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Thread: Best Vintage Rolex Submariner Date for everyday use

  1. #1

    Best Vintage Rolex Submariner Date for everyday use

    Sorry for yet another Rolex titled thread!
    For several months now I have been looking to get a vintage Submariner Date. One that can be used for everyday, including swimming. But has the amazing patina that the vintage models have acquired.

    Initially and to a degree I would have gone for a 1680. But others members have suggested that using a watch that is 50 years old may not be the best model. For obvious reasons.
    So my choices, in that case are 16800, 168000 or 16610.
    The overriding factor being that it has gained the patina.

    I am seeking advice from the members regarding this subject. Both pros & cons.
    Also your thoughts on the possibility of using a 1680?
    Of course photos are most welcome.

    I am not considering a modern piece. And have since tried on the new 41mm Sub. But found it to be to large.
    Thank you for any suggestions and advice.


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  2. #2
    Master
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    Think your baseline should start at 16800, tritium, non-applied hour markers and the all-important sapphire crystal. Should be plenty about.


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  3. #3
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Clearly with older watches the bulk of the value can be in the dial and hands etc and the risk of water ingress is increased, hence why most dealers wonít guarantee waterproofing and many owners of vintage watches wonít swim in them.

    If you have a watch properly serviced and all seals replaced and it passes the waterproof tests then itís you call if you are prepared to put it to the test.

    Why not have two, a newer watch for going in water and a nice Red Sub for on land.

  4. #4
    Master paneristi372's Avatar
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    I personally would search for a nice early 16610 with pin holes and SEL bracelet.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    Clearly with older watches the bulk of the value can be in the dial and hands etc and the risk of water ingress is increased, hence why most dealers wonít guarantee waterproofing and many owners of vintage watches wonít swim in them.

    If you have a watch properly serviced and all seals replaced and it passes the waterproof tests then itís you call if you are prepared to put it to the test.

    Why not have two, a newer watch for going in water and a nice Red Sub for on land.
    Completely agree........ I was going to suggest a 1680 with service dial and hands etc until I saw the wish for patina. With the value of vintage largely in the dial and hands, there are many who would not risk seriously exposing a 1680 or 16800 to water, I certainly wouldn't. A red or white original 1680 plus a modern vintage vibe watch would be a good way to go ......... a Seamaster 60th anniversary is one example.

  6. #6
    Thanks for all your input.
    The service dials do they have the white flat markers on the dial?
    I would possibly go with a 1680 with a service dial and hands. As I understand that the main value of the watch has already been lost?

    Certainly want a case with pin holes as I like changing straps.

    Would love to have a Red Sub but finding a genuine one is not so easy. And when you do the price is most likely out of my reach.


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  7. #7
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topcat30093 View Post

    Would love to have a Red Sub but finding a genuine one is not so easy. And when you do the price is most likely out of my reach.
    Mike Wood has a Red Sub listed which looks a stunner, but a genuine watch from a top dealer isnít going to be cheap.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    Clearly with older watches the bulk of the value can be in the dial and hands etc and the risk of water ingress is increased, hence why most dealers wonít guarantee waterproofing and many owners of vintage watches wonít swim in them.

    If you have a watch properly serviced and all seals replaced and it passes the waterproof tests then itís you call if you are prepared to put it to the test.

    Why not have two, a newer watch for going in water and a nice Red Sub for on land.
    Agree with Ken completely - my red sub's pressure tested, but I wouldn't dream to swim with it. I do not own a modern / neo modern sub at the moment, but I did go on water with my 14060 a lot.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topcat30093 View Post
    Thanks for all your input.
    The service dials do they have the white flat markers on the dial?
    I would possibly go with a 1680 with a service dial and hands. As I understand that the main value of the watch has already been lost?

    Certainly want a case with pin holes as I like changing straps.

    Would love to have a Red Sub but finding a genuine one is not so easy. And when you do the price is most likely out of my reach.


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    Google "White 1680 Service Dials", hopefully that may help. There are some that are tritium, some with faux tritium covering and some that are bright white luminova.

  10. #10
    Your answer is a matte dialled 16800.

    The beauty of a vintage dial but the convenience of sapphire crystal and a quickset date.

  11. #11
    Having the papers and to some extent the box, increase the chance of the watch being genuine?
    I see that companies such as Watchfinder offer a "Letter of Authentication" if there are no original papers. Would that suggest that the watch is genuine in all aspects.
    Or purchasing from a reputable dealer without either B&P's is just as trustworthy?

  12. #12
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    A dealers certificate of authenticity is on a par with the watch was fully serviced, by our guy in the back

  13. #13
    Speaking about red subs, how much are they going for? Mike Wood seems to retail for £22.5k

    Fmf

  14. #14
    Master Wazza's Avatar
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    16800 is a good balance between patina and wearability IMHO

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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    A dealers certificate of authenticity is on a par with the watch was fully serviced, by our guy in the back
    Thanks Ken.
    Fully appreciate the appraisal. LOL

  16. #16
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topcat30093 View Post
    Thanks Ken.
    Fully appreciate the appraisal. LOL
    Sorry, but you know what I mean. Some dealers know what they are doing and will stand behind any sale, others wouldnít spot a fake or a stolen watch even if it was flagged up to them. Same applies to claims made about service work. Basically buy the seller.

  17. #17
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    I'm a bit surprised by the 'i wouldn't swim wearing it' comments about older subs. If it's been serviced, had new seals and a pressure test it's no more likely to leak then a modern watch surely. Ok...if it does leak you've lost the value but I'm struggling with 'owning a vintage tool watch, getting it serviced and pressure tested, but still babying it'.

    Anyway... Ignore me... I'm adding nothing to the op's question!

  18. #18

    Sub

    Iíd go for a 16800 matte dial with a sapphire Crystal ., awesome watch and I love mine but getting harder & harder to find nowadays.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Iíd go for a 16800 matte dial with a sapphire Crystal ., awesome watch and I love mine but getting harder & harder to find nowadays.

  19. #19
    Master JPE's Avatar
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    I agree with Paneristi. SEL + lugholes + super luminova is my personal favorite.

    16610 review

    16800 is amazing too.

    I never liked the 1680's slow beat and bulged plastic crystal. Just a taste thing of course but 16610 is "dressier".

  20. #20
    Master
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    Best Vintage Rolex Submariner Date for everyday use

    Quote Originally Posted by JPE View Post

    I never liked the 1680's slow beat and bulged plastic crystal. Just a taste thing of course but 16610 is "dressier".
    Bloody heathen
    Can't beat a nice Top hat

    Last edited by Hood; 29th August 2021 at 21:48.

  21. #21
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    Would you consider a Sea Dweller 16600? I was in the market for a 14060M and ended up trying on a mint unpolished 2002 16600 yesterday and fell in love with it. Bit chunkier than the 16610 but the subtle differences make it a better watch for me than the more commonly available subs

  22. #22
    To be fair, I can probably count on one hand how many times, that I go swimming per year.
    But was setting my requirements a bit higher, to take into account such eventuality.

    Lovely photo of a Top Hat.

    I have previously had a couple od SD'd which were great, but on this occasion, I don't wish to have a chunky watch.

    JPE, I loved you review, when I read it last time and that may have been one of the reasons why I started thinking about getting a vintage piece.
    Certainly, haven't ruled out the 16610

    Been looking at this piece.
    https://thewatchcollector.co.uk/coll...16800-full-set

    Has any member had dealing with them?
    Last edited by Topcat30093; 30th August 2021 at 11:59. Reason: Added a link

  23. #23
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    iíd go 16610, easier to get hold of a genuine piece that hasnít been messed around with. iíd be too scared to go vintage as so many of these older pieces have either service or non original parts.


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  24. #24
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellsy_79 View Post
    i’d go 16610, easier to get hold of a genuine piece that hasn’t been messed around with. i’d be too scared to go vintage as so many of these older pieces have either service or non original parts.


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    There are, but equally there are plenty of reference sites that illustrate the various dials and usually illustrate the service replacements as well. With any vintage you need to put the effort in and do a little research and understand exactly what you are buying.

    For those that cannot be bothered doing that the best advice is to buy from a dealer on TRF list of approved dealers who will do the leg work for you. Buying vintage from a dealer that isn’t a specialist with no research on the part of the buyer is when problems can occur.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topcat30093 View Post
    To be fair, I can probably count on one hand how many times, that I go swimming per year.
    But was setting my requirements a bit higher, to take into account such eventuality.

    Lovely photo of a Top Hat.

    I have previously had a couple od SD'd which were great, but on this occasion, I don't wish to have a chunky watch.

    JPE, I loved you review, when I read it last time and that may have been one of the reasons why I started thinking about getting a vintage piece.
    Certainly, haven't ruled out the 16610

    Been looking at this piece.
    https://thewatchcollector.co.uk/coll...16800-full-set

    Has any member had dealing with them?
    Interesting statement on their website:

    "I am so confident in all the items supplied by myself, that I will happily take them back from you any time in the future after 12 months and allow you the full purchase price in part-exchange."

  26. #26
    Well it seems to me that the 16610 is a rock solid bet.
    16800 and 168000 are only slightly less of a risk due to the upgrades.
    And the 1680 with a service dial/hands and had gasket/seals etc checked will be ok for my requirements.
    But the 1680 with its more valuable patina on dial/hands. Should be ok for everyday use apart from swimming, in which case you take your chance.
    Would that be a fair assessment?


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  27. #27
    I think the 16610 is the best Sub ever made, it would be the last watch I ever sold out of my collection, boring predictable choice I know but there is just something about it that I never get tired of looking at it.

  28. #28
    Master Plake's Avatar
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    The ultimate vintage looking daily wearer has to be the matte 16800.

    Itís as robust in real terms as a later sub, but looksÖvintage. Spent a while looking for this one.


  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plake View Post
    The ultimate vintage looking daily wearer has to be the matte 16800.

    Itís as robust in real terms as a later sub, but looksÖvintage. Spent a while looking for this one.

    That was a while well spent.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plake View Post
    The ultimate vintage looking daily wearer has to be the matte 16800.

    Itís as robust in real terms as a later sub, but looksÖvintage. Spent a while looking for this one.

    Lovely

    What year is this please?

  31. #31
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 25807st View Post
    Lovely

    What year is this please?
    2021.


    Sorry, couldnít resist.

  32. #32
    Master Thom4711's Avatar
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    The only answer is the 16800. The 16610 is a great watch but I don't think it has as good a vintage vibe. The non quickset date on the 1680 would bother me also


  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Plake View Post
    The ultimate vintage looking daily wearer has to be the matte 16800.

    Itís as robust in real terms as a later sub, but looksÖvintage. Spent a while looking for this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom4711 View Post
    The only answer is the 16800. The 16610 is a great watch but I don't think it has as good a vintage vibe. The non quickset date on the 1680 would bother me also
    Gents, those are two superb looking 16800
    Congratulations on tracking them down.

  34. #34
    Master Plake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 25807st View Post
    Lovely

    What year is this please?
    Thanks :)

    Itís a 65xxxxx serial so probably 1980.

  35. #35
    Master Plake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom4711 View Post
    The only answer is the 16800. The 16610 is a great watch but I don't think it has as good a vintage vibe. The non quickset date on the 1680 would bother me also

    Nice watch ;)

    Also love the open 6 and 9 date wheel on these. And totally agree about the quickset. My 1680 only gets worn when itís within a couple of days of whatever date it is happens to be at nowadays!

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom4711 View Post
    The only answer is the 16800. The 16610 is a great watch but I don't think it has as good a vintage vibe. The non quickset date on the 1680 would bother me also

    What an absolute beauty!

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo73 View Post
    Your answer is a matte dialled 16800.

    The beauty of a vintage dial but the convenience of sapphire crystal and a quickset date.
    That is easier said than done :-)

    Having trawled the internet looking for a good one, which also has B&P's.

    I am primarily looking with the UK.

    I know that is limiting my search criteria, but concerned with not being able to see the piece and any additional import charges that I would incur,

    Am I being short sighted on this?

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom4711 View Post
    The only answer is the 16800. The 16610 is a great watch but I don't think it has as good a vintage vibe. The non quickset date on the 1680 would bother me also


    I have to say, Thomís 16800 is arguably the best Iíve seen.

    On the 1680 / 16800 debate. Iíve had a couple of 1680ís over the years, but didnít keep them, and seldom wore them. No quickset and the protruding top hat susceptibility. Whereas, Iíve had a couple of 16800ís for many years. I wear them regularly and without worry. Vintage charm combined with modern practicality. Thereís lots of variety too in terms of patina and wear and tear, of course.

    This was originally purchased on 24 March 1984 from Joyeria Riviera in Puerto Rico and has seen some action over the years...




    This one from 1983 and had clearly had a more sheltered lifeÖ


  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by 11erv View Post
    I have to say, Thom’s 16800 is arguably the best I’ve seen.

    On the 1680 / 16800 debate. I’ve had a couple of 1680’s over the years, but didn’t keep them, and seldom wore them. No quickset and the protruding top hat susceptibility. Whereas, I’ve had a couple of 16800’s for many years. I wear them regularly and without worry. Vintage charm combined with modern practicality. There’s lots of variety too in terms of patina and wear and tear, of course.

    This was originally purchased on 24 March 1984 from Joyeria Riviera in Puerto Rico and has seen some action over the years...




    This one from 1983 and had clearly had a more sheltered life…


    Very nice John , here’s mine been with me for a while now and without doubt a keeper as I love it and feel these are still under valued in today’s mad world .


    Last edited by marksh; 5th September 2021 at 09:34.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by 11erv View Post
    I have to say, Thomís 16800 is arguably the best Iíve seen.

    On the 1680 / 16800 debate. Iíve had a couple of 1680ís over the years, but didnít keep them, and seldom wore them. No quickset and the protruding top hat susceptibility. Whereas, Iíve had a couple of 16800ís for many years. I wear them regularly and without worry. Vintage charm combined with modern practicality. Thereís lots of variety too in terms of patina and wear and tear, of course.

    This was originally purchased on 24 March 1984 from Joyeria Riviera in Puerto Rico and has seen some action over the years...




    This one from 1983 and had clearly had a more sheltered lifeÖ

    Both look fantastic - it's indeed great how they develop different patinas

  41. #41
    [QUOTE=marksh;5827913]Very nice John , here’s mine been with me for a while now and without doubt a keeper as I love it and feel these are still under valued in today’s mad world .

    That is also cracking looking watch


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  42. #42
    Master
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    A 5513 removes the non quickset date issue with the 1680, but having to set the date doesn't really bother me unless its a whole month to go. Did wonder if there was a geared gizmo available that would convert hand wind speed up a bit and then decided it wasn't really a big issue. Gives the opportunity for a bit of one on one admiration for a few minutes anyway!.

    So, I wear a 1680 almost exclusively.

    But, probably....a matte dialled 16800 would be the more sensible everyday choice with sapphire and quickset, many years ago they were my unobtainium Rolex that I aspired to, but once finally obtained the next possibility tends to kick in...

    However, wouldn't go swimming in either - didn't when 16800's were £2K and certainly wouldn't now.....just in case.

    Semi comparison would be the 1984 Honda VF1000R sports bike just bought for winter fettle - should be taken to the track once sorted, that's what it was for, but I wont - just in case.

  43. #43
    Master
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    Out of curiosity did a bit of digging, sold this on here for £3750 in 2012 - pictures not the best




  44. #44
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluetinfloor View Post
    Semi comparison would be the 1984 Honda VF1000R sports bike just bought for winter fettle - should be taken to the track once sorted, that's what it was for, but I wont - just in case.
    any pics of your 1000r..?
    Last edited by gmt 16750; 8th September 2021 at 22:35.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluetinfloor View Post
    Out of curiosity did a bit of digging, sold this on here for £3750 in 2012 - pictures not the best



    Ahh, those were the good old days. LOL

  46. #46
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmt 16750 View Post
    any pics of your 1000r..?
    As picked up from sellers garage - both the 16800 I had/sold and bike are 1984!

    Just needs a recommissioning, not going to go to do full restore, will ride it next year



  47. #47
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluetinfloor View Post

    Lovely! Proper old skool sportsbike. Cant be that many left on the roads I wouldn't think.

  48. #48
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmt 16750 View Post
    Lovely! Proper old skool sportsbike. Cant be that many left on the roads I wouldn't think.
    in UK 10 licensed and about 100 on SORN.

    16800 still best daily wearer!

  49. #49
    Master j111dja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluetinfloor View Post
    As picked up from sellers garage - both the 16800 I had/sold and bike are 1984!

    Just needs a recommissioning, not going to go to do full restore, will ride it next year


    A classic. I have a nice brochure on that model.



    Getting back on topic, my choice is a 1680 for nostalgic reasons and the fact that IMPO, it was the best looking Sub Date ever.
    Last edited by j111dja; 9th September 2021 at 22:26.

  50. #50
    Master
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    Agree with others: a basic 16800 is a sound bet.


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