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A 1997 Rolex Sabmariner Date 18K Gold and Stainless Steel automatic wristwatch. A classic watch that has the heritage of being a divers watch and the history of the Oyster Perpetual that combines to create a watch with an 18K yellow gold unidirectional bezel accented with a blue cerachrom insert. The bezel frames a blue dial with a magnified date window and Mercedes-style hands as well as a stitched leather strap bracelet with a stainless steel buckle clasp.


Brand: Rolex
Type: Wristwatch
Model Name: Submariner Date
Model Number: 16613
Bezel Material: 18K Yellow Gold
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Caseback Material: Stainless Steel
Movement: Rolex Cal.3135, 31 Jewels
Estimated Production Year: 1997
Markings to Inside: Montres Rolex S.A., Geneva Switzerland, Stainess Steel, Rolex S.A., 16610
Functions: Date Window, Screw Lock Crown, Unidirectional Bezel
Clasp Style: Buckle
Case to Case (mm): 40
Lug to Lug (mm): 47
Total Length: 9.75"
Bracelet/Fob Material: Leather, Stainless Steel
Bracelet/Fob Style: Strap
Total Weight (grams): 97.7


Rolex watches are entering into a period of short supply and rapidly escalating prices. In fact, some of the sports watches are appreciating at up to 30 percent per year and that means that they outstrip almost every other kind of fun investment like classic cars for instance. They are also easier to put in a drawer.


One of my all-time Rolex favorites is the Submariner and amongst the many colour choices there are two that I prefer above all the others. They are the Smurf, which is blue face and blue bezel in 18K white gold, and the Bluesey, which is this watch. Don’t like either nickname but oh well.

When the opportunity to buy this Submariner came up, I could not pass it by even though I already have the same watch in my personal collection. This watch came with a very good and quite expensive leather watchband by Everest specifically made to fit the Sub. As good as it is I really needed to present the watch with an original bracelet in 18K and stainless.


I contacted an AD and they priced one out for me at 7 thousand dollars. That seemed a bit extreme especially for a band that was not numbers matching despite the Rolex paperwork.

As an aside, what on earth happens to original bracelets? Do people take them off and just throw them out or leave them in the back of a jewelry drawer. No idea but it does seem odd to me. Perhaps they just don’t know the value, or don’t care.


Anyway, back on point I started a search for an original period and numbers correct bracelet to go with the watch. Anything else just did not seem appropriate. After an extensive and often frustrating search I found one. I had almost pulled the trigger on another but it was over polished and then worn abusively it seems after the polish so first, a poor match for this watch’s condition and two, it was beyond any further help as far as I could see. The seller also wanted almost as much as Rolex wanted for a new one so, no.


I persevered and found the correct bracelet. Happily this bracelet was even better in person than in the photographs and while quite expensive it was still within reason.

So there you are, the saga of the little Bluesey Submariner 16613. One of the Submariners that just looks better that most of the others and now with two bands rather than just one.

Runs well and as all watches we guarantee it for two years against the unexpected suspension of time. Of course this guarantee is about the mechanical bits of the watch. If your parachute doesn’t open it does void the warrantee.


David Charles Grainger

1997 Rolex Submariner Date Blue Dial 18K Gold and Stainless Steel Automatic

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