Rolex is very popular. What is Rolex’s most popular piece? It’s hard to agree on an answer, but the Submariner certainly ranks among them. Even the people who care least about watches are now aware of it.
And the new Rolex 2020, which was changed from its original plan by the new crown epidemic and made people wait almost an extra six months to see it, has actually updated the entire Submariner collection. Thus, we have the new generation of the Oyster Perpetual Submariner and the Oyster Perpetual Submariner Calendar.
The new generation of the Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Oyster Perpetual Submariner Day-Date introduces a new design with a 41 mm case and a wider middle link on the strap. In keeping luxury replica watches with the classic aesthetic of the prototype, the new Submariner Oyster steel model has a black dial with a Cerachrom ceramic bezel in the same colour. The new versions of the Submariner Calendar are available in Oyster steel with a black dial and green bezel, in yellow gold steel (a combination of Oyster steel and 18ct yellow gold) with a royal blue dial and blue bezel, and in 18ct white gold with a black dial and blue bezel. The Oyster Perpetual Submariner is equipped with the calibre 3230, introduced for the first time this year. The Oyster Perpetual Submariner Calendar is equipped with the calibre 3235. Both movements are equipped with the Chronergy escapement developed and patented by Rolex, ensuring a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
In summary, the new model differs from the old one in the following ways: the case has been enlarged from 40 mm to 41 mm, although the lugs have been narrowed so that there is little change in appearance; the movement has been upgraded to the fully Rolex-developed calibres 3230 and 3235 (calendar version), both self-winding, with a power reserve of 70 hours and chronometer-certified by the Grande Complication Chronometer. In addition, a small crown symbol has been added to the dial at 6 o’clock, a small code to quickly distinguish between the old and new models.
Oyster Perpetual Submariner, 41 mm, Oyster steel © Rolex/Alain Costa . Both the Submariner and the Submariner Calendar are equipped with Chromalight luminous displays to ensure legibility even in dark conditions.
One thing, however, remains the same. Calendar or non-calendar, inter-gold or full gold, each model remains water-resistant to 300 metres. A look back at Rolex’s history in diving may help us to understand why the brand’s dive watches are still so popular today.
The story might as well start in 1926, the year the Oyster watch from Rolex was born. The Oyster case was patented: a patented technique that screwed the bezel, caseback and crown securely into the middle case, ensuring a tight fit for water resistance. Hans Wilsdorf, the brand’s founder, gave the exact explanation for its name, as “a watch can be submerged for as long as an oyster, without any damage to its parts”.
1926 – With its sealed oyster case, the Oyster is the world’s first water-resistant wristwatch.
The following year, Mercedes Gleitze, a young woman from Brighton, England, prepares to swim across the English Channel. Hans Wilsdorf asked her to wear a Rolex Oyster, and the first British woman ever to successfully cross the Channel was able to prove the watch’s exceptional water resistance herself. A journalist from The Times at the time left a note in his report: “She was wearing a tiny gold watch, …… and the watch still keeps time as usual.”
1927 – Mercedes Gleitze, the British swimmer, is the first Rolex spokesperson
When time came to the 1940s and 1950s, there was a global interest in underwater deposits and more people sought out water-resistant watches. In 1953, Rolex launched the Submariner. This watch had a rotating bezel with graduated circles that allowed divers to keep track of the time underwater and helped to calculate the amount of breathing gas stored. The new screw-down winding crown with two sealing zones and a double-buckle locking system enhanced the security of the Oyster case.
The Submariner is the first diving watch to be waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), symbolising an important step in the history of Rolex and deep-sea diving.
The first Submariner was water-resistant to 100 metres, and only a year later Rolex increased its water resistance to 200 metres with innovations such as a luminescent material on the small circle at the end of the hour hand, making it easier to distinguish from the minute hand, and the addition of a crown escutcheon.
In 1969, Rolex added a calendar function to the Submariner, introducing the Submariner Date, and in 1970, Rolex further revolutionised its production by adding a third sealed zone, giving rise to the three-button locking winding crown. In 1979, the performance of the Submariner without a calendar was further enhanced to maintain the 300-metre water resistance standard to date, and in 1989, the same level of water resistance was achieved for the Submariner Calendar. Today, the Submariner is no longer confined to the sea. Thanks to their reliability and elegance, they have evolved over time from professional tool watches to classic timepieces for both land and water.
Since the 1950s, Rolex has been collaborating with pioneers in the field of diving, and in 1971, it entered into a partnership with COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises). This French marine engineering company based in Marseille equips its divers with Rolex watches and regularly reports on their performance so that Rolex can further improve the reliability and functionality of its watches.
During its partnership with COMEX, Rolex was involved in several world record-breaking expeditions, which were the subject of Rolex advertising campaigns in 1972 and 1988.
In fact, it is impossible to understand Rolex’s expertise in the field of diving watches without mentioning the Rolex Deepsea. The Rolex Deep Sea Special was launched in the Marianas Trench in 1960 with the RMS Trieste and withstood the pressure of almost 11,000 metres of water; in 2012,fake rolex watches another Rolex Deepsea Challenge watch was fastened to the famous explorer and director James Cameron. director James Cameron on the arm of a submarine, again in the Marianas Trench, waterproof to 12,000 metres ……
1960 – Rolex collaborates on an expedition led by Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard and US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh. They sailed the deep-sea submarine Trieste into the Marianas Trench, where the Rolex Experimental Deepsea Special Edition was tethered to the hull and successfully withstood the immense water pressure of almost 11,000 metres (36,100 feet).
The Rolex Deepsea Challenge Experimental Diver’s Watch is attached to the mechanical arm of the Deepsea Challenger submarine.
To this day, Rolex’s field experiments with the diving pioneers continue. Although the water resistance of the modern Submariner is limited to 300 metres by factory settings and is perfectly adequate for 99.9% of watch users, it must not be forgotten that the Submariner is a watch created by Rolex to meet the needs of divers in the field.