Tropical ‘Meters First’ Mk2 1680 Rolex ‘Red’ Submariner
Contrary to what it may seem here, I dislike spending money on anything but watches and a decent dinner out. It’s why I’ve owned the same pair of Wolverine boots for seven years. My car is about a decade old and I won’t replace it until children become a thing, which will hopefully be never, because they’re the ultimate expense. I will hold on to an iPhone until moss gross in the usb thing. My idea of ‘shopping’ is walking into a fashionable store in New York like Corridor, thinking ‘yes I could buy that, but I don’t need it’, and immediately walking out again. I’ve done the same thing at AP house, but mostly to amuse myself. Perhaps it’s my humble Midwestern roots, perhaps my sensibility, but I can’t help it. Which is why I feel morally aligned with old beat up Subs; I am one at heart.
But in 2023 my philosophy no longer really serves me. Banks seems as fragile as Ming’s hour hand alignment. Having money in a bank today is like loaning your net worth to @watch.gringa and telling her not blow it all on Cartier and Tudors before Tuesday, it’s not going to end well. But are you going to trust a stock market that seems as artificially inflated as Lange’s stocklist under Richemont whilst China is sabre rattling Taiwan and all of France seems on fire? It seems the most prudent measure, therefore, might actually be to spend. At least, this is how I’m justifying my life philosophy at the moment, which includes an irresponsibly high spend on watches and particularly old worn-in ones.
All of which brings me to this: a dial as worn-in as my boots and, likewise, better looking for it. This is a Sub with all the adjectives: tropical, meters first, and red. It’s not a hype watch, it doesn’t even have any bioceramic. It’s just a date Sub that someone like me owned for a few decades. In the 1680, the earlier half of production which featured a red line were more susceptible to going chocolate. But this is more even and deeply mocha than most. The entire appeal of this Sub is the life it has lived previously, its value is tethered to how much it’s been loved. I quite like that. Would you rather have a bank letter stating you’ve only lost 40 grand this year or this? Checkmate.
This example has one of the best dials you’ll come cross. The tropical tone is even and very light chocolate, say 65%. Its bezel is just starting to ghost out. The case has seen a very light polish but still has decent bevels on it, nothing too egregious. It comes from a well-regarded Spanish collector. I suspect the sun in that part of the world had something to do with the way this Sub looks.