The Oyster Perpetual Submariner, the archetype of the divers’ watch, epitomizes the historic link between Rolex and underwater exploration.
Launched in 1953, the Submariner was the first divers’ wristwatch waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet). Some years later, in 1969, Rolex unveiled the Submariner Date, a version of the model with a date function. Since then, the two watches have moved beyond the marine depths, becoming the watches of choice for a wide range of sports and other activities.
BEZEL WITH CERACHROM INSERT
The unidirectional rotatable bezel of the Submariner and Submariner Date is equipped with a 60-minute graduated monobloc Cerachrom insert – in black, blue or green, depending on the version – that allows divers to monitor their time underwater. This insert, patented by Rolex, is made of an extremely hard, virtually scratchproof ceramic whose colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. In addition, thanks to its chemical composition, the high-tech ceramic is inert and cannot corrode. The graduations and the numerals are moulded into the ceramic and coloured with gold or platinum using a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process. The bezel’s knurled edge offers excellent grip and can be manipulated with ease, even when wearing gloves.
In addition to its functions and its intrinsic technical qualities, the bezel of the Submariner and Submariner Date contributes to the very strong visual identity of these two models.
LEGIBLE AND FUNCTIONAL
Great attention was paid to the legibility of this divers’ watch. On the dial, the Chromalight hour markers and hands are filled or coated with a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting blue glow – for up to two times longer than traditional phosphorescent materials. On the bezel, the triangular ‘zero’ marker of the graduation is visible in the dark thanks to an embedded capsule containing the same luminescent material.
THE SUBMARINER AND SUBMARINER DATE, SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER CERTIFIED
Like all Rolex watches, the Submariner and Submariner Date are covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015. This exclusive designation attests that every watch leaving the brand’s workshops has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories and according to its own criteria. These certification tests apply to the fully assembled watch, after casing the movement, guaranteeing superlative performance on the wrist in terms of precision, power reserve, waterproofness and self-winding. The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.
The precision of every movement – officially certified as a chronometer by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) – is tested a second time by Rolex after being cased, to ensure that it meets criteria that are far stricter than those of the official certification. The precision of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer is of the order of −2/+2 seconds per day – the rate deviation tolerated by the brand for a finished watch is significantly smaller than that accepted by COSC for official certification of the movement alone.
The Superlative Chronometer certification testing is carried out after casing using state-of-the-art equipment specially developed by Rolex and according to an exclusive methodology that simulates the conditions in which a watch is actually worn and more closely represents real-life experience. The entirely automated series of tests also checks the waterproofness, the self-winding capacity and the power reserve of 100 per cent of Rolex watches. These tests systematically complement the qualification testing during development and production, in order to ensure the watches’ reliability, robustness, and resistance to magnetic fields and shocks.
THE OYSTER CASE, SYMBOL OF WATERPROOFNESS
The Oyster case of the Submariner and Submariner Date, 41 mm in diameter and guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 300 metres (1,000 feet), is a paragon of robustness and reliability. The middle case is crafted from a solid block of Oystersteel, a particularly corrosion-resistant alloy, or from 18 ct gold. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only certified Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The Triplock winding crown, fitted with a triple waterproofness system and protected by a crown guard that is an integral part of the middle case, screws down securely against the case, offering watertight security. The crystal, with a Cyclops lens fitted on the Submariner Date for easy reading of the date, is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimum protection for the watches’ movement.
PERPETUAL CALIBRES 3230 AND 3235
The Submariner is equipped with calibre 3230, while the Submariner Date is fitted with calibre 3235, self-winding mechanical movements entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Consummate demonstrations of technology, these movements carry a number of patents. They offer outstanding performance in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.
The oscillator of calibres 3230 and 3235 has a large balance wheel with variable inertia regulated extremely precisely via gold Microstella nuts. It is held firmly in place by a height-adjustable traversing bridge enabling very stable positioning to increase shock resistance. The oscillator is also fitted on high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, designed and patented by Rolex.
Calibres 3230 and 3235 have an optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in a paramagnetic alloy. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the Parachrom hairspring offers great stability in the face of temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. It is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibres’ regularity in any position.
Both calibres incorporate the Chronergy escapement, made of nickel-phosphorus and patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability and is also insensitive to magnetic fields.
Calibres 3230 and 3235 are fitted with a self-winding module featuring a Perpetual rotor, which ensures continuous winding of the mainspring by harnessing the movements of the wrist to provide constant energy. Thanks to their barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of these two movements extends to approximately 70 hours.
The movement of the Submariner and that of the Submariner Date will be seen only by certified Rolex watchmakers, yet they are beautifully finished and decorated in keeping with the brand’s uncompromising quality standards.
BRACELET AND CLASP, SECURE AND COMFORTABLE
The Submariner and Submariner Date are fitted on the three-piece link Oyster bracelet. Equipped with a Rolex-designed and -patented Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening, this bracelet also features the Rolex Glidelock extension system, designed and patented by the brand. This inventive toothed mechanism, located under the clasp cover, enables fine adjustment of the bracelet length, without tools. The Rolex Glidelock on the Oyster bracelet has 10 notches of approximately 2 mm each, allowing the bracelet length to be adjusted easily up to some 20 mm. The watch can therefore be worn over a diving suit up to 3 mm thick.
A concealed attachment system ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case. Moreover, on the versions of the Submariner Date in 18 ct yellow or white gold, the Oyster bracelet has ceramic inserts fitted inside the links which enhance the bracelet’s flexibility and longevity.