Rolex are the biggest watchmaking brand in the world, with the Swiss line being known to release some of the most iconic models in horological history. Within their catalogue, Rolex have various watch types for customers to choose from, if you can get past the waiting list and get your hands on your desired watch that is. But what is the most popular watch in their catalogue?


Rolex being known to release their sports watches, never released a diver’s watch until the first Submariner was produced in 1953, yet there remains some uncertainty as to when the first ever Submariner was actually released, but that doesn’t stop the Submariner line being one of the most popular lines in the Rolex catalogue.


Having some of the most aesthetically pleasing and admirable models part of Rolex, there are no questions as to why its popularity has increased, with the Submariner being the most popular dive watch of all time. In this article, we have covered various reasons as to why the Submariner is one of the most popular models.



The first Rolex Submariner ref. 6204 - Image by © Rolex





The Submariner has an iconic style and attractable aesthetic. Like many Rolex watches, many consumers won’t buy the watches for the desired purpose, but the Submariner’s style has made the model a perfect fit to dress for multiple occasions. 


The watch’s Cerachrom and rotatable bezel, gives the model its strong and flexible look. Moreover, due to the corrosion-resistant ceramic, the bezel is virtually scratch-proof so there are no worries when wearing this watch, when thinking about damage.


Colour has become an adventure for the Submariner in recent times, such as the Submariner reference, 16610LV “Kermit,” 116610LV “Hulk” edition and the 116619 “Smurf.” 


These are just a few names in the Submariner collection that involves colour. This refers back to the point of the Submariner becoming a dress watch, evolving from its diver’s purpose. 


Rolex bracelets are some of the best in the luxury watch game, such as the Jubilee and President. As it is known, Submariner’s include the Oyster bracelet which is purposefully designed for robustness and comfort. 


Arguably, it is an underrated bracelet in the watchmaking world with many favouring other bracelets over the Oyster. However, it combines perfectly with the Submariner’s nature and purpose.


In 1969, Rolex launched the release of the Submariner Date, so there is a date-display on the dial of the model- always a nice touch and addition to watches. 


There are three out of four Submariners with the date-display being retailed at Rolex, with the option of different variations to the colour of bezel and dial. Standing on its own, without the date-display is the reference, 124060, a very simple and versatile piece.



The retail price range for many different Rolex models always vary. For instance, the Submariner’s price range is wide because of the Date in yellow-gold which has two options; different bezels and dials, one being in black ceramic and the second in blue ceramic.



Rolex Submariner Date in 18ct yellow gold ref. 116618LB and 116618LN - Image by © Time4Diamonds



Both variations are retailing for £34,200, whilst the remaining Submariners are retailing at a much lower and affordable price for luxury watches. 


Rolex watches appreciate in value overtime; the older or rarer the collection, the more it'll increase in value. Unlike buying a new car or appliance that'll lose 20% to 30% of its value the moment you walk out of the store with it, a Rolex doesn't lose its value.


Due to the Submariner being one of the most-popular models, the watch manages to hold its value very well. It is a perfect watch with a classic design, superb functionality and versatile aesthetic making the model an excellent investment.


Rolex watches are crafted using the finest materials, so every piece is durable, with the ability to last a lifetime. 


Submariners have been created to be utilised in extreme conditions, so if you are thinking of owning a Rolex to be worn as a dress watch and not for the intended diving purpose, then there is less concern surrounding any problems that may occur to the watch’s function. 


Therefore, the value of a specific model that one had purchased wouldn’t be lost, meaning the return on investment is promising.





Being a diver’s watch must mean it possesses some incredible features, such as the rotatable bezel that has small edges to allow grip when setting a dive time. 


The Oyster case is guaranteed to have protection and waterproof to a depth of 300 metres (1,000 feet) which is very impressive. 


Therefore, its function and features demonstrate how it has become the top favoured choice as a divers watch. It can be argued that this is why the watch featured in many James Bond films in the beginning of the film franchise.


The Submariner has had a large history of models and has been well documented. However its history in the James Bond franchise is more enticing as it is one of the many reasons why the Submariner gained popularity. 


As said, there is uncertainty surrounding when the first Submariner was released, but we know it was either 1953 or 1954. It took just under 10 years to make its first appearance in a James Bond film in 1962. Reference 6538 was displayed in ‘Dr. No’ which involved Sean Connery’s portrayal of James Bond.



Rolex Submariner ref. 6538 worn by Sean Connery



This Submariner continued to be part of the James Bond franchise, even getting its own nickname aligned with the model making it known as the “Bond Submariner.” Also, there was the Submariner “Live and Let Die,” reference 5513, made specifically for Roger Moore and his role as the protagonist.


The watches last appearance was License to Kill in 1989, reference 16610, worn by Timothy Dalton in his last portrayal as James Bond.


Being part of one of the biggest movie franchises surely benefitted the Submariner’s reputation and popularity.


In conclusion, it is clear that the Submariner managed to get its spotlight in its very early year of the watch’s release. This has continued to progress making the watch a very favourable choice for enthusiasts and fans.


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