The Rolex Submariner: The Classic Diving Watch
The iconic Rolex Submariner is a classic diving watch, thanks to its legendary design and trusted reputation. Widely regarded as the best diving watch ever made, it is the epitome of sporting elegance. Waterproof to 300 metres, the Submariner combines reliability with a luxurious appearance, making it a watch for every occasion.
The diving watch with the characteristic bezel is part of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual line. The design has remained almost unchanged since its launch in 1953, as it's hard to change perfection. The Submariner is firmly established as an elegant diving watch and its value has never dipped, making it a sound investment for collectors.
The Rolex Submariner as an Investment
The price of the Rolex Submariner reflects its status as the most groundbreaking diving watch in history. Its launch was a milestone in watchmaking, as it was waterproof to a depth of 100 metres.
The early models - the 6200, 6204, 6205 and the iconic James Bond Submariner 6538 - are highly sought-after by today's collectors, becoming rarities with a corresponding price tag.
Over the years, the Submariner's waterproof properties have been further enhanced and it has become the standard to which all other diving watch manufacturers aspire. As a result, its price tag has remained continually high in comparison with some other models.
In general, Rolex Submariner watches have risen in value, with market prices rising on average by 20% - 60% over recent years.
Limited Editions: Rolex Submariner Kermit, Hulk & Smurf
Every year, rare variants of Submariner watches are sold for record-breaking prices at auctions. For example, the Rolex Submariner Kermit
was launched in 2003 for the 50th anniversary of the Submariner. Its price remains high due to its rarity, as it was discontinued in 2010, after seven years of production.
This ushered in the era of another rarity, the Rolex Submariner Hulk, which has also been discontinued. Both of these models always go for particularly high prices at auction.
The first Rolex Submariner black watch has become a collectors' item, as has the Rolex Submariner blue 16613 model, a highly luxurious timepiece with a striking blue bezel and face.
With its new-found commitment to colour, the Rolex Submariner in oyster steel and yellow gold, featured a black dial with large luminescent hour markers and a black ceramic bezel, taking elegance to a new level.
Rolex Submariner Prices
With its sporty elegance, the Rolex Submariner has earned great prestige and iconic status. It is a perfectly sculpted, tasteful watch, with a price tag that reflects its attributes.
The price of a Submariner in mint condition ranges from around £6,000 to £29,000, depending on the model. Currently, the cheapest stainless steel model is the Rolex Submariner non-date 114060 and the most expensive is the Rolex Submariner 116619LB in full white gold.
The used Rolex Submariner green variants, also referred to as the Kermit and the Hulk, are in high demand and have an average price online of around £20,000 and £27,000 respectively.
Hollywood movie star Steve McQueen's 1967 Rolex Submariner sold for a then record-breaking £175,379 in 2009, while the James Bond Rolex Submariner, dating from 1972, fetched £273,560 in November 2015.
The Submariner models with references 5513 and 5517 were manufactured in the 1970s for the British Ministry of Defence. Affectionately known as the MilSub, they regularly attract record-breaking prices at auction.
While the modern Rolex Submariner has a depth rating of 300 metres and at its core was created and tested to be worn as a diving watch in harsh, underwater environments, its price tag has meant it has become more of a precious collectible and fashion item over the years.
The Rolex Submariner has a specified accuracy to plus-two or minus-two seconds per day. Only a handful of brands can achieve this extremely impressive accuracy.
Rolex has made incredible progress over the years when it comes to the accuracy of its watches. They are known for retaining this accuracy for many years to come. The manufacturer recommends service intervals of around ten years to maintain the precision.
It is not uncommon to see mechanical watches that are accurate to five, or even ten, seconds a day, confirming the Rolex Submariner as being of the highest standard. The Submariner has a uni-directional bezel so the time can't be adjusted accidentally while diving.
Rolex Submariner - Real Vs Fake
Unfortunately, the Rolex Submariner is the most copied watch in the world. The differences between a real Submariner and a fake can be quite subtle and high magnification may be needed to spot them. In general terms, the fake watch won’t be finished with as much attention to detail as a genuine model.
The cases may have similar polished and brushed finishes, but a fake watch's lettering will give the game away, as it has rougher engraving. The machining of parts such as the crown will reveal the work to be less refined and irregular.
No expense is spared by Rolex to maintain the exceptional quality enthusiasts have come to expect. With the genuine article, the numbers on the bezel are applied in platinum via a painstaking PVD process. A fake Submariner will have painted numbers that are raised and uneven when viewed under high magnification.
Every second-hand Rolex watch we sell is subject to rigorous quality checks and inspections and comes with our guarantee of authenticity and a one year warranty.