Rolex - Disruptors: Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Design and Watches Hong Kong Thursday, May 25, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1970
    Reference No: 1680
    Movement No: D422’795
    Case No: 2’229’178, inside caseback stamped 1680 & I.69
    Model Name: Submariner, “Red Sub”, MK II
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped “9315”, endlinks stamped “280”, max length 175mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped “4.69”
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex Attestation de Chronometre Officiel, instruction manual, product literature, Rolex service receipt, green plastic wallet, anchor, hang tags, outer packaging and fitted presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Regarded as one of the most iconic Submariner references of all time, the ref. 1680 made its way to the public in 1967 being the first from the family to feature a date. Early examples of the reference featured the “SUBMARINER” signature in red with a ‘meters first’ depth rating, earning its nickname by collectors, the “Red Sub”. Produced for only a short period of time, Rolex transitioned from the red writing to an all-white appeal later.

    The present Rolex Submariner is a handsome and early example of the coveted ref. 1680 with a “Red Sub” MK II ‘meters first’ dial depicted by its open “6’s” and an elongated “F” for its depth rating. Bearing a 2.2 million serial, the present example with an attractive ghost bezel hails from circa 1970. Offered in attractive overall condition with a nice dial featuring buttery luminous plots, the present example is certainly one not to miss.

  • 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 rare and attractive stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with center seconds, date, MK II dial, bracelet and presentation box

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

HK$120,000 - 300,000 

Sold for HK$190,500

Contact Specialist

Anastasia Salnikoff
Head of Mid-Season Sales
+852 2318 2014

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

Disruptors: Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Design and Watches

Hong Kong Auction 25 May 2023