Rolex’s fabled gold Submariner may in fact be the single watch most classically representative of the ‘fuck-you-money’ attitude. Or at least, it was. See, the gold Submariner has gone through this sort of inverse bell-curve of public acceptability from the 1960s through today in 2021. To start, it was a hallmark of a highly successful career: a gift bestowed at the end of a lengthy career on one’s whose efforts deserved opulent celebration. However, by the mid 80s, it was already more closely associated to fine powders, wall street, and cigarette boats than hard work. Despite this, in last few decades a groundswell has been building from the most hardcore collectors outward.
The gold Sub is today a value buy for those not afraid to wear the most opulent sport watch. Values cratered so hard that many collectors forgot precious metals generally attract a premium. Some get it, others despise the trend. As I’ve always said, just wear what you like. Whatever your preference, there is no substitute for the feel or aesthetic of a vintage gold Sub on wrist.
The gold Sub was born in 1969 with either black or blue matched dials and bezels. Blue dials mostly went tropical over time, black ones mostly did not. To mark an extra distinction over the standard 1680, Rolex used applied indices also in gold. The centers are tritium. Their shape helps give this style the name nipple dial. The style is steel deeply sought after by collectors. The 18K yellow gold case is 40mm and houses the calibre 1570. This first generation ran from 1969 to 1979 and was succeeded by the 16808. If I were the purchaser of this example, I’d probably take the time to hunt down a year-correct gold bracelet also. That is a task which will require patience.
This example is sharp all things considered. Its case sports surface wear consistent with its age and soft allow. The dial and bezel are unfaded, both particularly lovely. Its lugs have a few strikes on their back but otherwise there’s nothing egregious. No comments are made of service history. It comes without box/papers from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this 1680/8 here from Timeless Vintage Watches for 36750 EUR.