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Modern Versions of the Rolex Submariner

Modern Versions of the Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner, featuring a uni-directional elapse time bezel, has been known for its great performance and supreme endurance at extreme temperatures and even at great ocean depths. It falls under the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Professional line. Introduced officially at the Basel Spring Watch Fair in 1954, it has thrived in the market for over 50 years. Some of the earliest Submariner models were 6200 (renumbered as the 5510), 6204 (renumbered as the 6538), 6205 (renumbered as the 6536), 5512, 5513, 1680, and 5517. These models are no longer in production and have become vintage collectibles.

Currently Available Rolex Submariners

The modern versions of the Rolex Submariner are not only specialist tool watches, but have become a fashion accessory for Rolex enthusiasts due to a number of trendy cosmetic characteristics unavailable in earlier versions. The modern versions available today are the following:

Model 16610: Launched in 1996, this model was named the Submariner Date and proved to be an improvement over the previous model 16800. It features the new Cal.3135 movement and its body is made of steel.

Model 14060M: It was introduced in 2001, featuring the new Cal.3130 movement as opposed to the Cal.3030 movement fitted in the previous version--model 14060. It is a non-date Submariner that is made of steel. In 2007, it became a COSC-certified Swiss Chronometer.

Model 16610LV: Rightly named as the Anniversary Submariner Date, this model was introduced in 2003 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Rolex Submariner. Although it sported a steel body, its key distinguishing features were the green bezel and the Maxi dial.

Model 16613: Launched in 1983, it is truly a stylish example of Rolex Submariner watches. This impressive look is attributed to its wonderful combination of 18k gold and stainless steel. Its main attraction is a blue dial.

Model 16618: This model is a unique Submariner as it flaunts an 18k gold body unlike the others with either a steel body or two-tone texture.

Available in steel, 18k yellow gold, and Rolesor (Two-Tone), the Submariner models feature a 40mm case. The colors blue and black are popular in the Submariner models. That is the reason why you will find most people wearing a Submariner with either a blue or black bezel and a blue or black dial. The Oyster fliplock bracelet with extension links is the most popular band.

The Workings of the Uni-Directional Elapse Time Bezel

Submariners (and also Sea-Dwellers) originally were designed for divers. The uni-directional bezel in these models helps the diver measure the elapsed time once he/she enters the water. For instance, just before you start your dive, set the bezel in a way that the triangle engraved on the bezel points at the current minute hand position. As soon as the bezel is set, it starts measuring the elapsed minutes of your dive. The Tritium-filled luminous circle on the triangle along with the luminous hands and hour markers help you tell the time even in the darkness of the deepest depths. It is important to remember that while underwater, never try to unscrew the crown because this action will flood the case. All adjustments for measuring the elapsed time underwater are to be done only to the bezel. These bezel adjustments need to be done as you prepare for your final ascent to safely time your ascent.

Common Characteristics of Modern Versions of Rolex Submariner

Modern versions of the Rolex Submariner include the following characteristics:

  • A scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire crystal, giving the watch a slimmer look.
  • Unidirectional bezel that is capable of turning only counterclockwise. This is a safety feature that helps to prevent accidental movement of the bezel while diving.
  • Waterproof to a maximum depth of 300 meters or 1000 feet.
  • Powered by the Caliber 3135 movement. COSC certified, it is a high beat movement producing a speed of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
  • Triplock system providing another layer of protection. It features a triple gasket system that screws down tightly onto the case tube and against the Oyster case.
  • Self-winding mechanism with a perpetual motor allowing the watch to run continuously without requiring movement for 2-3 days.
  • A case made of either solid block of 904L stainless steel or gold. This ensures a quality case, as the 904L is a corrosion-resistant stainless steel alloy white gold made exclusively in the Rolex-owned foundry.

All these modern versions of Rolex Submariner are stunning accessories that can be worn whether you are in the water or at a Black Tie affair. It is almost impossible to find a watch that matches the perfection of a Rolex Submariner.