Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: X Geneva Saturday, November 9, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1974
    Reference No: 1665
    Movement No: D831'627
    Case No: 3'745'781, also repeated inside the caseback
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller "Double Red"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster, stamped 9315, end links stamped 385, max. length 230mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex twin lock folding clasp
    Dimensions: 39.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, outer case back signed "Rolex Patent Oyster Gas Escape Valve"
    Accessories: Accompanied by original Rolex fitted box, original punched guarantee dated 20 Nov. 1975, Bucherer service invoice dated 13 April 1987, hangtag and anchor.

  • Catalogue Essay

    A tool watch par excellence, the Rolex reference 1665 Sea-Dweller, launched in 1967, is a “civilian” evolution of the specialized dive watches Rolex had produced for the Marseilles-based deep sea diving company, COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise).

    The early generation models of the Sea-Dweller could withstand pressure up to impressive depths of 2000 feet or 610 meters. The Sea-Dweller models all 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 resulting in the watch being dubbed the “Double Red” years later by aficionados.

    The present watch is fitted with a Mark III dial, as the "D" in Sea-Dweller lines up with the "R" in Submariner".

    Furthermore, the case is preserved in excellent condition with incredibly crisp bevels and sharp edges. It is safe to say that the present Sea-Dweller was worn with care and spent its life on dry land rather than beneath the oceans.

    It is important to note that the present watch is offered complete with its original fitted box, hangtags, anchor, original guarantee and invoice of servicing from Bucherer dated April 1987 adding extra desirability to an already very attractive example.

  • 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 rare stainless steel wristwatch with date, centre seconds and "Double Red Sea-Dweller" logo, escape valve and bracelet

Circa 1974
39.5mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed, outer case back signed "Rolex Patent Oyster Gas Escape Valve"

CHF20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for CHF52,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: X

Geneva Auction 9-10 November 2019