Visionary Hans Wildorf set out to make the world’s first waterproof and dust proof wristwatch and so in 1926 the ‘Oyster case’ was created. Then later on in 1953, the Rolex Submariner was born, with a water depth rating of 330ft/100M making it one of the world’s first wristwatches designed for the upcoming sport of scuba diving. The wristwatch was created for divers who needed a precise watch which could scale to such depths and be a reliable and accurate way of measuring (with the turning bezel) the time spent underwater. A major aspect of creating such a time piece was to make it easily legible yet aesthetically pleasing, hence the large contrasting white tritium hour markers and Mercedes hand on the black dial. The rugged look was adopted by no other than himself Mr Bond. (Sean Connory as Bond wore it in 1962’s ‘Dr. No’. The watch was also featured in the later ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Thunderball’ movie.) A legend was born and overtime it proved to be arguably one of the best, most desirable and iconic luxury watch of all time.
The Submariner 1680 was produced between 1967 until 1979. It was the first Submariner which the date function. This reference has a calibre 1575 based on the cal.1530. In the first 7 years of production the 1680 was printed with Submariner on the dial in red instead of white, the “red Submariner”. The early models are extra desirable and feature a “Meter first dial” (which refers to the 200 meters depth rating being displayed before the 600 feet depth rating.)
After de Submariner reference 1680, Rolex introduced the reference 16800. This reference can be identified by the sapphire crystal, the newer caliber, quickset of the date and the ‘uni-directional’ bezel. The first series (1979 – 1984) had the matte dial and Tritium dots. Later on, this reference got the glossy dial and whitegold surroundings on the dots.