Rolex Submariner Buying Guide
Rolex Submariner - Ruler of the waves
Upon reading the S&R buyer’s guide to the Rolex Submariner, you’ll be left under no illusion as to why the Submariner is an important turning point in modern watchmaking.
Defining the Rolex Submariner
First introduced in 1953, the Rolex Submariner watch was the world’s first watch to be water resistant to 100 metres. As the original watch that graced James Bond’s wrist, the Sub was a sporty number of which we had not seen before. Featuring luminous hands and hour markers, as well as a 60-minute rotating timing bezel housed in a Rolex Oyster Case, it became the by-word for not only dive watches, but sports watches.
Rolex Submariner history
As pre-owned Rolex watch sellers, we have seen many different models of Rolex watches over the years, but the Rolex Submariner’s story started back in the 1950s.
When the Submariner appeared at the Basel Watch Fair of 1954, it marked a turning point in watchmaking that captures the zeitgeist of the time. Scuba diving was beginning to take off – thanks to the underwater exploration work of filmmaker, Jacques Cousteau. Cousteau’s friend and fellow driver also happened to be the Public Relations Director of Rolex, Rene-Paul Jeanneret. Jeanneret could see that, with some tweaks additions, and Cousteau’s underwater experience, Rolex could create a watch that could do more than just tell the time. And, so, the first Submariner model, the ref. 6204, was presented to the world.
For watch enthusiasts out there, it’s important to note that the Rolex Submariner was not the first dive watch ever produced. 1932’s Omega Marine 1953’s Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms are considered to be the world’s first diving watches, but are what made the Rolex Submariner create more of a ripple lay in the detail. The Submariner saw the world’s first practical automatic caliber – the Perpetual – the first volume produced water-resistant casing, producing the Oyster.
It would have been easy for Rolex to sit back on their laurels; while they hadn’t produced the world’s first diving watch, they would seem to have produced the world’s definitive dive watch. Rolex’s subsequent development review of the Submariner certainly explains its hefty price tag!
When investing in a pre-owned Rolex, or new Rolex watch, it is always important to seek out the detail. In the Submariner's first year alone, there were three versions – the 6200, 6204 6205 – all with slight differences that sets each model apart from the others. With a Rolex Submariner of any age, the devil will always be in the reference number.
The Submariner might be a robust enduring wristwatch, but it won’t weigh your wrist down. At only 155g – that’s 5.5oz – the Submariner is now water resistant to a depth of 300m, and is almost 60 years old.
The popularity of the Rolex Submariner
Within 10 years, the Rolex Submariner chronograph had morphed from being a dive watch, into being a status symbol that was worn on the wrist. The Rolex Submariner was as likely to be seen on the big screen as in the boardroom, peaking out from under a tuxedo, or even casually worn on the wrist at Malibu beach. While the Submariner was growing in popularity as a reliable trustworthy watch, Rolex’s product placement success managed to secure a spot in 8 Bond films, on the wrists of four different 007s. From 'Dr No', 'From Russia With Love', 'Goldfinger', 'and Thunderball', to 'On Her Majesty’s Secret Service', where Lazenby got to wear three different Rolexes in his only outing as Bond. Roger Moore’s electromagnetic Submariner in 'Live Let Die' was iconic, as well as the ref.1680 in 'The Man With the Golden Gun', before bowing up in 1989’s 'Licence to Kill', with Timothy Dalton.
But it wasn’t just Bond!
The Rolex Submariner’s popularity is evidenced across the board, with someone for everyone to aspire to. Steve McQueen wore the ref. 5512, and actor Mark Wahlberg has a large Rolex collection. Guitarist, Slash, shows how effortlessly cool the Rolex Submariner is by going for the ref. 116610LV Hulk model.
One of the biggest changes to the Rolex equally got purists stamping their feet, yet, brought the Submariner to a wider market by making it, even more useful. By adding the date function, the Rolex Submariner became more of an every-day-wear watch. While there has always been a no-date version, only made with stainless steel black dials bezels, the date version has seen some interesting colour combinations.
Should I invest in a Rolex Submariner?
The Rolex star just continues to rise, with brand new watches continually fetching over double their ‘value’. The demand for Rolex remains supersonic, yet, Rolex sticks to their production schedule, regardless of demand. This means that they will only make a certain number of a certain model, and that’s that. This is where the re-sale value of a Rolex comes into play. Not only is it the best place to turn your Rolex investment into cash, but it is also the very best way to pick up one of the many models. With the romance history of the Submariner, getting your hands on one of the many classic ref. numbers, with a whole host of dials bezels to choose from, may be best by choosing a watch that has already been owned.
Pre-owned Rolex watches at Suttons & Robertsons London Jewellers
Sometimes, it can be hard to find the Rolex model that you are looking for brand new. Here at S&R London Jewellers, we offer a great selection of pre-owned Rolex watches for ladies and gents. Browse our pre-owned Rolex watch collection online today, or feel free to visit us in store to view our range in-person.
We are also renowned for our collection of pre-owned luxury watches from world leading brands such as Rolex, TUDOR, TAG Heuer, Gucci, Bvlgari, Breitling, Cartier and more. Discover all pre-owned watches for ladies and gents at S&R London by clicking here.
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