Rolex Submariner – Most iconic divers watch
Rolex Submariner has been in production for more than 65 years. The Swiss watch manufacturer had already proved itself with the Oyster case that had been patented back in 1926. While the Rolex Oyster watches were able to resist water damage to some extent, Hans Wilsdorf wanted to take a deeper dive when it came to waterproofing mechanical watches.
The Submariner launched as three different variants in 1954. The first three references, 6200, 6204 and the 6205 were rated to either 100 meters or 200 meters of water resistance. It was the design of these three watches that layed the groundwork for all the upcoming Rolex divers watches. While the watches made their appearance at the Baselworld show in 1954, there was a series of laboratory tests a year prior.
In September 1953, a specially designed Rolex dive watch was attached to the outside of a bathyscaphe, which dived to a depth of 3131.8 meters. The timepiece came back from the test in a perfect running condition and there was no sign of water ingress.
Over the course of the next five months, there were over 132 tests that took place ranging from 12 to 60 meters of depth. Many of those dives were even taken with the crown pulled out to the time setting position and there were still no signs of water ingress. Notably, most of the watches submitted by other brands for testing all ended up failing the test.
How did Rolex achieve it?
Rolex developed a twin lock crown for the Submariner, which allowed to achieve the water resistance of 100 meters and beyond. For this, a pair of gaskets were positioned in the crown itself and the crown tube. This provided a level of water tightness that had never been seen before. This combined with the Rolex Oyster case was the recipe for the Submariner of the time.
Rise of the Submariner
Rolex Submariner made many headlines with its achievements in terms of water resistance. In 1962, Ian Fleming’s first Bond film, Dr. No was released featuring Sean Connery sporting a Submariner 6538. This brought the timepiece back into the limelight. It is speculated that it was his personal Submariner that he wore to the movie sets.
Interestingly, the Submariner 6538 appeared in further installments of the Bond franchise. After its appearance in Dr. No, The watch was seen in the movies “From Russia with love,” “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball.”
Bringing changes to the Submariner
In 1959, Rolex released the reference 5512 followed by the launch of the 5513 in 1962. Both of these watches were not much different from each other but brought in significant changes over their predecessors. The two references got a larger case size to 40mm and they also got crown guards.
Rolex released the Submariner reference 1680 in the year 1966. It is a noteworthy mention as it was the first Submariner to feature a date complication along with the magnifying Cyclops on the crystal. From this point on, there were only minor tweaks to the Submariner’s design.
Modernization of the Rolex Submariner
In the year 1979, Rolex introduced significant changes to the Submariner with the release of the reference 16800. The timepiece finally brought a durable sapphire crystal instead of the acrylic one of the past. The water resistance of the watch was also increased to 300 meters from the previous 200 meters.
In 1981, the reference 16800 received another significant improvement and that was the inclusion of a unidirectional rotating bezel. With this generation, Rolex also released the first two-tone Submariner with the reference 16803, released in 1984.
Submariner Date vs No-Date
Since the launch of the reference 1680, Rolex has offered quite a lot of variations for the Rolex Submariner Date. As for the No-Date models, they have pretty much remained exclusively stainless steel timepieces with a black dial and a black bezel.
Rolex Submariner Date on the other hand has received variations with other metals and different colorways for the bezel and the dial. One of the most popular Submariner Date models has to be the LV references. In 2003, the company released the ref. 16610LV, where ‘LV’ stands for Lunette Verte, which means “green bezel” in French. There have been many iterations of the green bezel Submariners and the popular ones have been the Submariner Hulk and Kermit.
Nicknames associated with the Submariner
Since its launch, Rolex Submariner has been quite close to its original design. However, the brand did spice things up with rare dials and colorful bezels. This has helped the Submariner to evolve from just a tool to look at the time underwater to an exemplary timepiece.
With different launches, the watch has received a number of nicknames from the Rolex fans and they are as follows:
- Cermit / Starbucks
- James Bond
- Red Submariner
Rolex ‘Kermit’ Submariner first made its appearance in 2003. The Swiss watch manufacturer released the watch to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Submariner. The Kermit was introduced before the Submariner Hulk and it was for the first time ever when Rolex brought a bright green aluminum bezel to the stainless steel ref 16610. The timepiece was also equipped with a Maxi Dial with more pronounced markers and hands.
It received its nickname from the famous green Muppet character from Sesame Street. At first, the watch design looked quite striking with the bright green bezel and since then the watch became one of the most popular Submariners. It is now a collectible since it was discontinued in 2010 to pave the way for the Rolex Hulk.
It goes without being said that the Submariner Hulk is one of the most popular Submariner watches launched to date. The timepiece features a green ceramic bezel and a matching dial. The beefier look of the watch and the green colorway inspired the Rolex fans to name it after the Marvel superhero.
Cermit / Starbucks
Rolex Cermit was released in 2020 along with the new generation of Submariners. This generation of divers watches brought a 41mm case for the first time in the Submariner family. It also brought back the green bezel and black dial like we saw with the Kermit. But the new version had a Cerachrom ceramic bezel instead of the aluminum one.
Also, the green color was not ever so slightly darker. Due to this, the watch got the nickname “Cermit” which combines the words Ceramic and Kermit. The timepiece is also referred to as the Rolex Starbucks due to its resemblance to the logo of the American chain of coffeehouses.
James Bond Submariner is one of the oldest nicknames associated with the model. It got the nickname after Sean Connery was seen wearing a Submariner ref 6538 in the first James Bond film, Dr. No. It was one of the first Rolex Submariner examples and it came with an oversized winding crown and even missed on to the essential crown guards.
Red Submariner would have brought a picture of Submariner in your mind with a red dial and a red bezel. However, that is not the case. Instead, it refers to the Submariner ref 1680, which features the Submariner name written in red on its dial. It was the only time that Rolex ever printed the name in red letters. While the reference 1680 was in production from 1969 to 1979, the red text appeared only in the watches made during the first six years of the production run. This makes the timepiece quite rare and an item that watch collectors admire.
Rolex Smurf is another popular nickname associated with the Submariner moniker. As a part of Rolex’s 100th-year celebration in 2008, the Swiss watchmaker released a brand new Submariner in solid 18k white gold. The exquisite grey-gold finish was contemplated with an all-blue Cerachrom bezel and lacquered blue dial. With such a color scheme, Rolex fans quickly named the watch after the cartoon character.
Unlike the Smurf or the Hulk that refer to specific Submariner references, Bluesy is a nickname that is used to call any two-tone Rolex Submariner watch with a blue dial and bezel. But mostly, the name is used to call out the Oystersteel and yellow gold Submariners with blue dial and bezel.
The Submariner that easily sets apart from most of the other references is the Submariner Milsub. It features sword-shaped hands, full-demarcated bezel inserts and cases with welded bars between the lugs. These watches also had the letter ‘T’ marked in a circle to denote the use of tritium.
Rolex Submariner watches at WatchMaestro
Rolex Submariner has an iconic design and an equally iconic history attached to it. If you have been impressed after reading everything about the Submariner and now want to own one, you can buy one from WatchMaestro and that too at an unbeatable price. On the other hand, you can always use WatchMaestro as a medium to sell or exchange your Submariner watch.
Here are all kinds of services that are offered to the clients at WatchMaestro:
- Buy a Rolex Submariner
- Sell or exchange your Submariner watch
- Service or customize your Submariner
Buy a Rolex Submariner
WatchMaestro has a great collection of Rolex and other high-end premium watches. This means, whether it be the Submariner Hulk or the Kermit, you can get your favorite Submariner watch from us. In case the timepiece that you are looking for is not available in our catalog, you can always put up a request for it and we will source one for you.
WatchMaestro deals in both brand new as well as pre-owned watches. Most of the watches available at our store come with their original box and paperwork. In case any of those are missing, we will let you know and you will notice a significant price difference.
Sell or exchange your Submariner watch
Already own a Submariner? You can look at various options to sell your watch at WatchMaestro. First, you can outright sell your watch to us. We will evaluate your wristwatch and come up with a price. If you agree to the price, you can choose to get paid via bank transfer, cash or even to your crypto wallet.
Secondly, you can choose to consign your Submariner to us. Under watch consignment, we will list the watch on our website for an agreed price and it will be yours until we find a suitable buyer for it. Once we do find a buyer, we will handle the whole transaction for you and transfer the amount to your bank account or your crypto wallet. You can also choose to get paid in cash if you are in the UAE.
Lastly, you can get a Rolex Submariner in exchange for your other luxury watch or swap any other luxury watch for a Submariner using our watch trade option.
Service or customize your Submariner
Luxury timepieces like the Submariner need your love from time to time. This means you have to get these high-end watches serviced once in a while. You can get your Submariner serviced or even repaired by the experts at WatchMaestro. Not only that, we can even customize your Submariner like replacing the dial with another colored one or icing the watch with high-quality diamonds.