New Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner: A Kinglike Facelift

The most famous diver's watches, the iconic Rolex Submariner has received an aesthetic and mechanical update. The new versions have just been revealed and are, for the most part, already available in stores. Good news for collectors and enthusiasts alike who sometimes waited months (if not years) before being able to buy one!

By Nicolas Yvon, Frank Declerck

The new Rolex Submariner is one of the stars of the 2020 watchmaking season.

As often with Rolex, the skilfully orchestrated evolution of the models is not immediately obvious. Of course, rejuvenating an absolute beauty cannot be done with a rash surgical knife. Moreover, the manufacture with the crown logo has made plain she was not an adept of deep changes.

Strength or Weakness?

Some would say that is strength, some a weakness. Whatever the case, the crown brand has always been the king of watches which would prove that this strategy remains one of the best. In this time of health crisis, she is still in the spotlight bill. Understandable since its watches have become, over the years a touchstone, worn by the biggest stars as by the greatest adventurers.

The characteristic crown protection of the Rolex Submariner.

Here lies the perfection of Rolex professional watches which, while being profoundly technical instruments, have always been sufficiently elegant pieces to compliment flawlessly a designer suit or even, for the Submariner, a tuxedo… of a secret agent on her Majesty’s Secret Service. Let us break it down.

Rolex Submariner: icon of professional instruments

First presented in 1953, the famous model of the Manufacture promptly established itself as the archetype of modern diving watches. Being water-resistant to 100 meters, then to 200 meters the same year, with a graduated unidirectional rotating bezel – and luminescent mark – to calculate immersion times, hands and indexes visible in the darkness of deep water, the Submariner undoubtedly benefits from the Rolex’s experience in the conception of waterproof watches.

La Rolex Submariner en costume de ville
The Rolex Submariner can be worn tastefully with a suit or over a wetsuit! This is also what makes the success of the model.

In 1926 that the Manufacture presented its first Oyster case hermetic to both water and dust. A real technical feat at the time, which was then successfully tested in real condition by swimmer Mercedes Gleitze when she crossed the Channel in 1927 while wearing a Rolex Oyster watch. Cornerstone of the Maison’s professional instruments, the Submariner is a model whose innovations, performance and technicity would subsequently be used to develop extraordinary watches, capable of withstanding extreme depths and which enabled Rolex establish itself as the inevitable partner of divers all around the world (Read our article about the Rolex Sea-Dweller).

Rolex Submariner: high performance calibres

Two high-performance calibres for the new Rolex Submariner.

Without becoming unrecognizable, the watch icon has indeed been redesigned and today it incorporates state-of-the-art movements: the new 3230 calibre with three hands and the 3235 calibre for the version with date. Needless to say, these new calibres are more efficient than the old ones …
The Rolex calibres 3230 and 3035 have therefore benefited from the latest watchmaking progress. A technology marvel, these automatic movements with Perpetual rotor and patented innovations (such as non-magnetic escapement, paramagnetic balance spring, high-performance shock absorber) guarantee a power reserve of nearly three days (approximately 70 hours).

A maximum variation of 2 seconds per day!

These performances in terms of precision, resistance and autonomy, combined with the qualities of the Oyster case, have enabled the Submariner and Submariner Date to be certified Superlative Chronometer, as all Rolex watches are since 2015. This certification affixed to the dial ensures, of course, that the COSC tested the movement but also that this mechanical marvel passed the Rolex tests, which are much more demanding since they impose a maximum variation in rates of +/- 2 seconds per day!

An even slender silhouette characterizes the new 2020 edition of the Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner: Star of the 2020 watchmaking season

With subtle modifications enhancing the Submariner 2020, it naturally stands out as one of the two main stars of the fall (Editor’s note: with the Pasha de Cartier). The “Sub”, as it is nicknamed, gains one small millimeter (41 mm) more than the previous edition (Editor’s note: it first measured 38 mm when it was created in 1953). No matter this size increase, the watch sports a slender line enhanced by the polished sides of the case which reflect the light amazingly.
The other aesthetic novelty has a practical side, being the enlargement of the bracelet clasp to improve its handling. Equipped with the Rolex Glidelock extension system, it can expand up to 20mm to easily adjust the watch onto a wetsuit without needing any tool.

The new 2020 edition of the Rolex Submariner and its Chromalight blue luminescence.

Rolex Submariner: performance is key

On this new piece can obviously be found the high-performance characteristics which made the Submariner famous among the most demanding divers. Water-resistant up to 300 meters, its Oyster case is machined from a solid block of Oystersteel, a superalloy of the ultra-corrosion-resistant 904L steel family (to be noted that the Submariner Date versions in yellow Rolesor and white gold will be available a later in October). Whether with or without a date, the instrument always flaunts the robustness and functionality of a unidirectional rotating bezel fitted with a Cerachrom insert: the unalterable and almost scratch-proof high-tech ceramic of Rolex. On this disc, the platinum or gold graduation is made in PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition). The gold indexes and hands of the dial are coated with Chromalight, a long-lasting blue luminescent material introduced by Rolex on the Deepsea watch in 2008.

Despite the cancellation of Baselworld due to the pandemic, Rolex will not let 2020 impede its creativity. These Submariner are not the only new products released by the House who has not only revisited its Datejust and Sky-Dweller lines but also, and above all , Oyster Perpetual which is enriched for its part by very colorful dials. New features that we will present to you soon on MyWatch …

Discover all the technical information:
Submariner in steel (€ 7,650)
Submariner Date in steel (€ 9,050)
Submariner Date in yellow Rolesor (€ 13,450)
Submariner Date in white gold (€ 37,400)

A – vintage – feast for the eyes: the first appearance of the Rolex Submariner on-screen around the wrist of 007. The film debuts of two future legends?