Vintage Rolex Sea-Dweller Double Red Reference 1665

11:27 AM

Rolex Sea-Dweller Double Red Reference 1665 (photo: phillips.com)
Rolex's Sea-Dweller model celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and Baselworld 2017 predictions all point to a new configuration for this classic diver's watch. The 'Double Red' Sea-Dweller (Reference #1665) shown above dates back to 1977. It features a Mark IV dial and the name of the model in two lines colored red, the origin of the nickname it is known by today.

The impressive depth rating of this timepiece (610 meters or 2000 feet) is the result of technology developed by the watchmaker and COMEX, the Compagnie Maritime d'Expertise, a French diving company. Rolex made many non-commercial timepieces for COMEX before creating one offered to the general public. One of the innovations of this 38 millimeter stainless steel diver's watch is the helium escape valve that is still part of the model to this day. This allows tiny helium molecules to escape the case without damaging the crystal due to the pressure during decompression after a dive.

The 1665 above was auctioned by Phillips last year in Geneva for approximately $27,500 and is preserved in its original condition. Some have speculated that the 50th anniversary edition of the Sea-Dweller 4000, should an anniversary model be released this year, will have the name colored in blue. I created a blacked out concept of the Sea-Dweller 4000 with the name in red to honor the double red shown above.

We will have to wait and see what Rolex does with this model at Baselworld in March. Regardless of what new configurations they release, though, the 'Double Red' will always be a favorite amongst collectors. The absence of the Cyclops magnifying lens, the depth rating and the simple display of the 1665 accentuated by the red lettering creates an irresistible combination for fans of brand. For more information on this and other vintage Rolex watches, visit phillips.com.

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