1970 Rolex Submariner ref. 1680 “Unpolished MK4, Vivid Patina, From Original Owner”

    The history behind this piece!

    “I am happy to pass along a little bit about the history of the watch and the times in which it was purchased. The watch was a gift for me in 1973 when I started graduate school at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I took the Scripps diving class because it was required for even experienced divers in order to participate in research diving. The instructor was Jimmy Stewart. He was an important part of the diving scene in California in the 1970s and leader of the research diving program. I asked him what type of diving watch to get. He told me that about the only old and worn diving watches that you ever saw were Rolexes and that was what I should get. In the end I didn’t do much research diving. Most of my research was on ships. The watch was purchased in Guam. A family friend was a captain for the American Presidents Line and he got the watch at a navy exchange on one of his trips. The original receipt and sales slip are included. (Sorry I looked very carefully and can not find any other paperwork. I know a collector would wish to have it.) I completed my education and ended up working at Scripps for my entire career. During this period I just wore the watch. I didn’t have another. I sent it in to have it cleaned and checked about every 5 years.

    In the year 2000 things changed. My wife and I decided to retire and go on an extended cruise on our boat. The plan was to start in Mexico and then go south to Panama and perhaps finally go through the canal and then up the east coast of the US. We more or less did this. We traveled for a few years in Mexico and then were in Panama for more than 5 years where we spent a lot of time in the San Blas Islands. We visited Belize, the offshore islands of Colombia and Honduras and went up the Rio Dulce in Guatemala and then up and down the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway a couple of times. I knew when we started that some of these places were not necessarily where I wold want to wear a Rolex. So I put it in our safe deposit box in about the year 2000 and there it sat. I believe it was a few years earlier when it was last cleaned and oiled. Eventually we made our way back to Southern California where we are currently cruising aboard our boat. The watch remained in the safe deposit box. Then one day quite recently I read a story in the New York Times (March 20, 2019; ‘Watches are another easy way rich people make their money into more money’). It got me to thinking about that old watch of mine. I did a little looking on the internet and was very surprised to learn how enthusiastic people are about these watches. I gave it some thought and decided that I probably wouldn’t wear it again. So, more looking on the internet. The result is the watch that you are holding in your hand. I don’t recall that it ever needed any sort of repairs or any changing of parts or that sort of thing when it was cleaned. I have been it’s only owner and probably the only person that has worn it. It should be all original and the nicks and scratches are all due to me. So, that’s the story. I hope you enjoy it very much.” – Tom H.

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