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Rolex’s iconic Submariner collection gets a facelift – here’s what’s new

Rolex may not be reinventing the wheel when it comes to its Submariner, but such a classic doesn’t require much upgrades anyway.

Rolex’s iconic Submariner collection gets a facelift – here’s what’s new

Rolex's line-up of new watches for 2020 includes a new Submariner. (Photo: Rolex)

After COVID-19 forced Rolex to shut its production sites temporarily, the question on everyone’s mind was whether the watchmaker would release any new watches for 2020. The answer is yes, and part of Rolex’s line-up for this year is none other than new Submariner and Submariner Date models.

Still, don’t expect a complete overhaul. Both the Submariner and Submariner Date have been given just subtle upgrades, the first of which is a larger case measuring 41mm. By comparison, previous Submariners measure 40mm.

The new Rolex Submariner Ref. 124060 now sports a slightly larger case measuring 41mm. (Photo: Rolex)

While the bracelet is still a classic three-link Oyster first developed in the 1930s, it’s now slightly wider with a broader centre link. The updated Oyster bracelet on the new versions is equipped with Rolex’s patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp, backed by the Rolex Glidelock extension system. This allows the wearer to adjust the length of the bracelet up to 20mm.

The collection also receives a tech upgrade. The Submariner is powered by the new calibre 3230, launched this year. Meanwhile, the Submariner Date is powered by the calibre 3235. The new movements offer 70-hour power reserves compared to 48 hours in previous movements.

The Submariner is powered by the new calibre 3230. (Photo: Rolex)

Aesthetics-wise, another subtle update between the new and old Submariner is a tiny Rolex crown logo between “Swiss” and “Made” below the six-o’clock marker on the dial.

True to its predecessors, the new Submariner – in Oystersteel – has a black dial and matching Cerachrom bezel insert. The first version of the Submariner Date is also made of Oystersteel, and brings together a black dial and green bezel insert.

The new Submariner Date Ref. 126610LV with black dial and green bezel insert. (Photo: Rolex)

A second, yellow Rolesor version of the watch is also available, combining Oystersteel and 18K yellow gold with a royal blue dial and blue bezel insert. The third option is an 18K white gold version with black dial and blue bezel insert.

Rolex may not have equipped the Submariner collection with any groundbreaking upgrades, but this way, the essence of the iconic timepiece has been retained. 

It’s also a classic Rolex move that has given the brand much success. Rather than a complete overhaul, classics are usually tweaked ever so slightly for a new generation, keeping true to their original DNA.  

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Source: CNA/st(ds)