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    Sale 1413

    Rare Watches Including Important Private Collections

    16 May 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 101

    Rolex. A very rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, date, gas escape valve, “Double Red MKI” dial, “patent pending” case, bracelet, anchor and box


    Price Realised  


    Rolex. A very rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, date, gas escape valve, “Double Red MKI” dial, “patent pending” case, bracelet, anchor and box
    Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual Date, Sea-Dweller, Submariner 2000, 2000ft=610m, "Double Red" model, ref. 1665, case no. 2'117'426, circa 1967
    Cal. 1570 automatic movement, 26 jewels, black matte dial, luminous dot, baton and dagger numerals, luminous hands, sweep centre seconds, outer minute divisions, window for date, tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, bidirectional revolving black bezel calibrated for 60 units, gas escape valve in the band, screw back engraved "Rolex, Oyster Gas Escape Valve (Patent Pending)", screw down crown, stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, extendable deployant clasp stamped “Pat. Pend.” on the extension link and “4.67”, case, dial and movement signed
    39.5 mm. diam.; overall bracelet length approx. 195 mm.

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    With Rolex Oyster Guaranteed 610 metres/2000 ft. under water anchor and cord and period presentation box.

    The helium valve, allowing helium and other gases to escape hence enabling the watch to withstand compression even at extreme depths, was developed by Rolex in cooperation with the French diving firm COMEX and used for the Submariner references 5513 and 5514. Following the success of these models, Rolex decided to commercialize their invention with the launch of the celebrated Sea-Dweller reference 1665 in 1967, 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 model was rushed to production while Rolex had not received the final approval for the patent of the helium valve, resulting in the very first models of reference 1665 being sold with the case backs engraved (Patent Pending) in parenthesis. According to literature, only around 150 examples of these early examples were made with serial numbers ranging between 1.7 million and 2.2 million.

    The present reference 1665 is one of these extremely rare examples, featuring a number of specific characteristics of this celebrated version, clearly distinguishing them from their "patented" successors:

    -most evidently the so-called Mark I or Mk I dial, standing out by the colour of the double red printing of the "Sea-Dweller" on the first line followed by the "Submariner 2000" on the second line. The initial red print, possibly printed over white paint, has over time faded to a pink, almost white colour. The two lines are of identical size. Furthermore the letter "B" of the word SUBMARINER is perfectly aligned with "S" of the model name SEA-DWELLER
    - "Oyster Gas Escape Valve" and (Patent Pending) engraved around the case back
    - inside of the case back featuring reference 1665, the last three digits of the serial number and quarter and year of production, in this instance 426 and IV.67
    -the rare Rolex prototype bracelet with the company's iconic crown on the edge of the deployant clasp, the clasp dated 4.67 and the extension piece marked “Rolex “ and “Pat. Pend”.

    Furthermore preserved in overall appealing condition, the present Patent Pending Double Red Sea-Dweller must be considered a highlight for the collector of this exceedingly rare model.

    Reference 1665 "Patent Pending" is described and illustrated in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, p. 190.

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