Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV Hong Kong Friday, May 27, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 1680
    Movement No: D534’835
    Case No: 2’294’484; inside caseback stamped “1680, III.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 “7836”, endlinks stamped “280”, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant folding clasp stamped “3.69”
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and claps signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1967, Rolex Submariner reference 1680 was the first Submariner model to be fitted with a date function. In production until the end of the 1970s, the model presents a notable evolution, with earlier examples produced until 1976 featuring red lettering for the Submariner designation “Red Sub”, and later examples with white lettering instead. Amongst these early “Red Sub”, collectors and scholars were able to identity a total of 6 variations starting from MK I to MK III with a “meters” first depth rating, followed by a transition of “feet” first depth rating seen from MK IV onwards.

    Extremely collectible, the present “Red Sub” featuring a MK II dial is made even more attractive by its stunning patina, aged evenly into a rich brown tropical hue surrounded by creamed luminous plots, the vintage appeal of this specimen is absolutely delightful. Bearing a 2.29 million serial and inside caseback stamped third quarter of 1969, the present MK II ticks all the boxes with period correct characteristics such as the use of thinner white font, open 6s in the meter first depth rating, red print applied on white plot for SUBMARINER, as well as the long F in “FT”. The rarity of this variation is apparent when considering that the total amount of MK II and III dials combined represents about only 6% of the total number of ref. 1680 appeared on the market. Boasting a strong case and preserved in an attractive condition, it is also worth noting that the fat font bezel insert has faded into a grey blue hue adding vintage charm to this 53 years old Submariner.

  • 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 tropical dial and bracelet

Circa 1969
40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and claps signed

HK$180,000 - 350,000 

Sold for HK$302,400

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia 
+852 2318 2031

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV

Hong Kong Auction 27 - 28 May 2022