First, let’s start with the technical specifications, with the new reference number 126660, the Rolex Sea-Dweller gets five major updates: first of all, it increases its width from 40 mm to 43 mm, which makes a huge difference between the Rolex Sea-Dweller. -resident 50th anniversary and the Submariner (40mm long). Secondly, it received the Cyclops on that day, a first for the Rolex Sea-Dweller and controversial as it grew in size. Third, it is now powered not by the 3135, but by the newer 3235 movement (the same as the Datejust 41 reviewed here). Fourth, its bracelet has been redesigned and is now wider for a more secure fit on the wrist. Last but not least, it pays homage to the original 1967 sea dwellers.
All of this, of course, would seriously change the look of the Rolex Sea-Dweller Oyster 43 mm Oystersteel 126600 . The larger case and bracelet could be made more proportionate by matching the larger diameter case to the existing thickness – arguably a bit out of proportion with the 40mm width of the previous 116600. Keep in mind that the thickness (no official figures yet, but check that water resistance to 4,000ft / 1,220m is required.
While adding width makes sense in this regard, the newly discovered Cyclops (once again, brand new to the Rolex Sea-Amateur) is arguably the more controversial decision. Some have argued that the Rolex Sea-Dweller should have been a replacement for the No-Date and Date Submariner models from the start (instead, all three have been 40mm wide so far) – but even the Cyclops is, as Rolex admits, a less obvious and more controversial addition.
The little known fact is that the original 1967 Rolex Sea Dweller did not have a Cyclops because when Rolex added it to the Plexiglas front, it created a structural weakness and eventually broke it until it reached the required depth rating – hence the omission of the Cyclops. Up until 2017, the Rolex Sea-Dweller remained Cyclops-free, making it yet another reason for the Submariner replacement (apparently, not everyone likes the Cyclops look). Now, for that matter, the Rolex Sea Watch is more in line with all the others, with only the Deepsea standing out among the others because it still doesn’t have a small ring for the date range.
As we’ve already noted, the movement is the new 3235, a self-winding caliber entirely designed and manufactured by Rolex itself, which conforms to Rolex’s -2 / + 2 second daytime accuracy (all the details here) and offers 70 hours of power reserve over the previous Rolex Submarine Chronograph 48 hours. Thus, it features a Rolex large-capacity barrel, Chronergy escapement with paramagnetic nickel-phosphorus escapement fork and escapement wheel, Paraflex shock absorber, Parachrom hairspring, large balance with Microstella variable inertia lugs, and an operating frequency of 4Hz.