Published: November 20, 2012
Antiquorum’s auction of modern and vintage timepieces conducted on November 11 at the Mandarin Oriental concluded with an outstanding result of $9.1 million and several lots selling for multiple times their original estimates.
The top lot of the auction was the rare Rolex single red prototype, Ref 1665 Sea-Dweller Submariner, appearing for the first time at an auction and property of a Japanese collector. It fetched an astounding $521,645 (converted to US dollars from Swiss francs and including buyer’s premium), more than 400 percent its estimate. It is the highest price ever paid for a Rolex sports watch and for a Sea Dweller.
One of only six known, the “Single Red” was produced in 1967. According to research, this may be one of the only two known examples with escape valve. These watches were the prototypes for subsequent production models of the Sea-Dweller. Their history, intertwined with the lives and contributions of important divers of the 1960s, make them one of the most historically significant watches that Rolex ever made, and thus one of the most important dive Rolexes to have ever come up for auction.
Bought by the current consignor in the late 1980s, the watch has remained unworn in the safe since its purchase and has remained in excellent original condition. ⁗D
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm