Rolex describes its new model, the Challenge from the depths, as “a watch that defies limits”. This implies depth and atmospheric stress limits along with engineering, because the Deepsea Problem is designed to have the ability to function as much as 11,000 meters, or practically 7 miles, underwater. However you would be forgiven for concluding that it additionally means the depths of logic. Rolex already provides a watch rated at 3,900 meters (the $12,950 Deepsea Sea-Dweller), which far exceeds human survivability (the deepest ocean tour ever for a saturation diver, in 1988, peaking at 534 meters). What then might be the justification for nearly tripling a capability that may solely be skilled in idea, requiring a watch so massive that it pushes one other restrict, that of portability?
The reply that Rolex may moderately give is: as a result of it will possibly. But additionally as a result of it was crucial. The Deepsea Problem is the centerpiece of a succession of ultra-deep watches that started in 1960, when the corporate despatched an experimental watch, the Deep Sea Particular, hooked up to the Trieste bathyscaphe throughout its interval descent to the underside from the deepest place on Earth, the Mariana Trench within the Pacific, reaching a depth of 10,911 meters (the watch, sporting an enormous bulbous glass dome above its dial, labored completely).
In 2012, filmmaker James Cameron did his personal dive to the underside of the ditch within the Deepsea Challenger submersible, with one other, considerably extra fashionable, experimental Rolex strapped to the surface. In a way, the brand new watch might be seen as a slice of unfinished enterprise from Rolex: based mostly on the watch that plumbed the depths with Cameron, it lastly makes commercially accessible what was for six many years purely experimental. As an expression of engineering ability, this actually cannot be beat.
For a second, nevertheless, it appeared prefer it had. Despite the fact that it invented the idea, Rolex is not alone in making the watches’ barely unfathomable depth capabilities the final word technical flex. Whereas a bunch of manufacturers provide watches with a ranking of 1000 meters or extra, the battle was actually joined by Omega in 2019 when it despatched its personal Experimental Seamaster reveals on the backside of the Mariana Trench, affixed to the submersible of the adventurer Victor Vescovo. Not solely did this give Omega the victory by having probably the most traveled watch – reaching 10,916 meters, surpassing Cameron (10,908 meters) by 8 meters – however Omega additionally developed a commercially accessible mannequin. The Seamaster Ultra Deep Propriced at £10,350 (about $11,883), arrived earlier this 12 months however with a depth ranking of 6,000 meters, a feat Rolex has now virtually doubled.