Often Imitated, Never Duplicated, The Legendary Rolex Submariner Date

The Rolex Submariner Date needs no introduction. Since 1966 it has featured as the prominent model in the Submariner collection. The rugged tool watch with good looks became an icon almost overnight and many have sought to emulate its distinct style. However, the Rolex diver remains impossible to truly imitate. Today’s Rolex Submariner Date boasts the manufacturer’s latest technological developments and is still as contemporary as ever.

The diver’s watch that became a luxury sports watch

The original Submariner Date, reference 1680, was an auspicious model in the history of the Submariner. Released in 1966, it introduced both a date window and plexiglass with Cyclops magnifier. By then, Sean Connery had already worn a Submariner in several James Bond films. As 007, he aptly demonstrated the unmistakable appeal of the Rolex diver’s watch. Durable in the face of underwater stealth operations, whilst simultaneously offering the perfect complement to a well-tailored suit.

The date function instantly added further appeal. It sealed the Submariner’s transition from pure ‘tool watch’ to luxury sports watch. Its popularity also ensured that the Submariner Date was regularly updated. The shift from boat to boardroom has endured as a statement of bold elegance and masculinity. Today the modern Rolex Submariner Date remains a classic you can’t go wrong with.

The iconic look

The dial of the Submariner Date is the distinctive constant of this Rolex success story. Large hour indexes fashioned in 18k gold still preside in the layout formed to maximise legibility for divers. (Blue Chromalight ensures they stay luminescent for up to eight hours.) At the 3 o’clock position one rectangular index has given way for the date aperture, magnified by the signature Cyclops lens. Calling the shots are of course the Mercedes-style hands, also generously filled with lume to maximise legibility.

Equally iconic is the rotatable bezel (unidirectional for the sake of divers’ safety). The modern Cerachrom bezel insert adds lustre. And the corrosion-resistant ceramic is virtually scratch-proof. 60-minute graduations adorn the insert. They allow a diver to accurately monitor dive times and decompression stops. And the knurled edge of the bezel promotes optimum grip under water, even with gloves.

Many metals

The Submariner Date measures 40mm in diameter. It features a monobloc middle case with a screw-down case back and Triplock winding crown. Waterproofness is ensured to 300m/ 1,000ft/ 30 bar. This has been the standard since a sapphire crystal was introduced in 1979. The three-link Oyster bracelet was developed with divers in mind. It’s equipped with an Oysterlock clasp, to prevent accidental opening. The Glidelock adjustment allows the bracelet to be extended over a diving suit (without requiring tools).

Both the case and bracelet feature a distinctive vertical brush finish. The uniform surfaces provide refinement to the overall aesthetic. Since its debut, the Submariner Date range has grown in terms of case (and matching bracelet) metals. The current collection offers Yellow Rolesor (Oystersteel and yellow gold), Oystersteel, white gold, or yellow gold. Three dial colours are available - black, blue or green. Each comes with matching-colour Cerachrom bezel inserts. The results speak for themselves.

Proven chronometer movement

The manufacture calibre 3135 has been keeping time in the Submariner Date since 1988. Entirely developed and produced in-house. The bidirectional self-winding mechanical movement (like all Rolex Perpetuals) meets COSC certification and is certified as a superlative chronometer. Precision is to within -/ +2 sec/ day. Since 2012 the movement has included a Parachrom hairspring. The technology offers greater resistance to shocks and temperature variations. Power reserve is approximately 48 hours.

The quintessential diver’s watch at home on your wrist

Winsor Bishop is proud to be an Official Rolex Retailer. For further details on how you can create your best Rolex look at sea or in suit, please visit us at our Norwich boutique.