Monday, December 28, 2015

Dream Watches - The Legendary Rolex Submariner Date Watch

Ruminations on the Rolex Submariner Watch 

A co-worker received a pristine Rolex Submariner Date watch as a gift. Now, he probably wonders why I keep stealing glances at his wrist. 

Rolex Submariner - Photo By The original uploader was LuckyLouie at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

If there is one watch brand that is most associated with luxury, that brand is Rolex. As a wristwatch collector and reviewer, I've reviewed lots of lesser watches. But, I've never actually had the opportunity to actually see a Rolex up close. That changed when a co-worker of mine received a pristine Rolex Submariner Date watch as a gift. His Rolex (probably Model 116613) has a steel case, a black face, and yellow gold trim. Now, he probably wonders why I keep stealing glances at his wrist.

When you look at the Rolex Submariner, you are immediately struck by how familiar looking the watch actually is. It is one of the iconic diver's watches that other brands repeatedly emulate. But, unlike many of today's gargantuan watches, the Rolex is quite reasonably sized. In fact, at 40 millimeters in diameter, the Submariner's dial really isn't any bigger than my latest Timex Expedition Core Analog watch. I think it's a perfectly proportioned watch. One thing I love about the Rolex is the magnification bubble in the crystal over the date window. The magnifier makes it easy to read the date--even from afar!

After the normality of the iconic styling and regular size of the legendary Rolex, the careful observer is struck by the solid construction and quality materials used in the Submariner. The hermetically-sealed "Oyster" case is made of corrosion-resistant, 904L steel. The bracelet, ceramic bezel, and triple-lock winding crown are trimmed with gold forged in Rolex's exclusive foundries. The face is protected by a real mineral crystal. The tough construction adds up to a very substantial watch. While my Caravelle by Bulova Diver-style watch is water resistant to 50 meters, my co-worker's Rolex Submariner is waterproof to 300 meters. That's a staggering 1000 feet. Plus, the Rolex has a perpetual, self-winding, movement while my humble Caravelle is a battery-fired quartz model. The movement is quite a wonder as the Rolex second hand moves amazingly smoothly in comparison to the halting ticking of most watches.

Rolex Sub - By Eternalsleeper at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Rolex Submariner certainly looks richer and more substantial than any of my watches and it simply puts the Seiko, Skagen, and Nautica watches worn by most of our workforce to shame. Although the Rolex is a well-known status symbol, the watch isn't just about bling. In 1926, Rolex developed the first waterproof watch and in 1927 a young English woman named Mercedes Gleitze proved the durability of Rolex when she swam across the English Channel. Rolex was also worn on the first expedition to successfully climb Mount Everest. Even though it's tough, I like bang around watches that cost less than $30. But, if you need a tough watch, the Rolex name is synonymous with tough, professional-grade, precision for divers and other adventurers.

While I won't succumb to a full-blown case of watch envy, it is really cool to see such a mechanical marvel up close.

Rolex Submariner,


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