Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: X Geneva Saturday, November 9, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 1680
    Movement No: D'417'240
    Case No: 2'215'394 inside case back further stamped III.69
    Model Name: "Single Red" Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, end links stamped 380, max length 210mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped A
    Dimensions: 39.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex fitted presentation box, punched chronometer certificate, punched guarantee stating the watch was retailed at Orologeria Luigi Verga dated 28 July 1970, Orologeria Luigi Verga Certificate of Origin dated 28 July 1970 and product literature.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Submariner has become such an icon that not only can it be considered the benchmark for all future diving watches, but it has also spawned its own scholarly following devoted to every nuance and variation from its first appearance in the Rolex catalog in 1954 until the present day.

    Launched around 1967, reference 1680 was the first Submariner model to be fitted with a date function. Early examples displayed a ‘meters first’ depth rating, with the ‘Submariner’ script printed in red, hence the name "Red Submariner". 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 as well as an "open" 6. 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.

    The present "Red Sub" is an incredibly attractive example and its case is preserved in excellent and sharp condition, featuring strong beveled edges. The bezel has faded to a light grey, and the luminous material on the dial has turned a delicate ivory color.

    Most impressive is the "complete" nature of this watch. It is accompanied by its original punched guarantee stating the watch was retailed at Orologeria Luigi Verga on 28 July 1970, Orologeria Luigi Verga Certificate of Origin dated 28 July 1970, along with its punched chronometer certificate and fitted presentation box.

  • 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 fine and rare stainless steel wristwatch with date, "meters first" dial, ghost bezel, bracelet, presentation box, original guarantee and chronometer certificate

Circa 1969
39.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for CHF33,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: X

Geneva Auction 9-10 November 2019