If you’re a fan of rare or unusual Rolex watches, you’re in for a special treat. Up for auction at La Reserve in Geneva, Switzerland will be a historically significant, museum quality Rolex called “The Deep Sea Special.” Yes, for a second I too thought the Deep Sea Special was an all-you-can-eat promotion at Red Lobster, but alas, it is in fact the Rolex that Phillips plans to auction off on November 5 and November 7 of 2021. It's certainly a unique watch, that's for sure!
The “Deep Sea Special'' is a two-tone stainless steel and yellow gold dive watch with a pronounced domed crystal made to withstand a depth of over 10,000 meters (35,000 feet). The watch was originally made in 1965, and is being publicly available for purchase for the first time in its existence. Only 5 others of its kind have been sold to the public over the years, with a few others secured in museums and other institutions. It has been 12 years since a Deep Sea Special has been available for public purchase making this a “once in a decade” opportunity for collectors.
History of the Deep Sea Special
The history and previous adventures of this unique watch are pretty interesting. According to Robb Report, the history behind this watch is as follows: “The original Deep Sea Special was an ultra-rugged Rolex taken on a record-setting dive into the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point on Earth, by Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh in January 1960. It features a special stainless-steel case and a domed crystal that was strong enough to withstand the extreme pressure of the ocean’s furthest depths. During Piccard and Walsh’s expedition, it was strapped to the hull of their submersible, the Bathyscaphe Trieste, and was able to survive a dive to 10,000 meters (about 32,800 feet) below sea level. It’s currently on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.” Whether you like the look of the watch, or not, you can’t deny that its history is pretty unique and interesting.
Many people, including the head of Phillips watches (EU and Middle East), Alexandre Ghotbi feel that the Deep Sea Special (DSS) is the “watch that defined what Rolex is today” and that it paved the way for the modern day Submariner and Sea-Dweller. We thank the DSS and Rolex pioneers for allowing us to enjoy those watches today. Phillips also announced that in addition to this historical Rolex DSS, they will also auction off four Philippe DuFour watches and five F.P. Journe watches, among other treasures.
The Deep Sea Special watch is estimated to sell at auction for between CHF 1,200,000-2,400,000, which at the time of publication translates to approximately $1.3 million - 2.6 million. Whew, that is a pretty penny for a timepiece. We shall see how much it goes for in a few weeks!
So, what do you think about this watch and the price? When @philippswatches and @rolex.watches published these pics on Instagram, it was interesting to read the comment section. As a whole, the reactions were pretty split between love and hate, and, as always in the comment section, very candid. One commenter wrote, “[100k] for a watch that looks like a blister” while another wrote, “woooww..this is a UFO.” Many others commented with the ill-faced green emoji, and a few griped at the potential price tag. But there were also many who felt strong admiration for this watch. One commenter remarked, “Wow this is amazing I wish I had the money to buy it, this is the [holly] grail of the Rolex watches” while another said, “the best of the best!” Lastly, and we can’t argue with this one, a commenter added some fire emojis and said, “extremely rare and historically important tool watch.”
So, what are your thoughts watch fam? Let us know in the comments!
All photos courtesy of @phillipswatches