Rolex – The Submariner

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What an interesting year for Rolex. Who would have predicted that a relatively “unspecial” Rolex Daytona given by a loving wife to her iconic film star and motor racing obsessed husband would be heralded as the most expensive ever sold. See our previous celebrating the iconic Paul Newman Rolex Daytona Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona

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Whilst I really like the Daytona, particularly the steel and white faced one, I have always been massive fan of the iconic and hugely aesthetic Rolex Submariner in its various incarnations from the early 1980s.

Interesting news from the same auction when Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona was sold a Submariner achieved an important milestone by recording highest price of $579,000 ever paid a Rolex Submariner (Ref 6200).

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Launched 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.

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.

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 1957.

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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. 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.

See here from the guys at http://www.Watchfinder.co.uk is an amazing video featuring the dismantling, clearing and reassembling of a Rolex Submariner. Dismantling a Rolex Submariner Now understanding that each watch takes over a year to build and test, I suspect that the price tag is warranted as even a new Rolex Submariner can be worth more than was paid for it!

As we approach the festive season our loved ones may be giving serious thought to parting with some hard earned cash and spoiling us with a Rolex. The one pariah that has been in the back ground of those who enjoy fine watches in recent years are the developments in, particularly the Chinese market’s ability to reproduce luxury items: leather bags, fine silk scarf, watches and motor cars – yup…. if in doubt Google “Land Wind”….staggering.

So here, also from the guys at http://www.Watchfinder.co.uk is a fascinating and very comprehensive video helping us to identify a fake from a genuine Rolex Submariner – now no one should get caught out! How to Spot a Fake Rolex Submariner

As I have said in our “About” section not all of the iconic and design classics featured in Aestheticons are currently in my possession. However, in a few months I celebrate a “special birthday” and who knows……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…..

As a post script, ok call me a sucker for some great piece of marketing, but please check out this James Cameron piece for Rolex SA – James Cameron’s Rolex Submariner

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Images from Rolex, Watchfinder and Jake’s Rolex World’s

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