This week we have two amazing Universal Genève Compax watches featured, both the reference 22410, which we love for its large waterproof case. And when it comes with a futuristic looking dial, it gets even better, which explains why one example was sold in a flash for just over $50,000. We also have a gorgeous Rolex Sea-Dweller reference 1665 and a patinated Heuer Autavia reference 2446 with big sub-registers and dauphine hands. This is your Bring A Loupe for February 17, 2017.
Rolex Sea-Dweller Reference 1665
The "Double Red" nickname of the early Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 obviously comes from the two red lines on its dial, while the later version would be called the "Great White" for the same reason. The Sea-Dweller was initially launched in 1967 with greater water resistance than the Rolex Submariner, and for that reason it featured a helium escape valve on its left side, to prevent possible damage to the watch in the decompression chamber after saturation diving. The dial itself underlines the connection with the Sub, reading "Submariner 2000" to emphasize the increase in water resistance from 660 ft. to 2,000 ft.
As it often happens with vintage Rolex, several versions of "Double Red" dials have been identified up to 1977, when the "Great White" configuration took over. In this classification, the dial here is a Mark 4, which is consistent with its 3.1M serial number, giving a production year of 1972. The dial is in outstanding condition ("100% flawless" are the seller’s words), with a yellow patina matching the handset (note there a small break in the lume of the hour hand). The case shows the expected scuffs but was spared excessive polishing, which is rare in the case of a true tool watch engineered to be used and abused. Lastly, the seller notes that the last three digits of the serial number are engraved inside the caseback, as you should expect for any "Double Red" Sea-Dweller, unless the full serial number is stamped there.
You can find this sweet Rolex Sea-Dweller reference 1665 priced at $33,000.
Universal Genève Compax Reference 22410-6
The reference 22410 is among the favorites of Universal Genève collectors for its oversized 38mm case. It has what is sometimes called a "Spillmann" case; the casemaker C. R. Spillmann SA is indeed renowned for its waterproof cases for chronograph makers like UG and Doxa but also for Rolex, where its name is abbreviated C.R.S. in the Oyster cases. Therefore, this Universal Genève exhibits all the traits of the Spillmann design for waterproof chronographs, from the large bezel to the angular lugs and the screw-down caseback.
As a true Universal Genève, this Compax nicely combines its practical abilities with some dressy attributes, such as the rose gold handset and indexes. And as always, the legibility is exemplary, with large sub-registers and blued hands to read the chronograph, powered by the caliber 285. Both the dial and case are incredibly crisp for a watch manufactured in 1941, and the deep engravings on the caseback confirm that the case remains unpolished. The seller indicates that the watch comes with an Extract from Universal Genève Archives.
The dealer Iconeek is asking CHF 8,800 (or around $8,825) for this mint Universal Genève Compax.
Heuer Autavia Reference 2446, With Second Execution Handset And ‘Big Subs’
Just three weeks after the record-breaking Autavia 2446 that sold for $200,000, a new example is now hitting the market. It shares the same dial configuration, the first execution called the "Big Subs" (big sub-dials) for its oversized chronograph counters. Yet, we know it was made later, as it has a later handset, the early full lume hands being replaced by the second execution dauphine hands. Like any 2446, the chronograph is powered by the trusty Valjoux 72, and has a screw-down caseback.
The example here belongs to an experienced collector who was one of the first to contribute with pictures to OnTheDash back in 2002, which eventually led to an impressive registry of known early Autavias. The case of this 2446 is very sharp – very likely unpolished, judging by the large bevels on the lugs. The aged dial almost appears to have a fumé finish on the large sub-registers, while the lume on the hands has a very seductive patina also found on the hands, which are described as original. The strap is very likely not the original (one can always dream…) but the buckle is absolutely period correct.
The highest bid for this early Heuer Autavia 2446 was announced at $55,000 with offers accepted until this afternoon, 5 PM Eastern Time.
Notable Sale Of The Past Week: Universal Genève Compax With Prototype Dial Bringing More Than $50,000
This is the second reference 22410 featured today, and has one of the most striking dials you will ever see. This futuristic dial has also appeared on references 12251 and 12392. There is some debate as to whether the dial can be found on more tool-watch cases, like the 38mm waterproof 22410, but it is now accepted that two versions of this dial exist. Nonetheless, it was promptly snapped up when the dealer MentaWatches offered it for sale at around $50,000.
The whole Compax thing got really interesting when members of the Omega Forum, a few hours later, spotted another of those dials for sale at "just" $2,500. Needless to say, it was gone in seconds, and one can only wonder when and where it will resurface.