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Why We Love It
The Reference 16808 we have here dates to approximately 1980, and is a transitional model of sorts; featuring the desirable matte "nipple" dial made popular from its predecessor (Ref. 1680/8), while also housing a hi-beat movement with quickset date function and sapphire crystal.
Many would consider this generation to be the ultimate blend of vintage looks and modern wearability, mirroring the transitional period of their steel siblings (Ref. 1680/16800) before matte gave way to the glossy dials which have defined the range since the mid 1980s.
This particular example is one the finest we have ever come across, featuring a super strong case with thick lugs, a stunning matte black dial, and handset with original Tritium luminous material. Aside from some rich patination, this watch looks very much the way it did when it left the factory - which is, to say, absolutely brilliant.
Maybe you think a solid gold Rolex Sub isn't for you. Maybe you think they are gaudy, gauche, or a slap in the face of sporting tradition. Perhaps you feel that for the money, you could buy a nice steel model and a nice dinner out...in Paris. And that would be entirely understandable.
But you'd be missing the point.
Few watches make a statement like a solid gold sports Rolex.
This contradictory blend of technical design and functionality with a precious metal casing material is a polarizing one, and depending on how its worn (and indeed, by whom), can send very different signals - and we'll just leave it at that. Of course, if you want to avoid any possible negative stereotyping, going with a vintage model will certainly alleviate the concern!
The Rolex Submariner is without question the brand's most iconic model, and is a perennial favorite among collectors, enthusiasts, fashionistas, and yes - actual divers. And while you aren't likely to see a Submariner clad in a yellow gold case gracing the outside of a dry suit, it's hard to argue that models such as this 16808 aren't every bit as awesome as their steel siblings - or perhaps even more so.
Casing a Submariner in 18K gold is almost a tacit acknowledgement that very few of Rolexes sporting models ever get used as originally intended - and that in its own right is a pleasing sentiment. It says that Rolex knows who they are, who their customers are, know they are above any possible reproach - and damn the torpedoes, we're making this beastie in solid gold!
Available EXCLUSIVELY at Watches of Switzerland SoHo!
18k Yellow Gold Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 16808. Calibre 3035 Automatic Movement. Circa 1980.
Overall Condition: Case is in fantastic condition showing only light signs of wear from age and use. Case hallmarks are clear and deep. Matte black "nipple" dial is in similarly excellent condition with crisp printing and rich even patination to the luminescent elements. Minor cracking of luminous material on the hands. Bezel has intact Tritium luminous pip with matching patination. Rolex signed crown.
Includes one 20mm leather strap.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options