but”) who really needs a watch to dive with in this day and age? Well, again, no one. We have diving computers for that.
So, if such a deep dive, automatic, luxurious watch isn’t relevant in steel, why would it be relevant in two-tone steel and gold? That’s where the concept of luxury enters the game. Following this line of thought, no one objectively needs a 720bhp Ferrari or a 10k Euros Hermès bag. Yet, they sell (a lot). Relevance is the opposite of luxury, in a way. I’m sure some will disagree with me on that point. Certainly, a watch such as the Sea-Dweller should be (and is) relevant as an instrument and can perform superbly underwater. However, it isn’t its first function in today’s world.
Personally, I’m a true dive watch lover. I own several pieces but wear them mostly as normal everyday watches, behind my keyboard or for business meetings. And, in all fairness, I was skeptical when the Rolex Sea-Dweller Rolesor 126603 was unveiled at Baselworld 2019. I immediately questioned the very sense of this watch – and I’m sure many of you have too. Yet, once you start to think about how 99% of the steel Sea-Dwellers are worn, as statement pieces or as simple objects of pleasure for someone who wants to sport a robust and technical dive watch, I’m quite confident in saying that this Sea-Dweller Rolesor 126603 actually makes a lot of sense as a commercial product. For a simple reason: why not?
Now comes the question of its look. As I mentioned, I love dive watches and I love to wear them without having to worry about them and steel is the obvious option -coupled with the fact that I’m not a gold watch guy. However, strapping the 126603 on the wrist was (I hate to say it) surprisingly pleasant. This watch, at least to me, looks very cool. In fact, I dare say, it is even more attractive than the steel version. Who thought a two-tone deep dive watch could look that good?… Well, I have to admit that the Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm Rolesor 126603 pulls it off in style. And you’re more than allowed to disagree with me!
Feel free to comment and give your take on this watch!