The Strongest and Most Water-Resistant Rolex Submariner Born from the Hobby of Diving and Its History

Rolex: the watch that everyone knows and wants to own

The first brand that comes to mind when you think of "watches" varies from person to person, but it is no exaggeration to say that the brand that is always on everyone's five fingers is Rolex. Rolex is a world-famous watch brand that is stable and accurate, 100% produced in-house, has groundbreaking movements, and is tough and sturdy with numerous patented technologies. Even without emphasizing high-performance technologies such as tourbillons, minute repeaters, and perpetual calendars, Rolex's technical capabilities are reliable just by its name. Just as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada are known as symbols of luxurious fashion, it can be said that Tag Heuer and Rolex play the same role when it comes to watches.

Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date

[Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date]
This 2010 version of the Submariner, released in 1953, is water resistant to 300m. It is made of 904L steel and has a Cerachrom ceramic rotating bezel with platinum graduations. It is coated with Chromalight luminous material that changes brightness depending on the surrounding light, making it easy to read the time even in the dark sea.

The history of Rolex began in 1905 in London when Hans Wildorf (1881-1960), from Krullmbach in Bavaria, Germany, founded Wildorf-Davis Watch Supply Company together with Alfred Davis. Having worked at a watch factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Hans recognized the potential of wristwatches at an early stage when pocket watches were still mainstream, and commissioned Hermann Aegler, a watchmaker from Bien, Switzerland, to create the first watch with a small, precise movement.


hans wilsdorf

Rolex Founder: Hans Wildorf (1881-1960)

In 1908, the company changed its name to Rolex, opened an office in La Chaux-de-Pont, and in 1910, it became the first wristwatch to receive official Swiss chronometer certification from the Official Watch Evaluation Center in Biel. In 1914, it became the first wristwatch to receive A-rank chronometer certification from the Kew Observatory in the UK, which had only given chronometer certification to marine watches, and this led to many people realizing that "Rolex" was an "accurate watch".

In the 1920s, during the First World War, Rolex moved its headquarters to Geneva, and in 1926, it unveiled the Oyster, the world's first dust-proof and waterproof watch with a completely sealed case. In October 1927, Mercedes Gleitze (1900-1981), a 27-year-old young woman who was a typist and swimmer from London, England, successfully demonstrated its functionality by crossing the English Channel. The event, which took 15 hours and 15 minutes, was recorded as the first time Rolex sponsored explorers. In 1931, Rolex also unveiled the first automatic movement with a Perpetual Rotor, a rotor that moved perpetually when worn. In 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, part of the expedition team led by John Hunt, successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest wearing Oyster Perpetuals, and the Explorer, a watch for explorers, was subsequently born.

Introducing the Rolex Submariner

Submariner 5

The Rolex Submariner is a watch with a long and interesting story. Born from technology introduced over 60 years ago, the current Rolex Submariner model is the product of a long history and development. The waterproof Oyster case (with a screw-down crown) and automatic wristwatch movement are some of the features of the Rolex Submariner, which Rolex's founder, President Hans Wilsodorf, is proud of. President Hans Wilsodorf was a genius businessman and an excellent marketer. He was known to be always open-minded about new ideas and always listened to what his employees had to say. The Submariner was born at the suggestion of René-Paul Jeanneret, one of the experienced and talented members of the board of directors. He enjoyed divers as a hobby, and the Submariner was born from the idea of ​​developing an elegant watch that could be used freely both underwater and in everyday life.

Hans Wilsodorf

Rolex Founder: Hans Wirdorff

However, there was much debate about the need to develop such a watch, since the existing Rolex models at the time were already water-resistant and elegant. Meanwhile, there were no diving (or sports) watches that had the performance that René-Paul Jeanneret wanted. This triggered a re-evaluation of the importance of functional sports watches, and watch collections with bold names such as Turn-O-Graph, Explorer, Submariner, Milgauss, GMT-Master, etc. were born since 1953. Rolex was able to succeed in making watches suitable for any type of environment or (sports) activity, and was able to grow more than ever before.

Rolex Submariner 1

The Submariner Pioneer
As mentioned in the introduction, water-resistant watches were already present in the Rolex collection since the early 1930s. In 1935, the Rolex catalog had a 47mm cushion-shaped Oyster case watch with a pocket watch movement inside and a Lépine hand-wound watch with a small seconds hand at 9 o'clock. At the time, watches with such huge cases were not very popular, and there was no follow-up for this watch. However, this cushion-shaped watch was an important opportunity to form a partnership with Panerai. At the time, Panerai was an Italian Rolex dealer and specialized in diving equipment. The Panerai Radiomir model with a cushion-shaped Oyster case with a Corte belt caliber movement supplied by Rolex influenced the Genevan company to receive very useful feedback on diver watches. This feedback would later play a very important role in the development of the Rolex Submariner.

Jeanneret, the original proponent of the Submariner, also had a close relationship with the famous Jacques-Yves Cousteau, providing valuable information to the company in the development of the current Rolex Submariner, a professional diver's watch. In the early 1950s, a lot of experiments were carried out on professional diver's watches, and the company began to seriously develop them.

Diver's Testing Paves the Way for the Submariner



In September 1953, Rolex showed the world that they could make diver's watches, when Auguste Piccard dived with the deep sea submarine Bathyscaphe to 3131.8 meters of the ocean. Attached to the hull of the submarine was Wilsdorf's Rolex watch, made for this adventure, featuring the Rolex logo and a luminous dial. When the Bathyscaphe emerged from the water, the Rolex watch was in working order and was able to function as a Submariner for that moment.


Deep sea challenger

Later, in 1960, the Trieste submarine, which had made 65 deep dives, and its two-meter-wide pressure sphere were used to test the performance of the Rolex Submariner. The attempt aimed to reach the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. Inside the pressure sphere were Picard's son, Jacques Picard, and Dan Walsh. Outside the sphere was a Rolex prototype watch with an Oyster case, designed to withstand a depth of 10,916 meters, which corresponds to a pressure of about 1,125 kg/cm. The idea, of course, was to prove that the Oyster case could withstand this pressure. Just like the Bathyscaphe dive in 1953, the Rolex Submariner worked fine when it was above water, proving the Submariner's incredible water resistance and robustness.

Rolex Submariner - A Diver's Friend
These achievements generated a lot of attention and recognition for the Rolex Submariner. Visitors to the 1954 Basel Fair (now BaselWorld) were delighted and surprised to see a wristwatch exhibit with a matte black dial, shiny second and minute hands, and a rotating bezel. The zero position of these bezels was marked with an arrow with a pearl in the center and a small signature that read "Submariner - the diver's friend." The Rolex Submariner also made it possible to produce a professional diver's watch with an automatic movement and water resistance of 100 meters thanks to the screw-down crown system called Twinlock.

Rolex Submariner 2

By the time the Submariner hit the market, it had also passed rigorous field tests. The Deep Sea Laboratory in Cannes carried out five months of testing, including 132 dives in water depths ranging from 12 to 60 metres, with the final report being published on 26 October 1953. Here is a statement from the laboratory:

"Despite the very high salinity of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the tropical temperatures and humidity it was exposed to during each dive, no corrosion was observed and no moisture was detected inside the watch. We have previously performed the same test on water-resistant watches from other top brands and found that water penetration was already evident from the very first moment of the dive, as determined by the presence of condensed water droplets on the inner surface of the crystal. We also dived the watch with an extendable crown not just once, but several times. As a final test, we attached the watch to a thin cord and lowered it to a depth of 120 metres, which is twice the pressure of 60 metres, the maximum depth achievable with a self-contained compressed air unit. After an hour at this depth, no leaks were detected," he said.

Rolex received advice from many experts and feedback from experts in various fields while developing the Submariner, and worked hard to develop the watch. Jeanneret, the proponent of the Submariner, provided many ideas for the design of the case, dial, and outer rotating bezel in order to read the remaining time of the dive underwater, and these ideas were devised and have led to the current Submariner.

Submariner 3
Submariner 4

Currently, Rolex has factories in Geneva and Biel, and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2004. It currently sponsors various sports events, such as the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, tennis tournaments such as Wimbledon Tennis and the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, and golf's Open Championships. It also sponsors the cultural sector through the Rolex Awards (, which have been awarded to people who have made creative contributions in the fields of cultural heritage, exploration and discovery, science and medicine, the environment, and technological innovation since 1976.

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