Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1975
    Reference No: 1665 inside caseback engraved with original serial number 6'176'899 and current serial number 4'471'342
    Movement No: D124356
    Case No: 4'471'342 and issue number: 2224
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller "COMEX"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster extendable bracelet stamped "585" and "93150" to the endlinks, max length (unextended) 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped "S" "OPS" and "93150"
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed by maker, dial further signed by COMEX
    Accessories: Accompanied by "The Professional Diver's Handbook" book, picture of the original owner wearing the watch and COMEX sticker.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Consigned by the son of ex-COMEX diver, the present watch is part of a batch of approximately 300 reference 1665 Sea-Dwellers made for COMEX between 1977 and 1981. Distinguished by the boldly printed COMEX logo above the Sea-Dweller signature these watches were issued to working divers and featured a gas escape valve that ensured a careful, rather than explosive, egress of the Helium rich atmosphere during decompression.

    The working counterpart to the diver's later presentation watch, this example was on the wrist of rescue diver Joe Puttnam during the Stena Seaspread accident in 1981. Although heavily relied upon and regularly serviced with Rolex, the watch retains its original ‘600m’ COMEX dial and prominently engraved case back with the issue number 2224, although the mid-case, bracelet, bezel and insert are service items. Presented with a COMEX sticker and photograph of Mr Puttnam, wearing the watch and a copy of "The Professional Diver's handbook".

  • 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 engraved with original serial number 6'176'899 and current serial number 4'471'342
An extremely rare stainless steel automatic diver's wristwatch with center seconds, date, gas escape valve and bracelet, made for COMEX

Circa 1975
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed by maker, dial further signed by COMEX

CHF40,000 - 75,000 

Sold for CHF105,840

Contact Specialist

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

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021