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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1967
    Reference No: 1665
    Movement No: D990867
    Case No: 1’758’337
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller “Double Red”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1575, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, end links stamped 580, max length 220mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp with diver’s extension, reference 93150, stamped M6
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by original box, hangtag, punched guarantee papers, booklet, and service receipts.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1967, the Sea-Dweller joined the Milgauss, Daytona, Submariner, and GMT-Master as part of Rolex’s tool watch line up. The Sea-Dweller may on the surface seem redundant to the Submariner, which could at the time reach a respectable 660 feet, more than necessary for most divers. However, Rolex wanted to accompany those pioneers seeking to reach the deepest parts of the ocean – and stay there for an extended period of time.

    Instrumental to the development of the Sea-Dweller was Robert “Bob” Barth, the only member of the Navy Experimental Diving Unit to participate and dive in all three SEALAB missions, and reaching a depth of 1,025 feet. He, in partnership with a Rolex U.S.A. executive, took up the mantle of solving the issue of the team’s Submariners’ crystal popping of due to the build-up of helium molecules during saturation dives. Together, they solved the problem by incorporating an ingenious helium escape valve (HEV) into the left side of the Sea-Dweller case, a revolutionary invention now in use by so many brands today.

    The present Rolex Sea-Dweller, bearing the serial number 1’758’337, is fitted with a remarkable Mark II “tropical” dial. The uniformly aged chocolate-hued dial is set against the almost purplish color of the bezel, that too having faded over time. The dial details are characteristic of the Mark II variant of DRSD dials, with the small oval at the base of the coronet and the “D” in “Dweller” aligned with the “I” in “Submariner”. Typical of the earliest of Sea-Dwellers, the current example has a coveted thin case with the last three digits of the serial numbers engraved on the inside caseback. Moreover, it retains its original accessories, including its guarantee and hang tag, creating quite the impressive package for the discerning collector.

  • Artist Biography

    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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Ref. 1665
A rare and very attractive stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with bracelet and tropical dial, accompanied by original guarantee and presentation box

Circa 1967
39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed.

Estimate
$40,000 - 80,000 
CHF36,100-72,300
€33,400-66,800
HK$310,000-620,000

Sold for $163,800

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293
[email protected]

Racing Pulse

New York Auction 12 December 2020