Retaining the classic look that has remained mostly unchanged since the 1950s, the New Rolex Submariner Date in 41mm is quite literally the biggest evolution of the world’s most recognisable diver’s watch. Boasting an all new movement, the new 41mm Submariner Date comes in seven configurations, accompanying the “OG” no-date Submariner that is only available in Oystersteel with a black dial and black bezel.
The venerable Rolex Submariner has been 40 mm for over half a century, hence, the most monumental, recognisable change for a Geneva Manufacture which steadfastly avoided the knee-jerk response of “upsizing” a horological icon during the heady days of oversized watches, taking steps to launch a new Rolex Submariner Date in 41mm case dimensions for 2020 was completely unexpected.
That’s not to say Rolex pays no heed to market trends; Rather, they listened but instead of making some ham-handed attempt in haste upsize the classic Submariner, Rolex took their time. In 2012, the Geneva manufacture revamped its iconic dive watch, introducing a ceramic bezel and “beefing” up the case most noticeably by enlarging the lugs. This created the illusion of a larger watch rather than mess with a popular formula (remember New Coke?), one surmises that in the 8 years since, they’ve been taking time to plan out and then carefully re-introduce a horological staple this year.
All of our favourite Submariner greatest hits are returning: two black dial references, one with black bezel and another with a green bezel; then there are two-tone references in Oystersteel and yellow gold, a blue dial and bezel, another with a black dial and bezel; two yellow gold models, a black dial and bezel and one with a blue dial and bezel; and, lastly, a white-gold reference with black dial and blue bezel. For the entirety of the new Rolex Submariner Date 41mm, its Cerachrome bezels bear markings in either PVD gold or platinum.
Off the Cuff, On the Wrist: New 41mm Rolex Submariner
Date or No-Date, the new 41mm Rolex Submariner was re-created from the ground-up, resulting in a well-portioned watch that has a new bracelet to go along with its new case and movement. Though not noticeably bigger, even when placed side by side with a predecessor model, what you get with the new 41mm case is proportionally slimmer lugs (thanks to a tapered design) and a slightly wider bracelet – on wrist, it looks and wears slimmer as well.
It’s a larger watch which brings incremental improvements to the dial layout and design, precious metal indexes diamond polished to maximum shine plays with remarkable contrast against a slightly larger maxi-style gloss dial. Though the size differential with the new 41mm Rolex Submariners are not readily apparent, the barely perceptible changes can be immediately felt by Rolex aficionados – let’s be completely honest, your average civilian isn’t going to be able to discern the improvements, but an honest to God fanboy, will notice the aesthetic tweaks like a Marvel fan pointing out “Easter Eggs”.
The chromalight luminous material is incredible as well, unlike regular superluminova, it doesn’t have the initial spike of high luminosity which quickly fades off, instead the proprietary chromalight retains luminescence over a much longer time, glowing blue, fast become a signature Rolex spectral wavelength. While most media will be fixated on the largeness, I’m going to give credit where credit is due the most – the bracelet featuring utmost wearability and comfort.
The new bracelet on the 2020 Rolex Submariner
The Glidelock was first introduced in the Rolex Deepsea in 2008. The Oyster bracelet on these new Rolex Submariner Date or No-Date 41mm models are equipped with this Rolex-designed and patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp system which prevents accidental opening. The Rolex Glidelock extension system, also designed and patented by the brand is particularly inventive as well. Comprised of a rack hidden under the clasp and a toothed sliding link that locks into the chosen notch, the Glidelock has 10 notches allowing the length of the bracelet to be adjusted easily, and without tools, up to 2cm. The mechanism is buttery smooth and given the exacting tolerances and the tight fit of the links, those with hirsute forearms aren’t going to experience uncomfortable snags sliding the watch on. Sized properly, it will slip snug like a comfortable silken bracelet rather than feel like a pair of heavy handcuffs.
On the 18 ct white gold version of the Submariner Date, the Oyster bracelet includes ceramic inserts inside the links to enhance its flexibility and longevity. Furthermore, in a feat of ingenious design, a concealed attachment system ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case.
Movement of the Rolex Submariner Date 41mm and Submariner No-Date 41mm
The eight models in total, ranging from the no-date base model to the all-gold version, are all powered by the 3235 calibre with the sole exception of the no-date which obviously has the datewheel removed, badging the movement: cal. 3230.
Calibres 3230 and 3235 incorporate the Chronergy escapement, patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic fields. The movements are fitted with an optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The blue Parachrom hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibres’ regularity in any position.
Latest Rolex Submariner Date 41mm and Submariner No-Date 41mm Price & Specs
Movement Automatic Caliber 3235 or 3230 with 70 hours power reserve
Case Ref. 126610 in Oystersteel, Ref. in 26613 in Oystersteel and yellow gold, Ref. 126618 in yellow gold, Ref. 126619 in white gold with 300 metres water resistance
Strap Oystersteel bracelet
Price From US$8,100 or S$10,880 for Oystersteel No-Date, From US$$9,150 or S$12,290 Oystersteel with black bezel and Date