When Ann’s husband went to work for Pan Am in 1971 after serving in Vietnam, he finally fulfilled a small dream of owning a Rolex watch. Little did he know that more than 40 years later, that watch would net his wife a 786% profit.
Bob’s Watches recently purchased this Rolex Submariner Red 1680 for $7,000. Listening to Ann’s story they quickly realized that this Orange County, California, lady had an interesting tale to tell.
Rolex Story: Ann
Ann’s husband purchased the watch for $790 in 1971, and the original receipt is still available from the watch store, Rosch Co, located in Boerne, Switzerland..
Her husband had served in Vietnam and, upon leaving the military, secured a job at Pan Am airlines after the war. Pan Am supported Rolex throughout the years with endorsements, and Ann’s husband was able to find the perfect model watch for his needs. He wore this watch with pride for many years.
Upon his death, Ann looked for a buyer for the beautiful timepiece. She knew that it would have appreciated over the years as most vintage Rolex watches do, but she was shocked to learn that the increase in price was more than 700 percent since the day her husband bought the watch.
The Rolex Submariner Red
The Rolex Red Submariner was not the first sports watch to carry a date, but it was one of the first. Model number 1680, like the watch in question, was classified as an Oyster Perpetual Submariner and features a uni-directional bezel, a matte dial, tritium luminous material on the surface, a synthetic plastic crystal and chronometer-rated movement. These models are increasingly rare.
Most experts believe that the production run for the 1680 Submariner was between 1966 and 1980, when the watch was replaced by the first sapphire-crystal submarine watch, the 16800. The Red Submariner was probably produced between 1966 and 1973; the White Submariner, which replaced the red dial features with white, was produced from about 1973 to 1980. A slight mystery has always surrounded the transition from Red to White, however, as the Red continued to be advertised as late at 1979.
This particular watch has a date and features the original fold-over bracelet and is water resistant to 660 feet.