Rolex - WINNING ICONS – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century New York Thursday, October 26, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 1680, inner caseback stamped III.69
    Movement No: D510’507
    Case No: 2’241’069
    Model Name: ‘Red Submariner’
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 9315, endlinks stamped 280, max. length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Twinlock deployant clasp, stamped 3.71
    Dimensions: 39.5mm diameter
    Accessories: Accompanied by inner and outer presentation boxes, guarantee, booklets and hangtag.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The vivid, red “Submariner” inscription positioned at 6 o’clock on the dial of the reference 1680 – Rolex’s first Submariner model to be fitted with the date – makes it one of the most widely sought after of all vintage Rolex sport wristwatches. Launched in 1967, without a doubt, the “Red Submariner” is an iconic watch. The present example from 1969 is fitted with a Mark II dial, displaying the ‘meters first’ in its depth-rating designation at 6 o’clock, as opposed to ‘feet first’ more commonly seen on later examples. The dial is ‘tropical’, having aged to a beautiful and uniform shade of milk chocolate brown, complemented with tritium hour markers that have aged to a beautiful ivory color. The case remains in original, unpolished condition, with its factory beveled edges and strong proportions. Further enhancing its appeal is the ‘complete’ nature of this wristwatch, which comes accompanied by its presentation boxes, guarantee, and product literature, making it an exciting trophy watch for a collection of vintage sports watches.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 1680, inner caseback stamped III.69
A highly attractive and rare stainless steel wristwatch with Mark II ‘tropical’ black dial, faded bezel, and bracelet, accompanied by inner and outer presentation boxes, guarantee, booklets, and hangtag.

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

$20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for $52,500

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293

WINNING ICONS – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century

New York Auction 26 October 2017