By far one of the most iconic Rolex references in conjunction with the Submariner. The Sea-Dweller originally launched in 1967 was developed as a sturdier and deeper rated Submariner for the french industrial deep-sea diving company COMEX S.A.
Back in 1967 the reference number for the Sea-Dweller was ref. 1665 and it had a depth rating of 610m/2,000ft. The Sea-Dweller also incorporated a helium release escape valve for gas decompression chambers. This model also lacks of a cyclops —date loupe— providing a cleaner and more simple look in comparison with its sibling the Submariner Date.
The Sea-Dweller Submariner 2000 watches also known as Double-Red Sea-Dwellers are highly collectible and very coveted by vintage Rolex collectors around the world. The DRSD as it is commonly known in the watch collecting world, had 2 red text lines on the watch dial which led to an unofficial "Double Red" designation under watch collectors for these watches.
The Sea-Dweller Submariner 2000 models were displaced by the Sea-Dweller 4000 model ref. 16600 rated to a depth of 4,000ft/1,220m. The last Comex Sea-Dweller 4000 Rolex reference number is 16600 and this watch was issued to Comex divers since 1992. Today, the ref. 16600 is now discontinued after the launch in 2008 of the DeepSea Sea-Dweller ref. 116660 with a depth rating of 12,800ft/3,900m.
This wonderful diver's watch is very solid with a glossy raised white gold surround minute markers, a decompression times uni-directional rotating bezel, date aperture, triple-lock screwdown crown, oyster bracelet with divers extension and a flip-lock clasp. The case and bezel setup construction is definitely thicker than that on the Rolex Submariner and the HRV —Helium Release Valve— is located at the 9 o'clock position. This reference has no lug holes as of the early 2000s and is fitted with a solid-link oyster bracelet.