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Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 1680 - MK4 'Red Sub' - Box & Papers


The Rolex Submariner is a true icon — and the word "icon" does get thrown around an awful lot. If you were to ask ten people at random to draw you their idea of what a watch looks like, there is a significant chance that they would draw or describe something that looks like a Rolex Submariner. It’s the dive watch of reference, and good/bad/indifferent there is no escaping it. Throughout its 70-year production, there have been countless small changes made to the model, particularly in the first decade or so, with the 1680 representing a true landmark in the history of the model.

The Ref. 1680 was the first Submariner to feature a date and enjoyed a long production run spanning close to 15 years. Why would a dive watch need a date? Well, this was the first step in marketing a tool watch beyond the diving community and crowd - because you definitely do not need to know the date underwater! The 1680 started a shift to civilian friendly models, and to this day, the Submariner Date outsells and outnumbers its 'no-date' sibling something like 10-1. Purity aside, this does make sense for most buyers. It utilizes the iconic Rolex cyclops married with the date function, yet remains clean and functional as ever. 

The piece that we have here, however, is no run of the mill Ref. 1680...

This piece features a line of text on the dial that reads:

“Submariner” in red, rather than the usual white. It has since become known to collectors as the "Red Sub."

It dates to circa 1971 and features an unpolished case with defined lug chamfers and normal, honest wear throughout. The 'Mark 4' dial exhibits a fantastic, even patina across the luminous elements with matching handset and matching pip in the bezel insert.

The insert itself has taken on a faint fade, resulting in a beautiful deep navy color. It comes fitted to a later solid-link Oyster bracelet with a dive clasp.

This fresh-to-market piece would be enough for any collection on its own, but this piece is accompanied by its punched papers, caseback sticker, purchase receipt, a box, and even its very likely original crystal.

A truly exceptional package that we simply cant speak highly enough of!

Stainless Steel 1971 Box & Papers Automatic Dive

"As collectors themselves, Oliver and Clarke are on a mission to make buying vintage watches as painless as possible."

"The company focuses on good prices for its pieces, elite customer service and full transparency."

"The appointment-only space is inviting, with comfortable seating areas and exposed brick walls."

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.

Oliver & Clarke

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