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Understanding the Rolex Submariner in 60 seconds

Robert-Jan Broer
Oct 17, 2017
Rolex Submariner Date
Rolex Submariner Date, Image: Bert Buijsrogge


One of the most iconic watches in the world is the Rolex Submariner. It’s a watch for people who want to show their success as well as a piece for serious watch collectors. But why is it so special and what makes it a status symbol? Here are some of the most important points to consider:

  • It has an instantly recognizable design. Put a modern Submariner next to the original one from 1953 and it’s easy to see they’re related. Rolex has kept the key design features the same.
  • Each new generation offers better performance and quality. Innovation goes slow with Rolex, but when they do innovate, it’s mighty good. This applies to the case, bracelet, bezel, luminosity, and movement.
  • It is one of the most frequently worn watches by celebrities. The list would be incredibly long, but iconic wearers include Steve McQueen, James Bond in his early movies, Jean-Michel Cousteau during his dives, Robert Redford, and many more. This helped and still helps in making it one of the most recognizable watches.



  • It is considered THE “original” diving watch, as this specific design has been copied by many – and we don’t mean replicas.
  • It’s not only suitable for “desk diving” or as a symbol for success; its specifications and aesthetics make it a perfect diving watch for underwater adventures as well.
  • The Submariner was and is used by the military and many other professional divers as an official piece of equipment.
  • Collectors truly love the vintage references (with plexi crystal) and rave about nicknames, tiny details, and differences like the “Big Crown,” “Single Red,” “Milsub,” “COMEX,” “Explorer Dial,” etc.


Rolex Submariner Milsub
Rolex Submariner ‘Milsub’, Image: Christopher Beccan


Rolex Submariner Big Crown
Rolex Submariner ‘Big Crown’, Image: Christopher Beccan


  • The Rolex Submariner is available in two versions, with a date display or without, as well as in different materials, such as steel, gold/steel (since 1983), and solid gold (since 1969).
  • The Rolex Submariner has been available as a chronometer-certified watch since 1955. All Rolex Submariner watches have been guaranteed to perform within the more stringent -2/+2 seconds deviation per day since 2016.
  • Its value is extremely stable. If you buy a Submariner, wear it for five or 10 years and then decide to sell it, you will very likely receive the same amount you originally spent.  A stainless steel Rolex Submariner is as good as Swiss currency.



This information is certainly not all there is to say about the subject, but it should give you a quick overview of what makes the Rolex Submariner so special.


More about Rolex

James Bond Watches – From Rolex To Omega And Beyond

Three Affordable Rolex Timepieces

Three Rolex Models You Don’t See Every Day

Robert-Jan Broer
By Robert-Jan Broer
Oct 17, 2017
View all articles


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