Rolex Submariner Date - Ref. 16800 - Matte Dial
The Rolex Submariner is a true icon - and the word icon does get thrown around a lot. If you were to ask 10 people to draw you their idea of a watch looks like - chances are they would draw or describe something that looks like a Rolex Submariner. It’s the dive watch of reference good/bad/indifferent there is no escaping it. Over its 70 year run there have been numerous changes made to the model, but this 16800 represents a very interesting period in the Submariner story.
The Ref. 1680 was the first Submariner to feature a date, and had a long production run spanning close to 15 years - and was eventually replaced by the 16800 series of Submariner Date. During that 16800 era, the watch underwent a series of changes that saw the earliest models born with matte dials, and the last ones born with high-gloss dials with white gold surrounds. The present example hails from the first half of the 16800 production run where matte dials that we prize as collectors were still in use. These early 16800 hail from an era when the Submariner was still mostly used by people who needed the ruggedness and capability of a true sports dive watch, but was starting to gain traction with professionals who worked in office settings too. Like any vintage Rolex, over the life of these pieces many watches got destroyed, had their dials changed out, or just got lost in the cushions of a couch that ended up in a trash compactor (Check the cushions ASAP!)
This watch is in beautifully preserved condition presenting an exceptional dial with beautiful lume, and attractive bezel fading to boot. The case, which has been polished in the past, is still thick and even a sign that this was done properly. The dial features the same 4-lines of text we have come to expect from the Submariner, proclaiming its superlative chronometer status. This is a special one, and with the 70th Anniversary of the Submariner in 2023, what better way to celebrate.
*Some marks or spots on the dial are reflections or dust on the crystal and are due to high intensity strobe lighting used while photographing. They are not actually on the watch or visible in natural lighting.
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From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.
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