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Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 16800 - Transitional Matte Dial

Sale price$12,250.00 USD

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 this time the 16800 are typically broken down into two difference variants, each with their own appeal. The early pieces feature matte black dials, whereas the second half of production introduced glossy black dials with the first applied Tritium-filled white gold indices.

Some enthusiasts and collectors say that this, along with the last of the matte dial Ref. 5513 Submariners were the last Rolexes that were purchased and used by people who needed the ruggedness and capability of a true sports dive watch. A tool. Where by the end of the 16800s production with gloss dials, Rolex was aware that many of their models had gained traction with professionals who worked in office settings too.

The 16800 that we have here, an early example, dates to circa 1983 and comes to us in honest overall condition and clearly has a past with stories to tell. The case and bracelet remain unpolished with visible factory finishing and lug chamfers and show honest wear throughout with a few noteworthy blemishes on a few of the lugs. The bezel and bezel insert shows normal wear and retains its aged Tritium pip — which matches the patinated Tritium on the dial and handset perfectly. The dial itself remains in beautiful — seemingly flawless condition — with richly patinated Tritium plots and a handset to match. The correct Oyster bracelet also shows matching wear.

This well-rounded honest example of an icon surely has multiple lifetimes left of wrist time, and is ready for its next owner.

Stainless Steel 1983 Automatic 40mm
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"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