The History of the “Rolex Submariner”
While there are many models of Rolex watches, none are more popular than the Rolex Submariner. We will explore the history of how the first Rolex Submariner was made as well as how this watch became a cult classic. The Rolex Submariner is the pinnacle of diver watches and still to this day are the first choice for serious divers. In the late 1960’s Rolex especially configured a Submariner for the British Royal Navy. A little further down the page we will go into more detail about all the different variations of Rolex Submariner.
The First Rolex Submariner
The first Rolex Submariner was produced in 1953. On September 30 ,1953 Professor Auguste Piccard and his son Jacques piloted their new bathyscaphe to a world record depth of 10,335 feet. The watch that accompanied them? The Rolex Submariner. The watch was not as useful to the professor as it is a diver as the watch fixed to the outside of their craft. However at a depth of 10,335 the Submariner had been subjected to the pressure of 600 atmospheres or two tons per square inch. To everyone’s surprise the Rolex Submariner had survived. Not only had the watch survived it was in the same perfect condition as it has started, proving the quality put into the production of this watch. The skills needed to produce the first Rolex Submariner was not only used in the movement of the watch but also in the case, crown and glass design. With television viewers being introduced to undersea pioneers such as Hans and Lotte Haas and Jacques Cousteau the timing of the release of this watch could not of come at a better time. The development of SCUBA as a sport the Submariner became a must have for all divers. Knowing how long you have been underwater was just as important as how much air you have. Too much time underwater and a diver could suffer from decompression sickness or “the bends”. The rotating bezel on the watch allowed divers to keep accurate track of exactly how long they have been submerged and keep track of their air consumption. This dubbed the Rolex Submariner “The Diver’s Friend”.
The Pop Cultural History of the Rolex Submariner
Rolex watches have been featured in films and television shows for years but none or more iconic than the Rolex Submariner. None of the characters in Hollywood were more famous than James Bond. First worn by legendary actor Sean Connery in the film Doctor No in 1962 the Rolex Submariner has become a regular accessory off and on for the film hero until the 1990s when they changed out the Submariner to the Seamaster. To this day watch aficionados still argue over the colors of the strap on 007’s Submariner in Goldfinger. James Bond also famously made dive watches okay to wear with a tuxedo…. if you can pull it off.
While James Bond may be the most iconic character in Hollywood to sport a Rolex Submariner he is by far not the only one. Other famous characters from pop culture have sported this amazing watch. Robert Shaw in “Jaws”, Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape” and “The Hunter”, & Robert Redford in “All the Presidents Men” to name a few. These actors took the stereotype that a “sports” watch can not be a dress watch. At least when it is a Rolex.
Note From the Owner:
As avid watch collectors and pre-owned dealers we have accumulated quite a bit of knowledge on the Rolex Submariner. While we have learned a lot there are tons of subtle nuances to each release of the Submariner. Our intention here is to make a useful resource page on all the models of Rolex Submariners. We are human however and do make mistakes. If you notice a discrepancy or have any information you think would be beneficial to this page feel free to email us from the contact form to the right. We would appreciate any feedback on this subject to make this page a great resource for all Rolex Collectors.