Submariner No Date: Beloved for Over 65 Years
The Rolex Submariner No Date is a classic among diving watches. As the more affordable version of the Submariner, this timepiece has enjoyed widespread popularity since its introduction in 1954. Vintage models are highly coveted among collectors.
The Classic Submariner Without a Date
The Rolex Submariner No Date was the original version of this now-legendary diving watch. It debuted in 1954 under the reference number 6204 and quickly came to define the entire genre of tool watches for divers. For the first ten years of its existence, Rolex exclusively offered the Submariner without a date display. Very little has changed about this watch over the decades, and it remains an integral part of the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer's catalog to this day.
Unlike its sister model with a date display – a.k.a. the Submariner Date – the Submariner No Date is only available in a stainless steel case. In addition, its dial and bezel are always black in color. Advertised as the "diver's friend" at its release, the Rolex Submariner No Date is, of course, water-resistant. The earliest models are water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft), though Rolex quickly increased this to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft). The Submariner has had an improved depth rating of 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) since 1979.
Rolex has always been very careful whenever they've decided to make slight alterations to the Submariner No Date – so much so that current models bear a strong resemblance to the originals from over 60 years ago. Defining features include a classic dial with dot indices, as well as "Mercedes" hands. The biggest changes came in 2010 with the introduction of the maxi case and a ceramic bezel inlay. However, the case diameter of 40 mm remained the same.
Like most stainless steel Rolex Submariners, No Date models have significantly appreciated in value in recent years. One extreme example is the original 5513 worn by Roger Moore as James Bond in 1973's "Live and Let Die." Back in 2001, the watch sold at a Christie's auction for around 25,850 GBP (approximately 38,000 USD at the time). Fourteen years later, the same exact timepiece appeared in a Phillips auction, where it ended up landing 363,000 USD when all was said and done. While the average No Date is unlikely to experience a similar jump in price, chances are still high that it will perform well financially for years to come.
In September 2020, Rolex introduced a new Submariner "No Date" in stainless steel. This model's case is 1 mm larger than previous editions' and contains the in-house caliber 3230 with a 70-hour power reserve.
Reasons to Buy a Submariner No Date
- Oyster case water resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft)
- Bracelet with a Oysterlock clasp and the Glidelock extension system
- Popular references: 6204, 6538, 5510, and 5514 COMEX
- High value retention with the potential to appreciate
- Chronometer-certified in-house caliber
Prices at a Glance: Rolex Submariner No Date
|114060||10,500 USD||Ceramic bezel, water-resistant to 300 m (984 ft)|
|14060||10,500 USD||Last No Date Sub with an aluminum bezel, water-resistant to 300 m (984 ft)|
|5513||14,000 USD||Crown guard, water-resistant to 200 m (656 ft)|
|6204||14,000 USD||"Pencil-style" hands, no crown guard|
|5512||29,500 USD||Owned by Steve McQueen, crown guard|
|5510||47,000 USD||Big crown, no crown guard|
|5514 "COMEX"||49,500 USD||Made for the Compagnie maritime d’expertise|
|6538||137,000 USD||The original Bond watch, big crown, no crowm guard|
How much does a vintage Submariner No Date cost?
Thanks to its long history, there are many interesting vintage Submariner No Date models. So-called "James Bond watches" are especially highly coveted among collectors. They bear the reference numbers 6204, 6538, and 5510. All three lack a crown protector. The 6204 and 6538 both get their power from the caliber 1050, while the 5510 houses the caliber 1530.
None other than Sean Connery himself wore the reference 6538 during his portrayal of Agent 007 in "Dr. No." Expect to pay around 141,000 USD for a well-maintained timepiece. However, a James Bond Submariner doesn't have to break the bank. You can purchase a 5513, as worn by Roger Moore in "Live and Let Die," for just 14,000 USD.
Legendary actor Steve McQueen was also a fan of the Submariner No Date. He could be found wearing his ref. 5512 both on and off-screen. Viewers get an especially good look at the watch in the action thriller "The Hunter" (1980). This model demands about 29,500 USD in good condition.
The ref. 6204 costs about 117,000 USD pre-owned. The Submariner No Date ref. 5510 offers a more affordable alternative, with prices for a well-maintained model sitting around 47,000 USD.
Submariner No Date COMEX
Collectors and fans also go crazy for so-called "COMEX" models, which Rolex exclusively produced for French underwater experts Compagnie maritime d'expertises (COMEX) from 1970 to the mid-1990s. These models were based on the 40-mm ref. 5513 and later received their own reference number: 5514. They are easy to recognize thanks to the white "COMEX" inscription on the dial and a sunken helium escape valve on the case at 9 o'clock.
The 5514 was built solely for COMEX, meaning its numbers are extremely limited. Accordingly, asking prices are also high. Depending on its condition, plan to spend between 42,000 and 65,000 USD on one of these timepieces.
The Submariner No Date Since 1988
The ref. 14060 succeeded the ref. 5513 in 1988. Rolex equipped the newer edition with the caliber 3000. The 14060 was itself replaced over a decade later by ref. 14060M, which is powered by the caliber 3130. You can purchase a 14060 for about 8,000 USD. Never-worn M-models go for around 13,000 USD, while pre-owned pieces come in at roughly 9,400 USD.
The ref. 114060 took over from its predecessor in 2012. Its case and crown guard look somewhat weightier, and it features a maxi dial with enlarged glow-in-the-dark indices. What's more, its black bezel inlay is made of scratch-resistant Cerachrom ceramic. The caliber 3130 still ticks away inside the case, though it has been updated to include a blue Parachrom hairspring.
Rolex pairs the No Date with a stainless steel bracelet featuring an Oysterlock clasp and the practical Glidelock extension system. This system enables the wearer to easily extend the bracelet by five millimeters. Plan to spend around 10,500 USD for a never-worn version of this Submariner No Date. Prices for used watches in very good condition sit around 10,000 USD.
The New Submariner No Date From 2020
In late 2020, Rolex announced a total of eight new Submariner models. Of those releases, only one was a classic "No Date." This stainless steel watch (ref. 124060) features three small yet important updates. First, the Oyster case has grown from 40 to 41 mm. Furthermore, Rolex equips this version with narrower lugs, resulting in an overall slimmer look. Finally, the manufacturer replaced the previous caliber 3135 with the new in-house caliber 3230.
This new movement has two major advantages over its predecessor. While the previous caliber had a 48-hour power reserve, the 3230 boasts a 70-hour power reserve, so you can take it off for longer periods of time. What's more, Rolex has outfitted this caliber with their proprietary Chronergy escapement. This component is made of a nickel-phosphorous alloy, which guarantees higher precision and is less susceptible to magnetic fields.
The 124060 has an official list price of 8,100 USD.