Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV Hong Kong Friday, May 27, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1978
    Reference No: 1665
    Movement No: D867’124
    Case No: 5’721’508, repeated inside caseback 1665
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller, “Rail Dial”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped “93150”, endlink stamped “585”, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped “VD”
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex instruction manual, product literature, hang tag, cloth, two green passport holders, note pad, cloth, outer packaging and fitted presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    First introduced to the public in 1967, the Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 features a helium escape valve to release pressure during expeditions of deeper depths. While first examples of the Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 featured two lines of red text at 6 o’clock, later examples featured white texts throughout, hence earning its nickname the “Great White”. It was the very first time the Sea-Dweller was modeled as a separate line instead of an extension from the Submariner ref. 5513.

    Further enhanced by its rarity, the present example is what collectors known as the MK II rail dial variant of the reference. With production for only two years between 1977 to 1979 with a serial number between 5.7 million to 6.2 million, the dials were made by the Stern Company instead of Singer. Elusive and highly collectible, the Rail dial can be distinguished by the subtle details. The “C” of chronometer lines up with the “C” of Certified creating an unusual yet pleasing vertical corridor or rail between the last two lines of the designation is what gives the dial its nickname. It’s worth noting that the MK II variant is also the only Sea-Dweller that bears a “T SWISS T <25” amongst all variants.

    The present example Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 MKII “Rail Dial” from circa 1978 with a 5.7 million serial is a great example featuring an attractive dial with consistently aged luminous material that has developed a warm mustard hue.

  • 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 fine and rare stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with center seconds, date, gas escape valve, “rail dial”, bracelet and presentation box

Circa 1978
40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$78,000 - 160,000 

Sold for HK$239,400

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia 
+852 2318 2031

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV

Hong Kong Auction 27 - 28 May 2022