1/24
Sold For
$114,400 USD

34 bids

No reserve
Auction Ended
01/26/23
On Jan 26, 5:10 PM UTC
Lot #1901

Rolex Comex Sea-Dweller 1665

This auction is subject to a 10% buyer’s premium on top of final bid amount (hammer price).

How do I bid? Start here

Introduction

Debuting in 1967, with the specific aim of bolstering Rolex's dive watch offering, the Rolex Sea-Dweller built upon the industry-leading dive watch credentials that the Submariner had earned Rolex over the previous 14 years. Created specifically with professional divers in mind, Rolex collaborated with diving companies like COMEX to perfect the Sea-Dweller's design and ensure it would be the ultimate dive watch. Featuring the ingenious Helium-Escape Valve that Rolex had patented the same year, a hugely impressive water resistance, and a sizeable case design, the Sea-Dweller rightfully toppled the Submariner as Rolex's most hardcore dive watch. Today offered in a few separate styles such as two-tone, with various dials, and in two different case sizes (43mm and 44mm), the Sea-Dweller has taken a leaf from the rest of Rolex's offerings and merged its tool-watch focused design with tasteful aesthetics, to create one of the most sought-after and best-equipped dive watches that any diver might ever need.

The Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 was the first watch manufactured by Rolex to include their patented helium escape valve, an ingenious solution, designed in collaboration with COMEX (the French engineering and deep-sea diving company), to solve the problem caused during saturation diving whereby helium gas cannot escape from the watch during decompression, causing the watch’s crystal to pop off. Made specifically with commercial divers in mind, it had a depth rating of 2000 feet, as opposed to the 660 feet of the standard Submariner. 300 COMEX-signed ref. 1665 examples are believed to have been produced by Rolex specifically for COMEX employees, with each watch being engraved with its own COMEX issue number, with the example we have here bearing the COMEX issue number 2168. An extremely rare piece of horological history, the COMEX-signed ref. 1665 represents the ultimate in dive watch collecting.

Loupe This Scorecard

Grade

V 9

Status

Vetted & Approved

Included

Service Documents, Comex Dive Tables, Provenance

Est. value range

$100,000 – $150,000

The Details

Brand

Rolex

Dimensions

40mm

Model

Sea-Dweller 'COMEX'

Movement

Automatic cal. 1570

Reference

1665

Bracelet

Stainless steel Oyster bracelet

Year

1979

Condition

Very good

Material

Stainless steel

Included

Watch, 2006 and 2007 service papers, provenance and COMEX decompression chart

Dial Color

Black

THE DIAL

Fitted with its original black COMEX-signed dial, this ref. 1665 reveals its secret as perhaps one of the most elusive and sought-after Rolex timepieces ever made. This example has what is known as the MK1 Comex dial, featuring the "Rail Dial" configuration and 600 meters depth rating rather than the usual 610 meters.

THE CASEBACK

Issued only to COMEX employees, the COMEX-signed ref. 1665s come with COMEX issue numbers engraved on their casebacks, with this example bearing the issue number 2168.

TIMING MACHINE READOUT

This reading was taken (crown down) with a ONEOF Accuracy Boutique Edition timing machine at time of cataloging. It is provided as a courtesy only, and shall not be construed as a warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please refer to our terms and conditions of sale for more information.

Condition

Watch is in near-mint condition. Case has sharp chamfered lugs and only minor surface wear. Caseback engravings are crisp and fully legible. Rail dial is near-mint condition with no visible marks. Bezel insert is lightly and evenly faded to a grey tone. Bracelet has 11 links, 1 removable. There is little to no stretch. Watch comes with various service documents, an email with the well known Comex expert Marcello Pisani, as well as Comex dive tables.

Our Perspective

Arguably one of the most coveted Rolex timepieces there is to own, COMEX-signed Sea-Dwellers are incredibly sought-after and the ref. 1665 was the very first one to be produced. A true collector's gem.

Justin Gruenberg

Co-founder