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Vintage Rolex Submariner Date 16800 Review

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The article titled “Vintage Rolex Submariner Date 16800 Review” provides a comprehensive review of the vintage Rolex Submariner Date 16800 watch. The review is presented in a video format by WatchBox Reviews, offering detailed information about the watch’s specifications, features, and aesthetics.

The vintage Rolex Submariner Date 16800 as a beautifully preserved timepiece from the transitional era of Rolex watches. He highlights the watch’s distinct features, such as the tritium dial, perforated lugs, and the transitional caliber 3035. Tim also emphasizes the watch’s durability for diving purposes while having a nostalgic appeal compared to modern timepieces. He provides a detailed analysis of the watch’s sizing, bracelet, and clasp, highlighting its comfort and functionality. The article concludes by encouraging viewers to watch the full Rolex Submariner Date review for complete details.


Size and dimensions

The size and dimensions of a watch are essential factors to consider when purchasing a timepiece. In the case of the Submariner, it features a classic yet substantial size that appeals to many watch enthusiasts. This iconic dive watch measures 40mm in diameter, which strikes a perfect balance between being sporty and suitable for everyday wear. The case thickness is approximately 12.5mm, providing a sleek profile without compromising on durability.

Bracelet details

The Submariner comes equipped with a sturdy and versatile stainless steel bracelet. Crafted with precision, the bracelet is designed to withstand the rigors of daily wear. The links are meticulously polished to ensure a sleek and comfortable fit on the wrist. The bracelet also features an adjustable clasp, allowing for easy resizing and fitting to individual preferences. With its robust construction, the bracelet provides both style and durability.

Water resistance

One of the defining characteristics of the Submariner is its impressive water resistance. Built to withstand the pressures of diving, this timepiece boasts a water resistance rating of up to 300 meters (1,000 feet). Whether you’re swimming, snorkeling, or even engaging in professional diving activities, the Submariner will keep ticking reliably. This remarkable water resistance capability ensures peace of mind for those who enjoy water sports or simply want a watch that can handle any wet conditions.

Bezel features

The Submariner’s bezel plays a crucial role in its functionality. Made from durable ceramic, the unidirectional rotatable bezel allows for precise timekeeping and measurement of dive times. Its scratch-resistant properties ensure that the markings will remain legible even after years of use. The iconic 60-minute graduated scale provides a quick and accurate reference for divers, making it an indispensable tool for underwater exploration.

Dial characteristics

The dial of the Submariner is a testament to its timeless design. With its distinct Mercedes hands and luminescent markers, legibility is ensured in any lighting conditions. The Submariner features a classic black dial with white markers, although other variations are also available. The dial is carefully crafted to achieve a refined appearance, making it suitable for both formal and casual occasions. The hour markers and hands are coated with luminescent material, ensuring clear visibility even in the dark.

Movement details

The heart of the Submariner lies in its movement, which drives the watch’s precision and functionality. Powered by Rolex’s self-winding calibre, the Submariner’s movement boasts exceptional accuracy and reliability. With a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour, the movement ensures a smooth and consistent sweep of the second’s hand. It also provides a power reserve of approximately 48 hours, allowing the watch to keep accurate time even when not worn. The movement is designed and manufactured in-house by Rolex, a testament to the brand’s commitment to quality craftsmanship.

Design and Build Quality


Rolex takes great pride in the durability and longevity of its watches, and the Submariner is no exception. The design and build quality are carefully crafted to ensure that the watch can withstand the test of time. From the robust stainless steel case to the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, every component is built to last. This level of preservation is particularly important for collectors and enthusiasts who value the heritage and history associated with Rolex timepieces.

Case and lugs

The Submariner’s case and lugs are meticulously crafted to combine functionality and aesthetics. Made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, the case offers durability and protection to the delicate internal components of the watch. The lugs, which connect the case to the bracelet, are ergonomically designed to provide a comfortable fit on the wrist. The polished finish of the case and lugs adds a touch of elegance to the overall design while maintaining its sporty appeal.


The crown of the Submariner is a notable feature that reflects the brand’s attention to detail. Located at the 3 o’clock position, the crown is equipped with a Triplock system, ensuring a watertight seal. This triple-sealed crown provides additional protection against water ingress, further enhancing the watch’s water resistance capabilities. The crown is also engraved with the iconic Rolex crown logo, a symbol of the brand’s heritage and craftsmanship.

Dial and bezel

The dial and bezel of the Submariner are designed with both functionality and aesthetics in mind. The dial features large luminescent markers and hands, making it highly legible even in low-light conditions. The unidirectional rotatable bezel, made from scratch-resistant ceramic, provides a reliable tool for measuring elapsed time during dives. The combination of the dial and bezel creates a harmonious and balanced design, ensuring that the Submariner stands out as an iconic and timeless timepiece.

Bracelet and clasp

The Submariner’s bracelet is not only durable but also comfortable to wear. The solid stainless steel links are meticulously polished to achieve a smooth and refined finish. The bracelet is designed with an Oysterlock clasp, featuring a folding safety clasp with an Easylink extension system. This allows for easy adjustments to achieve the perfect fit. The bracelet’s robust construction ensures that it can withstand the demands of everyday wear, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a versatile timepiece that can seamlessly transition from casual to formal occasions.

Vintage Rolex Submariner Date 16800 Review


Automatic winding

One of the key features of the Submariner is its automatic winding movement. This means that the watch is powered by the natural motion of the wearer’s wrist, eliminating the need for manual winding. As long as the watch is worn regularly, the rotor within the movement will wind the mainspring, keeping the watch running smoothly. This automatic winding feature provides convenience and ensures that the watch is always ready to wear.

Power reserve

The Submariner boasts an impressive power reserve of approximately 48 hours. This means that even if the watch is not worn for a day or two, it will continue to keep accurate time. The extended power reserve is a testament to Rolex’s commitment to precision and reliability. The ability to maintain accurate timekeeping even during periods of non-wear is particularly useful for those who rotate between multiple watches or have a more sporadic wearing pattern.

Quick set date and hacking seconds

The Submariner incorporates two convenient features: a quick set date mechanism and hacking seconds. The quick set date allows the wearer to easily adjust the date display without having to manually advance the hour hand multiple times. This feature is especially handy when crossing time zones or after the watch has stopped. Hacking seconds, on the other hand, allows the seconds hand to stop when the crown is pulled out, enabling precise time synchronization with a reference signal. These features add to the overall functionality and ease of use of the Submariner.

Chronometer certification

The movement of the Submariner is COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) certified, attesting to its exceptional precision and accuracy. To achieve this certification, the movement undergoes rigorous testing under different conditions, ensuring that it meets strict quality standards. This certification is a testament to Rolex’s commitment to excellence and precision in watchmaking. With a certified chronometer movement, the Submariner provides accurate timekeeping that can be relied upon in any situation.

Vintage Appeal

Transitional reference

For vintage watch enthusiasts, the Submariner offers a unique appeal with its transitional reference models. These models represent a period of transition in Rolex’s design and technology, combining features from different eras. With dials that feature a mix of vintage and modern elements, these transitional references are highly sought after by collectors. They offer a glimpse into the evolution of the Submariner and serve as a bridge between the past and present.

Tritium dial

Vintage Submariners often feature dials with tritium luminescent material. Tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, was commonly used in watch dials before it was replaced by safer alternatives. The aged tritium dials on vintage Submariners develop a desirable patina over time, giving the watch a distinct vintage character. This unique dial characteristic adds to the allure of vintage Submariners and appeals to those who appreciate the charm of a time-worn timepiece.

Vintage Rolex rattle

Vintage Submariners have gained a reputation for their distinctive “Rolex rattle.” This refers to the distinct sound that the bracelet makes when the watch is shaken. The rattling noise is a result of the hollow end links of the bracelet, which were used in the vintage models. This characteristic sound has become synonymous with vintage Rolex watches and is often sought after by collectors as a sign of authenticity and originality.

Original factory bevels

Another feature that adds to the vintage appeal of the Submariner is the presence of original factory bevels. These bevels are small, polished facets found on the edges of the case and bracelet. Over time, many vintage watches lose these bevels due to polishing or wear. However, on well-preserved vintage Submariners, original factory bevels can still be seen, adding a touch of elegance and authenticity to the watch’s overall design.

Flawless dial condition

Finding a vintage Submariner with a flawless dial condition is highly coveted among collectors. Dial condition is crucial in determining a watch’s value and desirability. Vintage Submariners with dials that remain pristine, free from any scratches, marks, or discoloration, command a premium in the market. A flawless dial not only enhances the watch’s visual appeal but also serves as a testament to the watch’s overall condition and authenticity.

Modern Features

Sapphire crystal

In contrast to vintage Submariners, modern iterations of the Submariner feature sapphire crystal, providing exceptional clarity and scratch resistance. The sapphire crystal not only enhances the legibility of the dial but also protects it from everyday wear and tear. This upgrade in material ensures that the watch maintains its pristine appearance over time, even with regular use.

Uni-directional bezel

Modern Submariners are equipped with a uni-directional rotating bezel, improving upon the functionality of previous models. This design feature ensures that the bezel can only rotate counterclockwise, allowing for accurate measurement of elapsed time during dives. The uni-directional bezel provides an added level of safety for divers, ensuring that they do not accidentally extend their dive times and potentially endanger themselves.

Applique white gold indices

To further enhance the aesthetics of the Submariner, modern models feature applique white gold indices. These indices add a subtle touch of luxury to the dial, catching the light and providing a visually striking contrast against the black dial. The use of white gold for the indices also ensures long-term durability, maintaining their luster and pristine appearance over time.

Quick set date mechanism

One of the notable modern features on the Submariner is the quick set date mechanism. With a simple twist of the crown, the wearer can easily adjust the date display to the desired setting. This convenient feature eliminates the need for manually advancing the hour hand multiple times, allowing for quick and hassle-free date adjustments. The quick set date mechanism adds to the overall practicality and user-friendly nature of the Submariner.

COSC certified chronometer

Similar to the vintage models, modern Submariners also boast COSC certification. This certification ensures that the watch’s movement meets strict standards of precision and accuracy. With a COSC certified chronometer movement, wearers can trust that their Submariner will maintain accurate timekeeping regardless of their activities or environments. This certification serves as a testament to Rolex’s commitment to excellence and precision in watchmaking.

Comparison to Previous Submariners

Bi-directional bezel

In contrast to the current generation of Submariners, previous models featured a bi-directional rotating bezel. While still functional for measuring elapsed time, this design allowed for accidental movement of the bezel, potentially leading to inaccuracies in dive time measurements. The introduction of the uni-directional bezel in modern Submariners significantly improves the safety and reliability of the watch for divers.

Matte dial with printed features

Vintage Submariners often featured a matte dial with printed hour markers and minute tracks. This design gave the watch a distinctive vintage character and charm. In contrast, modern Submariners feature glossier dials with applied indices and minute markers. This upgrade in materials and finishing provides a more luxurious and refined appearance, catering to contemporary tastes.

Non-COSC certified

Previous generations of Submariners were not officially COSC certified. While Rolex has always maintained high standards in precision and accuracy, the COSC certification was not obtained until later models. The introduction of COSC certification ensures that modern Submariners meet rigorous standards, providing wearers with added confidence in the watch’s accuracy.

Non-quick set date

Early generations of the Submariner did not feature a quick set date mechanism. This meant that wearers had to manually advance the hour hand multiple times to change the date, which could be time-consuming and tedious. The introduction of the quick set date mechanism in modern Submariners significantly improves the ease of use and convenience for the wearer.

Different movement specifications

The movement specifications of previous Submariners differ from those of the modern models. While both feature automatic winding movements, there have been advancements in technology and materials over the years. Modern Submariners benefit from improved materials, manufacturing techniques, and precision, resulting in increased accuracy and reliability. These advancements ensure that the movement of modern Submariners meets the highest standards expected from a luxury timepiece.

Versatility and Wearability

Suitable for formal attire

Despite its origins as a tool watch, the Submariner has gained popularity as a versatile timepiece that can be worn with formal attire. Its classic design and understated elegance make it an excellent choice for both casual and dressier occasions. Whether paired with a suit or a polo shirt, the Submariner effortlessly blends in and adds a touch of sophistication to any outfit.

Comfortable on wrists of different sizes

The 40mm case diameter of the Submariner makes it suitable for a wide range of wrist sizes. The watch’s design and proportions ensure a comfortable fit, regardless of wrist size or shape. The bracelet’s adjustable clasp allows for further customization, ensuring that the watch sits securely and comfortably on the wrist. This versatility in sizing makes the Submariner accessible to a broad audience, accommodating different preferences and comfort levels.

Durable for everyday use

Rolex watches are renowned for their durability, and the Submariner is no exception. Its robust construction and high-quality materials make it a dependable companion for everyday wear. Whether worn during leisure activities, at the office, or on outdoor adventures, the Submariner can withstand the demands of daily life. The watch’s water resistance and scratch-resistant features provide added assurance that it can handle the rigors of everyday use.

Swimmable and suitable for diving

The Submariner’s water resistance capabilities make it suitable for swimming and diving. With a water resistance rating of up to 300 meters, the watch can accompany wearers in various water-related activities. Whether diving, snorkeling, or simply swimming, the Submariner provides peace of mind with its reliable water resistance. Its unidirectional rotating bezel, luminous dial, and sturdy construction make it a trusted tool for underwater exploration.


In conclusion, the Rolex Submariner is a timepiece that combines timeless design, exceptional build quality, and impressive functionality. With its classic yet robust design, the Submariner appeals to watch enthusiasts and collectors alike. The watch’s specifications, including its size, bracelet details, water resistance, bezel features, dial characteristics, and movement details, contribute to its overall appeal and desirability. The Submariner seamlessly blends vintage charm with modern features, offering the perfect balance between heritage and innovation. Its versatility, durability, and water resistance make it a reliable companion for any occasion, be it formal or casual. Whether drawn to its vintage appeal or modern enhancements, the Submariner stands as a testament to Rolex’s commitment to excellence in watchmaking.

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