Rolex - The Watch Auction: One Geneva Saturday, May 9, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1977
    Reference No: 1665
    Movement No: X2'309'957
    Case No: 5'082'969, repeated inside the case back
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, 1570
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster
    Clasp/Buckle: Twin lock deployant clasp, stamped S W3
    Dimensions: 40mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, dial further stamped in golden print with the National emblem of Oman, case back further engraved OYSTER, Gas Escape Valve, Rolex Patent
    Accessories: International service card dated 14th January 2008 and correspondence with Rolex on service requirements and two additional links
    Literature: For an earlier example with Red Kanjar, please see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, by John Goldberger, pages 218 to 219

  • Catalogue Essay

    Emblazoned on the dial at 6 o’clock is the “Khanjar”, the national emblem of Oman that features a traditional Khanjar-type dagger used for ceremonial occasions. When found on a Rolex watch, it signifies a royal provenance. Such watches, referred to as “Khanjar” by collectors, were made on commission from the Sultan of Oman, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said. With his own formidable watch collection, His Majesty’s passion for horology is well known. They were given as gifts to loyal servants and foreign dignitaries.Born in 1940, and ascending to the throne at age 30 following studies under the President of India and military training at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, England, his reign has been one of great success. With revenues received from oil sales, he drove transformational advances in healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Watches with the Khanjar are extremely sought after. Due to their exceptional rarity, few have appeared on the market.Phillips is proud and delighted to offer, for the first time ever at auction, what is amongst the rarest of all versions of the Rolex Sea Dweller. With its distinguished Gold Khanjar at 6 o’clock on the dial, it is amongst the rarest of all Khanjar watches known to exist.In the 1970s, to recognize the role that Britain’s elite special forces branch, the SAS, played in defeating the Dhofar Rebellion, His Majesty Al Said commissioned very limited batches of Rolex Sea Dwellers with either a red Khanjar, red ‘Qaboos’ dial script, and rarest of all, a Gold Khanjar. It’s believed the red color, as used in the Omani flag, symbolizes battles against invaders – a theme that is in accordance with the British soldiers who served to protect his nation.The gold color signifies an object of utmost importance, used to represent the Sultan himself. Whereas approximately 80 to 90 Sea Dwellers with red Omani text are estimated to have been made, only between 9 and 12 Sea Dwellers are believed to exist with a gold Khanjar. Until now, only four of these watches have surfaced, most falling within a very narrow serial range spanning just 10 numbers.In addition to the Gold Khanjar, the dials on these watches exhibit other variations not seen on any other Sea-Dweller. The coronet at 12 o’clock is of a unique shape whilst the hour markers contain no luminous materials.This particular example is in exceptional condition. With no signs of ever having been polished, the sharp bevels, angles and curves are perfectly preserved, as it originally left Rolex’s factory. The dial is flawless, with perfectly white markers, printed with the identical ink used for the coronet and ‘Rolex’ logo at 12 o’clock. The ‘Rolex’ logo is horizontally engraved on its caseback, consistent with the casebacks found on “Double Red” Sea-Dwellers produced during the same era. The inner side of the caseback is engraved with the same serial number stamped between the lugs at 6 o’clock, indicating that this watch was indeed made by Rolex upon special order.Furthermore, it is accompanied by multiple confirmation papers from Rolex Geneva that include an International Service Guarantee and an original service invoice mentioning the special dial.Its historical significance, royal provenance, immaculate condition, and superb rarity make it one of the most exciting and important Rolex sport watches to appear at auction in recent years.

  • 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
A very fine and extremely rare stainless steel centre second wristwatch with date, bracelet and gas escape value, made for the Sultanate of Oman

40mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed, dial further stamped in golden print with the National emblem of Oman, case back further engraved OYSTER, Gas Escape Valve, Rolex Patent

CHF200,000 - 400,000 

Sold for CHF377,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm