The present “Double Red” Sea Dweller is distinguished by the unique serial number of the prestigious Buenos Aires jeweller Ricciardi stamped underneath its lower right lug. In 1969, Ricciardi had opened stores in Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata, and Paris. Ricciardi, a company so proud of its name they engraved their own serial number underneath the lugs, branded by a complex punching process. It represents a true mark of originality, whilst also a prestigious and successful customization system. "Joyeria Ricciardi" enjoyed remarkable success and became the benchmark of excellence for the Argentinian aristocracy, the international jet set and eventually that of crowned royals.
Launched in 1967, the celebrated Sea-Dweller reference 1665 was the first wristwatch designed for use in saturation diving, fitted with a Rolex patent valve in the band and guaranteed waterproof to 610 meters depth. The valve was first developed on the Submariner model and allows helium and other gases to escape, enabling the watch to stand compression.
The present watch is an example of the "Mark III" series of the Double Red Sea-Dweller dial, in production between around 1970 to 1973. Mark III dials are distinguished by a number of details: the "double red" designation is written directly on the dial, without a white background print, and appears darker than that found on Mark II dials. The "SUBMARINER 2000" designation presents smaller fonts than the "SEA-DWELLER" one. The five tips and the oval at the base of the Rolex crown are clearly defined. The overall impression of the fonts is thinner and less distinct than on the earlier versions.
The present watch is furthermore a well-preserved example of this iconic reference.
For a description and detailed illustration of other Double Red Sea-Dweller reference 1665 watches see Rolex Submariner Story by Franca & Guido Mondani and Lele Ravagnani, pp. 160-171.