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Rolex. A fine and unusual stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and date
On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT wil… Read more The Mistery Transitional Red Sub
Rolex. A fine and unusual stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and date

SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL DATE, SUBMARINER, 660FT = 200M, “RED SUBMARINER” MODEL, REF. 1680, CASE NO. 3’422’421, CIRCA 1972

Details
Rolex. A fine and unusual stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and date
Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual Date, Submariner, 660ft = 200m, “Red Submariner” model, ref. 1680, case no. 3’422’421, circa 1972
Movement: automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
Dial: black, matte, dot baton and dagger luminous numerals, luminous hands
Case: screw back, bidirectional revolving bezel with black insert graduated for 60 minutes
Signed: case, dial and movement
Dimensions: 39 mm. diam.
With: Rolex Service Invoice dated 15 March 2016
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On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

This wristwatch is highlighted not only by its extremely attractive condition, but especially by its dial layout. Close examination shows that the present Red Submariner dial does not fit in any of the canon “mark” classifications accepted by collectors. The dial was subject to close scrutiny by many scholars and every single detail of it – from the opacity of the paint to the texture and ageing of the lumes, passing by the black finish and dial backplate – appears to be absolutely Rolex quality and without any sign of restoration. The fonts used for the realization of this dial are however a mystery: all of them are absolutely correct for a Mark II white submariner dial with the exception of the red Submariner designation, which not only is red, but furthermore features different fonts than anything seen so far. Furthermore, the Red Sub is painted red over white, but as no known White Submariner dial version features this font, apparently a different pad has been used both for the white backing and then for the red finish of the Submariner signature.

Many theories have been proposed about the genesis of such an unusual creature – ranging from prototype dial, to one off service creation possibly to accommodate the request of an important customer – but no conclusive explanation has been found. This - considered the fully original Beyeler/Rolex nature of the dial – simply amplifies the mystery and allure of this timepiece, and leaves an open challenge to all Rolex scholars and collectors.

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