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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1983
    Reference No: 16800
    Movement No: 1’121’075
    Case No: 8’274’602; repeated inside caseback and stamped 16800
    Model Name: Submariner “COMEX”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3035, 27 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped “93150”, endlinks stamped “593”, max length 175mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped “93150”, “OP4”
    Dimensions: 40m diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex Service Guarantee dated 23rd February 2011 and literature, Mr. Ward’s professional diver’s log book, diving data and calculations record and diving literature.

  • Catalogue Essay

    With Rolex rigors in constantly improving their designs, in the late 1970s, the brand began to upgrade their Submariner date line with the introduction of sapphire crystals and unidirectional bezels, along with the convenience of the quick-set date function and an increased depth rating from 200 meters to 300 meters.

    As of the late 1960s, Rolex exclusively supplied different Submariner and Sea-Dweller models featuring the patented helium escape valve to COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise) in Marseilles. These utilitarian tool watches were issued to their specialist divers with each watch marked COMEX on the dial and numbered on the rear, and according to research only 300 examples were made between 1982 until 1986. Fabled and sought-after by collectors, each of these issued watches symbolize the endurance of professionals with a unique story behind that makes them exceptional, the present lot is one of such.

    Accompanied by a man’s life story documented with his personal Professional Diver’s Log Book and research notes, the present specimen of the COMEX ref. 16800 was formerly owned by Mr. Maurice Ward, a professional deep sea diver who worked on the Phillip Maureen Platform, a unique device made for the oil search among the North Sea. Presented as a honourable recognition for Mr. Ward’s services throughout his career, this very Submariner was gifted on 30th March 1984 with “M.Ward” and date engraved above the issue number 6150. Revealed in the inside caseback is the matching full serial 8’274’602 and reference number 168000 stamped in the correct manner like many issued COMEX Rolex watches. Boasting a well-preserved case that retains its perfect proportions, the lot is further accompanied by its Rolex Service Guarantee. A rare opportunity to obtain a true time capsule piece with belongings that unearth the story behind, the present ref. 16800 is an exceptional collectible for any vintage lovers.

  • 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. 16800
A rare and attractive stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with center seconds, date, bracelet, diving literature from the original owner, made for COMEX

Circa 1983
40m diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$500,000 - 1,000,000 

Sold for HK$945,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII

Hong Kong Auctions 25-26 November 2021