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Tuesday 01 February, 2011 - 12:20 PM EST


In 1954 Basel, Rolex presented the Submariner model, Rolex pride. The model number 6204 watch was waterproof to a more realistic 200 meters (or 660 feet). It was sold as the watch that was the diver’s friend. When the development of the SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diving as a sport really began to take off toward the end of the fifties, a reliable watch was needed as much as a reliable oxygen tank. Rolex developed the Submariner 6204, which had simple parallel hands and it had no protective shoulders by the winding crown and the rotating bezel had only five minute markers. Two years later, this model was replaced by two Submariner models. Theses ones were: the 6538 model (waterproof to 660 feet) and the 6536 model (waterproof only to 330 feet), commonly known by collectors as the “James Bond” models. Then, although the model was redefined it kept the same model number and it introduced a more robust case with bezel markings for the first 15 minutes and a red triangle at the 12 position. Besides, it featured a larger “Triplock” style crown which had the “Brevette” sign under the crown or patented around the circumference. The watch had an officially certified chronometer powered by the new 1030 movement.

When model 5512 was launched in 1959, the new case featured the protective shoulders which defended the weakest part of the watch from inadvertent knocks and harms underwater. The new Submariner was launched on the back of Jacques Piccard’s latest adventure where he dove into a new record depth of 25, 798 feet (10.916 meters). The watch was exposed to pressures of over seven tons per square inch, the watch was found in perfect conditions with no evidence of moisture inside the case.

In 1965, when the 1565 calibre movement was fitted to the Submariner divers had the joy of combining the benefits of both chronometers movements and date function in one watch. The new model’s number was: 1680.

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