Ever since its inception in 1953, the Submariner has retained its position as a classic favourite among Rolex lovers. A part of the Oyster Perpetual line, the Submariner and Submariner Date are watches you could easily spot from a distance given its robust and functional looks. For 2020, Rolex is introducing a new generation of its Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date, watches that exemplify the historic links between Rolex and the world of diving. Oh and remember good ol’ Kermit with a green bezel and black dial?? He’s BACK!!
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner 41
This is without a doubt a big one for Rolex this year. The new Oyster Perpetual Submariner 41 now comes with a redesigned, slightly larger 41mm case (1mm large than its predecessor). Subtle but impactful. Guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 300 metres (1,000 feet), the watch’s middle case is crafted from a solid block of Oystersteel, a particularly corrosion-resistant alloy. If you take a closer look and compare the new version to the old Reference (114060), you’ll notice that the lugs are slightly thicker, shorter and more angled and the crown guards have also been redesigned. I assume this is more to to do from a design consistency angle i.e, to be on par with the larger case size. True to its aesthetic heritage, the new Submariner has a black dial and unidirectional rotatable bezel with 60-minute graduations with matching Cerachrom insert. The moulded, recessed graduations and numerals are coated with platinum via PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition). The bezel’s knurled edge offers excellent grip, to comfortably set dive time even when wearing gloves.
The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The Triplock winding crown, fitted with a triple waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case and is protected by an integral crown guard. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire and, on the Submariner Date, is fitted with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimum protection for the watch’s movement.
When diving, being able to read the time with absolute certainty is a matter of survival. Therefore, the dial of the Submariner is designed to be clean and unambiguous. The hour and minute hands, clearly differentiated in size and shape, and the hour markers in simple geometric forms – triangles, circles and rectangles – enable instant and reliable reading, preventing any risk of confusion underwater.
The Submariner also feature a Chromalight display: the hands and hour markers are coated or filled with a luminescent material that emits a long-lasting (provides luminosity for about eight hours) blue glow in dark conditions. On the bezel, the triangular zero marker is also visible in darkness thanks to a capsule containing the same luminescent material.
The movement of the watch is another feather in Rolex’s cap. Powering the Submariner is Calibre 3230, a brand new self-winding mechanical movement developed and created entirely by Rolex; the USP clearly being the Chronergy escapement that assures precision within a range of ±2 seconds per day, which is way over chronometer standards in the watch world. This also means the gear-train and barrel have been enhanced to perform spectacularly. The escapement is made of nickel-phosphorus and is also insensitive to magnetic fields. The movements are fitted with an optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The blue Parachrom hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibres’ regularity in any position. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and -patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movements’ shock resistance. Calibre 3230 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to their barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the movements’ power reserve extends to approximately 70 hours.
As for the bracelet – Redesigned lugs could only mean one thing – a remodelled bracelet. Just like its predecssor, the new Submariner is fitted with an Oyster bracelet with a Rolex-designed and -patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening. You also have the Rolex Glidelock extension system, designed and patented by the brand. This particularly inventive mechanism comprises a rack located under the clasp cover and a toothed sliding link that locks into the chosen notch. The Rolex Glidelock on the Oyster bracelet has 10 notches of approximately 2 mm, allowing the length of the bracelet to be adjusted easily, and without tools, up to some 20 mm.
Recommended Retail Price in Australian Dollars: $11,400 AUD
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner 41 Date
The 2020 Oyster Perpetual Submariner 41 Date Collection comprises of 7 new references:
126618LN – Black Dial, Black Bezel, 18K Yellow Gold case and matching bracelet | RRP: $52,150 Australian Dollars
126610LN – Black Dial, Black Bezel, Oystersteel case and matching bracelet | RRP: $12,900 Australian Dollars
126610LV – Black Dial, Green Bezel, Oystersteel case and matching bracelet | RRP: 13,450 Australian Dollars
126618LB – Blue Dial, Blue Bezel, 18K Yellow Gold case and matching bracelet | RRP: $52,150 Australian Dollars
126613LB – Blue Dial with 18K Yellow Gold Indexes and Hands , Blue Bezel with PVD Yellow Gold accents, Oystersteel case with 18k yellow gold elements, Rolesor (Two tone) bracelet | RRP: $20,200 Australian Dollars
126619LB – Black Lacquered Dial, Blue Bezel, 18K White Gold case and Bracelet | RRP: $55,950 Australian Dollars
126613LN – Black Dial with 18K Yellow Gold Indexes and Hands , Black Bezel with PVD Yellow Gold accents, Oystersteel case with 18k yellow gold elements, Rolesor (Two tone) bracelet | RRP: $20,200 Australian Dollars
The updates here are quite similar to the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner 41. For example: the redesigned and slightly larger 41 mm case, the redesigned crown guards, slightly thicker / more angled lugs and a remodelled bracelet (Note: On the 18ct white gold version of the Submariner Date, the Oyster bracelet includes ceramic inserts inside the links to enhance its flexibility and longevity). Technically, the Oyster Perpetual Submariner 41 Date has become a whole lot more powerful in 2020 as it runs on the new generation solid and precise calibre 3235, which provides a magnanimous 70-hour power reserve. This robust movement shares the same features as that of calibre 3230. It powers the hours, minutes, seconds and date at 3 o’clock.
Like all Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Submariner Date are covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015. This exclusive designation testifies that every watch leaving the brand’s workshops has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. These certification tests apply to the fully assembled watch, after casing the movement, guaranteeing superlative performance on the wrist in terms of precision, power reserve, waterproofness and self-winding. The precision of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer is of the order of −2/+2 seconds per day, or more than twice that required of an official chronometer.