Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1972
    Reference No: 1665 inside caseback stamped with repeated serial number 3'566'974
    Movement No: D583439
    Case No: 3'566'974
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster "folded links" extendable bracelet stamped "285" to the endlinks, max length 185mm (unextended)
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployand clasp stamped "3 70"
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by bespoken Rolex presentation box bearing the Khanjar on its lid.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Watches fitted with custom dials were often presented as gifts to ambassadors, dignitaries, or staff, as a token of gratitude or respect. It was an honor to be presented with an Omani "Special Issued" watch. Many of these timepieces are cherished by their original owners, and passed down from one generation to the next. As a result, Rolex watches with custom dials do not appear on the market often.

    The present Sea-Dweller displays the "Qaboos" signature at 6 o'clock in lieu of the usual depth rating. It is our understanding that this variant is one among three models that His Majesty Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman, offered to British SAS officers as thanks for helping defeat the Dhofar Rebellion. The other variants display either a red Khanjar symbol or gold Khanjar symbol at 6 o'clock.

    With a serial number of 3'566'974, the present watch fits within the tight serial range of known examples. Most interestingly, Phillips has had the privilege of selling a similar example bearing serial number 3'566'977 (3 numbers away from the present watch) bearing the Qaboos symbol at 6 o'clock with the same case specifications.

    The present watch is preserved in excellent condition with crisp edges and sharp engravings. The inside caseback is stamped with the serial number - another indicator of originality, showing the present watch was a special order timepiece. The dial has furthermore aged wonderfully, and the luminous material displays a warm vanilla hue, further enhancing the appearance of the dial.

    His Majesty was born in 1940 and lived until 2020. Following his ascent to the throne aged 30, the monarch "modernized" the state by launching a series of programs to advance the healthcare, education, and infrastructure systems in Oman.

  • 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 3'566'974
An exceptionally rare stainless steel wristwatch with "Qaboos" dial, date, helium escape valve and bracelet, made for the Sultan of Oman

Circa 1972
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF200,000 - 400,000 

Sold for CHF252,000

Contact Specialist

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

+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV

Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022