Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE Geneva Saturday, May 11, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1967
    Reference No: 1665 inside caseback stamped IV.67 and 764
    Movement No: D'999'902
    Case No: 1'719'764
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, end links stamped 280, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped G
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1967, the Sea-Dweller is the ultimate tool watch. Originally conceived for dive expeditions, the model was officially introduced for civilian use in 1967. While the earliest prototype examples featured single line bearing "Sea-Dweller" in red, Rolex later printed both the depth rating and Sea-Dweller signature in red. The Sea-Dweller's biggest technical innovation was the helium escape valve. During the 1960s, most watches did not have the capacity to submerge into great depths without breaking. The Helium Escape Valve allowed helium gas, which built up underwater, to be released during decompression.

    This impressive Sea-Dweller is fitted with a Mk2 dial, which has turned a beautiful and even tobacco tone over time. Correct for a 1.7 million serial number, Mk2 dials are distinguished by the small base of the coronet. It is remarkable how even and rich the brown tone is.

    Furthermore, the case is preserved in excellent condition with incredibly crisp bevels and sharp edges. The inside caseback is furthermore stamped with the last three digits of the serial number, which is correct. Of particular note is the "PATETED" engraving on the bracelet. Rolex had made a typo when manufacturing the bracelets and mounted them anyway. Today, these bracelets are particularly sought-after by collectors.

  • Artist Biography


    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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Ref. 1665 inside caseback stamped IV.67 and 764
An impressive and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with date, center seconds, tobacco "tropical" dial, helium escape valve and bracelet

Circa 1967
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF40,000 - 80,000 

Sold for CHF95,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019