Rolex is a true pioneer in watchmaking technology. Among their most significant inventions is the Submariner, which was the first watch ever to offer water-resistance of up to 100 meters. The now-iconic Rolex Two-Tone Submariner was the inspiration behind the flourishing dive watch market as we know it, and almost every dive watch in existence today was in some way influenced by the Rolex Submariner. While it was developed for use while underwater, the Submariner has since become a coveted timepiece among collectors of all professions. The line is varied and offers a feature set to suit almost any wrist. However, today we will take a closer look at an earlier model of their Rolesor two-tone steel and gold Submariner ( Rolex Submariner two-tone ). The Rolex 16613 Two-Tone Submariner.
The Two-Tone Rolex Submariner 16613
The Rolex Submariner was developed in 1953 and made its official debut a year later at Basel Watch Fair 1954. As previously mentioned, the collection was the first to offer resistance to depths of up to 100 meters, which would then evolve into 200 meters, before increasing once again to its current and impressive 300-meter depth rating. In true Rolex fashion, the Submariner was carefully refined over the years to include a safer unidirectional bezel, improved materials, and a higher-beat movement.
The original model was presented in stainless steel with an all-gold variation following in the late 1960s and a two-tone option coming to market in 1984 via the ref. 16803. The ref. 16613 was released a few years later in 1988 and enjoyed a long production run before being discontinued and replaced in 2009 with the current Cerachrom ceramic bezel 6-digit ref. 116613, marking the end of the aluminum bezel Rolex Submariner two-tone watches.
The Rolex Oyster Case
The Oyster case was an innovation of its time when it was developed by Rolex in 1926. It ushered in a brand new era of durable, everyday watches that could be worn during almost any activity without damaging the internal movement. The Submariner takes the design of the Oyster case one step further and increased its waterproofness up to 300 meters/1,000 feet.
The ref. 16613 features a standard 40mm case in highly corrosion-resistant 904L stainless steel. An 18 karat yellow gold screw-down crown and unidirectional bezel accompany the case, giving it a desirable two-tone design. The dial and bezel set are most commonly available in either black or blue, with some examples of the gem-set “Serti” dial (either champagne or silver in color and set with diamonds and blue sapphires) also available on the secondary market. Depending on the year produced, the ref. 16613 also features either a holes or no holes case and either Tritium or LumiNova used for the luminescence on the dial and hands.
The Caliber 3135 Movement
Regardless of the year of production, all two-tone Rolex 16613 Submariner watches are powered by Rolex’s trusty Caliber 3135 automatic movement. The 31-jewel movement beats at a rate of 28,800bph and includes a date complication, a 48-hour power reserve, automatic winding technology, and a sophisticated Breguet overcoil balance-spring. The movement has been a fixture in many Rolex wristwatches for more than three decades, and for a good reason. The Cal. 3135 has proven itself to be an accurate and robust movement, which can deliver decades of reliable performance if properly maintained.
The Bracelet and Clasp
The Rolex Two-Tone Submariner 16613 is available on a flat-link Oyster bracelet with hollow 18 karat yellow gold center links and an Oysterlock clasp. Like other Submariner watches, the clasp on the ref. 16613 features a wetsuit extension system that allows the length of the bracelet to be adjusted on the fly to fit comfortably over wetsuits.
Depending on the year of production, Submariner 16613 bracelets can be found with slight differences between their clasps, end-links, and wetsuit extension systems. Earlier examples will have hollow end-links, all-steel clasps, and stamped wetsuit extensions, while later-era 16613 Submariner bracelets will have solid end-links, a link-style extension system, and a clasp featuring a 18k yellow gold strip through the center.
The ref. 16613 is the result of Rolex’s tireless quest for perfection. Its long production run has spawned several variations, making it a fun watch to “hunt” for on the pre-owned Rolex market. It’s also a popular choice for its stunning two-tone steel and gold finish, and it is an excellent option for anyone who seeks a gold Rolex sports watch without the hefty price tag that accompanies an all-gold watch.
Paul is the company's Founder and CEO. He is responsible for all the day to day activities from purchasing, receiving, marketing and sales. Paul is a graduate of Boston College 1979 and resides in California with his family.
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Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, or any other brand listed. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster, etc are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation. All brands including Brequet, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Breitling and Omega, etc are trademarks of their respective owners.