A fine, extremely rare and very attractive yellow gold wristwatch with date, "Khanjar" dial and bracelet, made for the Sultanate of Oman

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1973
    Reference No: 1680 inside caseback stamped with repeated case number 3'566'312
    Movement No: D640'718
    Case No: 3'566'312
    Model Name: Submariner "Khanjar"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 230 mm. The bracelet has London import marks for 1974.
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex twinlock folding deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Literature: This very timepiece is illustrated in John Goldberger's 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, p. 188.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex first introduced the Submariner in 1953 with the references 6204 and 6205, and over the next 65 years it has become one of the most recognizable tool watches on the market. The watch evolved and Rolex made both technical and stylistic changes with one of the most revolutionary in 1966 being the introduction of a date function with the reference 1680. It was also with this reference that Rolex made the first Submariner in 18k gold, a bold and idiosyncratic move for such a watch.

    Other than its striking condition, a feature that immediately attracts the eye is the Khanjar symbol, the national emblem of the Sultanate of Oman, found on the lower part of the dial. Submariner reference 1680 models bearing the Khanjar are known in steel and gold, with green, gold or red Khanjar located in different areas of the dial (at 12, at 9, at 6 o’clock).

    Only a handful of yellow gold Submariners made for the Omani market have appeared on the market thus far, highlighting the utter rarity of the model. It is highly important to note that the serial number is stamped and repeated on the case back, denoting the watch was made upon special order from Rolex, which we see on Omani market watches.

    Lastly, the case back is signed "RWC Ltd" (Rolex Watch Company Ltd) which signifies export to the United Kingdom. This is also correct, as Omani market watches were ordered through London distributors. The bracelet is also hallmarked for London.

    The superb condition and rare dial configuration make the present watch an absolute must have for the savvy collector.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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191

Rolex

Ref. 1680 inside caseback stamped with repeated case number 3'566'312
A fine, extremely rare and very attractive yellow gold wristwatch with date, "Khanjar" dial and bracelet, made for the Sultanate of Oman

Circa 1973
39.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF150,000 - 300,000 
€132,000-264,000
$154,000-307,000

sold for CHF275,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018