Important Collectors' Wristwatches, P...

Hong Kong, Jun 27, 2009

LOT 249

David Leach?s Comex Sea Dweller, Ref. 1665, Rail Dial Rolex, ?Oyster Perpetual, Comex, 2000ft./600 m, Superlative Chronometer, Officially Certified?, case No. 6176992, Ref. 1665. Made in 1980. Fine and extremely rare, center-seconds, self-winding, water-resistant, stainless steel diver?s chronometer wristwatch with date and a stainless steel Fliplock Oyster bracelet, Ref. 93150. Accompanied by its original warranty (now void), 1970?s Submariner and Oyster booklets, hang tag, anchor, and original fitted box. It is further accompanied by copies of US Navy timetable for decompression times, a Comex key fob, a Comex tape mesure, David Leach?s Professional Diver?s Log Book from the 1970?s and a handwritten letter of authenticity by David Leach. Property of the original owner.

HKD 400,000 - 600,000

USD 57,000 - 86,000 / EUR 40,000 - 60,000

Sold: HKD 768,000

C. Three-body, polished and brushed, screwed-down case back engraved with ?Rolex Patent Oyster Gas Escape Valve, Comex No. 2204?, and crown, helium escape valve at 9, graduated bi-directional revolving black bezel for the decompression times, Triplock winding-crown protected by the crown-guard. D. Black with luminous round, triangular and baton indexes, outer minute division, aperture for the date. Luminous steel skeleton hands. M. Cal. 1570, rhodium-plated, oeil de perdrix decoration, 26 jewels, straight line lever escapement, monometallic balance adjusted to temperatures and five positions, shock-absorber, self-compensating blued steel Breguet balance spring, Microstella regulating screws, hack mechanism. Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 40 mm. Thickness: 17 mm. Approx. overall length 185 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 3-8


Slightly scratched

Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original


Sea Dwellers
The ref. 1665 sea dwellers were delivered to COMEX from 1977 through 1982. Approximately 300 watches of model reference 1665 with Helium Gas Escape Valve were delivered to COMEX in 3 separate batches during this period. The first batch of 100 watches was delivered around 1977. These featured 600m COMEX logo dials (Often referred to by Collectors as the ?PISANI? dial) and case backs with the same type of engraving as the Double Red Sea Dweller. The second and third batches of 100 watches each were delivered to COMEX in 1980 and 1982 respectively. The majority of these watches still had the 600m COMEX logo dial (some of the later third batch with case backs 325x onwards may have had 610m dials), but the style of the case back engravings had changed from the first batch. There are several differences between the original COMEX Ref. 1665 dials and that of the retail version, on the COMEX dial: 1- the COMEX logo is present above the depth rating; 2- the depth rating is 2000ft- 600m; 3- the word ?DATE? is missing next to the ?OYSTER PERPETUAL?; 4- the hour markers are closer to the minute track line; 5- The bottom of the Rolex coronet is flat with the ?L? directly under it; 6- the ?C? from the word ?CHRONOMETER? lines up with the ?C? from the word ?CERTIFIED?. The present watch has retained its original COMEX dial. The 1665 are regarded as the true COMEX watches, as they do not feature the Rolex model name on the dial.
David Leach Worked for COMEX in the 1980's as a professional diver in the North Sea. Before he joined COMEX he worked for the Northern Divers (Maritime) LTD, where he became the first English diver to carry out a total saturation diving in the North Sea and where he set a record of 29 days of total saturation followed by a further record of 32 days. That record stood for many years and still remains one of the longest times.