1982 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. First of which is a sapphire crystal, which helped bring the depth rating from 660ft to an impressive 1000ft. The 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|
The lightly polished case retains thick and symmetrical lugs that display light signs of honest use throughout. The original bezel insert does exhibit some honest signs of use, most notably being a small chip next to the lume pearl, the lume pearl does remain fully intact and has achieved a lovely creamy gold patina. The Rolex 93150 Oyster bracelet with 593 end pieces retains 10 links that display almost no stretch from use.
The original matte black dial is in overall exceptional condition, showing almost no signs of age and no damage. The tritium lume plots have achieved a subtle ivory patina, under U.V. light inspection the 12 o'clock triangle features a small crack in the lume but remains otherwise fully intact, the rest of the lume plots exhibit no degradation. The original tritium hands match the dial nicely and show no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The white date wheel is original with open 6's and 9's.
None. Watch is keeping time and functioning correctly, previous service history is unknown.