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.
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 example has US Navy lineage as it was gifted to a former US Navy Seal as can be seen on the caseback engraving. Additionally, the watch was sourced from the original owner whos initials are engraved into the caseback of the watch. This is a very special watch and carries with it wonderful military provenance.
Black (WG Surrounds)
Rolex Oyster Flip lock 93160A with Solid End Pieces
CASE & BRACELET
The case of this 1990 Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 16600 has been previously polished but remains thick and fat. The watch will be supplied on the original Rolex Oyster Flip lock 93160A with solid end pieces that exhibit very minimal stretch. The bezel insert is in perfect condition and retains its deep black coloration. This is a very special piece as it was gifted to a former U.S. Navy Seal as can be seen on the case back engraving. The watch was purchased from the original owner who's initials and units were engraved into the caseback.
DIAL & HANDS
The glossy dial is free of any scratches or blemishes. The WG tritium filled lume plots have achieved a nice creamy yellow patina. The tritium hands appear to be original to the piece but have aged slightly lighter than the dial. Both the dial and the hands are free of any lume degradation when inspected under U.V. light.
The watch is running at spec backed but extended service history is unknown.