Rolex Submariner Two-Tone 'Swiss Only'

Rolex Submariner Two-Tone 'Swiss Only'

Why We Love It 

The Rolex 16613 has carved for itself a special place in the hearts of Rolex fans. Since being replaced by the 116613 — hallmarked by its larger case and crown guards, and uniform maxi dial and hands — the Reference 16613 has joined other more modern expressions, such as the Reference 16800, as a sleeper collectible.

Nicknamed the "Bluesy" by collectors and enthusiasts, this Two-Tone Submariner is one of only a few 'Rolesor' Submariners produced by Rolex, and sports an eye-catching blue iridescent dial with oversized 'Maxi' markers, a gold bezel assembly, gold winding crown, and Two-Tone bracelet.

This particular example is a 'Swiss Only' example in near mint condition throughout dating to circa 1998. A perfect storm of rare configuration, dial signature, and condition. Don't miss it!

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.


SKU: AS03808

18K Yellow gold and stainless steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding the crown). Automatic movement by Rolex. Rolex Reference 16613. Circa 1998 .

Overall Condition: The case is in exceptional condition overall showing clear factory bevels and light normal wear consistent with age and use. Luminous Blue "Swiss only" Luminova dial is in as-new condition with matching handset. Signed crown. Yellow gold bezel with blue insert is in excellent condition.

Includes Two-Tone gold and stainless steel Oyster bracelet 93153/401B with Fliplock clasp.

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