Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE Geneva Saturday, May 11, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 1680
    Case No: 2'215'233
    Model Name: "Single Red" Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped "380" to the end links, max length 185mm (without extension)
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped "3 72"
    Dimensions: 39,5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    In production from 1967 to 1979, reference 1680 features an interesting evolution: most notably, early examples such as this one were given a red “Submariner” designation on the dial, while later examples feature white graphics. Adding rarity and flair, Red Submariners (as opposed to their Sea-Dweller counterparts the “Double Red”) are today extremely sought-after. Even within the Red Submariner family of dials, one can notice an evolution of the graphics with 6 variations (Marks). The present early specimen features a Mark II dial, recognizable from the meter first arrangement of the depth rating, a feature shared by Mark I to Mark III dials. Mark II dials are furthermore defined by the very thin font used for the depth rating. Mark II (and also Mark III) dials can be found on examples from about 2.15M serial to 2.45M and it is estimated that less than 5% of the total 1680 made feature this dial.

    Adding to this remarkable rarity, the present watch features a dial which has tropicalized over time to an incredibly even and attractive milk chocolate tonality, making this piece a superlative gem from the already highly collectible Red Submariner family.

  • 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
A very fine, rare and extremely attractive stainless steel automatic diver's wristwatch with center seconds, date, tropical "Mark II" dial and bracelet

Circa 1969
39,5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for CHF50,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019