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The Rolex GMT-Master vs. the Rolex Submariner

Rolex GMT-Master

The Rolex GMT-Master and the Rolex Submariner fall into the professional line of watches. While the GMT-Master is meant for aviators, the Submariner was the world's first watch designed for diving. Both were introduced in 1954 at the Basel Fair.

Similarities Between the Rolex GMT-Master and the Rolex Submariner

Apart from both being professional Rolex watches and sharing the same launch year, there are other similarities between the current versions of the GMT-Master and the Submariner. Some of these similarities include:

  • Standard case size of 40mm
  • Self-winding mechanism
  • Rotating bezel
  • Scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire crystal--giving the two watches a slimmer look
  • Triplock system providing another layer of protection to the Oyster case--featuring a triple gasket system that screws down tightly onto the case tube and against the Oyster case
  • Availability in 18k yellow gold, steel, or Rolesor

Besides these similarities, the option of black bezel with black dial is very popular in both of these models.

Differences Between the Rolex GMT-Master and the Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner

Rolex created these two models to meet different professional needs. Some of the major aspects in which the watch models differ from each other are explained below:

  • The Rolex Submariner features a uni-directional rotating bezel as opposed to the bi-directional bezel found in the Rolex GMT-Master watches. The functionality of the bezels is different in the two models. The uni-directional bezel in the Rolex Submariner is designed to help a diver measure elapsed time while diving; by measuring the time elapsed during decent or ascent, the bezel helps ensure the safety of the diver. 
On the other hand, the bi-directional rotating bezel in the Rolex GMT-Master helps the wearer read the time in two different time zones simultaneously. Divided into two equal parts, the time 6:00 to 18:00 represents the day and the time 18:00 to 6:00 represents the night. The special 24-hour hand is used to display 24 hours on the bezel. The watch features an independent hour hand, which can be set to a different time zone without adjusting the 24-hour hand and the bezel. In addition, the "one-hour" jump feature enables the hour hand to jump one hour at a time without affecting the minute or second hand. This feature is not present in the Submariner models.
  • Current Rolex GMT-Master models have a water depth rating of 330 feet, while Submariner models have a water depth rating of 300 meters or 1000 feet.
  • Unlike Submariner models, all current Rolex GMT-Master models have a ceramic bezel
  • The Rolex GMT-Master is currently available with many embedded jewelry options such as diamond-paved dial, rotating bezel fitted with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, and even diamond-fitted lugs. Such jewelry options are not available in the Submariner models.