Vintage Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner

4 January 2021

The Rolex Submariner is the ideal watch of many people. One of the most popular Rolex models, the watch has been hard to come by for years because of this popularity. The submariner, as the name suggests, is a watch designed to dive.

Rolex Submariner 'Hulk' 2020 | Watch Trading Co
-A popular edition of the Rolex Submariner, the ”Hulk”, for sale for more than$20,000,-

Rolex Submariner history

The first Rolex Submariner was produced in 1953 with ref. 6205 and ref. 6204 with a honeycomb dial. However, at the Basel Watch Fair, the first Rolex Submariner was only introduced to the general public.

Two previous patents held by Rolex were crucial to the creation of the Submariner. In 1926 Rolex introduced the Oyster case, the first waterproof watch case. In 1931, Rolex also designed the first watch with an automatic winding system. The combination of a waterproof oyster case with an automatic movement was crucial to the introduction of the Submariner. This together ensured years of success with this Rolex watch.

A Minute With A Super-Early Rolex Submariner, A Reference 6205 From 1954 - HODINKEE
– An extremely early Submariner from 1954, featured in a blog by Hodinkee.

Evolution of the Rolex Submariner

The first Submariner was the first commercially available watch that was waterproof to a depth of 100 meters. This watch possessed the now famous dive bezel that defined both the functionality and the look of the Submariner. Rolex has made the Submariner better and better over the years. By 1959, the watch was waterproof to 200 meters underwater. In the 1960s, a date was also added, combined with a magnifying glass to enlarge the date. This magnifying glass is a thorn in the side of some. However, Rolex had a good reason for this. Although a larger date notation was also an option, according to Rolex, that would ruin the movement. This would make the Submariner considerably fatter and Rolex did not think that was desirable.

In the photo above, the first Submariner did not yet have the now familiar “Crown guards”. The Rolex crown guards had a protective function. The protruding parts of the case protected the crown from damage by impacts. The crown guards were first added in 1962.

The next notable addition to the Submariner was sapphire crystal, this happened in the late 1970s. The last update was in 2012, Rolex then added a ceramic bezel, this would provide additional scratch resistance.

Difference between a vintage Submariner and a new Submariner

Of course, the Submariner has not remained the same over the past decades. The changes were gradual, however, as the modern Submariner still bears strong resemblances to the original model. In my opinion, this is also one of the reasons the Submariner is so popular. The original models still have a modern look and are therefore well wearable.

Famous Rolex Submariner references

The Submariner has a number of coveted versions, especially the very early models without crown guards are very popular. Models with so-called ”gilt” dials are also popular, these were in production until 1966.

– Gilt dial. Original blog here.

The Rolex Submariner is now a cult classic, with very good reason. The watch has an iconic design. Zo is de Submariner zelfs het eerste datFor example, the Submariner is even the first thing some people have in mind when they think of a watch.sommigen voor ogen hebben wanneer ze denken aan een horloge. Also, the watch is frequently worn by many celebrities. In the 1960s, James Bond, played by Sean Connery, always wore a Submariner.

Buying a Submariner

There are now dozens of variants of the Submariner to be found, the vintage models are now coveted collectibles. For a detailed account of all models, there is a suitableblog by Hodinkee. When buying a (vintage) Submariner, it is advisable to consult an expert. These watches are in high demand, so it is important to check that you are buying a good one. In addition to consulting an expert when buying a Rolex Submariner, you can also review ourbuying guide to be aware of what to look out for in every transaction.

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