After I graduated in 2002, I bought this Rolex Sea-Dweller from my first (few) salaries. A used 1997 model with tritium dial (boy, did I want the Super Luminova model back then) with just minor scratches from every day use by its previous owner. In December 2007, I decided this watch needed a complete overhaul since it was 10 years old already and I had been wearing it almost on a daily basis for years. Schaap ~ Citroen is the local Rolex dealer here in The Hague (they have 8 stores in The Netherlands) so I brought the watch with me and asked for a complete overhaul. The sapphire crystal needed replacement (scratched), a new bezel inlay was required and a fresh brush on the bracelet and case.

After a few weeks (2008), I went to the store to pick up my Sea-Dweller again. However, after a short examination, I noticed that the polishing wasn’t done properly. After I asked them to redo this again, it was done a little better but not as good as it originally was. In the end, I took the watch home and how much I tried.. I found myself rarely wearing it since that time.

When Schaap~Citroen organized an evening for a few Rolex adepts (you can read about it here) last March, I got invited as well and at the end of this very cool event, I took the opportunity to discuss my Sea-Dweller with the Schaap~Citroen staff. I explained to them what happened and that I was rarely wearing this watch ever since. Instantly, Schaap~Citroen offered to take the watch with them and have it serviced properly this time.

Last Tuesday, Schaap~Citroen called me to tell me the watch was back from service at Rolex. During lunch break, I walked over to their store (a 10 minute walk from my office) and could not believe my eyes when they unleashed the Sea-Dweller from its service pouch. It looked like it was New Old Stock 🙂 Unbelievable! My Rolex Sea-Dweller, having these protecting stickers on each side and on the case back again as it was new, came with a green plastic Rolex card that gives another 2 years of warranty. All this was done at the expense of Schaap~Citroen. Kudos to Schaap~Citroen for offering this ‘repair’, even after two years.

Here are a few pictures that I just took of the ref.16600 Sea-Dweller (T-series):

Could not be happier!

  • Karel

    Klasse! Erg mooi geworden.

    Gr. Karel

  • Wonderful watch, and great to hear you have it back to an “enjoy it” state RJ!


  • Glad to read your story has a happy ending. The watch looks GREAT!

  • Good to hear a store knows the value of a happy customer and making things right.
    BRAVO Schaap~Citroen!

    Manuel Y.

  • Reminds me of the time I have my 1960s Navitimer serviced and I made them put a matte finish on the lugs by mistake (long story!). As a result, I don’t wear it much anymore because the lugs just aren’t right.

    Your post makes me want to take it back and get them to fix it. It’s great when a cherished watch comes back looking the way it should.

    Right, that’s it; I’m off to the Breitling service centre… thanks for inspiring me.

    By the way, I LOVE the Sea-Dweller. That thing is a classic. Don’t ever sell it.

  • Jeroen

    Dag RJ,

    wat een fantastisch resultaat.
    Ik heb zelf ook een Sea Dweller uit 2004 en is echt een top klok.

    Misschien overweeg soortgelijke service. Vraag van mijn kant. Wat kost zo?Ǭ¥n full service nou eigenlijk?

    Vriendelijke groet,

  • All,

    Thanks for your replies.

    @Jeroen: 400 euro voor een Sea-Dweller.

    @The Prodigial Fool: I won’t 🙂 Let me know if Breitling has such a great service as well!

  • Yen

    Hi Robert,

    What a great work, definitely an alibi to do diving during this summer.

    Check what we have found in a old watches boutique … talking about the royal crown too:

    Keep it up !!!

  • Jr

    Great post. I have a Y-Series Sea-Dweller I purchased in 2003. I have worn it frequently and was looking to get serviced and “re-brushed” as you have done. On the side of the casing there are a few scratches (somewhat deep that I’m not sure where it came from) I was hoping to get it polished. How bad were the scratches on yours and also how much did it cost for the service initially? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Jr,

      My Sea-Dweller had some severe scratches on the case and even a few small dents. Of course, the dents are still noticeable (especially when you were aware of them before the service) but overall I would say the watch looks like factory-new again. The initial service on the Sea-Dweller (including inspection and cleaning of the movement) was 400 Euro.


  • Shawn Lor

    Sold my 16600 recently and looking forward for the handsomely reintroduced sea dweller 4000.
    Impressive that Rolex keeping the legendary model alive once more.
    Bravos Rolex