Watch Exchange Singapore Logo

Buy, Sell, Consign or Trade Your Watches

Contact Us Now

Join Our Telegram Channel for The Latest Watch Deals! Join Now

Top 6 Most Sought-After Rolex Submariner Models To Invest In

Published on
Blog
best rolex submariner

The Rolex Submariner is a distinguished line of luxury Rolex sport watches, highly regarded for their exceptional water resistance and precision. Within this renowned collection, some Submariners have proven to be more valuable, sought after, and popular than others, making them a worthy investment for watch connoisseurs.

In particular, the Rolex Submariner 5513 is one of the best models for investment. Its rarity and uniqueness make it increase in value quicker over time. Additionally, the ref. 16610 has become one of the most recognizable and popular models due to its enduring style and success. 

Additionally, the Rolex Submariner vintage models above are highly sought after for their timeless sophistication and rarity. They capture the essence of a bygone period, increasing their desirability and value on the market. Looking for top vintage Rolex Submariner watches to invest in? Here are some of the best Rolex Submariner watches that promise excellent returns on the secondary market:

1. Rolex Submariner – Stainless Steel, Black Dial ref. 5513

Rolex Submariner 5513

About

The Rolex Submariner ref. 5513 is a luxury men’s vintage timepiece. It was introduced nearly a decade after the Submariner collection was first introduced. And, it’s an improvement and cheaper alternative to the ref. 5512. 

This Rolex Submariner watch boasts many enviable records that make it a must-have today, such as being the last No Date Sub with an acrylic crystal and a bi-directional bezel. It features a 40mm stainless steel body and matching Oyster bracelet, plus a black dial and non-COSC-certified movement.

Features

They include a domed acrylic crystal over its dial, a bidirectional rotating bezel, hands and hour markers with Tritium/Radium lume, water resistance to 200m, and a non-COSC-certified movement.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 1962-1989
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black, with Tritium/Radium luminescent Mercedes-style hands and applied triangle/round/rectangle hour markers
    • Bracelet – Stainless steel, Oyster
    • Bezel – Bidirectional rotatable, stainless steel with black insert and 60-minute graduated scale
  • Function: Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic, non-COSC-certified Caliber 1520/1530 movements

Why You Should Invest?

As an early model in the Submariner series, it has a storied past that contributes to its allure for collectors and enthusiasts. Additionally, it has consistently proven to appreciate in value over time, making it an excellent investment. For example, its price has increased by at least 70 percent on the pre-owned market between 2021 and August 3, 2023.

2. Rolex Submariner Date – 904L Stainless Steel, Black Dial ref. 16610

Rolex Submariner 16610

About

The Rolex Submariner Date ref. 16610 is a luxury men’s sports dive watch. It’s among the first Rolex Subs to adopt a five-digit reference and was created during Rolex’s experimentative years. 

That’s clear from its stylish 40mm stainless steel case and matching Oyster bracelet, updated crystal over the dial, and higher water resistance movement. It still has the suave to charm a tux now like it did while it was in production.

Features

The main ones are a Cyclops magnifier lens on the crystal at the 3 o’clock position, a unidirectional rotatable bezel, a date window at 3 o’clock, a sapphire crystal over the dial, and water resistance to 300m.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 1987-2010
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black, with luminescent Mercedes-style hands and applied triangular/round/rectangular hour markers
    • Bracelet – 904L stainless steel, Oyster
    • Bezel – Unidirectional rotating 120-click, stainless steel, with a black anodized aluminum insert with a 60-minute graduated scale
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic, Caliber 3135 movement with 31 jewels, 48-hour power reserve

Why You Should Invest?

The limited production years and increasing demand for this model make it an attractive piece for potential appreciation in the future. Moreover, according to Timerating, it’s one of the Submariners whose value has increased by over 200 percent in the last 22 years (from 1994 to 2016). Its market price has risen steadily since then, with an additional increase of at least 30 percent on August 3, 2023.

3. Rolex Submariner ‘James Bond’- Stainless Steel, Black/Brown Dial ref. 6538

Rolex Submariner 6538

About

The Rolex Submariner ‘James Bond’ ref. 6538 is one of the most highly sought-after luxury sports watches for men. It’s famous for appearing around the late actor Sean Connery’s wrist as he portrayed the iconic fictional British spy James Bond in Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, and Goldfinger.

It may be smaller than most modern proper tool timepieces (with a 38mm diameter), but it provides a respectable wrist presence thanks to its bigger crown, all-steel body, and screw-down caseback. It also has a black (that turned brown with time in some models) four-liner dial and Mk2 bezel with a red inverted triangle at 12 o’clock on its insert.

Features

Its main features are an Mk2 bezel with an inverted red triangle at 12 o’clock, a 38mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case, a big crown with an 8mm diameter, a four-liner dial, and a domed crystal over the dial.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 1954-1959
  • Case Size: 38mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Black/Brown, with luminescent Mercedes-style hands and applied triangle/round/rectangular hour markers
    • Bracelet – Stainless steel, Oyster
    • Bezel – Stainless steel, revolving, with a black insert with a red inverted triangle at 12 o’clock and 60-minute graduation
  • Function: Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic, Caliber 1030 movement with 25 jewels, 18,000vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

Investing in a Rolex Submariner ‘James Bond’ 6538 is a smart choice for watch collectors and enthusiasts for several reasons. Firstly, Its historical connection to James Bond, classic design, and rarity make it a valuable timepiece. 

Also, In 2012, a mint condition ref. 6538 sold for S$123,822 at an auction at Christie’s, while a Tiffany-signed Submariner 6538 went for S$382,907 later that year. Lastly, according to WatchCharts, its average market price increased from S$16,035 on February 11, 2023, to S$18,201 on August 9, 2023. This demonstrates the potential value and appreciation of this particular model.

4. Rolex Submariner ‘Hulk’- 904L Stainless Steel, Green Dial ref. 116610LV

Rolex Submariner Hulk 116610LV

About

The Rolex Submariner ref. 116610LV is a luxury men’s sports timepiece. Affectionately called the “Hulk,” it’s a popular variation of the classic Submariner model, distinguished by its striking green dial and bezel. 

It was introduced in 2010 to replace the equally iconic ‘Kermit’ 16610LV and features a 904L stainless steel Super Case and matching bracelet, eye-catching dial, and wider lugs for a more macho appearance. 

It earned its nickname from its resemblance to the comic book character Hulk, with the green color making a bold statement and captivating collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Features

The main ones are a green dial, a 904L stainless steel Super Case, a green bezel, Chromalight on its hands and hour markers, and a stainless steel Triplock screw-down crown.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2010-2020
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Green, with Chromalight lume-coated Mercedes-style hands and applied triangle/rectangle/round hour markers
    • Bracelet – Three-link Oyster in 904L stainless steel, complete with a Glidelock wetsuit extension system clasp
    • Bezel – Unidirectional, 904L stainless steel, with a green Cerachrom ceramic insert with markers and 60-minute numerals in platinum
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Caliber 3135, a self-winding mechanical movement with 31 jewels, 48-hour power reserve, 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

Investing in a Rolex Submariner Hulk is a wise choice as it maintains its value and has the potential for appreciation. According to WatchBase, its price has been increasing steadily between 2014 and 2020.

It was worth S$11,042 on June 1, 2014, and rose to S$11,783 on February 1, 2015. It then increased to S$12,376 on February 1, 2016. It maintained this price tag before rising again to S$13,201 on January 4, 2020.

5. Rolex Submariner No Date – 904L Stainless Steel, Black Dial ref. 14060

Rolex Submariner 14060

About

Want a vintage piece with nice, modern touches? The Rolex Submariner ref. 14060 is the instrument for you. This classic luxury men’s sports timepiece was created to replace the ref. 5513 and just like the ref. 16610, it can seamlessly fit into the modern world thanks to its design and features.

Boasting a 904L stainless steel case, a Triplock crown (first No Date Sub to have one), a sapphire crystal over the glossy black dial and a new movement (at the time), it showcases Rolex’s commitment to quality and innovation with its robust construction and timeless design.

It was the last non-chronometer Rolex Submariner and underwent tons of changes throughout its 20-year run, namely a new movement (Caliber 3130), a new name (14060M), and changes in luminescent material from Tritium to LumiNova to SuperLumiNova in 1999 and a chronometer certification in 2007.

Features

Its most impressive features are a two-liner dial, a slender 40mm stainless steel case with lug holes, a glossy, well-lit black dial, a unidirectional rotatable bezel with an aluminum insert, water resistance to 300m, and a flat sapphire crystal over the dial.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 1990-2010
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Glossy black with luminescent Mercedes-style hands and applied triangle/round/rectangle hour markers
    • Bracelet – 904L stainless steel Oyster, with three-piece solid links
    • Bezel – Unidirectional rotatable, knurled stainless steel, with a black aluminum insert with a 60-minute graduated scale
  • Function: Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic, Caliber 3000/3100 movements

Why You Should Invest?

The Rolex Submariner No Date ref. 14060 makes for a solid investment for several reasons: Its timeless design, superior craftsmanship, and prestige associated with Rolex watches make it highly desirable. 

Also, as a discontinued model with an impressive production run, it’s sought after by collectors and watch enthusiasts, potentially increasing its value over time. Its price rose by approximately 50 percent in the pre-owned market between 2021 and August 9, 2023.

6. Rolex Submariner ‘Smurf’ – White Gold, Blue Dial ref. 116619LB

Rolex Submariner Date 116619LB

About

Perhaps you desire a more daring, slightly more modern luxury watch. If so, the Rolex Submariner ‘Smurf’ ref. 116619LB is sure to tickle your fancy. It’s an all-gold luxury men’s sports watch among those produced to celebrate Rolex’s 100th anniversary and the Submariner line’s 55th anniversary.

It has an elegant 40mm White Gold Super Case and matching bracelet, plus a masculine bright blue dial and matching blue ceramic bezel. Its slender but large case profile and smooth bracelet make it an excellent fit among most watch enthusiasts.

Features

The main ones are a White Gold Super Case with thicker lugs, a bright blue Maxi dial, a bezel with a blue ceramic Cerachrom insert, an Oyster bracelet with polished center links and a Glidelock extension system, and water resistance to 300m.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2008-2020
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Blue, with Chromalight lume-coated larger Mercedes-style hands and applied hour markers
    • Bracelet – White Gold, Oyster, with Glidelock extension system
    • Bezel – White Gold, unidirectional rotatable, with blue ceramic Cerachrom insert and a 60-minute graduation scale
  • Function: Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
  • Mechanism: Rolex Caliber 3135, self-winding mechanical movement

Why You Should Invest?

It’s a highly sought-after watch model that has been gaining value in the market. For example, as per WatchBase, its price increased from S$48,128 on February 1, 2015, to S$50,575 on February 1, 2016.

Summary

The following table highlights the Rolex watches above, plus their key features, retail, private market, and pre-owned prices:

ModelKey FeaturesRetail PricePrivate Market PricePre-Owned Price
Rolex Submariner ref. 5513• Domed acrylic crystal over its dial
• Bidirectional rotating bezel
• Hands and hour markers with Tritium/Radium lume
S$3,365S$17,291S$19,958
Rolex Submariner Date ref. 16610• Cyclops magnifier lens on the crystal at the 3 o’clock position
• Unidirectional rotatable bezel
• Date window at 3 o’clock
S$9,926S$12,861S$14,376
Rolex Submariner ‘James Bond’ ref. 6538• Mk2 bezel with an inverted red triangle at 12 o’clock
• 38mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case
• Big crown with an 8mm diameter
S$18,201S$22,345
Rolex Submariner ‘Hulk’ ref. 116610LV• Green dial
• 904L stainless steel Super Case
• Green bezel
S$12,180S$25,948S$29,253
Rolex Submariner No Date ref. 14060• Slender 40mm stainless steel case with lug holes
• Unidirectional rotatable bezel with an aluminum insert
• Flat sapphire crystal over the dial
S$3,769S$12,051S$13,417
Rolex Submariner ‘Smurf’ ref. 116619LB• White Gold Super Case with thicker lugs
• Bright blue Maxi dial
• Bezel with a blue ceramic Cerachrom insert
S$53,365S$51,444S$56,471

Final Word

The Rolex Submariner has been a popular and iconic timepiece since its introduction in 1953. Known for its rugged reliability, timeless design, and comfort on the wrist, it has become a staple in the watch world. The vintage pieces above that are desirable among most watch collectors are a testament to the collection’s strong influence on horology.

Key Takeaways

  • The Rolex Submariner is a highly regarded luxury dive watch with a storied history and various models for collectors and enthusiasts to appreciate.
  • The Rolex Submariner 16610 is the collection’s most popular and recognizable timepiece. It’s appreciated for its enduring style and success.
  • Rolex Submariner vintage models are highly sought for their timeless elegance and rarity. They capture the essence of a bygone period, increasing their desirability and value on the market.

Looking to buy or sell your luxury watches? Watch Exchange is your one-stop destination for trading Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tissot, Sinn, Zenith, and other luxury timepieces. Find your next watch today or list your item for free!


Buy or Trade Sell or Consign