Rolex introduced the Submariner model in 1953 as the first wristwatch that was water-resistant up to a depth of 100m. In the technical perspective, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms was the first dive watch. But it was the Rolex Submariner that became the prototype of the contemporary divers’ watches.
The brand furnished the iconic Submariner with the ingenious Oyster case and proprietary screw-down crown. Eventually, the timepiece could reach a greater depth underwater in comparison to the Fifty Fathoms. Now, it has been almost over six decades that Rolex is continually upgrading and producing this mainstay collection, keeping the overall aesthetic remarkably consistent.
This Rolex watch is a true classic that comes with one of the world’s most recognised designs. So let’s dig out more of this legendary and sought-after watch – spotlighting the initial reference with its design, followed by the upgraded and contemporary Submariner version.
Early Days with The Rolex Submariner Reference 6204
Rolex unveiled three different Submariner watches during the first two years of production. However, the one that the brand put forward as its ever-first Submariner is the Reference 6204. Interestingly, Rolex designed the early Submariner models significantly based on the existing Rolex Turn-O-Graph timepiece design.
So the Submariner Reference 6204 featured a 38mm stainless steel case, a black rotatable bezel and the now-iconic ‘sport’ dial with a thick acrylic crystal. In its early days, this self-winding and high water-resistant watch could display only the time of day via a running seconds-hand.
However, the Submariner 6204 flaunted pencil-style hands rather than today’s signature Mercedes-style hands. Other features include a glossy black dial and gold-toned markers with radium for lume. And Rolex paired the timing, friction-fitted rotatable bezel with a black aluminium insert that is graduated to 60minutes. Well, the original bezel inserts on vintage Submariners are typically prone to scratches and fading because of exposure to sunlight, salt water, and also, for prolonged use.
Furthermore, the Rolex Submariner Reference 6204 comes with the durable and sporty three-link Oyster bracelet. And interestingly, the brand offered all the following Submariner timepieces this specific bracelet style. The watch houses the Calibre A260 movement known to be the brand’s most rugged automatic movement at the time that offered resistant to shocks.
The Contemporary Days with the Submariner 124060
The newest generation Rolex Submariner made its debut in 2020 as the Reference 124060. Like its early siblings, Rolex offered this watch in stainless steel and equipped it with a black bezel and dial.
However, the Reference 124060 comes with the biggest size ever-offered in the Submariner lineup. The unidirectional bezel framing the case features a Cerachrom insert, and this material is the brand’s patented ceramic alloy that offers resistance to fading and scratches.
Moreover, this newest generation Submariner features a glossy black dial that sports Mercedes-style hands and dot, baton and triangular hour markers. Rolex further pairs the hour markers and hands with its patented Chromalight luminescent material that glows blue in the dark.
Rolex furnished the Submariner Reference 124060 with the signature Oyster bracelet. However, it comes with the practical Glidelock extension system and rugged Oysterlock safety clasp. Now, here is one of the most significant upgrades made to the most recent Submariner –
The Reference 124060 is powered by the Calibre 3230 movement. The brand designed and produced this movement entirely in-house in 2020. It features the Rolex’s patented Chronergy escapement and offers 70hours of power reserve with -2/+2seconds per day accuracy ratings.
Another Newest Rolex Submariner Date 1266xx
Besides the Rolex Submariner 124060, another luxury sports timepiece that made its debut this year is the Submariner Date. Rolex launched the first Submariner Date in 1967 as the Reference 1680. The watchmaker expanded the series later but only to add other materials, dial and bezel colours.
Finally, in 2020, Rolex unleashed a completely new series of the Submariner Date, offering different colours and materials. The new Submariner Date models sport a bigger 41mm case diameter and a broader 21mm Oyster bracelet. Moreover, a new generation automatic Calibre 3235 movement powers the watches.
The white gold and steel versions flaunt black dials with different colour bezels. On the other hand, the solid gold references and bi-tone ones continue to sport bezel colour matched with the dial colour.