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‘Watch in the Box’ Video Series: Episode 8

Paul Altieri

It’s time for a new Watch in the Box – Episode 8 is out now!

Every week, countless packages get shipped to our Newport Beach headquarters from all around the world, and inside each one is a different luxury watch. Join us for Episode 8 of our Watch in the Box video series, where we pull aside one of the incoming boxes and open it up on camera so that you can be part of the big reveal.

Episode 8

Watch in the Box: Episode 8

If you are not already familiar with our Watch in the Box video series, be sure to visit our YouTube page, where you can watch all of our previous episodes and get caught up before watching the latest installment below.

Additionally, please be sure like our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel, so that you can stay up-to-date on all of the latest Watch In the Box episodes and other new video content.


The 8th installment of our Watch in the Box video series brings us a special dive watch, the Rolex Submariner ref. 1680 with “Red Line” dial.

The very first Submariner to feature a date complication on the dial, the ref. 1680 is a widely sought-after collector’s item on the vintage Rolex market. It’s also the first instance of a Cyclops magnification lens over the date being used on a Submariner dive watch, and it features a striking red “SUBMARINER” logo – something only found on early production run 1680 watches, earning it the nickname the “Red Submariner” among collections

The example that we’ve unboxed here today is in great condition for a used Rolex watch of its age and appears to be unpolished with sharp, defined bevels. It’s pretty rare to come across an older watch that hasn’t ever been polished, which makes this particular Red Submariner an exciting watch to examine in person. The bracelet is in great shape as well and exhibits some normal signs of wear, although it doesn’t appear to have very much stretch to the links.

The dial is exceptional. The hour markers and hands have a gorgeous creamy yellow patina that is consistent throughout the entire display. The dial has also held up well over time with only a few minor signs of wear. However, considering a watch of this age, the dial is in really great shape and will appeal to a broad range of vintage watch collectors.

In addition to being the first Submariner to offer a date display on the dial, the ref. 1680 was also the only Submariner to feature an acrylic crystal with a Cyclops magnifier over the date, a feature that was replaced with a sapphire crystal on its successor the ref. 16800.

The ref. 1680 is also famous for its wide range of dial variations, which many collectors categorize from Mark I to Mark VII. Each variant differs slightly in the form of different fonts used, feet or meters first, and the spacing of the words, making the ref. 1680 one of the most interesting Rolex watches to collect on the pre-owned market. Early examples also feature the Submariner logo in a striking red hue, something that was replaced by dials with all white text on later versions of the reference 1680.

Along with a fat font bezel insert, this particular Submariner has what appears to be a Mark VI dial with a feet-first depth rating, closed 6’s, and more rounded S’s. This was one of the last dial variations of the Red Submariner with the 7th being a service dial. The Submariner is easily the most famous dive watch of all time, and the ref. 1680 “Red Submariner” is an important and highly collectible example of Rolex’s iconic dive watch.

Paul Altieri

Ripley is the Senior Editor at Bob's Watches. As a Los Angeles native with an interest in all things mechanical, Ripley has had a love for watches since a young age, when his mother gave him a children's Swatch to help teach him how to read the time. While most of his days are now occupied by the world of vintage and luxury timepieces, Ripley can often be found exploring the United States National Parks or running and hiking outside with his dog, Ziggy.