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Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 1680/8 - 'Tropical'


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 1680/8 representing a true landmark in the history of the model.

In the case of the piece that we have here (no pun intended), its the metal that it is constructed out of.

At the tail end of the 1960's Rolex had already become aware that their watches were not only being bought and worn by those who needed them to do a job, but also by individuals wanting a premium product. Enter the Submariner Date finished in solid 18k yellow gold: the Reference 1680/8.

The example that we have here dating to circa 1978 — roughly a decade after its introduction — was born with a sunburst blue dial and blue bezel insert. Over time however, that sunburst blue dial has changed to a simply stunning 'tropical' brown color, with only a hint that it was once blue which can be sen on the outer edges. The Tritium within the applied 'nipple' indices shows even patina throughout and the handset matches beautifully. The Oyster case remains has been professionally refurbished and it looks fantastic, with defined chamfers on the thick lugs. The bezel is in strong condition and has a later blue insert, which is also in excellent condition. To top it all off, this piece is still fitted to its solid gold Oyster bracelet, which isn't as common as you might think.

It could be argued that a yellow gold GMT-Master makes sense, but a solid gold dive watch? There is no point. And that is exactly what makes it great.

Yellow Gold 1978 Automatic 40m

"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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