The titles “Sea-Dweller” and “Submariner 2000” were written in red letters on the dial surface of the Rolex Sea-Dweller for the first ten years of its production. But in 1977, Rolex introduced a new Sea-Dweller, still bearing the 1665 reference number, that eschewed the red text lines and the Submariner name in favour of a black-and-white face.

Join us as we examine the coveted Rolex 1665 “Great White” Sea-Dweller in more detail and consider how it contributed to the Sea-development Dwellers of a distinct personality from its Submariner relative, another popular dive watch.

Great White Sea-Dweller 1665 Key Features:

  • Reference Number: 1665
  • Production Years: 1977 – 1983 (Approx.)
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials: Stainless Steel
  • Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, Helium Escape Valve
  • Dial: Matte Black w/ Luminous Hour Markers
  • Luminous Material: Tritium
  • Bezel: Bidirectional, Aluminum Insert w/ 60-Minute Scale
  • Crystal: Acrylic (Domed)
  • Movement: Rolex Caliber 1575
  • Water Resistance: 610 Meters / 2,000 Feet
  • Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet (Stainless Steel)
  • Price: $22,000 – $55,000 (Pre-Owned)
  • Availability: Pre-Owned Market Only

About Great White Sea-Dweller

The new reference 1665 Sea-Dweller watch was given the moniker “Great White” by Rolex collectors because of its dial’s monochromatic all-white writing, which helped set it apart from prior reference 1665 Sea-Dweller watches that had dials with red text. Additionally, the choice to switch the Sea-dial Dweller totally to black and white would be permanent and endure for forty years until the launching of the reference 126600 Sea-Dweller at Baselworld 2017.

The case-backs of the current generation of reference 1665 watches received slightly more refined engravings, in which the Rolex name curves along the fluting arc rather than appearing in a straight line to go along with the redesigned dial of the “Great White” Sea-Dweller. The new generation of reference 1665 Sea-Dweller watches, aside from the modest changes to the dial and case-back, were very similar to the earlier models that had red text; nonetheless, what the upgrades on the “Great White” indicated was considerably more significant than the changes to the watch itself.

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