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Lot 3

Vintage Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref 1665 "Tropical Dial"

Auction Ended On:
September 14, 2022
4 Total Bids
Auction Ended:

Product Details

Lot 3
Starting Bid: $39,000
Estimate:  $50,000 to $80,000
Manufacturer: Rolex
Year: 1972
Model Name: "Double Red" Sea-Dweller
Reference: 1665
Case Serial Number: 3,1XX,XXX
Condition: Excellent condition.
Material: Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 40mm
Bracelet: Stainless Steel Oyster Rivet
Item Number: 145734
Movement: Automatic 1575
Signed Case, dial, movement, and bracelet.

The watch has been checked for proper functionality
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Vintage Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref 1665 "Tropical Dial" 

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Condition Report

This Rolex watch is in overall honest, excellent vintage condition. The case is strong with scratches and light nicks. The black paint in the text on the caseback has mostly worn off. The inside caseback is stamped "I.72" and "031" which correspond to the last three digits of the serial number. The bezel ring has remained sharp and the bezel insert is in great condition with light wear and has remained dark black. The dial is in overall excellent condition and is starting to color change from black to brown. The edge of the dial shows some wear. You can really see this color change around the edges of the date window. The two lines of red text have remained vibrant. The folded Oyster bracelet is in great condition with some wear and light stretch between the links. The clasp is marked "2/72" which corresponds to the case production. This bracelet also features an "error" divers extension where Rolex spelled "Patented" incorrectly, they spelled it "Pateted." When checking the case number, inside caseback, and bracelet all the components line up to 1972.


Excellent MK II dial that is clearly changing color from black to brown and seen around the edges. The hands have developed patina and the lume has all aged to a consistent yellow color. 


Excellent case that has probably been lightly polished in the past that shows scratches from use and nicks throughout. This comes with a black bezel insert that shows light wear from use. Inner case back is stamped: 1665 "I.72" and "031." Serial and reference numbers are crisp and well defined.


Excellent stainless steel Oyster Fold Over 9315 with 12 links, divers extension link and 385 end links. The bracelet and clasp are overall very nice with wear and show little stretch. The clasp is marked "2/72" corresponding to the case production. 

Box and Papers

Bob's presentation box

Catalog Essay:

Sea-Dwellers in general are some of the rarest vintage Rolex sports models out there. Rolex introduced the celebrated model in 1967 and they still make it today. The Sea-Dweller was developed for use by professional deep-sea saturation divers, particularly with its inclusion of a "Helium Escape Valve" or "HEV" on the 9 o'clock side of the case to help the watch survive decompression from dry, pressurized environments. The earliest Sea-Dweller examples had red printing and are called "Single Red" because of the one line of red text about the 6 o'clock marker, while the "Double Red" (featured here) features the words "Sea-Dweller" and "Submariner 2000" in red text above the 6 o'clock marker. Rolex made the double red version until around 1978 and at that point they switched to all white text. Rolex continued to use all white text on the Sea-Dweller until 2017 when they re-introduced the 43mm 50th anniversary version with a single line of red text.

The example we have here today has the two lines of red text on the dial and is from circa 1972. It features a Mark II dial which is known to color change or "go tropical." Some characteristics of the Mark II dial are the crown with the small hole at the bottom, two lines of red text with some white showing from underneath. Collectors gravitate towards these DRSD's with Mark II dials because they are known to go tropical. This one you can see is clearly changing from black to brown and gives the watch a unique appearance. In addition to the gorgeous dial this watch features an error divers extension. Rolex misspelled patented on the divers extension, it reads "Pateted." These error bracelets are becoming more sought after by collectors because they bring the watch to the next level of rarity.

Special Notice

MOVEMENT: Movement is functioning. This vintage Rolex comes with Bob's Watches one year warranty.

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