Rolex is one of the most prestigious watch brands in the world, and the Rolex Submariner is one of its most iconic models. The Submariner is a classic dive watch that has been a favorite among collectors and enthusiasts for decades. A less known reference is the Submariner 168000 (also known as triple 0). It's a unique a limited run (Rolex doesn't do special editions but that's the closest there has been in history) and less sought-after model in the vintage collector market.
The Submariner 168000 was produced for a very limited time: 7-9 months before moving the next reference. The Reference 168000 is a unique and highly sought-after model in the Submariner lineup because it's limited run and few technical advancements that made the reference 168000 the pillar of all modern Submariners.
With a 40mm stainless steel case that is water-resistant up to 300 meters; the case is equipped with a screw-down crown and a unidirectional rotating bezel with an aluminum insert. The 168000 was the first ever submariner to use what today we call Oystersteel, a steel alloy specific to the brand, belonging to the 904L steel family. This steel particularly resistant to corrosion retaning flexibility for case design it's famous to acquires an exceptional sheen when polished. Today 904L steels are commonly used in high-technology and in the aerospace and chemical industries.
The 168000 was the original Submariner that projected it into the future.
The dial of the Submariner Reference 168000 is black and features luminous hour markers and hands. The hour markers and hands are coated with Rolex's proprietary Chromalight luminescent material, which makes them easy to read in low-light conditions. The dial also features a date window at the 3 o'clock position, which is equipped with a quickset date function. The quickset date function allows the wearer to easily set the date by turning the crown in the second position.
Equipped with Rolex's Calibre 3035 self-winding movement, a high-precision movement that is known for its reliability and accuracy. with a power reserve of approximately 48 hours and certified as a chronometer by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). The movement features a Parachrom hairspring, which is made of a unique alloy that is resistant to temperature variations and shocks.
When launched the 168000 had a water resistance rating of 300 meters (1000 feet), which made it suitable for professional diving but already hinting to upper luxury market for it's strenghts and durability. The case is equipped with a screw-down crown, which ensures that the watch is water-resistant even when the crown is unscrewed. The crown is also protected by a crown guard, which prevents it from being accidentally turned while underwater. Normally models that went under revision can provide good water resistance today.
The bezel is unidirectional (first in what Rolex then kept today) making the first Submariner with a unirectional bezel. The aluminum insert on the bezel is durable and scratch-resistant today as it was back then, with the patina emerging from extensive use. The markings would remain legible for years to come, a statement to Rolex durability.
It features a luminous dial that made it easy to read in low-light conditions. All the tritium dials lose their luminescece within 10years or so so we can expect vintage pieces to be non-readible at night (unless new lumes was added to much of vintage collectors despair). The Chromalight luminescent material used on the hour markers and hands was emitting a bright blue glow that would have lasts longer than traditional luminescent materials in the late 80's. The luminous triangle on the bezel was also easy to read in the dark, making it an essential feature for divers of the time.
The 168000 is equipped with the Calibre 3035 self-winding movement, which is known for its reliability and accuracy. One of the legendary movements that made Rolex what it is today. The Parachrom hairspring used in the movement is resistant to temperature variations and shocks, ensuring that the watch remains accurate even in harsh conditions. The movement is also certified as a chronometer by the COSC, which means that it has passed rigorous testing and meets the highest standards of accuracy.
The168000 is designed for both style and comfort. The bracelet is equipped with a folding Oysterlock safety clasp with an Easylink 5mm extension link, which allows the wearer to adjust the bracelet length for a perfect fit. The case is also relatively thin, which makes it comfortable to wear for long periods and slide under your shirt for formal occasions.
The Reference 168000 is a unique and highly sought-after model in the vintage lineup. Its durable construction, precision movement, and iconic design make it a favorite among collectors and enthusiasts. Its design with the iconic transitional stainless steel case the black dial with luminous hour markers and hands, a unidirectional aluminum rotating bezel, makes it legendary. Equipped with Rolex's Calibre 3035 self-winding movement, known for its reliability and accuracy makes the168000 a vintange high-performance historic timepiece fitting the great traits that made Rolex known for durability, elegance and luxury. In doubt you should collect one as a truly remarkable limited run on one of the architects of the Submariner global success.