*Unpolished* 1986 Rolex Submariner 18K YG (Ref. 16808) Black Dial

In 1969 Rolex introduced the Submariner in 18K yellow gold and evolved the original tool watch into a luxury item of status and style. Doing so of course in top Rolex fashion, equalling the functionality of the more rugged stainless steel counterpart. The ref. 16808 is the second iteration of the yellow gold Submariner, and like its steel sibling the ref. 16800, is one of the most prominent installments of the Submariner evolution.

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Usually referred to as a transitional reference, the Rolex Submariner ref. 16808 retains the core elements that appeal to the vintage watch enthusiast while also featuring important technical upgrades that make the watch more forgiving for daily wear. The vintage elements consist of the nipple-marker dial, an aesthetic detail that enhances the elegance and style of the watch. The tapered lug case with proportions that are more suitable for a larger demographic of wrist sizes. And let's not forget the date wheel that features open fonts on the numbers with 6's and 9's in them. The upgrades include a more robust case and sapphire crystal, pushing the limits of the watch to the then impressive and now standard 1000ft depth rating. Additionally, the massively improved Cal. 3035 quickset-date movement was featured for the first time in a gold Submariner, and of course the unidirectional click-spring bezel.

The 18K yellow gold Rolex Submariner ref. 16808 is and was a melting pot for success, with its elegant style and improved functionality, but it was also produced in much smaller numbers than its steel counterpart, which also makes this reference extremely collectible. For a watch that caters to every sector of the luxury watch market, the example presented here is in exceptional and original condition, ready to be cherished or flaunted in any setting, land and sea.

Stock #
Brand Rolex
Style Submariner
Model 16808
Serial 91XXXXX
Size Men's
Material 18K Yellow Gold
Dial Matte Black W/ Nipple Markers
Millimeters 40
Bracelet Rolex 92908 18K YG Oyster Bracelet W/ 46 Solid End Pieces



The exceptionally crisp and fine 18K yellow gold case is in impressive unpolished condition showing minimal signs of use and sharp chamfers down the lugs. The crown guards and hallmarks remain unaltered and in extremely crisp condition. The original bezel retains deep groves and geometry. The original bezel insert remains deep black and gold, showing virtually no signs of use and retaining its tritium pearl which matches the dial patina perfectly. The case back is unpolished as well and boasts crisp original finishing with only gentle wear present. The original Rolex 92908 18K yellow gold Oyster bracelet with solid end pieces retains 10 links that show no stretch whatsoever and will fit up to a 7 1/4-inch wrist. Impressively the bracelet fully retains the Rolex coronet on the clasp, a detail that is commonly missing or only faintly present on this model of bracelet due to wear and over polishing.


The original matte black dial with gold text is in virtually flawless original condition, showing no age or damage. The tritium in the nipple-style markers has achieved a handsome creamy yellow patina and exhibits no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The original tritium hands match the dial perfectly, under U.V. light inspection the sweep seconds hand and minute display nominal surface cracking and remain stable, the hour hand exhibits no cracking or degradation. The date wheel is original with open 6's and 9's.


None. The watch was recently serviced and is keeping time perfectly, backed by a 1-year warranty on the accuracy of timekeeping.

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