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

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1967
    Reference No: 1665 inside caseback stamped IV.67
    Movement No: D'390'518
    Case No: 2'128'245
    Model Name: "Patent Pending" Sea-Dweller "Double Red"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel "Patent Pending" Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 3.70
    Dimensions: 39.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Sea-Dweller is one of the world’s most eminent dive watches. Launched in 1967, it was originally conceived for dive expeditions. 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.

    The present watch, known as the "Mk 1 Patent Pending" is one of the earliest known serially produced reference 1665s. This timepiece displays a Mk 1 dial, which is characterized by Sea-Dweller on the first line, and Submariner 2000 on the second. The signature consists of red print on top of white that has faded to a light pink tone. The caseback is stamped "Oyster Gas Escape Valve 'Patent Pending'", which is correct for first generation Sea-Dwellers. There is furthermore a small hole near the teeth of the outer caseback - this is correct, as Rolex drilled a hole to hold the caseback in place while they engraved the text on the outer rim. As another added bonus, the bracelet is stamped "Pat. Pend." which is correct for the period.

    Displaying a 2.128 million serial number, this timepiece is preserved in crisp condition with sharp bevels and good proportions throughout.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 1665 inside caseback stamped IV.67
An extremely rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, date, helium escape valve, "double red" Mk I dial, patent pending case and bracelet

Circa 1967
39.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF70,000 - 100,000 

Sold for CHF81,250

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019