Rolex Comparisons - Rolex Submariner vs. Rolex Sea Dweller

Updated: Feb 28

Designed for those who enjoy spending time in the water, the Rolex Submariner and the Rolex Sea Dweller are two exceptional timepieces that are most suited to aquatic activities. However, despite this common trait between the two wristwatches, there are differences between them that consumers should keep in mind.



The Rolex Submariner was designed primarily for amateur and recreational divers and has a depth rating of 1,000 feet. This classy timepiece has been featured in several James Bond movies to include “Live and Let Die,” “Dr. No,” and “License to Kill.” Though the Submariner and the Sea Dweller have several similarities when it comes to appearance, the Submariner has one thing that the Sea Dweller does not: a Cyclops lens to magnify the date display.



The Rolex Sea Dweller is more suited for deep sea divers and treasure hunters. Though earlier versions had a depth rating of 4,000 feet, a model introduced at Basel Fair in 2008 sailed past the quadruple digits into the quintuple digits with a depth rating of a record breaking 12,800 feet. This breathtaking depth rating is possible due to a one way gas escape valve that allows helium to escape without damaging the watch as divers go through decompression as they swim toward the surface of the ocean and then go through the decompression chambers. Another notable difference between the Submariner and the Sea Dweller is that the latter is bigger because of the sapphire crystal, which is 4mm thicker than the sapphire crystal on the Submariner. The commonalities shared by both timepieces are numerous. The most observable similarity is, as mentioned before, their ability to withstand total submersion in deep water for long periods of time without causing any disturbance in functionality or precision. The Rolex Submariner and the Rolex Sea Dweller both feature a scratch resistant synthetic sapphire crystal, a unidirectional bezel that can only be turned counterclockwise, and a new Triplock system that now features a triple gasket function that screws down firmly onto the case tube and against the Oyster case, therefore offering an additional layer of protection while the watch is submerged. Both timepieces also contain a self-winding mechanism with a perpetual motor a case made of either a solid block of 904L (which is corrosion resistant) or gold. Though they are both excellent watches for those who enjoy subterranean activities, the Rolex Submariner and the Rolex Sea Dweller have some significant differences that could matter when the wearer of the watch goes diving, so it’s always important to choose the right watch for the right activity.




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