The GLOSS Dial 16660
by Clayton Liotta
Long about the 8.5 mil mark (More or less) Rolex changed the dial on the 16660 from Matt to Gloss.
The markers, although still Tritium, were now surrounded by white gold and the dial was give a high Gloss finish.
The HYPHEN was now gone (Later to return) between the words; “Sea” & “Dweller” and upon close inspection the font used had a serif.
The “F” in the depth rating was much longer then in previous dials.
And the Crown was much shorter.
The first version of these dials however, had some manufacturing issues...
After a short time the dials began to develop surface cracks, know as “Crazing” or “Spidering”.
(This can occur for a number of reasons. For example; If the surface was not prepared properly, If the top coat of paint was encouraged to dry to quickly, If the base coat was not allowed to dry completely, etc.)
What ever the reason, Rolex (Who to this day will not openly admit to any error) quickly remedied the problem with a new set of Gloss Dials.
At the time, were you to bring your “Crazed” dial Sea Dweller into Rolex, they would have swapped it out for a new “Crazed Free” version at no cost.
A limited number of these dials remain in circulation today.
To this day the debate still goes on as to whether these dials are: Beautiful and collectable, or just garbage...
You be the judge...
The second generation Gloss Dials saw the “Crazing” problem solved and the return of the “Hyphen” between the words “Sea” & “Dweller”.
The font was changed and was now much closer to that of the Mark 2 Matt Dial.
The Crown also grew a bit taller.
This series of dial ran into the very early “L” series serial numbers, at which time the 16660 became the 16600...
But that’s another story...
Note: These second generation Gloss dials have had a tendency to turn from Glossy to MATT over the years and are actually quite striking today