Rolex last did a major revamp for its iconic dive watch in 2012, when it introduced the ceramic insert bezel and beefier case. Eight years later the Submariner is once again refashioned and upgraded. It still retains the classic look that has changed little since the 1950s, but in typical Rolex style the new Submariner 41 mm boasts many incremental improvements, across the case, bracelet, and movement.
The Submariner 41 mm is making its debut with eight different models, ranging from the no-date base model to the all-gold version, all powered by the cal. 3235 (except for the no-date that has the cal. 3230 inside).
The most monumental change – albeit one that is more obvious on paper than in person – is the upsized case. Forty-one millimetres is a first for the Submariner, with the preceding models having been being 40 mm for decades.
However, the increase in size was not executed in isolation. The rest of the case was remodelled to fit, as was the bracelet, resulting in a pleasing, well-proportioned watch that doesn’t look as large as it sounds, and actually feels slimmer than it is.
Although everything about the new Submariner is new, arguably the most substantive change is the movement. The new models are the first Submariners to feature the current-generation cal. 3235 for the first time, although Rolex has been progressively installing new movements across the range for several years now.
The cal. 3235 includes all of the brand’s recent innovations, including a Perachrom blue hairspring, Chronergy escapement, and optimised gear train, resulting in superior timekeeping over the extended, 70-hour power reserve.
Nips and tucks
As is Rolex’s philosophy, every new model is technical improvement over its predecessor, while keeping the same styling. The new Submariner has been improved inside and out.
The increase in case size is accompanied by a reshaping of the case in ways that are cumulatively substantial. The lugs, for instance, have been slimmed, as have the crown guards. The result is a more fluid and curvaceous case, losing the bulkiness of the earlier generation.
And to complement the larger case, the new bracelet is slightly wider at the lugs but tapers towards the clasp, allowing the bracelet to flow more seamlessly into the case.
At the same time, the dial has been improved. Most notably, the hands have been elongated, improving legibility and aesthetics. Now the minute hand, for instance, reaches the minute track. Add to that the repositioned indices and text, and overall the new dial feels cleaner and better laid out.
Shuffling the deck
The new line of Submariners also sees a rearrangement of the usual colour and metal combinations.
All of the steel and two-tone models remained largely unchanged. The green bezel model remains, but the matching green dial has been done away with; it’s now black.
The luxe versions in yellow gold continue to be available with both black or blue dials.
Arguably the most novel is the white gold variant, which now matches the blue bezel with a black dial, creating an unusual contrast and surprisingly refreshing look.
Key facts and price
Rolex Submariner 41 mm
Ref. 124060 (steel, no date)
Ref. 126610LN (steel, black bezel)
Ref. 126610LV (steel, green bezel)
Ref. 126613LB and 126613LN (steel-gold, blue or black dial)
Ref. 126618LB and 126618LN (yellow gold, blue or black dial)
Ref. 126619LB (white gold)
Diameter: 41 mm
Water resistance: 300 m
Movement: Cal. 3235 (cal. 3230 in ref. 124060)
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date (Cal. 3235); Hours, minutes, and seconds (Cal. 3230)
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours
Strap: Oyster bracelet
Availability: Already at Rolex retailers worldwide
Ref. 124060 (steel, no date) – US$8,100; or 10,880 Singapore dollars
Ref. 126610LN (steel, black bezel) – US$9,150; or 12,290 Singapore dollars
Ref. 126610LV (steel, green bezel) – US$9,550; or 12,850 Singapore dollars
Ref. 126613LB and 126613LN (steel-gold) – US$14,300; or 19,190 Singapore dollars
Ref. 126618LB and 126618LN (yellow gold) – US$36,950; or 49,640 Singapore dollars
Ref. 126619LB (white gold) – US$39,650; or 53,310 Singapore dollars
For more, visit Rolex.com.
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