1984 Rolex Submariner (Ref. 16800) Matte Dial W/ RSC Paper
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. The first of which is a sapphire crystal, which helped bring the depth rating from 660ft to an impressive 1000ft. A 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 strong case boasts thick and symmetrical lugs that exhibit minimal previous polishing, subtle chamfers, and only gentle signs of previous use throughout. The original uni-directional click-spring bezel is in superb overall condition, remaining deep black in color with almost no signs of previous use, and retains its tritium pearl at the 12 o'clock position that has aged to a charming golden patina. The original Rolex 93150 Oyster bracelet with 593 end pieces retains 11 links that exhibit almost no stretch and will fit up to a 7 1/2-inch wrist.
The original matte black dial is in virtually flawless condition, exhibiting no damage and no notable age present on the dial. The tritium lume plots have achieved a lovely creamy yellow patina and show no degradation under U.V. light inspection. The original tritium hands have aged slightly lighter than the dial, but perfectly match the watch's overall aesthetic, under U.V. light inspection the seconds hand displays nominal cracking and is stable, and the hour and minute hand exhibit no degradation. The white date wheel is original with open 6's and 9's.
The watch comes with a serialized Rolex Service Center paper, documenting service in October 1991, as well as a non-serialized green Rolex hang tag and a red Chronometer seal hang tag. The watch was recently serviced and is keeping time perfectly, backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.