Our Most Popular Models
Rolex Submariner Date
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
Rolex Submariner (1990-2010)
Rolex Submariner Yellow gold
Rolex Submariner Gold/Steel
Rolex Submariner Vintage
Rolex Submariner Ceramic Bezel Dark
Rolex Submariner Ceramic Bezel Light
Rolex Submariner White gold
Rolex Submariner James Bond
Rolex Red Sub
Rolex Submariner Sultan
Rolex Submariner Diamonds
Rolex Submariner: The most famous diving watch
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The legendary Submariner: the diver's friend
Rolex released its first Submariner in 1953. The Swiss manufacturer initially developed the watch as a specialist tool for professional divers, standing out from the crowd with its large luminous hands and indices, rotating bezel and increased water-resistance. The watch's popularity is unwavering, and it holds the title of "diving watch archetype" to this day.
Despite its functional tool watch design, the Submariner is the perfect accessory for both formal wear and casual attire, no matter if you've opted for a vintage edition or more recent model. It's exactly this versatility which has put the Submariner in the Rolex hall of fame.
Many also turn to the Rolex Submariner as an investment piece , as it shows high potential to increase in value.
Reasons to buy a Rolex Submariner
- The world's most famous diving watch
- Distinctive, recognisable designs
- Extremely accurate and reliable in-house calibers
- Available in stainless steel, gold or two-tone cases
- High value retention with the potential to appreciate
What are the different Rolex Submariner models?
[YouTube]J3clecugq3A[Caption / Alt-Text]Rolex Submariner 16610LV | Kermit | Chrono24
The Submariner collection can be divided into two groups: the Submariner Date (the models with a date display) and the Submariner No Date (the models without a date display). The No Date version is deemed the more traditional choice, since the original Submariner model didn't have a date complication. Current No Dates like the ref. 124060 share further similarities with the first-ever version, namely in the fact they only come in stainless steel with a black dial and black bezel.
The Rolex Submariner Date has been available in seven configurations since 2020, the most popular model being the ref. 126610LN. The "LN" tacked on to the end of the reference number stands for "lunette noire", which is French for black bezel. The dial is also black, while the case and bracelet are shine in stainless steel.
Green Rolex Submariner: Kermit and Hulk
Alongside the black Submariner Date, the green Rolex Submariner models are another popular choice. The editions sporting a black dial and green bezel are known as the "Kermit" Submariners. Rolex watches with both a green dial and green bezel have been nicknamed the "Hulk" Subs by fans of the brand. Aside from their colour schemes, these watches do not differ from their black counterparts, i.e., they use the same calibres.
Rolex Submariners in gold
Rolex offers the Submariner Date with an 18-karat gold case and bracelet. Here, you have the choice between yellow and white gold, which can be combined with a black or blue dial and bezel combination, depending on the reference. Rolex fans are known for coming up with creative nicknames, and they didn't disappoint with the white gold and blue Submariner, or "Smurf".
Submariner models in steel and gold
The Submariner collection is also home to two-tone models that combine stainless steel and yellow gold. Rolex call these half steel, half gold watches "Rolesor" and pairs them with black or blue dials and bezels.
Overview of the Rolex Submariner models
- Rolex Submariner (No Date): stainless steel, black bezel, black dial, no date display
- Rolex Submariner Date: stainless steel, black bezel, black dial, date display
- Rolex Submariner "Kermit": stainless steel, green bezel, black dial, date display
- Rolex Submariner "Hulk": stainless steel, green bezel, green dial, date display
- Rolex Submariner "Smurf": white or yellow gold, blue bezel, black or blue dial, date display
- Rolex Submariner Rolesor: stainless steel and yellow gold, black or blue bezel, black or blue dial, date display
Prices for the Rolex Submariner in the UK
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Features|
|No Date, 6538||120,000 GBP||"James Bond" Sub|
|No Date, 5514 COMEX||87,000 GBP||Made for the Compagnie maritime d'expertises, "COMEX" inscription on the dial|
|No Date, 5510||56,000 GBP||Black dial and black bezel|
|Date, 116619LB "Smurf"||36,000 GBP||White gold case, blue dial, blue bezel, date display|
|Date, 126619LB||35,000 GBP||Yellow gold case, blue dial and blue bezel, date display|
|Date, 1680, "Red Sub"||22,000 GBP||Red "Submariner" inscription, tropical dial, date display|
|Date, 116610LV "Hulk"||16,000 GBP||Green dial and green bezel, date display|
|Date, 126613LN||15,000 GBP||Two-tone, black dial and black bezel, date display|
|Date, 126610LV "Kermit"||14,000 GBP||Green bezel, black dial, date display|
|Date, 126610LN||11,000 GBP||Black dial and black bezel, date display|
|No Date, 124060||11,000 GBP||Black dial and black bezel|
|No Date, 114060||9,500 GBP||Black dial and black bezel|
|No Date, 14060||8,000 GBP||Black dial and black bezel|
How much does a Rolex Submariner cost in the UK?
If you're looking for a new Submariner from the current collection to call your own, expect an entry-level price of around the 8,000 GBP mark. This will get you a stainless steel Submariner No Date ref. 14060 in mint condition. This model was in Rolex's line-up from 1988 to 2012. If you're interested in one of the later references, such as the ref. 114060 or ref. 124060 from 2020, prices will jump to around 9,500 and 11,000 GBP, respectively.
Rolex Submariner Date models with the reference numbers 16610LN, 116610LN and 126610LN are similar to the models above, but as you can probably guess, feature a date display. Listings for these models on Chrono24 cost between 10,000 and 12,500 GBP. Collectors are particularly taken with green Submariner Date models, so you can expect to see the "Kermit" and "Hulk" fall within a price range of between 14,000 and 19,000 GBP in the United Kingdom.
Prices for new steel and gold Submariner models with five-digit reference numbers will set you back between 13,000 and 16,000 GBP. You can buy a similar model in yellow or white gold on Chrono24 in mint condition for between 26,000 and 35,000 GBP.
How much does a pre-owned Rolex Submariner cost?
You can often save a substantial amount by opting for a pre-owned Rolex Submariner instead of a new one. That said, the price difference depends heavily on the exact model you're interested in and the timepiece's condition. For example, a Submariner 114060 in good condition will only cost a few hundred pounds less than a brand-new copy, whereas a used Submariner Date 16610LN sells for around 2,200 GBP less than one that's never been worn.
Gold and two-tone Subs follow the same price trends. Certain models like the gold ref. 16618LN with a black dial and bezel cost the same in new and used condition. On the other hand, you can save up to 3,500 GBP by choosing a pre-owned copy of the Submariner Date 16613LN, a gold and steel Submariner.
Waiting times in the UK for a Rolex Submariner
The watches in the Rolex Submariner collection are some of the most popular timepieces in the world. Demand is sky-high, which is why waiting times at boutiques are growing longer and longer . Unfortunately, it's not uncommon to wait several years to buy a Rolex from a physical shop.
Marketplaces like Chrono24 let you skip the waiting lists. You can buy virtually all Submariner models directly, from brand-new references to rare vintage pieces. However, you will have to reckon with a premium in return; for example, the Submariner Date 126610LN changes hands for around 3,500 GBP above Rolex's official list price.
Prices for vintage Rolex Submariners
Like most vintage Rolex watches, old Submariner models are highly coveted. Two popular vintage references are the 5512 and 5513, which debuted all the way back in the late 1950s and early 60s, respectively. Even though both models were produced for a number of years, there are currently very few pieces on the market. You can buy a ref. 5513 for around 12,000 GBP, while you will need over 22,000 GBP for a ref. 5512.
More affordable alternatives to the two vintage models above are examples come under the reference numbers 16800 and 168000. These Subs are from the 1980s, feature a date window, and are more readily available than the 5512 and 5513.As of autumn 2023, the ref. 16800 is valued at around 9,400 GBP; the 168000 is a bit pricier at almost 13,000 GBP.
James Bond's original 5513: worth 300,000 GBP
In November 2001, Christie's auction house sold the original Submariner 5513 from the 1973 James Bond movie "Live and Let Die" for 25,850 GBP. The same watch went on the auction block again in 2015, this time at Phillips. When the bidding was all said and done and the premiums added, it nabbed an impressive 365,000 USD (around 300,000 GBP). That means its price increased almost tenfold in 14 years.
The "James Bond Sub" ref. 6538 is another popular model among collectors. Sean Connery wore this timepiece as James Bond in 1962's "Dr. No." If you're lucky enough to find one of these watches, you'll need well over 110,000 GBP to call one your own.
Popular collectibles: "Red Sub", COMEX and more
Some Rolex watches are irresistible to fans and connoisseurs alike. The "Red Sub" is one such highly sought-after collectible. Rolex produced the Submariner with the reference number 1680 between 1967 and 1980. The word "Submariner" was written in red on the dial until 1974, thus earning it the nickname "Red Sub".
Between 1967 and 1974, Rolex produced the Red Sub with numerous dial designs, labelled Mark I through Mark VI by fans. At first glance, the models may seem identical, but the trained eye will notice subtle differences in the typography and whether the depth rating on the dial is indicated first in metres or feet. Watch enthusiasts are just as enamoured of models with tropical dials, where the watch's dial and bezel fade to brown over time.
Depending on the watch's condition and dial, you can expect to pay upwards of 22,000 GBP for a "Red Sub".
Many collectors dream of getting their hands on one of the Submariner models Rolex developed specifically for the Compagnie maritime d'expertises (COMEX), a French company renowned for their underwater exploration technology. These watches (ref. 5514) were produced from the 1970s to the 90s and have since performed well financially, making them sound investment pieces. Two years ago, you could have bought a ref. 5514 for no more than 61,000 GBP. In 2023, however, listings on Chrono24 are closer to 87,000 GBP.
The Rolex Submariner as an investment
Rolex watches are generally very good when it comes to retaining their value, and the Submariner is no exception. In fact, up until mid-2022, the watches recorded massive appreciation. Market prices have since cooled off, but the Submariner is still an interesting investment, especially over the long term . At the time of writing in autumn 2023, the prices for most Submariner models on Chrono24 had returned to where they were two years ago. Some references have even started to increase again.
Despite the market correction, the value of Submariner models will generally increase over the long term, regardless if new or pre-owned. Any potential profits depend on the time of purchase. At the time of writing in October 2023, the consensus was that it's a relatively good time to buy, all things considered.
Prices for vintage watches are also on the rise, despite slight fluctuations since 2022. However, if you consider these watches as a long-term investment, a purchase can be worthwhile. Take, for example, the Submariner 5508: In 2013, this watch cost 10,000 GBP. Ten years later, however, the market value has exceeded 26,000 GBP.
Rolex Submariner: Since 1953
The Submariner has spent the last six decades making its mark on watchmaking history. In that time, it has become an icon and one of the most well-known watches of all time. In 2012, the special Deepsea Challenge model plunged into the Mariana Trench, reaching an impressive depth of some 36,000 ft. The predecessor of the very first Submariner from 1953 was the ref. 6200. This timepiece was water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft) thanks to its distinctive Twinlock crown. It had a bidirectional bezel that enabled divers to keep track of the length of their dive with a quick glance.
Rolex took the advice of RenÃ©-Paul Jeanneret when designing the Submariner. The former Rolex director was an avid recreational diver and gave helpful suggestions for the dial, bezel and case. The watch survived various tests and 132 dives to depths of between 39 and 197 ft. It was even dropped on a concrete dock from a height of a little over 6.5 ft and still worked perfectly. The only damage was the loss of a small part of the luminous material from one of the hands. The successor of the original Submariner was water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) and used to be the official watch of the British, Australian and Canadian navies.
Today's Submariner models look almost the same as early editions of the classic diving watch. Over the years, the case has grown, and a crown guard was added in 1959 to protect the screw-down crown. In 1966, a version with a date indicator joined the collection. Other changes or additions have been minor, such as polished bracelet components and cases or blind lugs (i.e. lugs that are not drilled through all the way). Although its design is from the 1950s, the Rolex Submariner remains a modern timepiece.
Over time, these automatic watches have progressed to a water resistance of 300 m (984 ft) and feature rotating bezels with 120 clicks. The bezel can only be turned counterclockwise, which is a requirement for all modern diving watches. Its insert is made of Cerachrom ceramic on modern Submariners, which is particularly scratch-resistant. Rolex's proprietary luminous material, Chromalight, fills the bezel's zero marker. This substance glows blue in the dark and is brighter than Super-LumiNova. Furthermore, Rolex's watchmakers add platinum or gold dusting to the bezel's numbers and indices.
Both the index markers on the dial and arched hands are made of gold. The hour and minute hands glow in the dark, as does a spot on the second hand. Compared to earlier models, the sapphire glass barely sticks out, protecting it from jolts. A Glidelock clasp enables the wearer to adjust the size of the bracelet in 2-mm increments. Therefore, the watch fits just as well on bare wrists as it does over wetsuits. The clasp, which is slightly larger than those found on previous versions, also features a safety mechanism, ensuring it can't be opened accidentally.
How long are waiting lists for the Rolex Submariner?
The waiting lists at official retailers for a new Rolex Submariner from the current collection depend on the exact reference, ranging anywhere between 3 months and more than 2 years. You can most models right away on the secondary market, but you will generally have to pay a premium.
How much does a pre-owned Rolex Submariner cost?
Prices for pre-owned Rolex Submariner models run between 5,700 to well over 87,000 GBP. How much a specific reference costs depends on several factors, such as how rare it is, what condition it's in and whether it comes with the original box and papers.
How have prices for the Rolex Submariner developed?
When viewed over the long term, the Rolex Submariner has performed very well financially.