1983 Rolex Sea-Dweller (Ref. 16660) Matte Dial W/ Original Sales Receipt, Box's, Papers & Rolex Service Documents
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 80's 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' Expertise 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 Ref. 16660 features the rare, very transitional and desirable matte dial. The matte dials were replaced for the more modern glossy black dial in 1984 which makes for a very small production time period for these matte dial variants. This is also what we would consider a "time capsule watch" as the piece comes 100% complete with the original inner and outer boxes, warranty papers, hang tags, booklets, along with an extensive archive of service history throughout the watches life including the original sales receipt.
|Bracelet||Rolex Oyster Flip lock 93160 & Rolex 592B SEL End Pieces|
The case is believed to be unpolished retaining factory finishing and exhibiting honest wear from normal wear and general use. The original bezel shows some wear and has taken on a wonderful and obvious grey color change. The tritium pearl within the insert has aged slightly lighter than the dial and is lightly cracked. The caseback was replaced by Rolex during a service interval but the watch comes with the original caseback that has the engraving "P.M.REISER" from the original owner. The Rolex 93160 Oyster bracelet with 592B solid end pieces retains 13 links, including the dive extension, remains unpolished showing light stretch from use.
The gorgeous transitional matte dial is in exceptional condition. The lume plots have taken on a wonderful burnt orange coloration, under U.V. light inspection some of the plots exhibit light yet even lume degradation. The tritium hands have aged slightly lighter than the dial but match the overall look and feel of the watch, under U.V. light inspection the hands exhibit some minor cracking in the lume. The date wheel is era correct with open 6's and 9's.
The watch comes complete with inner and outer boxes, warranty papers with original case back sticker attached, hang tags, booklets, original engraved caseback, leather card holder, calendar, and extensive service history. The watch was just serviced and is running at COSC spec.