Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE Geneva Friday, May 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1973
    Reference No: 1680 inside caseback stamped with repeated case number 3'566'318
    Movement No: D511863
    Case No: 3'566'318
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 185 mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex twinlock folding deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39.5mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed, case and bracelet furthermore with London hallmarks
    Literature: A yellow gold Submariner, six serial numbers apart from the present watch, fitted with an Omani "Khanjar" dial is illustrated in John Goldberger's 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, page 188.

  • Catalogue Essay

    This example of reference 1680 is an exceedingly rare member of the Submariner family. Cased in yellow gold, the watch strikingly features the Khanjar symbol, which is part of the national emblem of the Sultanate of Oman. While reference 1680 is most typically cased in stainless steel, the model was also cased in yellow gold to provide a fresh and luxurious update to the existing "tool watch".

    Watches fitted with "Khanjar" dials were made on special request from His Majesty Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman, and presented as gifts to his closest dignitaries and officials. Research and scholarship suggests that the Sultan commissioned most of his watches in the 1970s. It was an honor, and sign of respect, to be presented with a Rolex watch depicting the Omani state symbol. Many of these watches are cherished by their original owners, and passed down from one generation to the next. As a result, Rolex watches with "Khanjar" or "Qaboos" dials hardly appear on the market.

    Only a handful of yellow gold Submariners made for the Omani market have appeared on the market thus far, all falling within a close serial range, 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. The case back also displays London hallmarks for 1973, which is correct. 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 rarity, overwhelmingly correct attributes, and historical provenance of the present watch renders it among the most exciting yellow gold Submariners the grace the auction market in recent years.

  • Artist Biography


    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 inside caseback stamped with repeated case number 3'566'318
A fine, extremely rare and very attractive yellow gold wristwatch with date, "Khanjar" dial and bracelet, made for the Sultanate of Oman

39.5mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed, case and bracelet furthermore with London hallmarks

CHF80,000 - 160,000 

Sold for CHF225,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017