Rolex does not create watches but myths. And that of the Submariner is very much in line with that of underwater exploration. A watch, therefore, that also embodies a technical revolution.
Rolex Submariner 2023, First Diving Watch
Since its foundation at the beginning of the 20th century, Rolex has been committed to innovation with the sole aim of accompanying the progress of humanity. Thus, The Rolex Submariner was designed for deep-sea exploration…
The History Of The Rolex Submariner : A Technical Revolution
1953. Rolex research has produced a brand new watch. A stainless steel watch with a robust case and reinforced water-resistance. It is called Submariner, and its innovation is significant.
Indeed, Rolex has developed a hitherto unheard of system. The triplock. 3 seals in the passage of the crown aim to guarantee waterproofness. To cover any damage that may occur on one of the seals. And to prevent any dust or debris from getting into the watch. In other words, Rolex has just developed an infallible watch.
Since Rolex intended it for diving, the company took care to make it the essential tool-watch for the safety of divers. Its graduated rotating bezel serves as a chronometer. A way for the diver to precisely calculate his time, his safety stops and his oxygen reserve. With its luminescent hands and indexes, the Rolex Submariner offers a perfect readability, even in the darkness of the abyss… This design will become the law, since all the diving watches will imitate this Submariner.
After many tests, Rolex is assured. The Submariner resists the pressure of water up to 100 meters deep. Never seen before at the time.
Presented at the Basel Fair the following year, in 1954, the 6204 Submariner is presented as a professional tool. It must be said that it is indeed a diving expert who is behind its qualities. Captain Cousteau.
The Rolex Submariner And The Exploration Of The Sea Bed With Cousteau
Between Jacques-Yves Cousteau and René-Paul Jeanneret, director of Rolex in the 1950s, the agreement was perfect! So perfect, in fact, that Jeanneret relied on Cousteau’s advice to develop his iconic timepiece.
René-Paul Jeanneret convinced the founder Hans Wilsdorf to invest in researching a watch capable of imitating, and accompanying, Cousteau’s new invention. The Aqua Lung, or Water Lung.
In 1955, the two new evolutions of the Submariner, the references 6205 and 6200, are already able to resist the pressure of 660 feet, about 200 meters.
In 1960, the Deepsea Special, inspired by the Submariner, accompanied the exploit of Jacques Piccard and his bathyscaphe, the Trieste. After a dive to 10,916 meters, the Deepsea Special emerged intact.
Rolex Submariner, Watchmaking Icon
Very quickly, the Rolex Submariner went beyond its status as a tool watch to become a cult. On the wrists of elegant and adventurous men, it is now one of the most sought-after Rolexes.
James Bond’s watch
1962. On the set of James Bond, James Bond 007 vs. Dr. No, we realize that Sean Connery absolutely needs a Rolex. Indeed, in the original work of Ian Fleming, James Bond wears a Rolex … But the house refuses, preferring no marketing for this diving watch made for adventurers. So how to go about it?
That’s how producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli’s Submariner, with its crocodile strap, ended up on the screen. A legend is born: James Bond wears a Submariner.
In view of this success, Rolex is now happily linked to the cinema. In 1973, the Submariner even became a life-saving gadget for Agent 007. In the film Live and Let Die, when James Bond and the James Bond Girl are in a funny situation – tied up and on their way to a shark pit…
It’s the Submariner that saves him. One press on the crown, and the bezel turns into a circular saw.
James Cameron’s Watch
The director James Cameron has drawn from the ocean floor the topic of one of his greatest films. Titanic is so realistic because the director organized a number of dives in order to detail precisely what the wreck would have looked like. So the Submariner was much more than a prop to James Cameron.
In February 2017, he says, “I was in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, along the Rio Xingu, with the Kayapo people and I had befriended the chief of this tribe, Raoni. He gave me gifts that were very important to him. I thought: what can I give him that is of equal value to me? The only thing that came to mind was the watch that had accompanied me for 20 years, in all my adventures. It was a Submariner, I’ve worn it for 20 years. Wherever I went, whatever I did… During my 33 dives on the Titanic, during the making of all my films during that time, it was there.”
The Iconic Submariner Unceasingly Reinvented
It is now easy to understand the status of the Submariner in the minds of men. An icon, as racy as it is relevant. The watch is a pure juice of Rolex expertise and it is interesting to see that it has not undergone that many changes in its nearly 66 years of existence. The changes are more about the mechanism that inhabits it.
In 2014, Rolex is thus releasing a Submariner in its favorite materials. In yellow gold and steel, the new dial is blue. Just like the bezel, also in blue ceramic. The change is in the new blue sunray dial, instead of the matte blue dial.
Again in 2014, for the 60th anniversary of the icon, Rolex produces a limited edition, named Submariner ceramic non date. A subtle fusion of these two key Rolex models, this new Submariner is a blend of the vintage aesthetic of the Submariner, and the 114060 model, a bit more modern.
But it’s the Submariner Hulk version, tinted with the iconic Rolex green, that is stirring up all the passions. And we understand why !
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