Rolex Submariner Date

SKU AS02986
SKU AS02986

Why We Love it

Why We Love It

There is no question that the Rolex Submariner is one of the most recognized and adored wristwatches of all time.  And for good reason; Hans Wilsdorf’s Oyster case design was never more imperative than through its application in the purpose-built diver. 

But the Submariner’s ubiquity has turned up the noses of many a collector who eschew commonness, showing interest instead in the oldest and rarest executions of the model, or those that boast the most impressive condition or unique states of aging and patina.  Superb examples of rare Submariners can fetch big dollars - with numerous examples of early 'Big Crown' models commanding hundreds of thousands of dollars.

That’s why we love this Reference. 16800 so much. Dating from the early 1980s, it offers a very intriguing and accessible entry point to the cool factor of a vintage Submariner, while also signifying a transition from Rolex's 'tool watch' roots to the luxury product they are associated with today. 

Early examples of the Reference 16800, introduced as a replacement for the classic 1680 models you've seen here before, coupled matte black dials and Tritium luminous material so desired by vintage enthusiasts with the added convenience of a hi-beat movement, quickset date function, and sapphire crystal. Later versions of the 16800 switched to the glossy dial/raised white gold markers still used today.

This is a beautiful, useful Rolex Submariner with all the right hallmarks of vintage design that you can enjoy every day without concern, just as Wilsdorf intended.

The Story

The Reference 1680, released in 1966, deviated from previous iterations of the Submariner--like the beloved ref. 5513--by including a date window. This change was remarkably divisive because, according the diehards, if you need a date on your dive watch, you're kind of screwed.

Despite the divided opinions on the Reference 1680, from a non-purist's standpoint, it ticks all the boxes for a tool watch. A sturdy stainless steel case? Check. Robust movement that is dust-proof, shock-proof, and waterproof? Check, check, and check.

The Reference 16800, successor to the 1680, is viewed as a transitional model because early versions used a matte dial and later examples transitioned to glossy dials. It was also the first Submariner reference to feature a sapphire crystal. Furthermore, they were fitted with a uni-directional ratcheting bezel, a hi-beat Rolex Cal. 3035 movement, and a quick-set date function. 

Today, transitional References such as the 16800 are a great juxtaposition between vintage style and modern features - and an argument could easily be made that they are the best of both worlds.

A:S Guarantee


Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.


Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.


We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns


All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Rolex Submariner Date

Rolex Submariner Date

Rolex Submariner Date


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