In the discussion of modern Rolex sports watches, the term “super case” can come up when describing specific models like the Rolex Submariner or GMT-Master II. But what exactly is a Rolex super case and how does it differ from other Rolex watch cases? Read on to find out all the details.
Rolex Introduced the Super Case On the GMT-Master II in 2005
In 2005, Rolex introduced a brand new GMT-Master II watch in the form of the yellow gold GMT-Master II ref. 116718. This new-generation of GMT brought about a whole host of changes to Rolex’s iconic pilot’s watch collection. Some of these changes included Rolex’s first Cerachrom ceramic bezel, Rolex’s first GMT “maxi dial” with larger hour markers and broader Mercedes-style hands, and Rolex’s first “super case.”
Although the case size of the then-new GMT-Master II ref. 116718 measured 40mm like its predecessors, the case silhouette was much broader thanks to fatter lugs, a wider bezel, and a thicker overall profile. Therefore, this type of case is referred to as the Rolex “super case” to differentiate it from older Oyster Professional cases that have the same diameter measurement but a less bulky build.
Soon after the launch of the yellow gold version of the new GMT-Master II, Rolex introduced other material options such as the two-tone GMT-Master II ref. 116713, the white gold GMT-Master II ref. 116719, and the stainless steel GMT-Master II ref. 116710. Regardless of the different materials used in their construction, all of these models sport the Rolex super case.
Rolex Rolled Out the Super Case To The Submariner in 2008
In 2008, Rolex presented the newest generation of their Submariner dive watch. There were two models initially released, both gold: the white gold Submariner ref. 116619 and the yellow gold Submariner ref. 116618.
Yet again, these two watches retained the official 40mm case size of older Submariner references. However, just like the new GMT-Master II models, the new Submariner watches featured beefier super cases – along with Cerachrom ceramic bezels and maxi dials. The following year, the two-tone Submariner ref. 116613 joined the catalog, followed by the stainless steel Submariner ref. 116610 a year later.
Rolex Super Case vs. Rolex Classic Case
Rolex’s approach to the super case design was a way for the company to answer the trend for larger men’s watches without having to increase the official measurements over that 40mm size the brand favors so much.
If you hold a GMT-Master II (or Submariner) with a classic case next to a GMT-Master II (or Submariner) with a super case, the differences are immediately evident. As expected, there are those who love the new modern design of the super case, while others prefer the more restrained and traditional form of the classic case.
Which one do you prefer? Classic or Super? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.