Buyer's Guide: Double Red Sea Dweller by delgado
by Ed Delgado
The DRSD has gained in popularity and has become and iconic watch for Rolex collectors.
This is the guidelines that I use when considering a DRSD purchase and only applies to the regular production DRSD and not the prototypes.
First things first. The dial must be mint and match the age/serial of the dial. Check for pealing specially around the 6, 9 and 12 o’clock area as the mark IV dials often had some chips in these areas from being stuck to the case. Check for any other imperfections in the dial.
While a small imperfect or chip is not a deal killer, its preferred to have the most perfect or close to perfect dial as possible. For example I will tolerate some imperfections in a mark I or II dial since they are very rare.
Whether yellowing or patina is present in the dial, its usually a personal preference. For some people patina is highly desirable and for others they prefer the whitest markers they can find. Its up to you.
Details of each dial can be found in the following link.
Hands should match the color of the dial.
Check the dial version with the serial.
The usual and these are only guidelines since Rolex collecting has no hard rules.
Mark I Dial, 1.6-2.2 mil
Mark II Dial, 1.6-3.5 mil
Mark III Dial, 2.6-3.5 to 4.0 mil
Mark IV Dial, 3.0-5.2 mil
Its generally accepted by collectors that the DRSD were produced in the 1967-1977 range with the last batch in the 5.2 mil serials. While there might be some exception to the above, this is what is currently accepted by collectors..
Most DRSD have a caseback with ROLEX written across the caseback, including the patent pending models. There is a small number of transition examples, usually in the 5.1-5.2 range that will have ROLEX written around the caseback.
Its also equally important to see inside the caseback. The model number is should be engraved along with the serial number or partial serial numbers. The early models had the last three digits of the serial. The later models had the full serial number engraved. This is much more important with the transitional models. Some also had a stamp/engraving of the production date ie II 72, indicating second quarter of 1972, etc..
Different casebacks can be seen here.
Always a 1575 but the bridges will read as 1570 as the 1575 is 1570 movement with a date module.
There are two main cases assorted with the DRSD. A thin case, similar to a submariner, usually associated with the watches in the 1.6 mil to 2.2 mil range and a thicker case with the remainder of the cases.
Condition of the case is important and you would like to see thick lugs and crowns guards. Many of these watches have been used, so it’s expected to see some wear on the case specially around where the serial and model numbers rub against the bracelet and at the bottom of the case. Again, an unpolished case with sharp edges is ideal but not required. I expect to see some thick lugs even if it was polished before. Sharp edges are nice. Pointed and pin point lugs are not desirable.
Superdome all the way in the production. This is a bonus in my book since they original domes can still be found but its nice to see this.
Crown and Tube.
Original early examples had a tube without the external rubber ring and the crwon without dots.. Again this is a bonus but not a must. I rather have a waterproof watch in good working condition and recently serviced and ready to wear.
A 9315 with 280 or 380 ends for the early watches and 93150 with 580 or 585 ends in good condition is acceptable. PPDRS with “pat. Pend.” Extensions are nice but not a must as I don’t think this was the original intention.
Collectability and Pricing
The DRSD still gaining popularity and are still must have for the serious collectors.
This is the desirability accordingly:
1. Early 1665, mark O, mark I with or without HEV
2. PPDRSD, Mark I
3. PPDRSD, Mark II
4. Mark II, chocolate dial
5. Mark II
3. Mark III (since I see less of these than even mark II)
4. Mark IV
5. Mark IV transitional
6. Mark V and IV, to complete the sets.
Pricing so far is according to rarity/desirability and are a moving target and changing in a daily basis. Box and original papers can add between 20-50% to the value.