Rolex Ref 1665 “Single-Red” Sea-Dweller Sells for $383,000

Single-Red, Single-Owner, Missing Bezel ?!?!…

1967 Rolex Ref 1665 Single-Red Sea-Dweller Sothebys

Today was Sotheby’s “Important Watch and Clocks” sale in New York. Although a bit light on high-dollar pedigree, it was a strong auction for the lots that did go up, save for a few (see ‘Other lots of note’ below). Of the 258 lots offered, about 95% went above the estimated range — some significantly so.

The top lots, both at $461,000, were a Patek Ref 5013P minute repeater perpetual calendar and a diamond-set white gold Chopard L.U.C tourbillon (pre-sale est. $100-$150,000), but perhaps more headline-worthy was a 1967 Rolex Ref 1665 “Single-Red” Sea-Dweller which sold for a whopping $383,000. The pre-sale estimate on this piece was a mere $60,000-$80,000, but it seems that collector’s could not resist the provenance of this piece. And who could blame them — this Single-Red Sea-Dweller was also “Single-Owner” (since 1967), the property of a an accomplished American Navy diver. The “original owner” status along with the relative rarity of the Single-Red Sea-Dweller in all its ‘character’ made this piece highly coveted — a superb collector’s catch in today’s world of high-dollar collecting. Never mind that the bezel is missing, bid it up!


40mm steel case, Rolex Cal. 1575, Sea-Dweller printed in red, Submariner 500 M-1650 FT printed in white, screw-down crown with pointed protective shoulders, non-orig Oyster bracelet

Rolex Single-Red Sea-Dweller Sothebys

It is thought that of the few such “Single-Red” dials created, many were replaced during service with Rolex, making the present lot all the more remarkable, as it was serviced by Rolex in 1993.

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Click here for Official Lot Notes

Other Lots of Note (pre-sale estimate range):

Rolex YG ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona Ref 6241, circa 1964, sold $185,000 (est. $50,000 – $70,000)

Longines “Lindbergh” Aviators circa 1935, sold $25,000 (est. $10,000 – $15,000)

Van Cleef & Arpels Japanese lacquer dial, sold $43,750 (est. $7,000-$9,000)

Van Cleef & Arpels platinum enamel dial tourbillon, sold $75,000 (est. $15,000 – $20,000)

And two lots which went at/below the estimate:

Vacheron Constantin steel Ref 4072 bi-compax chrono with pulsometer (circa 1942), sold $60,000 (est. $45,000-$65,000)

A. Lange platinum split-seconds chronograph (circa 2006) sold $56,250 (est. $60,000-$80,000)