Rolex and James Cameron unveil the Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge

Rolex and James Cameron nod to the filmmaker’s 2012 descent into the Mariana Trench in the new Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge among other Rolex watches in front of models of Deepsea Challenger submersible and the bathyscaphe Trieste
Foreground, left to right: Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea (2008), Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge (2022), Deep Sea Special (1960), Rolex Deepsea Challenge (2012) and Oyster Perpetual Submariner (1986). Background, left to right: models of the Deepsea Challenger submersible and the bathyscaphe Trieste. ©Rolex/Duncan Cole
(Image credit: Rolex)

Rolex has collaborated with filmmaker James Cameron on the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge, a divers’ watch in RLX titanium guaranteed to a depth of 11,000m.

The watch was inspired by an experimental piece that accompanied Cameron on his journey into the Mariana Trench on 26 March 2012, a 10,908m descent that saw the watch attached to the manipulator arm of Cameron’s submarine

rolex watch

(Image credit: Rolex)

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge

The new watch is capable of surviving similarly challenging environments with innovative and functional design elements. Surplus gas can effortlessly escape from the watch thanks to a helium escape valve, while a Ringlock system – a patented design of the case architecture – lets the watch withstand extreme pressure. Crafted from RLX titanium, a grade-five titanium alloy celebrated for its exceptional robustness and lightness, the timepiece is both technically impressive and comfortable to wear.   

Slimmed-down proportions make the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge suitable for daily wear. An elegant crystal silhouette lends the watch a neat form, while extension systems on the bracelet mean the watch can be worn over a diving suit up to 7mm thick. 

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Filmmaker James Cameron, an Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge on his wrist, posing with a model of the bathyscaphe Trieste (right). ©Rolex/Duncan Cole

(Image credit: Rolex)

Engraving on the case back pays tribute to the two experimental dives that inspired the watch: the 1960 voyage of oceanographer Jacques Piccard and US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh on the Trieste; and James Cameron’s solo 2012 journey. 

While both expeditions were accompanied by experimental Rolex watches, this new piece hones the original design, at 30 per cent lighter and capable of withstanding everything from open-water diving to submersible dives and hyperbaric chambers.

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Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.