There is no exaggeration in stating that the Rolex Submariner is one of the most, if not the most, celebrated watches in the world. The model has captivated enthusiasts for decades with an ever growing passion.
While the design has seen very few changes in the 65 years since its first introduction in 1953, the most noticeable upgrade was the addition of the date on some references. The change was made around 1967 with the launch of the reference 1680.
While the model was available for a decade, the early examples are easily distinguishable by the word 'Submariner' highlighted in red on the dial. This characteristic is extremely sought-after by collectors who have classified the 'Red Sub' in seven dial variations, or 'Marks' based on slight variations of the graphics.
The three first marks combine the appeal of the red writing with another typical feature of early Submariner pieces: the meter first depth rating.
The present example is fitted with a Mark II dial which is characterised by the Feet depth rating with open '6', more squared 'F' as opposed to the Mark I and a thinner font as opposed to the Mark III.
The Mark II dial is found on pieces with serial number between 2.2 and 2.45 million which is perfectly matching the case of the present lot.
A Red Sub meters first is a piece that most collectors dream to own. Excitingly, the present lot belongs to an even rarer and more exclusive category as its original dial has developed a superb, rich brown tropical patina.
The warm brown shade is perfectly complemented by the light cream indexes and is an absolute delight for a connoisseur.
Furthermore, the case is in remarkable condition with the bevels of the lugs still present and the holes for the spring bars still retaining a sharp edge.
The piece is fitted on the correct 9315 bracelet with 280 end links. Interestingly, the folding clasp is dated to the first quarter of 1970 and is signed Pat Pend for patent pending.
The reference 1680 certainly was a landmark in the history of the Submariner and this present lot perfectly embodies it as well as all the features that appeal to vintage collectors.