ROLEX | SEA-DWELLER DOUBLE RED, REFERENCE 1665, STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH HELIUM ESCAPE VALVE, DATE AND BRACELET, CIRCA 1967
Estimate: 15,000 - 25,000 GBP
SEA-DWELLER DOUBLE RED, REFERENCE 1665
STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH HELIUM ESCAPE VALVE, DATE AND BRACELET
Calibre: cal. 1570 automatic, 26 jewels
Movement number: D’485’459
Case: stainless steel Oyster, screw-down crown and back
Case number: 1'719'780
Closure: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet with integrated folding clasp
Dimensions: 40mm diameter, bracelet circumference approximately 200mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
Accessories: Rolex Guarantee, original invoice dated 2nd March 1977, Rolex service invoice, 2 additional Rolex Oyster bracelets, Chronometer hang-tag and presentation case
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DIAL: in overall good condition with even patination on the indexes throughout, hands have been replaced during service.
CASE: with scuffs and scratches throughout, consistent with age and wear of the timepiece. Plexiglass bears several scratches
Bracelet: ref. 9315, 580 endlinks
additional Bracelets without endlinks: ref. 93150 (PJ12) and ref. 93150
MOVEMENT: running at time of cataloguing, date advances, seconds hack
Please note: Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot (for example, the online condition report may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome). Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's). Please also note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and wrist bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species. Please be advised that wristbands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS (ONLINE ONLY).
Rolex introduced the Sea-Dweller reference 1665 in 1967. The watch has been nicknamed by collectors the Double Red due to its distinctive red two-line text spread: “SEA-DWELLER” and “SUBMARINER 2000”. The helium escape valve was revolutionary by allowing the accumulated helium to be released out of the case without harming the movement or dislocating the plexiglass. Collectors have identified four main evolutions until 1977, the year Rolex introduced ‘Great White’ dials.
This watch is offered by its original owner who purchased it in 1977 for £310.
Interestingly, the case number suggests a circa date of 1967 making it an early example of the reference.
The piece is however fitted with a Mark III dial which was produced around 1972 and a Rolex Oyster bracelet from the third quarter of 1971. As such, it transpires that the watch was not assembled before the beginning of the 1970s. It then stayed in the stock of the retailer until it was eventually sold in 1977. When it was sold, the owner received an additional contemporary bracelet.
The watch was proudly worn every day by the owner for 40 years, until 2017.
The provenance of this watch is also fascinating as the owner served as the Second in Command of a Baluch-manned mercenary infantry battalion of the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces in the rank of Major in 1977. A year later, he became Deputy Defence Attaché in the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in London. In 1987 he joined Defence Systems Ltd, which was an international security company, as Operations Director for 9 years. He later worked in various high-ranking positions all across the globe, including as Demining consultant to the United Nations Development Programme. The watch almost never left his wrist during all his adventures, including meeting Princess Diana. He retired from full time work in 2014.