The Rolex SEA-DWELLER 4000 SINGLE RED is the first Rolex I have allowed to test on my blog! Since 1967, deep-sea diving watches have been a regular in the luxury manufacturer’s collections.
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The History of the Rolex Sea-Dweller
“The watch that conquers the deep sea” – this is how Rolex describes the Sea-Dweller. A glance at the watch’s black dial shows that they didn’t underestimate the case. This dive watch is water resistant to 1220 meters (4000 feet). This means that the Sea-Dweller is only surpassed internally by the Deepsea, with a similar build (maximum diving depth of 3900 meters) that makes other Swiss dive watches look dated.
The first replica Rolex Sea-Dweller (then model 1665) was introduced in 1967. Its introduction was the result of a collaboration between Rolex and French diving company Comex to invent the helium valve. The helium valve allows significantly greater diving depths. Visually and historically, the Sea-Dweller is a descendant of Rolex’s most famous diver’s watch, the Submariner. This model is still considered a superb “diving watch” and has found numerous imitators since its release. The Rolex Sea-Dweller also shows its kinship with the icon. Originally equipped with water resistance to a depth of 610 meters, the Swiss luxury watchmaker has been careful and steady since then to develop its deep-sea divers.
Over the past few decades, Rolex has introduced sea-dwellers with different dials. Today, different fonts, font types, colors and lighting techniques determine the value of a used Sea-Dweller. The price of a vintage model in pristine condition is beyond good and evil.
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red – what’s new?
My test watch today, serial number 126600, is from 2019 and belongs to the latest generation of the Rolex Sea-Dweller, launched in 2017 for its 50th anniversary. Since its launch four years ago, the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red has demonstrated three major innovations. First of all, Rolex again printed the name lettering in red on the dial, which also explains the addition of the name. Additionally, for the first time, a certified chronometer gets Rolex’s signature Cyclops magnifying glass at 3 o’clock. The most striking change, however, is the case size, which has now grown from 3mm to 43mm – a true epitome of Sea-Dweller history. How these changes affect the design and prestige of the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red, I wanted to find out in testing. I’m curious!
Rolex’s debut at WATCHDAVID® – what a great one! Anyone who gets their hands on a Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red for the first time will understand why this model, and more importantly, the brand itself, is so prestigious. The Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red seems (at least at first glance) to be the perfect watch. Starting with the watch’s iconic design, the Sea-Dweller looks like an enlarged version of the Submariner from a distance. It is no accident that the dial, bezel and sporty Oyster case, including the stainless steel bracelet, are made with the utmost precision. Opposite the crown, the helium valve is installed, the invention of which first made possible the construction of deep-sea diving watches.
A tentative tentative conclusion: Anyone who has ever held a traditional Swiss manufacturer watch in their hands is in for “Rolex fever.”
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red on the wrist
Get your hands on it! Worn on the wrist, the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red exudes a perfect blend of elegance, sportiness, prestige and exclusivity. One thing is clear: anyone wearing these rare luxury watches communicates taste, success and the values just mentioned. Only a few watch brands and models trigger these versatile associations. The Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red is undoubtedly one of them.
With the change in 2017, Rolex fake seems to have listened to its customers. They have been asking for bigger cases for a long time. The 43mm watch size has changed significantly, so the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red now sits between the 40mm Submariner and the 44mm Deepsea. The decisive difference from the slightly larger branch is the height, the Sea-Dweller is 15mm tall, which is why the watch is flatter on the wrist. Despite the increase in diameter, the height remains the same compared to its predecessor.
Proof of the Deep: The Case
The name Sea-Dweller is closely associated with the deep sea and the desire to reach greater diving depths. Rolex’s latest diving experiment to date, the Sea Envoy Deep Sea Challenge, took place in 2012 and generated great public interest. Film director James Cameron dives to a depth of nearly 10,900 meters in the Mariana Trench with a special ship attached to a submarine.
The Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red did not achieve such a record, although its named diving depth of 4000 feet or 1220 meters was also impressive. This watch achieves this value thanks to its massive Oyster case. At Rolex, the name Oyster stands for a case that is water-resistant to at least 100 meters. This is achieved through a compact one-piece middle section, screw-down caseback and screw-down crown. Rolex’s Oystersteel is an extremely high-quality 904L stainless steel; a particularly corrosion-resistant alloy, so it is mainly used in the aerospace or high-tech industries. The surface is polished and satin-finished to give the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red a sporty look.
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red bezel, crystal and crown.
The bezel is made of Cerachrom developed by Rolex and is a true diver’s bezel that rotates unidirectionally counter-clockwise, ideal for reading dive and decompression times. The 60-minute scale on the digital dial allows the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red to dive for up to an hour. The numbers on the dial have been platinum plated during the manufacturing process. The bezel is particularly easy to maneuver, thanks to the clean clicks and grooved sides. Especially underwater, this is critical.
Watch glass, including the Cyclops magnifying glass, protrudes from the edge of the bezel with a slight curvature. Befitting its status, it is made of scratch-resistant sapphire, whose pressure and shock resistance protects the dial from external influences. The era of legibility and legibility deserves special praise. This also applies to the Cyclops magnifying glass, which now expands the date window on the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red. Previously, this was more of a Submariner logo.
I first depressed the winding crown to wind the Rolex-made calibre 3235. As I did this, I noticed the three dots under the crown logo. They stand for so-called triple interlocking triple crown seals. The winding crown itself can be easily operated. The crown protector, which consists of two protrusions on the case, is useful.
Calibre 3235 – top-of-the-line movement
Caliber 3235 has been installed in Rolex watches since 2015, replacing the 3135 on which it was based. At launch, the Sea-Dweller was the first sports watch to be powered by a new generation of self-winding manufacturing movements. The manufacturer has registered no less than 14 patents during the development of the movement. This pioneering work is paying off. When it comes to precision, the 3235 is unmatched. The Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red has a timekeeping accuracy of -2/+2 seconds per day and is certified as a chronometer by the independent Swiss testing agency COSC.
In addition to accuracy, high shock resistance and insensitivity to magnetic fields ensure a long service life. Rolex states a five-year warranty. With a maximum power reserve of around 70 hours, the 3235 proved to be a true workhorse, competent in most races.
The function of the movement is quickly explained. In addition to the hours, minutes and seconds, the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red features automatic date changes, including quick corrections. The second hand can be stopped to set the time to seconds.
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red Dial
Does the perfect watch face exist? Rolex can answer this question with a “yes”. Because these properties pretty much describe what you see when you glance at your wrist to tell the time. Since the introduction of the first Sea-Dweller in 1967, Rolex hasn’t changed much in its signature black dial – and rightly so. A lot of people probably think of this look when they think of a typical dive watch. With its round hour markers, streamlined and functional design language, and optimal readability reserved for Rolex professional models, the manufacturer has defined the typical diver’s watch look for decades.
The Chromalight display makes the dial of the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red glow in the dark. According to best Rolex, the Chromalight index is evenly bright for up to eight hours at a time. This is much longer than most other watches. However, for most fans of the brand, the reintroduction of the red font may be one of the highlights.
Finally, let’s look at the bracelet. Rolex has equipped its Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red with the classic Oyster bracelet, which is characteristic of its sports models. The three-link stainless steel bracelet can be opened and adjusted on the Oystersafe folding clasp with locking clasp. The precise adjustment of the length is done by the Glidelock system, which allows the bracelet to be extended in 10 steps. Another feature is the Fliplock element, another extension that allows the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red to slip comfortably over any wetsuit.
Rolex has managed to intelligently fit extended functions into the bracelet, saving space and making it elegant.
The quest “Find the watch of my dreams” moves on to the next round. One thing is for sure: the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red is a true contender for the championship. The Rolex Deep Sea Diver is one of the most luxurious and beautiful diving watches I have ever worn on my wrist. If you compare the individual components such as case, movement and dial with the competition, you have to admit without envy that the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red is better in every corner and the materials are of higher quality, thus establishing the standard. The calibre 3235 exemplifies this, and its quality is convincing as the all-rounder under test.
Compared to its predecessor, Rolex has made a number of changes that make the Sea-Dweller more attractive. The increased diameter follows the trend of larger and larger dive watches. The Cyclops magnifying glass, which has always been a distinctive feature of Rolex watches, is finally used here. Last but not least, the red font is reminiscent of the first Sea-Dweller from 1967.
So, in my opinion, the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Single Red is a real replacement for the ubiquitous Submariner. The deep sea watch is more masculine, has a much lower frequency on the wrist, and has better diving qualities than the diving fashion watches reference.