News: At Long Last – A Rolex In TITANIUM!

When it emerged last year that Rolex had made a one-off prototype titanium Yachtmaster for the British Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie, it got people speculating as to what Rolex models might get the full-production titanium treatment.

That intriguing prototype made the Yachtmaster an obvious candidate. A Submariner also seemed a pretty good bet given that sister-brand Tudor has launched a titanium dive watch—a version of its Pelagos.

Or was the crown merely toying with us, and had no intention of ever using the material again? Well, having stayed away from the material for so long when all its rivals have been dabbling in it for years, Rolex has now bitten the titanium bullet. It’s all-titanium Deepsea Challenge, released this week, is an extension of the experimental watch created in 2012 to accompany James Cameron’s famous descent to the murky depths of the Mariana Trench.

Almost a third lighter than that steel watch, this version is water resistant to an astonishing 11,000 meters (36,090 feet), making its Deepsea Sea-Dweller stablemate seem pretty ordinary with its 3,900 metre water resistance.

This means that the Deepsea Challenge usurps that watch as the biggest Rolex in the catalogue, its case measuring in at a Panerai-esque 50mm. The bezel, of course, is Cerachrom and it also features a helium escape valve and a nitrogen-alloyed steel compression ring.

Rolex has come out flexing its technical muscles here, and its rivals are cowering in the corner of the gym, wondering whether to ring up their local ‘roid dealer.

Interestingly for all you Rolex uber-nerds, the reference number—126067—for this titanium model ends in a 7, the only single digit number left to use and one that was previously reserved for models in 14k yellow-gold, which Rolex hasn’t used for decades.

Going forward, we expect 7 to now indicate that a Rolex watch is made from titanium, just as 0 represents steel, 3 indicates two-tone, 6 is for platinum and so on…

This is available at authorised dealers now, so get on that waiting list!

Case | RLX (grade 5) titanium

Dimensions | 50mm

Dial | Matte black

Crystal | Sapphire

Water Resistance | 11,000m

Movement | Rolex caliber 3230

Power Reserve | 70 hours

Frequency | 28,800 vph

Strap | Titanium, with Rolex Glidelock and Fliplock extensions

Functions | Hours, minutes, seconds

RRP |$26,000

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