While many of the high-end watch brands were introducing some pretty impressive new watches, with some serious innovations, Rolex released a new version of their Sea-Dweller called the Deepsea with a D-blue dial.
One of the "innovations" on this watch is the Blue Luminescence, which features a "chromalight display" whose blue glow lasts up to twice as long as that of standard luminescent materials. This particular shade of blue is the last visible color the human eye can see at extreme depths.
The dial itself incorporates this shade as well, and will shift from black to blue depending on how light hits the dial.
All this color talk is of course important if you are a true deep sea diver, because the other difference with the Deepsea is it can withstand 3 tons of pressure at a depth of 12,800 feet (3,900 meters), which no other watch can do.
Rolex increased this watch's waterproofness via a patented Ringlock system, who's construction is based on three elements: a nitrogen-alloyed steel central ring forms the backbone of the system, accompanied by a 5 mm‑thick, domed sapphire crystal and a case back in grade 5 titanium.
The Deepsea of course has a Helium escape valve as well, which acts as a mini decompression chamber for the watch.
But unless I (as I've hinted), am the kind of professional diver that is required to dive to these extreme depths, of which there must be very very few on the planet, I would never buy this watch over the standard no-date submariner.
The reason for this is because to a non-diver, none of these new "innovations" are particularly interesting or particularly innovative. They made the case stronger, crystal thicker, and used a new paint color, etc., but none of these things really increase the interest level of the watch over the standard Submariner.
In fact, I'd say all it does is make me want a vintage Sub that much more!
I guess the turnoff is the fact that once again, Rolex has ignored true innovations to their movements in exchange for the kind of innovations that give them a far greater ROI.
In other words, it's about the money. And the truth is Rolex buyers/collectors don't really care about movements.
Other companies like IWC were introducing not one, but various new in-house movements, all of which cutting edge, and Vacheron Constantin released the thinnest split-chronograph movement ever made, with a peripheral spinning rotor, single-pusher, and is easily one of the sexiest things anyone has ever seen.
But, as mentioned, if you're a Rolex collector, who cares about movements, right?
Without a doubt, Rolex will sell every single one of these Deepseas, most of them to non-divers of course (I actually think I saw Charlie Rose wear one the other night), and they will laugh all the way to the bank as they prepare for more of the same "innovations" for next year.
So, while this is not necessarily a thumbs down, it's not - because to divers who do require diving to depths of 12,000 ft this must be huge - my opinion stays the same: Rolex today is the antithesis of what once made Rolex great, so forego any new Rolex and buy vintage, period (preferably pre-1980's).
You'll save a ton of money (for the most part), have a far less common watch, and most importantly you'll have a watch, a Rolex, that is far more interesting and relative to it's era, far more innovative too.