1985 Rolex Sea-Dweller (Ref. 16660)

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 exciting time for Rolex as Rolex started offering the sapphire crystals as a standard on many of the sports and dress timepieces. This and other innovative and modern advancements to the timepieces offered extra durability and increased functionality as seen with the ref. 16660 Sea-Dweller.

Rolex Sea Dweller Ref. 16660 advertisement

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 glossy 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' 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 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.

The "Triple 6" Sea-Dwellers is a watch that holds a strong following behind it, collectors love the ref. 16660 for its unique vintage look and upgraded attributes. The sapphire crystal, trip-lock crown, and solid end piece bracelet make the ref. 16660 durable for heavy daily wear. The dial features a wonderful patina and the lume has aged beautifully, making this "Triple 6" both sturdy and handsome as a daily driver. 

Stock # RLXSD1666085
Brand Rolex
Style Sea-Dweller
Model 16660
Serial 87XXXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Glossy Black
Millimeters 40
Bracelet Rolex 93160 Oyster Bracelet W/ 592 Solid End Pieces 



The case is believed to remain unpolished exhibiting honest wear from use while retaining its factory finishing and original chamfers down the lugs. The uni-directional rotating bezel remains unpolished as well. The bezel insert is in great overall condition showing light signs of use with a slight fade in coloration and retains its tritium pearl at the 12 o'clock marker which has taken on an excellent caramel coloration. The sapphire crystal remains clear and free of blemishes. The original Rolex 93160 Oyster bracelet with 592 solid end pieces is in wonderful unpolished condition showing some light signs of use and stretch, retaining 10 links and its diver's extension.


The glossy black dial is absolutely beautiful. The dial has started to age and take on a desirable matte texture that is consistent throughout. The tritium lume plots have aged to an excellent creamy golden patina, under U.V. light inspection the 7 o'clock marker displays some light degradation and all other lume plots remain fully intact. The original tritium hour and minute hands match the dial perfectly, the sweep seconds hand has aged slightly lighter, under U.V. light inspection the minute hand show some minor cracking and remains intact, the hour and sweep seconds hand show no degradation. The white 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.