Rolex Submariner 1680 Two Tone Nipple Dial
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Rolex Submariner 1680 Two Tone Nipple Dial

One of these things is not like the other.

What you're looking at is a 100% Genuine Rolex Submariner Reference 1680, produced circa 1978. While Two-Tone Submariners are by no means a rarity, technically speaking this watch doesn't actually exist. Well, of course it exists - it just wasn't born this way.  

That's right - in 1978, Rolex wasn't producing any Two-Tone Submariner models at the factory.  Their instantly-recognizable Two-Tone Oysters were limited to Datejusts, Thunderbirds, and GMT-Masters, and their Submariner line was only produced in solid gold or steel. But that didn't stop consumers from wanting one - a fact that clearly led to their "formal" introduction in subsequent generations a few years into the 1980s. So many buyers wanted one, in fact, that modifications became almost commonplace at the dealer level. Altering a steel model was actually fairly straightforward, and could be accomplished using genuine parts from the other models in the line.

Starting with the steel model, a solid gold bezel and crown would be fitted, along with a dial and handset from the solid version. Next came the date wheel with a brushed gold tone if the client was particularly keen on doing it "right", and then their choice of bracelet for the finishing touch. Whomever had this one customized did it right as far as we're concerned - opting for the stunning matte "Nipple" style dial and a Jubilee bracelet that accentuates the bling factor in just the right way. We've seen a number of modded Subs in our day, but this one just sang to us, no doubt  due in part to our affection for the Two Tone GMT-Masters of the same time. While most of the Two-Tone Subs you'll find come with "Maxi" style dials and Oyster bracelets with polished gold center links, this one is in a way more subtle and sophisticate, a look unlike any other Two-Tone model available at the time.

 OK, so it looks cool - but is it "legit"?

As far as we're concerned, yes, it is indeed.  It was assembled using 100% Genuine components, and was likely done at the time of purchase - evidenced by the appropriate date wheel and dial. The piece is appropriately indicative of the time in which it was produced, a great example of the consumer mindset at the time, and a page in the history of Vintage Rolex for certain. You'll find plenty of vintage Subs on the market, but this one has a decidedly unique flavor - and is just downright cool!

Details

Stainless Steel Oyster Case is approximately 40 mm (excluding crown).  Rolex Reference 1680. Circa 1978.

Overall condition:  Case is in fantastic condition overall, showing only light signs of wear from age and use, with sharp, thick lugs and factory brushing.  Genuine matte dial with gold "Nipple" markers is in terrific condition overall, with no signs of water damage, scratching or spotting.  Luminescent hour plots have developed a lovely even patina which is matched by the gold handset. Genuine gold-tone date wheel with open 6's and 9's. Light marks on original crystal.  Gold trip-lock crown.

Includes genuine Rolex Jubilee Bracelet (Ref. 62523-H14 with 455 endlinks) in good condition overall showing some wear to the clasp and tarnish to the end links (easily polish-able).  Also includes two 20mm Nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

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We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

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