The brand new Submariner lineup hobbled the web the opposite week. Now that the mud has settled to some extent, I assumed I’d weigh in with my ideas.
Like it or hate it, you’ll be able to’t deny that Rolex information is massive information. And there’s in all probability no larger subject within the watch world than a brand new Submariner. If we had been speaking vehicles, that is akin to a brand new Porsche 911, a brand new Corvette, or maybe a Four-series BMW. By the way in which, for as terrible as 2020 has been, we’ve gotten new editions of these icons too! However again to watches as a result of because the proprietor of what I personally suppose is the final “traditional” Submariner within the 14060M, I all the time ask myself one query when a brand new one involves gentle. Would I commerce as much as purchase the brand new one?
Goodbye to the Maxi Case — and good riddance
I requested myself that very query in 2010 when the brand new Submariner Date fashions arrived and once more in 2012 when the “correct” model debuted. My response each instances and ever since was an emphatic “no”. It took me a while, however I lastly acquired over the ultra-shiny Cerachrom bezel. It’s fade-resistant, however I’m nonetheless not satisfied that it’s truly higher than the outdated inserts. I dislike the overly lengthy finish hyperlinks the model now makes use of together with the cumbersome clasps. Nevertheless, I do know that’s simply me being sentimental in liking the outdated stamped numbers that had been well past their prime. What I may by no means get used to, although, was the Maxi case.
If you happen to’ve found the watch world throughout the final decade or so — and lots of have — the final era Submariners had been seemingly your first. You had no historical past with the road and no preconceived notions. Subsequently, you in all probability appreciated these watches. That’s wonderful and I hear you, however for me they lacked grace and simply don’t really feel fairly as timeless as their predecessors did.
Items just like the Hulk or the Smurf did usher in some coloration to a beforehand staid assortment. However I’ve merely by no means warmed to the case design. It’s okay although as a result of each lengthy operating merchandise hits a clumsy stage and I assume these departed items signify such an period for me. Have been they technically superior to their predecessors? Certain, however they by no means have nor will encourage me to half with my 14060M. C’est la vie… However what of the brand new Submariner watches?
The preliminary reception
Roughly 24 hours after the discharge of the brand new Submariner, I did what I usually do after such information. I headed over to rolexforums to learn the scuttlebutt. A lot of the commentary was as anticipated with people saying it was a strong launch with the fitting technical upgrades. Most lauded the reintroduction of extra sculpted lugs. The diameter and resultant change in lug width was a giant dialogue that I’ll touch upon later.
What took me without warning, although, was the elevated negativity and venom inside a number of the postings. I assume I shouldn’t be stunned as a result of that’s now the way in which of the world and there’s little or no filter relating to on-line feedback. However except for some regular nitpicks, I observed a really totally different and constant underlying theme. And this was considered one of justifiably harm emotions. The Rolex followers, and there are precise actual followers who love the model like we like Seiko or Omega, really feel betrayed as a result of most received’t be capable to rating a brand new Submariner even when desired.
I do know that the fanatic crowd is a small inhabitants total, but it surely’s a bit unhappy to witness a devoted group taking potshots at an icon as a result of the watches are terminally unavailable. For these diehards, I truly really feel dangerous and, worse, I’ve no good resolution for them.
What I like…
What I actually like in regards to the new Submariner watches is that Rolex introduced out every little thing without delay. Fortunately, we don’t have to attend one other one or two years to see every little thing that’s in retailer. I’m certain that purchasing one can be almost unattainable, but it surely’s good to a minimum of be capable to select which ready listing to affix. (That sounds horrible, by the way in which.) I additionally applaud the return of thinner, extra sculpted lugs. I’ve been calling for this ever because the final era debuted. I believe I even requested to maintain the pre Maxi instances with solely the addition of a Cerachrom bezel. These new items are actually near that idea except for the diameter change.
I’m additionally okay that the Hulk is gone together with the Smurf. I do know that I’m within the minority on that. Nevertheless, I believe that the brand new inexperienced/black or blue/black dial combos higher match the Sub’s versatile “beach-to-boardroom” status. Then once more, fewer and fewer individuals go into an precise workplace lately. Possibly, then, the extra enjoyable and informal Submariners can be sorely missed. Present house owners are in all probability counting their legendary fortunes as properly. There’s additionally a motion replace with the caliber 3230/3235 making its option to the divers. Notably, individuals will see an enchancment in energy reserve from 48 hours to 70. Let’s spend a second on that.
Pedantry concerning energy reserves
The ability reserve enhance on the brand new Submariner is among the headlines. On the face of it, it’s a change that retains up with the remainder of the business and the model’s different watches. To me there’s one thing extra delicate occurring. I say that as a result of if persons are actually that jazzed about such an improve, it implies that they plan to sit down their Sub for days at a time. It’s actually now not their solely watch. That received’t be a shock to anybody who reads a web site like ours, but it surely reveals how issues have drastically modified from solely 10 to 15 years in the past. Again then, I noticed much more individuals carrying one watch like a Sub endlessly. And in the event you put on it every day, it principally solely must make it by way of the evening.
What I don’t like…it’s not a lot, however…
It is a new Submariner on the finish of the day and that implies that the complaints sound fairly hilarious in the event you’re not a watch fan. However this time, there’s some actual controversy. Rolex broke with custom and determined to go from 40 to 41 millimeters for the primary time in historical past. Proponents will say that the newly sized watch has an analogous lug to lug as prior variations and that the bigger dial affords much less crowding for the big lume plots, date window (if geared up) and copious quantities of textual content. For certain, the watches look properly proportioned. Nevertheless, was a case dimension change the one option to obtain this?
From 40 to 41mm?
I do know of virtually nobody who has requested for a bigger Submariner. 40mm is such a universally accepted dimension. It’s not too massive and never too small — it’s simply proper. However I do know to not decide purely on diameter, so attempting it on would be the kicker for me. RJ’s current article on the new 124060 confirmed that Revolution stated it wore like 40mm whereas Hodinkee stated it feels bigger. That’s sort of odd.
It additionally takes me again to 2012 once I tried on the then new present Explorer 2. I used to be so excited to see this watch and I nonetheless keep in mind marching into a neighborhood AD to attempt it. It regarded like a pancake on my wrist and I merely couldn’t persuade myself that it match. Granted, it’s 42mm and a distinct case altogether, but it surely offers me concern over the brand new Submariner. So, till I attempt it, you’ll be able to label me as skeptical at greatest. There’s yet another factor. I additionally suppose a 21mm lug width is extra annoying than anything even when it’s proportionally right. I by no means take away my Oyster bracelet, but when I do I do know that it’s lifeless simple to suit a strap. Rolex may give a hoot about that, but it surely’s nonetheless a niggle.
Would I commerce as much as purchase the brand new one?
So, with my ideas concluded, we come to the massive query. Would I commerce up from my traditional 14060M to a brand new Submariner? Unsurprisingly, the reply isn’t any. However that’s not as a result of I don’t just like the watch. In actual fact, I believe this launch of seven new variants is amongst the perfect from the model in recent times. If the 41mm actually doesn’t trigger a problem on the wrist, then I’m actually comfortable as a result of the watches look extra like a traditional Submariner than the newest editions. Rolex fastened the case design and that’s the largest information for me. And so why wouldn’t I commerce up?
The reply is that my 2011-era mannequin nonetheless looks like a really trendy watch and really seems an terrible like watches throughout the new Submariner line. Plus, the technical updates aren’t sufficient of a bounce. Weirdly, I truly contemplate my response a credit score to Rolex for making such a timeless watch mannequin that requires little change from era to era. And if we weren’t on this silly surroundings of ready lists, the brand new Submariner achieves precisely what I believe it ought to. Specifically, it improves on its prior generations in an evolutionary means in order that prior patrons don’t personal one thing irrelevant whereas permitting aspiring new patrons to affix the membership with a devoted new model.
Go to Rolex for extra info on the brand new Submariner.