The Rolex Submariner is every luxury watch collector’s must-have. From helping divers discover the deep to saving James Bond from precarious perches, its iconic status in the industry is unmatched. Today, the Submariner is the gold standard of dive watches. It reigns as one of the most famous luxury watches created. So, want to learn more about this supremely infamous model? Then read on to learn about its history, features, and why they make an excellent addition to any luxury watch collection.
History of the Rolex Submariner
Rolex executive and amateur diver Rene-Paul Jeanerret convinced Rolex that investing in a watch specifically made for divers was the way to go. As a result, the Submariner was introduced in 1954 as the first purpose-built commercial diving watch. Additionally, the timing couldn’t have been better — the release coincided with a heightened public interest in the deep sea and a flourishing advent of scuba diving. With a water-resistance rating of 100 meters (330 feet), it was a significant breakthrough in the “technically mastery of waterproofness,” according to Rolex. Today, the Submariner is waterproof to a depth of 300 meters (1,000 feet).
Features of the Rolex Submariner
Over the years, Rolex has tweaked the design of the Submariner, helping it along its evolution. However, some key features have remained throughout redesigns.
If you want to design a diving watch, you must have a waterproof case. As a result, you’ll find a waterproof case on all Rolex watches in the Oyster Perpetual Submariner collection. The case includes a screw-down case back and a screw-down Triplock winding crown to lock out any moisture. Materials range from steel, yellow Rolesor, yellow gold, and white gold.
Visibility is vital when you’re diving to depths of 330 feet. As a result, Submariners have some of the best luminous dials on the market. Over the years, Rolex has improved the luminosity to improve legibility. In the 1960s, Rolex replaced radium to illuminate the dials with tritium. Then, Rolex used Luminova and SuperLuminova in the 1990s-early 2000s. Finally, Rolex switched to its Chromalight lume in the late 2000s.
If you’ve ever been scuba diving, you know that it can seem like time moves differently while underwater. Divers need to know how long they’ve been under, so Rolex features a rotating 60-minute timing bezel on their Submariner models. The first model, reference 6204, featured a bi-directional rotating bezel. Marked with 60-minute graduations and an arrow at the 12-position, the aluminum bezel insert allows divers to time their expeditions. Eventually, Rolex improved the design by making the bezel unidirectional. An important update, considering timing is supposed only to move forward, not backward.
How Much is a Rolex Submariner?
The prices of Submariners range from $8,950 to $40,650. Also, the Submariner collection can appreciate on the secondhand market. Here’s an example of Rolex pricing from Wrist Advisor: