ROLEX | Submariner, Ref. 1680, A Stainless Steel Wristwatch with MK4 “Red Submariner” Dial and Bracelet, Circa 1972
Estimate: 15,000 - 25,000 USD
Submariner, Ref. 1680
A Stainless Steel Wristwatch with MK4 “Red Submariner” Dial and Bracelet, Circa 1972
Caliber: Cal. 1575 automatic, 26 jewels
Case: stainless steel, screw-down back
Closure: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding clasp
Dimensions: 40 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 180 mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
Case numbers: ref. 1680 / serial: 2976505
In 1969, Rolex introduced the very first Submariner with a date complication, now officially known as the Submariner Date. That first reference was the Submariner 1680 and the earlier examples (produced until 1975) included the “SUBMARINER” name in red letters on the matte black dial, hence the “Red Submariner” nickname. During those early years, Rolex experimented with dial design, which has led collectors to categorize the different dials from Mark 1 to Mark 7. This particular example from 1972 features a Mark 4 dial and a faded fat-font bezel insert, and like other reference 1680 watches, this timepiece features a steel Oyster case, a steel Oyster bracelet, and due to the addition of the date window, a Cyclops magnification lens on its acrylic crystal. Additionally, the tritium on its hands and hour markers has developed a matching creamy patina over the years, making this “Red Sub” an excellent example of the first iteration of the Submariner Date.
This ref. 1680 Submariner has a serial number engraving that corresponds to an estimated production date of 1972. The original MK4 “Red Submariner” dial is in superb condition, and the luminous material on its hands and hour markers has developed a rich patina. The watch and bracelet are in excellent condition and free from any significant marks or damage.
Sotheby’s Watches Department is pleased to offer Condition Reports to potential purchasers. A Condition Report is an opinion describing the lot in more detail with regard to, but not limited to the general condition, quality of the watches and/or other relevant information.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot (for example, the online condition report may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome). Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's). Please also note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and wrist bands, since is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species. Please be advised that wristbands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS (ONLINE ONLY).