Rolex Model Comparison: Submariner Date Vs Deepsea Sea-Dweller

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photo of Rolex Submariner Date (left) and Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller (right) side by side
Rolex Submariner Date (left) and Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller (right)
If you're on the market for a dive watch and have decided on a Rolex but can't decide between the Submariner or Deepsea models, there are a few notable differences that may help you make your decision. The Submariner Date (reference# 116610 LN) was introduced in the 1950s and has become one of the watchmaker's most ubiquitous models to this day. The Deepsea model (reference # 116660) is their newest dive watch, appearing on the market in 2008. Both models, photographed above side by side, are made using Rolex's 904l stainless steel and Cerachrom ceramic on the bezel. 

photo of Cases of Deepsea (left) and Submariner (right) Side by Side
Cases of Deepsea (left) and Submariner (right) Side by Side
The first and most notable difference between the Submariner and Deepsea is the size of the case. The Submariner Date features a 40mm case while the Deepsea's case measures 44mm. The Deepsea model features Rolex's Ringlock System case architecture, giving it a slightly domed 5.5 mm-thick sapphire crystal. In the photo above with the cases side by side, you can see the significant difference in case thickness between the Deepsea (left) and Submariner (right). The closeup below shows the Deepsea on top of the Sub. Both models are equipped with Triplock winding crowns.

picture of Cases of rolex Deepsea and Submariner One on Top of the Other
Cases of Deepsea and Submariner One on Top of the Other 
Another distinguishing factor between these models is the Cyclops magnifying lens affixed to the Submariner Date's sapphire crystal, which is noticeably absent on the Deepsea. The Helium Escape Valve, exclusive to the Deepsea, allows the timepiece to be submerged up to 3,900 meters, while the Submariner Date has a depth rating of 300 meters. The ceramic bezels on both models have the same functionality, but the Deepsea has hash marks that go around the entire bezel, as shown in the photo below (Deepsea on right). 

picture of Dials of rolex Submariner (left) and Deepsea (right) Side by Side
Dials of Submariner (left) and Deepsea (right) Side by Side
Both the Submariner Date and Deepsea Sea-Dweller are equipped with 3135 movements. Caliber 3135 is a self-winding mechanical movement developed entirely in-house by Rolex. It is equipped with their patented blue Parachrom hairspring and has a power reserve of 48 hours.

picture of Clasps of rolex Submariner (left) and Deepsea (right)
Clasps of Submariner (left) and Deepsea (right)
Both models are equipped with Rolex's Glidelock Extension system, but the rack of the Deepsea Glidelock System (shown on the right in the photo above) lifts so that you can adjust the size of the watch without taking it off. The Deepsea model also comes with a Fliplock extension link that extends the bracelet by an additional 26mm, as shown in the photo below with the Deepsea's fully extended Oyster bracelet below the Submariner's Oyster bracelet. 

picture of Fully Extended Bracelets of rolex Submariner (top) and Deepsea (bottom)
Fully Extended Bracelets of Submariner (top) and Deepsea (bottom)
The suggested retail price for the Submariner Date (ref# 116610 LN) is 8,100 Swiss Francs, or approximately $8,503 US based on the current exchange rate. The Deepsea Sea-Dweller (ref# 116660) goes for 11,500 Swiss Francs, or approximately $12,072 US. 

Wrist Shot of rolex Deepsea (left) and Submariner (right) Side by Side
Wrist Shot of Deepsea (left) and Submariner (right) Side by Side
Aside from differences in size and price, the Submariner Date and Deepsea are very similar. It is hard to tell the difference between the two without looking at them side by side. For most people, the decision comes down to comfort and style. 

The Deepsea's size and additional features are appealing to those who actually spend time underwater, but it can feel bulky on smaller wrists and the weight of the case can take some getting used to. The Submariner Date is sleek and the Cyclops lens gives it a classic Rolex look, however, wearing such a recognizable timepiece doesn't appeal to everyone.  

Ultimately, the best way to decide between these two dive watches is to experience how they look and feel on your wrist. To find a Rolex Authorized Dealer near you, check out the store locator on their official website.

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