A fine and attractive stainless steel diver's wristwatch with date, bracelet, and gas escape valve

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1977
    Reference No: 1665
    Movement No: D057'386
    Case No: 5'082'980
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller "Double Red"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Oyster bracelet, reference 93150, end links stamped 580, max length 220mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp with extension piece, stamped 93150
    Dimensions: 38mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex pouch

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Reference 1665 Sea-Dweller evolved from the specialized dive watches Rolex had produced for the Marseille-based deep sea diving company, COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise). A commercial version marketed to the general public, the early generation models of the Sea-Dweller could withstand pressure up to impressive depths of 2000 feet or 610 meters. All, like the present model with Mark IV dial, feature a helium escape valve and were the world’s most robust, water resistant watches of their era. Indeed, after compression dives at such depths, where they would breathe a mixture of pressurized hydrogen-helium-oxygen, the tiny helium atoms would penetrate normal dive watches and pop their crystals out during decompression. Rolex solved this problem with COMEX, inventing the helium escape valve, permitting the trapped helium to easily escape. Between 1971 and 1977, Rolex printed the words “SEA-DWELLER” and “Submariner 2000” in red on two lines on the watch’s dial, fittingly nicknamed the “double red” years later by collectors. Preserved in original, unrestored condition, the present lot most probably spent its life on dry land than reaching such unfathomable depths. A sporty and versatile watch that is both highly collectible and suitable for daily wear.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    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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Rolex

Ref. 1665
A fine and attractive stainless steel diver's wristwatch with date, bracelet, and gas escape valve

1977
38mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF15,000 - 25,000 
€13,800-23,000
$15,500-25,800

sold for CHF27,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016