Monday, August 31, 2020

All New Rolex Submariner: 2020 Model


All New 

Rolex Submariner

2020 Models

The History of the Rolex Submariner is second to none...Rolex today introduced the all-new Submariner models for 2020 which are pictured above that replace the current models which were introduced in 2010. At first glance it almost appears identical to the outgoing Submariner model which debuted in 2010, but the new Submariner models are really about super fine-tuning and subtly refining one of the most iconic and revered Rolex models in history. 

It can be argued that Rolex has now reached a state of absolute perfection with the all-new Submariner, with the exception that in my opinion Rolex should enhance the new non-date model by making the SUBMARINER dial designation RED like a vintage Reference 1680, which would be strikingly cool looking...

"The new Submariner's aesthetics are faithful to the codes of the original." 


The Rolex Submariner is a special watch for Rolex in many ways as it is arguably one of the most timeless  designs in history. If you compare the 1957 Rolex Submariner ad below which was originally published in 1955, you notice the 2020 Submariner looks remarkably similar, which stands testament to its enduring great looks. Think about that for a second, how many things look almost identical to the way they did 65 years ago!?!!

The Rolex Submariner is like California in the sense that if California was a country it would have the 5th largest economy. The Submariner has been Rolex’s bread and butter since it’s inception. When you study vintage Submariner models there seem to be a zillion variations when it comes to the subtle detail, thus making the Submariner an ongoing quest for absolute perfection...

If you compare the new Submariner to the outgoing model you discover Rolex slightly increased the case from 40MM to 41MM, and also tapered the lugs a little bit more than the outdoing Submariner, which gives the new model a less square looking super-case. This also contributes to the watch wearing smaller, while being slightly scaled up, which is a brilliant design element.

Despite the subtle aesthetic changes, Rolex radically changed the Submariner under the hood to include the new Caliber 3230 and 3235 in-house movements which offers many improvements, including a 70 hour power reserve that oscillates at 28,800 beats per hour @ 4Hz. Contrast this to the outgoing Submariner Reference 114060 model caliber 3130 which had a 48 hour power reserve and you see how much more refined this new Submariner model is as it offers close to 50% more.

Upon closer examination the Rolex Caliber 3230 pictured below is magnificently beautiful, and remarkably simple while being technically sophisticated. Rolex watches are absolute works of art on both the inside and outside!

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

—Leonardo da Vinci

Speaking of aesthetics, as we see in the photo below the new Submariner features a black lacquer dial coupled with 18 CT raised white gold hour markers. Also, the hands are made from white gold, and he ceramic 'Cerachrom' bezel insert also includes numerals coated with platinum via PVD "Physical Vapor Deposition". Rolex also appears to have widened the Oyster bracelet between the lugs from 20MM to 21MM, which give the watch more visual masculine presence. Also, Rolex beefed up the hour and minute hands by making them fatter.

New 41MM Rolex Submariner Reference 124060

Built To Last

Of course, the new Submariner comes with the standard Rolex Superlative Chronometer Certification which includes a five-year international guarantee that the watch will maintain a -2/+2 second accuracy per day, which is truly remarkable if you think about it. Basically, these new Submariner models, despite being mechanical masterpieces will keep quartz-like accurate time, which is a true testament to Rolex's superlative watchmaking skills.

The side profile of the new Submariner appears to have a very flat and low profile which should sit very nicely on the wrist, and features a waterproof rating of 1000 Feet (300 Meters).

The new Rolex Submariner dial is bathed in hypnotic 'Chromolight' lume, which emits a highly aquatic long-lasting blue glow as seen in the lume shot below. The new Submariner will begin at $8100. This may seem like a lot of money to some, but for many it seems to be relatively inexpensive for what you are getting. Over the past decades, many other watch brands saw how successful Rolex was with selling premium or 'luxury' watches, and tried to copy Rolex's playbook. 

These inferior brands significantly raised their prices significantly to achieve price parity with Rolex, but despite the fact Rolex had price increases, the other brands offer many watches that are more expensive that the Submariner, but far inferior. Also, it is worth pointing out that the historic resale value of the Submariner has been super. As a matter of fact, I bought my first Submariner for $1000 when I was 16 years old and that was 4 decades ago. 


Rolex stayed true to their timeless design language with this new evolutionary step forward with the new Submariner models. This new model comes with all the advanced diving tool watch features you would expect to see, including Rolex's revolutionary Oyster bracelet which has been geometrically updated, and maintains the classic satin finish with polished edges. Also the model comes standard with the crazy-innovative Rolex Glidelock extension system which can increase and decrease the Oystersteel bracelet in 2MM steps, up to 20MM.

I find the increased case dimensions to 41MM to be a welcome evolutionary step. I hope Rolex offers a Single Red Dial designation variant on this beautiful watch in the future, which to my way of thinking would make it beyond perfect in every way.

"There is something to be said for things that endure." 

—Frank Sinatra

Two More Things

Rolex also introduced a new LV submariner which is pictured below in stainless steel as well as a white gold variant with a blue bezel insert. This watch is interesting as it has the exact same color ceramic bezel insert as the outgoing "Hulk" Submariner, but when photographed with the black dial makes the bezel look darker.

It is interesting to note that last time Rolex introduced a new Submariner, back in 2010, the introduced the new "Supercase" Submariner model in yellow gold, then in 2011, they introduced the two tone Submarine model. A year later, in 2012, they finally introduced the all-stainless steel model, but this year they introduced all three models at the same time. You can learn much more about the amazing history of the Rolex Submariner by checking out my story below this one named "A Brief History of The Rolex Submariner."

One of the most interesting details on the all-new white gold Rolex Submariner is it features polished white gold center links. The reason this is interesting is because the stainless steel model of the Rolex Submariner has always had satin finished center links.

Hodinkee Side By Side Comparison 

Hodinkee wrote an excellent story on the all-new Submariner which included the images below that compare and contrast the outgoing Submariner with the new model. There are many subtle details that are different between the outgoing (left) 40MM Submariner Reference 114060, and the all-new 41MM Submariner Reference 124060. From the front if you look closely you will notice the new Submariner (right) has much fatter/wider hands, particularly noticeable on the stalk of the hour hand, as well as slightly longer minute and second hands.  Also, its Oyster bracelet is 1MM wider between the lugs, which gives it a more masculine and solid vibe. Also, the crown guards shrank down on the new Submariner which you can clearly see.

In the photo below we see how significantly different the lug structure is. You would not notice it so much in the image above that shows a top down view, but from the front facing view you notice quite a difference. Also, if you examine the photo closely you can see how much wider the Oyster bracelet gets between the lugs. Notice the new Submariner has a tiny crown between "SWISS" and "MADE" below the six o'clock marker.