The Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 16660 aka the "Triple Six" is an early and rare transitional piece. The perfect blend of vintage and modern Rolex design. The mid '80s were an interesting time for Rolex as Rolex started offering the sapphire crystals as a standard on many of the sports models and on the dress model line of timepieces. Other innovative and modern advancements to the timepieces offered extra durability and increased functionality as seen with the Ref 16660 Sea-Dweller.
Rolex implemented major changes to the Sea-Dweller starting in 1981. The sapphire crystal became standard starting with the Ref. 16660 and major developments were implemented into the model which included a uni-directional bezel as opposed to the bi-directional bezel found in previous examples, a larger and more reliable helium escape valve was added, and we see the introduction of the first solid end link (SEL) bracelets with the Ref. 93160 bracelets with attached 592 end links becoming standard around 1981-1982. The Sea-Dweller also received a new movement, the Cal. 3035 which allowed for Quick-Set date function. The ref. 16660 had an increased tested depth rating of 1220m as opposed to the previous 610m found in the Ref. 1665. We also see the incorporation of the updated dials sometimes referred to as the "Bicchierini Dial" which is a gloss black dial as opposed the matte black dials and the lume plots also have white gold surrounds adding increased legibility of the dial and a more finished overall look which is now the standard dial format even to this day.
In the early 1980's Rolex was working very closely with the Compagnie Maritime d' Expertises Company (COMEX) to develop a tool watch to accompany the company's divers who started to work at deeper depths as a result of increasing mixed gas diving standards of early 1980's and the Ref. 16660 is a perfect example of the two company's partnership to achieve a tool watch to meet specific needs.
This specific example would make a great vintage piece that has some of the more modern technical elements most vintage Rolex Submariners lack. The sapphire crystal and Trip-Lock crown being two of the elements that would make this piece a great vintage daily driver. The dial retains tritium lume which has taken on a wonderful patina seen on the early Rolex gloss dials which add to the overall collectability and originality of this piece.
Rolex 93160 Oyster Bracelet W/ 592 Solid End Pieces
CASE & BRACELET
The previously lightly polished case retains thick lugs showing honest wear. The bezel insert has faded to a wonderful blue/grey coloration showing some wear and the tritium pearl has darkened into a charming golden coloration. The original Rolex 93160 Oyster Bracelet with 592 SEL is in good overall condition showing minor wear and light stretch.
DIAL & HANDS
The glossy "spider dial" is in superb condition. The faint spidering creates is a gorgeous effect in direct light. The white gold surround lume plots have aged to an excellent yellow coloration, showing no degradation under U.V. light inspection. The original tritium hands match the dial perfectly and exhibit no lume loss under U.V. light inspection. The date wheel is era correct with open 6's and 9's.
None. The watch was just serviced and is running at COSC spec backed by our 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.