1977 Rolex Double Red Sea Dweller DRSD Ref: 1665
The Oakleigh ‘Private Stock’ is made up of watches that I’ve collected over the years. Much love and much deliberation has gone into each one. I’m sorry but these watches are not for sale – however, if you would like me to find you something similar then let me know and I’ll do my best.
First – a little history of the DRSD.
In the 1960’s the French deep sea diving company COMEX were having problems with their watches at extreme depths – they found that helium gas was building up inside the case until it was eventually released by breaking the crystal.
In direct response to the needs of this important client Rolex developed a specially adapted 5513 Submariner, which they called the 5514, incorporating a helium release valve on the side of the case.
The 5514 worked so well that Rolex renamed it the 1665 Sea Dweller and released it to the public with prototypes appearing as early as 1967 and standard production from 1971.
All Sea Dwellers produced until 1977 carried two lines of red text on the dial, hence the name ‘Double Red Sea Dweller’.
The combination of relatively low production numbers and stunning good looks has made the DRSD extremely desirable over recent years and it generally considered to be one of THE Rolexes for the collector.
I already had a superb 1974 DRSD in the Private Stock when I came across this 1977 example last year. However, the case edges on this 1665 are SO crisp and the dial is SO bright that I just had to add it to the private collection. Although it felt like madness at the time, I actually had two for a while but I’m pleased to say that the ’74 now has a very happy new owner.
This DRSD is completely original and unrestored with the original bracelet, box and accessories and while it’s not perfect I can honestly say that it’s about the best one I’ve ever seen – I hope you enjoy the photos.