On November 8th, Christie’s will auction the Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special No. 1 at Hotel Four Seasons Les Bergues in Geneva.

This watch is was attached to Auguste Piccard’s bathyscaphe hull (submarine) Trieste on September 30, 1953, as a trial and survived at a depth of 3,150 meters in the Mediterranean. Developed as a prototype for testing Rolex dive watch technology, Christie’s states that this watch case, movement, and bracelet are all original and in perfect working condition. 

1953 Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special No. 1

It’s said that seven prototypes were built between 1953 and 1960, and the Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special No. 1 (with “low glass” made from plexiglass), led to the development of the  Rolex Deep Sea Special No. 3 (with “high glass” meaning a taller and thicker crystal, also of made from plexiglass) that would reach 10,908 meters in the Mariana Trench with the Trieste on 23 January 1960, and is today on display, together with the Trieste at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. The Smithsonian also has Deep Sea Special No. 5, which is a high glass version, on display.


Photo by Chrisitie’s.

Posted by:Jason Pitsch

Jason is the founder of Professional Watches and specializes in writing, product photography, and digital marketing.