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Rolex

Rolex Seadweller 1665 "Great White"

Rolex Seadweller 1665 "Great White"

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Brand: Rolex
Typology: Vintage diver watch
Year: 1981
In 1977, Rolex released a new Sea-Dweller – still under the 1665 reference number, that abandoned the red lines of text, along with the Submariner name entirely, in favor of an entirely black and white dial.
Due to the monochromatic all-white text of the dial of the new reference 1665 Sea-Dweller, the watch earned the nickname the “Great White” among Rolex collectors, as a means to help distinguish it from the earlier reference 1665 Sea-Dweller watches that featured red text on the surface of their dials. To accompany the updated dial of the “Great White” Sea-Dweller, the case-backs on the new generation of reference 1665 watches received slightly more refined engravings, in which the Rolex name curves along the arc of the fluting, rather than appearing in a straight line. Beyond the subtle updates to the dial and case-back, the new generation of reference 1665 Sea-Dweller watches was very much like the previous ones that had featured red text; however, what the updates on the “Great White” represented was far more important than the actual changes to the watch themselves.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller began its life as a Submariner that had been modified to be even more water-resistant in order to withstand even greater depths below the surface of the ocean. For the first ten years of its existence, the dial of the Sea-Dweller also had the Submariner name printed on it, so it was somewhat unclear as to whether the Sea-Dweller was a separate line of watches or merely a special version of the Submariner that had been designed for more rigorous professional use.

To better understand the difference between both watches, the Submariner boasted a depth-rating of up to 200 meters/660 feet during this era, which is still impressive in its own right. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that Rolex upgraded the Submariner to be 300 meters/1,000 feet. On the other hand, the Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 was built more for deep saturation diving with a Helium Escape Valve and a depth rating of up to 610 meters/2,000 feet, hence the original moniker “Submariner 2000.” That depth rating would eventually improve up to an impressive 1,220 meters/4,000 feet, where it currently remains for the contemporary Sea-Dweller watches that Rolex produces.
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  • General info

    • Reference: 1665
    • Serial number: 6.6xx.xxx
    • Case material: Steel
    • Glass: Plexiglass
    • Caseback: Screw-back
    • Case diameter: 40.0 mm
    • Bezel Materials: Steel - Alluminium
    • Dial color: Black
    • Dial numerals: No numerals
    • General conditions: Great conditions
    • Water resistance rate: 60 ATM
  • Band or Strap

    • Band material: Metallic bracelet
    • Lug width: 20 mm
    • Buckle type: Clasp
    • Buckle material: Steel
  • Movement

    • Calibre: Rolex 1575
    • Movement type: Automatic
    • Complications: Date