Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600 ‘Comex’
At a depth of 501m, the Comex diver and his Rolex are both working perfectly.
We are thrilled to announce that we can offer you a Comex Sea-Dweller!
Recognizable by the word “COMEX” on the dial and its serial number and reference engraved on the inside of the case back and the issue number engraved on the outside of the case back.
The ref. 16600 is the last edition of Comex Sea-Dwellers. The other two reference numbers are 1665 and 16660. The first editions of 16600s had just 100 pieces. In 1992 they introduced more Comex Sea-Dwellers starting with the issue number 3200. This Comex is a very early example as the engraved issue number on the case back is 3221.
The stainless-steel case of this iconic dive watch measures 40mm in diameter and houses the calibre 3135. The black “COMEX”-signed dial has a tritium index with white-gold hour marker surroundings. The sapphire crystal and deep black aluminium inlay give the watch a very modern look. The Oyster bracelet with safety lock is in perfect condition and barely has any stretch.
Let us dive a little deeper in the story of the partnership between Rolex and Comex. Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises, abbreviated Comex, is a French diving organization. During the late 1970s, the company commissioned Rolex to produce reliable diving watches that could endure extreme depths and circumstances. These Sea-Dweller references were exclusively issued to Comex employees. So, they were not available to the public and only produced in small quantities therefore, these watches are rare and highly sought after by collectors.
Comex watches are extremely rare and most Comex-signed watches are Submariners. Therefore, a Comex Sea-Dweller is a highly prized collectors watch.
Rolex Submariner Sea-Dweller Visionary Hans Wildorf set out to make the world’s first waterproof and dust proof wristwatch and so in 1926 the ‘Oyster case’ was created. Then later on in 1953, the Rolex Submariner was born, with a water depth rating of 330ft/100M making it one of the world’s first wristwatches designed for the upcoming sport of scuba diving. The wristwatch was created for divers who needed a precise watch which could scale to such depths and be a reliable and accurate way of measuring (with the turning bezel) the time spent underwater. A major aspect of creating such a time piece was to make it easily legible yet aesthetically pleasing, hence the large contrasting white tritium hour markers and Mercedes hand on the black dial. During the 1960s, the needs of professional divers working at great depths led to the development of the first ‘ultra water resistant’ tool watches designed for conducting safe diving operations at 300 m (1,000 ft) depths. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller Submariner 2000 that became available in 1967 was developed from the Submariner for the Comex S.A. (industrial deep-sea diving company). By increasing crystal thickness and was produced in several variations. It had a depth rating of 610 metres (2,000 ft) and its Rolex reference number was 1665, powered by calibre 1575. Most Sea-Dweller watches incorporate a helium escape valve for saturation diving. (Early Sea-Dwellers did not always have the helium escape valve.) The model is also distinguished by the absence of the date magnifier (‘cyclops’) present on most other Rolex models. The Sea-Dweller diving watch range has been standard issue for Comex divers since 1977 and although Rolex designed the Sea-Dweller purely as a dive tool, not a fashion accessory, it will look fantastic on the wrist.