The Submariner was launched in 1954 at the Swiss Watch Fair. Its name is extremely suggestive for its main function as it represents the firs timepiece that was created for deep sea diving. The earlier models were able to submerse to depths of 200 meters (660 feet), but now after decades of innovations the Submariner can dive to a maximum depth of 300 meters (980 feet). It is the quintessential diving watch, a dramatically precise instrument designed to assist professional divers on their adventurous explorations.
Given its fame and remarkable performances it is understandable why the watch was chosen by so many legendary figures to dress their wrists with elegance and distinction. The Rolex Submariner has been the 007 timepiece in eleven James Bond movies, the companion of actors like Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore and Sean Connery. In 1970, the watch was worn on the Ra II sea expedition by the famous Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdal. In the Antarctic, it endured temperatures of 45 degrees below zero Celsius while keeping accurate time. During the Moana sea expedition it withstood over 1,000 dives. The British Royal Navy requested a special edition Submariner to be created for its frogmen. And let’s not forget that Comex, the French diving company chose the Submariner as the standard instrument for its saturation divers. All these achievements are just a part of the numerous important successes that are part of the Submariner’s impressive heritage.
Many variations of the Rolex Submariner were created during its very long history, but by far the most luxurious and eye-catching one is the model 16618 with a blue dial, blue bezel and a full 18 k yellow gold case. This Rolex 18k gold Submariner was created and introduced in 1990. It is that type of watch that manages to maintain its value on this highly competitive and changing market even though many new models were launched since then. The 16618 Submariner is no longer being produced since 2010 and this has turned the model intro a true collectible. Today, these pre-owned 18 k gold vintage versions can be purchased for $14,000 to $22,000.
The Submariner model number 16618 is a stylish and extravagant timepiece that boosts the iconic sporty look of diver’s watches. With a solid 18 k gold oyster case which measures 40 mm in diameter, a rotating blue diver bezel, white luminescent markers, a gold screw down crown and a sturdy 18 k gold oyster bracelet, this model has its own share of fans. When the watch was replaced in 2007 by the newer and more modern Submariner 116618, there was a large crowd that decided to stay true to the classic version and refused to accept the modern allure of the newer 116618 which was also pricier, about $25,000 to $30,000.
The blue iridescent dial of the Submariner 16618 is simply hypnotic and its best asset is the beautiful contrast it creates with the all gold case and band. To enhance the legibility of the watch, the face features white luminescent hour markers, thick hands covered by the same lume and a date window with a 2.5x Cyclops lens at the 3 o’clock position. At the outside of the dial there is the famous Rolex unidirectional bezel that makes it possible for divers to track immersion time. A Submariner bezel rotates just clockwise allowing tracked time only to be shortened; thus there is no danger of accidentally spending too much time under water.
The Submariner is an Oyster Perpetual watch which means that inside its 300 meters perfectly water sealed case there is a powerful self-winding mechanism that offers maximum precision. The 16618 model is equipped with the calibre 3135, an automatic mechanism with a perpetual rotor that allows the watch to be charged by the slightest motion. The mainspring has the ability of storing energy that will aliment the timepiece for up to three days. All these considerable advantages of the 18 k yellow gold classic Submariner have turned it into one of the most sought-after watches of our time.
A vintage look that increases its value in time, remarkable performances that can’t be outmatched by modern innovations and a rich heritage that defines it as a staple watch for numerous future generations- these are the reasons why the Rolex Submariner 16618 is an icon. It is the timepiece that defies you to test your limits.