An In-Depth Review of the Rolex Submariner

Have you ever wondered who designed the first diver’s watch?

Well, it’s none other than the world’s most sought-after watch brand, Rolex. They started this legacy by creating the Oyster in 1926 and continued it with the introduction of the Submariner in 1953, which is the world’s first watch to resist a water depth of 100 meters. This was a major breakthrough in the world of timepieces and it became a standard for divers’ watches throughout the world. 

As technology and fashion evolved, Submariner’s popularity expanded from the accessories’ wardrobes of divers and became a staple in casual and semi-casual attire. It has even started entering the formal fashion arena. After all, its aesthetics are quite eye-catching and compliment almost every outfit pretty well.

So, what makes it the dream timepiece of the majority of the watch enthusiasts?

Let’s find out by analyzing its various features in-depth.

How is the Rolex Submariner’s Movement?

Rolex 3135 movement Varileer article

Photo credit by Bob's Watches

No doubt, the movement is the heart of a watch. In order to analyze whether it's worth your coin or not, you need to understand its basics. As far as the Rolex Submariner line is concerned, it has numerous designs, however, the movement stays the same with automatic caliber 3135 powering the Rolex Submariner Date, and the automatic caliber 3130 beating inside the Rolex Submariner No Date.

Each of these movements is a reliable workhorse. Although it will keep functioning for around 20 years without any service, we suggest that you get it serviced every once in a while to considerably increase its lifespan. 

Both of these movements are pretty similar, with 3130 being the simpler version of 3135; it doesn’t contain a date function. To keep it simple and clear, we will highlight the major features of the Rolex automatic caliber 3135:

  • It is a self-winding mechanical movement;
  • It has a height of 6mm and a diameter of 28.5 mm;
  • It has a power reserve of 48 hours, thanks to the mainspring's design;
  • It features 31 jewels;
  • It contains a Parachrom hairspring, which provides shock resistance and makes it capable of withstanding substantial temperature fluctuations;
  • It has a rhodium-plated brass construction to prevent corrosion and moisture damage;
  • It is COSC Chronometer certified;
  • Its easy maintenance. If you ask a watchmaker which movement is the best to service, their answer would be none other than a Rolex.

How is the Rolex Submariner’s Design?

Rolex Submariner design Varileer article

Throughout the years, Rolex kept pushing the boundaries to improve the Submariner. A watch that started off with a water resistance of 100 meters can now battle the saltwater up to a depth of 300 meters.

Despite the upgradation in its features, the original timeless design was pretty much preserved in the current Submariners. It has a sporty look with the right amount of professional tinge, making it suitable for casual and semi-formal occasions.

While maintaining the right amount of sophistication, Rolex ensured that the Submariner is easy on the eyes. Also, the majority of the models are designed in a combination of black and white to provide ease in reading the time. Exceptions include the Kermit, Hulk, and Smurf that have a green bezel, green bezel and dial, and blue bezel and dial, respectively. Another feature that enhances its readability is its distinctive 12 o'clock marker, which allows you to mentally orient the watch when viewing from the side. 

The lumed hands and indices are eye-catching aesthetics which offer assistance in the dark. Initially, models had green lume, but Rolex switched to a blue one, technically termed as Chromalight, to improve the readability.

However, most of the changes aren’t wholeheartedly accepted by its enthusiasts; they want to preserve its initial design. The struggle of bringing modifications still continues. A recent example is its “Maxi Dial”, which features bigger hands and hour markers. Even a minute change of spring bar holes removal in the case caused an uproar.

How is the Rolex Submariner’s Case?

Rolex Submariner Chromalight Varileer article

Yes! You guessed it right! The Rolex Submariner has an Oyster case. It's the same one which was present in the Oyster, the first-ever water-resistant watch.

It protects your watch’s heart, the movement, up to a depth of 300 meters, which is approximately equal to 1000 feet. In addition to this, it is dust, pressure, and shock-resistant.

Rolex takes keen interest in not just quality, but aesthetics as well. There are numerous distinctive details that are just there for the sake of beauty, such as a coat of AR on only the bottom side of the sapphire crystal so that it doesn’t lose its luster. Other such features include the satin brushed finish on the lugs and the polished sides of the case.

Our favorite detail with regards to the aesthetics of the Rolex Submariner’s case is the Rolex LEC (Laser Etched Crystal), which is basically a minute laser-engraved Rolex hologram at the 6 o’clock position. 

As far as the size is concerned, the Rolex Submariner’s case is 40 mm wide. However, it seems bigger on the wrist due to the maxi case. The case is made from 904L steel, which has a higher corrosion resistance as compared to 316L steel, the go-to material for the majority of the watch cases.

Now, let’s clarify what makes it a divers’ watch apart from its water-resistant abilities. We are talking about its unidirectional rotatable ceramic bezel. This feature, which has knurls for superior grip, allows you to set the time up to 60 minutes. Thanks to the 120 clicks, you can precisely measure your time spent under water. 

How is the Rolex Submariner’s Bracelet?

Photo credit by Rolex

In terms of bracelets, although the (pre-) vintage ones are our personal favorites, the newer versions are technical masterpieces, as these are micro-adjustable. This is thanks to the Glidelock Adjustment System, which allows you to easily adjust the bracelet by hand so it always wears comfortable, despite temperature fluctuations.

Although the standard Submariner’s steel bracelet oozes class, it doesn’t necessarily mean this is the only strap option available. One of the alternative options is the attachment of a leather strap. It not only complements the design of your Submariner very well, but it also wears extremely comfortable and provides your beloved Rolex a new fresh appearance.

You can exchange this steel bracelet with a leather strap whenever you like for every occasion. To be honest, a Rolex is incomplete without an oyster and a leather strap to switch between.

Photo credit by @andyccowie

Now, getting a leather strap worthy of being part of a Rolex is rather tricky. Don’t worry. We’ve got it covered for you. Check out our handmade straps crafted from Italian water-resistant leather. Its quick release spring bars will attach and detach the strap with your beloved timepiece within seconds. The permanent insert will create a seamless connection between the strap and the case.

Click the button below and discover our collection tailored to your Rolex watch.

 Check out what customers say:

"This strap is amazing! It’s the best strap I had so far (and I have a few). The leather is very soft and that’s a must for my wrist." - Daniel | Verified buyer

"Got my strap last week and installed it this morning on my sub. They really did a good job on the packaging and attaching the strap is very straightforward. Thanks!" - Cas | Verified buyer

"The strap fits perfectly, I would like to post some decent pictures on IG, I will do so on Friday morning !" - @andyccowie | Verified buyer

"Hoi Thomas! Ben echt impressed van het eindresultaat alleszins. Op en top kwaliteit, echt chapeau!" - @crown_pieces | Verified buyer

"Hi Thomas! It arrived today and it really looks great." - Stefan | Verified buyer


Well written.

Peter v. August 26, 2020

Great Article, a very interesting read.

Andy August 26, 2020

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