It is simply described as the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller Ref. 1665 with a brown dial powered by an automatic movement and housed in a 40mm diameter stainless steel case in the catalogue.
This is Lot 523 and it is being offered for sale by Swiss Auctions, a unit of DKSH, on 28 November 2013 during its “Important Timepieces Malaysia Auction” at the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
What is a clear hint that this is somewhat of a collectible piece is the asking price of between US$32,000 and US$38,400. This piece, ladies and gentlemen, is actually what is known as the Rolex ref. 1665 Mark II with the double red writing (because of the words Sea-Dweller on top of Submariner 2000 with both in red) by collectors.
While the auction catalogue does not classify it as the Mark II, there are good reasons to conclude that it is. Firstly, there is the brown dial, also known as the “tropical” dial as its colour has faded from black to brown.
Secondly, take a closer look at the alphabets “D” and “W” in “SEA-DWELLER”; these two characters seem so close that they appear to be “kissing” and touching each other. This is an important clue for identification, as highlighted in the massive book, Rolex Submariner Story by Franca E Guido Mondani and Lele Ravagnani.
The asking price, based on what is stated in the catalogue, is between MYR108,800 and MYR130,600 (Malaysian Ringgit) or between US$32,000 and US$38,400. In Singapore dollars, it will be somewhere between S$43,000 and S$51,000.
Now the question on most people’s minds would typically be: is this vintage Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 Mark II reasonably priced?
Well, one Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 with the tropical dial went for 87,500 Swiss francs (US$92,000) at Christie’s May 2013 auction in Geneva. This sum was way, way above its estimated valuation of between 30,000 and 50,000 Swiss francs.
Of course, one must be mindful that the condition of the watch and many other factors also come into play in terms of valuation.
From the looks of it, this particular piece seems reasonably priced and it will be interesting to see what this piece will ultimately fetch during the Swiss Auctions’ “Important Timepieces” sale in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
For those interested in this piece and others being offered, mark your dates if you are in Southeast Asia, notably Malaysia.
The preview of the auction pieces will be on 26 and 27 November at Starhill Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The auction will be held on Thursday 28 November at the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur.
Other Rolex articles found on timewerke.com that may be of interest:
i. Rolex Panerai 3646: Because few dared
ii. Rolex GMT Master II: Blue skies, Black nights
iii. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Goes Platinum