1987 Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 168000 "Triple Zero" Transitional R Series Tropical Dial
Rolex's Submariner is synonymous with the concept of a tool watch, and at the same time a classic design icon and one of the most important watches ever made. The Submariner's evolution took an important step with the reference 16800, which was the first Submariner with a quickset date feature, a ratcheting unidirectional bezel, and a sapphire crystal. The 16800 reference ran from 1978 to 1987, when the 168000 was introduced for a short period of time.
The 168000 "triple zero" Submariner was another important step forward for the Submariner even though it was only produced for a short period in the late 80s. The triple zero was the first Rolex Submariner reference to stray away from the industry standard 316L stainless steel case construction in favor of 904L steel, which is still used by Rolex today. 904L steel has some added molybdenum and copper, making for higher corrosion resistance as well as more brilliance when polishing the material. The 168000 was replaced by the 16610 in 1988 during the R series range, also using 904L stainless steel as well as improving the movement with the caliber 3135. The 16800 remains the shortest and lowest produced Submariner date reference, a quirky transitional piece that is becoming harder to find.
Take a look at the photos and our condition description below:
Case: 40mm stainless steel case with a R388XXX serial number dating production to approximately 1987. The case is in excellent condition with minor surface wear as pictured.
Bezel: 120 click unidirectional bezel in excellent condition as pictured. The bezel insert has some minor surface marks but still retains its tritium pearl.
Dial/Hands: Original dial and hand set. Dial surface is no longer glossy and has faded to matte appearance along with even spotting throughout. The original tritium plots on the dial have faded to a light even patina. Hands are also original tritium in excellent condition with sightly lighter tritium. Date disk has open 6's and 9's.
Crystal: Original sapphire crystal in good condition as pictured, free from any scratches, chips, or cracks.
Caseback: Original caseback in very good condition as shown.
Movement: Original Caliber 3035 movement in excellent condition that winds, runs, and sets time as it should. Timekeeping is excellent although service history is unknown.
Strap: Original 93150 bracelet with "L10" clasp code (indicating 1987 production) and 563 end links with 12 links. Bracelet shows minor scratching consistent with wear and has only very light stretch.
Accessories: None, sold as watch only.