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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1997
    Reference No: 16600
    Movement No: 7'646'383
    Case No: U139'738
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller "COMEX"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3135, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 93'160, end links stamped 592B, max length 185mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Twin lock deployant clasp with diver extension
    Dimensions: 39.5mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex punched guarantee, fitted presentation box with outer packaging, two hang tags, anchor, tool ref. 2100, spare links, additional diver extension, diving instructions and product literature.
    Further accompanied by information regarding the Hydra-Ludion mission 1&2 and an orange bag containing diving gears.

  • Catalogue Essay

    For collectors of vintage Rolex sports models, few models have captured their attention as much as COMEX models over the recent past. The present Rolex COMEX Sea-Dweller reference 16600 took part in HYDRA - LUDION missions 1 and 2, historical undersea missions whose purpose was to study a new deep diving process using hydrogen instead of helium. This new process would allow faster decompression times for divers along with greater flexibility for deep dives. These missions were conducted by five professional, class III divers amongst which was Christian Planchat, who was given the present watch to be worn during these missions in 1998 and 1999. Over these two years, Planchat was diving to depths ranging from 100 to 300 meters.

    All original, the present watch is presented today in excellent condition and is accompanied with an impressive number of accessories: its original box, Rolex guarantee, hang tags, the Rolex anchor, product literature and is further accompanied by documentation describing the Hydra-Ludion missions, as well as other COMEX diving equipment its original owner used. All of these elements make it a unique opportunity to add a rare variant of the coveted “Comex" Sea-Dweller to one’s collection.

  • Artist Biography

    Rolex

    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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119

Ref. 16600
A rare and attractive stainless steel diver's wristwatch with helium valve, date, bracelet, box and papers made for COMEX

1997
39.5mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF50,000 - 80,000 
€45,900-73,400
$51,500-82,400

Sold for CHF75,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016