The 2020 Rolex Submariner set the internet abuzz when it made its debut with a larger 41mm case size and what many had suspected was coming for quite some time – integration to the next generation of Rolex in-house movements – calibers 3235 and 3230. The iconic diver received a few other tweaks, including to the dial and bracelet. However, its overall design remains true to the beloved Submariner aesthetic, making it easily one of the most successful dive watches in the world.
Join us today as we take an in-depth look at the current Submariner 124060, the various changes made to the series when Rolex discontinued the original 6-digit Submariner collection to make way for the new 2020 generation, and where you can buy the model that is quickly becoming one of the hottest watches on the market.
Rolex Submariner 41mm Reference 124060
Submariner 124060 Key Features:
– Reference Number: 124060
– Production Years: 2020 – Present
– Case Size: 41mm
– Materials: Oystersteel (904L Stainless Steel)
– Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds
– Dial: Black w/ Luminous Hour Markers
– Bezel: Unidirectional, Ceramic Insert w/ 60-Minute Scale
– Crystal: Sapphire (Flat)
– Water Resistance: 300 Meters / 1,000 Feet
– Movement: Rolex Caliber 3230
– Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet w/ Glidelock Clasp
– Price: $8,100 (Retail); $13,000 (Pre-Owned)
Rolex 124060 History: The Next Generation Submariner No-Date
The Submariner 124060’s history technically began in 1953, when Rolex released the very first Submariner. While the waterproof Oyster case, self-winding Perpetual movement, and 60-minute diver’s bezel have always been fixtures of the series, early editions of the watch did not feature a date mechanism on the dial. It wasn’t until about a decade later that Rolex added their iconic date window display at the 3 o’clock marker with the ref. 1680, after which the classic Submariner No-Date was effectively left in the shadows. The next several decades saw countless upgrades to the series, including replacing the acrylic crystal with sapphire, developing a safer uni-directional bezel, and increasing the water resistance up to 300 meters, but nearly all advancements were exclusive to the date-displaying models.
In 1990, the no-date Submariner made a triumphant re-launch with reference 14060. Much like the original Submariner watches from the 1950s, the ref. 14060 did not feature a date mechanism or accompanying Cyclops lens. It was produced alongside its date-displaying counterpart, the immensely successful ref. 16610. Both editions of the Submariner featured an aluminum bezel insert, white gold-trimmed hour markers, and high-beat movements.
The Submariner Gets a Cerachrom Bezel
The next step in the Submariner No-Date’s history came when the reference 114060 hit the market in 2012, replacing the aluminum insert with one made from Rolex’s patented “Cerachrom” ceramic and featuring larger hour markers and hands and a newer-style “Super Case” and bracelet. Despite still measuring 40mm in diameter, the broader lugs and thicker crown-guards gave the first 6-digit Submariner No-Date a noticeably larger and chunkier overall appearance on the wrist.
That brings us to the present day and the current iteration of the “No Date” Submariner and the subject of our buying guide and review – the reference 124060. It appears to improve upon the design of the original 6-digit series, taking the robust proportions of the 40mm “Super Case” and refining them with a sleeker case profile and lugs. It keeps the same classic design code that has followed the Submariner since 1953 while introducing a slightly larger 41mm case and an upgraded movement to the series.
Everything You Need to Know About the 41mm Rolex Submariner Ref. 124060
The reference 124060 Rolex Submariner has only been around since September 2020, but it is already at the top of many collectors’ wish lists. For anyone thinking about adding the latest no-date Submariner to their watch box, here is everything that you need to know.
Submariner 124060 Case: 40mm vs. 41mm
At 41mm in diameter, the next generation of Submariner dive watches is the largest Submariner ever produced by Rolex. However, ask anyone lucky enough to have strapped the ref. 124060 to their wrists, and they’ll tell you that it wears much like its 40mm predecessors. That has a lot to do with the lugs, which are thinner and less boxy than those on its “Super Case” predecessor ref. 114060. With that in mind, the width between the actual lugs themselves has increased from 20mm to 21mm and the bracelet itself is also slightly wider. If your watch box is full of 20mm straps, this might be bad news for you, but the wider bracelet does create a more balanced overall package. The case also technically measures a little smaller than 41mm in diameter, so the actual difference in size is less than 1mm between the ref. 124060 and its ref. 114060 predecessor.
The 2020 Submariner has essentially taken the proportions of ref. 114060 and refined them. The result is a new collection of Submariner watches that seem to take a step back from the bulky “Super Case” generation favoring a fit more akin to the classic 5-digit Submariner, while still offering a watch that is objectively larger and more modern. The case still utilizes the Triplock screw-down crown, which features three waterproof zones to seal the case up to 300 meters (1,000 feet). While most watch enthusiasts will never take their Submariner further than the bottom of the pool, let alone to such depths, it’s still reassuring to know that they can wear their luxury watch anywhere they roam without worry. The Oystersteel construction is sporty with mostly satin finishes, except for the sides of the case and bracelet links, which are high-polished. The case also still features the Cerachrom bezel and a similar platinum PVD-coated 60-minute diver’s scale consisting of batons and Arabic numeral graduations.
Another feature worth mentioning is the flat crystal, which is not fitted with the Cyclops magnifier seen on the Submariner Date. Many collectors prefer ref. 124060 over its date-displaying counterpart ref. 126610LN for just this reason as the crystal takes on a smoother aesthetic, letting the perfectly symmetrical design of the dial shine through without a date window or magnification lens at 3 o’clock.
Submariner 124060 Bracelet: Oyster with Glidelock
With the new dimensions of the case and wider 21mm lugs comes a slightly redesigned bracelet with wider links to match. While its design is largely unchanged, keen-eyed collectors will notice that the already impressive fit of the end-links has been improved on ref. 124060 for a more integrated appearance with the case. The links taper nicely to the clasp, which is also now slightly wider than the one on the previous generation to better match the extra 1mm thickness at the lugs.
The iconic Oyster bracelet utilizes the same Glidelock diver’s clasp mechanism as the ref. 114060, which includes an innovative tool-free extension system that increases in size up to a total of approximately 20mm in 2mm increments so that the bracelet can be made to fit over a thick wetsuit. This feature is also useful on land to accommodate the wrist as it fluctuates during the day, particularly during humid weather. The convenience of being able to instantly extend the bracelet without tools is what makes the Glidelock such a hit among loyal Rolex fans.
Submariner 124060 Dial: Maxi with Chromalight
A closer look at the dial reveals a small change to the text at 6 o’clock from “SWISS MADE” to include a tiny Rolex cornet between the two words. However small the change may be, it is always significant when it comes to Rolex. In this case, the addition of the Rolex logo signifies that the movement has been upgraded to the latest Cal. 32xx generation. When placed next to a ref. 114060 Submariner, the dial also appears slightly larger with more space between the hour markers. Additionally, the hour and minute hands appear wider, with the minute hand increasing ever so slightly in length to meet the minute track.
Also present on the dial and hands is Rolex’s Chromalight lume. This newer in-house material was first introduced in 2008 as Rolex’s proprietary luminescent compound and since its introduction, it has entirely replaced Super-LumiNova within the brand’s lineup. It is widely sought-after for its brilliant blue glow while in the dark, which is reported to last longer than the green glow of Super-LumiNova.
Submariner 124060 Movement: Caliber 3230
With the newest lineup comes a new generation of movements with the Caliber 3235 powering the current Submariner Date and the Cal. 3230 powering reference 124060. The Rolex Caliber 3230 is essentially the dateless version of Cal. 3235, which has been in production since 2015 and is just now seeing integration into the Submariner series. The Cal. 3230, on the other hand, is brand-new to the Rolex catalog and first came to market in 2020 inside the Submariner ref. 124060 and the new generation of Oyster Perpetual watches.
Both movements include Rolex’s patented blue Parachrom hairspring, Paraflex shock absorbers, and anti-magnetic nickel-phosphorus Chronergy escapement. The power reserve has also significantly been increased from 48 hours to an impressive 70 hours, which can be attributed, in large part, to the upgraded escapement. Overall, the Caliber 3230 is about 15% more efficient than its predecessor, it is more resistant to shocks and magnetic fields in addition to boasting a longer power reserve.
Where is the Best Place to Buy the Submariner 124060?
At the time of writing, the Rolex Submariner reference 124060 has been on the market for less than a year, and it has already proved incredibly difficult to find at a retail level. Unless you have connections with your Rolex boutique or retailer, it’s nearly impossible to purchase the 2020 Submariner from an authorized dealer without putting your name at the bottom of an incredibly lengthy waitlist.
If you’re searching for a Rolex 124060 Submariner for sale right now, your best bet is to turn to the secondary market where you will be able to find examples in almost new/unworn condition. With that in mind, it should also come as no surprise that the current pre-owned price exceeds retail, currently averaging around $13k compared to the current retail price of $8,100. However, since the waiting list for a Rolex Submariner ref. 124060 is getting longer and longer each day, we wouldn’t be surprised if pre-owned prices continued to increase as people are unable to buy them at a retail level.