It’s a beautiful Friday morning here in New York and it’s only set to get better with the addition of this gorgeous Rolex Double Red Sea Dweller.
The Double Red Sea Dweller
Before we dive into today’s watch (pardon the terrible pun) I think it’s always nice to have a bit of background for those less well-versed in the complicated and mysterious of world of vintage Rolex.
The original concept for the Sea Dweller was developed in conjunction with COMEX, a French company specializing in engineering and deep diving operations, back in the 1960s. At the time they needed a diving watch for their professional divers to use whilst working on deep sea oil rigs.
To satisfy this need Rolex modified regular Submariner watches (ref. 5513) to incorporate a helium escape valve, subsequently creating a specific reference just for COMEX (ref. 5514.) Following on from the success of this project the decision was made in 1967 to create a new reference fitted with helium escape valves – the Sea Dweller Ref. 1665 – and offer them for commercial sale.
This would be the birth of the Double Red Sea Dweller, or DRSD as they are often referred to, a commercially available dive watch for serious enthusiasts. It may not seem like a big deal now but the first series (the MK I) was actually the first ever Sea Dweller capable of reaching a depth of 2000ft or 610 meters, which at the time was incredibly impressive.
You’ve probably guessed where the name comes from already but for those still scratching their heads, if you look closely at the dial you will see two lines of text printed in red just above 6 o’clock. In larger lettering the first line reads “Sea-Dweller” whilst just below that in slightly smaller lettering the second line reads “Submariner 2000.”
In total there were five versions of the Double Red Sea Dweller made and the model we have here today is the MK IV. This was the final version of the dial marketed for general production and is therefore the most common, although still extremely rare and sought after by collectors.
As you can see in the photos the red print of the dial is clear but not heavy. As I mentioned before the font of the red lettering is significantly larger on the top line of the two red lines printed. The coronet is large and the spikes are clearly defined and the “O” under the coronet is quite large.
Protecting the dial is the original Superdome crystal, so named for its distinctive dome-like shape. As you can see it is in excellent condition with no obvious marks or scratches. The original case and bracelet are also in excellent condition, especially given the watch’s age, and if you turn the piece over you will discover the original, unblemished caseback with the word “Rolex” printed horizontally.
Best of all though this Double Red Sea Dweller comes with boxes, papers and pretty much everything else you could ask for!
Make It Yours
Available for sale right now from Christie’s Private Watch sales, this Rolex Double Red Sea Dweller Ref. 1665 MK IV complete with box and papers can be yours for US$35,000.
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