Rolex enthusiast’s have come to recognize that the Rolex Submariner is undoubtedly the go-to diver watch for many reasons. It has the looks, precision and accuracy and provides a watch that will stand the test of time. Meaning, it can be passed down for generations after you have worn it for 30 years. The Submariner was first introduced in the 1950s, and since that time, it has undergone numerous model and bracelet changes, not to mention the Rolex crystal, bezel, crown, face, and dial changes along the way. Among those many changes Rolex has undergone on the submariner, one of the most important changes was the introduction of the solid end links from the hollow end links – which watch purists will agree was an enormous benefit to an already great watch.
Looking back at the earliest model of the 6200 Submariner series, it’s interesting to note that they were only water resistant to 100 meters initially and had straight up and down hour hands that were later changed to the Mercedes-benz style hands. Rolex also discovered that the use of the uni-directional rotating bezel wasn’t such a great idea after being bumped under water while diving, which caused a miscalculation of the length of the dive. Of course, Rolex changed that after finding out about potential mishaps.
Then came the transformation from hollow end links of the oyster bracelet to solid. This came about during the early 2000s on the 16610 reference model Rolex Submariner. The early days of the Rolex Oyster bracelet left little to be desired in terms of the links as well as the clasp. The original bracelet did have some minor issues to say the least. Rolex utilized hollow center links that were susceptible to stretching after being worn for long period of time. The clasp was a stamped metal version that operated fine as far as functionality but clearly didn’t provide the quality that Rolex was trying to showcase in its watches. The clasp was later changed to the Glidelock version which delivered a tremendous benefit in looks and function as being able to adjust the size easily. In the past few years, the Rolex Submariner 116610 had significant design features that truly improved Rolex Submariner bracelets. Looking to the future, Rolex leads the way in bracelet and clasp design now. In the past some would actually say that Rolex followed the other Swiss makers such as Omega and whatnot. Now, the Rolex Submariner Glidelock Clasp and solid mid links are considered the highest level of quality, technology and finish in the watch world.