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.
Technically, the ROLEX DEEPSEA CHALLENGE is an enhanced version of the commercial 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 nitrogenalloyed 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 screwdown case back made of grade 5 titanium.
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 paramagnetic 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.
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 1 5,000 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.
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