Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 'Great White MK1'Sold
Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 'Great White MK1'
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The Double-Red Seadweller is one of the most sought after vintage Rolex sports models, but the ‘Great White’ is a worthy alternative.
The ‘Great White’ moniker refers to the four lines of white-colored text on a ref. 1665 Sea-Dweller. The ‘Great White’ is the successor of the Double-Red Seadweller. Oddly, prices for ‘Great Whites’ are significantly lower than Double-Reds, even though they were produced for just 5 years compared to the 10-year production run of the Double-Red. This makes the ‘Great White’ a great investment for the future.
This specimen dates back to 1978 and comes with a rare MK I dial. These early dial variants are characterized, among others, by the non-serif printing of the word ‘ft.’ The dial is in perfect condition and features attractive creamy tritium lume plots with matching tritium hands. Meanwhile, the bezel insert has patinated to a beautiful grayish-blue tint, which provides a nice contrast to the matte black dial. The 40 mm stainless steel case is in excellent condition, with the chamfers still visible, and even comes with the original superdomed T39 acrylic crystal.
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.