SEA-DWELLER 'DOUBLE RED', REF 1665
STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH DATE AND BRACELET
Calibre: cal. 1570 automatic, 26 jewels
Movement number: D'423'859
Case: stainless steel, screw-down back
Case number: 5'209'552
Closure: stainless steel Oyster bracelet and folding clasp
Dimensions: 40mm diameter, bracelet circumference approx.
Signed: case, dial and movement
Accessories: original Rolex punched Guarantee, Rolex bi-fold, booklets and presentation case
Movement: running at the time of cataloguing, date advances, seconds hack when the crown is pulled out.
Case: in very good overall condition with strong lines and bevels. The bezel shows light scratching and a uniform shading throughout. The outer-case back engravings are fully visible with a slight loss of definition. The inner-case back bears the 1665 reference and full case number. The bracelet ref. 93150 with 585 endlinks bears the J10 clasp code, dating it to October 1985.
Dial: the dial is free of any marks or surface wear. The lume plots are all in excellent condition and have taken a creamy patina, matching with the hands and bezel pearl insert. With one very discreet restoration to the 5 minute index as well as between the 1 and 2 minute indexes.
Please note that the movement has not been tested for the accuracy of time and may need a service at the buyer's expense. Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement and we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts.
You are advised that watch straps or bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator or crocodile) are not sold with the watch and we reserve the right to remove these straps or bands prior to shipping. Furthermore, the watch may not come with its original manufacturers strap or band.
Prospective bidders should review the Conditions of Business, Authenticity Guarantee, the Guide for Prospective Buyers, and any Important Notice in the sale catalogue.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports 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. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. 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.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
**Please be advised that bands 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."
Rolex launched the Sea-Dweller in 1967, basing its design on the 8 year-old Submariner. This extremely compelling divers' watch saw its case fitted with an helium escape valve, allowing it to withstand much deeper water-depths. The earliest models bore the reference 1665 and featured 2 lines of red text, including the mention of "SUBMARINER 2000", decisively announcing the impressive water-resistance of 2000 meters or 610 feet.
Collectors and scholars have identified five chronological dial types for this reference between 1967 and 1977, each differing in minor details before the red text was replaced with a white script, launching the 'Great White' Sea-Dweller era.
The present late Double-Red example can undoubtedly be called a gorgeous one. Dated from 1977, its wonderfully preserved case evidences strong lugs and sharp bevels, with both the 1665 reference and 5'209'552 serial perfectly sharp between the lugs. The strikingly well-preserved fourth series dial bears a delightful creamy patina to the intact lume plots and matching hands, while the faded fat-font bezel is exhibiting a matching cream pearl insert. Concealed under a nostalgic domed crystal, it displays a large Coronet with oversized O in 'ROLEX'. The 'SUBMARINER 2000' text is furthermore considerably smaller than the 'SEA-DWELLER' script, while the meter depth rating bears a closed 6. Another charming touch, the vintage silvered date disc is printed with the beloved open 6 and 9. As with later Double Red Sea-Dweller iterations, the inner-case back is engraved with the full case number, while the outer part shows the circular "Rolex Patent Oyster Gas Escape Valve" observed on late Double Red examples and subsequent Great White iterations.
The Double Red Sea-Dweller has become an all-time favourite in Rolex collecting circles, making it extremely difficult to come by a nicely preserved, honest example. The present lot is accompanied by its original punched guarantee, bi-fold with leaflets and presentation case, making it a very attractive opportunity for the demanding Rolex collector.