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Rolex Submariner

1970 Rolex "Red Sub" 1680, Original Owner


Vintage watches and the age they show can make us wonder about their past, their previous owners, and what they were used for. This particular “Red Sub” won’t make you wonder because its story is known. This one and original owner 1680 was purchased in Chicago at Marshall Field's department store in October 1971. It was worn daily by its owner for fifty years, religiously serviced at Sutter’s in Chicago for its entire life. This watch was worn scuba diving all over the world, and on sailing trips across Lake Michigan from Chicago to Mackinaw Island. Over its 50 year life of almost daily use, it is in remarkable condition. The most recent service was in 2021, and upon advisement of the piece’s collectability the watch has been unworn since then. The owner bought themselves a new James Cameron Deep Sea they feel more comfortable wearing as their new daily driver, and has decided to pass their Red Sub on for someone else to enjoy. This isn’t an untouched watch that’s been locked in a safe for its entire existence. It also isn’t a watch that’s passed through more hands than you’ll ever know. This is an honest Rolex tool watch taken care of by a man who trusted it and also treasured it. It’s a watch with a story.


Case is strong with visible chamfer edges still intact, but shows signs of light polishing in the past. Original bracelet was damaged when the original owner fell off a telephone pole, and is missing one end link and the other is bent. Bracelet was replaced with a period correct, newer production bracelet in the late 1990s. The bezel insert was replaced with a service insert after original lost its lume pip. Movement was serviced most recently in 2021, with a 2010 service previous to that, by Sutter's in Chicago which was the first independent watch servicer to be authorized by Rolex.


  • Model: Submariner 1680, 2.5 million serial number (the full serial number is really satisfying, buy it to find out lol)

  • Movement: Automatic, Caliber 1575, serviced in 2021

  • Case Material: Stainless steel, lightly polished in past but case is strong and chamfer is present

  • Condition: Excellent vintage condition

  • Scope of delivery: Watch, travel pouch and box, and 2021 service paperwork that specifies previous service in 2010

  • Case diameter: 40mm

  • Water-resistance: 200 meters

  • Bezel material: Aluminum, service replacement "thin font" insert

  • Crystal: Plexiglass with cyclops over date window

  • Dial: Mark IV "feet first" open 6's (last 1680 dial manufactured by Singer), matte black with red "Submariner" text, eggshell color tritium lume markers matching with handset

  • Bracelet: 93150 service replacement full steel link bracelet with 580 end links that is almost no stretch, with original damaged and stretched 93150 bracelet that needs 580 end links

  • Links: Full, 11

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