As an underwater survival tool, this watch’s design has been entirely dictated by the practical needs of divers. Since 1953, the Submariner has evolved technically as it has been endowed with features to improve overall functionality. The first watch was a pioneer and subsequent versions have continued to set the benchmark for divers’ watches.
With its subtly redesigned Oyster case, distinctive dial with large luminescent hour markers, unidirectional rotatable bezel with Cerachrom insert and solid-link Oyster bracelet, the latest generation Submariner and Submariner Date remain faithful to the original model launched in 1953.
The dial’s luminescent Chromalight display is an innovation that improves visibility in dark environments, an essential feature for divers. Hour markers in simple shapes – triangles, circles, rectangles – and broad hour and minute hands enable instant and reliable reading to prevent any risk of confusion underwater.
The Submariner’s Oyster case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 300 metres (1,000 feet), provides the high-precision movement with optimal protection from water, dust, pressure and shocks. The Triplock winding crown – fitted with a triple waterproofness system – screws down securely against the case, ensuring watertight security.
The Submariner’s unidirectional rotatable bezel has knurled edges that offer excellent grip when setting the dive time. It rotates notch by notch, accompanied by distinctive clicks. Thanks to the embedded Chromalight capsule on the zero marker, the bezel can also be used in dark underwater environments.
The Oyster bracelet marries engineering and aesthetics, designed to be both robust and comfortable. It is equipped with an Oysterlock safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening, and a Rolex Glidelock extension system, allowing fine adjustments of the bracelet without using any tools so that it can be worn comfortably over a diving suit.
The Submariner and Submariner Date models are equipped with calibre 3130 and calibre 3135 respectively, self-winding mechanical movements entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Their architecture, manufacturing and innovative features make them singularly precise and reliable.Read more
The Submariner’s unidirectional rotatable bezel is key to the functionality of the watch. Its engraved 60-minute graduation allows a diver to monitor diving time and decompression stops accurately and therefore safely. Manufactured by Rolex from a hard, corrosion-resistant ceramic, the Cerachrom bezel insert is virtually scratchproof and its colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays, seawater or water that is chlorinated.
The Submariner was originally created specifically for underwater exploration and diving. Over the years, it has proved to be equally at home out of the water and has become the emblematic all-round watch, worn by explorers, athletes, film-makers, artists and others across all walks of life.
When it first came out of the Rolex workshops, the Submariner was an immediate success with many pioneering deep-sea professionals who were asked to test it for the brand. One of those trailblazers was Dimitri Rebikoff, a French engineer specialized in underwater research, for whom the Submariner quickly became indispensable.
In his 1953 report, Rebikoff wrote that the watch had performed outstandingly well in trials: “We are able to confirm that this watch has not only given entire satisfaction in diving conditions which were extremely tough and particularly murderous for the material used, but that it has proved an indispensable accessory for all diving with independent equipment.”
Since its creation in 1953, the Submariner has constantly evolved, enhancing its waterproofness, robustness, and functionality. The case was enlarged from 38 to 40 mm and equipped with a crown guard. On the bezel, graduations were added to mark each minute of the first quarter hour. The bezel itself was given a more pronounced knurling to ensure a better grip with diving gloves.
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