Today, there was a watchfair in Houten/Netherlands. There is currently nothing on my ‘shortlist’, but it is only a half an hour drive from the city where I live in, and it’s always nice to meet up with some other watch fanatics. It seemed that the whole Dutch Rolex Forum crew was there. I also shook hands with a few of my forum sponsors, including JK of JK Watchstore.

He showed me this new Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea, a.k.a Rolex Dipsy (ref.116660). Although Rolex is catching up with the orders of this watch, it isn’t a watch that you’ll see often for the coming months. The watch is BIG. At first sight, a lot bigger than my regular Sea-Dweller (ref.16600) and my fairly big IWC Ingenieur (3227-01). However, after trying it on, it actually suited my wrist quite perfectly. This also could be a sign for me to keep a bit more control of my weight ofcourse. 😉

Anyway, the watch looks big and is big. But if you can, try one on to be sure if it suits you or not. On the Basel 2008 pictures and photos (see below) I had seen till now I reckoned that the lettering ‘Original Gas Escape Valve’ and ‘Ring Lock System’ on the innerbezel would annoy me. It didn’t. I actually didn’t even notice it at first, only when I studied the dial/face a bit better. Too bad the photos on the official Rolex site are focussing a bit too much on this lettering. Well, perhaps some people DO like it.

The thickness of the watch suits the large diameter of 43mm. The bracelet is the same as the ‘old’ Sea-Dweller bracelet, until you flip it and see the clasp. The new clasp system is a 100% improvement over the old clasp (that probably wasn’t too hard to achieve). The micro adjustment can be done with minimum effort but pulling the middle part of the GlideLock(r) clasp and re-adjust it. Very nice. The only con I can think of, is the size of the bracelet. In my humble opinion, the bracelet should be a straight bracelet (everywhere the same size) instead of a tapered model. Perhaps a nice rubber diving strap will do the trick 😉 I don’t know if the Panerai OEM rubber strap will fit, but that will probably look very cool.

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Here are some pictures from JK’s website:

Rolex Sea-Dweller DeepSea 116660

DeepSea Rolex Sea-Dweller Dipsy 116660

The price of this watch is 7060 Euro (BNIB, 2008) at JK’s watch store.

Additionally, JK sent me some more pictures of the GlideLock clasp.

Robert-Jan Broer
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Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Robert-Jan Broer
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  • The width of the bracelet is ‘ only’ 21 mm; in that case a Panerai strap doesn’t fit.

    Did you mention that there’s nothing locking about the turning bezel? Pressed on it will tun, however not pressed on it can turn easily as well (the two examples I tried at least).

    Does anyone know what the ‘ring lock system’ -as indicated in the inne ring – means? Does it probably lock automatically when in water 😉

    Regards,

    Gerard

  • Too bad. Perhaps a pair of scissors could be used to cut a 22mm rubber strap to 21 mm 🙂

    I don’t know about the ring lock system, haven’t tried it. The watch was BNIB and the bezel had the plastic protector attached…

  • Thanks for these insights Robert-Jan, and I hope the watchfair was fun!

    As you alluded to there are many strong opinions of the Sea-Dweller Deepsea, and I for one have not been a fan of the new lettering (“original gas escape valve” etc.) and so it is interesting to hear that, in person, this is not so prominent. Because definitely in many photos it is very prominent!

    So thanks for some fresh and highly respected insight on this!

    Kyle

  • john coen

    This is the best Rolex ever. Buy 2, one to wear and one to keep as an investment. If Hans Wildorf were alive, he’d build this watch. Best Swiss watch ever.

  • Mike Walters

    Just ordered one of these from a Rolex authorised dealer in Liverpool, UK. I’ve seen varying views on the web about the appearance of the watch. Some like it some don’t. This just goes to prove the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. I for one think it is a gorgeous watch (even so I for one couldn’t stretch to 2 of them!!).

  • alex

    when i first saw this watch i knew one day it will be mine.and that day is really soon.i will buy it for my birthday 4th of may.as they say men recieve their best presents from themselves.its a really really nice watch.i never thought i will ever buy a rolex cause when you see all the older ones next to my omega po 45.5mm they look bit girly but this one is an exception.rolex finally builted a watch for the younger generation!!

  • Douglas Sawyer

    I bought a DeepSea in late Feb 09. It is a lot bigger & heavier than the SeaDweller but really grows on you. There are numerous improvements over the SD. The solid centre links, the Glidelock clasp. I particularly like that there are minute markers all around the bezel. I have no regrets about buying this watch.

  • Sam Chow

    Greatest Rolex ever! Finally a true successor to the #16600. Rolex needed to do this watch to prove a point. No Swatch Group junk or shared “modified” movements. All in house. Comex helped with it. It’s a true tool Rolex and not a feminine model with gold and diamonds. They won’t make as much $ on this model but with the new SUB being close to $7000, this is a bargain for much more engineering and exclusivity. Rolex won’t make many and this is harder to make a copy of. They’ll also do a mid run change making early models with the script true collector grade. I’m buying 3 of them!

  • Hey great blog and great pics. I’m not sure about the Panerai OEM strap fitting, but I’d love to see the DSSD on a nato! I think the only thing that would offset the look is the thickness of the case… but still, I bet it would look sweet.

    People either love or hate nato straps =/ They look great on black dial subs – like that black-out sub that Kanye West sports!