"Ghost" 1984 Rolex Sea-Dweller (Ref. 16660) Matte Dial W/ Box & Receipts
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 1980s, 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 the early 1980s and the Ref. 16660 is a perfect example of the two company's partnership to achieve a tool watch to meet specific needs.
This ref. 16660 has achieved a very unique patina, featuring its original and very transitional matte dial, and the bezel has faded to a beautiful "ghost" patina. The matte dials were replaced for the more modern glossy black dial in late 1984 which makes for a very small production time period for these matte dial variants.
|Bracelet||Rolex Oyster 93160 W/ 592 SEL End Pieces|
The strong case has been lightly polished in the past and retains thick and even lugs that show light and honest signs of use. The original bezel insert has achieved a beautiful light grey "ghost" fade and retains its tritium pearl at the 12 o'clock position which has taken on a nice golden patina. The original Rolex 93160 Oyster bracelet with solid 592 end pieces shows some stretch which is common for these bracelets and retains 13 links.
The matte black Sea-Dweller dial is in flawless original condition showing no imperfections. The tritium lume plots remain bright and have taken on a very light ivory patina, under U.V. light inspection the lume plots exhibit no degradation. The original tritium hands match the dial nicely and show no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The date wheel is era correct with open 6's and 9's.
The watch comes with its original inner and outer boxes, and original receipts. Watch is keeping time and functioning perfectly, previous service history is unknown.