Exclusive Timepieces

Sat 7 December 2019 ‒ 3:00 pm | Monaco

58

Rolex Sought-After and Desired Submariner Comex Automatic Wristwatch in Steel, Reference 16 800, With Date, Sweep Center Seconds, Bracelet, Books of the Original Owner’s, Made for Comex

Estimation € 50,000 – 100,000

sold € 70,200

Model: Submariner
Material: Stainless Steel
Reference N°: 16800
Year: 1984
Case N°: 8274602
Caliber: 3035
Movement type: Automatic
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 41 mm
Signed: Dial, case and movement
Accessories: owner’s books

One of the specimens that best reflects the idea of ​​improvement of Rolex is certainly the Submariner, which during its more than 60 years of life has been subject to modifications to increase its efficiency. Of the 14 models launched from 1954 to 1990, one of the most fascinating for rarity is the transitional model 16 800 of which we are pleased to offer a specimen. Produced from 1982 to 1986, the Submariner 16 800 is the result of research and development inspired by its predecessor, the reference 1680, to which were added a sapphire crystal (the first one in the history of the Submariners), a quick-set date function, an entirely new movement (the caliber 3035) and, most important of all, increased deep rating to 1000 ft (300 m), instead of 200 m. The case was also changed, the stainless steel was upgraded from 306L to 904L making it extremely resistant against oxidation and much harder. Was also added, on the band of the case, a gas escape valve fitted within the case to release built up pressure, preventing the watches from exploding when they surfaced from the depths of the oceans. The dials of early models featured matte color and luminous indexes as in reference 1680 while later generations, such as the present watch, were fitted with the white gold borders around the luminous numerals and glossy dial. These type of watches, capable of reaching high depths, were supplied directly to COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise), founded in 1961 in Marseille by Henri-Germain Delauze. This successful collaboration started in the early 1970s when all divers were progressively equipped with watches especially made for Comex: the improved “Submariner” model meeting the most stringent technical and professional demands of the professional deep-sea diver. In order to distinguish these special wristwatches, the COMEX designation was featured on the outside of the screw back and on the dial. Moreover, like many “issued” Rolex watches, the inside case backs of COMEX watches would bear the full serial number (or in some instances the last 3 digits) corresponding to the number found between the lugs at 6 o’clock. The inside case back of the present watch bears reference 16 800 and 8 274 602, the entire serial number. The conditions of the whole watch are notable and the dial is in mint conditions. Remarkable, on the case back, is the dedication to Mr. Ward who was an emeritus diver who worked on the Phillips Maureen Platform, built for the search of oil in the North Sea, and who, on March 30, 1984 received this incredible gift. Accompanied not only with its original fitted box and recent Rolex Service Guarantee, but also documents accounting for Mr. Ward’s professional career and dive logs, this watch is the non plus ultra for a very high level collector.