A British Army helicopter pilot’s watch : vintage Rolex 1680 Submariner Date with Mark 2 dial, box & papers! Stainless steel Rolex Submariner Date model 1680 with 6152xxx case number, its original dial being in simply outstanding condition. First purchased by Captain “P” in Singapore during December 1980, this watch retains its original punched papers, plastic document wallet bearing a sticker with the watch’s faded case number on it, YOUR ROLEX OYSTER booklet with 1980 print-code, Rolex 68.00.2 box with slotted card interior and “Création Genève” motif inside the lid, a Rolex UK service card dated June 2002 and a certificate from the ALR Watch Register confirming that we checked it with them. In early 2014 the watch was taken to a Rolex main agent who knew to direct the watch to us, and Miltons (Liverpool) Ltd bought it in February 2014. It lived thereafter unworn in our safes until April 2023 when we sent it to Steven Hale Watch Restoration Limited, a fully accredited Rolex watch-maker and one of the UK’s leading vintage specialists. The watch enjoyed £1,536 worth of work including a full movement service and the fitting of new glass, auto-drive wheel, rotor axle, reversers and barrel, while the paint on the hands was also restored. The black bezel insert was replaced previously and has what we believe to be a Luminova variant “pip.” The Oyster Fliplock 93150 bracelet with 501 B end-links has a “PJ11″ clasp code, indicating that this, too, is a replacement part from Rolex, probably not fitted earlier than 2009. The watch has a Rolex 1575 calibre movement, the bridge marked 1570 as normal, its unique movement number D856389 shown in the photo-essay linked below. The movement is running well, testing within chronometer tolerance in September 2023, although this will vary slightly depending on the individual wearer. Its case, bracelet and crown are in very good condition but we have not refinished them, allowing them to keep the character reflecting the working life the watch has led, serving Captain P as a military pilot and then with his own helicopter charter company. The case numbering is crisp and clear, the bezel insert is excellent and the bezel rim is very good. A photo-essay of this watch with many more photographs is available by clicking here .
Please note that while we have successfully tested water resistance for normal use including recreational swimming etc, we would advise that more extensive pressure testing be carried out before any significant underwater diving is considered. Many collectors of such vintage Rolex where the dial is a key part of the value wisely choose NOT to swim in them, as a simple mistake in securing the crown or any subsequent and unrecognised deterioration in sealing could see water enter the case, damage the dial and destroy significant value. If you want to emulate Captain “P” and take it up in your helicopter, go for it !
* We previously wrote a photo-essay about Rolex 1680 dials, available by clicking here
We cannot accept cash for items of such high value. Please ask for one of our watch specialists if you would like to view the watch in our private / secure sales facility or to enquire about acceptable payment methods.