A few weeks ago, Rolex introduced the latest incarnation of the iconic Submariner and Submariner Date. While speculation was rife before the unveiling of these new pieces, it’s fair to say that pretty much all of the new pieces were quite well received. Over the last few decades very little has change and even the changes that have been made are more along the lines of evolution and not revolution, and so Rolex have kind of stuck to this winning formula. Rolex introduction of its new generation of Oyster Perpetual Submariners, also included Submariner Date that perhaps towed the marmite line: people either loved it or hated it for one main reasons – the bright blue dial and bezel.
At Baselworld 2008, Rolex took an unusual step of launching their very first mass produced 18-carat solid white-gold Submariner. The reference 116619LB, which sported a bright blue Cerachrom bezel, with a matching gloss blue Maxi-Dial. Over the years, in typical Rolex aficionado fashion – it became affectionally known as the “Smurf” and of course became very well sought-after.
Fast-forward to 2020 and Rolex have introduced the new 41mm Submariner, as well as the new Submariner Date; this version you see here in the images is the new ref. 126619LB, a new version of the previous all white-gold Submariner. As already mentioned previously, the entire Submariner range has been revamped and Rolex have made a few updates, some of which are quite noticeable but one that would perhaps go unnoticed is the new calibre 3235. That said, everything else is pretty much the same Submariner Date many have come to know and love.
This new Submariner Date features a blue Cerachrom bezel insert, with recessed numerals and diving demarcation in silver. This combination creates a balanced contrast between the white-gold case and Oyster bracelet, as well as the gloss black dial and Cerachrom bezel insert. The centre case in crafted from a solid block of what 18-carat white-gold and is guaranteed to a depth of 300 metres (1000 feet). The case back has a finely fluted edge that is hermetically screwed down. Completing the signature look and feel of the Submariner is the Triplock winding crown, fitted with a triple waterproofness system that screws down securely against the case and is flanked by protective crown guards.
The new 41mm Submariner Date is equipped with the in-house self-winding calibre 3235 and like all of Rolex movements, is chronometer certified and boast a power reserve of 70 hours. The calibre 3235 makes use of a blue Parachrom hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive alloy, as well as a Chronergy escapement, which offers greater resistance to magnetic fields, inherently making it more accurate. As you may be well aware by now, all current Rolex movements are COSC certified but Rolex themselves carry out further testing with the movements cased and simulate daily wear, with even stricter tolerances, making sure deviation is no more than +/- 2 seconds per day. However, as I mentioned in the past, it would be interesting to see if Rolex ever develop their own certification as other watch brands have done over the years?
Keeping all this Submariner goodness fixed to your wrist is the Oyster bracelet that is crafted out of 18-carat solid white-gold and equipped with a Rolex-designed and patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening. It also features the Rolex Glidelock extension system, designed and patented by the brand. This micro adjustment mechanism comprises a rack located under the clasp cover and a toothed sliding link that locks into the chosen notch.
A few weeks ago, we were afforded the opportunity to get up close and personal with all of new Rolex releases for 2020. It perhaps goes without saying that we naturally gravitated to seeing the new Submariner examples first. Luckily for us, on hand was a previous iteration of the 18-carat white-gold Submariner for comparison and it was immediately obvious that the use of a black gloss dial does tone things down a bit. This perhaps lends a more approachable quality to the white-gold Submariner…?
The new 41mm Oystersteel Submariner Date Ref. 126619LB, will retail for £31,850. For more information on the new 18-carat white-gold Submariner Date, visit rolex.com.