Deepsea Challenge Incoming and Some Thoughts [LONG] :-))))))))))))))))))))))

Nov 19, 2022,00:48 AM

Hey guys, as I mentioned in my earlier threads, I liked this new release a LOT. I had a long-term appreciation for the crazy 1960 Deepsea Special, and the 2012 Deepsea Challenge, and used to think their coolness is just off the charts!!  When Rolex announced this model a few weeks ago with a vintage-inspired super-duper-matte dial, domed crystal and no date, I knew I was in trouble! Well, I’m happy to say that it finally came home with me. 😃 

My first Rolex diver after >12 years of collecting Rolex! 🤗  

I’m adding some pics, thoughts and observations. Thanks for looking!

1. First, we must take a look at its predecessors

I recall back in 2012, after the JC dive, collectors on different watch fora were speculating a production model. It was not available until now, the 10th anniversary of the JC dive!

2. Presentation box – 

Note the markings on the inner lid, as well as the “Oyster L MT” text on the sleeve. These are the correct box and sleeve for this watch. If you are getting a DSC, do not accept any other box/sleeve!

3. Watch dial – 

Notable features are the no-date matte black dial, flat “S”, and the pronounced Ring Lock. I haven’t seen this degree of “matte-ness” in any modern Rolex, including DSSDs, SDs, Explorers (both I, II; previous generation), Milgauss, Air King etc. etc.

4. Full Ocean Depth (FOD) rating 36O9Oft =11OOOm

[Fun Fact: Rolex uses the term “abyssal” multiple times in the brochure of this watch as well as in the promotional video. In Oceanographic terms, the Abyssal Zone refers to 4,000 to 6,000 meters of depth. This watch can go all the way down to the so-called “Hadal zone”, which describes depths more than 6000 m. From Wikipedia, “The name refers to Hades, the ancient Greek god of the underworld.”]

5. Magnificent curves of the Oyster case Note that the lugs are narrow, resulting in a nice sensuous case profile. You can also see that the outer edge of the lugs is chamfered.

The entire sports lineup of Rolex is built on the waterproof “oyster” concept. This is THE ULTIMATE OYSTER CASE, which even the mighty Mariana Trench cannot breach!!!!

For us land-dwellers it is difficult to fathom how intense the pressure can be at these depths. Look at what happens to a massive steel ball under a relatively “meager” pressure of 2000m:

Now imagine 5 times that pressure, and the oyster case above isn’t even going to break a sweat!!!!

6. Crown The crown is very large and easy to grasp. While locking the crown, you need to push it quite a bit towards the case, more than other Rolexes, before it catches the thread. Could be due to thicker O-ring, or thicker case in general. Note the dot-dash-dot symbol on the crown. Also, only the crown guards are polished, the rest of the case side is brushed.

7. HEVFor those days when you are not in the mood to go all the way down and only want to explore the shallower depths 😀😀😀… Note that only the valve is polished, the rest is brushed.

8. Domed sapphire –  Thickness of the sapphire is 9.5 mm!!! As a reference, JLC Master Ultra Thin Jubilee has a case thickness of ~4.05 mm. DSC crystal thickness itself is more than double of that!!

Can’t tell if they used AR coating on the underside of the crystal, but it is VERY legible, and seems to be showing less reflections compared to DSSD.

Comparison of crystal thickness – DSSD (5.5 mm) vs. DSC (9.5 mm):

9. Caseback engravings indicating the dates of the historic dives in the Mariana Trench

10. Size, wearability and comfort

Dimensions are VERY reasonable considering that it is one of the MOST EXTREME watches ever made, and it HAS TO BE BIG simply to maintain structural rigidity at that insane pressure (see its historical ancestors above). It was designed for that function, and that function only! Pure Form Follows Function design!

As I mentioned in an earlier thread, despite its big size, it is EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE to wear, provided IT IS PROPERLY FITTED FOR YOUR WRIST. It is also light, thanks to the Ti construction. Rolex did a FANTASTIC job making it wearable and comfortable! 

Thanks for reading this far! I will conclude with some wrist shots!!! 🤗 🙂

This is how it looks on my friend’s wrist, which is a little bigger than mine but not by much:

This message has been edited by FabR on 2022-11-19 02:23:03

More posts: 116600Air KingDeepseaMilgaussSea Dweller

  login to reply

Comments: view entire thread


Big boy!

 By: TeutonicCarFan : November 19th, 2022-01:07
Thanks for the photo journal

Nice photos

 By: sschew : November 19th, 2022-01:23
Good for you.

Congratulations! It's an interesting object, a feat of engineering and hopefully a harbinger of future titanium pieces...

 By: oyster case : November 19th, 2022-01:24
but, as I wrote upon release, I would never consider ownership as the piece is not designed to be worn. Enjoy!

Huge congratulations to this awesome score!

 By: ZSHSZ : November 19th, 2022-01:29
Truly an engineering marvel to say the lest. I saw it myself on display at my AD, and I like it quite a lot, and I must say that the ergonomics must be fantastic since at least in the glass display it doesn’t look as huge as I imagined. Your description i...  

Let's see if I can work some magic

 By: TeutonicCarFan : November 19th, 2022-01:37
AD favorite phrase🤣


 By: amanico : November 19th, 2022-08:20


 By: ZSHSZ : November 19th, 2022-16:03

This watch was just toooo cool to pass up ...

 By: diracpoint : November 19th, 2022-02:08
I think one reason I got it was I moved very quickly, and inquired/expressed interest within a week of its release. Fwiw, my SA said that there were 3 other interested parties ...🤷‍♂️ Thanks! 🙏😊

Once again huge congrats --- you have seriously landed one of the most interesting and technically remarkable Rolex releases in recent years! ;-)

 By: FabR : November 19th, 2022-02:23
PS: Equally big thanks for the superb presentation of this special piece! I cross posted it into our Editors Picks section, which contains a selection of the best/most significant articles published on WatchProSite: WatchProSite - Official WatchProSite Re... 

Thank you so much!🙏

 By: diracpoint : November 19th, 2022-02:49
It's indeed an honor to get cross-posted! Also, many thanks for your support during this journey!!😊😉

I heard if you wave around your arms…

 By: Francoamerican : November 19th, 2022-03:20
I heard if you wave around your arms under water it’s only good to 10,900 meters Just kidding I know that’s not how it works - congrats!

Thanks for having taken the time to share these thoughts with us and huge congrats on this terrific catch.

 By: amanico : November 19th, 2022-08:13
The most challenging point is its wearability. You wear it very well! I love this true tool watch a lot, mon ami. Oh yes, I love it! Best, Nicolas

Congrats on this technical tour de force!

 By: George Gently : November 19th, 2022-09:02
You wear it remarkable well, if I may add, so well, I’m considering a vist to my AD. George

This is what makes Rolex Rolex.

 By: mrds : November 19th, 2022-10:43
The only company that can pull this off, reliably, in a mass produced watch. I love it!!

+1! ;-)

 By: FabR : November 21st, 2022-10:41

Wow, thanks for the detailed write up.

 By: RabidManatee : November 19th, 2022-16:35
Although I don’t think I could pull it off this watch is an engineering marvel; as you said, form meets function — in that way very Rolex. I hope you get to go diving with it, or at least bring it into the ocean. Enjoy.

Great write up!

 By: Jakx : November 20th, 2022-00:25
The wider Ringlock adds a bit of 'wearability" to the design of the watch that is not unattractive; definitely a "I'm wearing an engineering marvel" feel.

Thanks! It's an unpopular opinion ...

 By: diracpoint : November 21st, 2022-02:15
but I'm starting to like the look of the pronounced ring-lock. It gives the dial a porthole look, which is further accentuated by the domed crystal!!! [Pic from web] ...  


 By: sschew : November 25th, 2022-18:25
that hurt

*** Adding couple of details that I forgot to mention/elaborate in the opening post ***

 By: diracpoint : November 20th, 2022-23:21
Just for future reference, in case anybody is interested ... 1. Lug width=24 mm 2. This one does have the fliplock extension (aka diver's extension). This feature inexplicably got removed from the 3rd gen DSSD (ref 136660) ...  

Hello Diracpoint! Big congrats on your new catch and thanks a lot for your wonderful report on this new awesome watch from Rolex. It´s a superb demonstration of Rolex technical capabilities...

 By: Subexplorer : November 22nd, 2022-12:33
... to make their wonderful watches and introduce innovations to make them so desirable. Enjoy it so much and in the best of good health! Abel

You are welcome!! Cheers! Abel

 By: Subexplorer : November 23rd, 2022-20:27

Another tidbit --- *** Laser Etched Crown ***

 By: diracpoint : November 25th, 2022-01:17
The super-domed crystal does have the LEC. Just for future reference ... ...  

Thank you so much! 🙏😊

 By: diracpoint : November 26th, 2022-00:49
I'm pretty happy with it so far! 🤗 ...  


 By: diracpoint : November 26th, 2022-15:59