Rolex has just announced the Sea-Dweller 4000, a return to its classic dive watch of old. Featuring a 40 mm case, the new Sea-Dweller 4000 has a helium escape valve and is rated to 1220 m or 4000 ft.
First introduced in 1967 as one of the pioneering deep sea dive watches, Rolex discontinued the Sea-Dweller in 2008, replacing it with the massive, over-engineered Deep Sea. After a six year hiatus, the Sea-Dweller 4000 (Ref. 116600) returns at Baselworld 2014 in much the same form as before. Traditionalists will rejoice. The new Sea-Dweller has a 40 mm case in 904L steel, the same diameter as the original but slightly chunkier. It has the same 1220 m or 4000 ft depth rating as its predecessor, but the new Sea-Dweller has all the bells and whistles now standard for Rolex watches. The bezel insert is scratch-resistant black ceramic with minute markings all round, just like on vintage Mil-subs, a feature missing from current Submariners. And the luminous material on the dial and hands is Chromalight, which glows blue in the dark.
Most importantly, the Sea-Dweller bracelet now includes the Glidelock extension clasp with a brilliantly conceived ratcheting mechanism for adjusting its length in 2 mm increments, up to 20 mm. In addition to the Glidelock, the bracelet also includes the Fliplock extension, which extends the bracelet by 26 mm.
And the Sea-Dweller 4000 also has a helium escape valve in the traditional nine o’clock position.
And the cal. 3135 inside is fitted with the Parachrom Blue hairspring that is not only magnetism resistant, it is also more shock resistant and less susceptible to temperature variations than a regular Nivarox hairspring. The Sea-Dweller 4000 will have a retail price of 9900 Swiss francs, equivalent to US$11,200.