Recently the author was presented with a watch that in my humble opinion warranted the writing of this short blog. In Brisbane we do not see Double Red Sea-Dwellers very often. We have been lucky to have several over the years, but this one deserves a special mention.
Before getting to the unique history of this watch lets have a look at the condition starting with the dial. As you can see from the pictures this Mark IV dial is particularly attractive, with a lovely patina to the luminous indices and matching hands. The indices are also very stable and not powdery or in any way flaking. Rare for sure in vintage watch land these days.
The surface of the dial is also in outstanding condition with no defects other than one small chip. As any MkIV DRSD fanatic will know, the dials on these watches are plagued by the phenomenon of chips around the outside of the dial. A whole article can be written about the causes of this and we can cover that another time.
Moving on to the original bezel and lovely faded bezel insert. Both are in fantastic condition and really suit the dial and hands. We all know the effort required to get our watches with replaced inserts to look like this!
As you can see from the photo the case is in thick, unpolished condition, still showing its beveled edges. So often these days we see vintage watches with laser filling, cutting and repolishing of the case. While this can restore the look of a piece is also erases the history. Nothing beats an original case that wears its years with pride as this one does. And of course when you turn the case over this is where the fun begins. We have blanked out the numbers on the case back but you can see now that this is no ordinary DRSD.
Picture in your mind where the fun part began when I meet the original owner of this watch who I must say definitely fit the part of a Police diver. Strong, dependable and courageous with a capital C just like the stereotypical hero of TV police dramas. A man who is very proud of his years of service. And so he should be given the scope of the cases he worked on and the decorations he has received!
He purchased the watch new in the mid 1970’s and then its life began as part of the equipment of the Diving and Rescue Unit of the NSW Police force. Without letting too much info out of the bag the watch was presented with a folder of pictures and articles outlining a distinguished career spanning more than two decades. All while wearing the same Rolex divers watch, visible in many of the photos! Oh Man! Those that know me could have imagined my reaction to the above.
So I must say, after owning (for a brief time), a Comex Sea Dweller and a 5517 Milsub, seeing a DRSD as lovely as this one and with such a terrific Aussie history beats them all. It really was a cool thing, so I thought I would share the experience. Given its condition it is also, amazingly, still good for daily use albeit requiring the strong nerves to do so!!!
Thanks for reading. Ronny Wachtel.