Rolex - WINNING ICONS – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century New York Thursday, October 26, 2017 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1968
    Reference No: 1665
    Case No: 2'117'488 case interior stamped IV.67
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller "Patent Pending"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Oyster Rolex bracelet, reference 93150, end links stamped 585, max. length 210mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex flip lock with extendable deployant clasp, stamped 93150, OP11
    Dimensions: 39.5mm Diameter
    Accessories: Accompanied by a Rolex presentation box, original unrestored Rolex Oyster bracelet, stamped 9315, end links stamped 280, and photographs of consignor wearing the present watch, and service guarantee.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1967 Rolex launched the Sea-Dweller, which established a new standard in performance and technology, with an incredible depth rating of 2000 feet (610 meters), and the first ever helium escape valve (HEV). The earliest iterations engraved with “Patent Pending Rolex Oyster Gas Escape Valve” on their case backs are highly sought after. These earliest models were in effect prototypes, and their case back interiors feature the last three digits of the watch’s serial number - stamped 488 on the present example, as well as IV.67. The Mark 1 dial is a second defining feature of these prototype models; the double red printed Sea-Dweller on the first line, and Submariner 2000 on the second. The red print placed on top of white, and over time, the red text often faded. The Mark 1 dial is also characterized by equal-sized fonts used for all words within these two lines of red text. The present watch is fresh to the market, coming directly from its original owner who spent a lifetime as a professional diver. Accompanied with photos of the diver wearing the watch on assignment, it was gifted to him by his late father celebrating the start of his diving career. Preserved in wonderful condition, it presents a rare opportunity to own a storied, fresh -to- market example of one of the most iconic dive watches.

  • 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
An early and very rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with date aperture, center seconds, bracelet, gas escape valve, “double red” Mk1 dial, and patent pending case.

Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed, outer case back signed ‘Patent Pending’
39.5mm Diameter

$80,000 - 160,000 

Sold for $143,750

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293

WINNING ICONS – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century

New York Auction 26 October 2017