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A tale of two Sea-Dwellers

I hope you are having a great start to the New Year.
As we start the weekend I wanted to share a short story with you about one of Rolex’s most famous sports watches the Sea-Dweller which was launched over 54 years ago and is still features today in their sports range of watches.

In the 1960’s COMEX (an industrial deep-sea diving company) came to Rolex requesting a dive watch that could function deeper under water for a longer period of time. Their divers had begun servicing offshore oilrigs and needed a watch that could keep up with their demanding work. Rolex took the Submariner 5513 model and added a one-way escape valve on the side opposite the crown to relieve pressure.

In 1967, this Rolex watch became its own model when Rolex released it as the Sea Dweller Ref. 1665. The watch used the 1575 movement and had a Triplock crown, a thicker profile crystal, a larger reinforced case, and an increased depth rating of 2,000 feet. Then in 1978, the Ref. 16660 was introduced with the 3035 movement, a flat profile sapphire crystal, a new larger escape valve, and a depth rating of 4,000 feet.
In 1992 the Sea-Dweller became a Ref 16600 until 2008 when it was discontinued and are now much sought after amongst collectors.

The attached photos show the last of the previous and the very latest model Sea-Dweller SD 4000 which we are lucky to have in stock.

If you look closely at the pictures you will see that Rolex has retained the look of the original watch from the 1960’s but through years of continuous improvement have enhanced its features and benefits.

See if you can spot the difference!

Here are the changes, some are easier to spot on the new model ( the one on the left)
The aluminium bezel is now discontinued and has been replaced by a Cerachrom Ceramic bezel. This is extremely tough, scratch resistant and gives a more modern look to the watch

Night time reading is now much easier as the hour markers now feature Maxidot technology and are therefore very luminescent. You will see the dots are slightly bigger too.

Harder to spot in the photos but very noticeable in the hand is the difference in the new bracelet. It is now I reckon 25% heavier and feels more substantial due to a solid link now being used. In addition to this Rolex have made adjusting the bracelet a breeze by fitting a Glidelock feature that enables you to increase or decrease the size without tools. This is really useful when your wrist expands in the summer heat…not so essential for our Scottish summers though!

The size remains the same at 40mm therefore a very wearable every day watch for ladies or gents.

Prices for the late 16600 Sea-Dwellers are now on the rise with mint examples as shown fetching nearly £6000. COMEX branded models are fetching over £50,000!

The new one shown retails at just under £7000 with a price rise imminent. At EWC we have this unworn watch with a nearly 10% saving and still in it’s original wrappers.

Our 2007 previously enjoyed watch has had a very easy life! It spent between 2007 and 2014 in a collector’s safe and has only been occasionally worn by it’s current owner and is therefore in mint condition.

For your interest we include a couple of celebrity snaps showing the trend for wearing the Sea-Dweller Deep Sea


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