Since its inception in 1953, the Rolex Submariner has stood as a paragon of luxury diving watches. With its innovative design, it set the standard for waterproof watches, initially boasting a depth rating of 100 meters...
What Is a Rolex Submariner?
The Rolex Submariner, originally designed as a tool watch for divers, has evolved into a luxury timepiece revered for its timeless design. It stands as Rolex's most popular model, blending its functional durability with a sophisticated style. This transition from a practical diving instrument to a luxury watch symbolizes its universal appeal, making it suitable for both professional use and everyday wear. Its popularity among a broad spectrum of users, from watch enthusiasts to the fashion-conscious, underscores its status as an iconic and enduring piece in the luxury watch market.
For those interested in adding a Rolex Submariner to their collection, WatchGuys offers an extensive selection of new and pre-owned Rolex Submariner watches. Whether you're looking to buy a Rolex Submariner or browse used Rolex Submariner models, our inventory caters to a variety of preferences. Visit WatchGuys to explore our current collection of Rolex Submariner watches, each embodying the luxury and precision synonymous with the Rolex brand.
History of Rolex Submariner Watches
The story of the Rolex Submariner is a chronicle of continuous innovation and steadfast commitment to quality. Introduced in 1953, the Submariner was among the world's first dive watches, capable of withstanding depths of up to 100 meters. This groundbreaking achievement not only set a new standard for underwater timekeeping but also marked the beginning of Rolex’s longstanding association with the diving world.
Rolex Submariner Timeline
Each stage in the Submariner's history reflects Rolex’s dedication to excellence and innovation. It’s not just a watch; it’s a legacy of Rolex’s pioneering spirit in the world of horology.
- 1953: Launch of the first Rolex Submariner, model 6204, marking it as the first commercially made dive watch.
- 1959: Introduction of crown guards and an increase in case size from 37mm to 40mm in models like the 5512.
- 1967: Addition of a date complication with the release of the Submariner Date, model 1680.
- 1979: Introduction of sapphire crystal in the Submariner Date Ref. 16800 for improved scratch resistance.
- 1984: Debut of the "Bluesy," the first two-tone Submariner in steel and yellow gold with a blue dial and bezel, known as the model 16803.
- 1987: Transition to using 904L steel for its superior corrosion resistance in models like the 16610.
- 2003: 50th-anniversary edition “Kermit” released, featuring a green bezel and Maxi dial, model 16610LV.
- 2008: Introduction of ceramic bezels, enhancing durability and UV resistance, in models like the 116610.
- 2020: Case size increased to 41mm and introduction of new movements in models such as the 126610LN.
Rolex Submariner Reference Number Lookup
|Often considered the original Submariner model.
|Known for the "Mercedes" hands.
|Similar to 6204, but slightly larger with a different crown.
|Introduced the Caliber 1030 movement.
|Gained fame from James Bond movies.
|An updated version of the 6536 with chronometer certification.
|A rare variant, often called the "Explorer Dial Submariner".
|Small Crown model with Calibre 1530.
|Big Crown model produced only in 1958.
|Introduced crown guards and was chronometer certified.
|Similar to 5512 but without chronometer certification.
|Special edition made for COMEX.
|First Submariner to feature a date function.
|First Submariner Date model in yellow gold.
|Military version of the Submariner.
|Gold model with sapphire crystal.
|Transitional model with improved features.
|Stainless steel/yellow gold model.
|Updated models with Superluminova dial.
|50th Anniversary model with a green bezel known as "Kermit".
|Two-tone model in stainless steel and yellow gold.
|Solid gold model.
|First with Sapphire crystal and Calibre 3000 movement.
|Updated with Calibre 3130 movement.
|Updated Submariner Date with ceramic bezel.
|Known as "Hulk", featuring a green dial and bezel.
|No-date model with a ceramic bezel.
|Two-tone model in stainless steel and yellow gold.
|Solid gold model.
|"Smurf", a solid white gold model with blue dial and bezel.
|An updated version of the 116610 with a 41mm case and new movement.
|New version of the "Kermit" with a green bezel and black dial.
|Two-tone model in stainless steel and yellow gold with a blue dial and bezel.
|Two-tone model in stainless steel and yellow gold with a black dial and bezel.
|Solid gold model with a blue dial and bezel.
|Solid gold model with a black dial and bezel.
|Solid white gold model with a blue dial and bezel.
Rolex Submariner Price
The price of a Rolex Submariner varies and is influenced by several factors including demand, rarity, the materials used, the watch's condition, and the presence of the original box and papers. Particularly in the secondary market, prices are dynamic and subject to change, reflecting the fluctuating interest among collectors and current market trends. A Submariner's value can therefore differ significantly based on these aspects, with no set price for each model.
To shop pre-owned Rolex Submariner watches for the best prices, browse our selection above. Or, if you're interested in exploring secondary market prices, visit our Rolex Watch Market Report page for detailed insights and current market trends.
Rolex Submariner Sizes
Initially, the Submariner models featured a 37mm case, a standard for early dive watches. This size was consistent until 1962 across various models. In 1959, Rolex introduced a more substantial 40mm case with crown guards, establishing a design that would become iconic for the Submariner. This size remained a signature feature for several decades. It wasn't until 2020 that Rolex updated the Submariner to a slightly larger 41mm case, a change that also included redesigned, slimmer lugs for improved comfort and wearability, and a lug width increase to 21mm to accommodate a broader bracelet.
Rolex Submariner Nicknames
The Rolex Submariner series is renowned for its distinct color-themed nicknames, each reflecting unique design elements. The "Kermit" was introduced for the Submariner's 50th anniversary, and stands out with its green bezel contrasting against a black dial, drawing its name from Kermit the Frog. The "Hulk" was released in 2010, extending the green theme further with both a green dial and bezel, earning its nickname from the robust, bold character of The Incredible Hulk. The "Smurf" is a luxurious white gold model with a blue dial and bezel, gets its name from the blue Smurf cartoon characters, while the "Bluesy" is known for its two-tone blend of stainless steel and gold, featuring blue elements that lend it a luxurious yet sporty look.
Rolex Submariner Bracelets
Featuring the classic Oyster bracelet, known for its sturdy three-link construction, the Submariner's bracelet has undergone various refinements. The most notable update is the introduction of the Glidelock system in the 2010s. This innovative adjustment mechanism allows for easy and precise length changes of up to 20mm without the need for tools. Designed with divers in mind, it enables the watch to fit comfortably over a diving suit, yet has also become popular for everyday wear due to its versatility and comfort.
Rolex Submariner Material
The Rolex Submariner is renowned for its use of high-quality materials, adeptly balancing functionality with luxury. The most common material is stainless steel, especially the 904L variant, chosen for its exceptional corrosion resistance, making it ideal for underwater activities. Newer models often feature Oystersteel, a unique formulation by Rolex, known for its remarkable durability and luster. Adding to the luxury variants, the Submariner is also available in both yellow and white gold, presenting a more opulent aesthetic while maintaining its functional integrity. The Rolesor models blend stainless steel with gold, striking a perfect harmony between extravagance and practicality. Moreover, Rolex's modern Submariners incorporate the Cerachrom bezel, a ceramic material celebrated for its scratch and fade resistance, essential for preserving the watch's appearance in harsh marine environments.
Where to Buy Rolex Submariner Watches
The Rolex Submariner, a highly sought-after model, is available for purchase directly from Rolex. However, acquiring one from Rolex can be challenging due to varying wait times, which are often lengthy due to the model's popularity and limited availability. For those looking to bypass these wait times, WatchGuys offers the Rolex Submariner readily available for purchase in the secondary market. At WatchGuys, customers can be assured of receiving a 100% authentic Rolex Submariner, accompanied by a WatchGuys warranty, ensuring both authenticity and quality. With a focus on providing the best price, WatchGuys presents a reliable and convenient alternative for acquiring this iconic timepiece.
If you are looking to sell a Rolex Submariner look no further, WatchGuys is the most trusted place to sell a Rolex for the best price.