Rolex Submariner Date
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Rolex Submariner Date

Rolex’s mastery of mass-production means that there is, quite literally, a Submariner for everyone. Attend any watch meetup in any city around the world and you’re sure to find a Reference 5513 or a Reference 1680 there, or—if you’re extremely lucky—an early “Big Crown” model. This is due in part to the Submariner’s enduring legacy as a tool watch sported by anyone from military divers to men of mystery like James Bond.

Moreover, it’s this use by such rough-and-ready, take-no-prisoners individuals that has made it a watchword for reliability and durability.

But nowadays, you’re more likely to wear a digital dive computer when you roll off the gunwale and plunge into the deep. A Submariner is, more than anything, a status symbol—something that subtly (or, in the case of two-tone models, not-so-subtly) telegraphs your success. There’s a kind of swagger than comes from wearing a dive watch for something other than diving; when you’re suiting up for the big board meeting, what looks better on your wrist than a Sub?

While not everyone can be James Bond, wearing a vintage Sub is the closest you can get to it. But owning a “Big Crown” Sub like what Bond wore might be out of reach for most people. Moreover, given the growing popularity of watch collecting as a hobby, no-date models like the 5513 are become scarce as well.

For those of us looking for the perfect vintage Sub, one that combines the rugged nature of the 5513 with the versatility of a modern Sub, there’s this watch—the Reference 16800.

Rolex introduced the first date model of Submariner, the Reference 1680, in the late 1960s. However, despite that addition, the Sub was the same rugged tool watch it had always been. But with the constraints posed on the watch industry after the Quartz Crisis, many brands had to shift gears in order to compete against the chic new import.

Therefore, in the early 1980s, Rolex introduced the Reference 16800. The 16800 introduced more modern touches to the line, including a quickset date and a sapphire crystal. While most examples of the Reference 16800 sport a glossy dial with white gold surrounds, a clear transition into the world of luxury that Rolex now occupies, the earliest examples of this reference (often referred to as "transitional" ones) sport an old-school matte dial that many collectors prefer.

With a serial number that dates this Submariner to 1983, it’s an excellent example of a newly-vintage watch. It possesses a strong case and a dial with fine even patina to the hour plots. Combining modern refinements with classic vintage Submariner looks, we can think of no better watch for daily wear.

Details

SKU: AS02415

Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Reference 16800. Circa 1983.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with moderate signs of use and wear. Bezel pip is service replacement. Dial is in very good condition with fine even patina to the luminescent elements of the hour plots. Hands show signs of being possible service replacements. Hour hand has some lume missing from the base. Rolex crown.

Includes one 20mm 93150/593 HD Oyster bracelet with G clasp code.

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