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Rolex Sea-Dweller VS Rolex Submariner

Rolex Sea-Dweller VS Rolex Submariner

We are frequently questioned about the many diver watches offered by the most well-known luxury watch manufacturers, as well as the differences between diver watches within a single brand. Our Rolex dive watch comparisons are designed to help you make an educated and informed purchase decision about a watch by presenting the data in an easy-to-understand style.

Divers are always on the lookout for better gear. It might mean the difference between a successful and a disastrous dive. In some circumstances, having superior gear implies having a better chance of surviving. 

Rolex produces a number of dive timepieces that are excellent for diving. Their oyster cases close like a mini-submarine hatch and are practically made for diving.

The Sea-Dweller 43mm / Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 VS the Rolex Submariner Date and the newer Submariner 41mm are the two diver watches we'll evaluate today. These timepieces appear nearly identical at first glance or to the untrained eye, with only a few minor stylistic changes. When we compare the Rolex Submariner with the Rolex Sea-Dweller in more detail, we can see that they are very different. 

Below is a list of the similarities and differences between these two watches, as well as pros and cons outlining the qualities that distinguish each one. You may now view the two collections using the links below for your convenience. Otherwise, move on to the next section of the comparison.

What is the distinction between a Rolex Sea-Dweller and a Rolex Submariner?

Typical Characteristics

  • Both of these Rolex watches have the 31-jewel Rolex Caliber 3135 movement, which displays the hour, minutes, seconds, and the day of the month through a window.
  • Both the Submariner Date and the Sea-Dweller 4000 have a power reserve of about 50 hours. The Sea-Dweller 43mm has a power reserve of 70 hours.
  • The black "Cerachrom" bezel insert is constructed of a hardened ceramic that is scratch-resistant and extremely durable. Cerachrom also has excellent anti-corrosion qualities and will not fade in color when exposed to UV radiation for extended periods of time.
  • The bezel is ringed in polished stainless steel and has a ribbed edge for a secure grip.
  • The revolutionary "Triplock" crown tightens the Oyster case as if it were a submarine hatch. This is a Rolex feature that can only be found on a Rolex watch.
  • The bracelet features the innovative Glidelock Extension System buckle, which allows for secure deployment in 2 mm increments up to a total of 20 mm without the use of tools.

What is better: Sea-Dweller or Submariner?

Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000

Is it wise to invest in a Rolex Sea-Dweller? The difference in water resistance between the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 and the newer 43mm Sea-Dweller deep dive watch is the most astounding feature. The Sea-Dweller is significantly more water-resistant than the Rolex Submariner. A helium escape valve would have been nice on the SD, but the watch looks much better without one. 

While real deep diving requires a water resistance of at least 1650 feet, the Rolex SD 4000 has a remarkable four thousand feet of resistance. That's a lot of depth! Take a look at the pros and cons.


"Is the Rolex Sea-Dweller discontinued?" We've been questioned by a few folks. No, the previous variant of the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000, which was popular among divers, has since been superseded with the newer and larger Sea-Dweller 43mm.


Water Resistant

Higher water-resistance of 4000ft / 1220m

Precious material used

Numbers and graduation indexes are matte platinum-coated.


The blue luminous substance that lasts a long time


The Sea-Dweller 4000 has a full 60 seconds printed on the second track on the bezel, but the Submariner only has 15 seconds printed on the bezel between the 12 and 3 o'clock positions.



The price is a little higher.

Material Alternatives

The case is only available in stainless steel.

Case Thickness

The casing of this watch is thicker.

Submariner Rolex Date

The most noticeable cosmetic change is the Submariner's Cyclops magnifier above the date, which is absent on the Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000. The newer Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm, on the other hand, has a cyclops magnifier above the date window. Because the date magnifier is one of the most extensively used and distinctive features found on most Rolex watches, this may be a deal-breaker for some. 

There's also the magnifier's practical value. Rolex has thankfully included the Cyclops lens in the new Sea-Dweller 43mm.

At Baselworld 2017, Rolex unveiled a new 50th Anniversary edition, the 43mm Single Red Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller Reference # 126600, which has a Cyclops magnifier and the name Sea-Dweller in red on the dial, just like the Sub. The Rolex Caliber 3235 movement, which has a power reserve of up to 70 hours, is used in this new edition. It also contains the highly legible Chromalit display, which is useful for diving pros who want to investigate the abysmal subaquatic depths.

Another advantage of the submarine series is that it comes in a variety of materials, including steel, white gold, yellow gold, and two-tone. They also come in more color options than the SD 4000 and SD 43mm, which are only available in stainless steel with a black dial and black Cerachrom bezel insert, as well as a two-tone steel and yellow gold option at the time of writing. Pros and Cons can be found here:


Price Tag

Slightly lower price tag 

Date Magnifier

Has the cyclops date magnifier 

Case Thickness 

This watch has a case that is less thick 


More choices of colors & materials 


Water resistance

The Submariner has a water resistance of 1000 feet / 300 meters, which is half that of the Sea-Dweller, which has a resistance of 4000 feet / 1220 meters.


The bezel displays only a fraction of a minute and the second track.

Reserve Capacity

The Rolex Submariner Date has a shorter power reserve than the Rolex Sea-Dweller 43mm, which has taken the place of the previous Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 models.

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