Rolex just created their first ever titanium watch and… oh my god it’s massive. The 50mm RLX Titanium Rolex Deepsea Challenge was inspired by James Cameron’s (Avatar, Terminator 2) historic 10,908-metre dive into the Mariana Trench in 2012. How? Because the Deepsea Challenge has a depth rating of 11,000m!
This depth rating is a cool and innovative thing to have, and you could argue that it isn’t needed at all as how many people are going to dive to such a depth? To counter that, how many people even take a standard Submariner diving at all? The idea that tool watches are used for their original purpose nowadays is long gone. We have cheaper and more advanced alternatives (like a computer dive watch) to the point where tool watches are merely another style of watch.
This level of water resistance is so high mostly thanks to Rolex’s patented Ringlock system. This system also allows the watch to be thinner than it otherwise would be (and it’s a chunky boy still at 23mm in thickness). A stainless-steel ring is in place to help mitigate stress and pressure from extreme depths. A 9.5mm chamfered sapphire crystal is then mounted onto both that stainless-steel ring and the caseback.
Other features to help with water resistance include a Triplock screw-down crown and a helium escape valve at 9 o’clock.
Fun fact, they actually tested this at 25% beyond its depth rating at 13,750m with the help of COMEX, a French company specialising in engineering and deep diving operations.
The downside of all this is that this is a big watch. The dial is 50mm, it’s 23mm thick, and has a monstrous 63mm lug-to-lug measurement. You’d have to be as big as Schwarzenegger to make this watch look natural on the wrist. Thanks to the grade 5 titanium, it does weigh about 40% less than it would have if it was steel, so silver linings?
Inside you’ve got the same movement found in the Rolex Submariner, the calibre 3230. This features a superlative chronometer precision of +2/-2 seconds per day, a 70-hour power reserve, and a paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring.
Naturally, you can also find a diver’s clasp on the titanium bracelet so you can adjust it according to your wetsuit. So there is the option to actually use this when you dive, though at 11,000m you certainly wouldn’t be outside of a submarine unless you felt like being as flat as a pancake.
These are available for enquiries and are priced at $26,000 USD (~$40,530 AUD).
At A Glance
Dimensions: 50mm x 23mm x 61mm
Material: RLX Titanium (grade 5 titanium alloy), black Cerachrom bezel with platinum scale inlays
Water Resistance: 11,000m (screw-down crown)
Strap: RLX Titanium Glidelock and fliplock extension Oyster bracelet
Movement: In-house automatic 3230 calibre
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Price: $26,000 USD
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