From pro athletes to musicians to actors, the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea is a popular choice among the celeb-set. And given the watch’s large 44mm stainless steel case, incredible water resistance to 12,800 feet, and heftier-than-the-Submariner style, that’s no big surprise. Big stars need big watches and the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea fits the bill. Let’s take a closer look at Rolex’s extreme diver’s watch and find out which celebrities proudly wear one.
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea: Standard vs. D-Blue
The Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 116660 made its debut in 2008. To withstand its extreme water resistance, the Deepsea’s bulky 17.7mm thick Oyster case is built with Rolex’s patented Ringlock System—a stainless steel inner ring positioned in between the 5.5mm thick domed crystal protecting the dial and the titanium caseback shielding the movement. In fact, you can clearly see the ring thanks to the large “RING LOCK SYSTEM” engraving at 6 o’clock, accompanied by “ORIGINAL GAS ESCAPE VALVE” inscription at 12 o’clock. The helium escape valve is, of course, the Rolex mechanism that was first used on the Sea-Dweller in 1967 that automatically releases gasses that build up during the decompression periods required after deep saturation dives.
The dial of the standard Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea ref. 116660 is in classic black, along with the characteristic combination of luminescent round, baton, and triangular markers and Mercedes-style hands. There’s also the date window at 3 o’clock. Rolex fans will note the absence of the ubiquitous Cyclops magnification lens above the date aperture. The unidirectional diver’s bezel on the Deepsea ref. 116660 is crafted in Cerachrom ceramic bezel, and unlike the Submariner, includes the complete 60 markings all the way around.
The Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea ref. 116660 D-Blue dial was introduced in 2014 to commemorate James Cameron’s historic dive to the deepest point on earth two years prior. This marks the first and only time Rolex has dedicated a model to a person—the only true celebrity Rolex watch, so to speak.
Functionally exactly the same as the standard Deepsea, the only difference on the D-Blue version is the dial itself. The dial features a color gradient that transforms from bright blue to deep black to symbolize how the waters get darker the deeper one ventures. Plus, there’s also the DEEPSEA label in the same bright green color as James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger submersible.
Celebrities that Wear the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
The list of celebrities that wear both the standard Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea ref. 116660 and the D-Blue Deepsea is long. In addition to James Cameron himself, other fans of the D-Blue version of Rolex’ mega dive watch include actor/director Sylvester Stallone, musician Dave Navarro, comedian Joe Rogan, and celebrity chef, Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro.
On the other hand, celebrities that wear the standard black Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea include soccer star Dave Beckham, 2x NBA Champion Stephen Curry, golf icon Tiger Woods, and actress Charlize Theron. Funny enough, Ben Affleck even wore the black Deepsea ref. 116660 in the movie Argo, which takes place during the Iran hostage crisis from 1979 to 1981—more than 35 years before the Deepsea was even developed! Regardless, the watch looks great in the film despite the error.
Many have asked why Rolex would even bother making a watch that can dive 100 times deeper than any person could survive. And the answer: because they can. Every so often, the Swiss watchmaking giant likes to remind us that in addition to consistently producing the most popular luxury watches by a mile, the brand can also flex mega technical muscle when it wishes to do so. And we’re so glad they do because the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea is a watch we enjoy both for its looks and incredible innovation.
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