Rolex Sea Dweller VS. Rolex Submariner: Which diver watch is better?

Use this comprehensive comparison to find out which one of these two Rolex diver watches is best for you.
We are often asked questions about the various different diver watches from the most popular luxury watch brands as well as the differences between the different diver watches within a single brand. Our various watch comparisons are made to enable you to make an educated and informed purchase decision about a watch by putting the information in an easy to read format.
Divers are always looking for better equipment. It can be the difference between a successful dive and a catastrophic dive. In some cases having better equipment means you have a better chance of coming out alive. Rolex makes several watches that are great for diving. Their oyster cases lock down like a mini submarine hatch and are pretty much born to take the plunge.
The two Rolex diver watches that we will compare today are the Rolex Sea Dweller 4000 VS the Rolex Submariner Date. At first glance or to the untrained eye these watches look almost identical with very few yet subtle aesthetic differences. Below is a summary of the things that these two watches have in common and the pros and cons describing the features that make each one unique. For your convenience you can use the buttons below to view the two collections now. Otherwise, proceed with the comparison below.
               

Common Features

  • Both of these Rolex watches use the 31-jewel, Rolex Calibre 3135 movement.
  • Both watches have an approx. 50-hour power reserve.
  • Black "Cerachrom" bezel insert which is made of a hardened ceramic that is very durable and resistant to scratches. In addition, Cerachrom has great anti-corrosion properties and won't color fade when exposed to UV rays for long periods of time.
  • Polished stainless steel rimmed bezel with a ribbed edge for a sure grip.
  • Patented "Triplock" crown which locks the crown down the Oyster case making it as tight as a submarine hatch.
  • Bracelet fitted with the patented Glidelock Extension System buckle - a secure deploying style with adjustments in 2mm increments to a total of 20mm without the need of tools.
Rolex Sea Dweller 4000 Watch

Rolex Sea Dweller 4000

The most impressive feature of the Rolex Sea Dweller 4000 is the difference in Water Resistance compared to the Rolex Submariner. While serious diving calls for a minimum of 1650 feet and up of water resistance, the Rolex Sea Dweller 4000 boasts a whopping four thousand feet of resistance. See the pros & cons.

PROS

Water Resistance
Higher Water Resistance of 4000ft / 1220m
Precious Material Used
Matte platinum coated numbers & graduation indexes
Visibility
Long lasting blue luminous material
Bezel
The Sea Dweller 4000 features a full 60 seconds on the second track located on bezel itself whereas the Submariner has only 15 seconds printed on the bezel between the 12 o'clock and 3 o'clock position

CONS

Price Tag
Slightly Higher Price Tag
Material Options
Only available in Stainless Steel
Case Thickness
This watch has a thicker case
Rolex Submariner Watch

Rolex Submariner Date

The one aesthetic difference that stands out the most is the Cyclops magnifier over the date of the Submariner while the Rolex Sea Dweller 4000 is lacking one. For some people, this may be a deal breaker since the date magnifier is one of the most widely used and distinct features found on most Rolex watches. There is also the functional value of the magnifier.

At Baselworld 2017, Rolex introduced a new 50th Anniversary edition, a now larger 43mm Single Red Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller Reference # 126600 which now includes a Cyclopse magnifier just like the Sub and has the name Sea-Dweller in red on the dial. This new version uses the Rolex Calibre 3235 movement which has an impressive power reserve of up to 70 hours. It also has the highly legible Chromalit display, a practical feature for an adventure to the abysmal subaquatic depths commonly explored by diving professionals.

Another plus side of the submariner series is that there are many more models in several materials and color combinations compared to the SD 4000 which is only available at the time of writing this in stainless steel with a black dial and black Cherachrom bezel insert. See the Pros and Cons:

PROS

Price Tag
Slightly Lower Price Tag
Date Magnifier
Has the Cyclops date magnifier
Case Thickness
This watch has a case that is less thick
Styles
More Choices of Colors & Materials

CONS

Water Resistance
The Submariner only has 1000 feet / 300 meters of water resistance which is a quarter of that of the Sea-Dweller which has 4000 feet / 1220 meters of water resistance
Bezel
Only a partial minute and second track is displayed on the bezel
Brand: Rolex Rolex
Series: Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date Sea-Dweller 4000
Model #: 116610LN 116600
Size: Mens Mens
Case Material: Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
Dial Color: Black Black
Bracelet/Strap: Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
Clasp Type: Folding Clasp With Safety Latch Folding Clasp With Safety Latch
Movement: Automatic Automatic
Bezel: Uni-Directional Rotating Uni-Directional Rotating
Crystal: Scratch Resistant Sapphire Scratch Resistant Sapphire
Case Back: Solid Solid
Water Resistance: 1000 feet / 300 meters 4000 feet / 1220 meters
Case Diameter: 40mm 40mm
Case Thickness: 13mm 14.8mm
Warranty: Prestige Time 5 Year Warranty Prestige Time 5 Year Warranty
 

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Not sure if either one of these collections is the right one for you?

View all collections & series from this brand

Rolex Sea Dweller VS Rolex Submariner Footer

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