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 stamped with repeated serial number 4'059'066
    Movement No: D'204'900
    Case No: 4'059'066
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller "Double Red"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1520, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, stamped 78360, endlinks stamped 589, max length 220mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex flip lock deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex fitted box and punched guarantee.

  • Catalogue Essay

    When the Rolex Submariner was launched in 1953, it represented Rolex’s answer to the demands of the fast-growing community of recreational scuba divers, at the time a novel sport. Soon, however, the company realised that it could also provide diver’s watches to professional institutions - such as COMEX - and began a joined Research & Development process with these companies to adapt the Submariner to the stricter requirements of professional diving endeavours. The results of this process is a series of “upgraded” Submariner watches featuring improved water resistance and the ingenious addition of a helium escape valve developed to avoid the glass popping out of the watch during decompression. In 1971, a civilian version of these timepieces was launched with the Sea-Dweller line, taking its name by the underwater habitats into which the scientists, and their watches, would dwell for extended periods of time.

    The present piece belongs to this line of highly advanced divers’ wristwatches, and it is a specimen from the so-called “Double Red” series, featuring two lines of red text. This detail would later be replaced by full white graphics: the so-called “Great White” Sea-Dweller in 1977. Interestingly, the early examples of reference 1665 bear either the last three digits or - such as the present watch - the full serial number inside the caseback, a highly unusual detail for a standard production Rolex wristwatch. Normally, such a practice was adopted by the company for special order timepieces. The dial of the Double Red Sea-Dweller presents an evolution over time, each iteration identified as a Mark. This specimen features a Mark 4 dial– characterised by the grainy print and perfectly aligned D and R of “Dweller” and “Submariner" as well as having the “Double Red” letterings vivid and clear with the font of the red lettering notably larger on the top line. Manufactured in 1975, the present watch is a true testament of Rolexes advanced research technologies and forward thinking, it is further accompanied by its original box and punched papers and preserved in incredible condition with the remainders of the sticker still present on the caseback.

  • 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 with repeated serial number 4'059'066
An attractive and well preserved stainless steel wristwatch with gas escape value, date, “double red” Mk IV dial and bracelet

Circa 1975
39.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF78,120

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