1987 Rolex 18k YG Submariner (Ref. 16808) "Tropical Champagne Dial"

During the late 1960's Rolex began producing the immensely popular Submariner dive watch in luxurious 18 karat yellow gold thus creating a dressed up variant of a notably sporty watch. The addition of a yellow gold submariner variant offered a watch that could shift effortlessly from adventuresome events in the ocean to classy occasions on land.  

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This 1987 Submariner ref. 16808 offered in 18k YG is transitional because it possesses an earlier nipple dial variant that is more common in earlier variants of the 18k Submariner references but is very much like the 16800 references of the same era which possess a sapphire crystal, quick set date, and click spring unidirectional bezel. The originally blue dial on this 16808 has achieved a stunning yellow or champagne coloration and patina. This rare phenomenon is referred to as a "tropical" patina and essentially mean a color change to the dial of the watch.

Stock #
Brand Rolex
Style Submariner
Model 16808
Serial R7XXXXX
Size Men's
Material 18K YG
Dial Blue Nipple Dial "Champagne Tropical"
Millimeters 40
Strap 18k Rolex Oyster Flip Lock  W/ SEL



The case of this 1987 YG Submariner ref. 16808 have been lightly polished, possessing full lugs showing little wear. The 18K yellow gold bezel has been previously polished. The original blue insert is free from any fading or wear and retains its tritium pearl which matches the dial perfectly. Case back is stamped 16800 which is very rare and transitional for a YG reference. The solid 18k YG 92808 bracelet with fixed 46 end pieces is tight and shows very minimal stretch.


The gorgeous "champagne" colored dial has achieved a perfectly even tropical effect which changed the dial coloration from bright blue, to a golden coloration. The lume plots have taken on a wonderful golden patina and exhibit no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The original tritium hands match the dial perfectly and show no degradation under U.V. light inspection. The metallic date wheel is era correct with open 6's and 9's.


None. The watch was recently serviced and is running at COSC spec backed by a 1-year warranty on the accuracy of timekeeping.