Accompanied by an undated Rolex Warranty and green presentation box.
Rolex watches have long been synonymous with deep sea exploration and even model names like Sea Dweller and Submariner invoke images of the ocean. The present watch continues the tradition with its Sea Lab II association, the 1965 US Navy experiment in undersea living.
On August 26, 1965, the US Navy lowered Sea Lab II 62 meters to the ocean floor of the La Jolla Canyon off the coast of California. Over a 45 day period, three separate teams of aquanauts spent 15 days each studying the physiological and psychological effects of deep sea living. The primary objective of the research was to study long term effects of saturation diving in which divers breathe a helium/oxygen mixture at a pressure equal to the surrounding sea water. Human tissue becomes saturated with the gas allowing the diver to work at depth for longer periods of time. By having access to a dry warm living environment and food and water divers could essential remain under the ocean for an indefinite period of time. During the experiment the aquanauts tested and evaluated new underwater tools and salvage methods which had both industrial and military applications. Additionally, they studied the sea bed fauna and ocean physics.
The best known of the aquanauts was Commander (USN Retired) Scott Carpenter. He spent a total of 28 days on Sea Lab II. Carpenter a former astronaut was the second man to orbit the earth and the fourth man in space.
According to our research this is the first Sea Lab II Wristwatch to appear at public auction.