Rolex - The New York Watch Auction: SEVEN New York Saturday, December 10, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1969
    Reference No: 1680
    Movement No: D584’830
    Case No: 2’362’216, inside caseback stamped “1680, iii 69”
    Model Name: Submariner "Meters First"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, and movement signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Released in 1966, the reference 1680 was the first Rolex Submariner model featuring a date aperture with early versions having red text for the “Submariner” wording found at 6 o’clock on the dial. The “Red Submariner,” as it became known to collectors, had several variations with the most notable difference, the depth rating, which on the earliest examples had the depth rating in meters first, followed by the rating in feet. The dials also displayed small differences in font style and printing. Today, these dial variations are called “Marks” by Submariner collectors, with Mark I, II and III dials associated with the meters first wristwatches.

    The present example from 1969 is fitted with a Mark III dial with the red text printed directly on to the dial, opposed to the first two variations which have the red applied over printed white text. Additionally, the “f” in the “Ft” is shorter compared to a longer “f” found on Mark 1 dials. This desirable “meters-first” wristwatch is further enhanced with a coveted “tropical dial” that has aged to a warm and uniform dark chocolate brown hue. The matching, luminous hour markers and hands have also aged in perfect harmony, being light brown tone

    Consigned by the family of the original owner, the case remains in original, and most likely unpolished condition with its factory beveled edges still present. The Submariner is an iconic model with a history that continues today, and this fresh-to-market, “tropical” example is an especially desirable vintage Rolex sports watch.


  • 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
An early and fine stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with tropical MK III dial, and date

40mm Diameter
Case, dial, and movement signed.

$15,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $35,280

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293


Isabella Proia

Head of Sale, New York

+1 (212) 940 1285


The New York Watch Auction: SEVEN

New York Auction 10 - 11 December 2022