Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 'Double Red MK IV'Sold
Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 'Double Red MK IV'
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Being in the red generally is considered a bad thing, as it means owing a bunch of money. Not so much when it comes to vintage Rolex. Few things get collectors as excited as a Red Sub, a Big Red Daytona, and, of course, the legendary Double Red Sea-Dweller.By the 1960s, Rolex had earned its spurs as one of the premier makers of tough and trustworthy toolwatches. With the advent of deep-sea diving for commercial and research purposes, Rolex partnered with the French diving company COMEX to produce a waterproof watch to withstand the extreme pressures at such depths. The resulting watch, the reference 1665 Sea-Dweller, was introduced in 1967. Unlike its older sibling (the Submariner) the Sea-Dweller could be taken much further underwater due to a thicker case and crystal as well as a critical invention: the helium escape valve.The 1665 was in production in various iterations until the early 1980s. Those made in the first ten years of the Sea-Dweller’s production run are the most coveted among the collectors. These watches feature dials with two lines of text (“Sea-Dweller” and “Submariner 2000”) printed in red, earning them the nickname ‘Double Red Sea-Dweller’.This ref. 1655 from 1975 features a so-called fourth-series (Mark IV) execution double-red dial, best known for the cool oversized Rolex coronet right under the 12 o’clock marker. The matte black dial is in excellent condition with tritium indices that have patinated to lovely warm custardy colour over time. The original black bezel, meanwhile, has faded to a pleasing blue hue. We think you should know that the case back has some marks. The 40 mm stainless steel case is in excellent condition, with nice thick lugs and sharp edges, and comes on a stainless steel Oyster bracelet with a flip lock clasp.
Rolex Sea-DwellerIn 1926, Rolex’ visionary founder Hans Wildorf patented the world’s first waterproof and dustproof watch case: the famous ‘Oyster.’ Three decades later, in 1953, Rolex introduced one of the world’s first wrist watches geared specifically towards divers: the Submariner. Rolex had to confront a number of challenges when designing its first dive watch. The watch obviously had to withstand significant amounts of pressure and had to accurately measure time spent underwater, which the first Submariner achieved by introducing a 330ft/100m depth rating and a rotating diving bezel. It also had to be easily legible in conditions of reduced visibility yet aesthetically pleasing. Hence, the Sub’s iconic large white tritium hour markers and Mercedes hands set against a contrasting black dial.During the 1960s, the needs of professional divers working at great depths led to the development of the first ‘ultra water resistant’ tool watches designed for conducting safe diving operations at depths of 300 meters (1,000 ft.). However, these were still not sufficient for deep-sea divers who experienced failure as their watch crystals broke during compression due to the build up of helium. To aid these divers, Rolex released in 1967 the Sea-Dweller Submariner (ref. 1665) in cooperation with the French engineering and deep-sea diving company COMEX. The Sea-Dweller range has been standard issue for COMEX divers and since 1977 Rolex has even produced them with customized COMEX dials.By increasing the thickness of the crystal and incorporating a helium escape valve for saturation diving, these early Sea-Dweller could be taken as deep as 610 meters (2,000 ft). A characteristic aspect of the Sea-Dweller is the absence of the date magnifier (‘cyclops’) that is present on other Rolex Oyster models with a date complication.
- SKU 6872
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