With the prized matte dial, sapphire crystal and creamy lume, this Rolex Submariner will be many peoples dream watch. Model reference 16800


From the serial number between the bottom lugs we can accurately date this watch to being made in 1982.


The Submariner, along with the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and Zodiac SeaWolf was launched in 1953 and all claim to be the first divers watch with outer bezel. We’re not going to get into that argument, but we can explain why the 16800 reference is to many the one to get. It differs from the previous model (1680) in having a deeper depth rating 1000ft/300M, a synthetic sapphire crystal, and the newer 3035 calibre movement that added (belatedly) quick set functionality to the date. Cosmetically the matte dialed watches looked similar to the outgoing model, and in 1984 the hands and hour markers switched to 18k white gold (so the lume plot is smaller), so these early 16800 references have the vintage looks and the modern conveniences and scratch resistance crystal. The only issue is availability – looking at the serial numbers Rolex were producing about a third of the watches they make today back in 1982, when the fashion was for small, slim, quartz watches – not large, automatic divers watches.

This watch has great patina, and the hands and dial lume is a lovely creamy tritium that matches the lume pip on the bezel. Quite often one of the three lumes parts are changed, and then the lume doesn’t match – not in this case. The bracelet is long, and has the wetsuit extension still fitted but the clasp is stamped P9, so is a 1991 bracelet or at least clasp. This could have been replaced for a number of reasons, but it is the right bracelet is fitted (93150 bracelet with 501B endpieces). The bracelet has been cleaned in our ultrasonic bath. The case has a number of knocks and bumps, but on a tool watch this is not unusual. The sapphire crystal is perfect. The case back has been engraved and polished off, but you can just see some light detail of the engraving still. The bezel click is great, and the bezel insert only has minor marks. The hands have some corrosion on them, but are likely original. The dial also has light patination. The open 6 and 9 calendar wheel is another desirable feature of vintage Sub’s.

This watch will be supplied with our branded presentation box and our Certificate of Authenticity.

Please see the HD video for more detail. All photos and videos are part of the description and are of the actual watch unless mentioned. We do not photoshop any pictures, and the images are copyright of birthyearwatches.com and should not be used without permission.


Width with crown 43.6 mm

Width without crown 39.9 mm

Between lugs 20 mm

Lug to lug length 47.4 mm

Case Thickness 12.8 mm

Bracelet will fit a maximum wrist size of 206 mm. The bracelet can be sized for you if you give us your wrist size when placing the order.

All sizes are approximate.

Included with this watch is a 3 month guarantee and free delivery to UK addresses. If you live outside the UK we can still deliver to most countries. Please see our Worldwide Shipping information, or Contact Us. Payment can be made by most credit or debit cards, bank transfer or PayPal.

 208 total views,  2 views today