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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, newbie here. I'm lucky enough to have a Rolex DRSD 1665 circa 1972/3 (s/n 3577XXXX). Its case is a little scratched and the bezel is missing its jewel (this was a luminous type I think). Otherwise it's in excellent condition, it keeps great time and just needs a good clean. I'm looking to get this restored. What's the best approach to maintain its authenticity and bring out the best in this watch and where should I take it?

I also saw an ebay ad for a vintage bezel here:
Rare Rolex Red Submariner Bezel Insert 16800 16610 Tudor Sea Dweller 16600 | eBay
Should I consider offering for this to get hold of a jewel with the right amount of wear or are those locatable elsewhere?
Thanks for all advice.

Here's the watch, apologies for the blurry picture
 

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Oh Boy Oh Boy, I'm looking forward to AAKVIPER finding this thread. You sure came to the right place.
 

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Welcome to the Vintage forum flook18..

The insert form ebay is for a sapphire version. It will not work on your plastic crystal 1665.

It seems to me from the blurry picture, your dial looks to be correct for the year of the watch..The third version of the DR dial. Nice find so far.

The good news is that the watch case looks to be 100% original.
The service advice is this, do not heavy polish the watch in any way. And if a watchmaker is to service the movement, make sure that he is proficient in removing the hands without damaging the dial by nicking it or the luminous paint on the hands and dial. This is an art form in itself.

In my opinion as a watchmaker, a true service is measured on how well one can preserve the watch without adding any damage to the artifact.
These DR dials are known to chip with just a little pressure applied to them. Hands also can be damaged by a watchmaker using the wrong method by a hands puller, or a chip can occur to the dial edge when the movement is taken out or placed back in the case.

If you find a watchmaker proficient in vantage Rolex sport watch restoration, a few items I would have addressed.
First, the watch should have all the gaskets replaced, and with the movement out of the watch have the case water tested for water seepage. If the case passes this test keep the original crown and crown tube as is. The crystal can be polished to look near perfect, but if you will wear the watch regularly, put in a new Rolex crystal # 39. The idea here is make the watch water proof by using all the original parts as possible.

The insert to me looks to be incorrect for the 1665, but the bezel in is a keeper.
I hope you can post more pictures of the 1665 with the case back off. I would like to see the inside of the case back and a look see at the serial and reference numbers.

I hope I added some light on how you can proceed on your restoration. Also make sure the case back serial numbers on the inside case back matches the serial numbers on the case lug.

Keep us posted on your project, I am very interested on the outcome, Arthur
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Many thanks Arthur for your excellent advice.

I'll investigate vintage sports Rolex specialists and as and when I find one here in the UK (references gratefully received) I'll also get a photo of the inner case and get that posted.

But I can guarantee provenance - I've owned this watch since new. It would be remarkable if the serial numbers differed.

Not quite clear though what you mean by:
The insert to me looks to be incorrect for the 1665, but the bezel in is a keeper.

Is the insert, the jewel at the 12 position (if so, this is missing) or something else?

Will keep you posted
Charlie
 

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Charlie....

Maybe the picture was not clear to me and I my be wrong, but the insert looked to be of a latter design with thinner number fonts.

Below is one of my 4xxxxxx fourth generation dial 1665's with fat number font insert..But as I said, a better picture of your 1665 head would show me more detail.

Keep us posted, Arthur


 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rolex DRSD restoration

Update: I've been looking into watch restoration specialists here in the UK to whom I should entrust my Rolex DRSD. Steven Hale Watch Restoration has been recommended. Their website is here: Home
I'm minded to approach them for assistance, but naturally concerned that they may not have the required knowledge / expertise - so I have 2 questions for the forum:
1 Has anyone had any experience of this organisation that they care to share?
2 Are there any questions I should be asking or pointers regarding restoration beyond the excellent advice already proferred by Arthur?
Many thanks, and I'll keep you posted on any progress
 
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