Rolex Submariner 1680 'Mk 5 Red Sub'

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The ref. 1680 was introduced at the end of the 1960s and was the first Submariner to feature a date function. Early executions, like this one with red ‘Submariner’ text, are among the most desirable vintage sports watches.

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 for watches that could be worn daily and could just as easily be taken in the pool or ocean rapidly increased.

This watch dates back to 1972, less than three years after the introduction of the 1680. Ref. 1680 Submariner’s produced in the period 1969–1973 feature dials with red printed ‘Submariner’ text on the lower half of the dial. These uncommon and colorful details make these ‘Red Subs’ beloved among collectors.

This example sports a Mk 5 dial in stunning condition. The four-line matte black dial features painted tritium hour markers that have aged to a gorgeous light creamy color. The same warm hue can be found on the tritium-filled hands. The original aluminium bezel inlay has faded from its initial black color to a beautiful deep chocolate brown shade. 

The watch is in great condition with a thick stainless steel case and the original 9315 riveted stainless steel riveted Oyster bracelet. This beauty is accompanied by extensive paperwork, which includes the original warranty certificate and service history, as well as an original unusual Rolex box, hang tags, and a Rolex anchor.


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.



Packages are generally dispatched within 2 days after receipt of payment and are shipped within the Netherlands by Registered Mail through the Dutch carrier PostNL and for other countries by Fedex. Consult us if you prefer another method of shipping. For most destinations tracking is available.