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Rolex Submariner Date vs. Submariner No-Date Review

December 20, 2019

BY Paul Altieri

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While Rolex’s famous dive watch is simply called the Submariner, there are actually two different versions to consider: one with a date display and one without. If you’ve ever wondered what the differences are between these two Subs aside from the calendar feature, join us as we take a look at the Rolex Submariner Date vs. Submariner No-Date.

Rolex Submariner Date vs Submariner No-Date

What is the difference between the Rolex Submariner Date vs. Submariner No-Date?

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The Rolex Submariner Was Originally a Time-Only Watch

When the Rolex Submariner made its debut in 1953, it was a time-only watch. Built as a timepiece for scuba divers first and foremost, early Submariner watches featured essential traits like a waterproof case, a rotating timing bezel, and a straightforward three-handed dial with plenty of lume for legibility underwater. A date window would have been superfluous on this type of tool watch and would have taken up too much space on the dial of the 38mm case.

Rolex Submariner Date vs No-Date comparison

The very first Submariner watches were all no-date models.

However, by the 1960s, the Submariner had grown to its now-standard 40mm in size and sprouted some guards around the winding crown. The beefier dive watch was also becoming popular among non-divers too, appreciated for its durability and impressive water-resistance. By the late-1960s, Rolex added a date complication to the watch and introduced the Submariner Date ref. 1680 to sit alongside the time-only Submariner models.

Additionally, it’s important to note that the official names for these two different models are the Submariner and the Submariner Date; yet, since the latter has become the more prevalent option nowadays, the former is commonly referred to as the “Submariner No-Date” while the Submariner Date is often simply called the Submariner.

To accompany the then-new date window at 3 o’clock, Rolex also furnished the crystal of the ref. 1680 with the iconic Cyclops lens to magnify the date for easier reading. Ever since then, the Submariner Date has always had a Cyclops lens on its crystal.

Rolex Submariner Date versus Submariner No-Date Comparison

Rolex now makes two versions of the all-black stainless steel Submariner.

The Rolex Submariner Date Has More Options

Since the very beginning, Rolex has only ever constructed the Submariner No-Date from stainless steel, and it has always come equipped with a black dial and a black bezel. On the other hand, Rolex has made the Submariner Date – considered the more luxurious option between the two – in an assortment of metals and colors over the years.

Along with stainless steel Submariner Date models, there are yellow gold versions, two-tone gold and steel versions, and white gold versions. Depending on the specific reference, the Submariner Date can be found with dials and bezels in either black, blue, or green. Additionally, there are also a handful of Submariner Date references with precious gems, ranging from diamond hour markers on “Serti Dials” to ultra-lavish models entirely paved in gemstones.

Rolex Submariner Date vs Submariner No-Date Comparison Guide

The Rolex Submariner Date offers significantly more options.

The Similarities Between the Submariner and the Submariner Date

Now that we’ve outlined the main differences between the two Rolex dive watch models, it’s time to speak of the similarities. Excluding the earliest vintage Subs from the 1950s, all Rolex Submariner references have always sported 40mm cases fitted with Oyster bracelets. Furthermore, they have always been automatic watches and the water-resistance ratings between both Date and No-Date models have always been comparable. Current production Submariner watches are all water-resistant to 300 meters.

Rolex Submariner No-Date vs Date Comparison Guide

Both versions of the Rolex Submariner have existed as a number of different references.

Here’s a quick comparison between the current Submariner Date ref. 116610LN and the Submariner (no-date) ref. 114060.

Rolex Submariner Date ref. 116610LN

  • Case Size & Materials: 40mm; Oystersteel (904L stainless steel)
  • Bezel & Crystal: Black Cerachrom (ceramic); Synthetic Sapphire w/ Cyclops lens
  • Movement: Cal. 3135
  • Water Resistance: 300m / 1,000ft
  • Bracelet: Oyster with Glidelock
  • Retail Price (MSRP): $8,550

Rolex Submariner (No-Date) ref. 114060

  • Case Size & Materials: 40mm; Oystersteel (904L stainless steel)
  • Bezel & Crystal: Black Cerachrom (ceramic); Synthetic Sapphire
  • Movement: Cal. 3130
  • Water Resistance: 300m / 1,000ft
  • Bracelet: Oyster with Glidelock
  • Retail Price (MSRP): $7,500

In short, if you’re looking for a modern version of the original Rolex Submariner tool watch, the Submariner no-date is the way to go. But if you want a more luxurious take on Rolex’s famed diving watch, then the Submariner Date has more options available. So, which version do you prefer? The Submariner without a date window or the Submariner Date?

Rolex Submariner Date vs. Submariner No-Date

Which version of the Rolex Submariner is your favorite?

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