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Trieste - Rolex and Exploration
The submersible bathyscaphe Trieste reached 10,916 meters on the ocean floor accompanied by Rolex. Discover more about exploration on the Official Rolex Website.>

The Deepest Dive

Rolex and Exploration

In January 1960, Rolex accompanied the submersible bathyscaphe Trieste on the historic U.S. Navy dive to the Mariana Trench, reaching 10,916 metres (35,800 feet) onto the ocean floor.

Rolex's deepest dive
Project Nekton


The Deepest Dive

The Bathyscaphe Trieste


The Deepest Dive

Engineered to explore the approximately seventy-one percent of the Earth’s surface that is covered with water, the bathyscaphe was a design of simple genius. Auguste Piccard, the brilliant and inquisitive inventor of the bathyscaphe and Jacques Piccard’s father, was fond of stating that he firmly believed “the first answer is never the right answer.”

When the Piccards began to test the Trieste in 1953, the engineers at Rolex had been on their own quest for perfection for decades and were equally eager to embark on the bold series of missions that were to come. The participation of the U.S. Navy allowed Professor Piccard to put his creation into action and realise his dream of the ultimate underwater exploratory mission.


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The Deepest Dive

In early 1958, the U.S. Navy purchased the Trieste from the Piccards; Jacques was hired as a consultant to train personnel to maintain and operate it. The sphere of the Trieste - originally designed to withstand pressure at 6,000 metres (19,684 feet) - was then enlarged and perfected to withstand 11,000 metres (36,088 feet) of pressure. In all, the Trieste carried out 64 dives before the ship and her crew were ready for the ultimate test.

Rolex and the Deepest Dive
Rolex testing


The Deepest Dive


The Deepest Dive

Walsh and Rolex


The Deepest Dive

Rolex Deepsea Special


The Deepest Dive

Ever since Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf named the first waterproof wristwatch the “Oyster” in 1926, Rolex has been studying the tools needed by professionals in extreme conditions. The Deep Sea Special was developed to demonstrate the efficiency of the waterproof Oyster.

Direct descendants of the Deep Sea Special, the Submariner (launched in 1953), and the Sea-Dweller (launched in 1967) permitted, for the first time, those working in fields other than those dedicated to science and research to understand the technical marvel Rolex had produced. Both models became indispensible equipment for serious underwater exploration such as that undertaken by the professional divers of COMEX, the French dive specialists with whom Rolex worked to perfect their underwater watches. The Trieste dive made Rolex watches a part of the collective, professional conscience, and scientists have regularly relied on them ever since.

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Rolex's Underwater Exploration


The Deepest Dive

Rolex has continually encouraged the world’s foremost scientists in their explorations, enjoying long relationships with some of the best-known ocean pioneers in the world. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the maverick undersea explorer, was an internationally known champion of the seas.

Like him, Sylvia Earle, the intrepid U.S. marine biologist, understands the importance of exploration to man’s very survival on this planet. “We are dependent on the natural systems that sustain us. If we take care of the ocean and the rest of the natural world, we're really taking care of ourselves.” With over 7,000 hours underwater, Dr. Earle’s experience is an invaluable contribution to the vital task of education.

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