Geneva, May 07, 2022

LOT 112


CHF 80,000 - 120,000

EUR 80,000 - 120,000 / USD 86,000 - 130,000 / HKD 680,000 - 1,010,000

Sold: CHF 187,500

A fine and very rare, self-winding, stainless steel diver's wristwatch gifted by Henri Delauze, founder of Comex

Grading System
Case: 2-8

Very good

Slightly scratched

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original

Brand Rolex

Model Submariner

Reference 16800

Year circa 1982

Case No. 7298191

Bracelet stainless steel Rolex bracelet (93150/593), approx. overall length 168 mm.

Diameter 40 mm.

Caliber 3035, 27 jewels

Signature Dial, case and movement signed

Accessories original fitted box (missing insert), punched warranty, booklets, calendar card, hang tag, Rolex Paris service receipt dated 1988, Henri Delauze Comex business card


While the Rolex Submariner kept improving with technological advances, the 16800 was the successor to the 1680 and was featured with a much more resistant sapphire crystal replacing the plastic ones used until now. Made from 1980 to 1988, the most desirable example are the ones featuring a matt dial that was only produced in the first couple of years before being replaced by the white gold surround indexes.

As pioneer in the world of underwater professional work, Rolex started collaborating with Comex starting in the 1970's. Issued directly to the Comex company, these were often recognisable by the logo on the dial and the large attribution number on the casebacks. From our experience there are basically 2 types of Comex watches: those that were lent or given to divers to use on an every day basis and those given to collaborators or friends of Comex such as this example.

At the beginning of the 1980's, Comex was encountering financial difficulties. After trying hard to find funds, Henri Delauze knocked on the door of a French public works company whose financial director offered them a solution that allowed Mr Delauze to obtain sufficient funds but also to keep the operational control of the company. This director became a member of the board and participated in many strategic meetings. He became a close friend of Mr Delauze and acquired 1% of the capital for himself. One day after a meeting Henri Delauze called him to his office and gifted him with the 16800. Finding the watch too heavy for his wrist and preferring a more discreet dial than the Comex logo, he kept the watch in impeccable condition only wearing it on very rare occasions. Never having worked underwater, this 16800 Comex has been kept in excellent overall condition, complete with its documentation and provenance. Believed to have been produced in only about 25 examples with a matt dial, this is without a doubt the nicest 16800 Comex with Matt Dial we have ever offered at auction.


Property of the original owner