There’s something about a dive watch that emanates an unassailable image of unabashed cool. We’re talking Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane jamming in ice underpants cool. Maybe it has to do with the rakish élan perpetuated by 007 pairing his white dinner jacket with the Rolex Submariner ref. 6538 on a Nato strap. You could easily imagine him shucking shantung and diving into the sea to demolish the assembled forces of SMERSCH with nothing more than a sharpened clamshell, a bevy of torpedo-chested lady friends and his trusty dive watch. But it also has to do with the total veracity and slavish devotion to function embodied by these timepieces. After all, these were tools that soldiers and civilians alike literally depended on with their very lives.
But of all the dive watches ever created, there is one that holds the title of heavyweight champion of cool amid this vast pantheon of ticking demigods. That watch is the Rolex Sea- Dweller. And it has defined its coolness not through military might, but like Mohandas Gandhi, by demonstrating its inner depth. The Sea-Dweller went deep, literally — like Schopenhauer and Goethe deep. By submerging further than any watch that had come before, it redefined the performance abilities of the commercial dive watch so radically that to say that it was ahead of its field is to do it a disservice. The Rolex Sea-Dweller was and has always been in a field all of its own.