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Rail Dial ‘Great White’ 1665 Rolex Sea-Dweller

Rail-Dial-1665-Rolex Sea-Dweller-Great-White

You are not a Navy Sealab/Comex diver. You are not an astronaut. You are not a factory Porsche driver. At least, based on relative viewership and statistics. Despite these many shortcomings, you and I may still enjoy a small link to these outrageous professions. In 1977, the reference 1665 Sea-Dweller received a bit of an update where it ditched the double red depth rating. What ensued has become known as the Great White, so named for its stark white, imposing, cyclops-less face.

Rail-Dial-1665-Rolex Sea-Dweller-Great-White

Water resistance of 2000 feet is nothing to scoff at, particularly for the 1970s. The reference gained fame for being used in the US Navy Sealab expeditions, meant to test the health effects of underwater isolation. Sealab divers switched from Subs to Sea Dwellers because their crystals kept popping off on ascent. Innovation in steps, not bounds, for Rolex. This was accomplished through a very thick plexi crystal, thicker 40mm steel case, and helium escape valve which allowed helium to exit the case during decompression and prevents the plexi from popping up under the pressure.

Rail-Dial-1665-Rolex Sea-Dweller-Great-White
Rail-Dial-1665-Rolex Sea-Dweller-Great-White

This example sports an early dial variant known to collectors as a rail dial. This means that the empty space between superlative chronometer and officially certified are vertically aligned, creating an imaginary rail of nothingness between them. Worth noting, the depth rating is always in italics and the minute markers are slightly longer. Rail dials were in production for the 1665 from just 1977 to 1979 and produced by Stern. It’s a small detail from an era of Rolex where the details were always evolving and being reminded of that era is no bad thing.

This example is in strong overall condition. The case is refinished but, as you’d expect, crisp. Worth noting. The dial is lovely with a light cream patina and no visible serious degradation. All appears correct, including 93150 bracelet. It comes recently serviced from a well-regarded retailer.

Find this 1665 Great White here from Wrist Icons for 29500 EUR.

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