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Rolex Sea-Dweller v. Rolex Submariner

Which one will come out on top?

June 18, 2020

Christian reviews the Rolex Sea-Dweller against the Submariner! Interested in one of these watches? Check out our vintage watch shop!

In the 1920s, Rolex released their “Oyster” case, the market’s first water and dust resistant watch. Eventually, after putting this claim to the test, this would lead to the development of the Submariner, a 200 meter water resistant dive watch that was pure tool in every way. However, despite being an impressive tool, it wasn’t quite enough of a tool to match up to the needs of the Sea Lab experiments, where divers needed a watch that could handle immense pressure for significantly longer than the Submariner could handle. Enter the Sea Dweller, essentially just a Submariner with a helium escape valve built into the side of it to allow for more steady decompression and, thus, a greater degree of water resistance.

So why would someone want to buy a Sea Dweller, assuming that, like most of us, they won’t be going saturation diving? It really depends on the collector and on the model. An original single or double red Sea Dweller is a seriously collectible watch, but in most cases, it’s the proportions that really sell people on the watch. Sure, it’s the same 40mm in diameter, but its slightly chunkier case profile makes it feel a bit more like a tool watch, and a bit less like a luxury item.

There are plenty of modern versions of the Sea Dweller worth having a look at as well, from the James Cameron “Deep Sea” edition (a 44mm behemoth of a watch) to the 43mm anniversary edition.

In The Shop

Watches: Rolex Submariner

Leather: Alligator Strap

Watches: IWC Big Pilot

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