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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner: Ultimate Diver's Survival Tool

The Rolex Submariner is an emblem of deep-sea exploration, setting the standard for diver’s watches since 1953 with features like a graduated rotatable bezel and 300-meter water resistance. It combines the assurance of ultimate waterproofness with the utility of a Chromalight display, enhancing visibility in the ocean’s depths, making it a diver’s trustworthy companion and a symbol of resilience and refinement.

History of Rolex Submariner

Launched in 1953, the Submariner was a pioneer, the first divers wristwatch to be rated waterproof to a depth of 100 meters–now 300 metres (1,000 feet). 

Key events in its evolution include the addition of crown guards and an increase in case size to 40mm in 1959, the appearance in the first James Bond movie in 1962, and the introduction of the Submariner Date in 1969.

In 2003, the Rolex Submariner Date “Kermit” 16610LV marked the era of the Green Bezel Submariner, celebrating the Submariner lineup’s 50th anniversary. It became one of the most coveted timepieces, honoring the watch’s history since its introduction in 1953. 

In 2010, the 16610LV was followed by the Rolex Submariner 116610LV “Hulk,” featuring an impressive green dial and Cerachrome bezel with a deeper shade than Kermit’s glossy emerald green. The Hulk introduced a new maxi case, updated bracelet, and movement.

In 2020, the beloved Rolex Hulk was succeeded by the Rolex Submariner reference 126610LV, also known as ‘Starbucks’ or ‘Cermit.’ It features a black bezel similar to the original Kermit and a shade resembling the Hulk’s green. The newer model has a 41mm case, a 21mm wide bracelet, and an updated Calibre 3235 movement with a 70-hour power reserve.

Predicted for the 70th anniversary of the Rolex Submariner in 2023, a new version of Starbucks might be introduced. This update could feature a brighter green bezel reminiscent of the yellow-green of the original 2003 Kermit.


What Are the Main Features of Rolex Submariner Watches?

  • Unidirectional Rotatable Bezel: An essential feature for divers. It has knurled edges, providing an excellent grip, especially when setting the dive time while wearing gloves or in wet conditions.
  • Chromalight Display: Luminescent material emitting a blue glow is applied to the hands, hour markers, and bezel capsule, ensuring legibility and functionality underwater.
  • Oyster Bracelet, Clasp, and Extension System: The Oyster bracelet is designed to be robust and comfortable. It comes with an Oysterlock safety clasp, preventing accidental opening, and a Rolex Glidelock extension system, allowing easy bracelet adjustments without needing tools, making it comfortable to wear over a diving suit.
  • Waterproofness: The Triplock winding crown, equipped with a triple waterproofness system, ensures a secure seal against the case, enhancing water resistance up to 300 meters (1,000 feet).
  • Materials: The watches are made using high-quality materials. Oystersteel, a specially developed 904L steel, is corrosion-resistant and maintains its luster even in harsh conditions. Rolesor combines gold and steel for a harmonious contrast of colors and radiance. Additionally, 18 ct yellow gold, produced in Rolex’s exclusive foundry, is used in some models.
  • Calibers 3230 and 3235: These self-winding mechanical movement are precise and reliable, featuring the exclusive blue Parachrom hairspring, which is highly resistant to shocks.

What Are the Best Pre-owned Rolex Submariner Models?

  • Rolex Submariner 126610LN: Iconic model with black bezel and dial, featuring a new case and the calibre 3235 movement with 70-hour power reserve.
  • The Rolex Submariner Date “Kermit” 16610LV: introduced in 2003 to mark the Submariner’s 50th anniversary, was the first Submariner to feature a green bezel. It’s highly valued for its distinctive color and historical importance.
  • Rolex Submariner 116610LV “Hulk”: Succeeded Kermit in 2010, nicknamed ‘Hulk.’ Impressive green dial with Cerachrome bezel, new maxi case, updated bracelet, and movement.
  • Rolex Submariner 126610LV “Starbucks”: Beloved Hulk’s successor (2010-2020), also known as ‘Starbucks’ or ‘Cermit’. Black bezel resembling Kermit, 41mm case, 21mm bracelet, updated Calibre 3235 movement.
  • Rolex Submariner No Date: Classic model with black dial, luminous markers, and no date window. Asymmetrical dial loved by collectors.
  • Vintage Rolex Submariners 1680, 5513, 6200, and 6538: The Submariner 1680 introduced the date display and a unique domed crystal. The 5513, famously worn by James Bond, is a rare non-chronometer model with distinct shoulders. The 6200 and 6538 are original vintage models from the 1950s, featuring the Mercedes handset and oversized crowns, and hold considerable value.

Are Pre-owned Rolex Submariner Watches a Good Investment?

Rolex watches can be a compelling investment opportunity, particularly for those who share a genuine interest in horology, value the craftsmanship and storied history of Rolex, and are willing to hold onto their timepieces for the long term. 

One model that has gained significant popularity and attention in the pre-owned market is the Rolex Submariner 126610LV, commonly referred to as the “Starbucks” or “Cermit.” While its retail price is listed at S$15,050, it commands a higher resale value of S$21,724. This significant difference between the retail and secondary market prices suggests that demand for this specific model has driven up its value.

Why Is Rolex Submariner So Special?

The Rolex Submariner, since its inception in 1953, has become an iconic timepiece, celebrated for its timeless design, robust functionality, and versatile appeal. 

Born as a professional tool watch for divers, the Submariner has transcended its original purpose and now exemplifies the perfect blend of utility and luxury. 

Its unique features, including a rotatable bezel, exceptional water resistance, and luminous indices, made it revolutionary. 

Rolex Submariner’s status as a cultural icon was heavily influenced by its presence in the James Bond franchise. In the first James Bond film, “Dr. No” (1962), Sean Connery’s 007 wore a Rolex Submariner 6538, introducing the watch to a global audience.

Other notables celebrities that adore Submariner include David Beckham with his classic stainless steel Submariner 5513, Justin Theroux, who opts for the luxurious Yellow Gold Black Dial 16618, and Ellen DeGeneres sporting the unique white gold “Smurf” Submariner 116619. The understated yet chic Steel Yellow Gold 16613 has been seen on Brad Pitt, while Robert Downey Jr prefers the modern “Hulk” Submariner 116610LV. Queen Latifah favors the vibrant Submariner Blue Dial Steel Yellow Gold 116613. This range of models showcases the Submariner’s versatility and appeal across different tastes.

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