Watch List: Rolex Sub

Having no date used to be seen as some sort of failure but the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner changes all that.

The distinctive bubble may have gone but this watch is packed full of new features. I have worn Submariners for years and have always admired their utilitarian nature. The 904L stainless steel and Cerachrom black works with everything from jeans and knitwear to a formal suit. The new bracelet design also enables the watch to be worn over a diving suit up to 3mm thick. Not that anyone actually doe’s a lot of diving in what is fundamentally a dress watch

I also like the fact that these are tough timepieces able to withstand whatever life throws at you. These features seem to have been enhanced in the new model and just like Porsche engineers discovered with their brake pads ceramic is now used in the Bezel. Cerachrom is virtually scratch proof, non-fading and corrosion resistant.

Rolex also develop their crystal, which is a scratch resistant synthetic sapphire. That combined with their patented trip lock system which screws down the case in the same way that a submarine remains airtight and the hermetically sealed case back mean that being asked to do the dishes or drain your kids bath will be easy. So is reading the time at a movie thanks to the luminescent Chromalight, which emits a blue glow: Much nicer than the intrusive glare of an iPhone screen and just like Apple today Rolex continue to be a truly innovative company, since 1926 when the first Oyster was developed they have always been at the forefront of watch development.

One of my favorite Rolex stories involves the Royal Air Force. During World War 2 captured airmen had their standard issue Rolex watches confiscated. Rolex extended an offer to all officers that if they wrote in explaining their loss that they would replace them with no payment required until the end of the war. Rolex believed that a British officers “ word was his bond” and in one prison camp alone an estimated 3000 watches were ordered by POW’s.

One of those prisoners was Corporal Clive Nutting, infamous as being one of the organizers of the Great Escape. Although not an officer he still ordered (and paid for) a Rolex Oyster 3525 Chronograph. The watch (serial number 185983) was ordered specifically for the escape. The chronograph, luminescence and reliability being used to time the patrols and aid the 76 escapees who made it out of tunnel “Harry”.

In 1963 Steve McQueen starred in the movie The Great Escape. He wore a Rolex Speed King however the Submariner was his everyday watch


Watch List: Rolex Sub | Dispatch