Rolex Submariner Review: 114060 & 116610

Rolex Submariner Review: 114060 & 116610

Rolex Submariner Review: 114060 & 116610   wrist time watch reviews

Rolex is as much a lifestyle as it is a watch brand, but we feel that a hands-on Rolex Submariner review is still necessary as it is meant to be worn and used. The company is a legend, and their products are the cornerstone of an industry that sells dreams, status, quality and ideally, value. Whether or not individual entities in the luxury industry can deliver on these promises is a different story, but what makes Rolex so famous is its consistent ability to actually deliver these goals to a large degree. So today I look at probably the most popular Rolex product, the Submariner.

For review, I am looking at two Submariner models in steel. These represent the newest generation Submariner timepieces and are often referred to as the Rolex Submariner Date and Submariner No Date. The difference between them should be clear. One has a date window with magnifier over that window on the sapphire crystal, while the No Date has none of that for a cleaner looking dial. While the difference is minor, it is these little differences which are important to Rolex fans, and the price difference between the two is not inconsequential.

Rolex Submariner Review: 114060 & 116610   wrist time watch reviews

While I am very well-versed in all things "watches," I don't consider myself to be a Rolex expert compared to many people that I know. I have a basic understanding of the brand's history, the evolution of its products, and what is appealing about watches like the Submariner. Other people have extremely detailed knowledge of each and every product, hard-to-find timepieces, differences in products as they evolves, etc... The purpose of this review is to discuss the modern Rolex Submariner to the mainstream watch lovers and those interested in why this is a worthy timepiece. In short, the Submariner started the dive watch craze that made those types of sport watches the most desirable type of timepiece on the planet - and with its crown logo, the Rolex Submariner thematically rules over the lot.

The Movement

Let me state now that the Submariner is not the most expensive, most durable, most complicated, or best looking high-end dive watch around. There are dozens of more expensive steel sport watches, and tons that can take much more of a beating. Rolex is also known for making very good, but simple movements (for the most part). Rolex mechanical movements have a reputation for being rather accurate, long-lived, and easy to work on. Many of the watch makers that I've spoken to voice positive sentiments in working on Rolex movements. Still, servicing a mechanical watch is not all that cheap.

Rolex Submariner Review: 114060 & 116610   wrist time watch reviews

Inside of these two Submariner models are two different movements (because one contains the date and the other doesn't) but practically speaking they are more or less the same. The Rolex Submariner Date (Ref. 116610 AKA 116610LN) contains the in-house made Rolex caliber 3135 automatic movements, while the Submariner No Date contains the Rolex caliber 3130. Both of the movements feature Rolex's newer Parachrom hairsprings and have a power reserve of about two days when fully wound. Rolex also has the majority of their watches (including all Submariner models) COSC Chronometer certified. The 3135 and 3130 are about as good as can be hoped for from relatively basic three-hand automatic movements. No one per se buys a Rolex for the movement, but at the same time, the movements don't really leave much to be desired given the price and intended use. They are durable and mechanically sound - enough said.

The Design

Rolex claims to have invented the water-tight watch case with the Oyster. True enough, they did produce the first commercially noteworthy water resistant watch with the Oyster. For that reason you see the "Oyster" label on a lot of Rolex products, even though there isn't a Rolex watch called the Oyster these days. It is a signifier that the watch is water resistant. Of course the Submariner is more than just that. Originally designed as a commercial diver's watch in the 1950s, the Submariner today has a water resistance of 300 meters and a design that is incredibly similar to the original. This design that mixes sport and professional looks is one of the key factors to the design's success. The dial of the Submariner is clever, yet easy on the eyes. The black and white design is meant to offer a high contrast for easy reading of the time. The lumed indicators and hands are meant to make it easy to read in the dark. A different style of hour and minute hand are there for legibility, and a special character for the 12 o'clock indicator is meant to make it easy to mentally orient the dial when looking at it from the side.

Rolex Submariner Review: 114060 & 116610   wrist time watch reviews

Rolex Submariner Review: 114060 & 116610   wrist time watch reviews

Rolex also uses 18k white gold on the dial for the hands and hour indicators. A few years ago Rolex switched from a green toned lumed to a blue one. This not only made the lume glow blue, but allows for it to look more white during the day. Rolex also increased the size of the hands and hour markers a few years ago when they introduced their "Maxi dial" style which I personally liked, but of course proved controversial. Every change the brand makes is controversial, even when they did something small such as removing the lug spring bar holes on the exterior of the case. The Submariner dial is a testament to legibility and functionality. The Submariner is a tool watch with a slick design that lasted the test of time. It is good because it was never design to be anything more than a good looking, legible dial. It is a tool, and we like tools that work well. Rolex also makes their own dials. Precision machining and printing on the dial is very good. When you look at a Submariner's dial closeup, you'll notice that the lume is evenly applied, and that everything is cut very well.

The Case

Even though the Submariner is a tool watch at heart, Rolex knows it is a luxury item today. So there are little things here and there meant for looks more than function. A good example is the sapphire crystal. Rolex applies a coat of AR on the bottom of the crystal, but not on the top. This allows for the top of the crystal to be reflective and sort of makes it more shiny to onlookers. This is arguably a design decision by Rolex to make their products stand out more. It works too. The Submariner case has changed very little over the years, but each improvement is welcome. The current size of the Submariner is 40mm wide, but it wears large for that size. This is because of the lug structure. I would say that the piece wears closer to a 42mm wide watch.

Rolex famously uses plain casebacks on its watches. The Submariner's screw-in caseback is devoid of any markings. The watches I have for review were loaned from our friends at the Rolex boutique nearby in Beverly Hills. We agreed not to remove the protective plastic on the sides of case, which you'll probably see in the pictures. There is also a type of bar code on the side of the case which is a serial identifier. That is removed when people buy the watch. Rolex uses a grade of steel called 904L. Most steel watches use 316L steel. The differences are minor, but involve more corrosion resistance in 904L steel from what I understand. So if your Submariner spends a lot of time in saltwater, then it will look better.

Rolex Submariner Review: 114060 & 116610   wrist time watch reviews

It is widely known that Rolex is fanatical about their metal. They do a lot of metallurgy in-house, and not all steel of the same grade is made equal. I've seen a lot of steel watches in my time and can say that no one makes steel or polishes a case quite like Rolex - and they so do fantastically using high-tech machines in rather large production volumes. This isn't about tiny details, but rather that the steel of a Submariner looks and feels a bit different than the steel of other watches. This is of course due in part thanks to Rolex's amazing brushed finishing that is applied to much of the Submariner case. Other parts of the case (such as the sides) are given a polished finish. These "alternating finishes" help the case to look its best.

Around the dial is a rotating diver's bezel which is more or less a standard element on the majority of dive watches. This bezel can be turned by your hand and gives you the ability to line up the 12 o'clock point with the minute hand to measure something that is up to 60 minutes long. This has a purpose while diving, but most people use it to measure short things like parking meters and cooking times while being an at-home chef. The bottom line is that even though the Submariner is a diver's watch, a very small percentage of the people who own it dive. Why buy a dive watch then? Well it is really about an appreciation for what a dive watch can do and what it represents. Activity, durability and exploration. While we aren't engaged in these things all the time, we like to keep capable items near us.

Rolex Submariner Review: 114060 & 116610   wrist time watch reviews

The rotating bezel on the Submariner used to have an aluminum insert with the minute indicators printed on it, but a few years ago Rolex moved over to making ceramic bezels. This was a distinct upgrade and Rolex calls their ceramic "Cerachrom." Sounds fancy right? The production process of the bezel include engraved numerals and lume. Some dive watches have lume in the entire bezel, but the Submariner is more traditional with a single lume point (pip) at 12 o'clock. The black ceramic bezel is shinier than aluminum, but is much more durable and very scratch resistant. Ceramic bezels are a wonderful thing. Among the various Rolex Submariner models available you can get ceramic bezels in black, blue, and green.

On the wrist, the Rolex Submariner is a very comfort friendly watch. Rolex has had literally decades to improve the design. It feels so natural on your wrist and for a dive watch it doesn't have a very tall profile either. There is a good reason that many people choose the Submariner as a daily wear. Aside from being very comfortable, the Submariner has the added quality of looking good on most wrists. Plus, it has versatile style that seemingly works with everything from jeans and t-shirt to practically a tuxedo. Very few watches can claim that.

Rolex Submariner Review: 114060 & 116610   wrist time watch reviews

The Bracelet

Rolex offered a significant bracelet upgrade for its newest generation Submariner models. The most important elements of the upgrade are the bracelet's profile and ability to be micro-adjusted. More on that in a second. For years, the Rolex Submariner bracelet was a three-link tapering steel bracelet. Tapering means that the lugs get narrower closer to the deployant clasp. This actually helps the bracelet be more comfortable, and visually makes the case look a bit larger. Few brands make bracelets with tapering links because it increases the numbers of part types they need to produce to make them. Though I recommend tapering bracelets when they are available.

For many years, Rolex deployant clasps stuck out awkwardly under your wrist. With the newest generation bracelets, they offer a much more clean profile - which was a welcome improvement. A lot of people buy the Submariner over other Rolex watches because of its Glidelock adjustment system. The idea is that you can micro-adjust the size of the bracelet within a few millimeters on the fly. This means that as your wrist naturally expands, you can re-size the bracelet with ease, or increase the size of the bracelet to be worn over a jacket or dive suit. The design and comfort of the bracelet should not be under-estimated, nor should you ignore these elements as a major selling point behind this model of Rolex watch. Sadly Rolex doesn't offer the Glidelock system with even similar watches such as the Explorer II - though you can get it in the beefier Deepsea models. As an interesting tangent, you should check out the spring-loaded system that Rolex/Tudor designed for the Pelagos here.

Rolex Submariner Review: 114060 & 116610   wrist time watch reviews

The Value

Now it all comes down to cost in the end. For some people a Rolex Submariner is a cheap daily wear, but for many people it is an item of aspiration with a price in the several thousand dollars. Over the years, the price of Rolex Submariner watches has creeped up to rather ambitious levels. Rolex still sells them in large quantities. The good news is that unlike many luxury watches, Rolex timepieces tend to hold value very well, and that is especially the case with the Submariner. While you probably aren't going to get rich buying one, you will likely be able to resell it for a price close to what you paid for it. That is good news for people who like to upgrade or switch watches every few years, or if you are in a financial pinch.

As I said, the Rolex Submariner Date and No Date models have two different prices attached to them. The difference in price has to do with the date complication and really depends on what you like. Though the roughly $1,000 difference is appreciable. Some people hate the "cyclops" magnifier on the dial and love the clean look of a simple dial. Others feel that it is only a real Rolex with the date window and crystal bubble. For the Submariner Date ref. 116610LN the price is $8,550, and the Submariner 114060 is retails for $7,500. rolex.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: Rolex
>Model: Submariner
>Price: $7,500 - $8,550 as reviewed
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we'd recommend it to first: Anyone wanting an absolute classic, do anything, wear anywhere sports watch that can afford it.
>Best characteristic of watch: Has a design that has bared the test of time over and over again, and kept on improving.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Design has been copied countless times and has become in its own genre-defining way, generic.

Thanks to the Rolex boutique of Beverly Hills on Rodeo for working with aBlogtoWatch. We recommend their expertise and friendly staff.

49 comments
craigmarley
craigmarley

I own a Rolex Submariner with the gold trim bezel and braclet.  I dive and swim with it in the ocean and a club jacuzzi with salt water chlorination system.  I believe the watch is about 15 years old.  Several years ago I noticed sacrifical erosion on the inside edge of the bezel (probably due to electrolytic action between the aluminum insert and stainless case).  This is similar to sacrificial zinc anodes on the hulls of steel ships or outboard engines..  I had the aluminum insert replaced about 9 years ago but have just noticed it is now showing some sacrifial erosion. and I will need to replace it soon.  


Question:  Can the alumium insert of my vintage gold/stainless Submariner be replaced with the new ceramic version?  I assume the ceramic upgrade will not be conductive.


MisturrFred
MisturrFred

Sold my old submariner $1200 more than I paid for in 1992 and upgraded for this one. I own a lot of luxury watches but always come back to the submariner. You can't wrong ...from 15000 feet in the air to 100 feet under water, from the cold of Zermatt to the heat of a flight operation in the gulf ...mine went everywhere on earth.

LTVN68
LTVN68

Repost.....but Rolex catches some flak and I want to post something complimentary......

LTVN68 38 minutes ago

In 1983, I was a young Vietnam Vet, married with my first child. I had moved to Alaska to fly for a friend at Sportsman's Flying Service. The GI Bill had allowed me to obtain my single engine, land and sea, commercial license and I had brought my Cessna 180 on floats to Alaska. During the winter, I began building houses and upon the sale of one, I took $1,000 in cash to a jeweler in Anchorage and walked out with a brand new Rolex Submariner. That watch has flown thousands of miles, been Dall Sheep hunting in the Wrangells, moose hunting below Tazlina Glacier, wolf watching on the Upper Toklat River in Denali NP, hiked hundreds of miles in the wilderness, caught lots of salmon in the Wood River/Tikchik and skied endless miles. It has been on my wrist to pound thousands of nails. Today it is with me here in Hawaii....actually at this writing it's on it's way to Rolex Dallas for its second rebuild in 31 years. It has had big chips on the edge of the crystal and will now need to have a scratched bezel replaced for the second time. It has the original bracelet but is just now wearing through one of the rolled steel tubes at the end of the clasp. 31 years of friction.

I have nothing but repect for this "tool" watch that has stood up to everything thrown at it. Say what you will, I am thankful to those who made it and blessed to have owned it. My daughter says she would not recognize me if I was not wearing it.

Thank you Rolex.

helloworld99
helloworld99

Honestly, I own several brands of watches and no other brand Rolex made me feel special. Brands vanity aside, it is the right weight, thickness and quality made me feel special and price wise, while there are much more expensive brands, but I think it is the special feeling that matters to me. This is subjective I know :)

The submariner was my collection recently when I was on vacation to Switzerland and I bought it in Bucherer. I must say I love it!

Paul Altieri
Paul Altieri

Great review Ariel.  This is always a big question we get from customers: date or no date.  We have found that most true blue Rolex enthusiasts want the no date model.  They prefer the clean look of the watch dial feeling that the date window throws the watch visually  "off balance".  I personally have always worn a date model for functional reasons but i do often have people ask me what watch i am wearing or which one i like when they cannot decide for themselves.  In any case, both models are fantastic looking and Rolex has done an admirable job with this new ceramic model.  It is worth every penny and will most assuredly rise in value over the years just like almost every other sub they ever made.  

tigerpac
tigerpac

They're nice but they're no BP Fifty Fathoms

Scott A
Scott A

@MarkCarson 

I was a porche dealer a few years ago and the guy was wearing a Tutor chrono. Can't remember if he said it was a gift but he wore it with pride. Looked good on him.

Scott A
Scott A

@MarkCarson

...."4 kinds of people"....

Great observation, makes a lot of sense to me. I agree with you Mark.

Cheers.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

Rolex - the standard for comparison.

Like it, love it, ignore it or hate it. The facts do not change.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

I don't run into a lot of Rolex owners but I do have a quick story. I chatting with a sales adviser at my local BMW dealership who is a watch guy and reads ABTW. He was mentioning the Day Date and Date Just (I hope I got that right) as the decision point of what to get for most of the salesmen there. What I took from that was that a Rolex was de rigueur for a BMW salesman. BTW - the Sales Manager is a Patek fan and serious watch guy.

What I'm left wondering is if they all want (or feel the need) to wear a Rolex because that is all they know or is it because they need to 'look the part' for their customers. Many of whom may only know of Rolex when it comes to nice watches. 

Anyone else have any observations as to what luxury product sales people (who are not in the watch industry) wear when on the job?

Ayreonaut
Ayreonaut

After the first two sentences, this is a pretty good review.  Not that the Sub needs a review.

But I really hate it when people regurgitate ad-speak.  And the first two sentences are just that.  Yuck.


Scott A
Scott A

@MarkCarson

P.S. I do feel that your watch brand is cool looking...but that is just my two cents and I'm sticking to it!

Some may disagree and rather a RGM watch(higher end US brand)...but it's up to the consumer's opinion. No offence intended, applied, or limited to what I've said here in or henceforth:) There, that should cover it. LOLI'm teasing in good fun. I appreciate you opening up a dialogue with me. Honestly, hope the best for your brand. Congrads to following your dream. Well done.

Scott A
Scott A

@MarkCarson

Also, I feel that most that bash Rolex, in my opinion, are people that have never owned one or too smug to do so because they feel it is just for stupid rich people looking for recongnition. I also feel that most that bash Rolex may not be able to afford it. An observation that has formed my opinion. Right or wrong, it's just how I see it. Also Rolex dealers/boutique are in the watch industry too. Just saying... Everyone has an opinion but that doesn't make an expert. I'm not an expert, just a guy with an opinion, subjectively speaking!

Cheers,Scott A

Scott A
Scott A

@MarkCarson

continued...

WARNING: OPINIONS MY VERY. Perhaps my opinion is not the best. But do you think every one agrees with Ariel all the time??

(I would consider him an expert) Your opinion is welcome and I'm happy to hear it. Clearly, you want your voice heard too. I've said it before so I'll say it again. I think we all come here to ablogtowatch to learn, be entertained, to comment and even to complain(about brands/products or people). And that I did, as we all do (that includes you too). Just wanted to share my opinion, good, bad or indifferent. Look how many made remarks about "Flavor Flav" wearing a clock when Ariel wrote about him. Was that juvenile? I thought it was, but just my opinion. But it was o.k. because he dosen't post/particapate in and make comments on this blog? The saying, "practise what you preach" is what I try to live by. Should I not post my opinion in fear of offending people? Discussions would never happen and individuals would never post if that was infact the case.

Scott A
Scott A

@MarkCarson

An opinion about an opinion...great! LOL...I feel part of the ABTW community now:)

Translation, "my two cents" = "in my opinion". I said that in the first and last part of my post.True or false, fact or fiction, like it or lump it, it's just an opinion. Again, my opinion. "Every Body has so good an Opinion of their own Understanding as to think their own way the best."
Mary Astell

aleximd2000
aleximd2000

man you took out many words in this text from my mouth

I agree very much about everything you said

a little extra the cerachrom bezel is a very good improvement because if you are a heavy user the bezel is the first who took the shock from doorways  and corners

Second as you are i am also a conossoir of every watches but nut a rolex nerd as are many of my fellow which I do hardly appreciate though and in every comparison with other divers e.g. omega planet ocean for ex it is not mentioned the very weak resistance of the aluminum bezel on the omega. Yeah! do not jump on my throat you omega fans because I am an omega fan too.

About the engine.Very good explaining: there are few who are buying a rolex for the engine because they know it but instead of being very very reliable. I thing one of the key points in rolex is the opportunity to own a watch which can withstand industrial use.

 Personally I like more the deployant method of wearing but I have to take off my hat on the glide lock system.It is very useful, even you can bewitch a young lady with the explaining of the functioning of the glidelock .

 Very good protection has the crown too, mentioning that I have a Hublot which suffered a shock and the posttrauma has a nasty curvature on the crown axis. i imagine that with crown protection like rolex has it is almost virtually impossible.

  The last thing is that the variant with steel gold I do not recommend for those who are suffering with their heart because every little scratch will have a post traumatic stress disorder on every purist wearer

 And the very last if you are a rolex owner you are in a very exquisite club: those of who are appreciating a top quality man workmanship of the 20-21 century. 




JeffreyS
JeffreyS

I have been a Rolex fan since Lloyd Bridges used a gold Submariner on "Sea Hunt", the TV show from the sixties. A submariner was my first big watch purchase and I currently wear a Sea Dweller, that being said, I do not care for the way Rolex has has increased the size of the lugs, they are overly large and to my eye become a detraction from the overall look.

BEXSONN
BEXSONN

Great review. I don't understand all the hate towards Rolex. As I've said on my blog, Iconic status is not easily come by. Yes, they may not have radically changed the looks but I don't see people complaining about the Porsche 911(well there may be a few)..... It's all about refinement and that is what Rolex have done with the Submariner.

Scott A
Scott A

Mechnical watches are practical tools that for most jobs today are not needed with all the technology that is at our finger tips. But we love them anyway and people can say what you want about Rolex but they are GOOD watches. Plus, anyone, I mean anyone that reads or comments on this blog would love to speak with other watch lovers. If I saw someone where a rolex I'd make a positive comment and start a discussion. To make a comparison, look a Jay Leno. Every one knows he is a car guy, not just because he drive, collects and loves the newest and greatest but because he appreciates all cars. If it has any amount of wheels on it he is into it. My point is to be positive, not to be the egotistical, self-righteous elephant in the room...or blog. DON'T WE ALL LOVE WATCHES. This can and should include Rolex.

There, thats my two cents.

O.K. Im finished now!

Scott A
Scott A

In my clinical practice I see many, many people at day from all walks of life. I have only seen three people wear a Rolex in the last 5 years for example. The service and reliability was unbelievable!! Granted I think my Seiko has done well too. And I think a Rolex is on par with any Grand Seiko. Having said that, other watches I have and want would come before these two amazing time keeps. I would take a Sarpaneva time/date or the new Habring before anything else at this time. Desires change and the watches you have or want may not be the same in a few years as they are today. I have help a family member out financially and if he wants to pay me back with a Rolex I'd gladly take it as opposed taking the cash.

Scott A
Scott A

I was going to post my two sents last night but just had a very long day. I'm getting tired of all the "expert" negative comments here. I guess if you post comments every day and read a lot, people feel entitled to say what they want to say and come off as experts. I find this amuzing at best. I always know people will wine when Ariel writes about Rolex watches, but really liked his video and thought I read the article in full....just for kicks the comments. I was wondering if it would be juvenile responses or at the very lest adults not being fustrated because they can't buy a $10'000 piece and therefore must say something "constructive" to add here to sound intelligent and add to the conversation.

to be contined....

Maximilien
Maximilien

I own an 114060 and there are few watches in my collection I would give up over it if I had to only keep one watch. Sure it's not exclusive but as was mentioned it's timeless and it is the definition of sports watches. Also, that same watch, in decent condition, from the 70's (decade I was born) is more expensive today than the models reviewed here... If you can find one, check eBay. Now that's value. Finally, some complain about lack of changes in design, and for me that's what is attractive. Rolex is not the only company using this constant refinement strategy for their hit products. No one seems to blame BMW for refining the 3 series or the M3, or Chevy for the Corvette, and so on. I'd argue that the refinement allows these companies to deliver a product that while often copied and imitated, is really never duplicated.

aBlogtoWatch
aBlogtoWatch moderator

I am actually surprised by the amount of people here who are bashing Rolex and the Submariner but would gladly, and I mean gladly wear and accept one. The gist of what everyone is saying is that it has become genericised. Or otherwise, made too popular for its own good. You are faulting a classic for being a classic, and a brand for perpetuating that. Is this the most exciting watch in the world? Heavens no, but it is damn good for what it is and no one here seems to be denying that. Luxury pricing aside, there are few who do this thing better than Rolex.

CG
CG

Wasn't Omega at the forefront of dive watch manufacture and doesn't Omega look almost exactly like the Sub? Just sayin'... the Rolex seems an homage to the Omega no? I think my first dive watch in the 60's was Japanese and functioned flawlessly... Rolex was never ever in my sights as a dive watch, they never seemed to advertise in any dive trade publications and I've never seen in all these years a diver wearing a Rolex... I've seen non-diving Captains with them but never a diver. Just that most Rolex look like tackle (bait) to me, I'd stay away from flashy shiny stuff in the underwater environment.

Skidude
Skidude

It is probably the most important watch ever made! Compare it to the Model T or Beetle. Like it or not, it is the most recognized watch in the world by far. How many watches and watch companies owe their existence to the sub?

Would I buy it? Never.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Lol @ the $1000 date window. They should just coin the term 'Rolex'd", ans in: the date window has been Rolex'd.

Not that it would ever be on a realistic shopping list for me, but the best move Rolex could make to advance this watch is a handset that doesn't make me want to jab my eyes out. The mercedes style may have at one time been an identifier, but all the copy cats use them not, and they just look so pitifully stale and sad. Outdated. Without style.

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

This is such an easy target that I'm going to try to say something nice about it. Umm...well.....errr..... ok, the version without that stupid cyclops is not as obviously an old man's watch as the one with it.

Well, I did try.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Really?  No one polishes a case quite like Rolex?  The way Seiko polish up an Ananta is something to behold.  Most people who own them say the fit and finish is generally superior.  A million angry Rolex loyalists will want me to hang for saying that, but whatever.

I have never seen so much written about a basic tool watch.  There's nothing wrong with being a tool watch, but I wonder how much of what people say about Rolex is down to reputation and marketing passed down from generation to generation rather than an actual, objective comparison with other watches.  It's a good job this isn't the technology sector; using the same design for several decades would be suicidal in most other industries.

I'd like to put a different spin on what Mark said.  Yes, the Rolex sub is the original but whenever I see one, all I see in my minds eye are the copy-cats, the homages from Invicta, the forgeries, the neon plastic versions made by Toy Watch, the rubber ones, all the dodgy crap that the Rolex sub has drowned beneath.  This design is nowadays about as exclusive and special as a big mac.    The ironic thing is that the copy-cats have actually taken the original design and run with it, put their own touches on it using different colours and materials, something Rolex pretty much refuses to do (apart from the cerachrom and good luck noticing that change from a distance).

This watch is as fine as any machine can make but it is staid and stuck in its ways and I don't see that ever changing.  I'll always see it as something boring, as the non-enthusiast's luxury watch.

nateb123
nateb123

So over how long a time frame do you have to amortize the price of a Sub before it becomes more economical than a Valium prescription.  That's what this is for,  right?

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

Of course there is nothing bad to say about a Sub. They have been so successful over the years that if there is such a thing as a 'commodity' in the luxury world, this is it.

Compared to the hundreds of clone and Submariner wannabes, not only is it the original, but  also the well deserved standard when it comes to that iconic look. Unlike crude details and poor proportions on imitations.

Can't begrudge anyone buying one, but I also can see myself ever buying one. I'd rather wear something a bit more distinctive or interesting. But that's just me.

nateb123
nateb123

@MarkCarson Down the road from where I sold watches there is a string of all the most expensive car dealerships in town.  Within 3 blocks they sell Porsche, Bentley, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Lotus, BMW and Rolls Royce.  We knew a lot of the folks who worked at these dealers and their tastes were extremely varied, except at the BMW dealership.  Every single one had a Datejust or Day Date.  Amusingly, we were on really good terms with the various dealers and our store became a bit of a hangout but the BMW guys were rude, snobby (despite having no taste) and generally intolerable.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

@MarkCarson If the manager should read this, my suggestion is get them a Breitling, or maybe even some TagHuer, of some type...and then let them EARN their Rolex.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Scott A  

I want to be like Roland when I grow up. I know I will never attain his level of horological expertise so I remain a fan of RGM and not a competitor as we are in different price segments. Thanks for the kind words regarding my watches. And thanks for offering your thoughts on Rollie owners and ABTW poosters. Cheers. 

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Scott A

Going out on a limb here. I think there are 4 kinds of people:

1) Those who want a Rolox only for the name/status (all the things we hold in somewhat low regard)

2) Those who won't buy a Rolex because they don't want to be in category #1 (the smug ones you mentioned)

3) The true Rolex fans and there seem to be a lot of them too.

4) Normal people who don't give a crap about watches. You know the other 99% of the world.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Scott A 

What you call " all the "expert" negative comments here" I believe are actually called "opinions" which is what blog comments usually are.

 And your speculation that "fustrated because they can't buy a $10'000 piece" may or may not be the case. Perhaps you should ask the "juvenile"posters how much they have spent on their watch collection. Also some of the posters have worked in the watch industry. Just saying...  Everyone is entitled to their opinion (including you).

I think the bottom line is: would people spend their own money for a Rolex Sub? A lot of posters have said no, but obviously Rolex is doing fine selling to lots and lots of other people. So no worries.

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

@aBlogtoWatch Well, actually, many of us feel that there are actually a *lot* of brands who do this thing better than Rolex. Most of us have only a finite amount of money to spend, and the fact is that there are better watches out there for less money. It's just painful to see so many people buying these things because they are Rolexes, when those people themselves would in most cases be better satisfied if they just did a bit of research and asked themselves why they imagine that Rolex is so great. They might also ask themselves whether they really want to be associated with the image that these things project, an image of which they might be unaware. It would be sad to buy something like this, imagining that everyone will admire you, when in truth a substantial number of people will think that you are ignorant about watches or a geriatric case or both.

nateb123
nateb123

@aBlogtoWatch Just because something is an icon, that doesn't mean it's generic.  The Sub gets hate because it's a boring, never-refreshed, uninspired money grab.  Open one up and it's a joke.  Rolex knows they could stamp a crown logo on a turd and the shops would fawn about the signature odour Rolex worked so hard to achieve with the piece.  An example: they care so little about the actual watch that they're more concerned with engraving digitized junk on the case because it being a real Rolex is more important than it being a good watch.

They've stopped trying, so no one cares anymore.  

Skidude
Skidude

@CG I think the original Seamaster looked like a regular watch with water resistance. The Seamaster 300 was a year or two after the first sub. (Early 50s)

bichondaddy
bichondaddy

@Skidude Yeah...and just like the Model T...it's old and outdated.  You don't see Ford still building Model T's...it's because they have changed with the times...and design and build new models to stay current...something Rolex doesn't do.   

nateb123
nateb123

@Ulysses31 I used to sell Grand Seiko.  Nothing Rolex makes compares internally or externally.   I remember a few watchmaker friends came in to meet some people from Seiko who were visiting our store.  We got on the subject of Rolex for about 12 seconds.  Unremarkable in some ways and unimpressive in most was the unanimous opinion. 

bichondaddy
bichondaddy

@nateb123 You're correct.  One of these would bore me into a coma!!  Since Valium has a generic...I can get a lot of it for $7500!!!  Yawn...off to the next watch....you see one Sub....you've seen them all.

wb4tjh2
wb4tjh2

@MarkCarson I bought my first Rolex Submariner Watch from Brodnax Jewelers in Memphis, in 1966, an official Roles dealer at the time.. The price was ONE HUNDRED SIXTY SIX DOLLARS total, brand new.  It's unreal that they cost over $8,000 today. I have owned 6 Rolexes since then, 4 of them Submariners. The last one cost about $1500 in 1990. I think today's prices are astronomically absurd. This shows you what greed can do.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@nateb123 Interesting that at your BMW dealership they are also largely Rolex guys. But in Honolulu, the BMW salesmen are nice guys. Maybe that is just laid back Hawaii.

aBlogtoWatch
aBlogtoWatch moderator

@nateb123 @aBlogtoWatch I mean, are those really negatives? The Submariner is popular and a perennial. Rolex doesn't need to change it, but they do upgrade it - albeit slowly.

CG
CG

@Skidude @CG  yes it did look normal in that sense but it was the first certified for depth as an underwater watch... you are right the visual DNA of the Rolex was not present in the Omega. The fun Omega Divers are from the late 60's early 70's. Rolex never really went in different directions with the Sub... like Omega did with their variations on a diving tool.

Skidude
Skidude

@bichondaddy Ford would still be making the Model T if people were buying them. I don't like Rolex watches, but that doesn't mean much in the marketplace. They are wonderful marketers.

NCW3
NCW3

@bichondaddy @nateb123  


What a load of negative rubbish. Rolex make great iconic watches and the fact that so many people buy them is a real testiment to Rolex

nateb123
nateb123

@aBlogtoWatch @nateb123 A Rolex fails to be special.  Special watches are like special ladies, they are magnificent in some aspects and are flawed magnificently in others.  But you love them anyways, you learn to love them despite their flaws because you are flawed and their flaws suit you.

A Rolex is a safe choice.  It suits everyone the same.  It will do the job but not much more.  It's that girl your parents have always liked but that you feel nothing for.  There's no romance to owning a Sub, and horologists are all secret romantics.

bichondaddy
bichondaddy

@Skidude  I highly doubt Ford would still be making a Model T...but I get your point.  My point is Rolex's has failed to come out with any new designs....maybe a new movement every now and then...but the style is old.  Yes...many people still buy them...Rolex is a marketing machine.  I happen to prefer something a little more sporty on my wrist....since I am medically retired...and can wear whatever I please.  In fact...my wife doesn't really like my watches that I do have that look similar to a Rolex...she calls them "Old Man" watches. 

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