rolex submariner featured

Finally, after months of hiatus from the watchmaker with the crown, the releases to set every Rolex fanboy’s heart aflutter are here – and they don’t disappoint. That’s especially true of the 2020 collection’s highlight, a modernised, slightly redesigned take on the diving watch by which all others are measured, the Rolex Submariner.

Now, this release wasn’t exactly under the radar; between industry rumblings and a less than subtle teaser trailer, we knew that the Sub was under the microscope for Rolex this year. We also gathered it would be a subtle rework rather than something completely out there – which is precisely what the new Subs are.

rolex submariner date

The main aesthetic change is in size, which has gone up to 41mm. In good part that’s thanks to the redesigned lugs – slimmer and less chunky than previously – but also the new bracelet which has also swollen, this time up to 21mm. It’s not a huge change but its one that’s obvious when placed next to the last generation of Subs and will have Rolex purists debating back and forth for years to come.

There are also subtly re-designed hands, though the dial and bezel are exactly the same as the previous generation, complete with Cerachrom inserts and platinum PVD diving scales.

Rolex Submariner date
Rolex Submariner date
Rolex Submariner date

There are eight new references in the collection, though it’s a bit of a one-sided affair, with a single, non-date version working alongside seven date models. It’s only available with a black dial and bezel and is essentially the new entry-level Rolex diver. It’s nice, though some of the date models are far more interesting to look at – and not just because of Rolex’s iconic cyclops date magnifier.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 41mm

Nearly all of the new Submariner Date models are variations on gold, steel, black and blue. The steel version features a black dial with a black Cerachrom bezel, while the gold and bi-colour Rolesor models offer either black or blue dials with matching bezels. There’s also a luxurious white gold model which is paired with a black dial and blue bezel. It’s a nice, succinct range that makes plenty of visual sense.

rolex submariner

As always though, there has to be one model that you’ll expect a serious wait for. This year it’s the updated Kermit, with its steel case, black dial and lovely green bezel. I can already imagine the waiting list.

rolex submariner date

Both new models have also been reworked under the hood; in the case of the time-only, it now uses the 3230 calibre automatic movement, with a 70-hour power reserve, Parachrom hairspring and pretty damn impressive -2/+2 seconds a day accuracy. You can find more details on this particulary movement in our piece on the equally-new Oyster Perpetual Models, here.

The calibre 3235 in the date version has the same specs, just with a date function added. Both movements have Rolex’s own Superlative Chronometer Certification, proving that they’re serious calibres.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner 2020

The new changes to the case size will likely upset some, but personally I have no problem with it thanks to the redesigned lugs. The wider bracelet size is a little annoying but you can’t have everything, and the new movements more than make up for any other shortfall. Here’s hoping we get a few more variations on the theme (particularly in the non-date version) throughout the year.

Price & Specs:

Model Name: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner 124060
Ref: 124060
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter, Oystersteel, black lacquered dial
Water Resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Calibre 3230, in-house, Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing), automatic with bidirectional winding, −2 /+2 sec/day accuracy, 31 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 70h
Functions: Hour, minute, seconds
Strap: 21mm Oystersteel bracelet (ref. 97JB00)
Price: £6,450 GBP

Model Name: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 41mm
Ref: 126610LN (Oystersteel / black bezel / black dial)
126610LV (Oystersteel / green bezel / black dial)
126613LN (Oystersteel and yellow gold / black bezel / black dial)
126613LB (yellow gold / blue bezel / blue dial)
126618LN (yellow gold / black bezel / black dial)
126618LB (yellow gold / blue bezel / blue dial)
126619LB (white gold / blue bezel / black dial)
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter, Oystersteel, Yellow Gold Rolesor or 18k white gold, black or blue lacquered dial
Water Resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Calibre 3235, in-house, Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing), automatic with bidirectional winding, −2 /+2 sec/day accuracy, 31 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 70h
Functions: Hour, minute, seconds, date at 3 o’clock
Strap: 21mm Oystersteel, Rolesor (steel and 18k yellow gold) or 18k white gold bracelet
Price: 126610LN – £7,300 GBP
126610LV – £7,650 GBP
126613LN – £29,650 GBP
126613LB – £11,450 GBP
126618LN – £29,650 GBP
126618LB – £29,650 GBP
126619LB – £31,850 GBP

More details at Rolex.