Greetings, watch enthusiasts! Rolex has been a leading name in the luxury watch industry for over a century, and one of its most iconic models is the Submariner. This timepiece has been around since the mid-1950s and has undergone several updates and modifications over the years.
In this article, we will take a detailed look at the Rolex Submariner models by year, their features, and how they have evolved over time. We will also explore the advantages and disadvantages of owning a Submariner and answer some frequently asked questions about these timepieces.
The Evolution of Rolex Submariner Models by Year: A Comprehensive Guide
Since its inception in 1954, the Rolex Submariner has undergone many changes in terms of design, materials, movements, and functions. Here’s a look at the different Submariner models by year and how they have evolved.
The Early Years of the Submariner: 1954 – 1960
The first Rolex Submariner models were produced in the early 1950s, with the reference numbers 6200, 6204, and 6205. These watches had a water resistance of up to 100 meters and were equipped with the A260 movement.
In 1956, Rolex introduced the reference 6538 model, which was famously worn by James Bond in the film Goldfinger. This watch had a larger crown and a water resistance of up to 200 meters. It was also powered by the Caliber 1030 movement.
By the end of the 1950s, Rolex had introduced the reference 5512 and 5513 models, which featured improved water resistance and a new movement, the Caliber 1520.
The 1960s: The Introduction of the Date Function and Other Upgrades
In the early 1960s, Rolex introduced the reference 5513, which became the brand’s most popular Submariner model. This watch featured a new movement, the Caliber 1530, and a new dial design with larger, more visible hour markers.
In 1965, Rolex unveiled the reference 1680, which was the first Submariner to feature a date function. This watch was also equipped with the Caliber 1575 movement and had a water resistance of up to 200 meters.
The 1970s: Additional Updates and Changes
During the 1970s, Rolex made several updates and changes to the Submariner lineup. In 1972, the brand introduced the reference 5512, which featured a new movement, the Caliber 1560, and improved water resistance up to 200 meters.
In 1979, Rolex discontinued the reference 1680 and replaced it with the reference 16800, which had an improved movement, the Caliber 3035, and a higher water resistance of up to 300 meters.
The 1980s and 1990s: Greater Durability and New Features
During the 1980s and 1990s, Rolex continued to update and refine the Submariner. In 1981, the brand introduced the reference 16800, which had improved water resistance and a sapphire crystal instead of a plastic one.
In 1988, Rolex introduced the reference 16610, which featured a new movement, the Caliber 3135, and a unidirectional rotatable bezel with a graduated 60-minute scale.
In 1990, Rolex introduced the reference 14060, a non-date version of the Submariner that was equipped with the Caliber 3000 movement.
The 2000s and Beyond: High-Tech Materials and Advanced Features
In the 2000s and beyond, Rolex continued to innovate and push the limits of what was possible with the Submariner. In 2003, the brand introduced the reference 16610LV, also known as the “Kermit” because of its green bezel.
In 2008, Rolex introduced the reference 116610, which featured a new case design that was larger and made from 904L stainless steel. This watch was also equipped with the Caliber 3135 movement.
In 2010, Rolex introduced the reference 116610LN, which featured a black ceramic bezel and a new movement, the Caliber 3135. This watch was also water-resistant up to 300 meters.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Owning a Rolex Submariner
1. Iconic Design: The Rolex Submariner is one of the most recognized and iconic watch designs in the world. It’s a classic and timeless piece that will never go out of style.
2. High-Quality Materials: Rolex is known for its use of high-quality materials in its watches, and the Submariner is no exception. This watch is made from durable materials like 904L stainless steel and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
3. Precision Movement: The Submariner is powered by the Caliber 3135 movement, which is known for its precision and accuracy.
4. Water Resistance: The Submariner has a water resistance of up to 300 meters, making it a reliable choice for divers and anyone who spends time near water.
1. High Price: The Rolex Submariner is a luxury watch that comes with a high price tag. It may not be within everyone’s budget.
2. Limited Availability: Rolex watches are popular and often in high demand, which can make it difficult to find the Submariner model you want.
3. Maintenance Costs: Keeping a Rolex Submariner in top condition requires regular maintenance and servicing, which can add up over time.
A Table of Rolex Submariner Models by Year
|1954-1958||6200, 6204, 6205||100m||A260|
|1958-1962||6536, 6538||200m||Caliber 1030||Larger crown, no crown guards|
|1962-1969||5513||200m||Caliber 1530||New dial design with larger hour markers|
|1965-1980||1680||200m||Caliber 1575||Date function|
|1979-1980||16800||300m||Caliber 3035||Improved movement, sapphire crystal|
|1981-1988||16800||300m||Caliber 3035||Sapphire crystal|
|1988-2010||16610||300m||Caliber 3135||Unidirectional rotatable bezel with graduated 60-minute scale|
|1990-2010||14060||300m||Caliber 3000||Non-date version|
|2003-2010||16610LV||300m||Caliber 3135||Green bezel|
|2010-present||116610LN||300m||Caliber 3135||Black ceramic bezel|
Frequently Asked Questions About Rolex Submariner Models by Year
1. What is the oldest Submariner model?
The oldest Submariner models were produced in 1954 and had reference numbers 6200, 6204, and 6205.
2. What is the most popular Submariner model?
The most popular Submariner model is the reference 5513, which was produced from the 1960s to the 1980s.
3. What is the difference between the Submariner and the Sea-Dweller?
The Submariner is designed for recreational diving and has a water resistance of up to 300 meters, while the Sea-Dweller is designed for professional diving and has a water resistance of up to 1,220 meters.
4. What is the difference between the ceramic and aluminum bezels?
The ceramic bezels are more durable and scratch-resistant than aluminum bezels.
5. How often should I service my Submariner?
Rolex recommends servicing your Submariner every 5-10 years to keep it in top condition.
6. Where can I buy a Rolex Submariner?
You can buy a Rolex Submariner from authorized dealers or secondhand watch dealers.
7. Can I wear my Submariner in the shower?
Yes, you can wear your Submariner in the shower, but it’s best to avoid exposing it to hot water or soap.
Overall, the Rolex Submariner is a legendary watch that has stood the test of time. With its iconic design, high-quality materials, and precision movement, it’s no wonder why the Submariner has been a favorite of watch enthusiasts around the world for over 60 years.
Whether you’re a collector, a diver, or simply a fan of luxury watches, the Rolex Submariner is definitely worth considering. With its timeless style and enduring quality, it’s a watch that will last a lifetime.
Take Action Today!
Ready to add a Rolex Submariner to your collection? Visit your nearest authorized dealer to explore the different models and find the one that’s right for you. With its timeless style and enduring quality, a Rolex Submariner is a watch that will last a lifetime and beyond.
Rolex is a trademark of Rolex SA. This article is not affiliated with or endorsed by Rolex SA in any way. The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Always consult with a qualified watch expert or authorized dealer before making any decisions related to the purchase, maintenance, or repair of a Rolex Submariner.