The watch world got itself into a bit of a tizzy early this week.

The reason? The Rolex Submariner just got an update.

What is the big deal, you might say.

Well, the Submariner just happens to be one of the most iconic watches in the world, and one of the most sought after. On Instagram, it is the most popular #divewatch.

A must-have in any self-respecting watch lover’s collection, it was first introduced in 1953 as a solid tool watch (it was water-resistant to 100m even then, with a uni-directional rotating bezel).

But it is now a status symbol – thanks to its versatility, classic good looks, solid construction and, of course, savvy advertising.

Do not even dream of trying to score one at its recommended retail price in an authorised shop or boutique. The waiting list is a few years long.

If you want one desperately, you have to go to a dealer and be willing to fork out a premium – usually double the price.

The updated Submariner and Submariner Date models, like all the brand’s new releases, follow a Rolex master move: no messing with the watch’s aesthetics and DNA, just minor and subtle tweaks which offer genuine improvement.

The first change is the case size: 41mm instead of 40mm. The size increase, however, is offset by slimmer lugs.

Helping to give it a more shapely and streamlined appearance is the slightly wider three-link Oyster bracelet which was first developed in the 1930s. It also boasts the Rolex Glidelock extension system, which allows the bracelet to be adjusted easily without the need for tools.


The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner.  PHOTO: ROLEX

The second, and more significant, change is the movement. Over the last few years, Rolex has been updating its watches with new calibres.

The new heart – the 3230 for the Submariner and the 3235 for the Submariner Date – offers 70 hours of power reserve instead of 48.

Then there is a slight aesthetic tweak at six o’clock at the bottom of the dial. A Rolex crown logo now sits between the words Swiss Made.

Other key developments?

The all-green Hulk model will be no more, taken over by one with a green bezel and a black dial.

There are two other new models: a Submariner Date in white gold with a black dial and a bright blue bezel as well as a new Rolesor, fashioned from Oystersteel and yellow gold, with a royal blue dial and blue bezel.

Judging by the online frenzy, the new Submariner is already a big hit.

Prices range from $10,880 for the Submariner in Oystersteel to $53,310 for the Submariner Date in white gold.

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