Rolex - The New York Watch Auction: X New York Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1977
    Reference No: 1665
    Movement No: D’525’489
    Case No: 5’398’992
    Model Name: Sea-Dweller “Great White”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet with diver’s extension, reference 93150, endlinks stamped 580, max approx. overall length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp, reference 93150, stamped “S”
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex punched guarantee dated June 24th, 1979 from a retailer located in Marseille, chronometer attestation, plastic wallet with case number sticker, product literature, wax hang tag, inner fitted presentation box, and outer box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1967, the Sea-Dweller is Rolex’s ultimate tool watch. Originally conceived for dive expeditions, the model was officially introduced for civilian use in 1967. The Sea-Dweller's biggest technical innovation was the helium escape valve. During the 1960s, most watches did not have the capability to be submerged into great depths within diving chambers, without incurring serious damage. The Helium Escape Valve allowed helium gas, which built up due to the pressurized air mixture used within these deep-sea chambers, to be released during decompression.

    In 1977, around the 5.2 million serial number, production of the Double Red Sea-Dweller ceased, and the "Great White" was born. Thanks to its purity on the dial, lacking any bright colors, collectors refer to this model as the “Great White”, a nod to the maritime application of the Sea-Dweller.

    During the next four years, different "Great White" dial variants were produced and scholarship today divides them into five typologies ranging from Mark 0 to Mark 4, of which the present watch is a Mark 1 example. Mark 1 dials, which precede the more common “rail dials” on “Great White” Sea Dwellers are defined by the first instance of open 6s, a shortened “Sea-Dweller” text, and a specific serial number range.

    Preserved in wonderful and in our opinion unpolished condition retaining its original bezel pearl, it is accompanied by its guarantee indicating sale in Marseille (the home of COMEX), and chronometer certificate.

  • 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 well-preserved and attractive stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with “Mark 1” dial, gas escape valve, date and bracelet, with guarantee and presentation box

Circa 1977
39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

$12,000 - 24,000 

Sold for $16,510

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Americas
+1 (212) 940-1293

Isabella Proia
Head of Sale, New York
+1 (212) 940 1285

The New York Watch Auction: X

New York Auction 8 - 9 June 2024