Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1970
    Reference No: 1680
    Movement No: D 704’272
    Case No: 2'530'702
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 29 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold plated Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 40mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 1680 is legendarily known for being the first Submariner model to feature a Cyclopes date function. Initially launched in stainless steel, Rolex introduced a few years later its gold counterpart version such as the present example. The reference 1680 in yellow gold was Rolex’s first Submariner to take on the ever-growing demand for luxury watches with professional abilities. Indeed, the present watch carries all the technical features required for a diver’s watch: it is water resistant up to 200m deep, sports a rotating bezel and its crown is protected by crown guards, yet the yellow gold case elevates the watch to the most fashionable accessory one could dream of. All in flamboyance, the matte black dial is strewn with a raised gold Crown logo, gold hands and raised gold hour markers filled with luminous material which have aged to a beautiful creamy colour. In other words, the watch shines bright all throughout the day and night. The black bezel insert remains in well-preserved condition and (unlike the first Submariners released with red lettering), all the writing of the present example is printed in gold.

    Compared to a drink, the present reference 1680 could be a Martini. It is the classic collectible professional diver’s watch with a twist, very James Bond if you may ask.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 1680
A fine and attractive yellow gold diver’s wristwatch with center seconds and date

Circa 1970
40mm. diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for CHF44,100

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021