Rolex Submariner 1680 'MK I'Sold
Rolex Submariner 1680 'MK I'
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The 1680 was introduced at the end of the 1960s and was the very first Submariner to feature a date function.
Now, you might ask, “why the hell would you need a date window on a dive watch?”. Well, you don’t. But there were two factors that played a part in Rolex’ decision to introduce a separate Date Submariner. For one, recreational diving as well as beach vacationing gained popularity in the 1960s. As a result, the market rapidly increased for watches that could be worn daily and could just as easily be taken in the pool or ocean.
This watch was produced in 1978, right at the tail end of the 1680’s production run, and has all the hallmarks of a vintage Rolex Submariner. The four-line ‘MK I’ matte black dial features painted tritium hour markers that have aged to a beautiful pumpkin-like color that perfectly matches the tritium-filled handset. While the watch has been put to frequent use, as the lovely faded brown bezel suggests, the case is thick and sharp indicating that it was sparsely polished in the past.
Another wonderful detail on this watch is the presence of the original box and papers which even reveal the name of the original owner: Eduardo Simon Bernheim, a French war veteran turned adventurer, pilot, and agronomist. Bernheim left his native France after World War II and settled in Chile. There, on the shores of Lago Verde (the “green lake”), he founded a farm that has provided employment to many families for decades. On top of that, Bernheim was an aviation pioneer in the region, providing necessary humanitarian services to the local population. For his selfless work, Don Eduardo was granted Chilean nationality by the Senate of the Republic of Chile in 2011.
Rolex SubmarinerIn 1953, Rolex introduced one of the world’s first wrist watches geared specifically towards divers: the Submariner. Rolex had to confront a number of challenges when designing its first dive watch. The watch obviously had to withstand significant amounts of pressure and had to accurately measure time spent underwater, which the first Submariner achieved by featuring a 330ft/100m depth rating and a rotating diving bezel. It also had to be easily legible in conditions of reduced visibility yet aesthetically pleasing. Hence, the Sub’s iconic large luminous hour markers and Mercedes hands set against a contrasting black dial.The Submariner is the most iconic and desirable luxury watch of all time and has been adopted by luminaries such as Jacques Cousteau, Che Guevara, and none other than James Bond. Our favorite Bond, Sean Connery, wore a big crown Sub in the 1962 classic ‘Dr. No’. The watch was also featured in ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Thunderball’.Ref. 1680The Submariner ref. 1680 was produced from 1967-1979 and was the first execution to feature a date function. During its first 7 years of production, the “Submariner” text on the dial of the 1680 was printed with red instead of white ink, earning these executions the moniker ‘red Submariner.’ Early executions of the 1680 featured the rare ‘meters first dial,’ because the depth rating in meters was printed before the rating in feet (“200m = 660ft”). Around 1969, Rolex switched to printing the feet before the meters to satisfy the growing American customer base.