Since its inception in 1953, Rolex’s Submariner has become an extremely popular and iconic model. As with most Rolexes, the Submariner was created to serve a particular profession and, as its nautical name suggests, this model was engineered with divers in mind.
The Submariner was the first watch to be waterproof to 100 metres and was created to be both practical as a dive watch without scrimping on aesthetic appeal. Rolex wanted a watch that worked as perfectly underwater as it looked at the surface.
It has come a long way since its birth, in the form of the 6204 model, and has been a part of some incredibly high-profile moments. Whether it’s the official watch of the Royal Navy or appearing on Sean Connery’s wrist in a number of James Bond films, the Submariner has engrained itself in timepiece folklore.
Nowadays, there are many different models available featuring different colours and materials, but all share Rolex’s attention to quality.
The bracelet mixes the best of convenience and functionality with style and class. It also boasts the Oysterlock folding clasp, ensuring that it does not open accidently, and the Easylink comfort extension, which allows the wearer to adjust the length of the bracelet by 5mm for extra comfort. The bracelet can be found in many different colours and materials from 904L stainless steel to 18ct yellow gold.
Each Submariner is 40mm in size and is engineered with 3135 calibre self-winding mechanical movement and has passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) tests, guaranteeing its trademark precise Rolex timekeeping.
It features a rotatable bezel with 60-minute graduations to allow divers to safely monitor the time whilst underwater and manage their decompression stops as they rise back to the surface. You can now also choose between a Submariner with or without the date function. The original didn’t have a display for the date, but newer models sport a cyclops magnifying lens over the date, ensuring crystal clear legibility.
The waterproofing of today’s Submariners has also improved and the watch can now be taken to a depth of 300 metres, thanks to Rolex’s triple lock system.
Perhaps the most famous edition of recent times was the green special edition Submariner. The reference 16610LV was released in 2003 with a black dial, paired with a striking green bezel on a stainless-steel bracelet. The watch was only produced for seven years and is now highly sought after. In 2010, Rolex added to their popular green-bezelled Submariner a green dial, and with its unorthodox matching bezel and dial, the ‘Hulk’ was born.
This rich history makes the Submariner one of David Duggan's top five choices when starting a Rolex collection.