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The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner is a line of sports watches designed for diving manufactured by Rolex, known for their resistance to water and corrosion. The first Submariner was introduced to the public in 1954 at the Basel Watch Fair. The Rolex Submariner is considered "a classic among wristwatches", manufactured by one of the most widely recognized luxury brands in the world. Due to its popularity there are many homage watches by well-established watchmakers as well as illegal counterfeits. The Rolex Submariner is part of Rolex's Oyster Perpetual line.Contents
The Submariner model went into production in 1953 and was showcased at the Basel Watch Fair in 1954. The assigned case reference number of this first Submariner was either 6204 or 6205. It is unclear which model came first; in any event, the two watches are nearly identical. Neither has the distinctive "cathedral" or "Mercedes" hands now so strongly associated with the Submariner line. Rather, both of these early submariners have straight "pencil" style hands. Few, if any, of the 6205 watches bear the name "Submariner" on the dial, a major distinction of modern Submariners. Some 6204 models have the Submariner logo printed below the center pinion, while others have the logo blacked out. It is believed that there were unexpected trademark issues connected with the name "Submariner" at the time the 6204 and 6205 were released, accounting for the inconsistent use of the Submariner mark on these early Submariners. Trademark irregularities notwithstanding, both the 6204 and 6205 are designated Submariner models in Rolex product literature.The back of pre-2008 stainless steel Submariner, with original Rolex green sticker removed
In 1954, Rolex also produced a small number of ref. 6200 Submariners. This was the first Submariner (although not the first Rolex) to make use of the Mercedes hand set, a feature of all subsequent Submariners. The 6200 also featured an oversized winding crown compared to the 6204 and 6205 models. Within a few years, Rolex revised its Submariner line, producing the 6536 (small crown) and 6538 (oversized crown) models. These watches had "improved" movements (the cal. 1030), including a chronometer version in some 6536 models (designated 6536/1), the now-familiar Mercedes hands, and the Submariner logo and depth rating printed on the dial.
By the early 1960s, these models had given way to the 5508 (small crown) and 5510 (large crown) models. All of these early Submariners used either gilt (6200, 6204, 6205) or gilt/silver gilt (6536, 6538) printing on glossy black dials. Radium paint was used for the luminous indices.
The next wave of Submariners, the 5512 (chronometer version) and 5513 (non-chronometer), marked a significant change in the appearance of the popular Rolex design. "Shoulders" were added to the crown side of the case to provide protection for the winding/setting mechanism. In early watches—until 1964 or so—these shoulders were pyramid-shaped and ended in points. Later watches were manufactured with rounded shoulders. The 5512 and 5513 were both fitted with the oversized crown, which thereafter became a standard feature of the Submariner line. In the early 1960s, Rolex discontinued the use of radium paint for the luminous indices, switching to safer tritium-infused paint.
In 1965–1966, Rolex discontinued use of gilt/silver gilt dials on the Submariner watches, switching to white printing. A final important change came with the introduction of the 1680 model in the late 1960s: the 1680 was the first Submariner to be equipped with a date function, marking the completion of the transition of the Submariner line from specialist tool watch to mass market fashion accessory. While many professional and military divers used—and continue to use—Submariners in the most demanding underwater environments, by the late 1960s, the watch had undeniably become a mass market product as well.Later models Current Rolex "Glidelock" micro adjustment design
Throughout the next 40 years, the Submariner was updated with improved water resistance, new movements, and numerous small cosmetic changes. In 2003, Rolex celebrated the Submariner's 50th anniversary by launching the Rolex Submariner-Date anniversary edition (16610 LV), with distinguishing features such as the green bezel and Maxi dial; its production ended in 2010 with the final watches being issued with the new "random" serial number. In 2008, a new case from the GMT II was introduced for the Submariner-Date, featuring heavier lugs and crownguard; a cerachrome bezel and updated clasp featuring a quick adjust function were also added. The 14060M did not have these modifications.
A new Submariner-Date, model 116613 (not to be confused with model 16613), based on the "supercase" used in the GMT II, was presented at the 2008 Basel show. The first Submariner-Date models offered were a yellow gold with blue face and bezel and a new white gold with blue face and bezel. The stainless steel case model was presented at the 2010 Basel show. Its reference is 116610.
At the 2012 BaselWorld watch show, an updated Submariner ref 114060 was introduced. It replaced the 14060M, with newer "Maxi Case" with "Chromalight" hour markers, ceramic bezel, blue Parachrom hairspring and bracelet with "Glidelock" extension system.
The Rolex Submariner watch case has a diameter of 40.0 mm (1.57 in) mm and a thickness of 13.0 mm (0.51 in), and the case and bracelet weigh 155 g (5.5 oz).Usage
The French diving company COMEX adopted the Rolex Submariner and Sea Dweller as standard issue for their saturation divers in the late 1960s; this continued until the company was sold in 1997.Current models Model number Model Material Bezel Movement Production 2015 USD MSRP 114060 Submariner 40 mm Steel Black 3130 COSC 2012– $7,500 116610LN Submariner Date 40 mm Steel Black 3135 COSC 2010– $8,550 116610LV Submariner Date 40 mm Steel Green 3135 COSC 2010– $9,050 116613LB Submariner Date 40 mm Steel and Yellow Gold Blue 3135 COSC 2009– $13,400 116613LN Submariner Date 40 mm Steel and Yellow Gold Black 3135 COSC 2009– $13,400 116618LB Submariner Date 40 mm Yellow Gold Blue 3135 COSC 2009– $38,800 116618LN Submariner Date 40 mm Yellow Gold Black 3135 COSC 2009– $34,250 116619LB Submariner Date 40 mm White Gold Blue 3135 COSC 2008– $40,250
All models feature 300-meter (1000 feet) water resistance.Discontinued models Model number In production Note 6200 1955 6204 1953 6205 1953–1957 6536 1954–1958 6536/1 1955–1961 A/6538 1957 6538 1958-1961 5508 1958–1965 5510 1959 5512 1959–1978 5513 1962–1990 5513/17 1972–1978 5514 1972–1978 5517 1972–1978 1680 1966–1981 16800 1977–1987 168000 1987 16610 1989–2010 14060 1990–2002 14060M 2002–2012 Certified chronometer 2007–2012 16610LV 2003–2010 50th anniversary model Submariner spinoff
The Rolex Sea-Dweller, introduced in 1971, is a heavier-duty steel version of the Submariner, with a thicker case and crystal, as well as a date feature, sans cyclops magnifier. The Sea-Dweller incorporates a helium escape valve for use when decompressing and helium is in the gas mixture of a pressurized habitat; this model (ref 16600) has a guaranteed waterproof depth of 1,220 metres (4,000 ft).
The Sea-Dweller was superseded by the DeepSea Sea-Dweller in late 2008, with the last 16600 Sea-Dwellers produced running into the V-series (late 2008). The DeepSea features a 44 mm case that guarantees a depth of 3,900 metres (12,800 ft) (ref. 116660).Model information and characteristics
The Rolex Submariner has appeared in a number of James Bond movies. Sean Connery wore a reference 6538 in his four first movies. In Dr. No. and From Russia with Love, the watch was used with a leather strap, while in Goldfinger and Thunderball the strap had been swapped for an undersized Nato type nylon band (The Ministry of Defence "G10" strap not being commissioned until 1973, and then only in admiralty grey without stripes). George Lazenby wore a reference 5513 with an oyster bracelet in parts of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, as did Roger Moore in his first two movies Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun, but with a 7206 “riveted”' bracelet. Timothy Dalton is so far the last Bond actor to wear a Rolex in the Bond franchise. He is seen wearing a Submariner with a date window in his last film Licence to Kill. The watch is arguably a 16800 or 168000, as the movie was shot in the summer of 1988. From GoldenEye onwards, James Bond wears Omega Seamasters.References