Join us in this blog as we explore the history, the dive features of the Submariner, current configurations, popular Submariner models, the Submariner movement and finally, how to buy or sell a Rolex Submariner.
The Rolex Submariner was first introduced in 1953 with the primary purpose of being a practical watch for divers. In fact, the Rolex Submariner was the first watch to ever withstand 100 meters of water resistance. Since 1953, the Submariner has undergone many impressive changes that have improved the aesthetics, practicality and performance of this watch, all whilst maintaining its heritage and not drifting away from its origin.
The Rolex Submariners Dive features
The Rolex Submariner is a tool watch for divers, and for that reason, it has many functional features, such as its unidirectional bezel. The bezel features 60 minutes of graduations that allow a diver to manage time underwater and track when they need to decompress and surface. The bezel is only designed to spin in one direction; this helps to prevent fatal mistakes from miscalculations.
Although we have seen earlier models with a resistance rating of 100 meters and 200 meters, the current model can withstand 300 meters, and this goes to show that Rolex strives for excellence and they are constantly trying to improve their watches. For some perspective, the recreational diving limit for free water diving is 40 meters. To enable this impressive water resistance, the Rolex Submariner features a screw-down crown and case, both with high-quality seals.
Glide lock clasp
The most underrated and convenient feature of the Rolex Submariner is the Glide lock extension system. This feature allows you to extend your watch in 2-millimetre increments up to 20 millimetres in length. The feature allows the wearer to easily adjust to a swollen summer wrist or a wetsuit comfortably. This feature can also be handy when sizing the watch.
Most often, the dial on the Rolex Submariner is black, and while this provides an excellent look for desk divers, it is highly functional. Its intended purpose is to contrast the luminescent indices, making them visible in the dark and in the depths of the ocean. There are some Submariners which do not feature a black dial, such as the Bluesy 126613LB and the Rolex Hulk 116610LV.
Now, let's talk materials. Not only does a watch's material heavily depict the price, but also the looks and durability. The current line of Rolex Submariner dates comes in white gold, yellow gold, oyster steel, and yellow gold and oyster steel (two-tone). Meanwhile, the Submariner no date has only ever come in steel, making it more affordable, a true classic and a symbol of where the Submariner started.
When the Submariner debuted in 1953, the case size was a humble 37 millimetres. This increased to 40mm in 1959 and 41mm in 2020. Rolex can change case sizes for many reasons, including changing the way the watch looks, fitting a larger movement inside, or improving the water resistance.
The most recent line of the Rolex Submariner
The latest line of Submariners was released in 2020 and comes under the new '12' reference. The latest line has undergone some subtle changes. The case diameter has increased by just under 1mm, the lugs have been slimmed down, and the bracelet and dial have been tweaked. The movement has been updated from a 3135 movement to the new 3235 movement, which benefits from an increased power reserve and improved accuracy along with all of the advantages of an automatic watch.
If you're looking for a true legend that has remained timeless since its original release in 1954, you want the classic, all-black, no-date Rolex Submariner. It is the most affordable and practical piece in the collection. It is complete with all the features of any other model except the date feature. This piece is currently made exclusively from Rolexes 904L stainless steel. The 2023 Rolex Submariner no date currently retails at £7,700 and has a market value of around £10,500. The same model with a date feature retails for £950 more.
This is one of the most iconic Rolexes. The Hulk is equipped with a vibrant green dial and bezel, hence the nickname. The Hulk was discontinued in 2020, and since then, the demand and the market value have spiked. Rolex first introduced green to the bezel of the Submariner in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their dive watch.
The Kermit 16610LV
As mentioned above, the Kermit was the first Submariner to sport green. This model features a green bezel and a black dial. This model was introduced in 2003 and replaced by the Hulk in 2010.
The 126610LV or "Starbucks'' marks the start of a new series of Rolex Submariners, and this colour combination replaced the famous "Hulk" model when it was discontinued. The Starbucks gets its nickname from its black dial and green bezel that resembles the Starbucks logo.
The Rolex Submariner's movement
Calibre 3235 is the newest movement added to the Submariner date line. It boasts 31 jewels, an impressive 201 parts date features and 70 hours of power reserve. It has Rolexes Paraflex, which is an anti-shock system for automatic movements, making it even more versatile. You can also find the Calibre 3235 in the Datejust 41, Deepsea, and Yacht-Master.
The latest line of submariner no-date features Calibre 3230. The Calibre has a total of 31 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and Paraflex technology.
Where can I buy a Rolex Submariner?
At LBJ Watches, we always stock a range of Rolex Submariners available for viewing at our office in Hatton Garden. If you want a specific watch, please contact us, as not all our stock is uploaded to our website. Throughout our years of experience in the trade, we have built an extensive Rolex network that allows us to source nearly any Rolex watching in a timely manner.
Want to sell your Rolex Submariner?
If you want to sell your Rolex Submariner, two options are available. We can provide same-day quotes and instant payment for your Rolex Submariner; we offer home collection, complimentary shipping or a drop-off at our Hatton Garden office when selling a watch. The process takes around 20 minutes. Additionally, we have a consignment option, where we can sell your watch for you. Contact us now to learn more!