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Old 4 January 2017, 01:58 AM   #1
stevedssd
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White 1680 Original and Service Dials

ROLEX 1680 WHITE ORIGINAL AND SERVICE DIALS

Much has been written about the Red 1680 dials but in terms of both the original White dials and Service replacement dials, there are some great threads on the forum but no overall summary and some areas particularly in respect of service dials are not set out in a single thread.

White 1680’s will never achieve the market values of Red’s but in the UK at least they are becoming much harder to find. As I type there are just three White 1680’s for sale in the UK on Chrono 24. One is a Red with a White Service dial, another a White with a Service dial, leaving just one White with an original dial.

I don’t profess to be an expert, just someone with a sad obsession for the White 1680 dials and I know that there are members with extensive knowledge, who will be able to provide further input. I must warn you that the more you stare at the dials, the more the text seems to move!

It would be remiss of me not to set out right at the start, that so much of my research led me to work previously conducted by Marchello Pisani and without his incredible knowledge much of what follows would not have been possible.

ORIGINAL DIALS

Rolex did not manufacture the dials for the White1680 and instead used the dial manufacturers Lemrich and Beyeler. Three different dials were produced commonly referred to as Marks 1,2 and 3. All three Marks of dial are found in watches across the entire serial number range for White 1680’s, so they were in use simultaneously, rather than one Mark following another.

Mk1

The Mk1 dial was made by Lemrich, key points to note are the shape of the Coronet with long spikes and a small mass of white at the bottom; the L in Rolex centred underneath the coronet, the sixes in 660 are closed and directly underneath the SUB of Submariner. The F in ft is quite upright.

The back of Lemrich 1680 dials have a stamped set of numbers that begin with 121

http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483458840

http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483458840

Mk2

The Mk2 dial was made by Beyeler, key points to note are the shape of the Coronet with shorter spikes and a larger mass of white at the bottom; the L in Rolex is positioned to the left of the centre underneath the coronet, the sixes in 660 are closed and on a line of text that is shorter than SUBMARINER above. The F in ft starts directly under the right end of the letter M above, whereas on the Mk1 and Mk3 it starts in the middle of the letter M above.
http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483457322
http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483457322

Mk3

The Mk3 dial was also made by Lemrich and is very similar to the Mk1, with the same shaped Coronet with long spikes and a small mass of white at the bottom. The main difference from the Mk1 is that the L in Rolex is to the left of centre and the F in ft has more of a slope than the Mk1. Like the Mk1 the sixes in 660 are closed and directly underneath the SUB of Submariner. The back of the dial has a stamped set of numbers beginning with 121 as per the Mk1.
http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483457594

WHITE 1680 SERVICE DIALS

All the White Service Dials were manufactured by Beyeler and then from around the mid 90’s by Rolex themselves (Beyeler was taken over by Rolex in 2000).

The evolution of Beyeler dial backs is important in evidencing that the service dials were made after the White 1680 had ceased production and so could not have been originally installed.

The following thread by Marchello, sets out the evolution of Beyeler dial backs and from that what an original 1680 White dial back would look like compared to the later produced service dials.

http://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=193211

Originally installed White Mk2 dials had the repeating Beyeler Geneve punch shown above.

Beyeler’s punch then changed to numerical and letter B
http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483457781

Then to a single letter B
http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483457891

Then Rolex produced dials that looked like this
http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483457980


There are three basic designs of 1680 White Service Dial, which I’ll denote as Types A,B and C, so as not to confuse with the original dial Marks.

Type A
http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483458109
The coronet is different to both the Lemrich and Beyeler dials but has some similarities to the Lemrich original. The L in Rolex is to the left of centre of the coronet. The sixes in 660 are closed. The most obvious difference to the original dials is on the text line below SUBMARINER, in particular the narrow spacing either side of the = sign and the top of the letter F starting under the letter A in SUBMARINER.

Type B
http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483458211
This is the same as the Type A but has clearly open sixes compared to the closed or virtually closed sixes in the Type A.

Type C
http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483458352
This service dial closely resembles the Mk2 Bayeler original dial, with the same coronet and general layout of wording on the dial, including the wider spacing around the = sign as seen on the original. The most obvious difference is that the original dial has closed sixes, whereas the service dial has open sixes in 660, as can be seen above.

Sometimes the variations of the dial printing process makes the distinctions between open and closed sixes less obvious, with some original dials having sixes that appear ever so slightly open and some open sixes appearing almost closed.

There are some more subtle differences between the original Mk2 and Type C service dial, to help differentiate.

Below are images with an Original dial on top and Service dial below it for comparison:
http://www.rolexforums.com/attachmen...1&d=1483458530
Key differences include the much narrower gap between the third and fourth lines of text on the Service dial and Swiss T being slightly closer to the minute markers with < touching the marker.

Tritium ‘Toothpaste” and Luminova

Whilst there are three basic design types of service dial, they were each made with either Tritium, Luminova or “Toothpaste” applied to the markers. Toothpaste refers to a creamy toothpaste like substance that has the appearance of tritium, that was applied to the plots to look the same but without any form of luminescence.
In addition Service dials can be marked SWISS or SWISS - T < 25, the latter even if they are not Tritium.

I've had a few technical difficulties, so if the photo's are duplicated below please ignore them until I can edit again :)

Last edited by stevedssd; 4 January 2017 at 02:35 AM.. Reason: Photo's not correctly positioned
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Old 4 January 2017, 12:17 PM   #2
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Great post!!! One quick suggestion, could you mark the photos or edit them to contain the verbiage "service dial" to identify those that are service dials. Also, in the Mark II and III dial photos, some of the lettering and/or coronets are covered by the hands which makes comparisons a little difficult.

Great job and thanks for your time.

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Old 5 January 2017, 03:47 AM   #3
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Great post!!! One quick suggestion, could you mark the photos or edit them to contain the verbiage "service dial" to identify those that are service dials. Also, in the Mark II and III dial photos, some of the lettering and/or coronets are covered by the hands which makes comparisons a little difficult.

Great job and thanks for your time.

jP
Thanks will do!
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Old 5 January 2017, 04:37 AM   #4
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I applaud your efforts.

The three production 1680 white dials are fairly well documented, Mk1, Mk2, and Mk3.
When identifying these dials I try to focus on a few characteristics: the shape of the coronet, the position of the L in Rolex under the coronet, position of the = sign underneath the A in the depth rating, and how the CERTIFIED text lines up under the CHRONOMETER text.

For the Mk1: the L is directly under the coronet, the = sign is directly under the A, and the CE in CERTIFIED line up directly under the CH in CHRONOMETER. Of note the 6's are closed.

For the Mk2: the coronet is a totally different shape than the mk1, the L is shifted to the left under the coronet, the = sign is slightly to the right of center under the A, and the CERTIFIED text is slightly shifted to the left under the CHRONOMETER text. Please note that the 6's appear closed but upon magnification they may be semi closed much like the mk5 red sub. Also note there have been some dials called mk2 dials with a slightly different coronet.

For the Mk3: the coronet has a distinctive shape and the L under has a bunch of serif on the top. To my eyes the L lies just to the left of center, the = sign is slightly to the left under the A, and the CERTIFIED text is shifted to the right under CHRONOMETER. Please note the sixes are closed.

The reason I look at all these characteristics of a given dial is because when people fake a dial for the most part they will combine different characteristics of a couple dials into a fake dial. For instance if you saw what appeared to be a Mk1 white dial with all the correct characteristics but upon closer examination you realized that the CERTIFIED text was shifted to the right under CHRONOMETER you would be correct in calling it an incorrect dial.


The service dials remain a bit of an enigma because for some of the examples there weren't just that many of them made and not many owners who have them have openly inquired about their authenticity. A few years ago I received an email from a guy asking about his 1680 white dial. It did not fit any of the characteristics of the dials I had seen before, but it looked too good to be a fake. I shot a pic to Marcello, and he confirmed for me that the dial was in fact a seldom seen service dial.

The characteristics I have found in the commonly seen service dials are the following: typically the L is shifted to the left under the coronet, in some cases way to the left, the 6's are many times open or semi closed, and the F extends over the t in feet in the depth rating. This is a readily seen characteristic in many service dials that is also seen in Sea Dweller service dials as well. However, please don't confuse this with the F over the T in the 1665 Rail Dial.

The "tooth paste" or "caulk" looking tritium substitute is also a sure sign of a service dial. I have some dials with the normal appearing tritium and the same dial font with the "toothpaste" appearing substitute, leading me to wonder whether both are service dials just from different time periods.

In closing here is a great thread that tackles much of the issue

http://www.rolexforums.com/showthrea...arcello&page=2

Wishing everyone on TRF a great 2017
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Old 5 January 2017, 04:39 AM   #5
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Outstanding! Thanks for all of the work and sharing the information. Very helpful.

I've always wondered why we see so many more red 1680s for sale than white versions. Collectors seem to find the red ones cooler, of course (at more than double the price in many cases), but I'm not sure the white versions are any less rare. Aesthetically, I actually prefer the white 1680s. They're just cleaner to my eye. I've owned both but now only have the white one.
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Old 5 January 2017, 06:35 AM   #6
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Updated photos

Based on feedback please find below an easier to read set of photo's that follow the original thread.
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Old 5 January 2017, 06:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Beaumont Miller II View Post
I applaud your efforts.

The three production 1680 white dials are fairly well documented, Mk1, Mk2, and Mk3.
When identifying these dials I try to focus on a few characteristics: the shape of the coronet, the position of the L in Rolex under the coronet, position of the = sign underneath the A in the depth rating, and how the CERTIFIED text lines up under the CHRONOMETER text.

For the Mk1: the L is directly under the coronet, the = sign is directly under the A, and the CE in CERTIFIED line up directly under the CH in CHRONOMETER. Of note the 6's are closed.

For the Mk2: the coronet is a totally different shape than the mk1, the L is shifted to the left under the coronet, the = sign is slightly to the right of center under the A, and the CERTIFIED text is slightly shifted to the left under the CHRONOMETER text. Please note that the 6's appear closed but upon magnification they may be semi closed much like the mk5 red sub. Also note there have been some dials called mk2 dials with a slightly different coronet.

For the Mk3: the coronet has a distinctive shape and the L under has a bunch of serif on the top. To my eyes the L lies just to the left of center, the = sign is slightly to the left under the A, and the CERTIFIED text is shifted to the right under CHRONOMETER. Please note the sixes are closed.

The reason I look at all these characteristics of a given dial is because when people fake a dial for the most part they will combine different characteristics of a couple dials into a fake dial. For instance if you saw what appeared to be a Mk1 white dial with all the correct characteristics but upon closer examination you realized that the CERTIFIED text was shifted to the right under CHRONOMETER you would be correct in calling it an incorrect dial.


The service dials remain a bit of an enigma because for some of the examples there weren't just that many of them made and not many owners who have them have openly inquired about their authenticity. A few years ago I received an email from a guy asking about his 1680 white dial. It did not fit any of the characteristics of the dials I had seen before, but it looked too good to be a fake. I shot a pic to Marcello, and he confirmed for me that the dial was in fact a seldom seen service dial.

The characteristics I have found in the commonly seen service dials are the following: typically the L is shifted to the left under the coronet, in some cases way to the left, the 6's are many times open or semi closed, and the F extends over the t in feet in the depth rating. This is a readily seen characteristic in many service dials that is also seen in Sea Dweller service dials as well. However, please don't confuse this with the F over the T in the 1665 Rail Dial.

The "tooth paste" or "caulk" looking tritium substitute is also a sure sign of a service dial. I have some dials with the normal appearing tritium and the same dial font with the "toothpaste" appearing substitute, leading me to wonder whether both are service dials just from different time periods.

In closing here is a great thread that tackles much of the issue

http://www.rolexforums.com/showthrea...arcello&page=2

Wishing everyone on TRF a great 2017
Incredible knowledge and thank you so much for the offer of help.
This is what makes the Vintage Forum and collecting vintage timepieces such fun
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Old 5 January 2017, 06:55 AM   #8
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Outstanding! Thanks for all of the work and sharing the information. Very helpful.

I've always wondered why we see so many more red 1680s for sale than white versions. Collectors seem to find the red ones cooler, of course (at more than double the price in many cases), but I'm not sure the white versions are any less rare. Aesthetically, I actually prefer the white 1680s. They're just cleaner to my eye. I've owned both but now only have the white one.
I agree there were 6 Red 1680's on Chrono24 for sale in the UK when i checked 2 days ago and only 3 Whites, now there is only one White!

That said there are not many sports Rolex of any sort for sale in the UK at the moment!
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Old 5 January 2017, 07:18 AM   #9
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I have a Boston. He is 13
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Old 6 January 2017, 06:16 AM   #10
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I have a Boston. He is 13
Great choice, my little fella is 3 and very laid back, unlike his 9 month old Boston step-sister.........who is nuts
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Old 6 January 2017, 10:44 PM   #11
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Thanks for compiling all that wealth of info!!
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Old 7 January 2017, 06:37 AM   #12
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Thanks for compiling all that wealth of info!!
Thanks Yannis
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Old 10 November 2017, 12:58 PM   #13
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Sorry to revive a relatively old thread, but thank you stevedssd for this information. I’ve really enjoyed the forum so far because of excellent threads like this one. I am proud to wear my 1680 white sub and happy to know it seems to fit all criteria of a Mark 1 Dial. Thanks again!
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Old 10 November 2017, 07:09 PM   #14
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Sorry to revive a relatively old thread, but thank you stevedssd for this information. I’ve really enjoyed the forum so far because of excellent threads like this one. I am proud to wear my 1680 white sub and happy to know it seems to fit all criteria of a Mark 1 Dial. Thanks again!
That's a beauty of a Mk1
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Old 10 November 2017, 11:51 PM   #15
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That's a beauty of a Mk1
Thank you!
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Old 12 November 2017, 12:25 AM   #16
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Great review. Thank you very much for consolidating all this great info. I have read and re-read this several times while clicking back-and-forth with different dial photos. It's sorta like "Where's Waldo."
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Old 12 November 2017, 03:16 AM   #17
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Great review. Thank you very much for consolidating all this great info. I have read and re-read this several times while clicking back-and-forth with different dial photos. It's sorta like "Where's Waldo."
Yes it all becomes a bit obsessive in the end
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Old 12 November 2017, 06:44 AM   #18
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Thanks for this Steve, great job!!
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Old 23 November 2017, 01:53 PM   #19
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In addition to the service dial indicators mentioned, to my eye it appears the first 0 in the 200m depth rating sits to the left of the first o in chronometer in each service dial variation. In each of the original dial versions the first zero in 200m is even with or to the right of the first o of chronometer.

To the experts - is that a reliable distinction to look for in your experience?
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Old 24 November 2017, 05:43 AM   #20
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In addition to the service dial indicators mentioned, to my eye it appears the first 0 in the 200m depth rating sits to the left of the first o in chronometer in each service dial variation. In each of the original dial versions the first zero in 200m is even with or to the right of the first o of chronometer.

To the experts - is that a reliable distinction to look for in your experience?
Yes that's a good spot
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Old 24 November 2017, 10:11 PM   #21
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Hi,

I've just discovered yout thread. Great job !

I think that, officially, Beyeler was taken over by Rolex in 2010.

Concerning the service dials, maybe you forgot this one (rear is different).
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Old 26 November 2017, 08:38 PM   #22
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Hi,

I've just discovered yout thread. Great job !

I think that, officially, Beyeler was taken over by Rolex in 2010.

Concerning the service dials, maybe you forgot this one (rear is different).
Yes that is a "Type C" service dial with what I understand to be a newer Rolex design on the rear than the one I posted. I couldn't recall the source of my reference to Beyeler being acquired in 2000 but I believe it was a thread here.

I've just done a re-check and both an article in The (Swiss) Times on 28th June 2000 (link below) and an extract from Bloomberg (copied) show acquisition as being at the end of June 2000.

Le Temps
Publié mercredi 28 juin 2000 à 03:30.

https://www.letemps.ch/economie/2000...nt-beyeler-cie

I don't know much about the different Rolex stamped marks on the rear of dials or what the stamped numbers when present represent, so any input would be really appreciated. I think that for the initial phase when Rolex was being stamped on the back of dials, it was long before Beyeler was acquired by Rolex but again any input would be welcome, as it's the collective knowledge of forum members that makes the information on the Forum so valuable.

I hope this helps
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Old 27 November 2017, 04:29 AM   #23
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Thanks s

I also think this dial is the latest Rolex (Beyeler).

Concerning Beyeler, you're right too. Sorry but I replied too quickly and got a confused with that information :

"En 2010, les actifs et passifs de Beyeler & Cie SA envers les tiers sont repris par la société ROLEX SA. La société est radiée par suite de fusion."
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Old 27 November 2017, 05:55 AM   #24
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Thanks s

I also think this dial is the latest Rolex (Beyeler).

Concerning Beyeler, you're right too. Sorry but I replied too quickly and got a confused with that information :

"En 2010, les actifs et passifs de Beyeler & Cie SA envers les tiers sont repris par la société ROLEX SA. La société est radiée par suite de fusion."
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Old 2 February 2018, 06:54 AM   #25
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Thanks for all this. Proved extremely helpful in a debate I've been having over whether the below dial is MK 1 or 2 (if anyone else wants to weigh in--I say MK 1 based on the above info).
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Old 2 February 2018, 08:13 AM   #26
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Thank you for the hard work and excellent post. A wonderful reference.
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Old 2 February 2018, 10:30 PM   #27
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Thanks for all this. Proved extremely helpful in a debate I've been having over whether the below dial is MK 1 or 2 (if anyone else wants to weigh in--I say MK 1 based on the above info).
Yep that's a Mark 1
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Old 13 June 2018, 03:11 PM   #28
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Thanks for this very informative thread!

May I suggest some constructive feedback and offer more specific dial descriptions?

For example, to describe a Mark 1 dial I would change the description from "CE in CERTIFIED line up directly under the CH in CHRONOMETER" to "the letters CE in CERTIFIED line up directly below the letters HR in CHRONOMETER"

To describe the service dial, instead of stating "F extends over the t in feet in the depth rating", reword it to "the top arm of the letter F crosses above and over the stem of the letter t in feet depth rating"

Lastly, to describe a Mark 1 as having a centered L underneath the coronet, I would describe it as "the serif on top of the letter L in ROLEX is centered directly underneath the coronet base"

With that being said, I believe I have the Mark I dial. The thing I am confused about my dial is the "="sign is just a wee bit to the right of the A in SUBMARINER". Now granted this is looking at the dial at high magnification under a slit lamp.

Question: are there any reliable numbers on different Mark I,II,III and service dial production numbers? Which is the rarer variant? Just curious.

Thanks!

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Old 13 June 2018, 06:18 PM   #29
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Thanks for this very informative thread!

May I suggest some constructive feedback and offer more specific dial descriptions?

For example, to describe a Mark 1 dial I would change the description from "CE in CERTIFIED line up directly under the CH in CHRONOMETER" to "the letters CE in CERTIFIED line up directly below the letters HR in CHRONOMETER"

To describe the service dial, instead of stating "F extends over the t in feet in the depth rating", reword it to "the top arm of the letter F crosses above and over the stem of the letter t in feet depth rating"

Lastly, to describe a Mark 1 as having a centered L underneath the coronet, I would describe it as "the serif on top of the letter L in ROLEX is centered directly underneath the coronet base"

With that being said, I believe I have the Mark I dial. The thing I am confused about my dial is the "="sign is just a wee bit to the right of the A in SUBMARINER". Now granted this is looking at the dial at high magnification under a slit lamp.

Question: are there any reliable numbers on different Mark I,II,III and service dial production numbers? Which is the rarer variant? Just curious.

Thanks!

AF1
Thanks for the suggestions, the strength of this forum is the contributions that we all make. The downside of looking at magnified images of dials is that after a while the text can almost seem to move before your eyes! If you can get your post count up to enable posting of a dial pic we can look to see what you have, the spacings on each dial variant are always the same. I am not aware of any record of the numbers of each dial produced, some of the more knowledgeable members may be able to say. Of the three original dials, if you look at postings of white 1680's on the forum and look at dials offered for sale, the Mklll tends to feature less frequently, although I wouldn't say it is rare.
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Old 6 October 2018, 12:10 AM   #30
daydatepiepan
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Hi lads, how does my 1680 white stack up? Cheers
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