Launch: At the 1954 Basel Spring Fair, Rolex debuted its now iconic Submariner (no. 6204). The 6204 and the slightly smaller 6205 were officially launched for sale to the general public in 1955.
Designer: It’s difficult to determine a precise designer within the Rolex team but credit is given to Director, Rene P. Jeanneret, a keen amateur diver, who in the early 1950’s encouraged Rolex to develop a sports watch for divers.
History: Rolex was founded by Hans Wilsdorf (aged 24) and Alfred Davis in London in 1905.
Precision was an obsession for Hans and in 1910 a Rolex watch was the first wristwatch to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision from the Official Watch Rating Centre.
In 1920 Rolex moved to Geneva and in 1926, Rolex created the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch named “Oyster” featuring a protective and hermetically sealed case.
In 1933 Rolex patented the world’s first ingenious self-winding mechanism with a Perpetual rotor that continues to this day to be at the heart of every modern automatic watch.
The Submariner was the first divers’ watch waterproof to a depth of 100 metres with a rotatable bezel showing the diver their immersion time.
Renowned underwater explorer and film-maker, Jacques-Yves Cousteau was featured prominently wearing a pre-launch Submariner in his documentary film “The Silent World” that won an Academy Award in 1953.
Despite subtle design changes, including a ceramic bezel, the most recent version of the Submariner (no. 116610) launched in 2010 continues in loyal homage to the 1953 original model.
In 2003, a special model was introduced by Rolex (No.16610V) to celebrate the first 50 years of the Submariner model and it features a green bezel insert.
My Rolex Submariner: As I have said in our “About” section not all of the design classics featured are currently in my possession. However in eighteen months or so to celebrate a “special birthday” I am told this may all change! When it does I will be able to gush appropriately in these pages about the many and varied thrills that I am assured are certain to occur…..
Photo by Rolex