Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XI Geneva Sunday, June 28, 2020 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1983
    Reference No: 16660
    Movement No: 1'526'748
    Case No: 8'414'354
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3035, 27 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped "592" and "93160" to the endlinks, max length 215mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex extendable deployant clasp stamped "H" and "93160"
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex punched Guarantee stamped by Auckland retailer Mansor's Jewelers and dated February 26, 1987, 2 additional endlinks, 1 additional endlink with extendable flap, numbered sale tag, Rolex Service card dated October 6, 2010, bracelet removal tool, anchor, fitted presentation box and outer packaging

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 16660 was introduced in 1978 and remained in production for only a decade, being discontinued in 1988. Highly collectible and sought-after, the model is in the eyes of Rolex collectors a sort of transitional link between “old school” production and the modern one. In fact, the watch was originally devised bearing a matt dial with tritium lume plots applied directly on it - such as the present version - thus following in the path of its ancestor reference 1665. However, later examples of reference 16660 feature gold-rimmed indexes and gloss dial, traits which will come to define the later production of Rolex diver’s watches.

    The caseback as well presents an evolution; early versions read “Rolex Patent” where as later versions were changed to “Rolex Oyster Original Gas Escape Valve” such as in the caseback of the present watch.

    Offered in excellent condition of both case and dial, and complete with all its accessories, the quality of this timepiece is further boasted by the presence of the Rolex Service card indicating that an overhaul was made in 2010. The fact that the case dates back to 1983 but the watch was sold only in 1987 is a good barometer of the market for such a kind of highly professional diver’s timepieces at the time, which brings a smile to one’s lips when comparing it to its current sought-after status.

  • 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. 16660
A fine, rare and perfectly preserved diver's wristwatch with center seconds, date, gas escape valve, bracelet, Guarantee and box

Circa 1983
40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF12,000 - 20,000 

Sold for CHF27,500

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020