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Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 16800 - Matte Dial

Sale price$10,500.00 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 that 16800 era, the watch underwent a series of changes that saw the early models born with matte dials, while the later ones were born with glossy dials with white gold surrounds.

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 1981 and possesses a matte dial with deep, even patina across the luminous elements with a strong case showing honest wear, a bezel insert showing matching wear — indicating that this was probably used with purpose, and an Oyster bracelet with a dive extension.


*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.

Stainless Steel 1981 Automatic Sport

"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