According to our deep look at the GMT-Master family of watches, we now turn our attention to the replica Rolex Sea-Dweller collection. From the very first Sea-Dweller to the brand new model unveiled at Baselworld this year, let’s share the history of the Rolex extreme diver’s watch. To begin with, we will talk about the fake Rolex Sea-Dweller model “Double Red Sea-Dweller.”
Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises, aka Comex, is a French company involved in deep diving operations. Founded in 1961, Comex and Rolex established a relationship early on. Comex needed watches which could withstand very deep diving expeditions, so Rolex obliged. This vintage timepiece from Rolex is a historically important watch and a stepping stool for future Sea-Dwellers to come.
The fake Rolex modified the Submariner and fitted it with a Helium Escape Valve (HEV). The patented Helium Escape Valve mechanism allowed the watch to launch built-up helium and other gasses as the watch traveled down to more extreme depths. Therefore, this prevented pressure damage to the watch, thus Rolex replica now would be able to produce nice diving watches.
The performance of those Comex-modified Submariner watches did so well, it set the blueprint for a new Rolex model. The new replica Rolex Sea-Dweller was born in 1967. The official name of the inaugural model was the Sea-Dweller Submariner 2000. But, it’s more commonly referred to as the Double Red Sea-Dweller or DRSD for short.
The very first Sea-Dweller from 1967 was the other model. Compared to the Submariner, it had a thicker case among other things, the helium escape valve, a domed crystal protecting the face of the watch, engravings on the caseback, and no Cyclops lens over the date window. However, one of the most distinguishing factors, and the reason for the watch’s nickname, are the two lines of red text on the black dial. In red, we read “SEA-DWELLER” followed by “SUBMARINER 2000,” clearly indicating that this is a souped-up version of the Sub. Rather than the 660 feet (200 meters) depth rating of the preceding Submariner, the Sea-Dweller boasted one at 2,000 feet (610 meters). This was an impressive feat for the era indeed.
Without disappointment, the Double Red Sea-Dweller is a highly-coveted vintage Rolex model. Rolex produced the DRSD from 1967 until 1977. The four main dial versions of the Double Red Sea-5 are categorized by collectors as Mark I, Mark II, Mark III, and Mark IV.
The Double Red Sea-Dweller is a hard and sophisticated vintage replica Rolex model to find due to its rarity and popularity. It’s surely a grail watch by any Rolex enthusiasts’ standards. The DRSD’s value has steadily risen in the secondary market over the last decade, with no signs of slowing down. Keep an eye out for the next installment of our in-depth look at the Sea-Dweller history where we dig into the model that replaced the DRSD: the Sea-Dweller “Great White”.