Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner

For many collectors, the Rolex Submariner is the quintessential tool watch. First released in the 1950s, it became—very early on—the “go-to” watch for a certain kind of person. We’re talking about divers, both professional and military; international men of mystery; and those who just wanted a rugged watch they could strap on and not worry about.

These were bulletproof tool watches meant to withstand enormous pressure, whether at altitude or in the deepest depths of the ocean, and rigorous use in some of the most punishing environments imaginable. They were meant to dive, and dive deep; to be worn, and worn hard. For many, they were a budget-conscious choice, less expensive than a dive watch produced by Blancpain or Omega.

But there's an undeniable desirability around the Submariner that lends itself very well to today’s collectors. No-date models produced during the 1950s and 1960s in particular hold the most appeal. Ask any watch collector which one he or she wants, which one is the absolute be all and end all of Submariners, and the answer will normally fall along these lines: “A matte dial no-date Submariner from the 1960s.” 

However, for many collectors, there exists a need for a different kind of Sub. One that can be worn every day. One that, though it sacrifices nothing in terms of lineage or utility, is versatile enough to be worn anywhere, in any environment, no matter how rarified.

For those collectors, there’s the Submariner Reference 1680.

Introduced in the late 1960s, the 1680 was the first reference of Submariner to feature a date window, a fact that caused purists to raise their eyebrows.

However, the addition of the date window launched the Submariner into a new realm. Before that, a man wearing a Submariner with a business suit would have been looked at askance, unless he was a secret agent who likes his martinis shaken, not stirred. But with the date window, the hard, utilitarian appearance of the dial was softened; furthermore, some examples of 1680 were even released in steel and gold, driving home the point that this was something new entirely: luxury sports watch.

And yet, the 1680 still has the features that lovers of the older references of Submariner will appreciate. Like matte dials and hour markers with fat dollops of tritium. The 1680 has all this and more, such as an improved movement, the Calibre 1565, which was chronometer-certified.

This particular 1680 combines the tremendous appearance of the early matte dials with the added functionality of a date display. With a strong case and thick lugs, it’s not hard to imagine the watch doing what it was intended to do when it was first bought. The beautifully-weathered bezel insert and the creamy patina on the dial practically scream sun-kissed.

Coming complete with inner and outer boxes, this is perhaps one of the finest examples of this reference that we’ve ever come across, and has enough going for it to whet the appetite of even the most seasoned of Sub collectors.


SKU: AS02153

Stainless steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Rolex Submariner Reference 1680. Calibre 1565 Self-Winding Movement.

Overall Condition: Stainless steel Oyster case is in very good condition with minor signs of use and wear. Bezel insert is in very good condition, showing slight signs of age. Black matte dial is in very good condition with crisp printing and creamy patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers. Crystal is non-Cylcops service replacement (original crystal is also available). Rolex crown. Rolex case back has some signs of use but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes one 20mm 93150/583 Oyster bracelet. Bracelet has some moderate signs of use and wear but is in otherwise very good condition.

Includes inner and outer box and hang tag.

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