What may seem like a few minor design changes here and there actually mean a lot of serious firsts with the new-for-2017 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller 50th Anniversary model reference 126600, making this replacement of the Sea-Dweller 4000 one of the more important releases of Baselworld 2017.
First and foremost, let’s begin with the tech specs, as with this new reference 126660, the Rolex Sea-Dweller has received five major updates: first, it has grown from 40mm to 43 millimeters wide, making for a very considerable difference between the Sea-Dweller 50th Anniversary and the Submariner (which is 40mm).
Second, it received a cyclops over the date, a first for Rolex Sea-Dweller replica watches and ascontroversial an update as the growth in size. Third, it is now powered not by the 3135 but the updated 3235 caliber (the same as the Datejust 41 reviewed here). Fourth, it has a redesigned bracelet that is now wider and makes for a more secure fit on the wrist. Last, but not least, it pays tribute to the original Sea-Dweller of 1967.
All this, of course, seriously changes the looks of the Rolex Sea-Dweller. The larger case and bracelet make it more proportionate by matching a greater diameter case with the existing thickness – that was arguably a bit disproportionate with the 40mm width of the previous 116600. Bear in mind that the thickness (no official figure on it yet but check the wristshots to get a good idea) is necessitated by the 4,000ft/1,220m water-resistance.
While in this regard the added width makes sense, the new-found cyclops – again, new for the Rolex Sea-Dweller altogether – arguably is an even more controversial decision. The Rolex Sea-Dweller, some argued, from the get-go should have been a larger alternative to the No-Date and Date Submariner models (instead, all three watches thus far had been 40mm wide) – but the cyclops, even Rolex admits, is a less obvious and more controversial addition.
A lesser-known fact is that the original Rolex Sea-Dweller fake watches UK of 1967 did not have a cyclops because when Rolex added it to the plexiglass front, it caused structural weaknesses in it and ultimately caused it to shatter before reaching the desired depth rating – and so the cyclops was omitted. The Rolex Sea-Dweller all until 2017 has maintained its cyclops-free looks, making yet another reason for it to be a Submariner alternative (as, clearly, not everyone is a fan of the cyclops-look). Now, in this regard, the Rolex Sea-Dweller is more in line with all other collections, with only the Deepsea now standing out from the rest, as it still does not have a cyclops over its date aperture.