*Unpolished* 1979 Rolex Submariner 18K YG (Ref. 1680) Black Dial W/ Box & Papers
The year is 1969 and Rolex introduced its most important watch to date, the Submariner Date reference 1680. The iconic tool watch from the Crown now features a date function, a debut that would go on to shape the Submariner offering from then on, but that's not even the most surprising part. The ref. 1680 Submariner was produced in both stainless steel and 18K yellow gold, and for the first time a Rolex wasn't only seen as a robust tool, but an object of luxury and refinement.
Demand for the yellow gold Rolex diving watch was slow burning at first, with the production numbers of yellow gold 1680s being a small fraction of its steel counterpart. The gold Sub eventually caught on and became a symbol of status in the later iterations. These early examples, however, have become extremely collectible within the vintage sector, for the sheer rarity and the unique details that the gold ref. 1680 Submariner has to offer.
|18K Yellow Gold
|Matte Black "Nipple"
|Rolex 18K YG Oyster Bracelet W/ 86 End Pieces
The exceptional 18K yellow gold case is believed to remain unpolished with gentle signs of use present. The case retains its original factory dimensions and geometry, featuring broad chamfers down the lugs and crisp lugs holes. The 18k yellow gold bezel is also exceptional and believed to remain unpolished as the factory grooving and texture remains present throughout. The original black and gold "fat-font" bezel insert is in near-perfect condition with almost no signs of use and retains its tritium pearl which matches the dial perfectly. The case retains its original yellow gold 7mm trip-lock crown. The original Rolex 18K yellow gold Oyster bracelet with 86 end pieces retains 11 links that show very minimal stretch and will fit up to a 7 1/2-inch wrist. The bracelet does appear to have been gently polished in the past which is extremely common for this style bracelet from this era.
The gorgeous matte black "nipple marker" dial is truly magnificent and exceptionally well preserved. The dial itself shows no real signs of age or damage apart from some inconsequential surface marks that are nominal in nature and expected from matte dials of this era. The tritium-filled gold markers are all in perfect condition, the tritium lume has achieved an even golden patina throughout with no degradation present under U.V. light inspection. The original tritium yellow gold hands match the dial perfectly and exhibit no degradation whatsoever when inspected under U.V. light. The metallic gold date wheel is original with open 6's and 9's.
The watch comes with its original box, Rolex Guarantee paper, Rolex serialized hang tag and chronometer seal hang tag, a Rolex service Guarantee from Bexly London service center in 1999, and a Rolex green card document holder, calendar, and a rare bracelet pamphlet. The watch was recently serviced and is keeping time perfectly, backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.