Whenever Rolex is about to launch a new timepiece, there would always be a plethora of hype and speculation in the watch community. It was therefore not surprising that there was a lot of excitement when Rolex announced that they will be launching a new variant of the popular Deepsea Seadweller (also known as the DSSD).
And like many others, the folks at Deployant were awaiting eagerly for the new novelty from Rolex themselves. With the exception of the Cellini line of watches, the offerings during this year’s BaselWorld was a little bland. Which was why we thought Rolex might be doing something interesting this time round.
So, at 0700 hours (Singapore Time) this morning, we all woke up religiously to see what Rolex had offered us. Lo and behold, the sight that greeted us was rather astonishing. What we have here is the Deepsea D-Blue, a homage to James Cameron’s historical dive down the Mariana Trench. There most notably (and probably the only difference) between the Deepsea D-Blue and the regular DSSD would be the new blue-black dial.
Soon, a flurry of reactions began to hit several social media sites. Opinions were mixed; some were approval of the D-Blue, while others were less than enthusiastic about it. The folks are Deployant were divided in terms of our reception towards this piece as well.
Peter Chong thought that the D-Blue was rather refreshing, as a dial change is considered as a “major thing” for Rolex, historically speaking. He cited the examples between the regular Daytona versus the Paul Newman Daytona, as well as the different Submariners that features different dial variants.
On the other hand, Kevin Tan perceived the watch as “fugly”. No doubt it looks a little hideous, he believes that it will appeal to serial Rolex collectors, and existing DSSD and Yatchmaster II owners. Kevin also raised an important point, in which he hopes that Rolex “will not get used to using colour fonts for all their watches, like AP or Hublot”.
“Never mind that it’s just a simple dial colour change,” quipped Gavin Foo. “Never mind that the price has been increased, and people are willing to pay a premium for it. The fact that it is a Rolex, and that graduated colour dials in the Rolex world are about as common as a virgin in a bar in Prague- collectors will gush over it.” But then again, he is not overly enthusiastic over this piece since he will be expecting something more exciting and new during Mr Jean-
We approached several friends of Deployant for their opinion. Again, reactions were mixed. There were some who praised Rolex for making such a dial, while others thought that it was a little over-hyped.
“The gradual blue dial is interesting… but it was disappointing that there is not much that was changed or modified for the rest of the watch.” While it did not really appeal to him, Mr Stefan Ma thought that the watch would be a sought-after piece among collectors.
Mr Joe Koh, another collector, concluded that it would be better if Rolex had made an all-blue dial instead. That would have made the watch much nicer, just like the Blue Submariner (also known as the “Smurf”).
Mr Ong Chin Meng, from Rolex Owners Club Asia, noted that the contrast of the new dial looks good in pictures. He did added the fact that watches may look different between “pictures and in reality”, citing the example of the new Sea Dweller 4000 and the Green Rolex Submariner as examples.
One interesting point that Mr Nick Gould, an enthusiast, had pointed out was the fact that the dial is too crowded with a cornucopia of words, after they have shifted the position of the “DEEPSEA” emblem.
And I thought Mr Frank Geelen from Monochrome summed up the new Deepsea D-Blue aptly: “First reactions of forums were not really positive, to put it mildly. No new case and bracelet material, the new Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Dial is a normal Deepsea ref. 116660 with the known black Cerachrom bezel, blue Chromalight luminescence and a different dial.”
In my opinion, the watch looks a little queer. I always thought that the Rolex DSSD is the watch for the alpha male, thanks to its solidity and its no-nonsense looks. The gradual dial and the green “DEEPSEA” emblem reminded me of something from Ben10, a cartoon that my younger brother used to watch when he was younger. It seems a little motley for a serious tool watch. It would have fitted nicely in a deviant watch, such as the Milgauss. But not the DSSD. The DSSD is too serious for this.
But then again, there will be some who will object to my perspective. Of course, everyone has different tastes. Some thought that it was rather special that Rolex has done something like this, and I applaud Rolex for achieving this feat. Yet, others were left disappointed due to the lack of improvements from the current DSSD.
Well, what are your thoughts? Were you impressed with Rolex this time round, or were you just as disappointed? And perhaps the fifteen thousand dollar question: Would you buy this piece?
Editor’s Note: The pictures are all taken from Rolex SA.