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The Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Submariner Date, archetypes of the divers’ watch, epitomize the historic link between Rolex and underwater exploration.

Rolex Submariner in White Gold
Among Rolex timepieces, the Submariner is an icon for a very good reason. It represents the ways in which Rolex combines versatility with modern timekeeping. It's why many devotees--like filmmaker, explorer and Rolex Testimonee James Cameron--reference the Submariner as an extension of their physical selves. "To say that I am loyal to these watches is an understatement. They've always been loyal to me and kept perfect time in harsh conditions – from the South Pole to the Titanic wreck, to the sets of some of the most challenging motion pictures ever made." (Rolex.com).

Launched in 1953, the Submariner was the first divers’ wristwatch waterproof to a depth of 100 meters (330 feet). The Submariner Date, with its date function in addition to the time, was introduced in 1969. The waterproofness of both models was later increased to 300 meters (1,000 feet). Thanks to their renowned robustness, they have moved beyond the marine depths, becoming watches of choice for a wide range of sports and other activities.
A Rolex Submariner with black dial

As an underwater survival tool, the Submariner’s design has been entirely dictated by the practical needs of divers. The model has evolved technically and been endowed with features to improve overall functionality.

Featuring a 41 mm Oyster case, distinctive dial with large luminescent hour markers and hands, unidirectional rotatable bezel and Oyster bracelet, the Submariner and Submariner Date are among the most recognizable watches ever designed. Contributing to the strong visual identity, a graduated Cerachrom bezel insert made from high-tech ceramic is key to their functionality. Its 60-minute graduation allows a diver to monitor diving time accurately.
Rolex submariner in yellow gold and stainless steel

The Submariner and Submariner Date’s Oyster case is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 300 meters (1,000 feet). The Triplock winding crown – fitted with a triple waterproofness system – screws down securely against the case, providing increased water resistance.

Designed to be both robust and comfortable, the Oyster bracelet is equipped with an Oysterlock safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening, and a Rolex Glidelock extension system, allowing fine adjustment of the bracelet length without using any tools.

The Submariner and Submariner Date are equipped with calibre 3230 and calibre 3235 respectively, self-winding mechanical movements entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Their architecture, manufacturing and innovative features make them singularly precise and reliable. Both movements’ power reserve extends to approximately 70 hours.
Vintage Rolex Submariner with black dial

Like all Rolex timepieces, watches in the Submariner range are covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification. This designation testifies that every watch has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories. The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by a green seal and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.


The Submariner was created specifically for underwater exploration and diving. When it first came out of the Rolex workshops, the watch was an immediate success with many pioneering deep-sea professionals, who were asked to test it. One of those trailblazers was Dimitri Rebikoff, a French engineer and underwater photographer. In his 1953 report, Rebikoff wrote that it had performed outstandingly well in trials: “We are able to confirm that this watch has not only given entire satisfaction in diving conditions which were extremely tough and particularly murderous for the material used, but that it has proved an indispensable accessory for all diving with independent equipment.”

In keeping with Rolex’s mastery of waterproof timepieces, the Submariner took the watchmakers’ technological savvy to even greater depths. The introduction of the Submariner in the 1950s arrived just as recreational SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diving was first introduced to the public. Keeping track of time spent underwater with a legible, dependable, and easy-to-use timepiece was critical to the development of the new sport of deep-sea diving. Around the same time, action-themed television programs like "Sea Hunt" and later “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” were enormously popular, adding to the allure of a dive watch ready for adventure.

For most of us, keeping track of time is an essential part of daily life, and doing so dependably even in extraordinary technical situations is what sets Rolex apart. Along with legendary precision and quality manufacture, the Submariner represents a longstanding history of extraordinary breakthroughs and accomplishments. Worn by the likes of Jacques Cousteau and even James Bond, the Submariner is a tool watch that you can take anywhere. As for James Cameron, his Submariner went from the deepest parts of the ocean to the stage of the Academy Awards. No other dive watches can claim that.
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