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The first Rolex Submariner was launched in 1954 and has been in continuous production ever since, making it one of the longest running models of any timepiece made. Ever.
Of course, today, Rolex Submariners are significantly more… bling. With white gold surrounds and glossy black dials, the Submariner of today has become a status symbol and a piece of jewelry.
But from it’s origin, the Rolex Submariner was a stripped down tool watch, designed with one mission in mind. The clean, matte black dial and symmetrical hour plots was the hallmark of sub-aquatic, form-meets-function design. For decades, the Submariner was not a collectible Rolex; it was seen as a hardy watch chosen by those who needed something that could take a beating. And it did.
In 1966, Rolex adapted its Submariner design to include a date functions, dubbing their new creation as the Submariner “Oyster Perpetual Date” and giving it a new reference – Ref. 1680 – making it the first dive watch from the revered manufacture to have a date function. The inclusion of a date function was an invitation to Rolex buyers to wear their watches longer and in a variety of environments. Effectively, the date function turned a simple dive watch into a timepiece capable of everyday wear on and off the water.
For the first few production years of the 1680, the word Submariner was printed in red, a feature that makes them all the more sought after today. In 1974, Rolex began phasing out the red printing, a process that was done gradually from market to market. This particular example has a 3.8 million serial dating it to the very end of 1973 or the first few months of 1974, making it part of the last few batches of 1680s to receive this unique treatment.
If you've been looking for a unique and interesting Sub that rises above the morass of 'normal' dive watches out there, this one's got your name all over it.
Stainless Steel Oyster case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 1680. Circa 1974.
Overall Condition: The watch is in excellent condition over all, with wear marks consistent with age and use. Case shows some signs of a light previous polish, but lugs remain thick and sharp. Matte dial is in excellent condition with no signs of staining or discoloration save a very small blemish below the 'Swiss' marking at 6:00. Luminous material on the dial has patinated to a dark cream color. Printing is crisp and bright. Rolex handset matches dial nicely. Genuine Rolex bezel has original pip and bears a very desirable fade. Original silver date wheel. Rolex Trip-lock crown and screw case back.
Includes one 20mm folded-link Ref. 9315 (380 Endlinks) Oyster bracelet with diver's extension and Rolex-signed flip-lock clasp and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.