Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII Hong Kong Thursday, November 25, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1977
    Reference No: 1680
    Movement No: D306’581
    Case No: 5’170’140, inside caseback stamped “1680”
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 180mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The reputation of Rolex shifted gradually from professional watches to status symbols towards the latter half of 20th century. This trend is none more evident than when Rolex introduced the first gold Submariner model, the 1680/8 offered here, in 1969. The flamboyant gold case, goes completely against the professional diver’s image of the Submariner, and marks a new era for Rolex. The reference 1680/8 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.

    Boasting a stunning masculine appeal with a rich black dial against the deep yellow gold case, the present example bears yet another reason for collectors to fall in love with, the coveted “nipple dial”, nicknamed from the round applied gold hour indexes with smaller tritium marker. Depending on the color of the bezel, the yellow gold Submariner ref. 1680 can come with a matching black nipple dial or a matching blue nipple dial.

    Extremely collectible and masterfully executed, the present example is furthermore preserved in an extremely attractive overall condition with a strong case with sharp contour. Bearing a 5.17 million case number, the present ref. 1680/8 indicates it as an example from circa 1977.

  • 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
An attractive and rare yellow gold diver’s wristwatch with date, center seconds, “nipple” dial, and bracelet

Circa 1977
40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$180,000 - 280,000 

Sold for HK$352,800

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII

Hong Kong Auctions 25-26 November 2021