On the occasion of the release of National Geographic’s Deepsea Challenge 3D film about the expedition to the deepest reaches of the ocean by explorer and film-maker James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar), Rolex has introduced a new version of its Rolex Deepsea. This ultimate divers’ watch, resistant to extreme pressure, is equipped with a “D-blue” dial representing the colours of the deep.
The deep blue to pitch-black gradient dial is reminiscent of the ocean’s twilight zone where the last trickle of light from the surface disappears into the abyss, echoing James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge expedition. As a tribute to the partnership between Rolex and Cameron, the “DEEPSEA” marking on the new dial adopts the colour of the explorer’s green submersible as it is perceived underwater.
The new Rolex Deepsea was introduced on Monday 4 August in New York, during the US premiere of the documentary film in the splendid Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History, in the presence of James Cameron and many other personalities from the worlds of underwater exploration and cinema. Deepsea Challenge 3D traces Cameron’s historic dive into the Mariana Trench with the support of Rolex and National Geographic.
Exploring the last frontier
On 26 March 2012, film-maker and explorer James Cameron made a record-breaking solo dive 10,908 metres (35,787 feet) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean piloting the Deepsea Challenger submersible. He remained on the ocean floor for three hours to explore, take samples and capture the first-ever high-resolution images of this last frontier. Scientists estimate that 95 per cent of the oceans remain unexplored and hold hidden clues to life on Earth. The samples taken on the expedition have led to the identification of at least 68 new species. The documentary film follows the Deepsea Challenge adventure from its very beginning to the last of its 13 Pacific dives.
The inspirational Deepsea Challenge expedition paved the way for a new era in scientific exploration of the deep. No human being had returned to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench since 23 January 1960, the date of the first manned dive to the bottom by the bathyscaphe Trieste. And whenever humanity ventures to new frontiers on Earth, so does Rolex.
Rolex and the deep
Rolex watches have a connection with both the Trieste and the Deepsea Challenge expeditions. During both historic dives, an experimental Rolex watch attached to the hull of the submersible was exposed to the most colossal water pressure on the planet, some 11 kilometres (7 miles) below the surface. Both watches emerged working perfectly, illustrating the supremacy of Rolex in mastering waterproofness.
Rolex played a pioneering role in the conquest of the deep with the creation, in 1926, of the Oyster, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, then of professional divers’ watches: the Oyster Perpetual Submariner (1953), Sea-Dweller (1967) and Rolex Deepsea (2008).
The ultimate divers’ watch
The Rolex Deepsea, a new-generation divers’ watch, is waterproof to an extreme depth of 3,900 metres (12,800 feet). Its 44 mm Oyster case, reinforced with the patented Ringlock System, was designed to exceed the most exacting demands of professional divers. It defines new standards of robustness, precision, functionality and reliability.
James Cameron was wearing a Rolex Deepsea during his expedition into the Mariana Trench. The model also served as the blueprint for the design of the experimental Rolex Deepsea Challenge, waterproof to a depth of 12,000 metres (39,370 feet) and tested in real-life conditions during Cameron’s dive, affixed to the robotic arm of his submersible.
Pushing the limits
With the new version of the Rolex Deepsea equipped with a gradient “D-blue” dial, Rolex is celebrating not only its partnership with James Cameron’s historic expedition, but also its commitment to exploration, innovation and the constant desire to push the limits of human endeavour.