Rolex Submariner ref 16803 SS/18K YG Tropical “Stone Wash Denim” circa 1984


A great looking and scarce first generation vintage Rolex SS/18K YG Submariner ref 16803 circa 1984 with an original naturally faded tropical nipple dial. Featuring a naturally weathered and aged tritium lume nipple index dial that was originally cobalt blue which has faded from a glossy cobalt blue color to a faded and aged blue denim color with gold undertones. We are going to describe and refer to this dial as “stone wash” denim!

The 16803 is a scarce reference # marking the introduction and first generation of 2 tone Submariners in 1984. Production of this model continued for only a few years before being replaced by the 16618 reference powered by the 3135 movement. The 16618’s all utilized the gold surround lume dials while only the earliest of the 16803s used the vintage nipple dial as the current example.

Featuring a 40mm diameter SS/18K YG case with sapphire crystal, early style original nipple dial and unidirectional elapsed time bezel with faded blue insert. With original tight for it’s age Rolex SS/18K YG 93150 Oyster bracelet 493 end pieces and matching date code I6 with flip lock clasp.

It is well known that the blue paint on vintage Rolex dials is not very stable, and we see many lightly faded blue dials. This dial shows a rich aged look, with patina’d tritium lume nipple indexes, original aged tritium lume hands, and matching aged pearl in the aged elapsed time bezel. The case of this watch appears to be never polished, with especially beefy lug case. The bracelet has been lightly detailed. Bracelet contains 12 links plus diver’s extension and will comfortably fit a 7 1/4″ wrist.

Powered by Rolex caliber 3035 movement with quick set date. Recently serviced and in excellent mechanical condition. Guaranteed genuine as described, and offered with our 1 year warranty of accurate time keeping and operation. Your purchase includes one of our beautiful Italian leather watch travel pouches, a $55 value!

NOTE: A shout out to colleague and friend Sonny Dewan of Sonny’s Collections for teaching us about the 16803 reference #. Possibly the first example of this reference we have encountered!




Additional information


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