Description: The matte dial, meter’s-first variant dial is one of the most collectable vintage submariners out there. Known for a period in time where Rolex’s sales were not primarily in North America, the metric standard was prioritized and thus “200m” came before the American Standardized “660ft” measurement. This quickly changed as the consumption of Rolex watches in the United States ramped up surpassing European sales. As a result the “ft-first” dial came in late 69 and carried forward to this day.
This meter’s first is also nicknamed the day-glow dial. A brief period between late 1966-67, Rolex experimented with different tritium mixtures that resulted in different results. This mixture was believed to have been combined with zinc sulfide resulting in lume that still reacts today under strong UV. The nickname comes from this ability to still react in strong sunlight or strong UV whereas the tritium dials that came later do not have the ability to glow today.