The Rolex Submariner is the iconic diver’s watch. Besides the fact that the model is the first wristwatch in history waterproofed to 100 meters, the timepiece also impresses with its spectacular design, robust construction and high functionality. It is a uniquely sporty and masculine Rolex watch that has a light timeless elegance which echoes beyond conventions and trends, being equally modern and chic nowadays, after more than half a century since its debut.
The contemporary Submariner features a swift redesigned Oyster case, a highly legible dial with over-sized luminescent hour markers, an innovative uni-directional rotating Cerachrom bezel and full solid links Oyster bracelet. In terms of quality and performances the watch has come a long way since the original model was produced in 1953. These days, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner is a famous luxury collection of sports watches created for diving and appreciated for its outstanding resistance to corrosion and water. It is a classic among wristwatches, a very modern and fashionable model produced by one of the most renowned brands on the planet.
The Submariner was first manufactured in 1953, but it was unveiled in 1954 at the BaselWorld Watch Show. Back then, the model did not have a date window on the dial. This feature was added later on. The design of the original Submariner featured straight “pencil” style hands, smaller hour markers, a metallic bezel and a bracelet with hallow links. The watch was water resistant to 100 meters, a true record at that time. In fact, the Submariner was the first waterproofed wristwatch that was able to dive at this depth.
Even though the watch enjoyed amazing popularity right from the beginning, Rolex didn’t take anything for granted and continued to bring small, but important qualitative and aesthetical improvements that were meant to augment the value of this classic diver’s model. The readability of the dial was improved by redesigning the watch with larger hour markers and hands, a layout that now bears the name “Maxi Dial”. The hour markers that were initially coated with tritium- a radioactive substance- evolved until the SuperLuminova substance was developed by Rolex. This special material has a long lasting glow that is very intense in poor lightning conditions. The crown guards were also re-shaped as to offer maximum protection, the winding crown was improved with the triple-lock waterproofed system that ensures water resistance to depth of 300 meters, the aluminum bezel was replaced by the innovative Cerachrom one and the bracelet was created with full links and a Glidelock system.
In 2003, Rolex commemorated 50th years since the launch of the first Submariner by unveiling a special anniversary edition model with a distinctive design. The watch featured a vibrant green bezel and the modern Maxi Dial. The model was produced until 2010. Now it is a rare collectible and its value increases by the year.
In 2008, Rolex Submariner borrows the heavier crown guards and lugs of the GMT Master II, sports the new Cerachrom bezel and the Glidelock clasp. The launch of this version marked a new standard for all Submariner models. The innovations continued in 2012 with the addition of the better Chromalight hour markers and the blue Parachrom hairspring.
A few particularities of the Rolex Submariner include the unidirectional bezel that can memorize and track diving time, the highly legible dial that allows the wearer to read the time even in the darkest environments like when immersing at depths of 300 meters, the distinctive Rehaut inner bezel that features the repetitive word “Rolex” and the perpetual rotor in the self-winding wristwatch mechanism that enables the watch to run continuously as the movement is wound by the slightest motion of the wrist.
Rolex Submariner is also famous due to its substantial cinematographic contributions. This watch has starred in a few James Bond movies. Sean Connery wore it during his first four films: “Dr. No”, “From Russia with love”, “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball”. Then George Lazenby wore it in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, Roger Moore opted for a Submariner in “Live and let die” and “The man with the golden bun”. The last James Bond actor that sported a Submariner was Timothy Dalton in “License to kill”. It’s impossible to summarize the qualities and achievements of the Rolex Submariner. This iconic sports watch is a true classic among wristwatches, a timepiece that left its mark of the evolution of modern timepiece.
The Submariner is the archetype of the contemporary diving watch, a precise instrument that has conquered both the sea and land with its impressive aesthetic and functional attributes. Its incredible fame and legacy has made it a considerably popular choice among a very diverse range of watches enthusiasts, from older customers with a preference for traditional style to young and adventurous people with a taste for modern designed timepieces. The true beauty of the Submariner is that it can be found at the border between classic and contemporary, sporty and elegant.