One of the outstanding features of the Rolex Submariner is without doubt that it has always remained true to its line. If you set a current “No Date” Model next to the original Submariner introduced in 1953, then its origin is clear. But of course there have been many changes in the long history of the Rolex icon, hardly any other watch from the Manufacture has undergone such an interesting development.
The Rolex Submariner was born… although it was not officially presented to the public until the following year. The first Reference 6200, with a large Brevet crown, was already watertight to a depth of 200 metres. Almost at the same time the Reference 6204 was added, which at first was only waterproof to 100m, but this was quickly raised. However, this information was not yet visible on the dial at the beginning. And the first models did not bear the”Submariner” lettering either, which was probably due to problems with the name registration.
The Submariner is officially presented at the Basel watch fair – which has become a tradition. The hour hand is now equipped with the characteristic illuminated circuit to prevent confusion between the hour and minute hands in poor visibility conditions. The larger and more non-slip winding crown is added and now water resistance up to 200m depth is generally guaranteed. Towards the end of 1954, the”Submariner” lettering became a permanent feature.
The rotating bezel is given continuous minute indices for the first 15 minutes, so that the time can be read exactly, especially during diving safety stops. In addition, the luminous point of the second hand moves towards the center.
The housing diameter of the Submariner is increased from 36 to 40 millimeters. To better protect the crown from knocks and bumps, the Submariner now has its typical crown flank protection. For better operability of the rotating bezel, with cold fingers or gloves, it is provided with a deeper ribbing.
With the Reference 5513, with a new case and crown protection, the Submariner, which is the longest built Submariner with a service life of over 25 years, comes onto the market. Among other things, it becomes the timepiece of combat divers of the British Royal Navy and is also nicknamed “James Bond”, as it accompanies the famous film agent on various secret missions.
The year of birth of the first Submariner with date. The Reference 1680 comes on the market, with the first models wearing the red Submariner lettering – meanwhile particularly coveted collector’s items.
The Rolex Submariner in gold is introduced.
Equipped with new sapphire crystal, the Submariner is now 300 metres water-resistant.
From now on, Caliber 3035 will power the Submariner. The rotating bezel is also being renewed, it is now equipped with 120 latching and can only be rotated in one direction for safety reasons.
The first “Rolesor” variant of the Submariner, a combination of steel and gold, is presented.
The famous Calibre 3135, which still powers the Rolex Submariner, is now in use with the Reference 16610. At the same time, a modern “No Date” version of the Submariner, the Reference 14060, is launched as the successor to the original model.
Among other things the change of the luminous material from Tritium to Superluminova takes place now and also the hour hands of Ref. 16610 become narrower.
The Reference 14060M, equipped with Caliber 3130, replaces the 14060.
50th anniversary of the Rolex Submariner. An anniversary model with green bezel, extra large indexes and a wider minute hand is presented. In addition, the case of the Submariner is reworked, the horns of the ribbon attachment are no longer pierced. And from now on, her sapphire crystal has the laser-engraved crown.
Switched to chronometer standard, the dial of Ref. 14060M is now marked “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified”.
A design change is introduced with the yellow and white gold version of the Submariner Date: The case is now slightly thicker, has wider horns and is now equipped with a ceramic bezel.
Two new Rolesor variants, in black and blue, are presented.
A new stainless steel version of the Submariner Date is introduced, equipped with the new Cerachrom high-tech ceramic bezel, with platinum numerals and indexes. It is available with a black dial and, as the successor to the Rolex “Hulk”, with green dial and green Cerachrom ceramic bezel and the now more massive case.
Reference 14060M is retired, the last of its kind: with drilled lugs, the stamped bracelet clasp and an aluminium insert in the bezel.
The Submariner “No-Date” is now also equipped with Cerachrom bezel and now also carries the latest generation Oyster strap.
Continuously updated article, originally put online in July 2017.