This Rolex Submariner Ref. 16800 is a very cool and transitional piece that combines the best elements of both the vintage and modern Rolex Submariner into one complete package. This specific model of Ref. 16800 is considered to be a rare traditional variant of the ref. 16800 model because it includes a black matte dial with tritium lume plots and hands as can also be found in the previous option, the Ref 1680. The reason why this specific piece is so unique is that it has all the details that we love about the vintage matte dial submariners but with a more modern daily functional application.
The Rolex Submariner Ref 16800 was the first introduced in late 1979 and was the first Rolex Submariner model to include a sapphire crystal. In addition, Rolex also introduced the signature click spring and the bezel became unidirectional instead of the previous bi-directional operation feature of the bezel found in the Ref. 1680 offering more accuracy and further securing the bezel from movement while being used for diving.
This specific example from 1983 would make a great vintage daily driver for the man who appreciates the elements of the vintage matte dial Submariners but needs the durability of a sapphire crystal and the water resistance of a trip-lock crown. These transitional models like the one we are featuring here are becoming increasingly harder and harder to find due to the limited production numbers of these rare transitional examples.
CASE & BRACELET
The case for this 1983 Rolex Submariner (Ref.16800) retains its original factory finishing and remains sharp with the original case chamfers showing clearly. The original insert retains its tritium pearl and has taken on a beautiful dark patina!
DIAL & HANDS
The stunning and original and rare transitional matte dial remains in excellent condition without any marks or blemishes. The tritium lume plots and hands have taken on a sought after custard-like patina. The hands match the lame plots on the dial perfectly. The sweep seconds had does show some oxidation which we have seen in comparable examples within the production range of teh reference. Both the dial and the hands when inspected under U.V. light show no lume loss or degradation. The date wheel shows era correct open 6's and 9's.
None. The watch is keeping time at spec but extended service history is unknown.