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Why We Love It
The Reference 1680, originally released in 1966, deviated from previous iterations of the Submariner with the inclusion of a date function.
To some, this change was remarkably divisive because, according to the diehards, if you need to know the date during a dive, you're kind of screwed. Regardless of how much of a dive watch “purist” you might be, there’s no debating the usefulness of a date function in normal everyday life. And furthermore, the 1680 ticks all the boxes for a tool watch. A sturdy stainless steel case? Check. Robust movement that is dust-proof, shock-proof, and waterproof? Check, check, and check.
This particular example dates to circa 1979 and features a strong case showing signs of wear and use with an absolutely jaw-dropping creamy aged mate dial - no, seriously - this is one of the nicest white 1680 dials we've seen in a long while!
It comes fitted to a heavy duty 93150 Oyster bracelet and wears a beautifully aged and slightly ghosted bezel insert with intact aged pip, this is a great example of the very first generation of Submariner Date - something no vintage Rolex enthusiast should pass up!
The Submariner Story
Rolex first debuted the Submariner at the 1954 Basel Spring Fair. It shared the stage with already-established offerings: the Explorer, the Turn-O-Graph, and a ladies' Oyster Perpetual with a chronometer certification. Compared to these other watches, the Submariner - with its oversized crown and chunky dive-timing bezel looked slightly out-of-place, and yet would become one of Rolex's most enduring models.
Rolex's quest to produce a waterproof wristwatch has its roots in the First World War, when a need arose for soldiers to have a watch that could withstand the wet, dusty conditions on the battlefield. Rolex's Oyster case of 1926 represented the culmination of a decade of development. It gained notoriety in 1927, when Mercedes Gleitze became the first British woman to swim across the English Channel. She took with her an early Rolex Oyster, in what may have been the very first example of sports marketing by a luxury brand. A series of advertisements followed this feat, featuring smiling flappers dunking their Rolex Oysters in fish tanks.
The Submariner hit the market at a time when oceanographer and explorer Jacques Cousteau exposed the world to the wonders of undersea exploration. With the advent of SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) in the late 1950s, skin-diving as a sport became accessible to amateurs. Since a mechanical timepiece was an essential piece of equipmeny for divers in a pre-digital world, the race was on amongst Swiss manufactures to produce a professional grade timepiece. Rolex was fortunate in that René Jeanneret, one of the company's directors, was a skin-diving enthusiast, giving Rolex a unique insight into the development of their diving watch.
The resulting watch was an overnight success, and has been in continuous production ever since. The Oyster Perpetual Submariner, in all of its forms, is an icon amongst icons, a pinnacle of horological design, and a statement piece aspired to and worn by people the world over.
Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding the crown). Automatic-winding movement by Rolex. Rolex Reference 1680. Circa 1979.
Overall Condition: The case is in great condition overall showing wear consistent with age and use and prior polishing. Luminous matte black dial is in excellent condition with rich even patina to the Tritium luminous elements and matching handset. Signed crown.
Includes stainless steel solid link Oyster bracelet (93150/580) with signed Flip-lock clasp.
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