1984 Rolex Submariner (Ref.16800) Matte Dial "Tropical"

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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 specific example from 1984 would make a great vintage daily driver for the man who appreciates the elements of the vintage 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.

Stock # RLXSUB8316800
Brand Rolex
Style Submariner 
Model 16800
Serial 82XXXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Matte Black
Millimeters 40
Bracelet Hand Made Leather Strap



The case of this specific 1983 Rolex Submariner Ref 16800 remains in stunningly sharp condition. The original insert has taken on a wonderful brown almost oxblood like fade which is very striking and also retains the tritium filled pearl which has taken on a dark espresso like coloration. The sapphire crystal was replaced at some point and the cyclops was removed giving it a SeaDweller like look.


The stunning and original rare transitional dial is absolutely remarkable due to the fact that it has taken on a dark brown Tropical coloration that is even and consistent across the dial. The tritium lume plots have achieved a wonderful and warm golden coloration and are free of any lume degradation when viewed under UV light. The tritium filled hands are slightly darker then the lume plots and show slight degradation as can be seen in the photos. The date disc displays the proper and era correct open 6's and 9's.


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.