To the deepest reaches of the oceans
The Watch Quote™ - March 22nd, 2012
Objective: 11,000 metres under the sea:
True to its passion for underwater exploration, Rolex is taking an active part in the Deepsea Challenge expedition of film-maker and explorer James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) in partnership with the National Geographic Society. The expedition aims to reach and explore the deepest point in the oceans at a depth of about 11,000 metres (36,100 feet) in the Mariana Trench (Pacific Ocean).
An experimental Oyster watch
Rolex has developed and manufactured an exceptional experimental model for the dive: the Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea Challenge, guaranteed waterproof to the extreme depth of 12,000 metres (39,370 feet). The watch confirms Rolex’s tradition of excellence in the field of mechanical watches and its position as the leading brand in waterproofness. Designed to accompany James Cameron as he dives to the point known as Challenger Deep, south-west of the island of Guam, the Rolex Deepsea Challenge will be fixed to the the submersible’s manipulator arm.
The Triestre bathyscaphe 1960
Echoing the historic dive of 1960
Deep Sea Special 1960
Both James Cameron’s expedition and the Rolex Deepsea Challenge directly echo the bathyscaphe Trieste’s historic dive on 23 January 1960, the first and, so far, only manned dive to what was then the deepest-known point in the Mariana Trench. On that exploit, an experimental Oyster model, the Deep Sea Special, attached to the hull accompanied the Trieste into the abyss. It reached the record depth of 10,916 metres (35,814 feet), returning to the surface in perfect working order, a feat that remains unrivalled to this day.
The Triestre bathyscaphe 1960
A natural partnership
The Deepsea Challenger submersible 2012
Rolex is therefore a natural partner for the Deepsea Challenge expedition, a project that combines human adventure and technological innovation, the pursuit of excellence and pushing the limits of man’s potential. Such endeavours correspond to the brand’s core values and the philosophy inherited from its founder, Hans Wilsdorf. The Trieste’s dive in 1960 marked the culmination of Rolex’s relationship with the underwater world. And the partnership with James Cameron’s expedition marks a new and no less spectacular milestone in the history of the brand’s privileged ties with the oceans. A history dating back to 1926 and the invention of the Oyster, the world’s first-ever waterproof wristwatch.
The experimental Rolex Deepsea Challenge perpetuates the adventure of the Oyster and the pioneering spirit of innovation that has forged the reputation of Rolex.
Rolex Deepsea Challenge
A watch for the deepest of the deep
The Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea Challenge is an experimental divers’ watch guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 12,000 metres (39,370 feet), entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex to resist the extreme pressure present in the deepest reaches of the oceans. It is manufactured by an entirely integrated watchmaker with unparalleled design, development and production capacities.
A case architecture ready to reach beyond the abyssal depths
Technically, the Rolex Deepsea Challenge is an enhanced version of the com- mercial Rolex Deepsea professional divers’ watch (guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 3,900 metres or 12,800 feet) introduced in 2008. The new experimental watch is 51.4 mm in diameter and 28.5 mm thick. Its design is based on the Ringlock System case architecture of the Rolex Deepsea. This intricate three-piece case architecture, developed and patented by Rolex, features a highly resistant nitrogen- alloyed stainless steel support ring as the backbone of the watch. Placed inside the middle case made of 904L stainless steel superalloy, it supports a 14.3 mm thick domed sapphire crystal, made of high-purity aluminium oxide, and a 5.3 mm screw- down case back made of grade 5 titanium.
In the wake of the Rolex Deepsea
The Rolex Deepsea Challenge is fitted with a patented Triplock screw-down winding crown with a triple waterproofness system, the same type that equips all Rolex divers’ watches. It also has other technical features of the Rolex Deepsea
, such as a unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel with a Cerachrom insert in ceramic; a Chromalight display with long-lasting luminescence (hands and hour markers); a self-winding mechanical movement (calibre 3135) with a para- magnetic blue Parachrom hairspring; and a solid-link Oyster bracelet fitted with an Oysterlock clasp with a safety catch and the Rolex Glidelock and Fliplock diving extension systems.
A true rolex divers’ watch
The Rolex Deepsea Challenge is a true divers’ watch, both technically and aesthetically a worthy member of the Rolex Oyster Professional family of watches. To comply with the stringent certification requirements for divers’ watches, the watch is tested by Rolex in a specially created hyperbaric tank at a pressure of 1,500 bars, corresponding to the pressure at a depth of 15,000 metres (nearly 50,000 feet), 25% greater than the depth to which the watch is guaranteed waterproof. At a depth of 15,000 metres, the load exerted on the crystal is 17 tonnes (13.6 tonnes at 12,000 metres), and on the case back nearly 23 tonnes; a total of some 40 tonnes is borne by the support ring in the middle case.
A symbol of supremacy
The Rolex Deepsea Challenge symbolizes the brand’s supremacy in mastering waterproofness. Its spirit and the real-life circumstances for which it was developed echo the approach adopted for the Rolex experimental Deep Sea Special model, which in 1960 accompanied the bathyscaphe Trieste on its record descent to a depth of 10,916 metres (35,815 feet) at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
Perpetuating the pioneering spirit
The Rolex Deepsea Challenge embodies all the heritage and technical and watchmaking know-how of a pioneering brand in wristwatches. This status is demon- strated by Rolex’s invention in 1926 of the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch in history, as well as by all the divers’ watches, such as the Submariner and the Sea-Dweller, launched by the brand since the 1950s.
Human adventure and technological innovation
This watch bears witness in a spectacular way to the privileged ties that link Rolex to exploration in general and to the underwater world in particular. The Rolex Deepsea Challenge perpetuates a story combining human adventure and technology, innovation and the constant pursuit of excellence. An adventure punctuated with exceptional moments, some of which have entered the annals of history, when Rolex watches have proven their mettle under extreme conditions by accompanying men and women in their quest for the absolute.