The Rolex Submariner: A Diver’s Watch
Rolex was the first watch company that came up with a fitting design for
a waterproof watch in 1926. The watch series was called the Oyster
Collection as Hans Wildorf; the head honcho of Rolex then was having
dinner, prying open an oyster when the news of the successful endeavor
came. The Rolex Oyster Collection was so watertight they were displayed
not in glass cases but in aquariums.
A great watch company never stops inventing and creating. Rolex’s
continuous researches and innovations led to new horologic technologies.
The Perpetual watch was perfected by Rolex which resulted in furthering
the design of a diver’s watch. Thus, the Rolex Submariner was introduced.
The first batch of Submariner watches was introduced to the public in
1953. It is watertight for up to 100 meters or 330 feet. This new line
of waterproof diver’s watch was an instant success as professional
divers (such as Jacques Cousteau) and avid hobbyists all wanted one.
Current models are waterproof at a depth of 300 meters (1,000 feet).
Note that though are other brands that have come up with their own
versions of a diver’s watch, the Submariner is still the most widely
imitated in terms of aesthetic design. What makes the Submariner Collection so popular?
The Submariner is the first elegant yet rugged sports watch. It is a
diver’s watch with a rotating bezel so a diver can see how much time has
elapsed and for him to calculate dive time and decompression time. This
counter-clockwise movement of the bezel ensures that the diver will not
over or under estimate the oxygen tank’s capacity. Even in the most
light-deprived setting, the capsule is luminescent. Its Guidelock Clasp
allows the diver to adjust the bracelet up to 21 mm.
The first upgraded models of the Sub in 1959-1960 were the 5512-5513
with its black bezel, luminescent dial and “Mercedes” hands and the
Triplock winding crown. Through trial and error, Rolex came up with the
unparalleled Triplock winding crown for the watch’s protection against
water and dust. There are 10 elements used in the triple seal system.
When these are screwed down to the Oyster casing, they become an
integral part of the casing, akin to a submarine hatch. Sometime in
1965, model 1680 is the first Submariner Date.
The two-tone and gold models of Submariner are stylish and elegant
enough to wear with a suit. The initial usage of a Submariner as a
diver’s watch no longer applies as the blue bezel and blue dial
combination is one if not, the most popular Submariner. However, the
traditional stainless steel remains the most practical choice. A Rolex
watch is classic and timeless.
The batches of Submariner timepieces up to the ones manufactured prior
to 2010 were made from stainless steel. Two years prior to December 2010
Rolex came out with the Submariner 116619 and Submariner 116613 made of ceramic.
The latest model to date is the Submariner 116610. This model has the Cerachrom Bezel
which is in true black at all angles. The dial has larger markers and hands ditto with the
crown guards and case lugs. The case is 40mm diameter with an anti-reflective
coating on the crystal of the date bubble for greater legibility.
Each watch is tested by 200 technicians before the Rolex seal is stamped
on the watch. These details take time that the company only yields
650,000 watches a year which is way below consumer demands. After close
to a century of being in the business of watch-making, Rolex still
adheres to its motto of “quality before quantity”.
Guest post from Anthony Charles the content editor at the watch harbour blog.