Should You Still Buy A Rolex Submariner In 2024?
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Should You Still Buy A Rolex Submariner In 2024?

Should You Still Buy A Rolex Submariner In 2024?

 

UPDATE JULY 2024

Hello, Timelords. Welcome back and thank you for joining us as today, we discuss whether or not you should still buy a Rolex Submariner in 2024. Those who know their luxury watches, will know that the collection is instantly recognizable and could be deemed to be the most successful watch in the world.

Its purpose was for the scuba diving industries which boomed upon the Submariner’s release. The collection has since developed and been shaped to be worn by celebrities to collectors like me and you.

The Rolex Submariner pushed the boundaries of what one can do in water, releasing timepieces that could reach up to 330 feet. Using tools like the bezel, divers could competently measure immersion times which allowed divers to effectively calculate when they should return to the surface.

While we can see why you’d be anxious to get your model wet, we can promise you, this model will be able to stand the shower! That's enough background, let's get into whether you should still buy a Rolex Submariner in 2024. 

 

Are Rolex Submariners Worth The Investment?

 

Good question. The short answer is yes. The Rolex Submariner is a good investment. 

Rolex Submariner 124060 - Source - Rolex

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Considered the most recognised watch amongst enthusiasts and aficionados alike, it is extremely durable and can be worn with a multitude of outfits. This isn't just the generic sports timepiece you see the casuals wearing, folks. So, is it still worth buying a Rolex Submariner in 2024? Here are a few reasons why.

 

Benefit 1 - Iconic

The collection has been wearing the crown since its release over 50 years ago and has changed the design and style consistently throughout its reign. From the classic 6538 which James Bond himself adorned, the Rolex Submariner has evolved to new references like the 124060 utilising a new Cerachrom bezel, a variety of fresh colours including green and blue and brought in the ‘Super case’ as a way to enlarge the model without increasing its diameter. 

While vintage Rolex Submariner models are extremely valuable and for good reason, contemporary Rolex Submariner models are highly durable, stylish and have been recorded at consistently keeping their value. While this principle applies to most timepieces due to the prestige that follows the brand, The collection is one of the longest serving lines released.

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Benefit 2 - Comfortable

One thing that the collection excels at is the level of comfort that is provided by the Rolex Submariner models. The model's haptics are out of this world, especially the modern ones which feature an Oyster Bracelet which is extremely comfortable and durable. Did we mention it also has a ‘Glidelock’ clasp to add or release a few cm off and on the wrist?

The Glidelock feature allows the wearer to extend or retract at a moment's notice. This is extremely effective if you do go diving as it means you can slip it up and over your diving costume. However, if you bought for its incredible aesthetic, you can use the strap

 

Benefit 3 - Valuable

To summarise, don’t expect the price of the collection to unexpectedly drop. While we aren't suggesting you should sell all of your belongings to buy a Rolex Submariner, if you have the money and are keen enough about one then it is certainly worth the investment. My dear Timelords, there is no time like the present!

This is especially the case since the pricings are showing no sign of slowing down. Take for example the 124060. With a retail value of £7,700, it currently sells on the secondary market for around £10,000. As you can probably appreciate (pardon the pun), the Submariner models show no sign of fading so get to it quickly!

 

Benefit 4 - Accurate

The watches are extremely accurate. Specifically since 2015, they have been testing their watches using their Superlative Chronometer certification. This certification means that the watches are guaranteed to be within -2/+2 seconds per day.

Rolex Submariner 126613LB - Source - Rolex

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While they are also COSC certified, the Superlative certification is stricter than their requirements showing the level of depth that goes into their watches, even outside of industry standards. 

Furthermore, some models like the 126613LB feature the calibre 3235 movement which has 14 patents within it. It incorporates the Chronergy escapement which is patented by them and it blends high efficiency with immense quality. They are also extremely resistant to magnetism through the calibre having a nickel-phosphorous construction.

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Benefit 5 - Tough

The collection is notorious for being extremely tough. Specifically, most of the modern Rolex Submariner models are crafted out of Oyster Steel. This is an alloy which is crafted by them in-house and can be seen regularly in the chemical industries due to it housing 904L steel.

Extremely anti-corrosive, the watches provide a phenomenal finish once polished which enhances its status as more than just sports watches and more of an all rounder. The collection followed the release of the Oyster which was the world's first waterproof wristwatch in 1926.

The collection came as the first model to reach 330m water resistance. This shows how tight the watches are from its release in 1953 to the modern era where materials have further improved. This is present in inventions like the Triplock winding crown which ensures that no water can make it into the watches as it screws securely to the case.

 

What Are The Most Popular Rolex Submariner Watches?

 

Rolex Submariner 116610LV

 

The Rolex Submariner 116610LV isn't just a Rolex you can Hulk smash, it's also extremely stylish. 

Rolex Submariner 116610LV - Source - Ablogtowatch

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As you have probably noticed by the pun above, The Rolex is affectionately named the “Hulk” and it contemporized its predecessor, The Rolex Submariner 16610.

Produced between 2010-2020, the 116610LV was the first Rolex to feature many new updates which hadn't been seen on previous editions. As the first model to feature a Super Case, a Chromalight display, a Cerachrom bezel and a solid link bracelet with a glidelock clasp, the ‘Hulk’ pulls no punches when it comes to innovation.

The Super case is fit for an aptly named Superhero timepiece. Designed by them to keep the same diameter at 40mm, other aspects were increased. For example, the lugs are larger as well as the crown guard and the bezel which is wider. This means that even though it is still deemed ‘40mm’, it feels larger on the wrist which is perfect for the gentleman without petite hands. 

Crafted out of 904L steel, the watch is as tough as old boots and can comfortably reach 300m water resistance due to its triplock crown and solid caseback. The green dial is truly captivating, especially with the sunburst finish that allows light to change the depth of green on the dial. The luminous indices are applied and are edged with white gold which stands out perfectly with the dial.

Not bright enough? The 116610LV also uses Chromalight, their own luminous material that glows a beautiful blue hue in darkness. The bezel is made out of Cerachrom which is extremely durable and aggressively anti corrosive. The bezel is similarly green and matches the dial superbly. 

Connected by an Oyster Bracelet, it can be worn to the most formal of suit and tie events or worn while you're out in the garden cutting the grass on a lazy Sunday morning. It's a strong bracelet and can be used to formalise or de-formalise outfits for each situation. The dial colour is still very modern so you wont look like you’ve stepped out of a time machine wearing this beast. 

The 116610LV is in demand due to it only having a 10 year run and the highly unorthodox colour scheme is greatly admired amongst collectors and enthusiasts.

You can no longer buy a Submariner 116610LV at retail due to it being discontinued at the time of writing. 

 

Rolex Submariner 6538

 

The Rolex Submariner 6538 was popularised by a suave gentleman named Bond, James Bond. ​​

Rolex Submariner 6538 - Source - Wind Vintage 

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The James Bond character wore the Rolex Submariner watches from 1962 to 1989 in films like ‘From Russia, With Love’, ‘Thunderball’ and the very well known ‘Goldfinger’ films. While these Rolex Submariner models  were based on these films, it would only be the 6538 which earned the highly regarded nickname of ‘James Bond’ and the title of possibly the best Rolex to buy.

Following its release in 1955, the Rolex Submariner 6538 had grown from its predecessors which had been produced then discontinued over a period of 6 Rolex Submariner models. The 6538 epitomised the peak up to that point as it kept some of the classic styles but added some of its own. 

Some of the updates are still present today. For example, the black rotating bezel which is graduated to 60 minutes with the first 15 minutes marked individually, is a staple on the modern Roles Submariner.

Furthermore, the dial has lume indexes in the classic dot and baton aesthetic which is instantly reminiscent of the modern Rolex Submariner models, as well as the upside down triangle which is inverted as a design feature at 12 o'clock. 

At 37.5mm, the watch is famed for its big crown of 8mm, an instant flashback to the period of utility and form following function. While the crown may have changed in the modern era, the design of the 6538 is beautifully vintage and shows another world of watchmaking. If you are lucky enough to buy a watch like the 6538, you will probably notice some interesting details immediately.

For example, you could land on a ‘Four Liner’ which means that the watch has the first line saying Submariner, the second is the depth rating, the third Superlative Chronometer and the fourth is officially certified. Over this period, they released many variations of this reference over its 4 year release period with minor adjustments made to the dial and colour. 

The 6538 was powered by the Calibre 1030 which was their first ever bi-directional winding automatic movement and it was also the first calibre from them to attain the highly regarded official chronometer status from COSC. This reference is a fantastic representation of their quality from the early days to now. 

From its bulbous crown and lack of crown guards to the small red triangle placed at 0 on the bezel, the 6538 is one of the most popular Rolex Submariner models of all time. If you manage to find one, you have fit the jackpot due to its scarcity and rarity. If you decided to wear it outside of your house, you could pair it with a fitted Tuxedo to get into the James Bond spirit or wear it while out and about with your friends in your sunglasses and shirt. 

You can no longer buy a Rolex Submariner 6538 at retail at the time of writing. 

 

Rolex Submariner 5514

 

The Rolex Submariner 5514 had a production run of 27 years from 1970 to 1997 wherein it became one of the most popular editions released. 

The 5514 was created to suit the needs of a French diving company named COMEX. Rolex and COMEX partnered up in order to produce diving watches for their team who worked within the oil industry. They issued the 5514 which was a watch dedicated just to the divers and employees of COMEX. This means the public could not buy a watch like the 5514.

While many people think the helium escape valve was created upon the Sea-Dweller, in reality the function was developed and tested on the 5514 for COMEX before becoming publically available in the form of the Sea Dweller in 1971.

Rolex Submariner 5514 - Source - Rolex Passion Market 

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While the 5513 and the 5514 were both created around the same time, the 5514 is more desired due to its affiliations with COMEX and its subsequent scarcity. With only 154 pieces produced, the pricing has no limits, allowing the watch to become highly coveted and valuable.

While we wouldn't expect you to waltz around the streets with this on, this watch would be suited to a black jacket or a darker shaded jumper to keep with the aesthetic of the black bezel and dial face.

The watch is extremely recognizable due to the word ‘COMEX’ being proudly emblazoned under the brand's title and crown logo in the dial. Should we also mention that John Mayer, bluesman, fashion icon and GPHG juryman has this in his collection? If Mayer has it then it's automatically deemed one of their most popular models.

Unfortunately, you can no longer buy a Rolex Submariner 5514 at retail at the time of writing.

 

Rolex Submariner 126610LN (Date Edition)

 

Updated in 2020, The Submariner 126610LN bites back with a black ceramic bezel and a black dial.

Rolex Submariner 126610LN - Source - Ablogtowatch

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This edition sits at 41mm while older Rolex Submariner models like the 116610 are 40mm. This expansion in size may appear quite small as it's only 1mm, but it allows the watch more space and as such, it is jam packed with even more goodies for us watch fiends to enjoy when we look to buy a watch

For example, the movement has been improved to the calibre 3235 which is more accurate shockproof in comparison to its predecessor the 3135 movement. There is an extra day's worth of power reserve, increasing to 70 hours which is fantastic for those not wanting to risk wearing the watch over the frivolities of a weekend. 

This movement is also Superlative Chronometer Certified, a self check of excellent performance through its precision, power reserve, waterproofness and self winding. They have proudly displayed its certification at 6 o'clock on the dial to remind you that you are handling greatness! It also represents one of the few changes made to the dial from previous Rolex Submariner models. The 1226610 utilises the classic Oyster Steel material to craft due to its durability and its glorious shine when polished. With its tight build, the watch can reach up to 300m of water resistance which is more than effective for the common user.

This watch bridges the gap between the small casual watch and the behemoth Sea Dweller Deepsea as it still has a competent water resistance depth plus a very tidy black bezel and dial design over its steel frame. It looks fantastic and can be worn in all manner of scenarios such as shaking hands with the corporate bigwigs in a pinstripe suit to playing ping-pong in Polynesia in just your swimming trunks. 

You can buy a Rolex Submariner at £8,650 RRP at the time of writing. 

 

Rolex Submariner 16610LV

 

Haven’t we already seen this one?

Rolex Submariner 16610LV - Source - MTR-Watches

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Actually Timelords, We are witnessing the original green bezel on the editions line. While ‘The Hulk’ was doused in green from dial to bezel, The Rolex Submariner 16610LV ‘Kermit’ is only green on its bezel, contrasting superbly with the black dial that classic Submariner’s are lauded for due to the legibility and sleek design.

The 11610 was released in 1988 and brought with it the highly functional 3135 calibre which is one of the brands longest serving movements. The 11610LV was released in 2003 as a  celebration for 50 years of the Submariner. 

Having been discontinued since 2010, the striking aluminium bezel is coated green and its new ‘Maxi dial’ which boasts larger hands and indices than the original 16610LV. The watch is already on the right track to showboating its predecessor's design with an extra flurry of colour and size.

The black dial with white hour markers contrast superbly with the bezel and relate quite strongly to the childrens TV character, ‘Kermit The Frog’. The Oyster case has tapered lugs which fits nicely on the wrist and was designed before they introduced the very bolshie ‘Super-case’ which has significantly larger lugs. It's not a criticism of the modern case, rather if you buy a watch like the 16610LV, don't expect the same feeling from a modern Rolexl.

As it's about 13mm in height, the watch is pretty slim, allowing you to extend and retract your arm without risk of it catching your cuffs. Pretty handy when you want to grab a quick glance at the time during that boring meeting! Don't think that just because the watch is smaller, that it's suddenly illegible. In fact, the Maxi dial does the opposite and allows a clearer view of the dial's face. 

The watch is water resistant to 300m and comes on a 904L steel oyster bracelet. Housing the Glidelock Extension System, you can easily add a few mm onto the watch if the meal from that work has swelled you up. Housing the classic 3135 movement, it is certified as a superlative chronometer meaning the watch is very accurate and shock resistant, plus it offers a 48h power reserve and a quick-change date. 

The 11610LV is perfect for the modern trend of retroism due to the old school movement and its slenderness pre Super-case era while contemporizing it with the bright green bezel and quality control measures through the Superlative Chronometer Certification.

You can no longer buy a Rolex Submariner 16610LV at retail at the time of writing.

 

Rolex Submariner 126610LV 

 

Colour is exceptionally popular nowadays so The Rolex Submariner 126610LV was well ahead of the curve since its release in 2020.

Submariner 126610LV - Source - Ablogtowatch 

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Named The ‘Starbucks’ because of its link to the brands colour scheme of black and green, the watch develops from The Kermit into a richer green bezel in Cerachrom, a highly durable material crafted in-house by the brand. Presented at 41mm in the classic Oyster Steel material, the watch is fairly bulky but should fit the wrist of most men perfectly. The quality of Oyster Steel is phenomenal and makes it resistant to corrosion and everyday abrasions with ease. 

The case is given a satin finish alongside the lugs which contrast beautifully with the polished finish on the sides of the case.

This gives the watch more dimension and does not make it appear as just a chunk of pricey metal. The caseback is screwed down solid Oyster Steel. Although an exhibition back would be more aesthetically pleasing, we can appreciate that the watch is made for the rough and tumble world of the waves, therefore a solid back keeps the movement safe from water or shock. 

The bezel is unidirectional and has a serrated edge to allow for easy turning and better grip. The bezel is Cerachrom which is their take on the material ceramic. It is extremely durable and gives off a beautiful shine when polished. Contracting with the black dial, the bezel is striking and is certainly a talking point when noticed due to its increasingly popular green colour. 

The crown is polished and screwed down, edged with a ribbed groove to enhance its winding ability. It also has two bulky crown guards, similarly made from Oyster steel, and a Triplock system to prevent dust or any manner of foreign material entering the delicate insides of the watch. This allows a water resistance rating of 300m which is more than enough for the modern consumer. 

The dial is jet black and stands out strongly against the green bezel and silvery case. As per most Submariners, the indices and hands are luminous and come in the form of batons and dots, along with the Mercedes hands. The dial goes on step further and is doused in Chromalight which glows a vibrant blue in the dark, enhancing its readability when in darkness.

Using the same 3235 movement as its predecessors, the watch runs at 28,800VpH and has an incredible power reserve of 70 hours as well as an accuracy rating of between -2 and +2 seconds per day. Strapped together by the tough Oyster bracelet, the watch is overall very tough but still fantastic visually. You can wear this watch with a sharp casual outfit like a black suit jacket with an open white shirt or wear it down with a pair of blue jeans and your favourite T-shirt. 

You can no longer buy a Rolex Submariner 126610LV at retail at the time of writing.

 

Rolex Submariner 116619LB

 

Feeling blue? It may be worth you trying to buy a Rolex Submariner 116619… that's if you can get your hands on it. 

Rolex Submariner 116619LB - Source - Bob’s Watches

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Released at Baselworld in 2008, the 116619 was released to mark the 100th anniversary of the brand and it was the 55th anniversary of the collection. Unfortunately, the joyous celebration was cut short in 2020 as the 116619 was discontinued to make way for a new breed. The colourful Submariners had been a raging success. The Kermit, as released a few years previously, was very successful and as such, prompted them to keep pushing out the good stuff. 

As such, they released a blue dial with a blue bezel and it completely contrasted with the traditional blue dials that they had released previously. This was predominantly due to earlier models having a sunburst finish as opposed to a block lacquered finish which ‘The Smurf’ proudly adorned.

This was enhanced with the ‘Maxi Dial’ that expanded the indices and hands, allowing for increased legibility and to make them stand out against the dizzying blue of the dial and bezel. The Rolex Submariner 116619 was one of the first Submariner models to wear the famed Cerachrom ceramic bezel and it certainly did it justice. The dial also features Chromalight which further accentuates the blue theme they are going for here. 

As Cerachrom is extremely durable and scratch resistant, the watch can be worn in all manner of situations, including high intensity sports. We wouldn't recommend it however as this watch is extremely coveted due to its unusual colour scheme and fond nickname. 

While the bracelet and the 40mm Oyster case look like they are crafted from the excellent ‘Oyster Steel’ material, they are actually made out of 18K white gold. This is incredibly rare as it is the only Submariner so far that has been offered in white gold. 

With its reputation as being an affordable entry point into their watches, The Smurf was projected into the pricey realms of scarcity and exclusivity. A tool watch out of white gold? It's also blue on the dial and bezel? Unheard of. It can be expected that The Smurf is therefore highly coveted and extremely valuable. You can pair it with a white jumper to let the blue burst through or with a bright blue suit to show that you are just as daring as the watch. 

 You can no longer buy a Rolex Submariner 116619 at retail at the time of writing.

 

Rolex Submariner 16803

 

The 16803 came from a period of them trying to re-establish itself after the disastrous effects of the Quartz Crisis.

In this period, The collection was modified out of ‘just a tool watch’ and into the realms of fashion and style. For example, the 16800 and 16808 were released in 1979 in all steel and 18K yellow gold respectively as well as a slew of upgrades in order to keep the watches contemporary and popular. It would fall to the 16803 to take the helm of innovating it further, following its release in 1984.

The case in particular had seen many updates following the highly water resistant Sea Dweller in 1967, resulting in the Triplock system being created for the crown.

These updates allowed the Submariner 16803 to reach the phenomenal depths of 300m after a previous average of 200m water resistance. It was also the first Submariner to feature sapphire crystals which are extremely resistant to most things and very waterproof too. No, Timelords. This bad boy isn't just a pretty watch. 

Rolex Submariner 16803 - Source - Sundial

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The 16803 series became the first to wear a unidirectional bezel which is extremely effective for divers. This stops the user backtracking the time and messing up measurements which is extremely effective in high pressure situations under the sea. The bezel is available in blue and was made out of anodized aluminium with the bezel ring being in 18K yellow gold. 

The dial is also blue and has a sunburst finish that would later contribute to the popularity of colourful Submariner models in the future. The brushed effect gives the perception of the dial's colour always shifting, from light to dark blue if the light strikes right against the centre of the watch. 

The indexes were developed from the protruding gold dots which were slightly elevated to the flatter and luminated markers which were edged with 18K gold and still very popular today. 

The movement house was the Calibre 3035 which represented the first high-beat movement in a Submariner. Increasing the speed from 19,800VpH to 28,800VpH, this is now a staple with their watches nowadays. This movement also introduced the Quickset date function which allows the user to change the date through pulling out the crown to a different setting, instead of having to wind through 24 hours. 

The 16803 is a misunderstood genius that is sadly fairly unknown amongst fans. Following a short production run of 4 years, the watch is extremely valuable as its rare, it initiated many firsts such as the Triplock system, sapphire crystal and high beat movement in Submariners, plus, its rich colour is very hard to get from them.

You can wear this with a refined navy suit or dress it down with a black shirt with rolled up sleeves to subliminally boast your knowledge of unknown watches. 

You can no longer buy a Rolex Submariner 16803 at retail at the time of writing.

 

Conclusion

 

The Submariner never disappoints. With a history going back over six decades, each reference of the collection is a watchmaking masterpiece. Purposeful, practical and ever-popular, there is no such thing as choosing the ‘wrong’ model when you choose to wear a model.

Feeling the desire to buy a Rolex Submariner? Experiencing FOMO like never before? It may be worth chatting to our dedicated team to get you on track to buying a model. Contact us today and let us assist in landing you your dream watch. 

By using our highly regarded luxury retailers, we can put you in contact with the best in the business and get you a deal you deserve. Whether you are looking for a watch or want to buy a Rolex or sell a Rolex fast, we are comfortably your number one source. 

 

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Further Reading: 

Chrono Hunter’s Bold Predictions and Outlandish Forecasts For The Watch Industry In 2023

5 Things You Should Know Before Buying A Rolex

 

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