View full screen - View 1 of Lot 14. Submariner, Ref. 1680 Stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet Circa 1973.
14

Rolex

Submariner, Ref. 1680 Stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet Circa 1973

Rolex

Rolex

Submariner, Ref. 1680 Stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet Circa 1973

Submariner, Ref. 1680 Stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet Circa 1973

Rolex

Submariner, Ref. 1680

Stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet 

Circa 1973


Dial: black

Calibre: cal. 1570 automatic, 26 jewels

Movement number: D444489

Case: stainless steel, screw-down back 

Case number: 3'281'422

Closure: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding clasp

Dimensions: 40 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 180 mm

Signed: case, dial and movement 

Box: yes

Papers: no

Accessories: Rolex presentation box

MVT: running at the time of cataloging

Case: maintains factory proportions with strong bevels. Shows signs of heavy use consistent with military role of the owner. Visible scratches on the crystal, bezel and throughout the case and lugs. Bezel pearl missing, also using signs of patina, some parts turning a dark navy. Folding clasp damaged which does not allow for a proper closing.

Dial: in good condition, a creamy patina to the lume plots. Hands showing strong patina and some oxidisation.


To request a Condition Report, please contact tom.heap@sothebys.com


Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.


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 but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact). 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 subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. In particular, please note it 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 SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

The Rolex Submariner is one of the most iconic watches in the world with the richest history. It may be hard to believe today that Submariners were not given a date window until 1967, 16 years after the first Submariner and indeed 2 years after the first Sea-dweller. The very first generation of Submariners with date windows is the 1680, and for the first few years of production these watches were printed with a line of red text to denote the importance of the reference, while giving rise to the watch’s popular nickname, ‘Red Sub’.


In production between 1967 to 1975, the Red Sub saw an abundance of dial variations as was standard with most other Rolex references of the time. The most obvious dial change was between marks 3 and 4, where the depth rating was changed to display feet before meters. This watch belongs to the mark 4 series of the Red Sub, the first ever feet first Submariner date, and is easily identifiable by the ‘open 6’ on the depth rating, notice the bottom loop of the number 6 of ‘660 ft’ does not connect with itself. To own a Red Sub is to own a significant chapter of the Submariner’s history, and with a dial preserved in attractive condition this Mark 4 Red Sub would be a compelling buy for all collectors.


The present lot comes from the original owner who served in the Royal Navy on a submarine in the 1970s. Lot 33 of the sale is also part of his personal collection.