The big news at Baselworld 2017 for Rolex is the release of the NEW 50th anniversary of the Sea-Dweller 4000. For some watch journalists this came as a complete surprise but for me I had heard rumblings about this watch for almost a year. It’s NOT that crazy that Rolex would release a watch like this but at the same time I am excited for this very welcomed addition to the Rolex family.
The first Rolex Sea-Dweller models were released back in 1967. These weren’t always so well received. The distinguishing factor from the Submariner was that it was more water resistant and that it didn’t have a magnifier/cyclops over the date. Today the vintage Rolex Sea Dweller models are very coveted and command a small fortune, especially the ones with red writing.
Aside from the Rolex Deep Sea models, this NEW 50th anniversary Sea Dweller 4000 is the biggest Sea Dweller produced in the last 50 years. This watch is constructed out of steel and is 43mm in case diameter. Finally Rolex has produced the ultimate divers watch period! It has all the right proportions.
The Rolex Deep Sea is cool but the proportions are all out of whack! It kind of looks like Mr Potato head in that it has large case with a narrow/tappered bracelet which looks like a big head with little feet. The only thing that pisses me off about the NEW 50th anniversary Sea-Dweller 4000 is that there is has the annoying magnifier/bubble over the date. Not having this over the date is what I liked most about the Sea-Dweller models. The rumor is that Rolex always wanted this bubble/magnifier over the date on the Sea-Dweller models but it would always pop off when in testing because of the pressure. This sort of changes the landscape of the Sea-Dweller model even if Rolex are trying to evolve it as a more modern day watch.
The best part on the NEW 50th anniversary Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 model is the bigger 43 mm case and how “Sea-Dweller” is written in red like the vintage models of the past. The current non anniversary Rolex Sea Dweller has a 40mm case and doesn’t have the iconic red writing. In my opinion and in a perfect world, Rolex needs to get rid of the steel Deep Sea but keep the James Cameron Deep Sea. They should also get rid of the non 50th anniversary Sea-Dweller model. This NEW version is all one needs. If you want a 40mm dive watch in the Rolex collections buy the No-Date Sub or the Sub Date. I wish Rolex would release a No-Date Sub with red writing. That would be the only way I would ever buy I Submariner.
When you look at the cost of the NEW 50th anniversary Deep Sea 4000 model, it’s still high for a steel dive watch but not bad for an anniversary addition that will be nearly impossible to get. The official retail is $11,350. This is almost 3k more than a Submariner with Date which retails for $8,550. It’s quite the premium but you are getting a newer movement, bigger case and red writing. It’s $950 more than the smaller non anniversary Sea-Dweller 4000 which retails for $10,400. That being said it would be the first time since I was 20 years old that I may consider wearing a Rolex with a Date magnifier over the date.
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