In the middle of the 20th century, as mankind turned its eyes skyward in a quest to conquer the stars, so too did it turn its gaze toward the water that covers 71 per cent of the earth’s surface. As diving became more widespread, both commercially and as a leisure activity, watchmakers had to meet the demand for watches that could remain water resistant to ever increasing depths. Today, we’d like to introduce a kind of diving watch, the replica white scale Rolex Deepsea.
The fake Rolex possesses a unique history when it comes to exploring the world below the waves. On 23 January 1960, the Bathyscape Trieste reached the deepest part of the world’s oceans—the Challenger Deep, located in the mysterious Mariana Trench. Along for the trip, on the outside of the submersible, was a copy Rolex watch: the Deep Sea Special. The copy stainless steel Rolex dove to a depth of about 10,900 metres, and became the deepest diving watch in history.
So when acclaimed director and deep-sea explorer James Cameron did the same journey 52 years later, it was no surprise that the watch that accompanied him was also a fake Rolex Deep Sea, 51.4mm wide and capable of diving to 12,000m. In tribute to the historic dive, the brand released a modified version of the watch to the public with a water resistance rating of 3,900m. This impressive depth is achievable thanks to features like Rolex’s purpose built Ringlock system, which allows the case to withstand immense pressure, and a helium escape valve that ensures the gas can escape from the watch during decompression.