Rolex Submariner-Date 16800 Tropical Dial on Oyster Bracelet


Transitional Rolex sports models are incredibly fun to collect because you never know what you are going to get. Take this reference 16800 as an example. That dial was originally black but has since turned into an even brown a process called “tropicalization”. This ref. 16800 hails from 1985 and is put together by an oyster bracelet. The money is on the dial and hands. If you notice you will see the hands, indexes, and insert pearl all match, meaning everything has aged accordingly and harmoniously.

In-Depth Reading

The Rolex Submariner is often regarded as the most iconic watch ever made. To dissect its entire history within this space would be impossible so we will make sure to explain it in long form as an article post. But here is a little taste, a short and sweet bio of the Submariner-Date. The addition of the date function to the Submariner began the “sporty-luxury” era for Rolex. The fact that you could finally wear your diving (weekend) watch to the office under your shirt cuff opened a whole new market for Rolex. The first new-era Submariner took the form of the reference 1680 launched in 1969 and phased out in 1978. It was then followed by reference 16800 in 1978, which now included a sapphire crystal (a modern departure from the plexiglass era) and an upgraded case and movement. Both references 16800 and 168000 (made for 2 years) are lovingly known as “transitional” references as they represent exactly that. A moment in time when Rolex was morphing into the luxury watch brand we know today.

Technical Specifications

Brand: Rolex
Model: Submariner
Reference: 16800
Case Size: 40mm
Movement: Automatic Cal. 3035 Noteworthy Details: Brown dial “Tropical” Crystal: Sapphire glass
Year of Manufacture: 1985
Box & Papers: No