A rare and very attractive yellow gold diver's wristwatch with date, blue bezel, purple "tropical" dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1978
    Reference No: 1680
    Movement No: D'285'195
    Case No: 5'061'377
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold deployant clasp and diver's extension
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1967, reference 1680 was the first Submariner to feature a date, and its stainless steel iteration endured minor variations until about 1981. Just as with the GMT-Master and the Daytona, Rolex sought to offer a more luxurious variant of this tool watch for their wealthiest and most demanding customers, and cased the Submariner in 18 karat yellow gold for the first time ever. Form follows function, as they say, but aesthetics can trump the need for such functionality, and it cannot be denied that the combination of precious metal and rugged engineering is quite compelling.

    Although it was also made available with a black dial and bezel, the present lot's deep royal blue bezel and original 'tropical' blue dial that has aged to a gorgeous shade of purple add an extra touch of extravagance. The coveted 'nipple' dial with its luminous hour markers have aged to a delicate ivory tone, matching the handset. The purple dégradé hue of the dial complements the gold case and bracelet perfectly; both colors are synonymous with royalty.

  • 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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110

Rolex

Ref. 1680
A rare and very attractive yellow gold diver's wristwatch with date, blue bezel, purple "tropical" dial and bracelet

Circa 1978
39mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF12,000 - 18,000 
€10,300-15,400
$12,700-19,100

sold for CHF37,500

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

Geneva Auction 12-13 May 2018