Here it is… The big one for Rolex this year, the one that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the model, the new Sea-Dweller Single Red. More than expected to be launched, Rolex actually surprises us with a watch featuring a vintage reference. Unusual… But in fact, besides this red line, there is much more to be seen in this new Rolex Sea-Dweller Single Red Ref. 126600.
First things first, Rolex does celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sea-Dweller, a watch launched as a professional tool in 1967, and the first watch commercialized with a helium escape valve. For once, Rolex includes a vintage reference in one of its models, clearly not what we expected, but yet exactly what the collectors were waiting for: a “red Sea-Dweller”. Indeed, the name of the watch, just like in the old days, is printed in that bright red color that most vintage collectors praised. Still, besides that, this new Rolex Sea-Dweller Single Red Ref. 126600 has much more to offer.
The case here does evolve. Not in material (904L stainless steel), not in shape (still the traditional and iconic Rolex dive watch look) but in size. The Rolex Sea-Dweller Single Red Ref. 126600 does indeed measures 43mm, meaning that it has grew of 3mm, compared to the previous Sea-Dwelelr 4000 ref. 116600 introduced in 2014 – which doesn’t appear on Rolex’ website anymore. For the rest, the helium escape valve is in its right place and the ceramic bezel too, with a fully graduated 60-minute scale. The Sea-Dweller Single Red Ref. 126600 is still water resistant to 4000ft / 1220m. It features an oyster bracelet with Oysterlock safety clasp and diver extension.
In terms of evolutions, we also note the apparition of a cyclops on the dial, something rather surprising as the model never was fitted with it before. Very Rolex in the look, this cyclops will certainly please modern collectors, maybe vintage passionates. It will be a matter of perspective. The hands and the markers are equal to the previous model, of course enlarged to fit the new 43mm diameter. They are all coated with the usual blue Chromalight luminescent material.
Last but not least, the 2017 Rolex Sea-Dweller Single Red Ref. 126600 now features the latest generation of movement by Rolex, the Calibre 3235 (same as Datejust 41), with the 70h power reserve, Chronergy escapement blue Parachrom hairspring, high-capacity barrel, efficient gear train and new self-winding module. The design and finishing of the movement has also been greatly improved compared to the older 31xx series.
The 2017 Rolex Sea-Dweller Single Red Ref. 126600 will be available at CHF 10,800. More later when we’ll have our hands on the watch.