1987 Rolex Submariner (Ref.16800A) Rare Transitional Model "Tropical" w/ Box and Papers

The Rolex Submariner Ref.168000 is both very rare and transitional that combines the best elements of both the vintage and modern Rolex Submariner into one complete package. The Rolex Submariner Ref 168000 was only produced in for about 7-9 months between 1987-1988 making it a very rare reference. The main difference would be the improvement in the quality of the stainless steel, which was upgraded from grade 316L to grade 904L. After only about 9 months of production 168000 was replaced with 16610 which was much the same watch but with the new 3135 movements.

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 This specific execution of the Ref. 168000 is and an even more rare variant of this Submariner model. The documentation of the piece (the warranty paper, cardholder, and box sticker) references the watch as 16800A and is believed to be one of the first executions of this reference line, however, the watch is still stamped 168000 between the lugs. This makes this piece even more so special due to the fact that the papers of the watch must be present to represent its sheer rarity. Doubled with a stunning chocolate brown matted dial with white gold surrounds and a case that is in stunning condition, this watch is the epitome of transitional rarity amongst the Submariner line.

Stock # RLXSUB8716800A
Brand Rolex
Style Submariner 
Model 16800A
Serial R5XXXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial "Tropical Matte" WG Surrounds
Millimeters 40
Bracelet Rolex 93150 Oyster Bracelet W/ 593 End Pieces



The excellent unpolished case shows sharp factory finishing and honest signs of use. The original bezel remains a nice black coloration and retains the original tritium pearl which has aged to a charming golden coloration that accents the dial nicely. The case retains the original Rolex signed trip-lock crown. The original Rolex 93150 Oyster bracelet with 593 end pieces has been previously lightly polished showing some wear and light stretch from use. 


The original dial has taken on a gorgeous tropical effect that is stunning in the sunlight. The dial itself has taken on a matte patina in texture that accents the white gold surrounds perfectly. The lume plots have aged to a desirable creamy coloration and under U.V. light inspection show no degradation or lume loss. The original tritium hands have aged to match the dial perfectly and show no lume loss or cracking under U.V. light inspection. The white date wheel is era correct with open 6's and 9's.  


The watch comes complete with original inner and outer boxes, serialized hangtags, document holder, original Mayor's Jewelers warranty card, and original box sticker that provide the 16800A indication. The extended service history is unknown but the watch is keeping time and running perfectly.