Buy, Sell, Consign or Trade Your Watches

Contact Us Now

Join Our Telegram Channel for The Latest Watch Deals! Join Now

7 Popular Vintage Rolex Models From The 1980s (2023 Prices)

Published on
Blog
rolex vintage watch

When it comes to vintage watch, nothing says classic like a Rolex. And the 1980s produced some of the best examples of this iconic watchmaker’s work. These best vintage Rolex models offer a unique blend of classic design and horological innovation, capturing the essence of the era.

The 80s marked a pivotal moment for vintage Rolex. Rolex produced new materials, technologies, and aesthetics into their lineup. From the iconic Submariner to the sophisticated Datejust, these vintage models showcase the craftsmanship and attention to detail that has made Rolex a household name.

In this article, we take a look at some of the decade’s best vintage Rolex produced models. We’ll also provide an overview of their design and features as well as why they still have a place among today’s collectors. So come along with us as we explore some of the decade’s greatest vintage Rolex timepieces and find yourself a bit of vintage Rolex glamor.

1. Rolex Submariner Date – Stainless Steel & Black Dial – Ref No. 16800

Rolex Submariner Date 16800

About

The Rolex Submariner Ref. 16800 holds a special place among vintage Rolex timepieces. Introduced in 1979, this iconic dive watch vintage Rolex represented a significant upgrade to the Submariner line, combining both vintage and modern elements while maintaining the brand’s renowned quality and functionality.

Features

The Rolex Submariner served as a transitional model in the Submariner lineage, maintaining some traditional features while introducing several innovations to the collection. The watch still uses a stainless steel Oyster case, making it a robust tool watch suitable for everyday wear.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 1986
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Matte dial without white gold hour markers
    • Bracelet – Stainless steel Oyster bracelet with folding clasp
    • Bezel – Unidirectional rotating bezel with 60-minute graduations
  • Function: Time with running seconds, date function with Cyclops lens
  • Mechanism: Rolex Submariner reference 16800 has an automatic caliber 3035 movements with Quickset date, 48-hour power reserve, and hacking seconds

2. Rolex GMT-Master II “Fat Lady” – Stainless Steel & Black Dial – Ref No. 16760

Rolex GMT-Master 16760

About

The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16760, also known as the “Fat Lady” or “Coke” bezel, is a vintage Rolex watch that has gained popularity among collectors and enthusiasts. This iconic timepiece was designed primarily for pilots, allowing them to track multiple time zones simultaneously. The Ref. 16760 was a significant step forward in the GMT-Master line, introducing new features and upgrades that made it a unique and desirable piece.

Features

It operates at 28,800vph, ensuring precise timekeeping. The watch features a date display at 3 o’clock, luminous hour markers and hands for optimal readability, and a stainless steel Oyster bracelet with a foldover clasp for a comfortable and secure fit. It also boasts a water resistance of up to 100 meters, making it a durable and reliable timepiece for daily wear and travel.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 1988
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black with luminous hour markers
    • Bracelet – Oyster bracelet in stainless steel
    • Bezel – Bidirectional rotating bezel with red and black “Coke” insert
  • Function: Time, date, and GMT hand for tracking multiple time zones
  • Mechanism: Rolex Caliber 3085 automatic movement

3. Rolex Sea-Dweller – Stainless Steel & Black Dial – Ref No. 16660

Rolex Sea-Dweller 16660

About

The Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 16660, affectionately known as the “Triple Six,” is a remarkable vintage timepiece celebrated for its impressive water resistance and professional diving capabilities. Its robust design and advanced features have made it a favorite among divers and watch collectors alike.

Features

The Sea-Dweller 16660 is equipped with a unidirectional rotatable bezel and a screw-down crown for optimal water resistance. The black dial displays luminous hour markers and Mercedes-style hands, ensuring excellent legibility in low-light conditions. The watch is powered by the reliable Rolex Caliber 3035 movement with a quickset date function, offering precision and convenience.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 1978-1988
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black
    • Bracelet – Stainless steel
    • Bezel – Rotatable bezel
  • Function: Hours, minute, second, Date displays
  • Mechanism: Rolex caliber 3035

4. Rolex Day-Date President – Yellow Gold & Gold Dial – Ref No. 18038

Rolex Day-Date President 18038

About

The Rolex Day-Date President Ref. 18038, released in 1977, is a vintage timepiece that offers a mix of vintage charm and modern-day functionality. Known as one of the best value propositions in Rolex’s history, it appeals to watch enthusiasts and collectors alike. 

Known for its signature President bracelet, day and date display, and beautiful 18k yellow gold construction, this watch is a valid symbol of success and status. Its elegant design, combined with Rolex’s unparalleled craftsmanship, makes this timepiece a must-have for any serious collector.

Features

The eye-catching white gold side dial showcases stick hour markers, along with a day display at 12 o’clock and a date display at 3 o’clock. The timepiece is completed with an 18k yellow and white gold and President bracelet, which includes a concealed folding Crownclasp for a seamless appearance.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 1977
  • Case Size: 36mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Gold
    • Bracelet – President-style bracelet in 18k yellow gold
    • Bezel – Fluted bezel
  • Function: Day and date displays
  • Mechanism: Powered by automatic movement, the Ref. 18038 includes a single quickset feature, allowing for easy adjustments to the displayed date

5. Rolex Day-Date 36 President – Yellow Gold & Silver Dial – Ref No. 18078

Rolex Day-Date President 18078

About

The Rolex Day-Date President Ref. 18078 is a vintage timepiece that represents the craftsmanship and prestige of the Rolex brand. Known for its luxurious design and bold appearance, this watch makes a statement while showcasing the reliability and precision that Rolex is known for. The 18078 has become a sought-after variant of the iconic Day-Date President lineup, making it a potential investment piece for watch enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Features

The Ref. 18078 offers a range of unique features, solidifying its place among Rolex’s most distinguished offerings. A bark-finished bezel that adds a distinctive touch to the overall design. Day and date functions, with the day displayed at 12 o’clock and the date at 3 o’clock. A variety of dial options, including the rare and sought-after Tiger’s Eye stone dial.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 1979
  • Case Size: 36mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Silver
    • Bracelet – President-style bracelet in 18k yellow gold
    • Bezel – Yellow gold
  • Function: Day and date displays
  • Mechanism: Powered by automatic movement

6. Rolex Milgauss – Stainless Steel & White Dial – Ref No. 1019

Rolex Milgauss 1019

About

The Rolex Milgauss Ref No. 1019, with its stainless steel case and stunning white dial, is an exceptional timepiece from the 1980s. This watch is unique due to its ability to withstand magnetic fields. Its clean and minimalistic design, combined with its anti-magnetic properties, make the Milgauss a truly distinctive Rolex timepiece.

Features

The Milgauss features a Swiss automatic movement Caliber 1580, with 26 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. It’s self-winding, which means the spring winds itself with help from the wearer’s wrist movements. The primary function of the Milgauss Ref. 1019 is its anti-magnetic capabilities. Designed for professionals working in high magnetic field environments, this Rolex was able to withstand 1,000 gauss.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 1978
  • Case Size: 38mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black matte aluminum or satined silvered dial
    • Bracelet – Oyster steel
    • Bezel – Smooth steel bezel
  • Function: Time-only, anti-magnetic
  • Mechanism: Calibre 1580

7. Rolex Daytona – Stainless Steel & Black White Dial – Ref No. 6263

Rolex Daytona 6263

About

The Rolex Daytona Reference 6263 is a stunningly vintage timepiece that exudes both style and sophistication. This sought-after model boasts a stainless steel case, black bezel, and a contrasting black and white “Panda” dial, making it stand out from the crowd. The screw-down pushers and Valjoux 727 movement make it a reliable and durable choice for any discerning collector.

Features

The Rolex Daytona 6263 features a manual-winding Valjoux 727 movement, with a beat frequency of 21,600 vph and 17 jewels, ensuring exceptional accuracy and precision. Its stainless steel Oyster bracelet with a foldover clasp provides a secure and comfortable fit, while the 100m water resistance ensures the watch can handle everyday wear with ease. 

Specifications

  • Production Year: 1981
  • Case Size: 37mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black matte aluminum or satined silvered dial
    • Bracelet – Oyster steel
    • Bezel – Smooth steel bezel
  • Function: Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds
  • Mechanism: Manual winding

Market Price

If you’re in the market for a vintage Rolex watches, knowing the market prices is essential to ensure you’re getting a good deal. Here are some key features and market prices for popular Rolex vintage watch.

ModelKey FeaturesMarket Price
Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 16800Sapphire crystal, quick-set date function, 300m water resistanceS$21,691
Rolex GMT-Master II “Fat Lady” Ref. 16760First GMT-Master II, thicker case, independently adjustable hour handS$19,472
Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 16660Helium escape valve, 4,000ft/1,220m water resistance, sapphire crystalS$19,842
Rolex Day-Date President Ref. 18038 18k yellow gold, day & date display, President braceletS$21,631
Rolex Day-Date President Ref. 1807818k yellow gold, textured bark bezel, President braceletS$20,934
Rolex Milgauss Ref. 1019Anti-magnetic shield, unique lightning bolt seconds hand, smooth bezelS$52,167
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263Black and white “Panda” dial, manual-winding Valjoux 727 movement, acrylic tachymeter bezelS$187,652

Please note that the pre-owned prices mentioned are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as condition, rarity, and market demand.

Final Word

Vintage watches from Rolex are timeless pieces of art that are still appreciated today. The best Rolex models from the 1980s are some of the most sought-after vintage timepieces, with their signature style and classic quality. Whether you’re looking for a classic GMT-Master II, a rugged Submariner, or a timeless Daytona, there is a vintage Rolex for every taste and budget.

Key Takeaways

  • The 1980s brought forth an array of remarkable Rolex models that continue to captivate today.
  • These vintage timepieces embody a combination of classic aesthetics, horological advancements, and Rolex’s renowned workmanship.
  • The Rolex Submariner, GMT-Master II, Sea-Dweller, Day-Date President, Milgauss, and Daytona stand out as some of the most celebrated models from this era.

If you’re considering adding vintage Rolex watches to your collection, look no further than Watch Exchange Singapore, a trusted source for trading Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tissot, Sinn, Zenith, and other luxury timepieces. Find your next watch today or list your item for free!


WhatsApp Us