Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126603: Singapore Price And Review

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Rolling in the deep.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126603

Each year in the lead up to Baselworld, Rolex fans (okay, and most of us in the watch media) experience an anticipation we can only describe as that of children yearning for Christmas morning, when they finally get to unwrap their presents.

In this case, the presents are Rolex’s new slew of watches for the year. And like every well-oiled marketing locomotive, the team at Rolex keeps its new releases under the proverbial lock and key so the big reveal is worth the wait.

 

This year, the Swiss giant unveiled a number of timepieces that, to the average person, may not seem groundbreaking; but to Rolex aficionados, they’re long-awaited and very welcome. Like the ‘Batman’ GMT-Master II and the Yacht-Master 42, respectively.

And then there’s the Sea-Dweller.

Now fans who’ve been following the brand will remember Rolex last updated its Sea-Dweller range in 2017. Back then, it revealed the first Sea-Dweller to feature a Cyclops lens (below) and paid tribute to the original with the model name emblazoned in red, just like it was in 1967.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600
Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600, from 2017

For 2019, it’s kept the Cyclops lens (because, why wouldn’t you?) but changed the colour of the model name to a shade of yellow in keeping with the new aesthetic of the watch in yellow Rolesor. The bezel, crown and middle links of the watch are in 18K yellow gold while the case and outer links are in Oystersteel.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126603

If you’re thinking you’ve seen this watch before, you’re not entirely wrong. Google ‘Rolex Ref. 116613LN’ and you’ll get pictures of its doppelganger—the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116613LN. What’s the difference between the Sea-Dweller and the Submariner then? Thought you’d never ask. Although both are part of Rolex’s dive watch collection, here are some differences to note.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126603Profile of the new Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126603 with its helium escape valve, a feature found only on the Sea-Dweller and Deepsea models

Call it market testing if you will, but the black-dial-yellow-Rolesor combo was a winner on the Submariner, and it makes complete sense that it’s now replicated in the Sea-Dweller. Moreover, this is the first time 18K yellow gold has been used in the Sea-Dweller collection, making this new model rather special indeed.

Like all of Rolex’s sports models, getting your hands on the Sea-Dweller won’t be easy. A check with retailers confirmed they have yet to receive stocks and we’re likely looking at the last quarter of the year for the first ones to arrive.

With that in mind, it’s always good to put your name down with your trusted AD and cross your fingers for that call. It also gives you time to put your name down for what we think is really one of the most desirable Rolex models of the year.

Case

43mm Oystersteel with 18K yellow gold bezel and crown

Dial

Black with gloss and fine satin finish, hour markers and hands in 18K yellow gold with Chromalight luminescence

Movement

Manufacture Rolex Calibre 3235

Bracelet

Oyster bracelet in yellow Rolesor

Functions

Hours, minutes, seconds, instantaneous date at three o'clock with secure rapid-setting, stop-seconds for precise time-setting

Power Reserve

70 hours

Price

S$21,600

Tagged under dive watch
Melissa Kong

Managing Editor

Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".