In Rolex world, even a millimeter's difference or some red text can be major news. So today's announcement that the brand introduced its very first fully titanium watch would be a big deal on its own. But the new Sea-Dweller Deepsea Challenge 126067 watch also recalls the brand's history of pioneering deep dives and is tested to withstand water pressure greater than anywhere on earth.
It might have a familiar look: this is a version of Rolex's 3,900m-water-resistant Sea-Dweller Deepsea — which itself is like a hardcore version of the famous Submariner. It's essentially the commercial version of the prototype watch Rolex made for filmmaker James Cameron to explore the Mariana Trench a decade ago in 2012. You've still got a helium escape valve (but no date display), but this one takes the hardcore diving credentials even further.
Aside from being produced in titanium, it's a hulking 50mm wide and rated water-resistant to no less than 11,000m. That's just its rating, though, and Rolex actually tested the watch to 125% of that (as is standard for dive watches) meaning a depth of 13,750m. Rolex worked with Comex just to develop a new tank capable of testing this level of pressure.
These impressive specs necessitated a chunky case, so lightweight titanium will help cut down on its surely significant heft and it's finished (unusually for modern Rolex) with a deeply brushed texture and polished chamfers. While the Deepsea Challenge is Rolex's first commercially available watch fully made in titanium, the brand previously tested a titanium Yacht-Master prototype leading to speculation about when the brand might finally release a watch in the popular material. It's also used the same Grade 5 titanium for the casebacks of Deepsea watches, which it names RLX Titanium.
Rolex fans will be at once excited by a dramatic development from the brand but also frustrated at a watch that borders on unwearable — at least for most wrists. It's cool to see the brand get daring with releases not necessarily aimed at the mainstream, but it's most enticing as a step towards the kind of titanium Rolex watches you might dream about actually getting and wearing. If you do want to strap all 251g of this beast on your wrist it'll cost you $26,000 — though don't expect it to be a lot easier to get other Rolex sport watches.