Subtle but significant redesign is the hallmark of the redesigned Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner. The watch retains the Submariner’s immediately recognizable look but dispenses with the date window of previous models and incorporates several new technical innovations exclusive to Rolex.
The watch’s unidirectional-rotating 60-minute graduated bezel is now enhanced with a black insert made of virtually scratchproof, non-fading, corrosion-resistant ceramic that Rolex calls Cerachrom. The graduations are coated in a PVD process with a thin layer of platinum. The hour markers and hands on the sleek, black dial are filled with Rolex’s proprietary Chromalight luminescent material, which emits a blue glow that the company claims lasts twice as long as that of other luminous substances used on watch dials. The classical Oyster case of the new Submariner is 40 mm in diameter and water-resistant to a depth of 300 meters (1,000 feet). The case middle is crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant 904L stainless steel, and the fluted caseback is hermetically screwed down with a special tool exclusive to Rolex watchmakers. The winding crown, fitted with Rolex’s patented Triplock system, screws down securely against the case in a manner akin to a submarine’s hatch and is protected by a crown guard. The crystal is made of scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire. (Click on the watch photos to enlarge the images.)
The high-precision movement inside the highly water-resistant case, automatic Caliber 3130, is a COSC-certified chronometer entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. The movement’s oscillator has a hairspring made of blue Parachrom, a Rolex-patented alloy that is unaffected by magnetic fields and maintains stability and precision when exposed to temperature variations and shocks. The new Oyster Perpetual Submariner is fitted with a solid-link Oyster bracelet in 904L steel. The bracelet includes a new-generation Oysterlock safety clasp and Glidelock extension system, located beneath the clasp cover, which allows fine adjustments of the bracelet length in 2-mm increments, for a total of approximately 20 mm, without using any tools. This feature allows the watch to be worn over a diving suit up to 3 mm thick, and also provides additional comfort on the wrist.
This newest generation of Rolex’s famous divers’ watch retails for $7,500.
Movement: Rolex manufacture Caliber 3130, with bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor; COSC-certified Swiss chronometer; frequency = 28,800 vph (4 Hz); paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring with Breguet overcoil; large balance wheel with variable inertia; high-precision regulation via four gold Microstella nuts; traversing balance bridge; 31 jewels; approximately 48-hour power reserve
Functions: Central hours, minutes and seconds; stop-seconds function for precise time-setting
Case and bracelet: 904L stainless steel Oyster case with monobloc middle case and screw-down caseback, satin and polished finishes; diameter = 40 mm; unidirectional rotating 60-minute graduated bezel with black Cerachrom insert with engraved numerals coated with platinum; Chromalight capsule at 12 o’clock; screw-down winding crown with Rolex fluting and Triplock triple water-resistance system; scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire crystal; water-resistant to 300 meters; on 904L steel Oyster bracelet with three-piece solid links (satin-finished with polished edges) and Glidelock extension system
Dial and hands: Black lacquer dial with Chromalight applique hour markers in 18k white gold; Chromalight hands in 18k white gold
This article was originally published on July 9, 2012, and has been updated.