1984 Rolex Submariner (Ref. 16800) Matte Dial
Beloved by both the vintage enthusiast and neo-vintage aficionados, the reference 16800 Submariner is one of the most important Rolex dive watches produced. The transitional foundation of the ref. 16800 makes this watch special, as it is both the last of the truly vintage Submariners and the platform for the modern submariner we see today.
Introduced in late 1979, the ref. 16800 brought us a litany of improvements to the Submariner line. The first of which is a sapphire crystal, which helped bring the depth rating from 660ft to an impressive 1000ft. A uni-directional click-spring bezel made its first appearance on the Submariner line as well, making the Submariner a more secure and safe timing apparatus for divers. Along with these external enhancements, the movement was drastically upgraded to the Cal. 3035, which featured a quickset function for the first time in the Submariner line.
The first iteration of the ref. 16800 featured a matte black dial similar to that of the acrylic crystal Submariner ref. 1680 that preceded it. These early matte dial examples were only produced for a brief period, about 4 years total until early 1984. In late 1984 Rolex switched the dial design to the more recognizable by modern standards glossy dial with white gold surrounds markers. Both executions are cherished by collectors, but it is the earlier matte dial version that offers a vintage aesthetic with modern functionality that is the most desirable amongst this transitional reference.
|Bracelet||Rolex 93150 Oyster Bracelet W/ 593 End Pieces|
CASE & BRACELET
The strong case retains thick and symmetrical dimensions with minimal signs of previous polishing and light signs of use throughout. The original bezel insert has a lovely vintage aesthetic featuring honest signs of use and a very subtle fade, the tritium pearl remains fully intact with a strong golden patina though common tracking is present. The case back retains crisp finishing with minimal signs of use. The original Rolex 93150 Oyster bracelet with 593 end pieces retains 11 links that show virtually no stretch and will fit up to a 7 1/4-inch wrist.
DIAL & HANDS
The original matte black dial is in exceptional condition, showing no damage and gentle age that increases the overall aesthetic of the watch. The tritium lume plots have achieved a gorgeous golden-yellow patina and feature no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The tritium hour and minute hands have achieved a tan patina that also feature dark grey spots, overall they match the overall look of the watch nicely, the seconds hand features an ivory patina that also coordinates nicely, under U.V. light inspections the hands exhibit no degradation. The white date wheel is an early service unit with "closed" 6's and 9's.
None. The watch is keeping time perfectly, backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.