All About the Rolex Submariner

1695219934 All About the Rolex Submariner

As one of the most recognizable timepiece designs of all time, the Rolex Submariner is an iconic line of sports watches made by Rolex that were designed to be waterproof so it could be used when diving. Known for its incredible resistance to water and corrosion, the Submariner sprung onto the watch scene during the post-world war II economic boom in the early 1950’s.

At the time, specialty watches were not a mainstream concept, as most people only owned one watch and they generally wanted to wear it for all occasions.  The Submariner filled all of the prior needs while adding a new one, the ability to be able to tell time even when underwater. During this time period, there was a growing interest in the general public around diving, as it had been popularized by the heroic feats of military soldiers during WWII. One of these scuba diver fanboys happened to be a French gentleman named René Paul Jeanneret, a member of the Rolex Board of Directors. Jeanneret was the individual who invented the idea of a timepiece that would be both elegant and sporty while also being completely waterproof. He ended up convincing the entire Board of Directors that this new innovative timepiece would allow Rolex to expand its customer base and allow the brand to develop a reputation for being innovative. Rolex ended up going all in to the idea of this innovative timepiece in the early 1950’s, with production and testing beginning in 1953.

While the Rolex Submariner was officially introduced to the world for the very first time 1954 at what was then called the “Basel Watch Fair” (now known as Baselworld), Rolex considers the birth year of its iconic timepiece model to be 1953 when it was first produced and tested. In addition to being the year when Rolex produced and tested the Submariner for the first time, 1953 is a significant year to Rolex for another reason, it was the year that the brand pulled off one of the craziest yet most successful marketing stunts ever. What ended up going down was that Rolex decided the best way to demonstrate the effectiveness of their waterproof timepieces was to have a real life human being go diving with it. Rolex decided to go recruit a Swiss man named Auguste Piccard, who was a physicist, inventor, and explorer, to go over 3,100 meters deep into the ocean. Remarkably, when Piccard emerged from his deep ocean dive, his Rolex Submariner was in perfect condition and was still keeping time to a “t”. Obviously, this incredible feat and shocking experiment put the Rolex Submariner on the map, and set the stage for it to become arguably the most recognizable timepiece of all time. Next, we’ll go over some of the important models of the Rolex Submariner that you need to know. 

All About the Rolex Submariner

These were the very first two reference numbers from the Rolex Submariner, although it is unclear which came first. The two timepieces are nearly identical, but there are a few differences. The first difference is the 6204 has the word “Submariner” painted on the dial while the 6205 does not. The bezel on both timepieces also differs as the markings on the 6205 have markers for every minute between 0 and 15 while the 6204 does NOT have that. Finally, another difference is the 6204 does not have a pearl at the top of the bezel while the 6205 does. In terms of similarities, neither had the distinctive “cathedral” or “Mercedes” hand that are now so strongly associated with the Rolex Submariner model. In contrast, both of these models of the early Submariner had straight “pencil” hands. 

In 1954, Rolex released its second line of Submariners, and confused the entire watch market by giving it a reference number of 6200 even though it was an older model than the 6204 or 6205. This was the first Submariner to use the now iconic “Mercedes” hand, a feature that has stayed with all the Rolex Submariners to this day as of April 2022. 

In 2008, Rolex dropped 3 brand new solid gold Submariner timepieces to the market, with the reference numbers being 116618 and 116619 respectively. The only difference here between the two 116618 models is simply the color of the dial and the bezel, with LN = black and LB = blue. These models included two significant changes to the collection. First, was the long awaited inclusion of the Cerachrom insert on the bezel in both black and blue. The second was the debut of the “Super Case” on these models, which made the casing slightly more square and added thicker lugs to create an overall chunkier profile. 

The Submariner 116619 was a solid white gold, blue dial, and blue bezel timepiece. This was the very white gold Submariner that Rolex had ever made. In addition, Rolex gave it a lacquered blue dial because it gives a more “flat” appearance compared to other shades of blue that were normally used on yellow gold models, which led to it being given the nickname “Smurf” by collectors. 

Rolex Submariner 116610LV “Hulk”

Rolex Submariner Hulk 116610LV

In 2010, Rolex released the Submariner 116610LV, which would eventually earn the nickname as the Rolex “Hulk”. Green is the official color of the Rolex brand, but prior to the production of this model, it had never been used on one of the dial and bezel of any of their timepieces. The “Hulk” ended up replacing its successor, which was the Rolex “Kermit”. However, unlike the Kermit, which only used green on its bezel, the “Hulk” used green on both the dial and the bezel, which is why it got its nickname as the “Hulk”. 

Rolex Submariner Ref. 114060 “No Date”

Roiex Submariner No-Date 114060

The Submariner 114060, which was nicknamed the “No Date” due to the fact that most Rolex Submariners have a date window, while this does not. Currently, this model of Rolex is one of the most popular in the entire world, and on top of that, its also discontinued, so if your wanting to purchase one of these for yourself, you better be ready to pay a pretty penny. 


In the article, we covered the history of the Rolex Submariner, some of the early models, and some more recent models. We now have a more solid understanding of arguably the most popular timepiece of all time. 

Until next time, 

Matthew Thomas Pourroy


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