Vintage Rolex Prototype: To Be Released At Auction

It is impossible to have a conversation about dive watches without mentioning Rolex. The iconic Swiss watch manufacturer created one of the world’s very first dive watches way back in the 1950s and for the better part of a century, the brand has been a pioneer in the genre of underwater timepieces. Decades ago, Rolex […] The post Vintage Rolex Prototype: To Be Released At Auction appeared first on Bob's Watches.

Vintage Rolex Prototype: To Be Released At Auction

It is impossible to have a conversation about dive watches without mentioning Rolex. The iconic Swiss watch manufacturer created one of the world’s very first dive watches way back in the 1950s and for the better part of a century, the brand has been a pioneer in the genre of underwater timepieces. Decades ago, Rolex created a special prototype dive watch that was specially designed to travel to the deepest known point on Earth – the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Known as the Rolex Deep Sea Special, only a handful of examples were ever produced (35 to be exact) and it was never offered for sale to the general public.

However, one of those watches will be hitting the auction block this fall…

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on Rolex watches.

What is the Rolex Deep Sea Special?

About The Rolex Deep Sea Special

Not to be confused with the Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller (a modern Rolex dive watch), the Rolex Deep Sea Special (DSS) is a prototype model from the 1950s that was specifically created to test what was possible with Rolex’s waterproof Oyster Case. Rolex worked in collaboration with Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh to test its watches during their diving experiments and in 1953, Rolex created the first prototype Deep Sea Special, strapping it onto the outside of the Bathyscaphe Trieste Submersible. Using this research dive as a reference point for testing, Rolex created another prototype for a second mission in 1960, which saw the watch travel down over 10,000 meters below sea level to the deepest known point on Earth.

Following the successful deep dive in 1960, Rolex produced a commemorative series of 35 examples of the Deep Sea Special. Each one was numbered out of 35, and they were only offered to the most distinguished science, technology, and watch museums, along with a select handful of the brand’s most trusted retailers, high profile partners, and executives who contributed to its development. Featuring a radically domed crystal and a unique case that was specifically designed for the project, the Rolex Deep Sea Special truly looks unlike any other Rolex watch, either vintage or modern, and it is often regarded as one of the “Holy Grails” of vintage Rolex collecting.

Vintage Rolex Prototype Deep Sea Special Number 35

Why the Rolex Deep Sea Special Is Important

Rolex is a brand that is synonymous with dive watches and it has arguably done more to advance the industry of water-resistant timepieces than any other manufacturer. Over the years, Rolex has created a number of different dive watch prototypes, including the ref. 5513 watches that were retrofitted with helium escape valves, but the Rolex Deep Sea Special is important because it represents the absolute pinnacle of water resistance during an era where the mechanical dive watch was still the gold-standard in underwater timekeeping.

Any prototype Rolex is rare, but the fact that the Deep Sea Special is so well documented makes it even more special. Additionally, it was the Deep Sea Special that pioneered much of the technology that has served as the basis for all modern Rolex dive watches, and it truly holds a special place in Rolex’s history. According to Alexandre Ghotbi, Phillips’ Head of Watches, Continental Europe and Middle East, “The DSS is the watch that defined what Rolex is today. It is the philosophy behind its creation that led Rolex to focus on tool watches in general and dive watches in particular. Without the Deep Sea Special there would be no Submariner or Sea Dweller as we know it.”

Prototype Rolex Deep Sea Special 35

A Total of 35 Examples

As a brand, Rolex is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to production numbers or certain aspects of its history, which makes it all the more unusual that we know exactly how many Deep Sea Special watches were produced. A total of 35 examples were created, and only five have ever been sold to the public thus far (the last one to appear was sold by Christie’s in 2009).

Rolex Deep Sea Special #3 (the watch actually strapped to the Bathyscaphe Trieste) is on display in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., while some of other known pieces can be found at the Beyer Museum, the London Science Museum, and the Piccard Museum in Nyon, Switzerland. This particular example that Phillips will auction in November is the last of 35 commemorative versions the watchmaker made in 1965. The watch’s numbered caseback features the date of the record-setting dive (January 23, 1960), along with its incredible water-resistance rating of 10,908 meters (35,789 feet).

Prototype Rolex Deep Sea Special Number 35

How Much Will the Rolex Deep Sea Special Cost?

One of the most interesting things about the sale of prototype vintage Rolex watches is that there really is no established market price for them. With so few examples in existence and many years between examples surfacing, the previous sale price of one watch is hardly a reliable indicator of what another example might fetch many years down the line.

Case in point is the Rolex Deep Sea Special. The last one that publicly sold was auctioned off more than a decade ago, yet it still fetched close to a half a million dollars when Christie’s sold Deep Sea Special #31 back in 2009. So, what is the pre-sale estimate for Rolex Deep Sea Special #35 – the very last example of the 35 unit run from the 1960s?

Well, the Rolex Deep Sea Special #35 will be offered for sale as part of Phillips ‘The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV’ – which is set to take place on November 5-7. It currently has a pre-sale estimate of CHF 1.2m – 2.4m (approximately $1.3m – $2.6m USD), and there is significant speculation that it may even exceed that already impressive value.

* All images courtesy of Phillips.

The post Vintage Rolex Prototype: To Be Released At Auction appeared first on Bob's Watches.

Source : Bob's Watches More   

What's Your Reaction?

like
0
dislike
0
love
0
funny
0
angry
0
sad
0
wow
0

Next Article

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Ultimate Buying Guide

Just over a decade ago, in 2005, Omega launched a new professional diver’s watch collection dubbed the Seamaster Planet Ocean. Although modern in terms of design, materials, and mechanics, the Omega Planet Ocean watches draw inspiration from the brand’s rich legacy of diving watches. Today, the Planet Ocean is Omega’s signature pro dive watch with plenty of variations offered. Join us as we take a look at an especially practical model, the Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT. The post Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Ultimate Buying Guide appeared first on Bob's Watches.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Ultimate Buying Guide

In 2005, Omega launched a new professional diver’s watch collection dubbed the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M. Although modern in terms of design, materials, and mechanics, the Omega Planet Ocean models draw inspiration from the brand’s rich legacy of diving watches. Today, the Planet Ocean is Omega’s signature pro dive watch line and in true form, there are plenty of variations available.

In addition to the core time-and-date models, there are also several other Planet Ocean watches, including both chronographs and GMT versions. Omega first introduced the Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT watch collection in 2013 and then updated the range in 2016. Combining all the capabilities of a true travel watch with the core functionally of a professional diver makes the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT the perfect go-anywhere, do-anything timekeeping companion. If you’re interested in a luxury dive watch that offers practical GMT functionality, here’s everything you need to know about the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT

Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Quick Specs

– Year of Introduction: 2013

– Case Size: 43.5mm or 45.5mm

– Materials: Steel, Gold, Titanium, or Ceramic

– Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, GMT-Functionality

– Bezel: Bidirectional, Ceramic Insert w/ 24-hour or 60-Minute Scale

– Crystal: Sapphire (Domed)

– Water Resistance: 600 Meters / 2,000 Feet (Helium Escape Valve)

– Movement: Omega Cal. 8605, Cal. 8615, or Cal. 8906

Planet Ocean GMT Timeline

– 2005: Omega introduces the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M line.

– 2013: Omega debuts the Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT.

– 2014: Omega launches a limited-edition platinum Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT with the world’s first orange ceramic bezel.

– 2016: Omega releases the METAS-certified Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Master Chronometer.

– 2016: Omega launches the ceramic Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Deep Black.

– 2017: Omega launches the ceramic Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Big Blue.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Shopping Guide 24-Hour Bezel

First Generation Omega Planet Ocean GMT

Eight years after the initial 2005 introduction of the Planet Ocean collection, the Omega Planet Ocean GMT made its debut in 2013. The model also introduced a new 43.5mm case size to the lineup, which was in between the existing 42mm and 45.5mm Planet Ocean cases. Similar to other Planet Ocean models, the GMT edition is water-resistant to 600 meters (2,000 feet), includes a manually-operated helium escape valve at 10’clock, and a highly luminous dial.

However, unlike the unidirectional 60-minute dive bezels of the other Planet Ocean watches, most of the Planet Ocean GMT includes a bidirectional rotating bezel marked to 24 hours. This is, of course, because the 24-hour bezel is used in conjunction with the additional GMT hand on the dial to display a secondary time zone. A particularly appealing design touch on the Planet Ocean is the use of Omega’s iconic double broad arrow hands where both the hour and minute hands include large arrow tips. The Planet Ocean GMT also includes a date window at 3 o’clock, which accompanies 6, 9, and 12 Arabic numerals and tapered baton indexes at the rest of the hours. Protecting the face of the watch is the domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal treated with an anti-reflective coating on both sides.

The back of the watch is also furnished with sapphire crystal to allow a view of the movement inside the watch. The first generation Planet Ocean watches run on the self-winding Caliber 8605 (or in precious metal variants, the more decorative Caliber 8615 with a pink gold rotor and balance bridge) with 60 hours of power reserve. These movements come equipped with Omega’s famous Co-Axial escapement technology that has less friction than the ubiquitous lever escapement, which results in longer service intervals due to the fact that it is less reliant on lubricants.

Omega is known for offering plenty of material, bracelet, and color options – and the first-generation Planet Ocean GMT is no exception. An especially good-looking one is the Planet Ocean GMT ref. 232.30.44.22.01.002, which features a stainless steel case, steel bracelet, black bezel, and black dial with orange numerals. Another popular option is the Planet Ocean GMT GoodPlanet, which offers a vibrant blue and orange colorway.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Review Buying Guide

First-Generation Planet Ocean GMT References

Below is a list of different Planet Ocean GMT (with Caliber 8605/8615) references:

– 232.30.44.22.01.001: Steel case, steel bracelet, black bezel, black dial.

– 232.32.44.22.01.001: Steel case, black rubber strap, black bezel, black dial.

– 232.30.44.22.01.002: Steel case, steel bracelet, black bezel, black dial with orange details.

– 232.32.44.22.01.002: Steel case, black rubber strap, black bezel, black dial with orange details.

– 232.90.44.22.03.001: Titanium case, titanium bracelet, blue bezel, blue dial.

– 232.92.44.22.03.001: Titanium case, blue rubber strap, blue bezel, blue dial.

– 232.30.44.22.03.001: GoodPlanet, steel case, steel bracelet, blue bezel with orange numerals, blue dial.

– 232.32.44.22.03.001: GoodPlanet, steel case, blue rubber strap, blue bezel with orange numerals, blue dial.

– 232.63.44.22.01.001: Red gold case, black leather strap, black bezel, black dial.

– 232.93.44.22.99.001: Platinum case, orange leather strap, orange ceramic bezel, gray dial (limited to eight pieces).

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Co-Axial Movement

METAS-Certified Planet Ocean GMT Watches

In 2016, Omega released new Planet Ocean GMT Master Chronometer models fitted with new-generation movement: the Caliber 8906. Like all Omega Master Chronometer movements, the Caliber 8906 is certified by METAS (Switzerland’s federal institute of meteorology) to be both exceptionally accurate and also resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss.

Design-wise, the new METAS-certified Planet Ocean GMT watches retain the same 43.5mm case sizes of the previous models, and they are also fitted with ceramic bezel inserts. However, in contrast to the earlier models with single-color ceramic inserts, the newer models feature two-tone ceramic bezels with a white section and a black section – an industry first. While other watch brands (such as Rolex) had already introduced two-tone bezels, the difference here is that those bezels are first fashioned in one color and then treated with special chemicals to achieve two different shades. Conversely, the Omega Planet Ocean GMT Master Chronometer watches bring together two different colored ceramic pieces to form the bezel.

Omega currently makes the Planet Ocean GMT Master Chronometer exclusively in stainless steel and fitted with a black dial and a black and white bezel. However, buyers do have a choice between a stainless steel bracelet or a black leather strap.

METAS-CERTIFIED Planet Ocean GMT References

The two Planet Ocean GMT Master Chronometer (with Caliber 8906) references are the following:

– 215.30.44.22.01.001: Steel case, steel bracelet, black/white bezel, black dial.

– 215.33.44.22.01.001: Steel case, black leather strap, black/white bezel, black dial.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Guide Cookies and Cream METAS Certified

Ceramic Planet Ocean GMT Watches

Omega also introduced a new sub-collection of Planet Ocean GMT “Deep Black” watches in 2016, which like the popular Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” models, have full-ceramic cases. As their name suggests, the Planet Ocean GMT “Deep Black” watches include GMT functionality. However, these watches are markedly different from the previous Planet Ocean GMT references that we have covered so far.

First of all, these black ceramic cases are notably larger, coming in at 45.5mm wide and 17.8mm thick. Furthermore, the Planet Ocean GMT “Deep Black” models return to their diving watch roots by having unidirectional 60-minute timing bezels instead of bidirectional 24-hour bezels. To retain the dual time functionality, Omega moved the 24-hour GMT scale to the periphery of the dial. Similar to the black and white Planet Ocean GMT, the Deep Black Planet Ocean GMT watches are also powered by the METAS-certified Caliber 8906 movement.

Ceramic Planet Ocean GMT References

The four main models of the Planet Ocean GMT Deep Black range include the following references:

– 215.92.46.22.01.001: Glossy black ceramic case, black rubber strap, black bezel, black dial.

– 215.63.46.22.01.001: Glossy black ceramic case with Sedna gold details, black leather strap with rubber lining, black bezel with Sedna gold details, black dial with Sedna gold details.

– 215.92.46.22.01.002: Matte black ceramic case, black rubber strap with blue stitching, black bezel with blue rubber 15-minute section, black dial with blue details.

– 215.92.46.22.01.003: Matte black ceramic case, black rubber strap with red stitching, black bezel with red rubber 15-minute section, black dial with red details.

The following year, Omega launched the Planet Ocean GMT “Big Blue,” which was identical in size and design to the “Deep Black” watches but made from blue ceramic and accented with plenty of orange details.

– 215.92.46.22.03.001: Blue ceramic case, blue rubber strap with orange stitching, blue bezel with orange rubber 15-minute section, blue dial with orange details

Omega Planet Ocean GMT Seamaster Buying Guide

Buying The Omega Planet Ocean GMT

In less than a decade, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT collection has expanded to welcome quite a diverse range of watch models. This means that you can find a number of different Planet Ocean GMT references on the pre-owned market, and options include a surprisingly wide range of different materials and colors.

One of the key details to think about if you’re buying an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT is to first decide if you would prefer the versions that are primarily designed as GMT watches (but happen to have dive-ready features like a helium escape valve and incredibly deep water resistance) or the versions that are first and foremost dive watches (but happen to also have the practical GMT function). Both options will more-or-less do the same things, but the way that they go about it is slightly different.

Whichever model you decide on, what is clear is that the Planet Ocean GMT is a superb modern Omega watch that combines incredible quality, everyday practicality, and striking wrist presence. Additionally, whether you find yourself high above the clouds or deep below the surface of the ocean, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT has all the features you need and is more than tough of standing up to the task.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Ultimate Guide

The post Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Ultimate Buying Guide appeared first on Bob's Watches.

Source : Bob's Watches More   

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.