Rolex Submariner: The Ultimate Dive Watch 

Ross Povey examines the Rolex Submariner.

There are dozens of waterproof dive watches available on the market and there have been since the early 1950s. However, if you asked 100 people to name a diver’s watch I’m pretty sure that 90-plus of those asked would name the Rolex Submariner. Much more than a tool watch, the Submariner has become an icon of both horology and style. With or without a date, it’s a timeless classic that Rolex has slowly and gently revised over the years, but is still as true to its DNA today as it was nearly 70 years ago.

1953 was a key year for the Rolex sports line of watches, as it was the year that two of the longest running and most successful watches were unveiled at the spring Basel fair - the Explorer and the Submariner. 1953 was also the debut year for the Turn O Graph reference 6202, a cool but short lived opening of the ToG saga. By 1953 Rolex’s reputation as the de-facto maker of waterproof watches was well established, helped by such advertising opportunities as the Mercedes Gleitze cross-channel swim. Ever the canny entrepreneur, Hans Wilsdorf made sure that the first lady swimmer to make the cross channel swim from France to England was wearing a Rolex Oyster. This advertising is considered key in Rolex’s journey to being the most well-known watch brand on the planet. With that reputation in place, it was a natural progression to making professional watches aimed at the emerging water-sports industry.


    Ross Povey


    August 2021


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