video

WatchBox Reviews

ROLEX DEEPSEA SEA-DWELLER vs FIFTY FATHOMS BY BLANCPAIN: D-Blue 116660 vs. 5015D

Contact tmosso@thewatchbox.com for pricing and availability; Either I have it, or I can get it! Rolex’s Deepsea Sea-Dweller and the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms are dive watch royalty. Both hail from historic bloodlines dating back to 1953, count the first true dive watches among their ancestors, and occupy sprawling wrist real estate of at least 44mm. Stainless steel cases, elaborate diving bezels, robust steel bracelets, and bold case profiles are common threads between these two blue-blooded blue-dial rivals. The Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller 116660BLSO debuted in 2008 to muted reception. At the time, the Deepsea’s sheer size and replacement of the 40mm Sea-Dweller 16600 polarized Rolex buyers between stances of love and hate – with very few indifferent opinions. But the late 2014 arrival of the Deepsea D-Blue transformed watch collectors’ perception of the largest Rolex. Now tied to the exploits of Rolex ambassador James Cameron, the Deepsea “D-Blue” brought color – literal and figurative – to a model that desperately needed a better marketing angle; mission accomplished. Substantively, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue remains technically identical to the standard Rolex Sea-Dweller 116660. 44mm in diameter and crafted from Rolex’s 904L “Oystersteel,” the Deepsea’s defining measurements are its thickness of 17.8mm and end-link-to-end-link measurement of 55.6mm. The Rolex Ringlock sealing system combines sapphire, titanium, steel, and rubber gaskets to achieve 3900-meter water resistance, and the Sea-Dweller family’s signature “gas escape valve” permits safe ejection of accumulated helium when ascending from a saturation dive. Rolex equips the Deepsea with its finest diving clasp; 26mm of Fliplock extension and a 20mm incremental (x 2mm) Glidelock system permits precise sizing. Rolex equips the Deepsea Sea-Dweller 116660 with an automatic caliber 3135 manufacture movement with a 48-hour power reserve. Hacking seconds and a quick-set date are included. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms emerged shortly before the original 1953 Rolex Submariner. Technically, the Fifty Fathoms can claim to be the first modern dive watch on the basis of this narrow advantage. Today’s Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 5015d-1140-71b is part of a 45mm family of haut-de-gamme divers that Blancpain introduced at Baselworld 2007. No longer a utilitarian article for French naval combat swimmers, today’s Fifty Fathoms prepares for battle with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore, the Breguet Marine, the Ulysse Nardin Marine Divers, and the top-level dive models from Rolex This Fifty Fathoms 5015D includes a satin-finished 45mm steel case that’s more muted in appearance than the standard model’s high-polished case. And while that standard Fifty Fathoms generally is delivered on a sailcloth strap, this 5015D sports a full Blancpain X71 bracelet offers both comfort and a basis for direct comparison to its burly rival from Rolex. At 15.6mm thick, the Fifty Fathoms is more wearable than the Rolex Deepsea. Blancpain differentiates this deluxe diver from its standard fare with a metallic blue dial; guilloche pattern at center and a monotone date disc in blue complete the alternative appearance of this enriched Fifty Fathoms. Beneath the Fifty Fathoms’ renowned full-sapphire luminescent bezel lies a blue base to match the dial. Blancpain’s caliber 1315 is manufactured and finished for the Fifty Fathoms by Blancpain’s Swatch Group movement partner, Frederic Piguet. The automatic features three mainspring barrels in series, a substantial engineering advantage over the Rolex, and one that yields a five-day power reserve. Hacking seconds, a quick-set date, and 300M water resistance are included; Blancpain equips each Fifty Fathoms 5015 with a soft iron inner cage to act as a paramagnetic shield. Please subscribe to our channel for the best luxury watch reviews on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/WatchBoxReviews/?sub_confirmation=1 Visit our website at www.thewatchbox.com for the latest pre-owned luxury watch arrivals and industry-leading value in previously loved luxury timepieces.