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Rolex Submariner Stainless Steel 16800

March 26, 2014

BY Paul Altieri


Made famous by Timothy Dalton in his role as James Bond in License to Kill, although the watch is only glimpsed throughout the movie, the Rolex Submariner 16800 has become a classic timepiece with an attitude.  The Rolex watches worn by Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore sported much more of a dressy look, but Timothy Dalton’s Rolex was the first to include the magnified bubble for the date on the sapphire crystal.  Interestingly enough, Dalton was also the last Bond to wear Rolex due to a long period of dormancy in the movies over legal battles.  By the time Bond was allowed to return to the screen, the world had moved on and the designers felt other brands were more modern and appropriate.

A Submariner 16800 shows up in License to Kill, a James Bond film.

A Submariner 16800 is an amazing watch known for its classic design and utility underwater.

No matter what the makers of Bond movies think, however, you rarely find a better classic than the Rolex Submariner watch collection, and the stainless steel 16800 is one of the finest of this class.  In fact, the 16800 was a harbinger, sharing much more in common with modern Rolex watches than the early Bond styles.  Furthermore, the 16800 is a great vintage buy, with price points just a little over a new Submariner.

History of the Submariner 16800

face rolex submariner 16800 bobswatches

THis watch was first made for divers who needed to keep track of time underwater.

The earliest waterproof watches were created by Rolex for divers and others who needed waterproof timepieces that were easily seen underwater.  They featured easy-to-read numerals that would show up in dim light and a waterproof case that resisted water pressure to 100 meters.  Later, advancing technology allowed Submariners to resist water up to 300 meters or nearly 1,000 feet.

It would be hard to imagine a Submariner more “typical” and possession most of the best features of the line than the 16800.  This watch has it all and is the epitome of Submariner technology, including:

  • Easy-to-see numerals and “cathedral” hands with fatter end points to assist in reading the watch underwater.
  • A unidirectional bezel with markings for the first fifteen minutes and five-minute hash marks through the 60
  • A large winding crown with crown protectors to avoid damage from bumps
  • A sapphire crystal that provides clear, easy reading of all dial elements
  • The bubble date window, designed to help you read the date easily in low light and maintain a distinction between the time and date functions

The Submariner Reference 16800 remains an iconic and beautiful example of the perfect, simple Rolex that works almost anywhere.



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