This happened three years ago. I was 21 at the time, and had saved a couple bucks, enough to buy my first Rolex. I wanted something special and unique, not modern and common. After a lot of waiting and looking I found a perfect matte 16800 from my birthyear -1985. It was mine. I wore it everyday and always on a NATO. I took the watch on vacation around the world, diving, everything. I don’t have too many pics of it, but here is one of me wearing it while shooting in Hawaii. Well one morning I decided to put the oyster back on, and went off to work just like every other day.
A customer happened to walk in and we were talking. I noticed his watch, an old Rolex. Casually mentioning to him that I liked it, he showed it to me. WOW…an original red 1680 on a terribly beat up oyster. It had led a rough life. The Cyclops was long gone and the crystal was warped. I suspect its case was never polished. The band was just as bad, barely holding itself together at the clasp. But, its dial and hands were nice and matched, plus it had its original fat font insert - sans pearl, however this was jammed at two o’clock. I showed him my newer, but still matte Sub in wonderful condition, he liked the sapphire crystal, tight oyster, and usable bezel.
Well….how about you take my nice new submariner and I take your old junk? It was time to take a quick break at work and step outside. Sure enough after a five minute conversation I had an old 1680. And about two minutes later he walked off with my first Rolex on his wrist, never to be seen again. I looked at what I had just done, does that say Rolex on the dial? I can’t see through the scratches!!
An overhaul and new crystal later it was looking pretty, but I want my 1985 matte 16800 back. There is nothing like that first Rolex you worked hard to buy yourself. As cool as the red is, the 16800 was much more usable for me, and kept better time. It still retained its vintage charm with its original dial and hands, plus I dove with it. The 1680 isnt my daily like my first one was, and I miss that. I should have just waited a year or two and bought a red if I wanted one that bad. Lesson learned, no impulse trades.