Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner

There is no denying it, Rolex is a different beast than it was in 1982. While revered the world over by adventurers and the common man alike, Rolex today is seen by most as the epitome of luxury.

This wasn't necessarily so when the original owner of this 16800 Submariner left the boutique with the watch on his wrist. Rolex was surely a household name, but this watch was a tool first, a piece of gear. It was made to dive, and dive deep. It was made to be worn, and worn hard. While it could be said of modern Rolex, vintage examples were designed with work in mind, and so, carry a charm that is nearly impossible to duplicate.

The Submariner has changed in many ways over the years. But those changes have been evolutionary, never revolutionary. It is small things like matte tritium dial 5513’s morphing into glossy dials with white gold markers. It’s an increase in case thickness and lug size, it’s a morph of crown guard shapes. All of these changes happen while no one notices Rolex shift from being a manufacturer of pure tool watches to the crown jewel of luxury.

Released in 1979, the Rolex Submariner Reference 16800 was truly a refined version of the 1680, the first Submariner with a date function, and was a large step forward technologically for Rolex. The 16800 was the first time that Rolex used a sapphire crystal on a Submariner, and marked the beginning of the updated 3035 caliber with higher beats per hour, while also adding the quick-set date feature. It is these features that really excites wearers of vintage subs (as opposed to collectors). With its robustness, better time keeping, owing to the high-beat movement, and quickset, the 16800 is reminiscent of the good ol' days of Rolex.  

The matte black dial is indicative of its early 1980’s birth, and is a hard one to tear your eyes from - the subtle patination, creamy lume and thick case - and serves as a reminder; dive watches are a token of adventure, not the destination. And when it comes to a reliable, enjoyable sidekick, there are few alternatives to a Submariner. 


SKU: AS01897

Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Rolex Submariner Reference 16800. Rolex Caliber 3035 Self-Winding Movement. Circa 1980s.

Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with sharp lugs and no signs of over-polishing. Case does have minimal signs of use and wear in keeping with its age, including some dings on the sides of the case. Bezel is in very good condition with some signs of wear at 12 o'clock. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing. Luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands have gained a fine even patina over time. Rolex crown. Rolex case back. Case back has some faint scratches but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes 20mm 93150 Oyster bracelet. Bracelet has some scuff marks from wear but is in otherwise very good condition.

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