The Golden Era of Diving Watches: Rolex Submariner 1680/8

The Golden Era of Diving Watches: Rolex Submariner 1680/8

The Golden Era of Diving Watches: Spotlight on Rolex Submariner Reference 1680/8

When Rolex unveiled the Submariner Reference 1680/8 in 1969, it not only marked the expansion of their iconic diver's watch line but also introduced a luxurious twist to the collection.

Pioneering Features

The late 1960s brought about a significant evolution in Rolex's design with the Submariner 1680. It was the first in its lineage to offer a date function, positioned neatly at 3 o’clock, enhanced by a Cyclops lens affixed to the watch's acrylic crystal for easy reading. This feature was a game-changer, providing practicality without sacrificing the watch's sleek aesthetics.

While Rolex Submariners typically had a more utilitarian look, the ref. 1680/8 embraced opulence without compromising its core functionalities. Available not only in the classic stainless steel but also in exquisite 18k yellow gold, this model bridged the gap between luxury and utility. The gold version was particularly striking, available with either a black or a vivid blue bezel and dial combination, catering to a growing clientele that appreciated both fine craftsmanship and high performance.


A Closer Look at the 1977 Submariner 1680/8

This specific model from 1977 encapsulates the essence of the 1970s glamour with its bold black and gold aesthetic. The entire 40mm Oyster case is crafted from luxurious 18k yellow gold, lending a substantial, premium feel on the wrist. The black dial is complemented by the distinctive "nipple dial," characterized by raised round faceted hour markers that catch the light brilliantly. Many of the dials of this age show a highly desirable strong patina and this watch is no exception.

In addition to its stunning looks, this Submariner model featured the Rolex Caliber 1575, an enhancement of the earlier 1570 movement, now equipped with a date mechanism. This movement operates at 19,800 beats per hour, maintaining Rolex's standard for precision. Notably, the model includes the advanced Triplock winding crown, a significant upgrade from the earlier Twinlock system, ensuring superior water resistance and durability.


Historical Significance and Lasting Appeal

Before the Submariner's water resistance reached 1,000 feet in later models, the 1680/8 boasted a resistance of 660 feet, a formidable feature at the time. This transition period in Rolex's history is crucial for understanding how the brand evolved to meet both the aesthetic desires and functional needs of its customers.

The Submariner 1680/8 is not merely a watch; it is a testament to Rolex's pioneering spirit in the world of luxury diving watches. Its introduction of 18k gold into a predominantly tool-watch market was a bold, innovative move that paid off, paving the way for future models that blend functionality with high-end luxury.

This model remains a highly sought-after piece among collectors and enthusiasts, appreciated not only for its historical importance but also for its undeniable charm and elegance. Its allure lies in its ability to embody the adventurous spirit of the 1970s, coupled with the timeless luxury that Rolex is renowned for. As we shine a spotlight on this magnificent timepiece, it's clear that the Rolex Submariner 1680/8 isn't just a marker of time; it's a marker of history.