1981 Rolex Submariner (Ref.16800) Matte Dial
This Rolex Submariner Ref. 16800 is 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 due to the fact that it includes a black matte dial with tritium lume plots and hands as can also be found in the previous variant the Ref 1680. The reason why this specific piece is so special 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 early example from 1981 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.
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The sharp case remains in excellent condition with full and thick lugs. The original insert retains its tritium pearl and has taken on a striking dark caramel like color creating a balanced contrast between hands and dial. The sapphire crystal is free from any scratches or chipping.
The stunning and original rare transitional matte dial is absolutely remarkable. The tritium lume plots and hands have taken on a sought after ivory colored patina. The date disc displays the proper and era correct open 6's and 9's. when viewed under UV light the 9 o'clock marker shows slight lume degradation which is very hard to see with the naked eye but the dial and hands are in otherwise stunning and original condition.
None. The watch just received a complete service and is running at COSC spec. The piece will come backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.