Tiffany is not complicated. It’s a brand. It sells stuff. So why does everyone behave as if anything bearing the holy stamp is the second coming? I’ll tell you why, it’s personal. Collectors look for any excuse to stand out. It could be patina, a stamp such as this, hell even a total flaw. In a world of totally uniform Rolex product, a small extra line of text means this watch came from someone you knew. Or at least, it did before silly money got involved in recent years. So why not go Tiffany from well before it was a name for a blue Oyster Perpetual and that monstrosity which shall go unnamed?
The 16800 is a sweet spot for date-window Submariner. Most know it as a transitional reference. It maintains the gorgeous matte dial and painted indices but changes out plexi for sapphire. The result is a very usable and robust watch with the aesthetics of something a bit more romantic. Yes, this reference introduced the Sub to white gold surrounds halfway through production, but this example comes from the coveted earlier half. No surrounds to be an eye sore. It also introduced the quick-set date to the Sub for the first time. This is a usable, charming, and downright impossible-to-find combination of vintage Rolex goodness.
This one has a patina straight out of the box. The case has a proud bevel. The dial is creamy and no more. It’s got little to comment on in the way of real damage, just minor nicks. It comes as a naked watch from a well-regarded California retailer.
Find this Tiffany 16800 here from The Keystone for 35000 USD.