Rolex 1665 Pat. Pending Sea-Dweller - US NAVY Issue

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In December 2011, we presented via the Vintage-DB Rolex Blog, a pair of Rolex 1665 Double Red PATENT PENDING Sea-Dwellers with consecutive serials, which were originally delivered to 2 divers for testing purposes while they were working for dive exploration companies other Comex in the late 1960s.

Shortly after acquiring these watches, we were fortunate to discover another original owner example of the Rolex ref. 1665 ‘PATENT PENDING Sea-Dweller’, but this time from 2128 batch and again not delivered to Comex.

The following Rolex ref. 1665 ‘PATENT PENDING Sea-Dweller’ was issued by Rolex for testing purposes to the delightful Chuck E Gross whilst serving in the US Navy in the late 1960s. 

Chuck very kindly provided to us along with his watch & documented provenance, his US Navy discharge papers, military diving patches, diving pins and a copy of an article for Research magazine in which he featured. 

We will leave it to Chuck to describe in his own words

‘In 1967 I joined the US Navy Experimental Diving Unit in Washington DC evaluating Saturation Diving Techniques. During this period I was presented with my Rolex Sea-Dweller for Operational & Comfort Testing in exchange for written reports on its performance during saturation dives to 600 & 750 ft, and wet testing using a research chamber to 1000FSW. I was awarded the watch on completion.

During my career I undertook the following dives accompanied by my Rolex Sea-Dweller

· 1968 - Westinghouse Oceanic Division, Saturation Dive 600ft

· 1969 - Duke University / US Navy, Saturation Dive 1000ft

· 1970 - Vietnam, US Naval Forces

· 1971-73 – Harbor Clearance Unit-One, Hawaii

· 1973 - Aegir Habitat, Saturation Dive

· 1974 - US Naval Deep Sea Diving School Instructor, Washington DC

· 1975 - US Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda

· 1977 - US Navy Retired

· 1977 - Launched ‘State of the Arts Hyperbaric’

· 2001 - Retired’

US Navy discharge papers (honorable)

Chuck E Gross (pictured) wearing his Rolex 1665 Patent Pending Sea-Dweller for an article in Research magazine

Chuck E Gross in Action

Associated patches & pins

And finally the Watch

Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 1665 ‘Double Pink’ ‘Patent Pending’ Serial 2,128,xxx

© Copyright  Daniel Bourn

Do you have an original vintage Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega or Blancpain watch you are looking to sell, value or just share your story? Please contact Daniel Bourn via or tel. +44 7977 469 568.

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3 Responses to “Rolex 1665 Pat. Pending Sea-Dweller - US NAVY Issue”

  1. I know Chuck, he comes to my welding shop when he needs things fixed. He wear his beat up Rolex with an S.S. bracelet with he said was hand made in the Phillipines. It's a cool watch with a better story than mine. I just bought my 1660 at Leo's on Michigan Ave. after that I ate at a Coney Island !!! See he has a better story.

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