A Flagship Model of Rolex: Rolex Submariner

By: Madison Preston

Many Rolex models were renumbered and improved by the mid 1960's. Powered by a non-chronometer 1530 movement, in the year 1962, Rolex released model 5513. A few years later the movement was changed to 1520. Denoting a switch from the use of Radium to Tritium on the hands of the dial, Rolex changed the word 'Swiss' to 'Swiss T < 25'. Also by that time, the former gold from the dial of the watches appeared like white and the chronometer models read 'Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified'. When Sean Connery played James Bond in the popular Bond series, he was seen sporting the Submariner on his wrist. Following the antecedent spy films, various other motion pictures followed suit and flouted the features of the Submariner, which was indeed very successful.

The first 'date' feature was introduced on a Submariner in 1966, when Rolex released the 1680 model. The cyclops bubble was aligned with the date aperture in perfection as this model was replaced with a thicker crystal and was powered by the 1575 movement. In the early 1980's, 16800 was the renumbered version of 1680 model. In the 1970's, Rolex added the triple-lock crown and the 1980's saw new Submariner models. Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and an upgraded depth rating of 1,000 feet were its new features.

A unique version of the Submariner model 5513, was issued in 1968 by Rolex. This was the British Royal Navy and was primarily for military use. An alternative to the spring bars were the welded bars, replacing the bracelet was the military strap, the casebacks were engraved for ID purposes and were much bolder and wider than the original size. These were some of the distinguishing differences between the original and military versions. Around four years later, model 5517 was issued by Rolex which was exclusively designed for the British Royal Marines.

The current model of today is the 16610, which Rolex issued in place of the 16800 during 1990's. The new Cal.3130 movement is an important feature of this model. Displaying a black dial with a rotating green bezel, and a stainless steel, oyster flip lock bracelet was the Submariners 50th anniversary model (16610 LV). This was released in 2003 by Rolex and the green bezel represents the official corporate color of Rolex.

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