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126600

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:18 pm
by TSD
Just starting a thread to share some impressions of the Rolex 126600 Sea-Dweller, which can ideally become a reference for those interested in the transition to the new case size and bracelet, the 3235 movement, the cyclops on the crystal, etc. Rolex made some interesting (and controversial) changes to recognize the 50th Anniversary of the first Sea-Dweller when it was introduced at Basel in 2017. Although pretty universally panned by Sea-Dweller owners (myself included) based on the Basel release photos, it appears that a lot of that angst faded once early-adopters started receiving their watches. Almost one year later, I've still not seen one for sale at an AD or Boutique, and was skeptical that it would be something I could comfortably wear daily. A few weeks ago, I found an unworn example being flipped at near list by a local seller. Owning the SD43, my perspective is that welcome changes outweigh stupid design elements, and represent the next transition in the model's history.

Just to share what info I’ve compiled so far, the case measures 42.5mm underneath (and 43mm to the edges of the bezel). The midcase, and 15mm height, is essentially unchanged from the 116600. It wears more balanced, and less top heavy for my 7.25” wrist size, as compared to the ceramic 116600. That balance may be helped by a 22mm Oyster bracelet tapering down to include a new half-link attached to the wet suit expansion side of the Glidelock clasp (not the DSSD variant.) Although it’s not my only large dive watch, it is infinitely more comfortable during the day with the Glidelock.
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A 16600 is often spoken of as the best iteration of the modern Sea-Dweller references. I’ve started to think of the SD43 more as the successor to the 16660, which represents the last time really significant changes occurred, with its redesigned case shape, improved helium escape valve, and the acrylic crystal giving way for the introduction of a sapphire crystal. In that sense, the SD43 is as different to the 116600 as the Triple-Six was to the 1665. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were similar criticisms made of Rolex then as now.

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The SD43 dial differs from the matte dials of the previous references. It isn’t matte, but appears to be painted in a way that visually resembles a matte charcoal dial in direct light. Most of the attention has been paid to the single red Sea-Dweller script, but in the right light the charcoal dial combines with that single red line to great vintage tropical effect. It’s my favorite part of this watch.

Update: After the first “anniversary” year of production of the SD43, the dial has been updated to include a coronet between Swiss Made, keeping with the changes made to the DSSD, etc. The references to a Mk1 “anniversary” dial are to the first production year.

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And then Rolex had to go and kill it with a cyclops. Again, this is where the transitional changes were probably most rationalized. It irks me looking at it. Just because Rolex engineered a stronger bonding method didn’t have to mean losing its unique identity. I left it with our watchmaker in Miami on Friday and he used acetone on the cyclops over the weekend, but it didn’t soften the bonding material at all. Since the service crystal is not available to them yet he didn’t want to risk heating it up too much and having it break.

The next step was exploring a LAWW replacement crystal. Appreciated Master Wu connecting me with his experts, and LAWW researching to come up with a solution. Unfortunately, the all-new dimensions for this crystal mean no options yet for an after market version.

I think removal of the cyclops will become a more realistic option once aftermarket crystals can be swapped, or RSC makes service crystals available to watchmakers. So, I’m playing the long game. It’s not something that should hold anyone back from giving the 126600 a shot.

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(borrowed mock up from TRF)

I can take specific measurements or better pictures to compare, just let me know.

3235 movement
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Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:58 am
by Panerai7
Sometimes I wonder what goes through Rolex head.
What was the point of the cyclops on a model that's never had cyclops? And the fact that they're only available at resellers at a premium is a turn off for me. I'm a spoiled consumer with too many options - you have to beg me to buy your shit. I'm not chasing anything, this watch does not exist for me until my Rolex AD calls me, invites me to stop by, kisses my ass for an hour and gives me a 10% discount and no Sales tax

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:15 am
by 1954Selmer
This is a damn good looking watch and great for the big boys.. I can't wait to see it after the cyclops is removed. Congrats!!

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:19 am
by Chocodove
Good stuff. I'll own one someday.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:56 am
by BacoNoir
If they had done a matte dial / bezel and no cyclops, I’d have put my name down at my AD after Basel 2017. The cyclops is the real conundrum as you pointed out. The vast majority of commenters I’ve heard hate that element.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:20 am
by JP Chestnut
This is a really great Sub XL. That dive extension looks incredibly uncomfortable.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:26 am
by ericf4
i agree with Art here, id love to have one but at the markup they are seeing and frenzy around them, im not a buyer......yet.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:29 am
by JP Chestnut
ericf4 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:26 am
i agree with Art here, id love to have one but at the markup they are seeing and frenzy around them, im not a buyer......yet.
Maybe your... I mean his AD can find you one? :lol:

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:36 am
by ericf4
JP Chestnut wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:29 am
ericf4 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:26 am
i agree with Art here, id love to have one but at the markup they are seeing and frenzy around them, im not a buyer......yet.
Maybe your... I mean his AD can find you one? :lol:
lol yeah

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:37 am
by Panerai7
JP Chestnut wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:29 am
ericf4 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:26 am
i agree with Art here, id love to have one but at the markup they are seeing and frenzy around them, im not a buyer......yet.
Maybe your... I mean his AD can find you one? :lol:
Both Rolex AD's in my town have only seen one of these and two SS Daytona's. While those trusted TRF dealers will get you one in a day for an inflated price. Something is broken with this system of Rolex

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:43 am
by JP Chestnut
Panerai7 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:37 am
JP Chestnut wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:29 am
ericf4 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:26 am
i agree with Art here, id love to have one but at the markup they are seeing and frenzy around them, im not a buyer......yet.
Maybe your... I mean his AD can find you one? :lol:
Both Rolex AD's in my town have only seen one of these and two SS Daytona's. While those trusted TRF dealers will get you one in a day for an inflated price. Something is broken with this system of Rolex
Something is broken and it's on my list of things to look into. My understanding is that these highly desirable watches are allocated based the number of shitty undesirable watches the ADs move. Consequently, ADs that blow out a massive number of 34mm Datejust are the ones who get all the good watches. How can you move those watches in large numbers? Out the back door to the TRF sellers.

It's an incestuous relationship that's created by the incentive structure created by Rolex. Having to "earn" a Daytona means that the AD is going to want to monetize one as much as possible - probably leading them to sell above MSRP to the only buyers they trust not to report them (TRF guys).

On edit: "Cool" cars are often allocated in the same way. The number of Ford GTs a dealer gets depends on the number of base Focus they move. Not surprisingly, we see the exact same kind of scalping and scarcity in that setting as well.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:51 am
by Panerai7
JP Chestnut wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:43 am
Panerai7 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:37 am
JP Chestnut wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:29 am
ericf4 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:26 am
i agree with Art here, id love to have one but at the markup they are seeing and frenzy around them, im not a buyer......yet.
Maybe your... I mean his AD can find you one? :lol:
Both Rolex AD's in my town have only seen one of these and two SS Daytona's. While those trusted TRF dealers will get you one in a day for an inflated price. Something is broken with this system of Rolex
Something is broken and it's on my list of things to look into. My understanding is that these highly desirable watches are allocated based the number of shitty undesirable watches the ADs move. Consequently, ADs that blow out a massive number of 34mm Datejust are the ones who get all the good watches. How can you move those watches in large numbers? Out the back door to the TRF sellers.

It's an incestuous relationship that's created by the incentive structure created by Rolex. Having to "earn" a Daytona means that the AD is going to want to monetize one as much as possible - probably leading them to sell above MSRP to the only buyers they trust not to report them (TRF guys).
All good points. But when you get a Rolex from TRF dealer it comes with an AD stamp, it's not hard to figure out who the rogue dealer was and Rolex could shut that shit down. The question is do they want to? Rolex could easily go through TRF dealers get the watches with AD stamps and reprimand or revoke AD status from those who sold to TRF dealers.

Edit: how is that my Rolex AD is not allowed to sell a Rolex with clear stickers on and has to remove them right in front of you before you walk out of the store but TRF guys have them all sealed up with plastic intact?

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:56 am
by ericf4
never knew about the clear stickers deal.....why do they do that? Keep you from reselling it as new? BTW as you know i put the stickers back on with my scotch tape...lol.....

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:00 am
by Ryeguy
Jacob, I believe you are spot on with this assessment of the business model. It is an unfortunate situation and given the intertwining of these reseller relationships I'm not certain what Rolex can do to prevent it.

Regarding the watch, I have an issue buying anything at that price only to have to modify it to my expectations. Maybe there are enough Rolex buyers who want the cyclops magnification and I am the odd one, but it isn't my preference.

One thing Rolex does do correctly on this is the ratio of lug width to watch head diameter. 42 / 43 mm watch heads need a 22mm strap to appear visually balanced in my opinion. As much as I like Seiko, for example, they continually put 44mm watches on 20mm straps.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:06 am
by JP Chestnut
Ryeguy wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:00 am
Regarding the watch, I have an issue buying anything at that price only to have to modify it to my expectations. Maybe there are enough Rolex buyers who want the cyclops magnification and I am the odd one, but it isn't my preference.
I think the vast majority of people want the cyclops. The Cyclops Dweller is complete anathema to me, but the SD4K was a historically consistent update that was a HUGE failure. Rolex gave it a fair shot and the market responded. I can't blame them too much for this new SD design. I'd never buy one, but it's a nice Rolex diver for the large wristed guys. Unfortunately, it's an SD in name only.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:08 am
by ericf4
i don't mind the cyclops on the 3 rolex i have. Seems many here hate them, but frankly i don't mind them. I don't get caught up in anything apart from whether i like the way the watch looks. I don't mind that look.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:10 am
by Panerai7
ericf4 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:56 am
never knew about the clear stickers deal.....why do they do that? Keep you from reselling it as new? BTW as you know i put the stickers back on with my scotch tape...lol.....
LOL, yes they have to remove them so you can't sell them BNIB, let alone having a blank unnamed warranty card. My personal observation is that European AD's and AD's from our friends in Canada are fucking it up for all of us selling to TRF dealers. Not to name names but I checked with 4-5 usual suspects when I was looking for a couple of different SS models this week which of course are not available at local AD's and asked for a US AD stamped Rolex and none of them could get it. I was told European and Canadian AD's stamped only. Rolex could easily track and shut that down.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:11 am
by JP Chestnut
I'm wearing my GMT2 with its cyclops today. I like the cyclops, just not on the Sea Dweller. Do you like pasta on your pizza? That's a cyclops on a sea dweller.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:13 am
by JP Chestnut
Panerai7 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:10 am
ericf4 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:56 am
never knew about the clear stickers deal.....why do they do that? Keep you from reselling it as new? BTW as you know i put the stickers back on with my scotch tape...lol.....
LOL, yes they have to remove them so you can't sell them BNIB, let alone having a blank unnamed warranty card. My personal observation is that European AD's and AD's from our friends in Canada are fucking it up for all of us selling to TRF dealers. Not to name names but I checked with 4-5 usual suspects when I was looking for a couple of different SS models this week which of course are not available at local AD's and asked for a US AD stamped Rolex and none of them could get it. I was told European and Canadian AD's stamped only. Rolex could easily track and shut that down.
This is on the Rolex radar - RSC NY is requiring an original purchase receipt for warranty work with a non-USA stamped warranty card. I'm sure Dallas and BH aren't far behind.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:13 am
by Panerai7
ericf4 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:08 am
i don't mind the cyclops on the 3 rolex i have. Seems many here hate them, but frankly i don't mind them. I don't get caught up in anything apart from whether i like the way the watch looks. I don't mind that look.
Polar Explorer is the only cyclops I could live with due to the white dial, it sort of disappears....if I squint hard enough :lol:
The rest, especially with a white date wheel on a dark/black dial it's an eye sore.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:16 am
by ericf4
JP Chestnut wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:11 am
I'm wearing my GMT2 with its cyclops today. I like the cyclops, just not on the Sea Dweller. Do you like pasta on your pizza? That's a cyclops on a sea dweller.
LOL

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:18 am
by Panerai7
JP Chestnut wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:13 am
Panerai7 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:10 am
ericf4 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:56 am
never knew about the clear stickers deal.....why do they do that? Keep you from reselling it as new? BTW as you know i put the stickers back on with my scotch tape...lol.....
LOL, yes they have to remove them so you can't sell them BNIB, let alone having a blank unnamed warranty card. My personal observation is that European AD's and AD's from our friends in Canada are fucking it up for all of us selling to TRF dealers. Not to name names but I checked with 4-5 usual suspects when I was looking for a couple of different SS models this week which of course are not available at local AD's and asked for a US AD stamped Rolex and none of them could get it. I was told European and Canadian AD's stamped only. Rolex could easily track and shut that down.
This is on the Rolex radar - RSC NY is requiring an original purchase receipt for warranty work with a non-USA stamped warranty card. I'm sure Dallas and BH aren't far behind.
That's good.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:18 am
by JP Chestnut
Also, rolex could do like Patek and raise prices 20% overnight. I'm not sure people would be any happier with that.

Hopefully this watch fad just goes away and things return to some sanity.

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:23 am
by Panerai7
JP Chestnut wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:06 am
Ryeguy wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:00 am
Regarding the watch, I have an issue buying anything at that price only to have to modify it to my expectations. Maybe there are enough Rolex buyers who want the cyclops magnification and I am the odd one, but it isn't my preference.
I think the vast majority of people want the cyclops. The Cyclops Dweller is complete anathema to me, but the SD4K was a historically consistent update that was a HUGE failure. Rolex gave it a fair shot and the market responded. I can't blame them too much for this new SD design. I'd never buy one, but it's a nice Rolex diver for the large wristed guys. Unfortunately, it's an SD in name only.
But Rolex left a lot of money on the table with discontinuing SDC, look at the prices of them now. They could have kept it in scaled down production and make a 42mm version of course without cyclops for larger wristed guys. If Omega can do 39.5 and 43.5 PO why couldn't Rolex?

Re: 126600

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:23 am
by james80
I don’t mind a cyclops but would prefer an SD not have one. I think in the minds of the mass majority of purchasers (not us) cyclops equals Rolex and if buying a hunk of “look I own a Rolex” the missing cyclops takes away from the intended effect.

And then there’s my very large wristed friend (so large he can’t put on my UX even with the divers extension open. He owns two pre ceramic subs among other things and is a watchguy. In his opinion the SD43 is now perfect both for size and cyclops.