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Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 16660 aka "The Triple Six" Men's Steel Vintage Watch

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SKU: 1015

Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 16660 aka "The Triple Six" Men's Steel Vintage Watch



A stunning example of the highly collectable Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref.16660, aka "The Triple Six". With the Sea-Dweller range celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017 there's never been a better t...
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A stunning example of the highly collectable Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref.16660, aka "The Triple Six". With the Sea-Dweller range celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017 there's never been a better time to add a vintage Rolex Sea Dweller to your collection!

Originally developed to provide saturation divers with a reliable watch that could withstand the pressures of the deep, the first Rolex Sea-Dweller was released in 1967 with the Rolex Sea-Dweller reference 1665.

During the mid 1960’s the US Navy was undertaking experiments on the effects of saturation diving on equipment, human endurance and physiology. Carried out through their SEALAB program, “aquanaughts” would spend days or even weeks in an underwater pressurised habitat. The story goes that during a decompression, the crystal from a reference 5514 Rolex Submariner violently exploded off one of the aquanaught’s watch.

One of the aquanauts, the now famous Bob Barth knew it was caused by the habitat’s breathing gas mixture. Having entered the watch, during the decompression process it would then expand until the pressure difference between the inside of the watch and the outside became so much that it would explode out of the weakest point – the crystal. 

As luck would have it, Bob Barth would go onto share his troubles at a dive trade fair with a certain T. Walker Lloyd. Lloyd would then share these insights with Rolex and go onto become a Oceanographic Consultant for the brand. The stars aligned and a solution was found via the use of a one-way helium valve that allowed the gas to escape in a controlled manner. 

When compared to the Submariner, the Sea-Dweller has a thicker case, a helium escape valve, domed crystal, no cyclops lens and engravings on the case-back. 

The first Sea-Dweller was the reference 1665 also known as the Double Red Sea Dweller (DRSD) in reference to the two lines of red text “Sea-Dweller Submariner 2000” on the dial. Produced from 1967 to 1977 the DRSD was produced with four main dial variations often referred to as MkI to MkIV.

In 1977 Rolex introduced a new version of the Sea-Dweller; "The Great White". Whilst still a reference 1665, the Great White got its name from the switch from red to white text for "Sea Dweller".

In 1978 the watch we have here, the Sea-Dweller Ref. 16660, aka the "Triple Six" was introduced. It was produced alongside the "great white" until the early 1980's when the ref.1665 was finally retired. Often known as a transitional model, it was the Sea-Dweller's longest running model and remained almost unchanged throughout its decade of production. 

The ref.16660 saw the addition of a sapphire crystal, larger helium valve, improved depth rating of 4000 ft and a safer unidirectional bezel. It also featured a new automatic movement, the C.O.S.C. Certified Chronometer calibre 3035 and with it for the first time on the Sea-Dweller a quick set date function. This movement also featured a significantly improved vibrational speed from 19,800vph to 28,800vph which helped reduce the impact of shocks and knocks on the watch. 

Early examples of the Rolex Sea Dweller ref.16660 featured matte black dials without surrounds on the tritium hour markers. Later examples would see a switch to glossy dials and white gold surrounded hour markers. From 1980-1984 special versions of the ref.16660 were produced for Comex. In 1988 the Sea-Dweller ref.16660 was replaced by the reference 16600.

If you're looking for a watch that has genuinely impressive build quality, but also looks good with a suit and will probably continue to appreciate, then there are few watches better suited than the Rolex Sea Dweller!


We know buying a watch that is decades old can be daunting. That's why in addition to servicing all our watches and offering a 14 day return policy, we also offer a 1 year warranty.

So in the unlikely event your watch misbehaves, just send it back to us and we'll repair and return it to you free of charge.

You can find more details about our Triple Guarantee here.


Year:Late 1970's


Case Size (excluding crown):40mm


Movement Calibre:Calibre 3035


Dial Condition:Original
Movement Condition:Automatic


Once payment has been received your watch will be shipped within a couple of days. Order before 3pm for UK deliveries or 11am for international deliveries and we'll endeavour to ship your watch the same day. Your watch will be carefully packaged and shipped fully insured with leading global courier companies.

Delivery Times:

  • Delivery within the UK is Free.
  • Delivery within Europe is £30 for watches valued under £10,000. For watches in excess of £10,000 please contact customer service to request a tailored quotation.
  • Delivery for the Rest of the World (excluding the countries listed below) is £50 for watches valued under £10,000. Unfortunately we do not ship watches in excess of £10,000 outside of Europe.

Why Buy From Us?

We know buying a vintage watch can be daunting. From the fear of buying a fake, franken or stolen watch to one that is either overpriced or mechanically unreliable; buying a vintage watch is not easy!

But when you buy from us it's like buying from a friend. We offer friendly & transparent advice and never pressure sell. Not only that but every watch is:

  • Serviced & Authenticated

  • Comes with 1 year Warranty

  • 14 Day Return Period

  • Shipped Same Day*

Very good experience with Time Rediscovered. Excellent service and very quick. Nick answered my questions promptly and swapped a strap for me for no extra charge. The watch is in excellent condition. Very happy to recommend Time Rediscovered.

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Expert advice, no pressure and no-hard-sell that I have experienced from others. I would certainly buy from again. Product beautifully packaged and promptly dispatched. First class service. Well done

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Fantastic service, speedy responses, helpful and super fast deloneny I had been looking for a vintage watch for a while and had trouble trusting online sources but they helped ease any concerns. Cannot recommend more! Thanks Time Rediscovered.

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