Rolex has earned an excellent reputation when it comes to producing high-quality timepieces like the Rolex Submariner. The watch label is also known to be water-resistant – a key feature that collectors absolutely adore. The history of these water-resistant watches dates back to 1926 when Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf filed a patent for a waterproof case.
Like a genial hotelier, Rolex has introduced me to some of the nicest people. I ask about their Rolex and they ask about mine. It’s as marvellous a conversation piece as it is a timepiece. -Maurice Chevalier
A line of watches is introduced this year, and it is made known as the Oyster. In 1927, Oyster was made popular when Wilsdorf gave a Rolex Oyster to Mercedes Gleitze when she tried to swim across the English Channel.
The creation of water-resistant Rolex watches did not stop with Oyster. In the 1950s, Wilsdorf’s right-hand man, Rene-Paul Jeanneret, realized how diving gained traction during the said decade. With this, Jeanneret believed it would be ideal for Rolex to produce a timepiece specifically meant for diving. This has led to the creation of one of the most famous watches in the world, the Rolex Submariner.
Since its introduction in 1954, the Rolex Submariner became a quintessential icon. It has been an exemplary piece in any timepiece collection too and a mainstay in the stable of Rolex. This review will tackle this excellent timepiece and what collectors can expect from what others call the “divers’ watch”.
The Submariner Collection
“”This attractive Rolex watch has become one of my proud possessions. I have been highly pleased by its accuracy and reliability as well as its beautiful appearance.” – President, Dwight D. Eisenhower (September 19, 1952)
The Rolex Submariner (Ref. 114060), otherwise known as the “No-Date Submariner”, is typically considered as the collection’s base model. This model also closely resembles the original Submariner in the “modern” collection because it also doesn’t have a date function.
The prototype of the Rolex Submariner was released in 1953. A year later, it was introduced to the market and had undergone various changes as time went by. The newest iteration was launched in Baselworld 2012 with a number of mechanical and aesthetic changes created to the line-up.
With this, several variants were added to the collection. Following the No-Date Submariner is the Submariner Date (Ref. 116610), which is basically the Submariner with a date function. The model comes in different case variants including stainless steel, solid gold (yellow gold or white gold), and two-tone (steel and yellow gold). Aside from these variants, the model also has three different dial versions: black, green, and blue.
When it comes to the Rolex Submariner parts as earlier cited, the Submariner’s latest iteration had undergone various aesthetically changes as compared to the Reference 14060/14060M, its predecessor.
The Rolex Watch Case
The 40mm stainless case slightly differs in shape. The Submariner 114060 has larger and thicker lugs and a slightly squarish design, which gives the timepiece a slightly more imposing look. While some collectors like the thinner tapered lugs better, which can be seen in the earlier generations of Submariners, it appears more tough and robust now. However, this new design is not an ideal pair with a NATO strap.
Did you now? Rolex’s reputation for high quality and expert craftsmanship has not been better tested than at the top of the world and the bottom of the ocean. Sir Edmund Hillary reached the top of Mount Everest in 1953, wearing a specially made Rolex watch. The watch performed flawlessly. The U.S. Navy also tested nature by sending a specially designed research submarine 35,798 feet below sea level, wearing a specially designed Rolex watch. It also perfectly endured the extreme environment.
Changes were likewise made in the dial. The Submariner 114060 comes with bigger indices filled with blue Chromalight. An 18K white gold frame surrounds the markers. The latest dial offers greater legibility, especially if the timepiece is used specifically for diving purposes.
The bezel is an obvious modification. Compared to its predecessor, which has an aluminum bezel insert, the Submariner 114060 comes with a ceramic bezel insert. The new bezel is more scratch resistant and provides a great shine to the watch under specific lighting conditions. The insert engraving also gives the timepiece some texture and depth.
Subtle modifications aside, the 114060 is essentially a Submariner still. The timepiece still has the same features such as its design cues and “Mercedes” hour hands, circular indices, and a unidirectional rotating bezel. It is also easily recognizable, especially since it appears pretty much the same since its introduction 63 years ago.
The Rolex Submariner Movement
The Rolex Submariner is powered by the Calibre 3130, a self-winding movement that accentuates the time-keeping function only. The movement highlights a power reserve of an estimated 48 hours. It is also Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified. It is likewise equipped with an additional hacking function. The movement, compared to its predecessor, also had modifications and upgrades. One of the most evident ones is its oscillator, which is now fitted with the Blue Parachrom hairspring and is also said to be less susceptible to shocks and anti-magnetic.
When it comes to its finishing, the Calibre 3130 is not very spectacular. After all, it is a tool watch. The reliability and the robustness of the timepiece, however, are impressive.
The latest models of Rolex come with a five-year warranty, a testament to the timepieces’ quality. Some owners have a four-year-old Rolex that is still working perfectly fine despite accidental mistreatment and occasional knocks.
The Water Resistance
The Rolex Submariner can match most outfits, making it easy to forget that it’s made as a serious dive watch. This timepiece is water-resistant up to 300 meters with a rotating bezel. It is no wonder why the Rolex Submariner is part of the “Oyster Professional” collection of timepieces.
The Anti-reflective Coating
The anti-reflective (AR) coating is placed only at the bottom of the crystal, and not on the top. This means that a glare is visible, although not too much since it is a flat crystal. Just like the other owners, you might also like the idea of the AR coating on a sapphire crystal, which makes it appear invisible and that you can place your finger right onto the dial.
Obviously, this exemplary piece is ideal for divers. But aside from diving enthusiasts, this timepiece is perfect for anyone with a budget looking for an evergreen watch to include in their collection.
The Best Characteristics of the Rolex Submariner
The Rolex Submariner is a gold standard steel watch that has everything you need. It can also be easily paired with any outfit, making it almost possible to forget it’s meant for divers. With its modern design and excellent engineering, there is no doubt it’s become an icon.
The Rolex Submariner ticks all the appropriate boxes from the construction to the build quality and aesthetics. It also boasts of robustness and reliability— features that can be usually found in high-quality timepieces. This model also feels a solid tool watch, one that you will feel confident wearing when you’re diving. With its modern design, you can actually wear it for other sporting activities or even in the boardroom.
Aside from these, the Submariner is a handsome and a versatile timepiece, too. Its appearance is timeless, and its simple design can easily be matched with any attire. Some owners are bold enough to change the stainless steel bracelet with leather or NATO straps to be in tune with their fashion style. However, the Rolex Submariner 114060 looks best with the steel bracelet. Not only does it look great, the stainless steel bracelet is likewise comfortable on the wrist. The Glidelock extension system allows the owner to slightly adjust the strap’s length without having to remove or include a bracelet link.
In general, the Submariner is one of the essential timepieces in any watch collection. Not only is it a well-crafted timepiece, it has also turned itself into a horological icon.
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