Erik’s Rolex Deepsea 126660. A Journey for his Holy Grail.

by Erik Debono
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In 2009, I knew nothing about watches. A friend of mine showed me a watch he had as his desktop background at work. I scrunched my nose up at it and said it looked boring! It was the Rolex 116660 DeepSea Sea-Dweller. Not long after that, maybe within a year, I got to hold one at an AD and in that moment, I got it. The smooth sweep of the seconds hand, the solidness and heft that was a very well-made watch and the overall look of it, it got me and from that moment on, it was the first watch I ever loved.

Since that day, I’ve always said to myself I must own one. I bought a couple of watches over the years that followed and though I’ll always keep them, they never scratched that itch that getting my original Grail could scratch. 5 years ago, my wife and I went to Europe and while on a little island off the coast of Greece, I was holding a DeepSea at an AD. I ummed and ahhed and decided to pass on the opportunity. A moment I’ve regretted to this day. 

Last year, I felt like I’d earned the right to get one. I’d achieved some things in life that I felt warranted the purchase of one and even though the version of the DeepSea I originally fell for was a black dial, a friend of mine had an 116660 D-Blue and every time I saw it, I was taken aback by the dial’s gradient blue to black, so I sought to get my hands on the new 126660 D-Blue. It may sound weird, but I wanted a new one with the intention that the watch I ended up with would only ever be owned by someone in my family, so I went and put my name down for one at The Hour Glass Brisbane. I was willing to wait a year or so, but I kept hearing I’d be waiting for years before I got one, so I started looking on the grey market. I found that the 126660 D-Blue was selling for ridiculous and extortionate prices, so I decided to start looking for an 116660 Black Dial as they were easier to attain and were relatively reasonably priced. 

At the beginning of 2019, I was hooked up with a perfect 2010 model from VWC Brisbane at a great price, so I jumped on it. It was all original; case never polished but in near perfect condition, bracelet recently polished and looking like new, recently serviced and all box and papers included. I went in at lunch time on a Friday with two good mates to pick it up. It was one of the best moments in my life as I’d attained my first dream watch. I remember lying in bed that night holding it. I stared at it for what felt like an eternity just admiring everything about it.

Since that moment, I enjoyed every minute it was in my possession and was content on keeping it, until I got a call from Kevin Wang from The Hour Glass Brisbane on a June Monday evening, the day before my birthday, saying he had something for me. I was torn as I thought about what I should do. Do I keep my second hand and original dream watch or do I get the brand-new model I was currently in love with? I decided I wanted a brand new one that I could hopefully keep in my family and pass down, so I asked Kevin if he could hold it for me till the end of the week. That night, I put my 116660 up for sale on AWBSS and by the Wednesday morning, it’d sold. I let Kevin know I’d be there that Saturday to pick up my new watch. 

A few of my close friends and I have a ritual where whenever one of us picks up a new watch, we make a day of it so when the Saturday came, we, along with my wife and daughter, entered The Hour Glass Brisbane to pick up my 126660 D-Blue. The moment was surreal. It was a mixture of excitement and nervousness, but one I’ll never forget. I remember as I was seated at the table, glass of water in hand, it being brought out in the clear plastic box it ships in. It had the bezel protector on it along with the stickers and tags. It was taken out and placed onto my wrist. It was perfect. Beneath the lights it glistened. The Blue on the dial popped and changed as I tilted my wrist and the Green “DEEPSEA” contrasted perfectly. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment as I signed the papers signalling the purchase of my first Grail.

Well, now here we are, a few weeks after I picked it up and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been 10 years in the making but I finally hold my first Grail, brand new. Now onto the next one, a Glashutte Original Panomatic Lunar White Dial, the second watch I fell in love with.

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