THE TRADITIONALIST
Watch Time|February 2021
The new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner with no date display, which many view as the archetypal dive watch, is slightly larger and has an updated movement yet remains true to its original design. This is our first encounter with the new watch.
Martina Richter
We had to wait a long time for the latest Rolex innovations in 2020. Rolex presented a new generation of Oyster Perpetual Submariner and Submariner Date watches in September. These timepieces are slightly larger and are now equipped with new movements — the Submariner has the recently unveiled Caliber 3230 and the new Submariner Date versions are using the Caliber 3235 for the first time. The Submariner Date offers a surprising array of color combinations while the Submariner with no date display stays true to its original design. We were able to preview the new Submariner shortly after its introduction.

Upgraded Details Result in New Proportions

If you think a Rolex innovation means a revolution, you’ll be mistaken. But the Submariner has been modified so that the sum of the various details has resulted in a new watch. The diameter of the watch has grown from 40 mm to 41 mm, or more precisely, from 40.6 mm to 41.36 mm, measured across the diagonal from 2 to 8 o’clock. The crown guards and lugs are slimmer, but this has increased the lug width by a whole millimeter, to 21 mm.

These seemingly minor upgrades have changed the proportions of the entire watch — including the main body of the case, bezel, dial and bracelet. This means you’re looking at an entirely new model. If you place the new Oyster Perpetual Submariner next to its predecessor (which is being discontinued) the changes become apparent. The new Submariner looks much more than just a millimeter larger than the older version, which is due to the numerous modifications of even the tiniest detail.

Not quite so apparent is the new in-house self-winding movement, Caliber 3230, because just as with any Rolex watch, it is covered by a finely grooved caseback that is screwed down hermetically with a special key, and which can only be opened by a Rolex-authorized watchmaker. The difference in the Caliber 3235 is that there is no date display on the Submariner dial.

Otherwise all other features are the same. The new Submariner is equipped with a Rolex patented, innovative Chronergy escapement, made from a nickel-phosphorous alloy. It provides superior functional reliability with high energy efficiency and is resistant to the effects of magnetic fields. The movement also has an optimized version of the Rolex Parachrom hairspring.

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