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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1971
    Reference No: 1680
    Movement No: D227725
    Case No: 3'142'619
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 39.5mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    First introduced in 1966, reference 1680 was the first Submariner model to be fitted with a date function. The model was most typically cased in stainless steel. Early examples displayed a ‘meters first’ depth rating, with the ‘Submariner’ script printed in red. However, Rolex also cased the reference in yellow gold to provide a luxurious, fresh and beautiful update to the everyday "tool" watch. Reference 1680 was the very first Submariner model to the cased in a precious metal.

    This example is a very unusual variant, as the dial has turned from blue, to a wonderful chestnut tone. While it is more common to see a dial turn purple over time, it is astounding when one ages to a beautiful brown color. One can see remnants of the purple/blue tone peeking out from behind the date aperture, giving the watch so much character.

    The case is presented in excellent condition with sharp finishes, and the watch still retains its beveled edges and sharp hallmarks beneath the lugs, attesting to its amazing state of preservation.

  • Artist Biography

    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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Ref. 1680
A fine, rare and unusual yellow gold wristwatch with date and chestnut-colored "tropical" dial

Circa 1971
39.5mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF20,000 - 40,000 
€18,500-37,100
$19,800-39,600

Sold for CHF51,250

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017